01 December 2011

Post 453: Bonk

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. ISBN: 9780393064643.

I was surprised that Bonk was focused on the perceptions people have of scientists who study sex and their methods. It seems Roach has gotten a little better over time with balancing crude humor, interesting facts, and no-less-interesting-but-not-quite-what-most-readers-are-looking-for research stuff.
But even people who have a remotely open interest in sex are sometimes seen as perverted. For instance, I'm a big fan of sexual innuendo,* and while I have a healthy sex drive, those two things are correlations rather than directly related to each other. I may be able to make innuendo or sexual jokes more frequently than someone who doesn't think about sex as much, but having a low sex drive would not make me less interested in sexual research, humor, and other aspects of sexual behavior.

I almost feel like we should be more worried about people who don't have an interest in sex. I'm not talking about wanting to have sex, but the topic itself. As a biological function it is far more interesting than many of the other things our body does. It is a core of who we are as living beings, and the one thing we share with every living thing on the planet. Even mold spores have sex... kind of. Our bodies are geared towards it in a way that affects our higher brain function, and the equipment itself is pretty fascinating even outside of the actual erotic context.

Sex is one of the things that I think we can all agree on being a good thing, even if we don't agree on the particulars of when or how it is a good thing. And the beauty of it is, you don't even have to talk about sex between humans for it to be interesting. With all the different aspects of fertility, mating rituals, and physiology, people should be able to find something of interest that is also appropriate based on the situation. Maybe my openness about sex makes me a weirdo, or even a pervert, in the eyes of certain people, but at least I know the difference between a vagina and a vulva and don't have to ask my gynecologist what a cervix is.

Check out Kirkus Reviews, and from the blogger realm Fyrefly's Book Blog and The Book Lady's Blog do a wonderful job at reviewing Bonk.
LibsNote: Bought from Capitol Book and News from personal (and very limited) funds.
*This morning I had a dry throat and the first thing that came to mind was, "If you had a French boyfriend, having a frog in your throat would have a completely different meaning." Yes, I am a dirty old man at heart.

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