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10 Best Quotes From "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex" by Mary Roach


"Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex" by Mary Roach

In Bonk, the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.


  1. “Cheese crumbs spread in front of a copulating pair of rats may distract the female, but not the male.”

  2. “Women, both gay and straight, will show immediate genital arousal (as measured by a photoplethysmograph) in response to films of sexual activity, regardless of who is engaging in it—male, female, gay, straight, good hair or bad. Men, contrary to stereotype, tend to respond in a limited manner; they are aroused only by footage that fits their sexual orientation and interests.”

  3. “The stereotypical ideal female—Barbie tall with Barbie big breasts—is the one least likely to respond to a manly hammering.”

  4. “The paper does not provide the exact number of penises eaten by ducks, but the author says there have been enough over the years to prompt the coining of a popular saying: 'I better get home or the ducks will have something to eat.’”

  5. “It is the mind that speaks a woman's heart, not the vaginal walls.”

  6. “Hormones are nature's three bottles of beer.”

  7. “Sexual desire is a state not unlike hunger.”

  8. “Masters points out that the heterosexuals were at a disadvantage, as they do not benefit from what he called “gender empathy”. Doing unto your partner as you would do unto yourself only works well when you’re gay.”

  9. “Your genes want you to get pregnant, and hormones are their magic wand.”

  10. “Women who routinely have orgasm in intercourse without explicit clitoral stimulation all say that it makes little difference what the guy does, as long as he doesn’t come too soon,”