Hot on the tails of the romance workshop this weekend and the discussion of steaminess levels in romance stories comes my exploration into one of the most fun yet astonishingly informative books about research into sexuality.
I initially heard about Mary Roach when her book about dead people came out – Stiff. As someone who writes about crimes and such and a former nurse, the topic was exciting, and the interviews about the book were hilarious. Somehow I put the book on my “to read” list and forgot it.
Then this book came out in 2008, and this year Gulp, about eating. If the other books are anything like this one, I see some long term hanging out with Ms. Roach ahead.
Bonk is filled with interesting details, reminding me of Bill Bryson’s travelogues – but it’s Roach’s asides that never fail to tickle my fancy, as it were. Like the mention of the “Yahoo Clown Fetish Group – six hundred forty-two members, and counting”…
Or her description of a woman riding the “Thrillhammer”, being handed what looks like a microphone…

This might be more than I can take: a woman in her Social Security years, singing karaoke while being delved by a plunging, vibrating phallus

(p. 59)

It turns out the mic is a Hitachi magic wand, recommended highly by almost every sex therapist I know…but I can barely read that part as I am laughing out loud.

Roach keeps zinging me as she shares the most amazing information. Nursing school was never like this…

It’s all good information for the book I’m working on, if only I can stop shrieking with laughter and pay attention.

On the good side, these books topped the best seller lists. If we can keep the same tone in the book about MS and sex, maybe my co-author Karen Kalinowski and I can retire somewhere warm.
And read more Mary Roach!