Thursday, May 13, 2010
I am reading Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by the fabulous writer Mary Roach. Would you like to join me? I first fell for Mary in her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which, as the title strongly implies, is about dead bodies. I am not interested in dead bodies, particularly, but her book was so funny and fascinating it became an instant favorite (though not one I liked reading in public because of this: "What are you reading? Oh..." Awkward pause. Conversation ends abruptly.) In Stiff, she writes about how people in the olden days had a fierce terror of being buried alive (not that we modern folks are especially down with the practice) so to avoid such a fate, the dead were housed temporarily to make sure they were indeed dead. These rooms contained a system of strings linking the fingers of corpses to a bell, so if they were actually alive, they could twitch their finger to kindly alert the attendant to their state of aliveness. Write Roach: "Some had separate halls for male and female cadavers, as though, even in death, men couldn't be trusted to comport themselves respectably in the presence of a lady."
I just started Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, but already I am filled with new knowledge, some of which, quite frankly, I wish I didn't know. In that category would be the fact that in parts of Africa, Haiti and Indonesia, moistness between a woman's legs is considered to be a turn-off. So to facilitate the "dry sex" their men want, the women use drying agents, including shredded newspaper, cotton, rock salt, detergent, bark and--ack!--dried animal poop. I don't want to be a cultural imperialist or anything, but Our Way = Good, Their Way = Bad.
But it's not all just gross facts about people shoving dry stuff up their wangs, there's tons of
weird trivia (to wit: In modest Victorian times, doctors worked on women's private parts without looking) plus plenty of info that's relevant to you, dear In Bed reader. For example, remember the elusive cervical orgasm mentioned in the post, Did You Know There Are Three Types of Female Orgasms? Well, you can stop cursing the gods over your C-spot inadequacy, because according to a study by Alfred Kinsey, 95 percent of women who were stroked on the cervix with a Q-Tip or metal probe couldn't even feel it. ("Hey baby, do you like it when I stroke your cervix with this metal probe?") In fact, the cervix is so insensitive that biopsies are often done without anesthesia.
But if you're still feeling gypped about your crummy insensitive cervix, read Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, why don't you? It's like the literary equivalent to a cervical orgasm, kind of, without the transcendent shimmering feeling, oneness with the universe and whatnot. So please join me, and we'll start a smutty little book club here.