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45. “Bonk,” Mary Roach

July 5, 2009 1 comment

I found the first couple chapters sort of dry and self-conscious, like Roach was uncomfortable. By the time she started getting involved in the experiments she documents, she was decidedly less so.

This was interesting, and I learned some cool stuff (see below), but I wish a few things:
-That she had better citations. There are a lot of facts flying around and I would like to be able to quote them without fear
-That, instead of the “quirky” pictures that start each chapter she had pictures illustrating some of the stuff she was talking about. Some of it was hard to follow. The picture of the rat wearing polyester trousers was priceless, though– possibly because it actually had to do with an experiment she addressed
-That this book were called “Boink,” not “Bonk.” “Boink” is the term I have always heard for “have sex with.” Is it a regional thing?

I’m going to be Twittering (I can barely bring myself to use Twitter, let alone the verb “tweet.” I have only just started saying “Google” for “run a search”) some of the weird things I learned for vaginapagina. You can check the Twitter here: http://twitter.com/vaginapagina Since you read my blog, you don’t have to go over there, and you get some bonus facts that I deemed too hetero-/PIV-/baby-making-/penis-oriented for the VP deluge.

My favorite anecdote is that a Michigan woman holds a patent on “Decorative Penile Wraps” to “heighten sexual arousal prior to intercourse.” Designs include a ghost, Grim Reaper, and snowman.

Pigs and humans are the only heterosexual couplings that include breast manipulation as part of sexual contact.

Fallopian tubes dialate on only the side that has produced an egg, directing semen toward the egg, rather than the opposite ovary.

Semen contains a mild spermicide, believed to be intended to guard against another man’s semen making it to the egg.

One research study supports the idea that the flare of the glans of a penis is intended to scrape out any one else’s semen that might be in a person’s vag.

The fire department of San Fran has a code to refer to incidences of a cock ring getting stuck (“C-Ring”). They also have a modified saw to cut them free and undergo training on proper technique.

The collegen fibers in a penis are as stiff, by weight, as steel! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds impressive.

Only one tenth of the clitoris is visible to the naked eye.

Both females and males have an average of 3-5 erections a night (yes, clitorises can get erect.)

It takes one to two pounds of force to push an average-sized penis, finger, or dildo into a lubricated vagina. This is about the same amount of force as it takes to open a screen door.

In a study of cis women in long-distance relationships, the amount of testosterone in their system jumped when they were having sex, compared to when they had no sexual contact. Testosterone is closely linked to sex drive in all sexes.

People with spinal cord injuries may form non-genital “hypersensitive areas,” which can be stimulated to trigger orgasm. These are usually located above the break in the spine.

Heterosexual women who cheat on their partners are most likely to do so when ovulating.

Page count: 306
Page total: 20,408

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5. “The Handmaid’s Tale”, Margret Atwood

December 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Here’s another GWS book that I felt guilted into reading. My students are going to be reading this as their next book and I want to try to find a way to suggest to Jessie that that… not happen. This book was a gift from her, and I really appreciated it and it had been on my reading list for a while, it was just a hard book for me to connect with, and I want them to read a book that they are going to love, since many were excited about loving 1984. I miss my students. Anyway, on to my thoughts on the book.

It was the same deal as the previous book (I read these two within a week or so of one another). The prose style just didn’t do anything for me. Despite the really interesting dystopia Atwood creates, I simply couldn’t get involved. In the final chapter, when the prose style changed to something academic and masculine, I was totally on board. I whipped through it, marked it up, interacted with it.

I don’t know if it is just that I am used to the prose style of that final chapter, and that I know how to receive information from it, and can anticipate its mechanations a little better than Diamant’s style or the style of most of The Handmaid’s Tale, I just couldn’t get involved in the style, so the books didn’t do much for me.

Page count: 311. Total: 931

3. “The Red Tent”, Anita Diamant

November 27, 2008 1 comment

So, over Thanksgiving break while my students were reading sixty whole pages of 1984 (“Mr. Patterson, you forced it.”), I was deathly ill, grading, and reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

Frankly, I was a little disappointed. I’d heard a lot about the feminine style of Diamant’s prose, but it did nothing for me. I spent the entire book just waiting for something to happen. Objectively, I guess a lot did. There were murders, rapes, idolatry, births, adultery– I should have been overwhelmed! For some reason (and, perhaps, it was the sickness) I just didn’t feel anything. I read it to the end only because I felt that, as a Gender and Women’s Studies student, I was supposed to have read this.

Book: p321