Books about Sex (OMG)

Ew, sex! Or yay, sex! Take your pick. I figured as a urologist, I included books that discuss aspects of sex in an academic (and humorous) sense. Enjoy, but maybe not in public lest people think you're a little (more) strange.

Bonk, by Mary Roach

This was the book that got me interested in urology, although I didn't know it at the time. This book is filled with fascinating stories about the world of sex research and strange sexual practices, and it only skims the surface. I remember feeling lightheaded as I read about degloving a penis; little did I know that I would be helping to do so in just a few short years. Roach has an interesting writing style, with tangential discussions at every turn. I thought it took a little getting used to, but I think it makes the book that much more enjoyable. Above all, it's an unforgettable look at what can happen with those organs between your legs. I also recommend her books "Gulp" (about the GI tract) and "Stiff" (about cadavers).


Manhood: Rise and Fall of the Penis, by Mels van Driel

I read this book after I became hooked on urology. It's definitely weird, and there's some strange bits and sections within. It's stuck with me through the years and I'll occasionally make reference to it, with little nuggets of info that even some urologists don't know. This is where I learned about the "Concorde Effect," where a penile implant is too short so the tip droops (like the Concorde airplane). Some other memorable parts are his descriptions of the inflatable penile prosthesis, or the time a surgeon became so angry he chopped his patient's penis into bits and stormed out of the room (needless to say, he was promptly sued). Each page is full of fun phallus facts to share with your friends.


Sex in the Sea, by Marah J. Hardt

No, not that kind of sex. This book is about the insane variety of reproductive methods found throughout the ocean. Fishes, dolphins, coral, nudibranchs. If you thought human sex was weird, they do all sorts of crazy stuff under the sea. The book is great, and I like the little song playlists to go along with the theme of each chapter.


The Penis Book, by Aaron Spitz

This is the book I had hoped to write someday, but now it's too late. Literally everything about this book is perfect, from the giant eggplant on the cover to the excellent urology puns within. It came out before I started residency and I read it in the weeks leading up to July 1st. It gives a great overview of how a penis works and why it can stop working, pretty much a user's manual.


Why is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond

I saw Jared Diamond give a talk, and apparently this is his least popular book. Too bad I brought it with and made him sign it! I think the book never truly answers the question posed by the title, but it does delve into some of the evolutionary aspects of our relationship-related behaviors and how they related to interpersonal interactions and society as a whole. The usual Jared Diamond thing. It's a short book, so it's worth a quick read.


How Sex Works, by Sharon Moalem

I expected this to be another "look at this interesting sex research that I quoted" but I was actually impressed by the variety and amount of sex-related research I'd never heard about. It's been a few years since I read it so I can't quote specifics, but I do remember it being much more enjoyable and informative than I had initially expected.


It's Not You, It's Biology, by Joe Quick

I'm going to preface this by informing you that Joe Quick has neither medical nor graduate degree. He admits as much, but wrote this book to fill a void on the subject of love, sex, and relationships. His book talks about the reasons why men and women have different ideas about dating, marriage, and other interpersonal relationships. He explains these ideas with information based on evolution. The disparity between men and women is thought to originate between the amount of effort required to produce sperm and eggs. This book makes you think about not only the different attitudes of the sexes, but the different anatomies as well. Some of the sections of the book are not always the most accurate, and some are controversial, but if you keep an open mind it can be extremely thought-provoking.