The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy

Donna Freitas, Author
Donna Freitas. Basic, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-465-00215-3
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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Freitas, a novelist and assistant professor of religion at Boston University, wants “young men and women of all sexual orientations to have great sex—if having sex is what they want.” If it isn’t, she’s cool with that too. Her newest work of nonfiction (after 2010’s Sex and the Soul) is a scathing and reasoned attack on the casual-sex culture at American universities, which is marked not by free love, but by pressure to have as much sex with as little emotional connection as possible (and often while drunk). Through interviews and demographic surveys, Freitas constructs an anthropological survey on what hooking up and dating (or its absence) look like on campuses today. She lays out convincing arguments against this harmful kind of sexual culture—one that degrades women to the status of objects, and consigns men to a life of constantly assuaging sexual anxieties—but her advice is rarely scolding or prudish. She encourages mindfulness and an open dialogue about what students want to get out of sex, and her remedies (which include temporary periods of abstinence and a return to the traditional date) should provide, if not solutions, at least inspiration for parents and college staff in talking to students about how to have better relationships, and better sex. If that’s what you’re into. (Apr. 2)
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