The End of Sex is a new book by Donna Freitas which details hook-up culture on college campuses. Freitas’s research is fascinating. She found that instead of being liberating — as is often touted — hook-up culture is leaving both young men and women feeling frustrated. Students feel forced to participate in hook-up culture because it is the only game in town, so much so that Freitas calls it part of the social contract — one that often needs large doses of alcohol to make good on. Instead of a means to pleasure and connection, sex is reduced to a prerequisite for providing fodder for social media.
What Freitas wants is what I want: for people to ask themselves, “Is this what I truly desire?” She wants students to have options so that they are empowered to make the best choices for themselves. And in private, students confessed to Freitas that the hook-up culture was not what they wanted. Callers today to a CBC radio program featuring Freitas confirmed as much — and plenty of these callers were men, too.
I’ve said before that I’m an editor, not a writer. But this topic fascinates me, and I found myself writing an outline for a YA (young adult) novel with sex as a major theme. Kind of a new generation’s Judy Blume (I read her books in my youth for the prurient content, but didn’t really identify with any of her characters) but with more depth, wit, sarcasm, and just a hint of Les Liasons Dangereuses.