Friday, August 9, 2013


My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.

This is a Non-Fiction Friday post, a little foray into the world of reality -- somewhere I try to visit when I get the chance.

On many college campuses today hookup culture is the norm. Go to a party, find someone you'd be willing to be sexual with in on form or another, go home with them, do your thing... leave. No strings attached. No conversations. No phone calls. No expectations. You don't even need to know their name. In fact, sometimes it's easier if you don't.

It's supposed to sound like fun. Guilt free, moment-to-moment, uninhibited sexual expression. Except in Donna Frietas' interviews with college students across campuses she found that they weren't having fun. In fact, the vast majority of both sexes were finding themselves unhappy, unfulfilled and... bored in the bedroom. Worse than that, a lot of them were losing the ability to actually interact with the opposite sex in any social way other than anonymous sex. In fact, this type of lifestyle had become so prominent, and the students so confounded on how to counteract it, that one of the assignments in a Boston College class is to go on a date.

Interestingly, communication is the basic problem. The girls assume all the boys want is sex, and that they'll be branded as frigid if they don't comply. The boys fear they'll appear needy, or less masculine, if they actually want a relationship. To many, the only alternative to a hookup is to go to the opposite extreme and adopt ultra-conservatism, something that they might not find happiness in either.

Frietas' book makes suggestions for college administrators, professors, parents and students to help bridge the communication issue and find a middle ground between ultra-conservatism and hookup culture so that college students can have meaningful relationships instead of having to feel guilt about sexuality.


Richard Hughes said...

I'd never heard of this. Sounds exciting. Makes me wish I were in college (college age)again. But, I suppose it's not as wonderful as it sounds. Your fantasies are satisfied, but in a lonely way. And, with AIDS a real risk, not knowing who your partner is is very risky. I think most of us prefer sex in a committed relationship. I think sex is better if you care about the person you're with.

Mindy McGinnis said...

What's interesting is that lot of these students come out of college incapable of having a "normal" relationship, and in some cases even unable to develop them. Sex and intimacy have become two very different things to them.

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