The End of Sex

How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy


By Donna Freitas

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$29.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $25.99 $29.00 CAD
  2. ebook $17.99 $22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 2, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Hookup culture dominates the lives of college students today. Most students spend hours agonizing over their hopes for Friday night and, later, dissecting the evenings’ successes or failures, often wishing that the social contract of the hookup would allow them to ask for more out of sexual intimacy. The pressure to participate comes from all directions — from peers, the media, and even parents. But how do these expectations affect students themselves? And why aren’t’t parents and universities helping students make better-informed decisions about sex and relationships?

In The End of Sex, Donna Freitas draws on her own extensive research to reveal what young men and women really want when it comes to sex and romance. Surveying thousands of college students and conducting extensive one-on-one interviews at religious, secular public, and secular private schools, Freitas discovered that many students — men and women alike — are deeply unhappy with hookup culture. Meaningless hookups have led them to associate sexuality with ambivalence, boredom, isolation, and loneliness, yet they tend to accept hooking up as an unavoidable part of college life. Freitas argues that, until students realize that there are many avenues that lead to sex and long-term relationships, the vast majority will continue to miss out on the romance, intimacy, and satisfying sex they deserve.

An honest, sympathetic portrait of the challenges of young adulthood, The End of Sex will strike a chord with undergraduates, parents, and faculty members who feel that students deserve more than an endless cycle of boozy one night stands. Freitas offers a refreshing take on this charged topic — and a solution that depends not on premarital abstinence or unfettered sexuality, but rather a healthy path between the two.

  • Boston Globe
    “[A] straight-forward, well-researched, and eye-opening book…. This compelling testimony from young people around the country provides ample evidence for why this campus lifestyle should not be ignored.”

    Christianity Today
    “Freitas provides compelling evidence that far too many young adults live lives of quiet desperation—sexually and socially...The End of Sex paints a vivid portrait of hookup culture…There is much in The End of Sex to applaud.”

    Toronto Star
    “The book is informative, non-judgmental and a must-read for parents and for their university-aged kids although once you become immersed in it you'll be screaming (as I was), ‘Oh spirit, show me no more.' But keep reading and start figuring out a new conversation with the kids — or they may never know ‘what love's got to do with it.'"

    Publishers Weekly
    “[A] scathing and reasoned attack on the casual-sex culture at American universities…. [Freitas] 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.”
  • The Atlantic
    "[An] important, wise, and brave new book...The short book, written in the style of an informative and impassioned pamphlet, is painfully accurate in its assessment of the idiocy that passes for sexuality in the dormitory. Freitas' argument is well-researched and well-grounded, and she is sharp enough to condemn hookup culture on sexual grounds, rather than ethical grounds.... Her indictment couldn't be stronger.... Freitas's work is important because it offers a third way toward sexual independence and autonomy in an America caught between Puritanism and pornography. Rather than morally condemning college students for promiscuity or telling them to treat romance with the detached analysis of the headhunter, she is promising them that better sex—more fun, excitement, and intensity—is available."

    Wall Street Journal
    "Illuminating.... Using extensive survey research and dozens of interviews with young men and women on college campuses across the country, Ms. Freitas explodes the myth of the 'harmless hookup.'... Freitas's book is a timely and alarming wake-up call to students, college administrators and parents, and she presents a compelling argument against the hookup culture.”

On Sale
Apr 2, 2013
Page Count
240 pages
Basic Books

Donna Freitas

About the Author

Donna Freitas has written more than twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, for adults, children, and young adults. Among them are Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention (Little, Brown), Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance & Religion on College Campuses (Oxford University Press), and The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano (Viking/Penguin), which has been translated into 20 languages. She has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on radio and television from NPR’s All Things Considered to CNN and The Today Show. Donna loves cooking, spending time with her friends, and eating. She and her husband split their time between Barcelona and Brooklyn.

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