“Emotional contraception is extremely ineffective,” says Nathaniel Peters. He and Donna Freitas recognize that the hook-up culture just isn’t as satisfying as college students make it out to be, particularly because human beings, much as we might like at times, cannot separate our bodies from our souls. “Try as they might, students regularly fail to remain detached as they look for physical pleasure, flouting the unwritten social code.”
Unfortunately, says Peters, while Freitas, in her new book The End of Sex, hits the bullseye with her understanding and description of the dynamics of the college hookup culture, she offers no alternative. Rather, she dismisses the “vocal minority of sexually conservative college students” that offers the alternative because it is attached to “right-wing religious politics.” And when Freitas attempts to go beyond these politics and reclaim abstinence for the liberal side, her “abstinence within reason” turns out to have no good reason at all. As Peters says,
She claims that her ultimate goal is “to help make available a set of diverse structures through which students can make the best, most informed choices they can about their bodies and their lives.” But that “best” has no deeper foundation than how people feel. What about those who instrumentalize others in sex and feel good about it? . . . She founds her solutions on the same relativism, emotivism, and pragmatism behind the problem she seeks to combat.