American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus

W. W. Norton & Company
2
Free sample

“A must-read for any student—present or former—stuck in hookup culture’s pressure to put out.”—Ana Valens, Bitch

Offering invaluable insights for students, parents, and educators, Lisa Wade analyzes the mixed messages of hookup culture on today’s college campuses within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. She draws on broad, original, insightful research to explore a challenging emotional landscape, full of opportunities for self-definition but also the risks of isolation, unequal pleasure, competition for status, and sexual violence.

Accessible and open-minded, compassionate and honest, American Hookup explains where we are and how we got here, asking, “Where do we go from here?”

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About the author

Lisa Wade, PhD, is a professor at Occidental College. She is an accomplished scholar and award-winning teacher with degrees in philosophy, human sexuality, and sociology. She lives in Los Angeles but calls New Orleans “home.”

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Jan 10, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780393285109
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Higher
Psychology / Human Sexuality
Social Science / Gender Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Never before published in the United States, David Holbrook's study offers the sort of common sense all too uncommon in this area of study. His essential premise is that sex has become converted from an instrument for the expression of happiness and affection into an end unto itself. In the search for sexual liberation, all that has been accomplished is the mechanization of sexuality and the destruction of the full range of emotions that nourish the human search for social and biological meaning. Sex and Dehumanization is one of those rare books that will immediately strike the reader as part of the common wisdom that has somehow been lost in a search for the pleasure principle unhinged from other values and goals.During the past quarter century, Holbrook argues, not only has the concept of sex become increasingly separated from the rest of existence, but sex casualties have increased disastrously. The spread of AIDS has brought an ominous and deadly manifestation of this thesis into the human equation, yet at the same tune the response to this menace has been nothing short of manic denial. A similar picture emerges in less deadly forms. Whatever statistics one examines, whether those of sexual activity among young children, abortion, or sexual disease, one finds a grim antidote to any hopes of progress in the sphere of human dealings with the sexual. Holbrook locates many of the problems involved in this separation of sex and affection in the emergence of the idea that our lives are governed by impersonal forces beyond human control.Sex and Dehumanization is in the great tradition of social history and psychiatric analysis. Robert Nye, writing in the Scotsman, says that "Holbrook's diagnosis of our unease should be attentively studied by all who really care about sex and love and the responsibility of freedom." Gabriel Pearson, in the Guardian echoes this sentiment, adding that "never has such a secular ethic been so firmly and urgently and usefully stated." And John Rex sees the book "as containing the germs of important and central moral discussion."
A 2015 survey of twenty-seven elite colleges found that twenty-three percent of respondents reported personal experiences of sexual misconduct on their campuses. That figure has not changed since the 1980s, when people first began collecting data on sexual violence. What has changed is the level of attention that the American public is paying to these statistics. Reports of sexual abuse repeatedly make headlines, and universities are scrambling to address the crisis. Their current strategy, Donna Freitas argues, is wholly inadequate. Universities must take a radically different approach to educating their campus communities about sexual assault and consent. Consent education is often a one-time affair, devised by overburdened student affairs officers. Universities seem more focused on insulating themselves from lawsuits and scandals than on bringing about real change. What is needed, Freitas shows, is an effort by the entire university community to deal with the deeper questions about sex, ethics, values, and how we treat one another, including facing up to the perils of hookup culture-and to do so in the university's most important space: the classroom. We need to offer more than a section in the student handbook about sexual assault, and expand our education around consent far beyond "Yes Means Yes." We need to transform our campuses into places where consent is genuinely valued. Freitas advocates for teaching not just how to consent, but why it's important to care about consent and to treat one's sexual partners with dignity and respect. Consent on Campus is a call to action for university administrators, faculty, parents, and students themselves, urging them to create cultures of consent on their campuses, and offering a blueprint for how to do it.
Welcome to the America we don’t usually talk about, a place where that nice couple down the street could be saddling up for “pony play,” making and selling their own porn DVDs, or hosting other couples for a little flogging. As award-winning journalist Brian Alexander uncovers, fringe experimentation has gone suburban. Soccer moms, your accountant, even your own parents could be turning kinky.

Stunned by the uninhibited questions from ordinary people on his msnbc.com column, “Sexploration” (“My wife and I have heard that a lot of couples in their thirties are playing strip poker . . . as well as skinny-dipping with other couples/friends. Any idea if this is a fashionable trend or has it been going on for some time and we never knew it?” or “I am interested in bondage and hear that there are secret bondage clubs someplace. Can you help me find them?”), Brian Alexander was driven to understand Americans’ desire to get down and dirty—especially in an era where conservative family values dominate.

To find out what people are really doing—and why a country that suffered a national freak- out over Janet Jackson’s breast was enthusiastically getting in touch with its inner perv—Alexander set out on a sexual safari in modern America. Whether mixing it up at a convention of fetishists, struggling into his own pair of PVC pants for a wild night at a sex club, being tutored on dildos by a nineteen-year-old supervisor while working in an adult store, or learning the surprising ways of Biblical sex from an evangelical preacher, Alexander uses humor and insight to reveal a sexual world that is quickly redefining the phrase “polite society.”

Gonzo journalism at its funniest and kinkiest, America Unzipped is a fascinating cultural study and an eye-popping peek into the lives of people you’d least expect to find tied up and wearing latex.


One Dozen Things to Avoid When Exploring American Sex

1. Asking an enthusiastic devotee to explain cock-and-ball torture while standing within arm’s length.

2. Assuming an evangelical Christian will not be familiar with the term “69.”

3. Incredibly tight PVC pants.

4. Trying to become the first male sex toy home party salesman in Missouri.

5. Standing too close to bondage models without wearing overalls and safety goggles.

6. Insisting that Dan Quayle would never invest in porn.

7. Displaying a look of surprise when a grandmother discusses the risk of removing a dildo from a microwave oven.

8. Admitting your sex vocabulary is smaller than an eighth grader’s.

9. Explaining the difference between “cream pie” and “gonzo” to a suburban mom shopping for her son’s birthday sex DVDs.

10. Trying to interview a naked submissive locked on a cage.

11. Expecting answers about sex from a six-foot-tall pink rabbit.

12. Thinking that porn kings could not possibly have Ivy League degrees and run charitable foundations.
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