College sex, it turns out, is not so very different from the hotel food in that old Jewish joke made famous by “Annie Hall”: terrible, and in such small portions.
Lisa Wade opens “American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus” with a cascade of statistics that says as much. The average graduating senior has hooked up just eight times in four years, or once per semester. Almost one-third of college students never hook up at all. Those who do report mixed feelings about the experience, with one in three saying that intimate relationships in the past year have been “traumatic” or “very difficult to handle.”
“In addition,” Ms. Wade writes, “there is a persistent malaise: a deep, indefinable disappointment.”