Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen
GENRE: Memoir | PAGES: 210
My rating: ★★★★
Often a title can be deceiving; you open the book expecting one thing but finding another. This is not the case with Loose Girl. It is what it says. It lives up, quite fully (and then some), to its name.
The true account by Kerry Cohen holds every bittersweet detail of her very active sex life, from her most intimate desires to the low value she placed on herself from a young age. Through well-written prose, she demonstrated the validation she needed and sought from men throughout her life. For reasons that may have stemmed from her broken home-life and the beliefs she held about herself, she developed an all-consuming need for physical contact in order to really feel alive, but even then, it was never enough to fulfill her. She never holds back on description throughout, sharing with us the innermost workings of her mind–every paranoid thought, every desperate plea–all in the name of feeling wanted, chosen–loved.
I found this hard to read yet I could not put it down. In some instances I found myself personalising her account; I could identify with her in several ways and I find that, in itself, both worrisome and comforting. Still, it was satisfying to discover that she eventually made the necessary change and found a way to accept herself, thus eventually allowing another person to do the same. It must have taken great courage to write so openly and with such fierce honesty and for that I salute the author.
For everyone who was that girl.
For everyone who knew that girl.
For everyone who wondered who that girl was.
Kerry Cohen is eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her body in the leer of a grown man. Her parents are recently divorced and it doesn’t take long before their lassitude and Kerry’s desire to stand out–to be memorable in some way–combine to lead her down a path she knows she shouldn’t take. Kerry wanted attention. She wanted love. But not really understanding what love was, not really knowing how to get it, she reached for sex instead. Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction–not just to sex, but to male attention–Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. It didn’t matter who he was. It was their movement that mattered, their being together. And for a while, that was enough. From the early rush of exploration to the day she learned to quiet the desperation and allow herself to love and be loved, Kerry’s story is never less than riveting. In rich and immediate detail, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment, when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something, but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness. Kerry Cohen’s journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is a cautionary tale and a revelation for girls young and old. The unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.