Last week I introduced my new book review series. Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity was published in 2008. It was written by Kerry Cohen. This book is a memoir but the story reads as if it is fiction. I have never read a book written by a female author who was so honest about sexual promiscuity since Karrine “Super Head” Stevens published “Confessions of a Video Vixen.” While both books are about the same underlying subject (sex), they don’t share many other similarities.
The first line on the back cover says “for everyone who was that girl.” What I loved about this book is that it is a very quick read. It’s only 210 pages. The story begins like most memoirs with a walk through the early years of Kerry’s life. You don’t have to be Dr. Phil to see that Kerry’s upbringing is what led to her early and long life of promiscuity. Like many girls with issues, Kerry parents divorced when she and her sister were young. Kerry’s description of her mother makes her seem like she was a kind of free spirit who floated through life. Later in the book we learn that Kerry and her sister ended up being raised by their dad after their mom decided she would go to medical school overseas.
While both the girls seemed to have their fair share of issues as a result of not being raised by their mother. Kerry and her sister drifted apart and their father seemed to be more concerned with being the “cool dad” than actually parenting. Everyone can agree the dad who smokes weed with kids’ friends is only cool when he isn’t your dad. Kerry is from New Jersey and started hanging out in New York City as a young teen. She met rich Upper East Side prep school kids through a couple friends who she called “the Jennifers” and that’s kind of where her life of promiscuity began. She even ends up ruining her friendship with them as a result.
Kerry goes through many anecdotes of the guys she hooked up with through her high school and college years. Once she arrived at college you can tell that unlike Super Head, Kerry didn’t want to be “that girl” but she actually did not know how to not be “that girl.” She did end up having a pretty serious relationship and even spent the summer with the guy and his mom in their country home. During the summer she sought the help of a therapist which did not go as planned.
After her breakup, she goes on a what would be considered a bender; guy after guy. Kerry admits that she can’t even remember some of their names. She discusses another couple guys who she liked and even tells the tale of the time she had crabs. I really didn’t know people still got crabs but I guess anything is possible.
The final part of the book is titled “Enough.” After a ridiculous break up with a guy from Tennessee, Kerry realizes that her relationships don’t have to be such a mess. She then describes her time after college and how she met her now husband. She admits she always wanted a loving relationship and that’s what she was seeking with all those guys over the years. Despite that fact, she confesses that getting what she always wanted terrified her. She had fears of ruining the very thing she wanted.
My favorite part of the book is the question & answer section where Kerry answers some questions that you may be left with at the end of the book. She is now a mother of 2 living a “normal” life. Her honesty during the Q&A is refreshing. While some authors may have the instinct to neatly button up their stories; Kerry Cohen did not. She admits that she was different. She describes the emotional pain that caused her to waste her single years.
After reading this book, I’m sure it is safe to say that many girls growing up in America may have faced some of these issues to varying degrees. Last week I reviewed 20 Something 20 Everything which discussed the quarter life crisis that many 20 something women face. This book and reflecting on my own experiences makes me wonder if there is a such thing as an eighth life crisis for pre-teen and teen girls. I’m sure someone, somewhere, in America is doing a dissertation or thesis on that topic. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick read of something that feels like fiction but really happened.
Buy the book here.