Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
A Memoir of Promiscuity

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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.

About Kerry Cohen

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Kerry Cohen grew up in northern New Jersey, right across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan. She has two master's degrees, one in writing from the University of Oregon, and one in counseling psychology from Pacific University. After publishing her first memoir, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, Cohen received thousands of messages from girls and women who felt that in telling her story, she had told their own shameful, unspoken story as well. Following that experience, her work as a counselor has primarily concerned adolescent girls and sexuality, relationship issues, and addictions. Her next book on the "loose" issue, Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity, is forthcoming in September 2011. Cohen's writing has been featured in The New York Times' "Modern Love" series and the Washington Post, as well as numerous anthologies, literary journals, and periodicals. She has appeared on Dr. Phil, Secret Lives of Women, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and the BBC, as well as in Marie Claire, the UK's Daily Mail, South African People Magazine. She currently maintains a blog for Psychology Today.
Published June 3, 2008 by Hachette Books. 236 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As a teen, Cohen, who wrote the young-adult novel Easy (2006), indiscriminately sought the sexual attention of men and boys her age in a desperate attempt to make up for the love her parents denied her.

Mar 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promi...

BC Books

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At the age of twelve, a time when most girls should be imagining kissing their favorite teen idol, Kerry Cohen was doing much more than just imagining.

Jun 16 2008 | Read Full Review of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promi...

New York Journal of Books

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No punches pulled, nothing watered down, just detail after promiscuous detail of a young woman desperate to be loved and her years looking for this love in all the wrong places, usually under the sheets.

Jun 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promi...

Entertainment Weekly

As an adolescent growing up with her divorced, drug-using, sex-talking father, Kerry Cohen began to develop a craving for male attention, a trait that manifested itself in promiscuity.

May 30 2008 | Read Full Review of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promi...


As her tale progresses through high school and college, Cohen racks up the numbers (in her foreword Cohen admits to at least 40 sexual partners, not including those with whom she did not have intercourse) and searches for that one man who will love her, understand her, give her worth, but all she...

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Kerry was only eleven when her parents divorced.

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Nights and Weekends

After reading Loose Girl, I expected to be able to hand the book to a young girl and say, “Read this, and learn from it.” Maybe I expected too much—I mean, anyone with any intelligence doesn’t need Kerry Cohen to scream out from her book, “Don’t do this!

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