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Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  9,257 Ratings  ·  826 Reviews
Kerry Cohen is only eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her female form 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 senses she shouldn't take. Kerry wanted attention and she wanted love. Vulnerabl ...more
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Published June 17th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2008)
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May 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: that girl
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: this girl
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2012, own, xx

"For everyone who was that girl. For everyone who knew that girl." You know. That girl. Well it says you do right on the back of the book, so it has to be true. Right?

Kerry Cohen wants us all to believe that that girl, the slutty girl who slept with your boyfriend, you know the one, is just misunderstood. She's not slutty because she wants to be; she's slutty because she has a deep-seated need, a void, and the only way she can fill it is by seeking and getting male attention. Problem is, it only
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apropos the naysayers of this book, it would be easy to criticize or impugn or second-guess Kerry Cohen's motives for writing it. I don't pretend to fully know what those motives were, and frankly I really don't care. The book is exactly what it says it is -- a memoir of promiscuity -- and unless you're too dense to read the title before you even crack the spine then I'm hardly amenable to taking seriously any whining you have about her behavior or character.

Cohen writes about what it means to w
It's a challenge not to judge the character of someone who writes such a revealing and vulnerable memoir, but I'll do my best to stick to my views on the book, not my opinions of the author, whether I saw myself in her or what she should have done.

It's somewhat awkward when she comments on her own writing ability, as none of her characters come to life. Either her friends are known only by name, or a man is identified by his sexy eyes and hair (often long and tousled). Is Eli scrawny, athletic
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls
This book was depressing to read. I know so many girls who are so much like the author it isn't even funny. I was struck by pure sadness that Kerry went through her teens and young adult life feeling that the only time she was worthy of love was when she was having sex with some boy. That need to be loved was so strong that it influenced every thing that she did......EVERYTHING!! Many girls I work with don't care what the boy looks like, his personality, nothing...just so long as he "likes" her. ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wanna-be sluts and the people that love them
Recommended to Ratscats by: My boo
This book was okay. It was a very fast read (books about slutty girls alway are). I guess I can just say it's an "in between the good stuff" book. A readable but forgettable account of a young womans life of being a ,well, Loose Girl. Most of the time I just wanted to shake the author and say "Yeah, I get it! You're a needy, bottomless pit that tries to fill it up with PENIS! Real original. Get over it!" It's kinda like a poorman's version of Less Than Zero.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was kind of hard going, especially at first. I don't want to give the indication that the writing was bad; it was actually really good, but that was part of why it was hard to get through. Kerry Cohen's matter-of-fact narration of her teenage years, and the way she spared nothing in her quest for attention and approval from boys, is unflinching, and sometimes it's hard to make it through the harsh stories she tells, especially when she describes with clarity and detail the feel ...more
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could have written this book myself. I found a lot of myself in the story. The needing and wanting to be loved I personally deal with still to this day. I thought it was a brave story, to put yourself out there like that and admit to your sexual past is humbling at best. I thought it was an easy read. It also made me look at the girls we called 'sluts' in high school in a new way. We are all searching for love. Some of us are just better at it than others. I hope my own life ends with the happ ...more
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Loose Girl", Kerry Cohen has written a memoir of startling clarity and unblinking honesty. So often, memoir has proven to be a vehicle for proselytization or even vindication, but Cohen resists the temptation to assign blame or explain away the personal impulses that drove her to reckless behaviors and a pattern of promiscuity and heartbreak. Instead she is straightforward and clear, exploring her own weaknesses and her dysfunctional quest for love and intimacy through unrewarding physical r ...more
Oct 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't see how this memoir benefits anyone but herself. This is not a novel about self-reflection and/or improvement, this is a depiction of a "notchpost" sex addict who comes off as bragging about her sex life. If the author was *truly* seeking love and used sex as a means to find it, then why did she cheat on everyone that she ever claimed to have "loved"? Why, after a lifetime of promiscuity, complete with STD/HIV scares, who knows how many pregnancy scares, and pushing away loved ones, woul ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, non-fiction
“Loose Girl” is the type of book that I normally won't pick up, but I was looking for something to read from a section of my book store I normally don't browse. "Memoirs and Biographies" is one of those sections. I won't lie, the title caught my eye right away. Who doesn't want to know about that one girl we all know who everybody calls a slut? Strangely, this book with such a promising and controversial subject, failed to touch me in any way.

First of all, for a book written by a person who has
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that every woman needs to read! Even more so if you are the parent of a daughter. I pair this with Pledged by Alexandra Robbins as "Must Reads" for any girl on her way to college, in college, or about to send their own daughter to college.

Kerry gives a powerful and moving picture of what could happen when we don't empower our own girls to take charge of their bodies as well as their minds. By sharing her painful past with us, she hopes to give us the tools we need not to let anyon
I debated on giving this 1 or 2 stars. On one hand, I did enjoy the book. However, there are quite a few issues that I just can't get past.

For example, in the beginning Cohen writes about the feeling of power she felt from sexual attention. So, I expected the book to follow that theme. But it didn't. Cohen gained nothing from her multiple sexual encounters ~ not popularity, money, career advancement and certainly not the power she spoke of. True, she did get the momentary attention she sought.
Christy Sibila
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has a story to tell: about their shitty childhood, failed marriage, battle with cancer, a parent with Alzheimer's, but quite honestly, not everyone should share their story with the world. Yet people do, and the result is piles and piles of simply awful memoirs, that would be better served as pages in a private diary. Loose Girl is not one of these memoirs. Kerry Cohen is a talented, bona fide writer, who masterfully connects her story to the human condition, without the added benefit o ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars= "it was ok"

I used to love reading memoirs about real people(not celebrities, although I have read some good celebrity biographies over the years). This is the first one I've read in years, I believe. It feels like years. I had wanted to read it for a while and I saw it in a secondhand shop for under a dollar.

It really disappointed me. I found it lacking in a lot of things. Maybe because I've read amazing books lately and it's hard to read something that's brilliant("One Day", which was
Well written and fast-paced, I beg anyone to read this book and tell me they can't identify with at least one of the characters. Straying from the all too easy trap of recreating history that is commonly found in memoirs, Cohen's latest is as honest as a Burger King bathroom light at 3am. There are moments throughout the book when you're not sure if you want to hug or slap the author; whichever knee-jerk reaction you may have though, it is to the author's outstanding ability to gather you in her ...more
Geoffrey Kleinman
Jun 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Addiction Biographies
Loose Girl is a well focused look at one woman's journey through insecurity, dysfunction and unhappiness. It reads a lot like many other 'addiction' books but since the 'addiction' it covers is sex, the highs and lows are a lot less extreme. Author Kerry Cohen does a good job of drawing the reader in and
creating a very vivid and engaging world. Her writing is clear, flowing and polished. I found myself zipping through the book fully engaged with Cohen's journey. My biggest gripe is that the boo
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I gained some insights reading "Loose Girl," although not as many as I had hoped. As a boy - Hoffmann's word for any eligible male - it was fascinating to hear the thoughts of a girl so completely oblivious to the arc of her own actions. As a teen, a young adult, and as a grown woman, Hoffmann plays variations on the same promiscuous theme. But even as I wondered at her actions - "Is she doing that again!" - I felt strangely distant. There is no real shape to the unending sequence of conquests, ...more
Barbara Elsborg
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A bit dreary. It felt very self-indulgent to me, rather like those celebrities that claim to do something for charity and want us to sponsor them to do it. So she slept around - a lot - so what? Are we supposed to be learning something, because it doesn't appear as if she did. She has a husband, kids and still gets that buzz over guys. Well, most women like looking at handsome guys - that's why there are popular film stars. It was just like reading a teenage diary of boys i have slept with. Yes, ...more
Esteban del Mal
Browsed this as the wife and kiddo wandered around the very un-PC Target today. I was thinking it was gonna be all Samantha Fox but it came off as tending more toward Jesus Loves Porn Stars.

Just sayin'.
Remind me not to read this when my daughter gets closer to adolescence. An honest (but depressing) narrative.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-bio
While I certainly could relate to a story of continually using boys/men to boost self esteem, I didn't think this particular story was very interesting or insightful.
Alison Lafferty
I picked this up off the side of the road walking home from a first date with someone; I call this move "If they don't tolerate me picking up books from the sidewalk, esp. books about promiscuous teenage girls coming of age, then I don't want them in my life." I finally got around to reading this and while I was pleasantly surprised by how relatively non-preachy this was, it didn't hold my attention, and the plot felt flat. I realize that this is a MEMOIR and thus, the plot is merely Cohen's lif ...more
Marla Williams
Bought this book at the Columbia bookstore in NYC with my suite-mate Aimee; thought we'd have a mini book club as the "Memoir of Promiscuity" seemed interesting. It was a very quick read, two evenings falling asleep. And while I appreciated some of the Upper West Side lore considering our locale on 114th and Broadway, I kept waiting for the author's self-revelation to become apparent to the reader.

And on the last page, you'll still be waiting. The writing style in this book is very odd. At first
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, 2010s
Very well written book and very sad account of a young girl's search for fulfillment, self, meaning, and love. I don't find the heroine promiscuous. To me, her encounters were not at all about sexual or erotic gratification; if one chooses to read this book for the purpose of titillation you will be disappointed. This is rather the story of a girl's search for love, partnership, bonding and belonging which she believes she will derive by entering sexual relationships. Like many young women, she ...more
Jun 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and good read as biographies go. Not much in way of wit or prose, it's a rather raw and straight forward telling of how and why the author came to make the decisions she did regarding sex and relationships. Yes, there's parental issues and what no mentioned but most of it is about her need to feel loved. I think that's why I liked the book as much as I did; I can completely relate to the feelings she describes. Granted I haven't had sex with even remotely close to the number of people as ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Well......this book is getting a mix of alotta love and alotta crap.......I loved Kerry's raw honesty and I could relate to her....Alot of you wanted this book to have a positive finish where the reader learns the error of her ways and starts to love herself.......well, that's just not honest and this is memoir not a fairy tale.....having self worth is always a work in progress for someone who doesn't have it.....people can pretend that one day they just discovered self worth and turned their wh ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book was written with such unflinching honesty, that the poor ending and lack of self-examination or understanding was that much more of a disappointment and shock.

While the author traces her history of longing for physical attention, I felt for the uncertain teenager who believed her worth came solely from males. I believe this is a trap that is easy for any young woman to fall into, but Cohen did so with a vengeance, sleeping her way through high school, college, and beyond.

Dulcie Pavuluri
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
A memoir that at times I felt many girls growing up today and years ago could relate. However, it also became redundant with the talk of constant sex, guilty feelings of "unwant." I did like the beginning and the end of the book and felt they could have left out the middle. Overall it is a good book if you feel you have something in common with the author. The author could have used more description in her feelings instead of glancing over them; perhaps afraid to divulge too much sexual informat ...more
Laura Gelinas
“This isn’t a story about how some guy finally saves me from myself. I’m my own hero here; I do the saving.”

I discovered Loose Girl by accident and thought wow, this is a fast paced book on the road to self-destruction. There were parts I loved. Parts that were so honest and raw. And parts that made me want to reach out to Kerry and say "GIRL" what are you doing?! Rape is NOT ok.. it's not the same as regular sex, and you ARE worth more than this.

What started as a 4 star book for me, just fizzle
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Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: Kelsey Walston 2 9 Oct 24, 2012 06:25AM  
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Kerry Cohen is the author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity; Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and The Meaning of Normal; Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity; as well as three young adult novels – Easy; The Good Girl; and It’s Not You, It’s Me. Her essays have been featured in The New York Times' "Modern Love" series, The Wash ...more
More about Kerry Cohen...

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“I don’t want to be in pain anymore. I want to be done, to be left unburdened and naked, to tear the hurt off my body like layers of clothes. At the end of the trail I stop and bend forward, hands on my knees, to catch my breath. I’m not healed, but for this moment, I’m better.” 38 likes
“He remains kind, but a feeling nags at me, staying with me long after I leave. And it's this: It doesn't matter what I did to him. He can choose to remain detached, untouched by me. Something I can't do back.” 7 likes
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