Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity (Paperback)
July 2008 Indie Next List
“This is an amazing story about a form of addiction most people see as taboo yet is still common among America's teens. It is honestly written and allows you to see a very private aspect of a person's life.”
— Autumn Lynn, River Reader LLC, Lexington, MO
While there can be clean beginnings, true endings are so much more elusive. Redemption isn’t in endings, anyway. It comes from authentic consciousness, from living more fully and honestly inside our story, and making it a story worth having lived.
--from the Introduction
For everyone who was that girl.
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 woman who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning.
For everyone who knew that girl.
In rich and immediate detail, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment, when a you try to control someone by handing over your body, when the touch of that person 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 an unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, and speaks to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.
For the thousands of people who have found their voice in this book, and the thousands more who will.
About the Author
Kerry Cohen is a doctor of clinical psychology and works as a licensed therapist in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of the memoirs Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Journey Through Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal, and Girl Trouble. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Washington Post, and she has been a guest on Dr. Phil and Good Morning America. Her story was also featured on WE Network as part of the documentary The Secret Lives of Women.
"Cohen's brutal honesty about her relentless request for companionship is refreshingly relatable."—Entertainment Weekly
"Cohen recounts her harrowing litany of hookups through clear, poignant, spare-no-details prose."—Marie Claire
Praise for Lush
"Raw, intimate and brave, Lush tears apart the usual advice about drinking and addiction (guess what, AA isn't the only answer), and chronicles Cohen's journey toward a healing that at first she can only image. Gorgeously written and audaciously intelligent, here is a controversial and compelling look at finding your own way back."—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
"Kerry Cohen applies her legendary wit and sagacity to women's often subtly destructive dance with alcohol. With great vulnerability and dynamic prose, Cohen examines her own descent into the bottle, its ruinous consequences, and her courageous fight to find her footing in her real life again. This is a story you won't soon forget."—Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling memoirist of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted
"Holy mother of wine--finally a woman wrestles the story of what it is really like to be a woman away from what we've been told we are supposed to be. Kerry Cohen's Lush will light you up, crack you up, make you bawl, and most of all, allow you to breathe again. I'm beyond thrilled to read a book where a woman tells the truth without falling into the sap-hole of the sin-and-redemption narrative. There is no sin and redemption. There's just our lives, and as Cohen reminds us one truth bomb at a time, they are messily gorgeous. Move over Mary Karr."—Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of The Book of Joan and The Misfit's Manifesto
"I love this book. I am this book. Kerry Cohen has written a memoir that wrestles with the subtleties, the ambiguities, the sheer alluring horrifying real-life mess of mid-life alcohol addiction. For those of us wrestling with demons--and who isn't?--Lush is a solace as powerful as red wine."—Claire Dederer, bestselling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses
"Unapologetic in that it offers no trite "darkness to light" narrative about alcoholism, Cohen's book instead offers a sharp-eyed look at what it means to be a midlife female unable to cope with either personal demons or the heavy external social pressures placed on women. An intimate and unsparing book of self-reflection."—Kirkus
Praise for Dirty Little Secrets
"Very few people can write about teen girls' sexual promiscuity with the candor, empathy, and intelligence Kerry Cohen does...I think any girl who reads this will recognize at least one girl she knows-and that girl may be looking back at her in the mirror."—Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabees and Boys, Girls, and other Hazardous Materials.
"As compassionate as it is enlightening, Kerry Cohen's Dirty Little Secrets argues for female safety and desire, and provides a road map for authentically healthy, vital sexuality."—Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways, F 'Em, and Manifesta
"Kerry Cohen has 'been there'-and it shows in her empathy, her insight, and her remarkable ability to draw out the truth...Dirty Little Secrets busts the myths, breaks down walls, and takes us where we need to go to understand the private lives of so many young women today."—Hugo Schwyzer, PhD, Pasadena City College, Coauthor, Beauty, Disrupted: the Carré Otis Story
"Ms. Cohen's Dirty Little Secrets is a perfect catalyst for mother/daughter discussions. It is a safe place to start a scary talk about this issue so relevant to young women-and young men...At its heart, Dirty Little Secrets is a wake-up call. Settle in, relax, and embrace its shocking content."—New York Journal of Books
"Serves as an engaging catalyst for discussions about a taboo issue."—Kirkus
"A strong beginning to an important conversation. An important book for feminist and social science collections."—Library Journal