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264 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly life-changing
I probably had no business reading this book. I'm a 20 year old guy, and Cohen's new memoir has been clearly targeted towards women, specifically young girls still coming of age. When I was buying it, the lady at the Borders cash register gave me one of the strangest looks I have ever seen. I tried to explain. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I figured it would be...
Published on June 12, 2008 by Jack Holden

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97 of 117 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Journey to REAL Intimacy? Not!
To be honest, I also could not put this book down once I started reading it. From a purely user-friendly perspective, it's a simple, quick read. No sophistication here at all, and in this case, it's a good thing so that one really absorbs the story. Also, I too, like so many others who have already read this book, can identify in a very personal way with Kerry's...
Published on June 19, 2008 by Char


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264 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly life-changing, June 12, 2008
I probably had no business reading this book. I'm a 20 year old guy, and Cohen's new memoir has been clearly targeted towards women, specifically young girls still coming of age. When I was buying it, the lady at the Borders cash register gave me one of the strangest looks I have ever seen. I tried to explain. It was recommended to me by a friend, so I figured it would be an interesting read. I'd just sell it back on Amazon after I was done.

All that being said, there is no way I am selling this book.

We have all seen those girls at bars and parties, the ones who flaunt themselves around. The ones everybody calls whores and sluts. Maybe you look at them with disgust. Maybe with pity or empathy. Maybe, if you're like one of the guys in Cohen's story, you look at them with lust. Whatever it is you think when you see a promiscuous girl, this book will change your mind forever.

Loose Girl holds nothing back. Cohen writes about her journey with heart-breaking honesty and detail that will make you cringe. The recount of sexual incidents during her childhood and adolescence is melancholy and at times very disturbing. As she continues on through high school and college, making the same mistakes over and over, the story becomes downright agonizing. The last section reads like day turning from afternoon to dusk, or perhaps late night becoming dawn. Every chapter holds new truths. She answers questions that can't be answered--questions about why we are the way we are, what it means to love and be loved. There is a part where she realizes "Not being able to live without someone is not love. It's need." Quotes like this make the book unforgettable.

In the process of writing and publishing her memoir, Cohen has taken a lot of unwarranted criticism. She's been called an attention-whore and a slut. But the truth is, Loose Girl isn't really about any of that. It's about identity. Kerry's sexual promiscuity could have been anything. It could have been alcohol, drugs, religion, or whatever else people let get in their way of creating their art and their life. Kerry's favorite quote is by Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?" In telling her chaotic story, she's not begging for attention to her life, she's helping us figure out ours. The writing truly touches on all fronts, it would be a huge mistake to assume otherwise.

This is a life-changing memoir that you'll want to read over and over. Here's to hoping Kerry Cohen will ignore the critics and keep up her incredible writing.
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97 of 117 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Journey to REAL Intimacy? Not!, June 19, 2008
To be honest, I also could not put this book down once I started reading it. From a purely user-friendly perspective, it's a simple, quick read. No sophistication here at all, and in this case, it's a good thing so that one really absorbs the story. Also, I too, like so many others who have already read this book, can identify in a very personal way with Kerry's experiences...the degradation, denial, and self-loathing that comes from desperately trying to find love and feel loved at any cost. This "theme" is nothing new to most women who grew up in a post-Watergate or Generation X time period, whether experienced first-hand or through movies and literature of the time.

HOWEVER, to describe this book as a story of "finding her way toward real intimacy" (from the front cover flap) and "a model for recovery and real love" (review on back flap cover) is to totally mislead. Nothing could be further from the truth! Kerry is still sleeping with nameless, faceless men right up until the end, when she meets her husband-to-be, Michael. Who she then is engaged to within a period of 8 months. THIS is recovery? I don't think so. In fact, on Kerry's website, she states that she still struggles with some of the indentfied issues in the book.

I'm not trying to knock Cohen down as an author or a person. However, saying that you've been healed/recovered simply because you finally got married is akin to saying that you've conquered alcoholism simply because you stopped physically drinking alcohol. But there's more to it (anyone hear of a "dry drunk"?) and we all know it. The likely truth is that Kerry has been healed by the actual WRITING of this book, and good for her. But if anyone thinks this book offers any insight as to how she decided to stop sleeping with every guy she encountered, forget it. It's not there. Choose to enjoy this book only as a launch-point in thinking about and analyzing your own similar experiences.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Entry in The Addiction Biography Genre, June 23, 2008
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 book has almost no third act. Cohen's story has a very distinct beginning, middle, but a very soft end. I felt there was more book in Cohen and she stopped short of where the story could have taken her. The writer's Bio indicates that Cohen is now married with children, but the book never really ventures into how her past has shaped her present or now how reflecting on all this has impacted her as she moves forward. Even with a less than full ending, I still did like Loose Girl, it's well written, engaging and worth reading especially for fans of the genre.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No self-knowledge., October 2, 2008
By 
Lois Lain (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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.

While I appreciate her bare-bones honesty, I found the book lacking in any sort of self-analysis. I never got the sense that Cohen understood why she felt so undeserving of love, nor why she stayed in unfulfilling, dysfunctional relationships.

Suddenly, she seems "recovered," though I wonder if she truly has made her way out of the abyss. Instead, I think she just replaced one relationship with another. The book ends on a high note, but I think it will be just a matter of time before her insecurities suck her back into her black hole.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Honest and Revealing - couldn't put it down., February 4, 2010
By 
R. Mace "ReadsRabidly" (Nation's Capital, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is an adult read. As a 25 year old, it was something I could understand and follow. Had I read this 10 years ago, I would probably discredit some of the lessons learned. Many women plagued with the same problem might feel they are alone, this book brings a secret problem, promiscuity as a coping mechanism to the masses. Reading this, I realize a lot of women will feel that they are not alone. Even if you haven't experienced this behaviour to the extent the author has, it's so honest that it feels like you can relate on other levels.

Excellent read. Empowering for women. Not for teens. They may think the "wrong" behavior is awesome and well, that's not really gaining any benefit for them. I speak from experience as a former "bad teen".
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Brave Girl", June 26, 2008
By 
NZee "NZee" (Twin Cities, MN) - See all my reviews
From the opening paragraph, I was right there and stayed with Kerry through this agonizing journey. Our experiences are different, and yet, she made it so clear that the drive for attention and acceptance is universal--regardless of how it is played out.

The story reminded me of the Oz narrative: when the emotional cyclone spun Kerry off course, she landed with a crash, but there was no yellow brick road and few good companions to accompany her. In her search for connection and meaning, she took shortcuts, but was too young to understand the destructive ramifications of those choices.

Those expecting a salacious, sensationalistic memoir will be disappointed. Those valuing honesty without varnish or embellishment will be relieved that someone had the courage to tell the plain truth about how she got off course and found her way. Kerry acknowledges that this is a tenuous, unfinished journey and she takes it a step at a time.

Far too many stories of this type are afflicted by a fast-paced narrative and an over-the-top conclusion ("I saw the light and skipped off into the sunset"). This type of terminal silliness rings false because it's been overused and abused (e.g., "A Million Little Pieces"). I trust Kerry's story because it is so bare bones. As she began relying on herself and engaging with the creative process via writing, she was able to connect more fully with life. She points out that this is part of a lifelong journey. Rather than force a conclusion, she stops the story in an interesting place leaving the reader wanting to hear more from her.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read but I really advise for others to read to get a glimpse of people like the author of this book, December 12, 2009
This review is from: Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity (Paperback)
Well, this book was recomended to me by my therapist. I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder and I'm not sure how many of you know the details of it but one main sympton is longing to be loved. I had told my therapist about my past sexual experiences and how they are soo embarrsing to me now and I was so confused by past actions.

Actually my first encounter with sex was having my virginity taken from me through rape. I had been saving myself too. So that may be one of the many causes for my constant battle of needing love. I suffered with promiscuity 2 days after the rape and all the way to age 26 (which is my current age now). So 8 years of this.

But I agreed to buy the book. I orginally bought it in Sept of 2009 and just today (dec 09) decided to re-open it and continue. I could only make it to page 83 without running to the bathroom being sick with anxiety. I couldn't take re-living those emotions again...

I know the author doesn't suffer from any type of mental illness but wanting,no, NEEDING people is a sickness. I personally am never opening the book again. It's too painful. I could cry right now but I'm also relieved that I'm again proven to be more human than I thought I was. I always have had this feeling I'm from a Sci-Fi movie...

People like me are not sluts. I don't believe in the word. I think it's mainly girls who use it also. Jealous girls in fact. Because some people can have carefree-no strings attached sex-just fine. But people like me and the author, it's much more than that. We usually never even enjoyed the sex. Lonelieness is just...just a mother-f*****. To us it is, we hate being alone-well I am speaking for myself at least.

I now am getting the help I need to deal with interpersonal relationships and have not had casual sex in nearly a year. I've made a pact with my heart and soul to love myself for once. Not chase another man's love. I had just started with the therapist in July and am coming along so far. It feels wonderful not having to rely on other people to satisfy my hunger for love and acceptance.

So I hope that someone who might be inclined to read this book really realizes that this book is 100% true. Ugh, the feeling of going crazy over a boyfriend not calling, giving away pieces of your heart on a weekend basis while high or drunk. I literally got put on anti-aniety medication for a large part of my college life because of all the times I was petrified my boyfriend was cheating on me or I couldn't find him. All just to be loved. To be wanted. Not all of us have love in our lives and even if we do, we have our own issues getting in the way of realizing it. For example,not loving ourselves or past unresolved childhood issues.

And lastly-I really loved reading the older comment about the book from a man. It amazed me. That to me is what constitutes a real man. One who can feel and does not judge... If anyone would ever want to comment about my post my email for my amazon account is no longer in use. Sheepie56@yahoo.com is my new one...PS-Sorry my comment is jumbled-it's just very emotional.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, but don't expect to be enlightened, March 22, 2010
I liked this book. It started a little slower than I hoped, but knowing what was to come kept me reading. Once I got to the middle, I couldn't put it down. Usually I find myself falling asleep while reading, but not so much the case with this one. I bought it and finished it within a 24 hour period. Picked it up for $13 and got more than my money's worth.

It was an interesting read. You get to hear the inner thoughts of an insecure codependent. I'm a little bit of a codependent myself, so I can completely relate to why she does the things she does. Only, I'm a man. It's ok for me to do the things she's done. It doesn't kill my self esteem to be this way. But, it did help me understand some differences between love and need...which is a good thing.

It's not a self help book though. I know the back cover leads you to believe she becomes healed, when the truth is...she didn't quit. She was promiscuous all the way til she met her now husband. And she moved in with the guy within something like 4 months of dating. I wouldn't say that's being healed, more like enabled. I don't wanna speculate on whether her need will push her over the edge or not, but I got a feeling we'll be reading a Loose Girl followup if that's the case.

Other thoughts....wish she would have lost her virginity quicker than page 61, nearly a third of the way through the book. Coulda used more detail about the sex itself and her feelings immediately following.

-Adam
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Story, December 21, 2009
This is my story. The places and people are different but the emotion is the same. I am finally relieved to know I am not the only one. The book is a wonderful read. It captures you and holds you in until the end. It is a book I wish everyone could read. Maybe then people would understand me. This book touched me in a way no other has. It will be with me in my heart for as long as I live. Thank you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We All Know That Girl..., May 16, 2011
This review is from: Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity (Paperback)
When I initially read this book not too many years ago, I was still a junior in high school. I loved the book because it not only reminded me of a few young ladies I went to school with, but it reminded me of what I did not want to become, ever. I was definitely on a path to self-destruction, and reading this book made me want to change. I was far from a 'goody-two-shoes,' and I already had my share of partners; yet I most definitely was not as experienced as Cohen was in her memoir (whatever you consider to be 'experienced' is completely up to you).

I randomly decided to re-read this book a few days ago. The only difference is I'm no longer a junior in high school - now I'm a junior in college, and I must admit, this book has taken on a completely different meaning for me. Sadly, I became one of 'those girls' I so desperately did not want to become. I became the character Cohen wrote about in her memoir: a young woman devoided of self-love, self-respect and dignity, so much so that she would not know her worth if it were staring her dead in the face. Cohen's character, like myself, had no emotional connection to her parents. She had no role model to assist her in the confusing transition from childhood to womanhood. Her self-absorbed and overly emotional mother left to continue her education in another country and her father, in my interpretation of him, simply did not know how to raise a daughter or what to do with her. In fact, he would rather be a friend figure than a father figure, often smoking pot with her group of friends. Instead of connecting with his daughter on a more personal level, he ultimately decides he can buy her love by constantly taking her on shopping sprees. So one may wonder, when does the actual parenting kick in?

The beauty of this simple-yet-captivating memoir is that sometimes, for many parents, it never kicks in. Cohen's divorced parents were so wrapped up in their own worlds that they forget to let her know that she is, in fact, loved and worthy of being loved. This lack of communication, though seemingly innocent in the initial stages, eventually leads Cohen down a path of having empty sex and an even emptier heart. Like me, Cohen is aware yet completely blinded by the attention these young men are giving her, mistakes it for something meaninful, and winds up even more hurt, empty and alone than before. And yet she repeats the process, hoping for a different outcome but ending up with the same result each time.

Let me sum up this review by stating the following: self-love IS love, folks. The kind of things Cohen experiences happens, in fact somewhere in the world it's happening right now: a young person, like myself and Cohen, who cannot seem to find love within themselves, so they make it their life's mission to find it on their own, unaware of the physical, psychological and emotional consequences to come later on down the line. It may not necessarily be sex; it may be drugs, alcohol, shopping, you name it. Whatever one may be using to fill a void, they are doing it because ultimately their upbringing was devoided of something, or a host of things. Parents, PLEASE be parents to your children. Let them know they are loved. Perhaps your love may prevent another Cohen, or me, from going through what we went through.

*side-note: I don't believe that having casual sex is a bad thing; I do however believe that using sex as a means to feel loved inside IS a bad thing.
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Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann (Paperback - June 2, 2009)
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