Some peer through binoculars and watch birds, some follow sports, others study the stars. What fascinates me the most, is people. I wonder what they are really thinking, and why human beings behave the way they do. People are complex. We rarely know for sure what is going through someone else’s head.
That’s why I love memoirs, they let us inside. They give us a true glimpse into the interior of another person’s mind.
A piece of me, especially back in my twenties (ah, the Glory Days), wanted to be a loose girl…the kind of girl who I imagined could throw caution and anxiety to the wind. I wondered what it felt like to be that kind of girl. The kind of girl who did whatever and whoever she pleased, no worries about disease, rape, loyalties, or awkward moments.
Turns out, I got it all wrong. For Cohen anyway, being a loose girl had nothing to with feeling carefree. She was not a sexually empowered woman with a strong libido, unafraid to take what she wanted. She was not having sex because she felt like it. Cohen was a frantically insecure, emotionally needy woman, desperate for attention. She believed that having a man, any man, in her life, made her a better, more lovable, more relevant person.
When a man was on top of her, she felt whole. When he pulled out, she was empty. For Cohen, sex was not about pleasure – most of the time she didn’t even seem to enjoy it – it was about feeling wanted. She grasped for attention the way a junkie scrambles for their next hit.
Loose Girl is a fascinating look into a sex addict’s mind. I was honestly surprised by the amount of value she put on male attention. I had no idea how little a sex addict’s addiction was about the actual sex. In this regard, I learned a lot from this book, and I’m glad I read it.
What I didn’t like, was that Cohen repeated her desperate acts over and over and over. Less than halfway through the book, I was more than ready for her to figure it all out, to have her “aha moment” and love herself. Her desperation was painful and after a while, so very predictable. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everybody. It is easy to get frustrated with the author and her mistakes. It is easy to forget that this is real life, and in real life, it can take a long time for us to learn our lessons.
In the end, however, I got what I was looking for from this book. The back cover promised:
For everyone who was that girl.
For everyone who knew that girl.
For everyone who wondered who that girl was.
When it comes to this, Loose Girl certainly delivers.