Before going off to Winter Institute in Kentucky, I told you about Kerry Cohen and her soon to be published memoir, Loose Girl. While I was there, I had the pleasure of talking with her over dinner. One of the things in particular that fascinated me about her memoir was her very particular use of the word “boy.” Kerry has graciously agreed to share her answer with you, in her own words. So, without further ado, I’m happy to present Kerry Cohen!
I love this question about my use of the word “boys” because it really encapsulates so much of what Loose Girl is about, and it leads to the need to provide some definitions from the book. So, for all those for whom a book about sex sounds like a snorefest, but a dictionary really gets you going, here’s my Loose Girl glossary.
A loose girl is a young woman who is desperate for attention, for love, for comfort, for anything that feels wide and aching inside her, and who tries to fill that ache with male attention and sex. A loose girl is often mistaken as a “slut” or a vixen. Many assume she’s simply “asking for it.” Really, though, beneath the layers, a loose girl is really just sad.
Boys are the object of a loose girl’s desires. Put another way, boys are what a loose girl tries to control. They are generally pretty, often unavailable emotionally, and usually horny. A boy could never be the marrying type. Nor could he actually take care of a loose girl’s real needs (but then, no one but the loose girl herself could ever truly take care of her needs).
Sex in Loose Girl is not necessarily what you imagine it will be. Sex is empty, and at times ugly. It is a loose girl’s attempt to control a boy, and also the place where she feels most helpless, where she hopes – and has been promised through our culture – she will be transformed into someone worthwhile. In this way, sex is desire, but not just physical desire; it is a desire to be loved.
Kerry Cohen’s fascinating and edgy memoir Loose Girl will be available in stores on June 3 from Hyperion.