Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kerry Cohen

Kerry Cohen received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon and an MA in counseling psychology from Pacific University. She is a practicing psychotherapist and the author of the young adult novel Easy and a new book, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity.

From her interview with Powells.com:

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.

Before the book even came out, lots of people were indignant about the fact that I had dared to refer to myself as promiscuous when I had only slept with 40-plus guys. People were really pissed about this! At least three relatively well-known bloggers wrote very mean, personal attacks, essentially accusing me of being a disgusting attention whore who had not earned a book. Well over 250 commenters came on to agree. Some said things like, "I sleep with 40 guys per year. Where's my book contract?" Many were sickened that I had written two books on the subject (one is a young adult novel). At first I felt pummeled. I expected some backlash and misunderstanding, but not the level of personal hatred I was seeing. After I dropped my defenses, though, I realized how ridiculous the whole thing was. I mean, they were pissed at my number. My slut stats. It actually shows how much my story gets misconstrued and molded into more familiar discourse, and it's a good entryway into more constructive discussion.

I can't say what will hurt or feel right for another person. I only know that of the 40-some-odd boys and men I had sex with, maybe two or three were fulfilling situations. The rest made me feel like crap. Only one could be defined as rape — meaning, I actively didn't want that one to happen — but most all the other sex felt just as violating and self-destructive. And yet I chose it. I kept choosing to have sex, not from a place of natural sexual desire, or just because I was attracted to a guy and wanted to get with him. I was having sex from a place of terrible desperation. Every single time I did it because I needed the sex, and his interest in me sexually, to mean I was worthwhile and lovable.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 69 Test: Loose Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue