"They have sex too early and for the wrong reasons.
They get STDs. They get pregnant too young.
They have “friends with benefits” but with no benefit to themselves.
They don’t get called. They get dumped.
They hate themselves for being unlovable for being needy.
They are loose girls they are everywhere and they need our help.
In the provocative hit memoir Loose Girl, Kerry Cohen explored her own promiscuity with brutal candor and stunning clarity. Dirty Little Secrets is the eye-opening follow-up readers have been clamoring for, a riveting look at today’s adolescent girls who use sex as a means to prove their worth. Cohen lays bare the hard truths about this dangerous life that reveals itself in girls you wouldn’t expect and in ways you might not see—and that can seriously damage and hurt these girls. Featuring stories from self-admitted loose girls across the country, Dirty Little Secrets is an unforgettable wake-up call for our culture, ourselves, and our vulnerable daughters.
“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 Wannabes and Boys, Girls, and other Hazardous Materials
“Kerry Cohen. . . cuts through the cacophony of noise about sex, desire, and gender, and gets to the core of what’s going on for so many young women today. With an empathic eye, she looks deep into the emotional lives of girls, respecting their struggles and desires, and pointing the way forward towards a more embodied and authentic sexuality for all of us.” —Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters and editor at Feministing.com
“A must-read, for it sheds light on the truth behind the secrets and lies teens tell themselves… Women of all ages can relate and benefit from this book—I can’t recommend it enough. Dirty Little Secrets is urgently needed.”—Amber Smith, model and star of Dr. Drew Pinsky’s Celebrity Rehab and Celebrity Sex Rehab
“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"
Psychotherapist Cohen defines "loose girls" as female teens who find self-worth only through the attentions of boys, and who pursue self-destructive and promiscuous behavior. Cohen, who wrote candidly of her own history in her memoir (Loose Girl), now seeks to identify the loose girl experience and help girls gain power over their own lives. The author weaves stories of loose girls throughout the text, culling anecdotes from 75 American volunteers who e-mailed her after reading her memoir (to her credit, she admits that this is "not by any stretch of the imagination" a scientific study). The girls' stories, however, lead her to conclude that they all share in common a "dirty little secret" the yearning to be needed. Cohen faults mainstream culture for giving girls limited options (virgin, slut, empowered girl) and promoting the message that young females should appear sexy without desiring sex. It is the culture itself, Cohen argues, that requires change, but until that happens (unlikely, especially with the added influence of the Internet and cellphones), she urges parents to help their girls find worth in activities other than the pursuit of boys, such as sports, academics, or the arts. Cohen also debunks abstinence-only programs, which, she asserts, compound the erroneous message that girls themselves are to be blamed and shamed for their natural sexual feelings.