Opinion | Sexuality

Not All Vulnerability Is Brave

We don’t have to expose our deepest secrets with every speech and blog post.
Not All Vulnerability Is Brave
Image: Evan Agostini/Invision / AP
Lena Dunham, author of "Not That Kind of Girl"

It’s fitting that writer and actress Lena Dunham begins her debut book with a section on love and sex. The first chapter is titled “Take My Virginity.” The taking of the virginity happened with a young man she met in the college cafeteria:

I didn’t tell Jonah* I was a virgin, just that I hadn’t done it “that much.” I was sure I had already broken my hymen in high school while crawling over a fence in Brooklyn in pursuit of a cat that didn’t want to be rescued. Still, it hurt more than I’d expected and in a different way, too—duller, less like a stab wound a more like a headache…. Afterward we lay there and talked, and I could tell he was a good person, whatever that even means.

The rest of Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Girl Tells You What She’s “Learned” reads like diary entries chronicling Dunham’s most formative, awkward romantic experiences: the time she said as a pickup line, “I ...

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