'I used to be the Cool Girl. But it was an act that always attracted the wrong people.'

I always existed in this weird gender-space. One of the girls, but not quite girly enough to completely fit in. One of the guys, but, you know, not a guy.

So, I found my comfort zone in being the Cool Girl. The girl the guys want to hang out with but might secretly think about screwing. The girl who’s into the stuff they’re into, who joins in on their conversations instead of changing the subject. The girl who makes them comfortable but can still give them a hard-on if she tries.

I didn’t have to try too hard to fit in with the guys.

When we partied, I drank the same cheap beers they did instead of nursing a weak cooler all night.

I smoked and drove around town with them instead of doing whatever the hell my girlfriends were doing on those evenings.

I liked the same heavy metal bands they did, so they never had to turn down the volume when I was around.

I loved sex and porn, and I didn’t have a lot of hang-ups when it came to discussing them openly. Their girlfriends might secretly admit to some sexual preference, but I could talk about tits and f*cking while we were all sitting around the campfire.

And I did some of the same dumb shit they did — like drag racing — instead of shaking my head at them from the sidelines.

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Being the Cool Girl was also an act

Although a lot of it came naturally, I played some of it up to get the kind of attention I wanted.

I liked it when guys thought I was fun and chill. I liked the way their eyes lit up when I said the kind of stuff their girlfriends wouldn’t even allow them to say in their presence.

But mostly, I was trying to impress guys in the hopes of landing one.


I was on the quest for a boyfriend, and I figured if I was cool and f*ckable, it would only be a matter of time before I found myself in the kind of long-term romantic relationship I really craved.

You can probably imagine how well that worked.

Part of the performance was to always be like the guys. And when it came to sex, that meant always being down to f*ck.

That meant kind of hamming up my horniness. Acting like I would be open to sleep with someone more or less out of the blue, the way a girl could practically take any of these guys by the dick and lead them right to the bedroom.

Sometimes, I was open to that kind of thing — I jumped into a few one-night stands without regret. Other times, though, I was just trying to get some guy’s attention.

Being the Cool Girl worked… kind of

Trying to get some guy’s attention usually worked. But it worked too well.

What I discovered is that putting yourself out there like you’re open to sex will get you a lot of guys who are interested in sex, but not a whole lot who are interested in you.

So, while my girlfriends settled down in serious relationships, I bounced around from one bad decision to another.

I also developed a bit of a reputation. There were, to my knowledge, no wild rumours about me running trains on entire sports teams, and I don’t think anyone thought that jam sessions the guys had in my presence ended in gangbangs. But people started getting the impression that I was DTF.

I tried really hard to appeal to guys by being the Cool Girl, but what I didn’t realise is that I put myself in the wrong category. They didn’t see me as relationship material. They just saw me as the fun chick who could help them forget about their girlfriends for a bit.

Instead of attracting boyfriends, I attracted guys who were looking to have a fun night with me but who wouldn’t call me the next day.

Outgrowing the Cool Girl.

After a while, I grew tired of being the Cool Girl. Most Cool Girls do.

I still like porn, but I lost the taste for piss beer.

I started figuring out what kind of music I liked instead of checking in with the guys to see what they thought was cool. That means I listen to a lot of Ed Sheeran and not a whole lot of thrash metal.

But the biggest change had to do with sex. I wanted to find someone who would love me and I was tired of having no-strings-attached sex while I waited.

I wanted the strings. All of them.


I stopped showing off about how sexually open I was. I stopped doing dumb, risky stuff just to impress guys.

I tried being myself instead.

And it worked.

I was still a girl with a reputation — even my male friends called me a slut, which was a reminder that I could party with the guys but I could never actually be one of the guys — but I started finding guys who could look past it and see me for who I was. Guys who didn’t ditch me if they thought I wasn’t DTF and who weren’t scared off when they saw that I was DTW (down to wed).

It was fun being the Cool Girl for a while. I don’t really regret it. But I’m glad I outgrew it and moved on.

Being the Cool Girl made me feel confident. It made me feel like I had it all together. But it just wasn’t me. And in the end, that’s the only person I want to be.

This story originally appeared on Medium and was republished here with full permission. The feature image used is a stock photo. 

Emma Austin is a mum, wife, and writer. She writes about sex, love and everything else that matters to her. You can follow her on Medium @emma.austin.writer

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