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Sasha Grey on her debut novel, The Juliette Society (by Little Brown)

Long, But Worth It.

“Instinct is the most powerful sense organ we have. Not the gift of sight, of smell, of touch, of taste or hearing—instinct. It’s all of those combined and more and, if we learn to trust it, there is no path we can venture down that’s the wrong path, no action we can take that works against us, no relationship that will break off.

As I grew up, I would watch my girlfriends go through guys, one after the other, and always find a reason to discard them, feeling dissatisfied or frustrated or used. I would look at them and realize I didn’t want to be like them. And these girls, they’re all single now, and it feels to me like they’ll always be single, because they’re always on the hunt for Mister Right. They have this image in their heads of who he is, what he looks like, what he does and how he behaves. And it’s a fantasy, a total fantasy. The same line of bullshit that’s been sold to women since… forever.

Prince Charming. The perfect male. Ken Doll. The perfect specimen. The Bachelor. The perfect husband. Because those guys, the impossibly good-looking ones, the charming ones, the ones that sweep you off your feet, the ones that seem too-good-to-be-true, well, they usually are too-good-to-be-true. There’s another word for charmer, a more accurate description.


It’s amazing how many women fall for guys like that, fall for the same ruse, time and time again, and then rue the day they ever met them.

The game of love, it’s one of the oldest cons going. What it really is, is this:

A shell game.

Watch the cups move round and round, and guess which one contains the perfect man. Play that game and you’re going to lose. Always. It’s a foregone conclusion.

No one wants to believe they’ve been conned, especially in love. Because that fucking hurts. Probably more than anything in the world. It hits you right in the gut. Makes you feel sick. Makes you feel stupid. Really, really stupid. And so the best thing for anyone in that situation to do is this:

Pretend they saw right through him.

Pretend they knew all along.

Pretend it never happened.

Start all over again.

And this time, tell themselves, never again. I’ll never fall for the same trick again.

But they will.

They will because they don’t know what they want in life and, until they do, they’re destined to fall into the same pattern time and time again, destined to repeat their failures. Because they’re pursuing an unattainable fantasy. Of the perfect man. The perfect husband. The perfect lover.

And life isn’t like that.

It really isn’t.

People aren’t like that.

And this doesn’t just apply to women. Guys fall prey to their own self-deception too. The sensitive ones, at least. The ones who are evolved enough to think of women as more than just a convenient receptacle for their come. Sometimes they’re too evolved. They think too much. They put women up on a pedestal, idealize their perfect companion into something that no one can live up to. At least, I know I can’t. And to me, that just seems like a recipe for a lifetime of disappointment, a lifetime of failed relationships. Of looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right and always ending up with someone wrong. So wrong.

This is the game of love. A cup and ball game in which everyone loses.

You say, that’s cynical.

I say, it’s realistic.”

Excerpt From: Grey, Sasha. “The Juliette Society.”