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Quotes

Quote #19

I knew I didn't have to get all dolled up for a prostitute or anything, but it sort of gave me something to do. I was a little nervous. I was starting to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway. If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet. Something always happens. […] I came quite close to doing it a couple of times, though. One time in particular, I remember. Something went wrong, though – I don't even remember what any more. The thing is, most of the time when you're coming pretty close to doing it with a girl – a girl that isn't a prostitute or anything, I mean – she keeps telling you to stop. The trouble with me is, I stop. Most guys don't. I can't help it. You never know whether they really want you to stop, or whether they're just scared as hell, or whether they're just telling you to stop so that if you do go through with it, the blame'll be on you, not them. Anyway, I keep stopping. (13.24)

This is a big conversation we need to have here. Check out Holden's "Character Analysis" for a big argument.

Quote #20

Anyway, while I was putting on another clean shirt, I sort of figured this was my big chance, in a way. I figured if she was a prostitute and all, I could get in some practice on her, in case I ever get married or anything. I worry about that stuff sometimes. […] I wouldn't mind being pretty good at that stuff. Half the time, if you really want to know the truth, when I'm horsing around with a girl, I have a helluva lot of trouble just finding what I'm looking for, for God's sake, if you know what I mean. Take this girl that I just missed having sexual intercourse with, that I told you about. It took me about an hour to just get her goddam brassiere off. By the time I did get it off, she was about ready to spit in my eye. (13.25)

If sex is all there is between two people—like Holden suspects it might be—then it had better be good. That's a lot for a sixteen-year-old to have to deal with.

Quote #21

Anyway, I kept walking around the room, waiting for this prostitute to show up. I kept hoping she'd be good-looking. I didn't care too much, though. I sort of just wanted to get it over with. (13.26)

At this point, Holden doesn't see sex as something intimate or even just fun—it's a rite of passage he has to "get […] over with." Gee, that really puts a person in the mood.

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