The 'Hoe': Kia Livingston
“The label hoe, for me, has become a mindset of being sexually liberated, honest, open and proud of who I am.”
By Kia Livingston
When people hear “The Hoe and The Hopeless” they are automatically drawn in. It’s catchy, but it’s also two words that are looked down upon but Deb and I decided to own them. It is a very liberating feeling to know that I can talk with one of my best friends about who I am. I can be completely open and honest. When we realized how wild our stories were, we thought of how fun it’d be to share them on our now podcast: The Hoe and The Hopeless.
The label “hoe” is something that women are typically ashamed of, I mean why wouldn’t we be? The stigmas behind being a hoe are typically negative. So, I decided that I would take the word hoe and own it, make it a lifestyle choice. The label hoe, for me, has become a mindset of being sexually liberated, honest, open and proud of who I am. I live a lifestyle that embraces my body, my needs, my wants, and desires. It’s so easy to judge a woman based on her sexual history or if she chooses to broadcast her sexuality, so breaking down those walls are crucial.
“So yes, I choose to label myself a hoe.”
I wanted to take up space in a world that doesn’t create a space for me. I did that by owning a label that is looked down upon, by letting it be known that it’s okay to love sex. When I am single, I take it upon myself to experiment and do what feels right, as long as I am being safe and healthy. Currently, I am in a monogamist relationship, and I still own my sexuality. It is a part of who I am and how I choose to live my life. Because of this, and allowing myself to be outspoken, Deb and I have created a community of outspoken women who are proudly talking about their past, the good, the bad, the ugly, the sexy.
Having a podcast where I can speak open and honest about the stigmas behind sexual liberation, is only a small contribution. I am working to create a platform where other women, feel comfortable being real about their experience. We should not live in a world where women feel ashamed of their desires. Once I started to highlight the importance of sex positivity and began opening up, I realized just how many other amazing women are doing the work to break the stigmas of sexuality, gender norms and race. I will not silence my existence with expectation from people who do not know my experience or my struggle.
So yes, I choose to label myself a hoe. Because I am a black woman who was sexualized, judged and mocked for most of my childhood. I was always too skinny, and when I gained weight, I was “becoming too womanly” and quickly becoming a subject of the male gaze. I was a virgin until my junior year of high school, but when I did have sex, I was judged for my “body count”. And one day I realized, there is no right or wrong way to live my life. I just decided to own what felt natural and what felt right.
Today, I no longer question myself based on the opinions of others. I do not care what people think of me. I am making space for myself to grow and expand on my self-love. So yeah, I no longer have a problem with embracing the label that has been used to shame me and make me feel small. I will continue to expand my platform and give more women the courage to make mistakes and own the journey to becoming who they truly are.
Kia and Debora are two black women who live in Philadelphia. On their comedic podcast “The Hoe and The Hopeless” they speak about dating in the city, past sexual experiences, mental/sexual health and whatever they feel like that day. You can listen to It on Soundcloud and find them on Instagram.