Once upon a time, I was a hoe…or, if you prefer, the term “sexually liberated” woman in college.
Shocker! I know!
The anonymous girl who runs a sex-positive blog liked to hook up in college.
Who would’ve guessed!
And let me tell you, I had the time of my life while hooking up!
I met so many new people; I learned a lot about my sexuality, my pleasure, but most importantly, my value as a human being.
But all those epiphanies came post-hoe phase. I hit rock bottom, which made me take what I like to call a “Sexual Sabbatical.”
But before we go on, I want to preface this by saying that there is NOTHING WRONG with casual sex!
I love casual sex!
I’ve just realized that it is not beneficial to me at this moment in my life.
And that’s okay! Maybe it’s for you, or maybe it’s not!
This blog post will be about me hitting rock bottom (not bottoming) during my hoe phase and what came of it.
So if you are ready to hear the ups and downs of my sex life and what has come from it, keep scrolling.
What is a Sexual Sabbatical?
A sabbatical is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as
“a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked.”
Now a Sexual Sabbatical is kind of like that, except no one is paying us (unfortunately).
It is a time off from sex, but it’s not a vacation.
The time you spend not having sex and hooking up with frat bros and sorority girls is spent going through your trauma and realizing why you seek out the types of partners you do.
It’s kinda like celibacy, but you know for a fact that you are going to have sex again, except this time around, your standards are higher, and you are emotionally secure.
So no, not a vacation or a paid holiday, but time off to do some emotional labor.
It’s sexual healing at its finest.
A Walk Down Memory Lane…
It’s 2018, pre-pandemic, and you just started university. You are rushing a sorority and getting to know the campus. You’re getting invited to parties, meeting new people daily, and generally having a good time.
You realize that your newfound friends are talking about hooking up, having sex, making out with random strangers in the club, and you think to yourself… “I want to do that. That sounds like a great idea.”
So you proceed to download every well-known (and some obscure) dating app. I am talking Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Plenty of Fish!
And you start swiping like crazy. If swiping right was an Olympic sport, you be a gold medalist. You are matching with many different people and having multiple conversations on a daily.
You are feeling pretty good about yourself, and soon you become addicted to the validation of all the men calling you beautiful, gorgeous, and are begging to touch you.
So you make a plan to meet some of them. Pretty soon, you are making out with strangers in their cars and calling your friends’ post-date to spill all the dirty details.
Then with some kissing, it becomes touching, and touching becomes sex.
And that’s where I come in. I first started having sex with strangers. I did not know much about these guys, but all I knew was that I wanted them to touch me and tell me I was pretty and wanted it NOW!
After a few rounds on the dating apps, I developed my roster (a few guys I would have sex with in rotation). And things were pretty great!
I was having sex consistently, and while it wasn’t the best, I enjoyed its whole process.
Well, at least, I thought I was in the moment. Looking back now, I realized that while I did truly enjoy some sexual interactions, I mostly felt empty afterward. Like I needed another fix because what this one person was giving me wasn’t enough.
I had these types of sexual interactions from the ages of 20 to 22, and let me tell you, it was enough to traumatize myself.
I thought I was sexually liberated by sleeping with who I wanted when I wanted, but I soon realized months afterward that I was lying to myself.
Related Articles: 5 Rules To Live By During Your Hoe Phase This Summer
The Final Straw
After a few different hookups and conversations that led nowhere, I met my Friends with Benefits.
We were FWB for over a year and a half. Can you guess what happened?
If you guessed that I cut off the rest of my roster, only slept with him, and eventually fell in love with him while he did not see me anything more than a sex toy that he could use to masturbate with, then you would be correct!
After more than a year of blow jobs and long talks, he felt nothing for me. And that hurt. I took that to heart, putting a very big dent in my already fragile ego.
So to prove to myself that I was over this man and did not care whether he called me or not, or whether he missed me, I went back on Tinder.
There I met Mr. Persistent. A very nice guy my age, just looking to hook up.
“Perfect,” I thought! Someone who wants what I want. Well, after talking for a day or two. I met up with him, and we had sex.
I am not going to lie. It was pretty good, but afterward, he said something that crushed my ego even further.
He told me that my gagging during a blow job was a turn-off and then had the audacity to say to me that he would still like for me to give him blow jobs even though he wouldn’t go down on me.
That was the final straw.
My ego was so crushed from being told by every guy that I was not good enough that I said, “no more. I can’t.”
Now it wasn’t exactly what Mr. Persistent said about my gagging that made me stop having sex with strangers.
It was the fact that I cared so much.
For the life of me, I could not figure out why I cared so much what some random dude from Tinder who did not even own a car thought about me!
So until I could figure it out, I told myself I needed to stop having sex. And I did right in time for the pandemic.
Related Article: The One Where I Fell For My Friends With Benefits
One Year Later…
So it’s a year later. We’ve been trapped inside the house for a long ass time and been forced to deal with our thoughts, face our fears, and question our belief patterns.
What have I learned on my Sexual Sabbatical?
More than I ever wanted.
Not having sex or looking for comfort from others made me face myself in a way that I never wanted to.
And I learned several things about myself and my belief systems.
So let’s break it down.
Validation & My Worth
After some inner work and healing, I learned that I looked to sex for validation. I wanted other people’s validation so bad because I couldn’t give it to myself.
Partly because I thought I didn’t deserve it and partly because I believed a man’s opinion about me triumphant over whatever I thought of myself.
I directly tied my worth as a human being to be able to please a man. And when they wouldn’t give me their validation, I was more than happy to give them whatever they wanted to make them happy.
And this wasn’t specific to just hot guys or guys who actually had things to offer. It was to every random dude that would give me the time of day.
So I am talking about dudes with no cars, no direction in life, living with their parents, some had felonies, and others had kids. And do you think any of them offered to take me out or pick me up?
NO! I drove to them.
I made the somewhat painful realization that I forced myself to sleep with people to who I had no physical attraction just to get their validation, ultimately traumatizing myself.
And that shit hurt.
I was blind to the fact that I wanted their validation so badly that I was willing to put my health and well-being at risk to make them happy.
Writing this, I now realize that I also did it for validation from my friends doing the exact same thing.
I wanted them to think I was cool and on the same level of hotness as them because I got Brad from Phi-Chi to fuck me in his dorm room.
Now I am still trying to give myself the validation I seek, and I am telling y’all it’s hard. But I am glad I am trying.
Related Article: What I Wish I Knew Before Having Sex For The First Time
Now I blame society specifically for this one.
As a young woman, I was taught that a man knows a woman’s body better than she does.
And that you should not touch yourself because you don’t want to “ruin” yourself for your future husband. You are supposed to save it all for him.
Like how was I not supposed to look for my worth and validation from a man if I was taught from a young age that my body is only his to play with!
So I had to unlearn this load of bullshit.
I did this by exploring my sexuality through vibrators and “ethical” porn.
I now know what I like and what gets me off, so thumbs up for me.
After the dumpster fire that was my FWB situationship, I had to take a long hard look at myself.
And I learned that I needed to be honest with myself about what I wanted.
I came to the conclusion that I (deep breathe) want a relationship.
Ugh, I still haven’t made peace with this fact, but I am trying.
I learned that the intimacy I developed with my FWB made the sex 1000x better, and I don’t want to have sex with it.
I want to be connected, emotionally & mentally, with the other person.
So I am down with meaningless sex.
Now this lesson was a little harder to accept, and the epiphany only came after I gave Mr. Persistent another shot because the whole year during the pandemic, he would hit me up each month to “check in on me.”
We had another one-night stand that lasted a total of 45 minutes. Not the actual sex part but from the time he arrived at my house to the time he left was 45 minutes.
And let me tell you, the sex was so dull. I did not enjoy myself one bit.
And I realized that what was missing was intimacy.
So now, I am looking for a connection over casual sex. To be honest, I am actually excited to explore this part of my sexuality.
Am I Celibate? Kind Of…
So if you are wondering if a Sexual Sabbatical is kind of like being celibate, it is!
But during the Sabbatical, we do the internal work to better ourselves.
And it is not as horrible as you may think.
Sex is amazing, and I miss it sometimes, but the thought passes after I have an orgasm or get my period.
Just between you and me, sometimes I download all the dating apps just to swipe and talk to guys, but after seeing what is out there and getting the “wanna fuck?” text or the “I am not looking for anything serious” text, I just delete the apps.
It’s more about entertaining the possibility of hooking up with someone new.
Maybe I’ll get there one day, but I am comfortable focusing on other things and healing myself as of right now.
What I Question…
Being on this Sexual Sabbatical, I have been forced to face a lot of deeply held belief patterns and question them.
So now I find myself going through my history, rethinking things, questioning things I have been told, and seeing how they may have impacted me.
For instance, hoe phases.
Are they really beneficial to women? Women thrive off of intimacy and have difficulty orgasming from penetration alone. It takes time to find a rhythm with a partner, so is having sex with men who come in 5 minutes really worth it for vagina-owners?
Like are we really sexually liberated?
How does being denied the pleasure of your own body from a young age tie into the idea of being sexually liberated by sleeping with multiple people as you get older?
These are things I now question!
Maybe You Need A Sexual Sabbatical
As I said at the beginning of the post, I love casual sex. It is great when you are mentally and emotionally stable and are not lying to yourself about what you want.
Hell, it helped me come to terms with some very hard truths, and I am eternally grateful because I have grown as a person.
So maybe you need a hoe phase. Perhaps you need some time to explore your sexuality and see what kind of people you entertain.
It can be rather revealing.
Questions to Ask Yourself
But if you are in the middle of one and you answer yes to any of the following questions, maybe you need a Sexual Sabbatical:
- Do all your sexual interactions feel empty?
- Does sex feel dull?
- Do you just lay there?
- Do you care about the way the person you are hooking up with views you as a person?
- Are you doing things that you aren’t comfortable with to make others happy?
- Have you put your well-being at risk to have sex with someone you don’t really find attractive?
- Have you put your well-being at risk to have sex with someone?
If you answered yes to any of these, I think you need a Sexual Sabbatical.
You may learn something about yourself that may save you from some heartache.
Let me know if you try it!