Have you ever sat around and heard men talk, sometimes brag, about how they used to do things? Even the good men you know may shock you with their stories and sexcapades of how they use to be a player or thought they were, when the world was their playground before they hung the jersey up in rafters. The time we often reflect on around our boys is called the “hoe stage.” If you’re ever privy to one of these brag sessions, what you will quickly learn is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. As fun and exciting as we can make the hoe stage sound, what’s rarely discussed is the regret that we often carry from it. But valuable life lessons are learned in and after this time. If you don’t know what it is, let’s break it down.
Who goes through it? Men, usually young, usually while we’re immature men or still boys. I’m sure women have a stage like this where you’re carefree, and you may even look back on it with regret.
What is it? It’s a necessary phase of a man’s life. Some of us can turn it on and off, and some don’t even know they’re going through it. In this stage we usually make questionable decisions, youth and zeal inspired decisions that we don’t think about until later. Essentially, a stage full of YOLO (You Only Live Once) moments: sex, partying, hookups, possibly in an emotional or alcoholic and/or drug-induced state.
When does it happen? Our hoe stage usually occurs when we’re young, immature, living recklessly. Our college days, while we’re in the military, our fraternity days, etc. It’s when we don’t know better, nor do we care what people think, or feel we have something to prove. But it can happen later in life too, after a divorce/midlife crisis, etc.
Where does it happen? Most of it’s linked to social settings (club, vacation, bachelor party, work). But in this new day and age, it can happen on the internet and social media.
Why does it happen? We go through it after severe breakups, rejection, moments of peer pressure. We also go through this moment when we feel the need to prove that we still got it, or after realizing that we still got it. It’s a feeling of power that can corrupt your judgment, make you believe you have options, are younger and hipper than you are, and that you can upgrade. To be honest, it’s usually about covering up insecurities and low self-esteem, or dealing with them in the wrong way. We usually think with our head– and I don’t mean the one on our shoulders.
The hoe stage is a mixed bag. The positives are that we usually pick up a lot of our skills, flirting and sexual experiences in this time. The negatives are that we usually make a lot of rushed, uninformed decisions that hurt and waste a lot of women’s time during this phase. However, the lessons that we learn, the consequences we face and the regrets we carry afterward make us better men. It’s usually after this stage that we mature, grow a heart and learn to value the important things.
The end of the hoe stage usually comes with real-life consequences that will humble us: a baby, an STD, losing a good woman or friend, damage to our reputation, or drama. The aftermath usually takes up all of our energy, and by the time we bounce back, we’re ready to do things differently.
So ladies, if you’re looking for a serious monogamous relationship, you may want to avoid a man fresh out of or still going through his hoe stage. You are more likely to be strung along, cheated on, or hurt. Don’t fall for the “I can change him” trap– you can’t. But after he’s gone through the hell, you can deal with him. He doesn’t know what he wants, likes, should or shouldn’t do until then. I assure you, men will not feel ready for a serious relationship until after they feel as if they have lived, that there is nothing that they are missing out on, and that they have something not worth losing. You just have to decide if you’re willing to wait for him to become the man you need him to be, if you’re content with his growth and development, or if it’s time to move on. Whatever you do, choose wisely, Sis.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath