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Dear Ashley, a weekly sex column in which Sex Expert Ashley Cobb answers your most intimate questions. Nothing is off-limits. Have a sex question? Ashley, “Your Favorite Friend In Filth,” has an answer. For questions on sex, email Ashley at


Dear Ashley,

I’m a 21-year-old senior in college who will be graduating this December. I lost my virginity back in April, but I just broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. I still care for this guy, but he is 29-year-old and we are on very different levels. Our ages are essentially reversed. He’s sweet as can be, but his maturity isn’t there. I recently discovered that I really enjoy sex, but he is the only person I’ve been with. Should I go through a hoe phase after graduation? I have no idea what I’m going to do next in life before starting vet school. I don’t know how does one be a hoe? I’ve only had sex with one guy and I’m already self-conscious about my body. But I’m also like having sex. What should I do? Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Dear Young College Student,

You should definitely have a hoe phase. Twenty-one is too young to settle down when you don’t even know who you are yet. Hoe phases teach you a lot. They are about focusing on you sexually. You learn what works best for you, what doesn’t and what you want in a partner. The whole point is to use this time to experiment and come to better understand yourself and your body. Hoe phases aren’t meant to be reckless, although people think they are. You are young; have all the sex you want, use protection and find someone who’s on your level emotionally, spiritually and sexually.

It’s completely normal to have a lot of self-doubt after a breakup. You may not feel pretty, sexy etc., but don’t wallow in self doubt too long. Change what needs to be changed but only because it’s something you want to do–not due to what others may think. Use your hoe phase to build up your confidence by being in the presence of men who find you sexually attractive. 

Also, because you have been in a relationship so long you are now able to do exactly what you want whenever the hell you want without having to think about how it’s going to affect someone else. So hoe out. Have fun. Enjoy finding yourself. As long as you’re protecting yourself, live it up! This is going to be an exploration of yourself like you’ve never had before. You need this, you just don’t know how much yet.

Ashley Cobb is the millennial microphone that brings the conversation of Black sexuality to the forefront and across generational lines. Creator of digital platform Gossip And Gasms, her work and words have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Shape Magazine, Business Insider, and Huffington Post. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter via @sexwithashley

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