Here's what happened: I recently read a review of some book written by some guy from Dallas called Men Don't Heal, We Ho on Dallas South News. I was intrigued by the healing and the ho'ing. I wanted to know more. So I asked the writer and publisher of the book, Steven James Dixon, to send me a copy.
I spent several days quoting it aloud in the office, taking my co-workers on a wild ride through Dixon's failed relationships and self-congratulatory overshare. I marveled at his laconic 3.5-page chapter "Why Men Are Emotionally Unstable." I cobbled together an acerbic review that was in no way fair to the guy, even if I did believe his book was a hot, gelatinous pile of Bible-thumpin' gender-essentialist men-are-from-Mars crap. And I felt bad, because this dude is super, super earnest. So I sent Dixon a list of questions about the book. Which is why I present to you, dear Friends, a Q&A with Steven James Dixon, the guy behind Men Don't Heal, We Ho.
What does it mean to "ho"? How does one "ho"?
In general, a ho is a male or female that uses sex as a method of healing from emotional duress, a source of gaining attention and/or they participate in unhealthy and/or unsafe sexual activity. Specifically a female ho is a woman who freely gives up sex even when she does not want to have sex. I am talking about the woman here who allows men to talk their panties off when she knows that she wants a relationship and she knows that he doesn't. That's right, y'all is hos too! Specifically for men, a male ho is a man that will involve himself in sexual activity with any and every woman that will have him. Get some standards, man!
Do you feel like your approach to relationship advice essentializes gendered behaviors that are not, in fact, necessarily tied to persons of either sex in all or even most cases? (i.e. Men wanting to "ho" and women wanting to get married.)
I was not taught how to be successful in relationships, I learned about them in the streets. Ok, I am not trying to be hard, LOL, simply saying that most men are a product of their environment. The environment of a teenage boy includes curiosity about sex. Before I knew what a kiss was my grade school friend asked me, "Did you kiss her?" In high school it was, "Did you have sex with her?" In college it was, "How many have you had sex with?" As a grown man it is, "So, are you really faithful?" Society is raising our men to be hos. That same society raises our women to believe that they are not good women if they are not married. Women are being raised that they are at their happiest when they are married with kids.
In single parent households young boys are seeing momma chase men and seeing daddy not be responsible in addition to ho-ing. Young girls are watching momma struggle and if momma is not raising them that they will be better off married, they are watching and learning from momma that they are better off married.
Men are going to be men, they are going to be hos. I'm sorry about this PSA. But what I am trying to do is teach men that if you are going to be a ho, at least be man enough to tell women the truth. When I was single, I never had to lie to a woman to get what I wanted. Man up!!! I teach women two things:
1.) Date More - I didn't say have more sex, that is a personal choice and in reference to being a female ho, having sex alone doesn't make you a ho. Make sure that the sex is something that you want and not something that you are giving up because he wants it. You are in control. You have the prize. You have the power.
2.) Leave bad relationships earlier - I teach women that leaving a bad relationship is not a feeling, it is a decision. Make good decisions. Leave a bad relationship early enough that you haven't developed hard feelings or invested so much that there is no turning back. You should leave a relationship early enough that if the ex-boyfriend grows up and matures two years from now you can at least entertain rekindling the flame.
Why did you want to start giving out relationship advice? What do you think qualifies you to do so more than the next guy?
When I got married at the age of 23 I had no idea what I was doing. In my current marriage, my second and last, I figured out that I still had no idea what I was doing during our first year of our marriage. I looked around and noticed that the majority of folks didn't know what they were doing either. There was no one for me to learn anything from. No one to model me or my marriage after. It dawned on me that when I was dating, women always did exactly as I wanted them to do, but once I got married, they did what they wanted to do! I took a step back and observed my wife. I noticed that her behavior is directly related to my behavior. When I was a good husband, she was a good wife. All I had to do was be a consistently good husband and I would have a consistently good wife and that consistency would lead to a successful, happy marriage. I don't take any days off in my marriage now. Marriage is a full time job. (My wife says that I am doing so well that I am up for a promotion, whatever that means.)
What makes me more qualified than the next person is that I have developed a principle that will save all marriages. That principle is - All relationships are either successful or they fail based on the leadership of men. Many relationship experts feel relationships are 50/50. They are not. God created man to lead. The problem is that we are lowering our leadership expectation of men instead of raising them.
My principle is what makes me a relationship expert. My advice is clear, concise and ultimately the same for everyone. I teach couples to rebuild their marriages. I don't give couples an easy out or an excuse. If the marriage is bad, it's the man's fault. If the marriage is good, you got yourself a good husband. This method of responsibility is effective in every other walk of life. In the classroom, if your kids are smart, the teacher must be smart. On the football field, if the team sucks, the coach sucks. If the economy is still bad two years from now we will elect a new president (regardless of why the economy is bad). In every other walk of life there is some one to take responsibility, but in marriage no one is taking responsibility. God created Eve for Adam, so how can Eve be responsible for Adam? A couple said to me recently that they were not in love with each other anymore. My response was "SO." I told them that human beings can fall in and out of love but we cannot fall in and out of our commitments. They said that they were willing to work so I said I was willing to help. The man accepted the fact that he is the leader of the family and going forward he will act accordingly. If a marriage fails, he is a failure. She is a woman who elected a bad leader.
My principle works for marriages. I talk to couples every day and our conversations are based on my principle. I am an expert in what I know. Not trying to be or claim to be an expert in what some one else knows. But I can help people who are in a bad relationship turn that relationship into a good relationship based on my principle. By comparison if you created a car that produced better gas mileage tomorrow, and you can prove that the car in fact does produce better gas mileage, you become an expert. You would not claim to be an expert on what Toyota or Honda is doing, but you know your stuff.
Additionally, I don't have a congregation, certification, license or practice to lose, so I can keep it real and if you don't like it, I don't care. I have a good marriage. I can explain to a couple in a step by step process how to get what I currently have. I can do that at least, for sure. Is my marriage perfect? No, but I guarantee you that my wife and I will be happy and in love until death do us part. (Remember that?)
How have your ex-girlfriends and others who are mentioned in the book responded?
Don't know, couldn't careless. I really don't talk to ex-girlfriends. I am cool with all of them but I am married now. I am good with my wife/girlfriend/baby momma being my only girl-friend
Aren't you perpetuating a potentially problematic stereotype by painting men as emotionally unstable? Is it possible men are "emotionally unstable" because they've been told they are -- not because they really are -- and feel social pressure to live up to the stereotype?
No, no, no and no. I have had many, many, many men approach me and say "Thank You for writing this book" or "I feel the same way" or "I thought I was the only man who felt like this." What I have done is explained to men who and why they are what they are and then challenged them to change. Men Don't Heal, We Ho is about teaching men how to heal so that they don't continue or become hos. I have had men come to me and say things like, "man if I would have read your book after my breakup, I would not have gotten that stripper pregnant." He got broke up with his lady, instead of healing and started ho-ing. He was emotionally unstable which lead to him having unprotected and unsafe sex. (He probably caught something!)
Why is marriage something you believe people should aspire to?
I don't think people should aspire to be married. I think people should first aspire to be celibate just as God was. If that's not working for you then you need to get married before you burn in hell. (Not being a hypocrite, obviously I was well on my path to hell also. I am good now though!!!)
Why is the freaky wife a thing of the past, and where is a guy most likely to find a freaky young woman who will grow up to be a freaky 80-year-old? Additionally, do men not become less freaky as they age?
The freaky wife is not really dead, she is just really, really tired. Men need to help out more around the house and they shall be rewarded. If the wife comes home and has to cook, do homework with the kids and get them to bed her inner-freak has already laid it down and gone to sleep. On my extra-feeling-freaky days I let my wife know in advance and I place a reservation at her restaurant. To obtain a confirmation for my reservation my wife will sometimes require a couple of loads of clothing to be washed and folded and maybe a mopping of the floors. Occasionally, I will have to toss some dishes in the trash but as long as I get a confirmation for my reservation, it's all good!
Men do become less freaky as they age but the drop off in freakiness is not as significant in most cases. Couples need to make more freaktime or time for freaking. Feeling and being freaky requires more time and energy. I talked about men helping women create that time and it is also important that women carve out or schedule that time.