FOUNDER, PRO HOE
Pushing against the long-held narrative that women should not lean into their sexuality, Brooklyn-based, Senegalese dancer and writer Penda N’diaye has created an entire blog to dismantle that patriarchal belief. With PRO HOE, N’diaye is creating a sexual liberation movement for young communities of color. Her goal? To “eradicate stigma and taboos associated with POC and sex, and create a space for sex positivity.” Here, in her own words, she tells OkayAfrica about the origin of PRO HOE, vibrators, and the impact sexual agency can have on young women:
The brand Pro Hoe has unusual origins; my mother gifted me a vibrator for Christmas a few years ago and expressed that she wished she would have spoken to her children about sex at a much younger age. This conversation inspired me to begin writing and interviewing other POC on various sex topics in an effort to eradicate some stigmas and taboo sentiments surrounding sex, particularly in the Black community.
The thing that brings me the most joy in my work is when another person tells me how much they can relate to one of my sex-positive articles, specifically when it pertains to a topic that they feel hesitant to speak about in public. It is rewarding to know that my words make others feel safe to confide in me and share very personal experiences with me. For that reason, I keep writing and interviewing others because it highlights our similarities… During one of my recent visits to see my family in Dakar, Senegal, I realized how minimal women's voices were in regards to marriage, education, physical appearance and of course, sex; particularly its correlation to sexual freedom of expression. My writing acts as an outlet for African women who aren't necessarily afforded the liberties of free speech or sexual literacy.
My brand Pro Hoe is defining youth culture by normalizing conversations surrounding sexual expression and identity. I carry this sentiment with me in each blog post in an effort to bridge the gap between generations and encourage transparency around a traditionally stigmatized and taboo subject.
[Currently] I am working towards becoming a sex editor of a major digital platform. I feel that there needs to be more women of color writers who speak to reclaiming sexual pleasure and challenge the idea of modern sex beyond the Carrie Bradshaw narrative. My long term goal would be to produce and host a television show on a large network that shares anecdotal sex stories and perspectives from people of color around the world. A book publishing deal thrown in wouldn't hurt.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity