Cowboy Ethics

By Kendra Holliday | July 27, 2022

Do y’all know about Cowboy Ethics?

I keep the book by my bed, right next to the condoms, candles, and lube. It’s like my bible.

Do you follow The Code of the West?

Do you follow The Code of the West?

It’s also like porn to me – totally sexy. People who possess Cowboy Ethics TURN ME ON.

So, what are these good qualities that make me drool and take notice?

I’m not talking about rodeos and eating steak and slinging guns and chewing tobacco. I do like country music, however – it’s so sentimental! And I LOVE country living – give me a cabin in the woods any day!

Do the right thing.

Do the right thing.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

People with Cowboy Ethics are rugged. They are patient. They are passionate. They don’t quit. They have a heightened sense of justice. They do the right thing.

Some people come by their Cowboy Ethics honestly – it’s effortless for them. Others need training, like me! I strive to live by the Code of the West.

Here are the ten tenets – how many of these ring true to you? Which ones do you need to work on?

1. Live each day with courage.

Be brave. Be strong. Conquer your fears. Courage means “to have heart.” Having courage means doing what is right, even when it scares the living daylights out of you. Be true to yourself.

Talking openly and honestly about my intensely personal and kinky sex life, and posting photos of myself naked – right down to my hairy armpits and shaved pussy – being intimate with the world, sharing myself with strangers – that takes courage.

Don’t be a coward. Face your fears. Replace the fear with LOVE.

This here cowgirl is tough!

This here cowgirl is tough!

2. Take pride in your work.

My top three priorities are my daughter, my life’s passion (sex and relationships), and work (making money). Luckily, some of these things overlap. I’m a single mom, so I have to bust a move if I want to take my daughter on a nice trip or splurge on renting a fancy house for a play party.

I take my passion seriously and have pride in my work. I give talks at universities and for medical professionals. I work with licensed sex therapists. I mentor women interested in sex work. I host amazing events. I run a stellar volunteer organization. I absolutely LOVE my work as a counselor and sex surrogate. That is where my true talent lies, and where I make a real difference in people’s lives.

You should always try to leave people, places, and things better than you found them.

It’s good to have more than one way to make money. Be diverse in your skills, but also be an expert in something. Be passionate! What are your top three priorities? What are you passionate about?

Cowboy Ethics Sign

3. Always finish what you start.

There are lots of times where I have a grand idea, and start digging into it, and it turns out to be way more work than I thought it would be, and I’m tempted to abandon it. I’d rather take the easy route, thank you very much.

Ten years ago, I did that with my marriage. I made a commitment with my husband when things were sweet and rosy, but when the going got rough a few years later, I bailed.

I don’t regret the divorce, but I do regret making that level of commitment and breaking a vow.

I learned my lesson, and these days, I wouldn’t get myself in that situation again. That’s why I’m never being monogamous or getting married again. Been there, done that, it didn’t suit me.

Try to learn from past mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over them.

Get back on the horse.

“I can’t go on, I go on.”

When you’re riding through hell, keep riding.

4. Do what has to be done.

I’m a huge animal lover. I don’t eat mammals or birds. I have a soft spot for non-human animals and realize they have interests, feelings, and feel pain. They are a lot like us.

One time, I rescued a baby robin, and despite my best intentions, it died. Another time, I rescued a baby mockingbird, and it lived. And one time, I came across a live grackle who had been hit by a car and had a broken neck. Some people would see something awful like that and walk away from it, but I couldn’t.

After wringing my hands and freaking out a bit and wondering if I should drive the poor creature to an animal hospital, I swiftly decapitated the stunned and suffering bird with the sharp edge of a shovel. It fucking sucked; I was shaking and queasy afterward. I didn’t take it lightly. There was no one else around to do the dirty work. It was the humane thing to do.

Luckily, most days I don’t have to face these kinds of life and death experiences. But sometimes, life can get messy. Before you kick back and relax, get your chores done first.

5. Be tough, but fair.

I love how my partner Matthew raises his children. They share love, respect, and pride for each other. He is stern with them. He keeps them in line. He has never spanked them – he used to snap his fingers to get their attention, but now all he needs to do is shoot them a look and they know he means business. They are well behaved and have great manners. They are talented and disciplined.

But who knows what they would be like if they didn’t have structure and consistency! There are a lot of rude brats out there coming from parents who neglect them or have misguided intentions.

Sometimes I get frustrated with people, but I try to empathize and educate when possible.

6. When you make a promise, keep it.

I make plans with people – host events, schedule consultations, dates, surrogate sessions. I have a full dance card. It can be mentally and/or physically taxing.

I’d say about half the plans I make are canceled by the other person. Some people are flaky and constantly disappointing others. I can’t stand it. When someone cancels on me multiple times and they prove themselves unreliable, I can’t help but think, no wonder they have relationship issues!

I hardly EVER cancel on someone. I hardly ever let someone down. Sure, sometimes I have plans and I don’t feel like following through – I feel lazy, or a little sick, or emotionally frail, or my mom or daughter is freaking out and I’m distracted and torn – but I find that when I suck it up and stick to my guns and focus on the task at hand, I end up feeling better afterward, even energized. It’s good for me.

Ride for the brand.

Ride for the brand.

7. Ride for the brand.

Most of us have bosses and people who have a say in our lives, but if you are a grown adult, who is ultimately in charge of your life? YOU are.

Be a survivor, not a victim. Think about the choices you make. Some people seem to have a black cloud following them around, but perhaps they are unconsciously sabotaging themselves. Maybe they stick with what is familiar to them, even when it is not healthy.

If shit sucks right now, how can you fix it? Try something new. Developing good habits isn’t easy, but it’s possible if you make it a priority and commit to it.

8. Talk less and say more.

Learn to be a good listener. Ask people questions. Allow them the space to open up.

Also, realize that body language is a REAL language. Learn how to read it. Pay attention to more than what comes out of a person’s mouth. Be observant.

And don’t just sit around and talk about how you should write a book or learn a new skill – take action. Research it. Find mentors. Take a class. Join your local community center.

9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Don’t compromise your values. Don’t stay in a situation that sucks your soul and holds you back. If the job you have demeans you, QUIT and move on. I did! A healthy relationship is give and give.

10. Know where to draw the line.

I operate on mutual respect. I give people a couple chances, and then after that, I’m done. It’s important to set boundaries. I do things on my own terms. My time is valuable, and there are more people seeking me out than I have time for, so I might as well focus on the ones I can count on – the ones who have manners and appreciate that what I offer is special and rare. Because you know what? They are special and rare, too.

I’m not the right fit for everyone, and I can’t save the world. But I CAN make a difference, and notes like this from clients (aka kindred spirits) fill my heart with joy:

“Kendra, You have helped me a great deal. You’ve provided me with much information, and got me pointed in the right direction. You brought out emotions I’ve had buried for twenty years. I’ve made an appointment with a doctor who specializes in my problem. Now, I’m not waiting to die, but planning to LIVE.”

Now go saddle up, and Make It Happen!

You can contact me for a consultation if the above resonates with you. If not, then please rustle your cattle elsewhere, and watch out for the Hangman!


scott queen 2015-02-17 11:39:13

Yes even down here in North Carolina their are some men down here that have those qualities. that is how I was raised and that is how the wife and I are trying to raise both our children, also you need to add honor and trust in the mix.

Scott Queen


    Kendra Holliday 2015-02-17 13:13:23

    Thank you! AND loyalty!


      Gabe Lackguy 2015-02-17 21:35:18

      Loyalty is definitely a good ethical quality to have, as are all the other qualities you listed here. Keeping such principles in mind, can you understand why a lot of your readers were disappointed with your “Andromeda” post from a while back? I know it’s been a while, but it seemed like a pretty big departure from the normally solid ethical foundation underpinning most of your work as described on your blog.


        Kendra Holliday 2015-02-17 21:43:22

        Yes, I can understand why some people think it is wrong to fuck around with people who are supposed to be monogamous.

        Most people are not monogamous.

        I am not monogamous.

        I encourage people who are not monogamous to be honest about their needs and desires.


    Matthew Hickey 2022-01-06 20:53:12

    I agree with you Kenda


Richard 2015-02-17 17:21:47

Good list! Yee Haw….. pardon me while I saddle up and go for a ride…


Ashly 2015-02-18 02:40:16

What a fantastic post! I was bought up with these qualities and I try to stick with them. The one with bad behaved kids is near to my heart. My 2 kids are grown up and both are respectable and a pleasure to have around. We have 2 foster kids it is hard work to try and install a few oz of respect. But we will get there. I wish all lady’s were like you a had propper armpits. One of my own failures is observation of my wife’s hair (on her head) always seam to miss the new hair do. Even though I don’t comment on your post much,you do have one of the most informed,interesting blog I have the pleasure of reading. Looking forward to your next blog entry. Thanks Kendra


Wang 2015-02-20 13:48:01

Does the Matthew from #5 have have a similar itemized list or generalized tenants for child rearing?


Lisa 2015-07-09 13:36:37

“Ride for the brand” is a new phrase for me, but the message that follows isn’t. A crisis counselor, post-assault, referred me to a different therapist because she “knows how to make victims into survivors, but [I] had chosen to skip the victim phase”.
Shit sucked, I fixed it. My scars are beautiful reminders of what didn’t kill me.
Thank you for this post.


Wes 2018-06-03 21:20:00

All 10 describe me. I’m thinking I was just born that way. My Mother told me years ago that I was born 200 yrs too late.


vnillax 2021-12-28 05:18:30

It’s interesting, how you describe values that I kind of take for granted, while they obviously aren’t.

Well, myself I struggle with the talking less and saying more part I guess.


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