I know we all meant well, and I know that there’s a lot to unpack, but can I please, please ask that we leave the term “fuckboy” in 2016. Seriously. Please.
1. First of all, as Inigo Montoya would say, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” This has never applied to anything so accurately as to the way that (most) people use the term “fuckboy.” You’ve seen it all over Twitter used to mean “a boy who fucks.” BUZZER SOUND! That is incorrect. As Kara Brown at Jezebel patiently explains, the word “fuckboy” was first used in 2002 by rapper Cam’ron, before it was stolen and misappropriated to mean whatever people thought it meant. Just like the way “Netflix & chill” meant “have sex” until clueless folks started using it to mean “have a cozy night in,” which probably led to a lot of confusion and mixed signals. When folks started to jump on the “fuckboy is a boy who likes to fuck” de-railed train, it started to catch on and eventually, we all just conveniently forgot the word’s origin.
2. What’s the difference between a slut and a fuckboy? Like the old riddle: all fuckboys are sluts, but not all sluts are fuckboys. It’s very trendy to slam “fuckboys” under the “new” (haha) definition of the word. The very-in-touch-with-youth-culture-NOT Vanity Fair deigned to define a fuckboy as “a young man who sleeps with women without any intention of having a relationship with them…” Wow, that sounds like something I’ve done. It sounds like something Samantha Jones would do! Is Samantha from Sex and the City a fuckboy? Maybe I should pitch that thinkpiece to Vanity Fair. NO, of course she is not, because if a woman slept with a man without expecting a relationship, she’d be considered “chill.” What’s up with this double-standard? What’s up with this slut-shaming? It’s 2017, is casual sex still considered taboo? With all due respect to Vanity Fair, fuck right the fuck off with that nonsense.
3. We can do much better! As intersectional feminists, we can do so much better than this. Instead of perpetuating these “straw fuckbois,” let’s be specific about what we object to. Are there fuckboys who lie about their intentions with their sexual partners? Okay, let’s make “liarboys” a thing. Is it that they come off as nice until they get into bed and then they become disrespectful and degrading? Then that’s a problem. The “fuck” in “fuckboy” is misleading, it is not the sex we’re upset with. At least, I hope we’re not ANTI-SEX, because as feminists, we support all women (and men and everyone in between) to make choices for themselves without judgement. As long as fuckboys fuck with consent and don’t mislead anyone as to their intentions romantically, what really is the problem with fuckboys?
In summary, I know it’s 2017 and we have way bigger things to worry about, like our entire literal world ending. But until we bomb each other into extinction, let’s make the world a slightly less shitty place by not misappropriating slang, misinterpreting it, and using it to shame people out of living their lives. You may not agree with it, and it may not be what you want in a sexual relationship, but “don’t yuck somebody else’s yum.” Plenty of people enjoy, and even want, sex without expectation of a relationship. People of ALL genders!
So let’s do one tiny good thing for humanity and stop using the word “fuckboy” to mean “male slut.” It’s like that line from It’s A Wonderful Life: “Every time someone stops slut-shaming, they start having multiple G-spot orgasms.” Is that true? Maybe it is. You’ll have to try it to find out.