By Horus Alas
Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. As in years past, I expect many of you will be doing sappy things with your significant others, and those of you who aren’t might be drowning out the sorrows of singledom with drinks.
Whatever the case may be, it seems clear that as a general rule, human beings crave companionship. None of us are so conditioned to endure a life of solitude without someone to whom we can talk about all the nonsense that pops into our heads or who might do us the huge favor of having sex with us now and then.
Damned if I know why, but as humans, we just need these things. We need to have relationships. We need to have sex. Ideally, these two things go together, but that needn’t necessarily be the case.
It’s not uncommon for people to pursue sex without a relationship. In our day and age, this can occur in any number of ways, from one-night stands to matching on Tinder to sliding into someone’s DMs on Twitter.
In principle, there’s nothing wrong with having consensual sexual encounters of this sort. But there’s definitely a right and a wrong way to go about it.
The chief illustrator of the wrong way to go about casual sex is someone who in recent years, we’ve taken to calling a “fuckboy.”
Now to be fair, the term “fuckboy” can encompass a wide variety of uses beyond the parameters of those being discussed here.
At one point circa 2015, I offhandedly remarked that Justin Bieber was a fuckboy without any reference to his dealings with women. I still feel it was an accurate remark.
Slate’s Jacob Brogan cites a spike in the usage of the term in late 2014 coinciding with the release of a Run the Jewels song, “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry),” during which MC Killer Mike raps, “That fuckboy life about to be repealed / That fuckboy shit about to be repelled.” The rapper later expounded that, “[Y]ou can identify fuckboys … because they are always doing fuck shit. Just the dumbest, weirdest, lamest possible shit ever.”
In a very general sense then, a fuckboy can be any man—or boy—who consistently carries out wildly objectionable behavior that elicits disdain from others. Hence, Justin Bieber circa 2015.
In the sense which women now mostly use the term, however, a fuckboy is a dodgy and craven character who aims to use women as sexual objects. As Alana Massey writes for Pacific Standard, “Fuckboy is not a dating style so much as a worldview that reeks of entitlement but is aghast at the prospect of putting in effort.”
The fuckboy so far may be characterized by exhibiting a strong sense of vanity. Like Narcissus, the fuckboy gazes into a pool and falls in love with his own reflection, and then expects every woman he encounters will do the same.
The fuckboy wants to be desired because he sees himself as desirable. To that end, he’ll attempt to prove that he’s better than women, and obviously deserving of their adoration. Even if he hasn’t showered in days, performed abysmally on the SATs and wears Ed Hardy t-shirts, a fuckboy will still expect women to treat him like he’s Michelangelo’s David.
When men face rejection, it’s expected that we suck it up and move on. Sure, rejection can sometimes smart with the sting of a right hook from Manny Pacquiao, but you take it with a grain of salt and try your luck elsewhere.
Fuckboys, due to their overwhelming sense of self-love and expectation that women immediately love them, have a much harder time with this concept. It’s not uncommon for a fuckboy to lash out at any given woman who rejects him, with lines like, “… your average looks that you thought were above average due to thirsty tinder dudes are actually mediocre… ”
The long and short of this matter is that a fuckboy demands attention from women, and feels as though he’s completely entitled to it. Any deviation from his expectations is grounds for reprisals that maintain his illusory sense of grandeur.
In part, I undertook this task of exploring the conceptual definition of the fuckboy out of Socratic intellectualism. Socrates would walk around ancient Athens saying, “I only know that I know nothing,” and would ironically prove others mistaken about beliefs which they held certain.
“It’d be a hell of a tragedy,” I thought to myself, “if I were a fuckboy myself or had fuckboy-ish tendencies and didn’t really know it.”
Based on conversations I’ve had recently, litmus test results appear negative. It looks like the writer of this article gets a pass for the time being. He concludes this piece with a better understanding of the essential quidditas of the fuckboy and hopes the same might apply in turn to the reader.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kumar’s Edit’s Flickr account.
Horus Alas is a senior philosophy major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.