From Gentleman to F*ck Boy

10 Mins read

It’s the new romance of the century. Who doesn’t want a “wyd” text at 12:00am with the follow-up photo of their genitals?

Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? It’s a new breed of species that seems to be spreading faster than an outbreak of Ebola. First we had players, then womanisers and now f**k boys.

It’s a term being thrown around and everyone seems to know what it means, yet nobody really knows what it means or what a f**k boy actually is. The truth is the word has so many definitions circling around it, the actual meaning of it has become less fascinating. It has so many exclusive connotations.


Cam’ron [Flickr:Sonia Prabhu]

Prison slang for “gay for pay” the phrase “f**k boy” was first heard inside prison walls referring to rape, usually the submissive role was given the name ‘f**k boy’. But thanks to internet memes the etymology of the word shifted. In 2002 the word was used in rapper Cam’ron’s song, Boy Boy.

His definition of the word refers to “a weak loser”. Following, in 2008 and 2009 the word found its way into the titles of two songs. The term at this point has had a few misogynistic and homophobic undertones being linked to prison rape.

In 2004 urban dictionary defined the word as “A person who is a ‘weak-ass pussy’ that ain’t bout shit,” similar to the way Cam’ron used it in his song back in 2002. But in 2014, there’s a semantic shift that begins to happen with the way the word is being used.

This is the current definition: “A F**k boy is the type of guy who does shit that generally pisses the population of the earth off all the time. He will also lead girls on just for hook-ups, says he’s really into you but doesn’t want to deal with all the ‘relationship bullshit’ just to f**k you.

“He thinks about himself and only himself all the time but pretends to be really nice. He also does really f**ked up shit and then complains about people who do the same old shit as him.”

In June 2016, author Horacio Jones published a book called I Am the Love of My Life – a short section of the book describes f**k boys as a ‘practice’ by phrasing it “f**kboyism.” In a nutshell he perfectly outlines what our generation has come to terms on what a f**k boy is. And it’s nice to have a definition that hasn’t been pulled off of Urban Dictionary.

“The tendency to hide insecurities while utilising mendacious and manipulative tactics to get what they want from people in order to feel happy or at least satisfied, while not truly caring about the wellbeing of the other person.

“Personal satisfaction is all at the expense of someone else’s emotional and mental stability. They are extremely charming and convincing emotional con artists, they make you feel guilty most of the time and in order for their games to work, they have  to come across naive, gullible, damaged and hurt people who do not know the signs. They prey on the weak and deceive the strong.”

In 2017, the term was one of the most searched words on Google. It’s a new breed of womaniser, but a stone-hearted one. The term has been around for about a decade now, but not until recently that it has been used to refer to someone’s hookup.

The study of changes in words is called semantics, and there are many reasons why words change in meaning. One is the influence of other languages and cultures. Throughout history, many nations through conquering or intermixing with one another, introduced their own languages into the mix creating new words or changing the meaning of an existing word. The advancement of science and technology also means new words are being created.

Words become obsolete because they become irrelevant and people stop using them and others become more fluent because of the people or generation using them. Now a days social media has a lot of influence on word creation.

We are told from adolescence that we aren’t allowed to use profane words and if we do we would get punished for it (in the past this might mean a ruler to the hand or soap in the mouth), and from a young age we are taught that swearing is also a powerful tool. It helps us vent; it’s a form of release.

One study, by psychologist Richard Stephens at Keele University, shows that people who soaked their hands in a bucket of ice and shouted profane words out loud over and over again were able to withstand the discomfort and tolerated the pain longer than those who didn’t.

The research showed that 73 per cent of the contributors who swore were able to keep their hands submerged 31 seconds longer than average.

When you cuss someone out it makes you feel better though it doesn’t out lay any physical damages. Swearing can be compared to the same tranquil feeling you experience after you sneeze.

Yelling “f**k” unconsciously soothes the soul especially when yelling it at someone, which is evidence that language has clinical implications. Swearing gives us extra energy to endure pain. So calling a person  a f**k boy or slut is Tylenol for the soul, even if the euphoria is just for the heat of the moment.

After a poll was taken, asking 130 people when they heard the word “slut” or “whore” which gender first pops into their mind, 88 per cent of them said women and 12 per cent men.

After asking that group why they said men, they replied “I imagine a man calling a woman that.” Even so, the results still conclude that those two terms are by default used to reinforced a women’s sexuality as shameful. Its promiscuity is historically intertwined with femaleness.

When it comes to sex, women are usually the ones getting categorised – whether it’s the way they dress, their past, or moral code. When the worst thing a man can be called is a “homo” which is an insult towards gays. So, the term f**k boy is filling in to this swearing language and it’s refreshing because there’s not really a female equivalent.

The new terminology []

Derogatory names such as ‘slut’, ‘hoe’, and even ‘player’ are usually used to call someone based on the number of sexual partners they have or been with. Where a f**k boy seems to be an undeviating assault on their character.

Yes, stereotypes are wrong but enviable. You can finally find your average f**k boy by looking for these signs:

  1. He knows somehow he’s attractive whether it’s the length of his hair of the number of girls he’s texting, when reality he’s probably only attracted when under the influence of alcohol;
  2. He slips in height in his bio. It’s usually 6’1″;
  3. Calls you every pet name in the book, isn’t that right sweetheart?
  4. Casually inserts his snapchat handle at the end of his dating profile. You don’t have to be a linguist to know this translates to “send nudes here”;
  5. He’ll treat you like his world and every other girl in his contacts he’s basically the sun in his own galaxy and you’re just one of the many planets orbiting it;
  6. Sensitive egos. You might have never slept with a guy your entire life, yet if you call him out on his intentions your automatically and “slut bitch”;
  7. Relies solely on his mother, loves his sisters, yet doesn’t respect women.

“To me the word is a bit offensive,” says Alfonso*, a male who’s considered a f**kboy by his peers. “The word f**k doesn’t bother me, because yes I do like to f**k. It’s the ‘boy’ part of the word that offends me. No male wants to be referred to as a boy, we all want to be men. As well as no female wants to sleep with a boy they’re usually looking for a man to take care of her.”

Being called boy is both humiliating and emasculating, although this behaviour is becoming more popular and even accepted. Women are more wary – three out of five of them have had a f**kboy experience. Even though women are more aware of these creatures there’s something about these “boys” that keep drawing them in.

fake text

F**kboy is now an identifiers [Isabel Rose]

They’re sneaky and usually hot which is how they can so easily worm themselves into your life. Two years ago you would easily be able to find a f**k boy through the mould of trackies, Adidas, rolled cigarette and white tube socks, but now they’re harder to spot and going under the female radar.

Unlike the past decades who had “bad boys”, who were so sexy and carried this transparent attitude, leather jacket, and occasional piercing. Every girl knew what she was getting herself into as a “bad boy” embodied ‘trouble’.

F**kboys are confident which is frustrating because that charming charisma naturally pulls the female race in. Just as in the animal kingdom, usually the loudest, proudest, and don’t forget obnoxious, takes the cake and gets the girl.

The only thing worst then unknowingly getting with a f**kboy is fully knowing what she’s getting into in hope she has the power to ‘change him’. It goes hand in hand with the saying by Robert A. Heinlein, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It annoys the pig and wastes your time.” A f**kboy doesn’t want to change his ways. He’ll hop to the next girl in his contacts making you feel like you’re the problem.

No one is safe from these creatures. John*, a gay male who refers to himself as “a f**k boy who somewhat cares for your feelings”, explains how f**kboys are described (at least for himself) in the gay community: “I think they are similar in relation to the careless attitude but very different in stylised manners. Which is kind of expectable because obviously straight men and gay men are different corporeality.

That view of f**kboys being more accepted within the gay community may make John’s perspective outdated, because it’s linked to the idea that gay men are more promiscuous, which can be seen as a bit homophobic.

Just because you are gay doesn’t mean you are going to f**k more or less. The spaces to cruise and to act sexually are more specific so it comes across that people that go there are just there for sex but not necessarily that straight sex and gay sex are different in the sense that with straight people you get in anywhere a space where you can act sexually because the world is heteronormative.

But if a gay man walks into a gay bar you know there is a high chance you are getting laid – that is what I mean by more specific.

In a way heterosexual sexuality is somehow invisible because it’s everywhere, its become its normative, but gay sex is more explicit because of its specificity with different corporeality.

It’s very evident that gay men embody their sexuality in a different way than straight men. In gay sexuality you have to develop a straightforward language to be able to portray sexual intentionality.

Because you obviously don’t want to hit on a straight man, that would be offensive to most straight men in retrograde traditional regions. It’s more of a safe practice.”

The growing number and dying days of romance is the cause of too many options. With dating apps there’s always going to be someone else out there. There’s always going to be wandering eyes in the comfort of your own flat. Tinder, one of the most popular of the dating apps, have about 50 million users and 79 per cent of them are millennials.


Image: Isabel Rose

When it comes to men, the term f**kboy doesn’t seem translate to them the same way as if you were using the term ‘slut’. “To me” Leo, a University student from New York explains, “a f**kboy is a guy who is just too lazy to start a relationship.”

“If a guy is texting eight girls at the same time he would be called a f**kboy. But what would you call a girl if she was texting eight guys at the same time, would it be reflected the same way?”

“You’re such a man-whore,” Leo continues to call one of his friends after finding out his relationship status. “You can’t call a man that!” Leo’s girlfriend fires back. “By calling a man a whore you’re being derogative towards women,” since the word whore was first coined to degrade a woman on who she’s sleeping with.

You can’t call a man a whore without modifying it and having “man” (man-whore) as an add on so that everyone knows you’re directing it towards the male species.

Though thanks to the f**kboy race, women are discovering themselves as the beautiful sex goddesses they truly are. Women are a new contender in these “sex games” and over the years of tears and heartbreak, some have been able to grow callous skin to co-exist alongside the f**kboy mentality.

Today the roles have switched. “I’ve heard mad shit of girls talking about screwing over different types of guys. I feel like they’re becoming more empowered when it comes to sex,” says Danny*, a 21 year-old who claims to have slept with almost every girl in his student accommodation.

“Women have much more power than they think they do especially when it comes to sex,” Alfonso continues. “If you were to ask anyone in this bar to sleep with you they wouldn’t blink an eye, but if I asked that girl up there to come home with me? I’d just get her drink thrown at me. Trust me when I say this, all your male friends want to f**k you.”

F**kboys have always existed like some form of bacteria and through the years they have simply been evolving. Yet previously their actions have never been called out as criminal.

It doesn’t matter what your personal understandings of what constitutes what a f**k boy is. The word has become a throw away insult directed towards men and has made a name for itself in our everyday sexual conversations.

Where ever the word has come from, today it’s a word used to describe the most despicable behaviors in a man. Yet it shows progression, because men have always have had the history of bedding women, but back then they were charming where today that’s where they differ. Today less seem to see sex as the end game, “if I treat her nice enough I’ll be able to sleep with her”.

Sex has become such a social norm it’s simply an everyday act like cooking or playing the guitar. The word f**k boy points the shift in male culture, where society is starting to recognize that this behavior is no longer appropriate in contemporary living.


*Names have been changed in the articles to protect identities

Featured image by Isabel Cintron

Related posts

Arranged marriage in the digital world

7 Mins read
Millions of Indians living abroad use matchmaking services and websites to find their ideal life partner, and there has been a shift in how Indians view arranged marriages over the years.

How London's Brazilian Carnival builds a sense of belonging

9 Mins read
Every year, a collective helps Brazilians feel closer to home through lively revelry in London.

The yassification of Pope Francis: Gen Z want nice guys in charge

5 Mins read
‘Why is Pope Francis all over my Instagram feed?’, you might be wondering. A new group of supporters have found favour with the pontiff and his modern approach to a traditional role.