What's a fuckboy?

Illustration by Jason Reed

They'll get you almost every time.

Social norms have shifted in today's dating culture, as seekers hide behind their phone screens swiping left and right, in hopes of finding "the one" by barely lifting a finger. There may be a sea of men out there, but dating can be frustrating when stumbling upon an unfortunate roadblock in the form something called a "fuckboy." 

Intuition should send out a big, red caution sign when getting acquainted with this type of guy. However, it seems a lot of us are struggling to pinpoint exactly who this type of guy really is.    

In 2002, hip-hop artist Cam'ron first used the word as a low-blow to a man's ego in "Boy, Boy": "Oh, this cat over front? Fuck boy, boy/He keep that shit up? Fucking drop boy, boy." The term made its way through the hip-hop and black gay communities, before landing in Urban Dictionary in 2004, as "a person who is a weak ass pussy." This was updated 10 years later (probably when white people stumbled upon the term), and 87 more entries quickly followed, using different stylings like "fuckboi" and "fuccboi." (Other sources note that term may have also come from prison slang, aka a someone's "prison bitch.")

Co-opted by the young, dating public at large, these days "fuckboy" has taken on a larger meaning than someone who is weak. It's now an insult for a guy who leads his interest on without the intention of actually being a decent human and pursuing an honest relationship. He is someone who will do anything to benefit his needs, which are mostly sexual, without thinking of the emotional repercussions he may cause his subject.

After he gets what he wants, he will tell you any excuse to get out of a situation that his single-minded mentality is threatened by. Notable complaints are "I don't believe in labels," "I can't promise anything serious," or "I am going through some personal stuff right now, you wouldn't understand." 

While some fuckboys are blatantly obvious, others can appear in an array of disguises, which is why the actual definition of this moniker can be foggy. 

The obvious fuckboy

This unfortunate specimen can be spotted from a mile away. He is the one across the bar, with a backward cap on, making eyes at every subject who passes. He has a way of speaking and looking down on women that is almost misogynistic, and is defensive if anyone challenges his opinion. 

This type of fuckboy is the one who will slide into your DMs without any notion of invitation. He will ask for nudes right away, and if he is denied he will say any degrading insult he can think of.

He has no ambition or motivation to be something great, and most likely still lives with his parents or frat bros from college. It's expected this fuckboy will only text or call someone in the late hours of the night.

The undercover fuccboi

Under the styling "fuccboi," he is the one that usually gets away with his debauchery due to his suave appearance. He is in disguise as a respectable guy and has been on the scene for a bit, so he is no stranger to the game of love.

When you first meet him, the attraction is instantaneous. He gives you the attention you want and knows exactly what to say in order to take you home with him.

He will make up excuses as to why he can't go on a date with you but will come up with a casual alternative that you will most likely fall for. You don't want to believe he is a fuckboy underneath his sweet manner, but that is exactly why he will trick you in the end. 

Don't expect the undercover fuckboy to ever text you again once he gets what he wants.

The random fuckboy

The fuckboy we all fear. 

At first, it isn't obvious that this type of fuckboy is even one at all, which is why he is the most dangerous. He could be a friend, a crush or even someone you recently met.

This guy will do all the right things that make you believe this might become something great. The random fuckboy will treat you with respect, get to know you, and text you throughout the day while Snapchatting you funny selfies at the same time.

But after seeing each other steadily for a few weeks, things start to change. When you finally make the offer of public introduction, he always has an excuse as to why he can't go to a simple happy hour with you and your friends. 

Once he notices that you might think it is more than just a casual fling, he becomes distant. He will leave you in a gray area, and before you know it, the random fuckboy will ghost you, making you question what went wrong.

He is the worst of them all, and no one has been able to discover a way to avoid him from taking advantage of your feelings and ambushing you with abandonment.

So the conclusion should seem obvious by now. A fuckboy literally just wants to get in your pants and dash before you're able to realize, "Oh, this is all this is." He is, essentially, a boy you don't want to fuck.

So in order to save time and effort, look out for the fuckboy signs, wave goodbye, then please delete him from your contacts.

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