After a steady rise to prominence within the early 2000s hip hop canon, the word “fuckboy” was officially indoctrinated into the hearts and minds of American singles in 2004, when user “bretb” took one for the team and defined the term on Urban Dictionary.
Do yourself a favor and briefly time travel back to the dark age when society welcomed “fuckboy” into the popular lexicon with open arms. A time when people wore their bangs flat-ironed and swept aggressively to the side, OutKast’s breakthrough hit “Hey Ya” swept four categories at the MTV movie awards, and Mean Girls hit the box office with a vengeance, leading us all to discover that the limit did not exist. Brad and Jen were still a couple. Motorola’s RAZR was the hottest cell phone in town.
Needless to say, “fuckboy” behavior appeared rampantly across the early 2000s television landscape. Shoutout to Fuckboy Class of ‘04 All Stars: Stephen Colletti (Laguna Beach), Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights), and of course, Mr. Big (Sex and the City), who over the course of six seasons utilized pretty much every known tactic in the Fuckboy Playbook.
Adjusted through a modern lens, a “fuckboy” can be defined as a “scrub” who came of age in a disillusioned post-9/11 world, existentially wounded by acts of irrational violence in the news, a deeply fractured economy, and shifting social expectations of masculinity, yet nonetheless compelled to parrot the very same archaic mating rituals practiced by his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and so on. Behold, the birth of the modern day “fuckboy.”
Over the course of your dating life, you will encounter these individuals time and time again. With a few easy tricks, however, a quick backpedal is always within reach. Read on to meet the five “fuckboys” you’re likely to encounter in the wild, as well as how best to plot your escape hatch:
The Reformed Frat Guy
How to spot him: He’s the guy in the tall white socks and Vans Classics, possibly rocking a pair of Oakley’s as he cruises around town in his 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup. His favorite song is “By the Way” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He already has Coachella wristbands and he’s really pumped on it.
How to shake him: Talk to him about your cats. If you don’t have cats, make up a cat. Rest assured, this guy hates cats.
The Writerly Type
How to spot him: Maybe he’s the guy who sits behind you in English class who has an opinion about everything, or he’s the guy in your MFA program producing Very Important Dystopian Fiction. He could also be the “screenwriter” who camps out at your local coffee shop in a cardigan like he owns the place, or the loud guy in your improv class who “Respects Sarah Silverman a lot, but it’s just not really his thing.”
How to shake him: Tell him that you’re really sorry, but it’s fellowship application season and you should really be focusing on your manuscript.
The “Male Feminist”
How to spot him: He’s wearing a “Future is Female” t-shirt and uses the word “intersectional” like it’s his job. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is his favorite Supreme Court Justice. He insists on paying the bill to make up for the pay you lost to the wage gap that day. He is super woke to “female writers he knows you’d love.” He doesn’t bother asking you if you’ve read them, but proceeds to explain why they are essential, seminal voice in today’s democracy.
How to shake him: Brutal honesty. Tell him you respect him as a person, but think you’re better suited as friends. Tell him maybe you can phone bank together in 2020 or something.
How to spot him: He lives in a co-op and wears a “meaningful” medallion around his neck that he got while teaching English in Nepal. The only fermented beverage he consumes is kombucha. He’s trending on #vanlife Instagram. He plays a high strung twelve string guitar gently with his eyes closed has been meaning to try Ayahuasca.
How to shake him: Ask him if he’d be down to split an Awesome Blossom and a rare steak at Chili’s tonight and maybe watch the Big Game at the pool hall afterwards.
How to spot him: He’s flirting with the idea of going full Soylent next month. He struggles with direct eye contact. He outsources most if not all of his daily chores to gig economy contractors because he’s just “so swamped” with a sprint at work. He’s been an Android user since day one. He has been living in a coastal city for 6 years yet has never seen the ocean. You always have to pick the date spot.
How to shake him: Speculate the various ways in which his job will soon be replaced by robots. Alternatively, just tell him you hate Rick and Morty.
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