Fuck That!

*Not safe for work*
Crossposted from Yes Means Yes Blog.
To fuck, to get fucked, fucked up, fucked and fuck it. It’s among the most common slang we use. I’ve been known to use fuck as more than one part of speech in the same sentence. And it’s ubiquitous. We all know that if you go into a meeting and you get fucked, you’re not as happy coming out as you were going in, and if you say, “fuck him!” you mean him no good.
And that’s a fucking problem. We treat fucking as a problem, and I have no problem with fucking. I like fucking. I like getting fucked. If I actually went into a meeting and got fucked, I’d probably be a lot happier coming out than I was going in, and if I want to “fuck her” I mean her no harm and I mean a whole lot of pleasure for both of us.
Every time we use fuck the way we so often use fuck, we insult fucking. Fucking, in all its glorious incarnations, deserves better from us. Not that everyone wants to or must fuck or get fucked. Some people never want to fuck because they never want partnered sex, and some people can have a life full or orgasms with all kinds of folks and never once fuck or get fucked — and they should fucking go for it! And the social conditions that pressure or force or require anyone to fuck if or when or how or with someone they don’t want to are exactly the fucking problem: the very core of the fucking problem. But I love to fuck, and I love to get fucked, with whom and how and when I and they want, and I’m not alone.
When we use fuck like it’s a bad thing we’re buying a connotation and a construction. It connotes unfairness and unpleasantness and aggression. We almost always mean that to do it is to defile the person or thing fucked; to harm it, devalue it; that the fucker is a ruiner and what is fucked is ruined. That the fucker is an agent doing an active thing, doing the fucking, subjecting the fucked thing to the fucking, and not itself fucked by the fucking. That the fuckee is getting fucked, is passive, is the object not just of the sentence but the act, is subjected to the fucking by the subject and is not itself (in the process of getting fucked) fucking the fucker. Like MacKinnon wrote in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, “man fucks woman: subject verb object.”
I need to decline to adopt that construction. I must. The only person I’m fucking lately is my spouse, my partner, my copilot in scary parenting adventures and my support no matter how crazy things get. I fuck her because she likes for me to fuck her, and I like to fuck her. I don’t want to harm or devalue her by fucking her and I damned sure don’t want her ruined.
And I need to decline to adopt that construction because she fucks me, too. Am I harmed or ruined? (Consider this an invitation to make up your own size-queen joke in comments. No, really. But seriously, the harmed-devalued-ruined construction is homophobic, too. It models the enveloping partner as devalued, and supports thinking of orientation as asymmetrical as between tops and bottoms, and all that stuff. There’s also room for a digression here about MacKinnon’s dictum and what it means outside the patriarchal, heterosexist context it describes — what does it mean when woman fucks man, and when we are willing to understand that verb to mean that specifically the fuckee is the enveloping partner instead of imposing the more common meaning in spite of the syntax? Or there’s room for a digression into BDSM humor about being ruined.)
For fucking serious, though, for many of us, we fuck up fucking by using the word in a way we don’t support. I fuck, you fuck, we fuck, and fucking has done a lot for us, and fucking deserves our support. Fucking deserves to be free of the connotations of unfairness, negativity and aggression; free from the construction of harm, devaluation and ruin. Fucking deserves to stand for what it stands for. And I stand for fucking. Free fucking!

Join the Conversation

  • wyo_cowgirl

    “And I need to decline to adopt that construction because she fucks me, too.”
    I’m actually glad you’re bringing this up. I haven’t discussed it with him yet, but as a rape survivor I do find it a bit triggering when my significant other talks too much about “fucking” me. In a very specific dom/sub context, I’m okay with it, but as a general manner of speaking, it definitely rubs me the wrong way to be placed in that passive/receptive/ruined role. I know my partner isn’t thinking of it that way, but unfortunately that’s exactly the way my rapist discussed the assault with our mutual “friends” after the fact. The construction never sat right with me before I was a survivor, and now it REALLY doesn’t. For the reasons you mention.
    I like that you’re addressing this with humor, and I’m not likely to eradicate “fuck” in its many incarnations from my vocabulary any time soon, but it’s definitely a topic worth examining!
    (As an aside, if anyone has read the novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons” by Tom Wolfe, he discusses the way his college-aged characters tend to use “fuck” as every part of speech, and calls this phenomenon “fuck patois” . . .pretty funny!)

  • Meggy B

    My only comment is: Fuck Yeah!

  • Thomas

    Interesting that you said in a specific d/s context you’re okay with it. I’m a BDSMer, and it has been my experience that there are a lot of uncomfortable things that people can deal with by making them explicit within a the negotiated context of a scene. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant …

  • becstar

    I’m similar. As a survivor when the boy says he wants to fuck me I freak out.
    I think that the word fuck should not be used at all within a respectful context. Its a violent and degrading word. Anyone who uses it as a way to refer to sex can not possibly respect their partner and obviously only wants to degrade and cause harm.

  • nerdyfeminist

    I disagree. My partner and I use the word ‘fuck’ because sometimes the other choices don’t work- ‘having sex’ is a bulky phrase, ‘making love’ seems too cheesy and euphemisms are often just silly. The problem is the negative, often violent connotation people give the word fuck, not the word itself. Obviously, everyone responds differently, but I don’t feel degraded when my partner uses that word ‘fuck’ with me any more than (I hope) he does when I use it with him.

  • nerdyfeminist

    Anyone who uses it as a way to refer to sex can not possibly respect their partner and obviously only wants to degrade and cause harm.
    I disagree. I use the word with my partner because no others seem to work for us. ‘Having sex’ sounds a little clinical and ‘making love’ just sounds cheesy to my ears. I agree with the poster that the issues with fuck are “the connotations of unfairness, negativity and aggression” that people generally give the word, not the word itself in its basic definition. It depends on the person, of course, but fuck works for me!

  • nerdyfeminist

    Sorry, I thought my first one didn’t post so I rewrote it.

  • bold guy

    fuck duck without luck