I got a rather hilarious email from a reader last night. It was a strange combination unexpected and revolting yet charming to some degree? With his permission, he let me talk about it on here.
Here’s the email:
I’ve been following your blog for quite a while. My initial to the first post was, “Here we go, another basic, whiny white, single girl with the hopes of becoming the next Taylor Swift in blog-form.” I rolled my eyes and hesitated clicking on the link. But I did. Then, I found myself drawn to your words. I couldn’t stop reading. I found you on HuffPo but then I internet stalked you and found Writerlust. One hour later and a handful of read-posts later, I was like ‘Ok, how the hell did this happen?’ It was a weird feeling. It’s like I could totally relate to your words, despite the difference in sex and perspective when it came to the dating scene.
You use the word fuckboy a lot.
I hate to admit it to you, because even though I don’t know you, I feel like I sorta do. I respect you as both a writer and woman but, here goes nothin. I am what you call a “fuckboy.” I lead girls on into thinking I’ll eventually date them, only to let them down. I give them every signal that I am fact interested, but whenever “feelings” get brought into conversation, I quickly turn a blind eye to any sort of signal I have given off. My fuckboy tendencies started in college (don’t they always?) and sorta continued from there. I am now 24, haven’t had anything serious (if you can even call it that) since high school and feel like a total pussy (sorry you are probably cringing reading that) admitting this, but I guess I’m sort of afraid? I don’t know.
I’m an attractive guy. Now at least. I was the fat kid in high school. College came and I befriended the gym, stopped eating Velveeta religiously and slimmed out a bit. When girls started to notice me and show me attention, my ego heightened at an exponential rate. I was no longer the fat kid.
“Dude, you turned into a fuckable man,” my friends would joke (it wasn’t really a joke though). “You can’t date her, you have to make up for all of the years girls didn’t want to fuck you and fuck every hot girl you can.” “Don’t text her back, wait until later when she’s drunk, she’ll wait for you.” “Was she a deadfish in bed? We made bets on it.” “Haha, I fucked her last semester, she’s easy.”
I could go on and on with quotes, but I think you get the hint. Writing it out and reading it back to myself makes me feel gross for partaking in what Trump would call, “just locker room talk.”
Sometimes, I miss being overweight. Although my self-esteem was shit, I feel like I respected women more, and in turn, they respected me…even if they didn’t want to fuck me. I feel like I was a better person when I wasn’t as attractive and desired by females. It’s like I tried hard for my personality to outweigh what I saw in the mirror.
I don’t know what prompted me to email you. Besides the fact I think you’re extremely cute (yes I Instagram stalked), like I said, I connected to your words a lot. Which makes me feel less than a fuckboy…haha. My friends would probably rip me apart for this, but I guess that’s part of a problem.
I am a white male and white (fit) male dominated society. I am constantly trying to prove myself as a “masculine” male, because I feel like I’m forced to at times. I don’t know who the fuck defined masculinity as disrespecting females, but I feel like I fell into that trap somewhere along the way.
The intent of this email was to eventually ask you a question, but I forgot what I even was trying to ask. I guess I got lost in my own words, which I’m sure you can relate to. It felt good to get this all out, and I hope you don’t totally judge me for this haha.
I hope our cross paths someday, but if not, please keep writing.
A fuckboy who is not a total fuckboy*
*Editor’s note: I changed his name.
This email notification woke me up at 2am early this morning. I fell asleep reading Ellen Degeneres’ autobiography. I’ve recently replaced reading with screen time at night (go me!) and have made it a point to not open any texts/emails/Tinder messages/Insta DMs/etc. However, when you receive an email with the subject line…
“Dear Beth, I am a fuckboy.”
…you just HAVE to read it. I responded promptly at 2:26am, with my brief thoughts on the subject and asking him if I could republish it on my blog (obv-so ~T.Swift~ of me, as he would put it). He responded at 2:48am:
“Hahah I would expect nothing less, Tay Swift. I look forward to reading it.”
I have a lot of male readers, more than you (and I) would think. I initially created this blog to appeal to a female audience. I’ve come to find out that as humans, regardless of sex, have relatively the same thought processes; we just choose to react to those thoughts in different ways. –>Enter: the complications of dating in the 21st century<–
Developing feelings shouldn’t be so complicated, but it is. I won’t go into how we make things complicated because I don’t want to turn this into another cliche The Odyssey article. But, I will say this:
I believe everyone is capable of dating monogamously, at some point. I don’t believe that every “fuckboy” is a fuckboy to the core, in the same way that I don’t believe that every “undateable” woman is totally undateable.
We all have reasons for why we are the way we are. Creatures of societal habit, if you will. We all have a story to tell (sometimes too many lolz), and when you truly don’t know someone, it’s easy to label them as a “bitch,” “fuckboy,” “slut,” “manwhore,” or whatever other terms we as millennials use to degrade each other.
To “the fuckboy who is not a total fuckboy”:
I did cringe at some points. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by what your friends said about other women, because I’ve heard similar words from men myself.
I will say this: plz get new friends.
Are they your, “boizz fo lyfe?” Ok. Fine. At the very least, stand up for yourself and educate them about the ignorance of “locker room talk.” Bonus points if you stand up for the women too!!!! It’s not masculine to partake in this “locker room talk,” as you quote. It’s actually quite the opposite. However, I am trying to understand your sentiments.
I don’t think you’re a bad guy. There have been countless men in my life who I’ve spoken so ill about that it makes me wonder why I even got involved with them in the first place. But I still, to this day, don’t classify all of them as truly “bad” people. I may not have an innate sense of fuckboy-ery before diving something, but I do have a good sense of distinguishing good from evil.
Not sure if you are looking for advice, but it kind of sounds like you are.
There is TRULY nothing sexier than a man who respects women. Like, truly respects them. A feminist male, if you will. A bar guest told me he was going to the Women’s March this Saturday wearing his Nasty Woman t-shirt and it took a lot for me not to be like, “So, wanna take me home?” (kidding…sort of).
I appreciate you telling me your backstory, and I think that a lot of the problems when it comes to the newfound dating culture stems from individual self-esteem issues.
Why fuck one woman when I can fuck multiple? Multiple people “wanting” you elicits more confidence than just one person wanting you, right? It makes sense, sort of. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with engaging in sex with multiple people (with the pre-reqs of being single, safe, and respectful about it). But, I do believe that with men (sometimes women, but c’mon, we all know its a male problem), respect for the woman often gets tossed aside. They become just another stepping stone for heightened self-confidence.
It’s like sex has been created into a commodity that is expected, not earned nor valued.
And that, is where the “fuckboy” tendencies come in. Well, the majority of them, I think.
I can’t relate to growing up with the pressures of masculinity, just like you can’t relate to me growing up in a world where females are expected to subject to male dominance. The cards we have been dealt aren’t always fair, but there are ways to change the narrative.
1. Stop allowing “locker room talk.”
2. Listen to your feelings. Not your friends’, or your penis’.
3. Believe that females have the right to their own bodies, their own decisions, their own right to say, “yes” or “no.” Understand consent. Like, really, understand it. And most importantly, practice this in real life.
4. Stop being a fuckboy if you don’t want to be a fuckboy. These are learned behaviors that don’t necessarily define you as a man. If anything, it defines you as less than a man.
I am now going to generalize this post a bit, because my feminist fingers can’t seem to stop slamming across the keyboard as I know the response I may get from some males.
Males are labeled as assholes when we don’t respond to females after a one night stand but if females ghost us, they don’t get any ridicule.
I won’t deny that. I won’t say that it’s the right thing to do for either sex to ghost anyone, especially after being intimate with them (depending on the circumstances). You’re right, women do get away with it more often than men. There’s no term for a female “fuckboy,” which understandably makes men feel like they are constantly under attack by female scrutiny in the dating world we have come to know.
If I may respond from a slightly bias standpoint:
I have to fight for my worth every day. From men, from society, from the leader we have chosen to represent this country. I’m sorry if you feel scrutinized, but at least this type of scrutiny isn’t an integral part of your life. Ask yourself, why am I scrutinized? Why are females scrutinized? Where is this fight for feminism coming from?
Asking critical questions about how and why society has turned into what it has is crucial for creating a better future, for yourself and society as a whole.
Women are dramatic and I gave off NO signs of being interested in anything other than sex.
Ok, I will ask you this one time. Take a second, think REALLY hard. Do you really believe that statement? Were you honest with her 100% of the time?
Most of the time, there is some sort of reason she developed an attachment to you. Whether it was simple pillow talk, a brief hand hold, or you totally acting as a boyfriend the entire time only to say that you had no interest in dating as soon as the subject was brought up, there’s a reason for it. If you truly aren’t interested and you sense attachment from the other end, respect her and have a conversation about it. She may not like it, but she’ll respect you for it…eventually. And for the love of GOD, STOP texting her late night, and STOP having sex with her. This never ends well.
Males deal with this from females too, you know.
Right. And #AllLivesMatter, blah blah blah. Please refer to my first response.
I am a male feminist, and I totally agree with all of this.
Can I have yo’ numba?
I’m sure I’m missing some responses that may come about, but if I keep going I will start to write a feminist essay, which could turn into an entirely different post.
Anyways, the ‘fuckboy’ culture is relatively new, I guess? But female suppression most certainly is not. To the fuckboy who is not totally a fuckboy:
Thank you for the email, and more importantly, thank you for sharing your story. It’s a breath of fresh air to receive a message with a different perspective on things as it only challenges me to tackle a subject that would otherwise be difficult to handle.
I’m not sure if this was the post you expected, nor wanted. I tried my best not to go off on a feminist rant, but with the upcoming inauguration, it’s like the words were just waiting on the tips of my fingers. I hope you took something from this 2106 word (and counting) post. You’re right, I do use word “fuckboy” a lot (sry ’bout it?), but I think it’s a rather superficial, “less serious” phenomenon that is a result of much deeper and problematic discrepancies in the culture we currently live in.
I guess I’ll leave you with this:
You don’t have to be a fuckboy if you don’t want to be a fuckboy. Like, fo’ real. You sound pretty cool. I’m happy you parted ways with Velveeta cheese, because that shit is almost as repulsive as your friends’ comments (sry not sry). And again, thanks for writing and inspiring me.
I hope our paths cross someday too. I think we would get along.