This guest post was contributed by the amazing Kenz K.
If you’re a Millennial, you know what a fuckboy is. He’s the ultra-confident, schmoozer that gives off an air of indifference and danger. He’s the James Dean of our generation, and many of our male peers are trying to emulate this kind of masculinity. The dating game is full of uncertainty, so when I saw a stereotypical fuckboy, I was comforted by the fact that at least this time I knew what I was in for. I was tired of being hurt and blindsided by the guys I was interested in. “Nice guys” always seemed to burn me worse in the end than any fuckboy. I knew I didn’t want to get played again and vowed not to be so careless with my emotions. I became annoyed with any man who wanted something emotionally from me, especially if I didn’t feel ready to give it. Instead of taking some time away from the dating world to build myself up back up and re-evaluate my approach, I decided to get back out there and go for the “safe” guys—the ones I knew I wouldn’t get attached to. What better male demographic than the fuckboy?
The steps were simple.
Step 1: Find a fuckboy. He’s usually good looking, he talks the loudest in his group of friends, and he almost always has a drink in his hand.
Step 2: Approach him boldly. There is nothing more enticing to a fuckboy than a girl who can challenge him back. Drink with him. Establish that you are his equal, although in reality you are much more callous and calculating about this whole thing than he is.
Step 3: Entice and tease him until he’s putty in your hands. Kiss him on the cheek and giggle as if his antics are having the same effect on you as yours are on him. When he’s good and captivated, make your move. My personal favorite is a shove against a hard wall followed by a passionate make-out. Have lackluster, hurried sex. Allow him to snuggle you until he falls asleep. Get up, get dressed, and leave.
Follow-up: He may or may not message you later the next day. If he does it will definitely be about the sex and the fun night you spent together. If he has tact, he’ll ask to see you again. If he does not, he’ll talk to you as if he’s entitled to another round of sex. You will talk for a week—maybe two—and then it will peter out or you’ll get annoyed and block him. A few weeks will go by and you’ll think it’s time to try again with someone new. But you’ll do the same thing over and over, and dozens of one-night stands later you’ll finally begin to realize this isn’t working.
This was my approach to sex and relationships for a long time. At first, I felt empowered about it. After all, I was young, single, and feminist—why not turn the tables on these guys and do what I wanted? Why not outplay all the players and teach the fuckboys a lesson? For a while, I actually convinced myself I was doing a social service. I even considered myself a fuckboy vigilante. How wrong was I. In reality, I was using this approach as a tool for my own self-destruction.
For the most part, it wasn’t them that I was hurting; it was myself. I don’t regret any of those experiences, but I also know that there was more to it than “just having fun,” as my girlfriends would put it.
In its most innocent and basic form, hookup culture is meant to be an outlet for self-expression and our most primal instincts. Unfortunately, I don’t think that there’s a way to let off steam between two bodies without a recoil. Something’s gotta give and most of the time it’s someone’s self-esteem or their feelings towards another person. There have been quite a few times when I’ve been engaged in a casual sexual arrangement and I was taken off guard by a self proclaimed “nice guy.” What starts off as harmless and mutually beneficial fun somehow becomes a game of callousness—who can get out of the arrangement without feeling the most impacted by the experience. Unfortunately this approach establishes a clear winner and loser. The person that feels hurt loses, which ironically is what hookup culture aims to avoid.
Regardless of whether or not I chose to pursue nice guys or fuckboys, my attempt to shield myself from the pain of relationships was preventing any sort of potentially meaningful connections I could have had. It’s hard being honest and vulnerable about who you are and what you want, but it seems to be the only way for a shot at something real, even in the duplicitous dating world. If I take any other approach, I am only playing myself.