A fuckboy taxonomy

Chronicling the evolution of the modern fuckboy

Artwork by Nick Harriott

“Fuckboy”: a word, coined by the internet, traditionally referring to a guy who fucks (and fucks over) a lot of women. The contemporary fuckboy has evolved from its physical roots, in response to accusations of being inauthentic and a rapid decrease in their success with women. In recent years, women have become more resistant to generic fuckboy tactics. Calls of not being “like other guys” now fall on deaf ears. No longer will women embark on futile missions, thinking “I can change him”. Their knowledge continues to grow at a faster rate than fuckboys are able to formulate new tactics to save whatever pathetic face they have left. With their strategy in shambles, fuckboys are truly becoming desperate.

Now, women see fuckboys as ‘fuccbois’—the spelling indicative of the level of seriousness with which to engage with the species. While fuckboys love to be perceived by other guys as “fuckboys”, they hate it when they are deemed “fuccbois” by women.

But given that the fuckboy continues to be dunked on, it’s worth wondering: why are men still opting for that path? Left to their devices for far too long, the fuckboy image has amassed immense commercial capital. The rise of luxury streetwear and hypebeast clothing, the Soundcloud music industry and other subcultures means that fuckboys reap benefits from their nefarious lifestyle, accumulating social clout and financial capital. This is what has led to the modern crisis wherein we have an oversaturated market of fuckboys.

Beneath this market exists an important taxonomy, and here’s how it plays out:

The Physical Fuckboy:

The traditional sense of how we define a fuckboy. Sex is his sole priority. His excessive “fucking” scoreboard is meant to distract from a bland or terrible personality.

The Emotional Fuckboy:

These guys fuck around in ways you’ve never even thought of. Luckily they’re easy to spot: if you’ve received every message on this list, get the hell out of his inbox.

1. “I don’t really like labels”

2. Seen 10:58pm

3. *flirts with you* “Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not really looking for a relationship right now…”

4. *unsolicited selfie of half of his face* “study together?”

5. Snapchats [usually shaky footage on 2x speed] of other girls

Unlike the physical fuckboy, this one won’t give you an STD but instead PTSD.

The Closeted Fuckboy

These are the “wholesome” guys all your friends gush about. He holds your bag, pays for your food, lets you go through the door first. He posts photos with his sister or (bonus points) has cute dogs in his Tinder profile. But don’t be fooled: lying underneath this façade of wholesomeness is a guy who is smart enough to realise that the only way they can take advantage of the fuckboy benefits is to minimise the backlash that other fuckboys have to deal with when they are “found out”.

Perhaps the most interesting advancement in fuckboy theory, however, is how one comes about. Like a tadpole, fuckboys go through a complex life cycle. Here are some known cases on their evolution:

Case 1: Sheltered Boy Turns into a Fuckboy

Your typical academic high achiever in high school who probably didn’t prioritise interactions with the opposite sex. They may have felt previously suppressed or found their docile lifestyle unfulfilling. When university comes around, and social dynamics change, its prime time for reinvention. Given the chance to start fresh, these types are likely to try to overcompensate for the time lost in high school by implementing more radical and intensive methodologies. For example, a male from a regional area living in college for the first time makes his agenda to hook up with as many girls as he can after all the years spent with nothing but farm. Or the combined med student who spent all his school years in the books becomes an emotional fuckboy to make up for lost time.

Case 2: The Downfall of a Beta-Orbiter

The counterfactual to a fuckboy is a ‘wholesome boy’ often sadly branded the ‘Beta-Orbiter’. From the girl’s perspective the Beta-Orbiter might be the nice guy who is always there for her and gives her emotional support. But like the Moon and Pluto, the Beta- Orbiters role is to ‘orbit’ around a girl, and often at times it’s hard for them to go further than this. The problem becomes exacerbated by “YTB” culture: an echo chamber or where “success” is validated by popularity with women. Beta-Orbiters see Alpha Males succeeding and thus are likely to buy into this lifestyle. What’s worse, Alpha-Males don’t actually want to hang out with other Alpha-Males because it means they will need to compete. Instead the Alpha male chooses to hang out with his Beta-Orbiter friends, coercing them into the fuckboy lifestyle and often recruiting them in profile pictures in order to make themselves look better.

Case 3: Veteran Fuccboi becomes Wholesome

These types are extremely rare. They are like rare Pokémon: very hard to catch.

These guys may have been fuckboys early on in high school, but like Case 1 males, they also see University as a time to recreate themself and get their shit together. Maybe they realised that the non-committal, high emotional barriers that are essential to be a fuckboy are actually just really harmful to the self and not worth it. Probably found a solid girlfriend in university and is going strong.

By now you can probably tell that I’m an economics student who likes to model things and shove abstract concepts into pigeon holes. Because finally I can structurally justify the many feelings that were hurt on women’s behalves.

Pitching this theory to my guy friends as they asked me “damn, are you writing this because a guy hurt you?” just made me realise how the “fuckboy” is only the tip of a very big iceberg. A Pandora’s box of intricate gender politics and hyper masculinity.

To all the boys who feel offended, it probably hit a little close to home. But don’t worry, not all hope is lost! Be the outlier to my taxonomy.