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!
P.S. Don’t get me started on “sucks” …