Mental Health in the F*uckboy Era

Sarah Scott is a current public relations advanced diploma student at Humber college.

What is a ‘f*ckboy’? You may be sighing to yourself right now saying, “Oh great, another Igenerational word”, praying and hoping that this word does not end up in Webster’s Dictionary next to ‘selfie’ and an emoji. And while I share the same sense of disappointment of the fall of the English language, I find myself concerned with the fact that these words are created for behaviours and actions that, as a species, never existed until now- at least not publicly. This word has been flooding my Facebook page, memes, Instagram and even popping out of my friends’ mouths as they explain some experience they recently had with a guy. But what exactly is it? Although Urban Dictionary has its own definition that holds some truth, they seemed to have missed the main point. A ‘f*ckboy’ seems to be a term commonly associated with the strangers or acquaintances you casually sleep with. The word is the very definition of itself- a boy you f*ck.

mentalhealth

With websites and apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Grinder and Ashley Madison, casual sex and even cheating has never been so easy and readily available. With the swipe of a finger or a click of a button you can be connected to all the hot singles in your area. What a great invention, right? Wrong. Although the younger generation constantly seizes the opportunity to connect in new and more technologically advanced ways, I wonder how this new hookup-culture era affects our mental health and our ability to develop deep connections. How is a world of meaningless relationships truly going to affect the human race?

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the convenience of using a dating app to scroll through an infinitely large sample size of people to find your new fling. But I keep asking myself, is the convenience worth it? Is the instant gratification worth the sacrifice of not just physical but emotional intimacy?

It is important to remember that it is not the apps themselves that are to blame for our dating epidemic, but the mentality we have adopted in recent years. I truly believe the websites and apps would not have been created if there were not a demand for them.

Although it is natural for a woman to express herself sexually, the dangers she exposes herself to are not just that which can be rhymed off a STI factsheet but include emotional consequences we are only beginning to discover.

The first thing I have seen associated with ‘f*ckboy’ syndrome is shame. Despite the overwhelming amount of pro hook-up media messages and reassurance from friends that having a ‘f*ckboy’ is socially acceptable, some still can’t shake the feeling that what they are doing violates their standards and what they feel they deserve. As I sit back and listen to friends describe their latest sexual encounter, every story starts the same… “You will never believe what this ‘f*ckboy’ did.” “I had a lot of fun with this ‘f*ckboy I met last night.” No matter the context, my friends always describe them using this word. What really concerns me is the fact that many, if not all of them, never use ‘f*ckboy’s’ name. Now, I know that these men’s names don’t really matter, because the truth is most of these men will be gone from my friend’s life in a week or maybe even a month. However, the detachment they have from someone who they are sexually active with seems anything but healthy.

Side effects of these rendezvous’ such as shame, embarrassment and possibly regret have a major impact on self-esteem and overall wellbeing. Although the vicious cycle of wanting to obtain gratification and validation through casual sex may temporarily make you feel desirable and happy, there is evidence that suggests we are more likely to have depressive symptoms including loneliness post hook-up. Because, at the end of the day, casual sex will never give you the fulfillment and happiness a true connection or relationship can provide and at the end of a ‘f*ckboy’ day, you are, in every way, alone.

I am aware that this blog may be targeted on how the hook-up culture is affecting women but the truth is men are just as affected by this. Because despite the macho, social-gender norm that men love casual sex, the truth is it affects their psyche in the same way. All of this is a tell-tale sign that this new ‘f*ckboy’ era is catastrophic for our mental health and our species as a whole.

So next time you are tempted to fulfill your instant-gratification need by hooking up with a stranger or someone you refer to as ‘f*ckboy’ or ‘f*ckgirl’, ask yourself, do you really want to contribute to the death of human connection and intimacy as we know it?

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