Written by Ruwi Shaikh.
Memes by Alex Pauly.
When I finally started using dating apps again after my most recent break up, I felt optimistic about good dates and even better sex. I felt being a confident woman in the later half of my twenties meant I no longer had to put up with bad sex. I mean, I know what good sex looks like, so why settle, right? When your vagina is screaming “GIVE ME BETTER,” you ought to listen to her, you know?
I’d been out of the game long enough to forget that dating is a funny, complicated thing, though. We never want to question too much because we are afraid we’ll scare our dates away. We also never want to define anything, because then it means “too much.” Well, I have a problem with this. I’m a very all-or-nothing kind of woman, and I cannot do the “grey area dating” stuff that’s trending right now. I do not see the shame in that, I just like honesty and a ton of clarity.
That’s why I have come up with this equation to spot fuckbois on dating apps:
If you combine 24 hours of ghosting with one random text message involving coming straight to his place, you get, yep, a fuckboi.
This equation is important to note, because there’s a very clear distinction between a fuckboi and and someone that just doesn’t want to commit and makes it clear to you right at the start. Fuckbois don’t do clear, they are instead notoriously known for never telling you how they really feel (possibly because they don’t know much themselves…let’s face it).
So in an attempt to pass on my wisdom — and help every confident, sex-positive person have a better, more honest time dating — I present the five most prevalent types of fuckbois you’ll come across on Tinder. I dated them so you don’t have to…
The “We’re Just Friends, Right?” Person
Behold the scariest fuckboi of all: the one that fucks you so good it hurts, introduces you to his dog, and then tells you — when you dare ask— “But I thought we were just friends, dude.” Dude. First of all, they use the word dude too much and aggressively categorize you as a ‘good friend’ at parties that they have invited you to as a plus one. Their weapon of choice is the good ol’ cuddle after a drunk night out — one where they lure you into being spooned, and you of course comply because who doesn’t like the warmth of groin against their butt? Yeah. By this point you’re in love with him. This is also (surprise, surprise!) the point where they will start to pull away gradually. It’s all a mindfuck really, and it’s frankly really sad because we just go along with this and hope that one fine day he will come to his senses. We are not here to teach men to be empathetic — that is not our job. If we learnt it, they will too. I know society puts women through way more so we toughen up differently, and quicker, but that is not an excuse anymore. It’s 2018. Please read Trevor Noah’s autobiography or something, I don’t know.
We are not here to teach men to be empathetic — that is not our job. If we learnt it, they will too.
Oh my god, I love these too. Everything’s super chill (a favorite fuckboi term, please highlight) until it’s not. Like, you’re grabbing drinks, going to all these art exhibitions — it’s quaint, and cute, and you’re mustering up the courage to ask, “what are we?” or maybe you don’t have to because you’re boyfriend and girlfriend right? And then, ghost for three days straight. You will hear from them again and it will be a single line text, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t feeling too great, lots of life shit, you know.”
Oh, I DO know. I do know what life shit is. Why, I was diagnosed with depression quite early on in my life, so it’s right up my alley. But they won’t tell you what is really bothering them, what “life shit’ constitutes, how they’re coping, if at all. You’ll reply with a gentle, “I’m here for you if you need to talk. I know life is hard, please hang in there”, and then it will be GhostTown for another few days, until he — wait for it — wants to fuck. Now, of course you’d be like, “Why can’t he just tell me what’s wrong? We’re dating. I care about him, he knows that.” Yea, I don’t know why they struggle to open up either, it’s all that social conditioning/lack of empathy/being a ‘man’ stuff, and honestly that is your cue to leave him. Read above: you’re not going to waste your precious energy teaching someone to open up and talk about their feelings like a regular mature adult. It’s draining. You have other shit to worry about. Water your plants. Be a good plant mom. Do that.
The “Listen To My New Track” Guy
I’m over this before I can even write about it. They hang around in dim lit bars with a hype crew (usually all men), talking about making it big. Making it big would mean doing more shows and more likes on Instagram. You’ll pretend to be mesmerized by their music — even though it sounds like chalk against metal — in hopes that they could shut up about it, but no, never. Good times.
The “I’m A Feminist, I Have Female Friends” Type
Usually rambling on and on on Tinder as if they just won an award at a recent feminist competition where they pit cis men against each other. “Do you pay for dinner, yes or no?” “Do you have any female friends you have not fucked?”
Either way, they believe this will get our attention and we will gleefully throw our panties in their direction because we’re so baffled that men like this exist. It’s the whole “Nice Guy” mentality: “I’m so good to women, why am I still single?” No, you don’t get to cash in on the #metoo movement.
The Chronically Unemployed ”Let’s Collab” Guy
Oh, how wonderful! They have found yet another way to get into your pants! Now they’re trying the whole, “Hey, I’m an artist. You’re an artist. Let’s meet at mine and like, collab?” I have to admit, I have fallen for this one and quickly realized it’s a fuckboi in disguise! This one sort of intersects with “We’re just friends, right?” and “Sadboi”, sometimes even “Listen to my music.” It’s all in here. It’s one that I see more often than I want to because it’s such a sweet, innocent way to get the girl where you want her—without all the commitment. Over it.
So in conclusion I have to say that by holding men to such low standards, or rather not realizing that we are, in fact, goddesses and can do without such presences in our lives, it’s easy to complain about the sad reality of dating. But the change starts when we stop accepting lower than what we deserve. How do we encourage men to explore what a modern man, or new age masculinity, means without emotionally draining ourselves? How can we all reach the utopia of gender and sexual liberation?
If we applaud minimal effort done by a man in attempt to make us feel good— despite ghosting us without explanation, despite overlooking our opinion, despite belittling us over nothing — we continuously reinforce the power dynamic in our already patriarchal society.
Simply saying, “Feeling funky today, ttyl bby”, isn’t a valid or consensual explanation to your GhostTown. You’re not making your entry to GhostTown justifiable by uttering close ended statements. Own up to your shit. Get clear. Get consensual. Let’s redefine dating today — ethics and all.
Ruwi Shaikh is a very brown, very queer culture writer, cartoonist and artist. She’s usually found talking about gender and race politics over a really good cup of oat flatwhite. Get in touch if you fancy both. Find Ruwi on Instagram and Twitter.