Some months ago, one of those 1.5x speed, flailing late night conversations life sometimes grants us produced an epiphany and that is – you can’t be both a Fuccboi and a Zaddy. To refresh on the etymologically recent but spiritually ancient concept of the Zaddy: a Zaddy is an attractive, (almost always) older man who is not necessarily a father but gives off that innate aura of responsibility. Do you ever think it would be kind of hot to be sternly told to get your shit together? A Zaddy is the type of person who could fulfill that fantasy. This is not to say that all Zaddies are good partners. I think the dark side of a Zaddy romance is probably be a man who doesn’t cede enough emotional territory, is patronizing in an unsexy way, or makes you feel messy and small. I mean, I am messy and small, but come on. I am already tired of typing the word Zaddy but I will forge on!
People often assume that because of my noted attraction to older men, I gravitate to this type. Like, I get it, but when I look at a good zad specimen I just kind of…feel like I want them to be my actual relative. The other incorrect assumption about me is that I have any kind of dad issue. To give shape to a new understanding of hot older men, I had to start with the opposite of a Zaddy: the Fuccboi. The Fuccboi does not carry the scent of stability on the wind. You already know he’s an emotionally unavailable mess. He throws so much swagger at the wall that it does, unfortunately, stick on rare occasions. I also have a working theory that it sticks most in summer, because the hotter the weather, the hotter the idea of a Fuccboi is. Something about summer vacation-being a teen-the kind of trash boy your parents don’t want you seeing etc etc.
It’s hard to define either perfectly, because you just know in your bones when you’re in the presence of one. They’re distinct vibes, but they are mutually exclusive vibes. The creation of Fuccboi <——————————> Zaddy as a metric was unsatisfying, though. It lacks nuance. Four quadrant alignment charts are more fun than linear spectra. Deep down I felt that there was another axis that would clarify why I’m weak for a certain strain of Fuccboi. I sat on the question for weeks. Then it hit me, maybe out of nowhere but I think it was that I was trying to categorize male Final Fantasy characters: the Y axis is Golden Retriever/Wolf. Per my FF experiment:
Kain Highwind is an arrogant, irresponsible dick, and his is a dickishness with real edge to it. The Fuccboi wolf will be careless with your heart and be smart enough to know they’re doing it. Someone like Tidus, on the other hand, is full of bravado but is ultimately a nonthreatening boy with a lot of feelings. Auron is all gruff and edge but he WILL set you and your chucklehead party straight. Clearly I had trouble finding a representative Zaddy Retriever, but I think that’s also rare in the wild – responsible and conscientious, with genuine kindness and no condescension. Cecil Harvey, despite his youth, is somehow the closest. Perhaps Kondou from After the Rain fits the bill, which would explain why he wasn’t quite my type even as the show was constantly, extremely calling me out.
I am regrettably? most attracted to things that fall a little more Fuccboi and a little more wolfish. Somewhere in the upper left quadrant closer – enough above the equator to have claws – is the sweet spot. These creatures are always just unpredictable enough to be exciting and kind of scary. Maybe you could make them snap. This possibly makes me a boring person with bad judgment, but at least I have a framework for it now.
As a bonus, in case you were wondering where all the men on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs land on the chart:
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