The first curse word I remember saying was "Son of a bitch," and I was repeating a line I heard on TV. I even remember the movie was
and the power with which the character said it got me hooked on cursing for life. Cursing and swearing had emotional power, it had punch, it was pure raw emotion, and I fucking loved it.
We all remember that kid in grade school who cursed with wild abandon, and that kid was me. If my dad wasn't on the school board for my private Catholic school, I probably would have been expelled because, Christ, I cursed a lot. In second grade a kid cut me off in line and I told him to go screw himself. When he asked what I said, I gave him the finger and repeated, "Go fuck yourself." Little bastard snitched on me and I almost got expelled. Then in the fourth grade I almost got expelled again because I said, "Gaw," like an English character I had been watching on TV. The teacher thought I took the lord's name in vain based off my reputation. Again, almost expelled. My mom worked for the local cable company back when those existed, and my sister resented me for the whole summer when as punishment mom decided to suspend our free premium cable.
Talking dirty pretty much became an integral part of my personality. Like my dad, I too genuinely enjoy spewing obscenities at other drivers. My word of choice is "cocksucker" while his was a more genteel "jackass." I can appreciate the lesser taboo of the word and how with precision, like the word "fuck," something so basic can be deployed with power by a master. I also developed an appreciation for lewd talk. Yes, intimate descriptions of sexual acts strung together by those same curse words are something that just comes naturally to me. Descriptions of such acts using vulgarity just seem like a more natural and healthy way to converse about sex than using cold clinical terms. If you ever hear someone say, "They gave me a vigorous round of intercourse," you need to kill them. That person is a robot wearing human flesh and is trying to exterminate humanity. People say, "They fucked the shit out of me," because that's what happened.
When you remember that I spent most of my life trying to fit into the role of a dude, to be as macho as I could, to give off the image of masculinity, talking like that felt like the right way to fit in. It certainly fit in during my time in the military. It fit in when I spent my time hanging out with drunks, addicts, punks, and criminals. Yet, when I came to accept who I was, that I was transgender and began my transition, I realized I was suddenly out of place.
That language that I so freely tossed about as a guy, I wasn't really allowed to say anymore. Apparently women, at least
women, aren't allowed to talk like that. Hell, even Trump's go-to insult for serial swearer Chrissy Teigen is calling her the
"foul-mouthed wife" of John Legend
. Men don't react to a woman cursing and saying lewd things the same way they do with guys. Most recoil from it. Even other women seem to be averse to the sailor-tongued lady. In fact, I finally understood why Southern women say, "Bless your heart." It's because they can't tell someone to go eat shit because that's "un-ladylike."
I quickly learned that there are only a few select types of women who can be not only foul mouthed and explicit about sex, and it's a pretty terrible list. In no particular order, the only women who can freely curse and describe sex in explicit terms are "trailer trash," sluts, butch lesbians, fat, oversexed comedy characters (also usually butchy), junkies, bitches, sex workers, or the incredibly sexy. Well, I can think of one time when a respectable, feminine woman is allowed to talk dirty, and that's when she's telling a man how good he is at sex. She can't go too far, though, because then she just becomes a whore.
All of this I learned the hard way. You see, cursing and bawdy talk has been culturally coded as a masculine trait. Only "low women" curse or express themselves sexually in aggressive ways. It's the belief that women are supposed to be gentle, soft, cuddly even. Cursing is always an aggressive expression of frustration, anger, or exasperation. Women aren't supposed to be angry. They're supposed to be the gentle sex, and when they get upset, instead of calling someone a "limp dick motherfucker," they're supposed to just cry and eat a tiny morsel. As far as graphically describing sex, feminine women are supposed to just moan and gasp in bed and use children's words to describe sex.
When I transitioned, one of the things I decided early on is that I was going to embrace those repressed "female" traits that I had, without sacrificing the "masculine" ones I liked having. I came from a time when a lot of thoughts on being trans meant you had to kill the man inside you and go hyper femme. Well, fuck that noise. I was going to cry to those Sarah McLachlan commercials and fist pump to action movies. I certainly wasn't going to clean up my language or directness about sex.
Yet I learned there's a limit to how far society will tolerate a woman who is unashamed of talking dirty about sex and cursing up a storm. Men find it both aggressive and off-putting mostly, unless you're hot, and then you become "the cool chick." Unfortunately, I wasn't a hot enough chick to get the pass. Also, if you direct those precision f-bombs at them or insult their sexual prowess in their own terms, then you become a bitch. However, this has never stopped me. I'm still verbally aggressive. I will still curse you out and insult you in sexually explicit and vulgar ways without a second thought. Does it make me a bitch? Trashy? Filthy mouthed? You're goddamn right it does, and I'll keep being one, because it's who I am, it's how I make my space, and because it unsettles all those beta cucks who think they're men.
is an Oklahoma-based writer and comedian, a regular contributor to
and a former board member for Oklahoma City Pride. Follow her on Twitter