Love and Fuck: The Same Word

I drove home to Triple J, the only radio station here that’s allowed to swear, the other day. Even the local studio has a framed list of absolute laws on their wall – [station omitted] Rules To Live By, all ten lined up under this cold black warning  in two columns, like the Commandments. Tailing column one, #5: No Swearing, under any circumstances.

In my DJ training, a lifetime ago, my tutor watched me at that studio’s switchboard, oversized headphones swallowing one ear. The 12-year-old’s erotic dream, lived by a shy glaze-eyed child, an exact opposite to the batshit crazy journalist he’d be eight years later. This tutor explained, I paraphrase, “Never let the air go quiet. The song starts while you finish talking, you talk while the song fades out. Three seconds of dead air is a long, disastrous time in radio. There’s one exception – if you think they’re about to swear in a song, take it off. I don’t care how long it goes quiet, get it off the air.”

True, it’s local radio. People often burst in and scream naughty words, knowing this is the one place they can swear without anyone hearing. But not really. They kicked me off after a year and a half, either for not showing up or swearing. I was a depressed 13-year-old bastard presenter, to be fair.

So, swearing in the media refreshes me. On the Js, an underground rap track pounded out a deep line: The first half I forget, probably something about being poor, then ‘… love, spelled f-u-c-k.’

One of those babyish ‘ahhh’ moments fell on the world, sunlight seeped from the road brighter each moment and floated my car through the weightless air. Above my head, two treetops parted quiet and gentle for the breeze of knowledge, because the idea lightbulb smashed last time I got high.

From flml.com - notice the passion expressed the same way with both words.

From flml.com - notice the passion expressed the same way with both words.

This isn’t just a hedonist’s idea, a sour belief that love is only hormones, searing pleasure and withdrawal symptoms. It’s unbound passion. I will now prove that ‘love’ and ‘fuck’ are literal synonyms.

Wikipedia is our first assistant, because investigative reporting takes actual effort, and going to a website doesn’t. See, children? Efficiency. In the entry for ‘love’:

The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to intense interpersonal attraction (“I love my boyfriend”). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.


We’ll take the obvious move:

The word fuck can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure (“I fucked that meal”) to intense interpersonal attraction (“I fuck my boyfriend”). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes ‘fuck‘ unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

This is especially valid if you have sex with food.

Indistinguishable

Indistinguishable.

The opposite page takes more thought:

Fuck is a transitive verb meaning sexual intercourse. By extension it may be used to profanely or negatively characterize anything that can be dismissed, disdained, defiled, or destroyed, and it is due to the convergence of these two weighty concepts (sex and destruction) that the term can carry such overloaded emphasis, although it is frequently used as a mere intensifier.

Sex and destruction. Such a perfect way to define that last half a minute, whether you’re panting and growling, clawing at each other’s backs. Or writhing together in your partner’s begging clutches while the world outside your bedroom, kitchen, movie set or whatever does it for you strange animals crumbles in the subtle embers you’re just barely sweating to. The latter climax is called making love. If last time was too perfect to remember its physics, pay attention near the finish next time – compare your speed to when you started. Yes, you fucked.

Are you blushing? Well, most acts of love are banned from primetime viewing, even the metaphorical eros around them. Society in its most superstitious, puritan time came to fear its public discussion. Your grandparents might still refuse to talk about it, or they’ve accepted the times and unwound with them. Swearing on radio gets you in mischief for the same reason – this is the height of human experience, and around Victorian times it lodged in our heads that children should be ignorant to the experiences they’ll be drawn to someday, still thinking of them as impure, unclean. The next justification was that children aren’t mature enough to handle intercourse. Which is why they can’t fall pregnant or feel desire – nature, taking care of us? Funny, that. Our two favourite words are still recovering from ignorance, the only true sin.

In each context, the words above both mean intensity. The moment you’re torn from thought into a present where you always belonged, but only now when you agree with everything do you realise. That is the philosophy propelling ‘love’ and ‘fuck’. Complete acceptance, the ability to say for example, ‘I fucking love video games’, or ‘We two girls love cups, soft piano music, bodily fluids and fucking. How shall we pass the time?’

Those two words always appear in the same sentence when we express enjoyment. It's no coincidence.

Those two words always appear in the same sentence when we express enjoyment. It's no coincidence.

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