Who's diddling and how?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 16 17:18:46 UTC 2008

At 11:24 PM -0600 7/15/08, Marc Velasco wrote:
>This has been a rather long thread, and I don't *think* anyone's mentioned
>this yet.

Well, I was trying to yesterday in this thread, when I wrote:

...But consider first of all the who's-the-aggressor variable:  If it
was her idea, if she made all the moves, if she pinned him down,
etc., then I have a strong intuition that Jane did in fact fuck John.
(Although I might also say she got him to fuck her.)  What if, for
example, John was asleep at the time (and having what he thought was
a very pleasant dream)?

But my other point was that there's also a literal sense in which it
makes more sense in which she fucks him rather than him fucking her,
precisely because of the penetrator/ee contrast:

Then there's the anatomical dimension.  There are (I'm given to
understand) strap-ons; if Jane uses one on John, who would you say
fucked whom?  And after all, we know from same-sex encounters that
the felicity conditions on "Chris fucked Dana" must in part be
determined by penetrator/penetratee relations rather than male/female
per se.

I think both considerations are relevant, and a quick search of the
darker corners of the web supports this.


>WG writes:
>>"She fucked him [either by giving him some... "
>This may be a key distinction in semantic relations.  She can fuck him by
>letting him fuck her.  This can be especially true when used in a derogatory
>sense, e.g.,  "I can't believe she fucked him."   Who's diddling whom here
>(in the penetrator/-tee sense, or even in the "who's on top" sense) doesn't
>have that much to do with it, rather in this case, it's all about who's a
>willing participant.
>Yet more slipperiness from English's most adaptable word.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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