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Beware: obscene language ahead.

I’ve never liked the word screw for sex. It sounds mean. A screw is cold, metallic, and small, with a nasty little point that cracks a hard object and cuts a pit into it.

Bang bothers me, too. It’s a violent word. I suspect that guys who talk a lot about banging won’t give a woman (or a man) a long, slow evening of sensual pleasure.

But fuck, while obscene, is a good word.

It’s honest: it means what it says. Screw is a piece of hardware, bang is the sound of an explosion, but fuck means sex.

And it sounds right. The f — born from the coming together of two body parts, the hard teeth and soft lower lip — is hushed and velvety; to hear it clearly, you may have to lean in close. It’s a sound full of foreplay. The u is low, guttural, earthy. And the ck ends the word with decisive finality.

I’ve never much cared for screwing or banging — but fucking is great.