Where does DTF come from?
Down in this context refers to willingness, as in “I’m down (to do something)” a use which originated in the 1950s. Someone who is DTF, therefore, is willing to have sex, or more vulgarly, fuck. Often, being DTF signifies someone is not necessarily interested in a long-term romantic relationship.
Green’s Dictionary of Slang suggests that DTF originated in the 2000s, and the slang website Urban Dictionary’s first definition comes from 2002. It’s possible that the rise of the initialism is linked to texting and internet slang, which contains many other shortened versions of pre-existing phrases.
Down to fuck is attested slightly earlier than its initialism. It appears in the 1998 song “Still Not A Player” by Big Pun (“Who’s down to fuck tonight?”) and in the 2001 Crazy Town song “Revolving Door” (“But don’t waste my time / Unless you’re down to fuck.”)
Who uses DTF?
DTF often used in isolation on dating profiles or social media hashtags to signify that someone is interested in a casual relationship. However, it can also be incorporated into conversation, as in “I’m going out on a date with them and I heard they were DTF.”
DTF is occasionally used as a verb, which either means “to engage in sexual intercourse,” as in “We’re gonna get DTFing tonight” or “to engage in a casual sexual relationship,” as in “My friend and this guy are DTFing right now.”
Parodies of DTF are used for humor, e.g., a shirt with DTF on it but defined beneath as down to fish. The juxtaposition between the “racy” initialism and the more mundane interpretation seems to be the draw, but parodies with alternate initials are also used, like DTE (down to eat).
The slang DTF should not be confused with another, unrelated acronym: DTF, or Drug Task Force, a law enforcement group appointed to seek out and apprehend violators of drug laws.
“any ghosts dtf? lookin to find me a good spirit who's up for some fun”
@luvergrrrl Twitter (May 9, 2017)
“Hell yeah im DTF
yourfriendlyneighborhoodpenis Tumblr (April 21, 2017)
“There’s always someone better, prettier, more sex positive, and DTF one or two swipes away.”
Sarah Miller, “DTF and My Sex Life Sucks: What I Learned from Attending a Sex Positivity Workshop,” The Bold Italic (October 11, 2016)