Darren, excellent article! As the daughter and granddaughter of sailors, my vocabulary is punctuated profusely with swear words. However, I think, most of the time, I know when to use them, and when to back off a bit. Other times, maybe not so much! However, I, like you, have always abhorred being TOLD when I should and should not, well, do anything!
I was once told by someone that using swear words was a sign of someone of low intelligence. I had to laugh. My grandfather was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and he used “fuck” like a comma when fired up about something. I can throw $10 words at someone all day long, but depending on who I am talk to, those words may fly right over their heads, and my argument is lost in the clouds. So why waste my time, when a carefully timed “fuck” will do the trick? :)
Also, I feel that whoever is reading what I write can tell if I am writing in my own voice or not, and this goes for anyone writing. If the author is censoring themselves, a lot, it shows.