To answer this from a UK perspective, "ass" is not a word for polite company, but is not considered too strong. This is not a complete reference, more a series of musings on the topic.
The British consider sexual swear words to be "the worst" type whilst still being broadcastable.
I suppose with some thought you could build a list of swearing 'types'.
Body parts & functions [not including overt sexual references]
Illness references, if they are not your own
Race or religion references, if they are not your own.
Of these four broad categories, ass belongs in the first, fuck in the second. In recent times, the third and fourth categories have gone rapidly out of fashion [& rightly so]. Until recent decades, they would have been above sexual references & could be considered milder terms. The map has changed a lot in recent times. You cannot call anyone 'mental' these days and expect to get away with it.
It's still acceptable, for instance, for a comedian to make an entire routine from the latter two categories… but they need to be very aware of their audience & they need to be mainly self-referential. It is very much OK for [for instance] a disabled african muslim to make jokes about all three. It is not OK to make jokes if you do not belong to any of those groups, other than in quite specific circumstances. There is a UK comedy show with three presenters, two of whom are disabled, one isn't. In that context all three presenters get to use the same references as jokes.
So long as they're vaguely Christian in origin/reference, religious swear words have long been acceptable to a British audience.
Sexual references: The UK has a 'watershed' at 9pm after which most of these terms can be used fairly freely these days; though not on the news. Everything has its place, of course.
There was a famous interview on a late night talk show with Samuel L. Jackson, who is quite well-known for using one particular phrase more than most. He said it within the first two minutes of the interview, prompting the host to shout "Oops!" then apologise & explain… "We can say most things at this time of night in the UK without any fear. We can say 'mother' and we can say 'fucker'… but we're not quite at the stage we can yet string them together as one word." Jackson was amused, if somewhat bemused. That particular peculiarity has since been removed. You can now say the whole thing, the flood gates are now fully open.
There was a time when haemophiliac references [whether that's what they were originally or not] were heavily frowned upon. Queen Victoria's husband, Albert, was a haemophiliac. This vanished long ago & by the 70's 'bloody' was being used in family entertainment comedies, so long as they were after the watershed.
There was one sexual swear word that strangely escaped censorship, "bugger". It was frequently used in British comedies in the 60s & later. I have no idea why that one escaped when the others didn't. You could say it at a time when you couldn't say 'arse' or 'shit'.
In TV and film, there has always been a kind of 'allowance' as to how much swearing could be broadcast in any particular show. I recall one comedy sketch about the use of swearing in a TV show. The characters being portrayed were a 'head of station' & a 'program maker'. After some introductory preamble, the discussion came down to which and how many swear words could be in the show. At one point the program maker made the bid, "I'll swap you three bloodys for a fuck."
There was a period in the 80s/90s when terms were going through a reshuffle much like the 'woke' movement of today. It was known as 'political correctness', abbreviated to PC. Though it tried to move in the right direction, it did get many things 'wrong' by trying hard to rename things that didn't make sense to rename. Any word with the subset of letters 'm, a, n' was in for some rough treatment, so we went through some iterations of chairman, chairwoman, chairperson before arriving at chair.
Through these days it was jokingly said, "That's someone who calls a spade a manual earth moving implement". The 'bin man' became the 'refuse collector'.
Planets were renamed - or not actually renamed, but artificially …re-pronounced. [Emphasis syllables in italics]
Uranus [Your Anus], long the butt [& I use the term advisedly] of schoolboy jokes, became 'You ren uss'
This led to a rather famous skit on Spitting Image, where they had the puppet of the then current newscaster of the main national news show questioning this practise, then announcing a new moon which had been discovered orbiting Jupiter.
It was called 'Byoom Holl Ay' and of course, it was spelled… Bumhole.
YouTube link to the sketch