Absolute Beginners (aybees) are a community in the German incelosphere that started in 1998. The German AB community may be the most under-recognized part of the entire incelosphere. It has several independent sub-communities such as Abtreff, AB4 and unerfahren. Former communities include the forums Parsimonyforum 3708 (the oldest forum) and AB-Plauderstübchen, and the websites ohne-erfahrung.de, Lonesome.at and beziehungsunerfahren.de.
Terminology[edit | edit source]
They sometimes call themselves ABs. There have been multiple German forums for 'AB's over the years, including very large real life meetups, often approaching 100 people. They have also been associated with more books and academic literature on inceldom than any forum community. Two documentaries have been done of AB's; they include Love Alien, made in 2012 by director Wolfram Huke and "Jungfrau sucht die grosse Liebe" (virgins looking for love).
ABs are on occasion called eternal singles or involuntary singles. The term originated in Germany in the late 1990s to refer to people who are involuntarily single or become involuntary virgins way into adulthood.
The etymology of the term derives from a David Bowie song. Absolute Beginners sometimes abbreviate their self-identification as AB. Rheinische Post defines AB's as those above the age of 20 with no romantic experience whatsoever. Sexologist Monika Büchner defines the Absolute Beginner as one who has never had sex by their 25th birthday. The concept of AB is analogous to the English term love-shyness.
Overview[edit | edit source]
The reasoning behind their sexlessness varies from psychological issues, an unsocial life, shyness, being socially inept, or a lack of initiative in making the first move. Absolute Beginners gradually developed into communities that culminated into self-help groups of the same name. AB's sometimes communicate with one another on online forums. They vary in age, including vicenarians, tricenarians and quadragenarians. In some online forums, the hallmark of being an Absolute Beginner is beyond the age of twenty if one still has had no sexual or romantic experience. In online forums, AB's sometimes discuss tribulations associated with their status such as pressures to date and the embaressments and secrecy associated with their inexperience. This is sometimes derived due to social pressure in Germany to have a romantic partner. Awareness of the AB community in Germany has increased. Some German AB's have attempted to document their lifestyle in order to explore the reasoning behind their ineffectiveness at courtship. There are also AB-specific coaches who specialize in giving therapy to AB's. Some of the causes of AB include having a busy career, and its time-consuming nature leaving few options for romantic pursuits, a perception of themselves as unattractive and the subsequent low-self esteem, prudish parents seclusion due to some illness fear of beratement of their fetish, erotophobic family members who demonize the libido, disagreements on who should make the first move, or a traumatic experience during their introductory stage of sexploration. Heterosexual Absolute Beginners have described themselves as feeling invisible to the opposite sex. Factors contributing to German women being Absolute Beginners include attending a single-sex educational institution that discouraged freemixing between the genders, enochlophobia, misinterpreting flirtation as mere friendliness, a fear of being friendzoned, and an exigent personality.
Treatment[edit | edit source]
The degree of the phenomenon varies as some AB's never had any form of physical intimacy, including kissing or holding hands. Sexologist Jakob Pastötter recommends therapy to remove inhibition and anxiety. In the Netherlands the organization Aquarion helps AB's by giving lessons on dating and relationships, as well as offering reservations wherein AB's can book sex sessions with one another. Author Arne Hoffman recommends any phyisical activity such as dancing or sports as a method to increase an AB's confidence levels. Members of some online German forums have set up self-help groups, fellowships and therapeutic programs on the topic. Some analysts have suggested using the internet to facilitate opportunities for mingling with others. However, others suggest that the increasing individualization of society suggests singlehood is normal.
Documentaries[edit | edit source]
In 2012, director Wolfram Huke published a German language autobiographical documentary, Love Alien, wherein he documents a year of his life as an "Absolute Beginner" between his 29th and 30th birthday. The film features his platonic connection with two female acquaintances; a female distant relative, and a Croatian woman, both of whom he viewed as potential partners. The latter parts of the film show him discussing courtship strategies with a pschotherapist, several family members and random women who tell him how he should present himself. The film ends with a trip to Camino de Santiago on his 30th birthday where he declares that in spite of his efforts, he is still single.
Another documentary on the topic is "Jungfrau sucht die grosse Liebe" (virgins looking for love), which features seven virgins who self-describe as AB's and their attempts at having their first romantic or sexual experience.
Demographics[edit | edit source]
According to sex researcher Kurt Starke, 10% of male university students below 29 were virgins, thus Absolute Beginners. Psychotherapist Poschenrieder claims to have received roughly 150 counselling requests from Absolute Beginners. Some sex researchers have claimed that Absolute Beginners are not rare, while sex columnist Caroline Fux said that AB's are common.  The appearance of AB's has also been blamed on various factors including a skewed sex ratio, such as a surplus of women or a surplus of men in a particular region According to Jakob Pastötter, President of the German Society for Social Science Research, the phenomenon of the Absolute Beginner is more prevalent among those with demisexuality. Acording to sex consultant Sarah Nerb, one to two million adults in Germany are Absolute Beginners. Inceldom affects roughly 5 percent of women and 10% of men in Germany. AB's come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. AB's can be of any gender, they vary in their age groups and appearances.
References[edit | edit source]
- http://www.rp-online.de/panorama/deutschland/absolute-beginner-wie-es-ist-mit-33-seine-erste-freundin-zu-haben-aid-1.6356832 |title=Spätzünder: Wie ist es, mit 33 Jahren seine erste Freundin zu haben?
- Maja Roedenbeck: And who kisses me? Absolute Beginners – When love is waiting for you, Berlin 2012, p. 54
- Maja Roedenbeck: And who kisses me? Absolute Beginners – When love is waiting for you, Berlin 2012, pp. 29–30, p. 86, p. 108
- Sprenger: Male Absolute Beginner. A communication-scientific approach to the explanation of partnerlessness, Wiesbaden, Germany
- Olaf Wickenhöfer: Unfreiwillig Single, Eine Studie zur Sozialisationsgeschichte und kulturellen Alltagspraxis, Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2004, page 42
- https://www.welt.de/vermischtes/article159149444/Ich-muss-das-erst-lernen-Sex-ist-nicht-so-einfach.html |title=Erstes Mal mit 31: „Ich muss das erst lernen – Sex ist nicht so einfach
- Heiratsmarkt und Marriage Squeeze. Analysen zur Veränderung von Heiratsgelegenheiten in der Bundesrepublik, Universität Heidelberg, Abgerufen am 1, September 2014