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What Wikipedia thinks incels want vs. what incels actually want
Also what women want vs. what men want
Incels are the vanguard of tearing down gender roles

Incel is a sociological term that is short for involuntary celibacy, defined in academia as a common life circumstance.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Inceldom is recognized as a medical disability in some countries and by the World Health Organization.[11][12][13] The condition of being incel is a certain kind of nonsexuality.

Contrary to perceptions in the media, incel is neither a political movement nor a community/subculture, but a descriptive academic term for a gender-neutral life circumstance. Therefore, incels do not share a belief system, especially not those who do not self-identify as incels.

No mass murderers have been users of incel forums. Neither 4chan nor PUAhate have self-identified as incel forums, even though some incels use or used those sites. Current major incel internet forums are:,,, Incelswithouthate, and Foreveralone.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Celibacy comes from Latin caelibatus 'unmarried state', but from the 1950s onward it was come to mean sexual abstinence without reference to marriage status.[14] The term involuntary celibacy has likely independently been conceived of by various writers throughout history, dating back at least to the 18th century, e.g. a French clergyman, Antoine Banier, used it in 1739. Henry Flynt discussed male involuntary celibacy in relation to being perceived as creep in his 1975 book Blueprint for a Higher Civilization. The neoliberal feminist Alana introduced the abbreviated term "invcel" in 1997 which was later changed to "incel" at the suggestion of someone in the mailing list she created as it was easier to pronounce and did not sound as much like "imbecile." Incel was later used in the Donnelly Study in 2001 and was first lexicographically recognized in 2018.[15]

Definition[edit | edit source]

The Donnelly Study defined incels as adults who fail to find a sexual partner for six months or more without choosing so. There remains disagreement about whether this definition is appropriate due to conceivable loopholes. For example, Bluepillers often argue in bad faith about such definitions and say male incels could simply have gay sex or pay for a prostitute and, therefore, they are volcels and incels don't exist. Hence, a definition in good faith would include an addition that incels are adults who are overwhelmingly rejected by the members of the sex they are sexually attracted to.

There is gatekeeping and infighting going on in incel forums about who counts as incel. Uglycels complain that love-shys and standardcels simply lack will to find a partner. In an effort to weed out standardcels, some incel forums reject incels who have not seriously and repeatedly attempted dating. In doing so, however, they inandervatently marginalize non-standardcel mentalcels. This is the source of a lot of conflict in the incelosphere. A solution to this longstanding conflict would be an incel definition that rejects standardcels but includes non-standardcel mentalcels as incel. This has been formalized before, but has not been popularized or adopted yet by any major forum, perhaps because such a definition would be very long.

The infighting over whether to include love-shies in incel forums mainly hinges on the meaning of involuntary, whether involuntary means "without choice" or "against will". However, the word involuntary can mean both, and both are different experiences. According to the definition in the Donnelly Study, inceldom is not the same as permavirginity or trueceldom, meaning even someone who is only experiencing a dry spell may find himself involuntarily in this situation and hence may count as incel.

Demographics of incels[edit | edit source]

Main article: Demographics

Assuming incel to be defined very broadly such that nearly all sexless men are incels, then 15-30% of American men between the ages of 18-30 are incels, but around a third of this is 18-20 year olds.

Incels are politically diverse.[16] Some incels believe in the bluepill, purplepill, blackpill, or the redpill, while others do not subscribe to any pills. The most common shared beliefs among self-identified incels are hard determinism and that most female incels are voluntary celibates due to men's higher sex drive.

Polls on Braincels and show that whites constitute only half the forum populations, with East Asians and South Asian (e.g., Indian) being overrepresented (see Demographics § Race).

Other characteristics of users from site surveys include:

  • 78% report always suffering from extreme sadness, anxiety, and stress.
  • 82% have considered suicide.
  • 62% have considered surgery to improve their looks.
  • 77% report being a healthy weight or underweight (only 23% report being overweight, which is far less than the general western population average).
  • 57% report receiving a medical diagnosis labeling them as non-neurotypical or having a physical disability that impairs their normal daily functions.

This suggests incels often have a low dominance status (beta or omega rank) that the pussy cartel doesn't approve of, presumably often due to being ugly, shy, poor, short, weak, neurodivergent, and/or physically ill (see causes of inceldom).

Adverse effects of inceldom[edit | edit source]

Insecurity questions

Incel life is miserable, especially for socially isolated incels. Isolation and sexlessness are associated with various health risks. One study found losing ones virginity late, e.g. after the mid 20s is associated with erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia later in life.[17] Another study found that delayed sexual activity "creates health risks by impeding development of the emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal skills that are crucial to satisfactory sexual functioning and general well-being."[18]

Life as an incel[edit | edit source]

Incel life is plagued by an unending attempt to cope with one's sexual frustration. This frustration is exaggerated by highly sexualized social and mainstream media, causing incels to feel regret and envy about missed or unattainable opportunities for love and sex, which likely affects men more than women. The general public mostly favors that allosexual incels behave in a completely asexual manner, i.e. to suppress their sexual needs. Incels are completely discouraged from voicing their sexual concerns, expressing sexual desire or making sexual advances. This seems to be increasingly driven by an environmentalist concern, namely that the world is already overpopulated. People seem to be quick to judge who should not reproduce, often seemingly based on superficial judgements. At the same time though, life as an incel is extremely awkward whenever the topic of sex or relationships comes up. There are expectations to have sexual success that seems to be biological.

Some even deny that sex is a need at all, even though the majority of people agree that sex is the best experience in life and is essential for feeling good about oneself and for one's social status and acceptance.[19] Especially women find men who do not have sex less appealing.[20] Incels are fully aware of missing out on these experiences that are essential for basic human decency.

Male incels spending exclusive time with other males is also sometimes seen as awkward because the sexual inactivity inaccurately appears as homosexuality to some.

Can't an incel see a hooker?[edit | edit source]

Main article: Pussy cartel

Frequenting prostitutes or being a sugar daddy/mommy does not count as a sexual, romantic, or even social relationship, but rather a financial relationship, as the relationship remains without sex/romance/sociability, but not without money. What makes things worse, most incels cannot afford it regularly and it is associated with various risks due to it being illegal in many legal jurisdictions. There is also the risk of contracting sexually transmittable diseases. Also, many escortcels frequently characterize prostitution as not a full sexual experience as it usually lacks sexual validation. It is also not accompanied by the status elevating, or social acceptance promoting, experience of being selected by someone for who one is. Legalization of prostitution can mitigate the side effects of inceldom, but it does not constitute a sexual relationship. Plus in most parts of the United States, prostitution is illegal. Most people with incel problems do not want to break the law. However, more incels would see prostitutes if they were legal.

The majority of incels want genuine companionship.


Love-shy vs. incel[edit | edit source]

Main article: Love-shy

Love-shy is the fear of romantic or sexual relationships. It is possible for a person to be both incel and love-shy, and most are both to some degree or another. For instance, a person could initially be incel, then suffer large numbers of turn downs, and eventually become love-shy and unable to approach, sometimes even after the initial reasons for their inceldom disappear.

Incelosphere[edit | edit source]

Main article: Incelosphere

The incelosphere is a loosely connected set of websites and forums wherein people gather to discuss being romantically unsuccessful. Those who visit these sites are affectionately referred to as cybercels or incelospherians. The network of online communities wherein people experiencing inceldom gather is called the incelosphere. Frequenters of the incelosphere are arguably unrepresentative of inceldom as a whole. This is because one of the key facets of inceldom is social withdrawal. The incelosphere constitutes the segment of inceldom that is sociable enough to have a proclivity for joining online communities.

Click here for a full list of active incel forums.

Incelism[edit | edit source]

Main article: List of incelists

Incelism is any sort of activism that attempts to solve involuntary celibacy on a societal scale. This often takes the form of advocating for socially arranged partnerships, promoting various economic solutions, and a variety of other opinions. An incelist is someone who advocates on behalf of incels.

Chadsplanation[edit | edit source]

Main article: Bluepillsplaining
Normies, when not lying to incels about celibacy being easy, in reality, consider going even 40 days without sexual intimacy as complete savagery

Since normies, chads, beckys, stacies, tanners, and brads don't like to pair up people anymore, they tell incels it's near 100% incels own fault that they can't find a partner. So they offer self-help "advice". Incels are told by normies that looks don't matter, but normies always are curious about how ugly incels are and assume they don't take enough showers or get enough haircuts. They tell incels to be themselves but to pick up hobbies they don't like. They tell incels that pick up artists are full of shit but that incels don't have enough 'game' to date rape drunk women at bars 'pick up women'. They tell incels that they are too nice but also that they are assholes. They tell incels that sexual intimacy is not that important, but they buy and create movies and songs about how sexual intimacy is one of the most important things in the world, and they get upset if they have a few week-long dry spells.

They tell incels that they 'just need to get laid,' and also that they 'don't need sex.'

They tell incels that sexual intimacy isn't a commodity in a game with a reward, but think of male virgins as "losers" and tell incels that they don't "deserve" intimacy due to their actions.

Normies, especially feminist normies, insist that sexual freedom is a sorting mechanism for male feminists and good personalities like OJ Simpson and Jeremy Meeks, and that your local grocery store bagger deserves to be an incel because maybe he went on 4chan once or twice.

Incels in history[edit | edit source]

Main article: Protocels

Due to inceldom representing a life circumstance or deprivation, as opposed to merely representing a modern internet based subculture, there have of course been many incels throughout human history. A famous story of historical inceldom is the tale of the rape of the Sabine women by the ancient Romans. According to Roman tradition, after the city of Rome was founded by the legendary Romulus, the city was originally inhabited by mainly male pioneers who had followed Romulus in establishing the city. Due to the lack of marriageable women, this lead to many Roman men being incel, due to a lopsided sex ratio. The elders of Rome planned to redress this by sending diplomats to foreign tribes asking for arranged marriages between their women and Roman men. However, the neighboring tribes of the Romans deeply distrusted the Romans, and feared their ascendant power. This led to Romulus devising a ruse; where he established a festival (Consualia) dedicated to a newly discovered god named Consus. He then invited several neighboring tribes to attend this festival. The entire population of a neighboring tribe named the Sabines apparently attended the festival. Romulus had previously arranged with his men that, when he gave the signal during a feast attended by the Sabines, they would violently spring into action and abduct and run off with the Sabine women. This mass rape led to a war between the Romans and the Sabines, which concluded with a peace treaty being concluded between the Romans and the Sabines, (with the Sabine women acting as intermediary's between their new Roman husbands and their Sabine male relatives), which ultimately resulted in the two tribes being united under Roman rule.

Many prominent figures throughout history were provably incel or very likely incel, to briefly note a few: Beethoven, Nietzsche, Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Otto Weininger (likely, but not proven), the deformed dwarf companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammed, Julaybib[21] (who ascended through an arranged marriage prior to being killed in battle, after being described as "the one who had spent a lifetime in despair"), and likely many others.

It is very likely the term "Involuntary celibacy" was coined in 1739 by French writer and clergyman Antoine Banier. He used it in a sense that implied that customs at the time, that led to men and their families demanding a dowry in exchange for marrying a woman, resulted in some women being unable to marry, thus leading to them being incel (because female extramarital sex was heavily socially discouraged at the time). The frequency in use of the term seemed to increase in the 19th century (in the modern sense)[22], with a lull in usage of the term in the 20th century, before seeing a resurgence in interest in the topic in the 1990s.

Special types of incels[edit | edit source]

Synonyms for incels[edit | edit source]

There are many synonyms or near-synonyms of the term incel. For the mass noun version of synonyms, click on synonyms of inceldom. For gender-specific words see mancel or femcel. Synonyms of incel include:

Synonyms of inceldom[edit | edit source]

Synonyms of inceldom outlines the synonyms or near-synonyms of the term "inceldom". It is the mass noun equivalent for the term incel. To see the synonyms for the countable nouns, see the article synonyms. The most commonly used metonym for the word inceldom is lovelessness.

External Links[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. journal|title=Involuntary Celibacy: A life course analysis|url= Journal of Sex Research|volume=38|pages=159–169|via=
  2. encyclopedia|title=Celibacy|encyclopedia=The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies|publisher=John Wiley & Sons|date=February 29, 2016|editor-last=Shehan|editor-first=Constance L.|volume=1|page=238|isbn=9780470658451
  3. Carpenter, Laura M. (2010). "Gendered Sexuality Over the Life Course: A Conceptual Framework". Sociological Perspectives. University of California Press. 53 (2): 155–178. doi:10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155. JSTOR 10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155
  4. Harvey, John H.; Wenzel, Amy; Sprecher, Susan, eds. (2004). The Handbook of Sexuality in Close Relationships. Mahwah, New Jersey: Taylor & Francis. p. 900. ISBN 9781135624699. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  5. Strong, Bryan; Cohen, Theodore (2013). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. Belmont, California: Cengage Learning. p. 50. ISBN 1133597467. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  6. journal|A life course analysis|url= Journal of Sex Research|volume=38|pages=159–169|via=
  7. encyclopedia|title=Celibacy|encyclopedia=The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies|publisher=John Wiley & Sons|date=February 29, 2016|editor-last=Shehan|editor-first=Constance L.|volume=1|page=238|isbn=9780470658451
  8. Carpenter, Laura M. (2010). "Gendered Sexuality Over the Life Course: A Conceptual Framework". Sociological Perspectives. University of California Press. 53 (2): 155–178. doi:10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155. JSTOR 10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155
  9. Harvey, John H.; Wenzel, Amy; Sprecher, Susan, eds. (2004). The Handbook of Sexuality in Close Relationships. Mahwah, New Jersey: Taylor & Francis. p. 900. ISBN 9781135624699. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  10. Strong, Bryan; Cohen, Theodore (2013). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. Belmont, California: Cengage Learning. p. 50. ISBN 1133597467. Retrieved 2015-12-30.

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