The term 'involuntarily celibate' had been used in literature prior to the internet, and sometimes, but rarely used in a semi-academic way. It wouldn't be until the internet era that the term entered academia. Prior to the internet, the term, "involuntary celibate", was used in literature, including but not limited to, ''[[Antoine Banier|The Mythology and Fables of the Ancients, Explain'd from History, Volume 3]]'' in 1739, ''Aparato a la historia eclesiastica de Aragon'' in 1791 by the enlightenment era Spanish historian Joaquin Traggia (referencing incel slaves), ''The Doctrine and Law of Marriage, Adultery and Divorce'', 1826, by Hector Davies Morgan, M.A, Volume Six of the British satirical magazine ''Punch'' in 1844, ''Family Herald Magazine'' in 1876, ''The Population Question According to T. R. Malthus and J. S. Mill'' by Charles Robert Drysdale in 1892, ''Virginia'' by Ellen Glasgow in 1913, ''The Building'' by Peter Martin in 1960, in detail in ''[[Blueprint for a Higher Civilization]]'' by [[Henry Flynt]] in 1975, ''Law and Liberation'' by Robert E. Rhodes in 1986, ''Criminal Tendencies'' by William O'Rourke in 1987, ''Human Sexuality: the search for understanding'' by David Knox in 1984, and ''Understanding Sexuality'' by Adelaide Haas and Kurt Haas in 1990. While never directly using the verbatim terms, "involuntarily celibate" or "incel," famous French author [[Michel Houellebecq]] has written about the topic vicariously through his many fictional works about [[involuntarily celibate]] and layless men. Famous English novelist and non-fiction writer George Orwell also briefly touched upon [[involuntarily celibate]] (without explicitly using the term) tramps in his book about the lives of the underclass, Down and Out in Paris and London, in 1933.
Additionally, the similar term "forced celibacy" has been used in ways nearly equivalent to the modern usage of the term "involuntary celibacy", most notably in Maximilien Misson's 1714 travelogue ''A New Voyage to Italy. With Curious Observations on Several Other Countries'', where he talked of the relative freedoms English women had compared to Italian women at the time, who were described as being esconded away in their homes, to evade the depredations of "three quarters of the men living under the insupportable restraint of a forced celibacy, (who) would make a dreadful havoc of their neighbours property [...]"<ref>https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=gri.ark:/13960/t2w41jk88&view=1up&seq=47</ref>