It is often believed that incels are an isolated phenomenon. Most people have never met an incel outside of internet forums, and incels themselves don’t often tell those close to them that they self-identify as one.

However, incels are a more common occurrence than it may appear at first. Regardless of the definition used – a difficult topic for another day – one must inevitably conclude that incels are among us.

There are clear indicators for this. To start with, the amount of American 12th graders who have ever experienced dates has been steadily decreasing for many decades now, inflating the number of younger people who desire but can’t enter relationships. In terms of sex, our society has hit an all-time low, and when it comes to virginity, as many as 13% of Americans remain virgins by the time they are in their early 20s – not a minor point for younger people who crave sex and relationships during their hormone-riddled years. Brian Gilmartin, a social psychologist who studied the phenomenon of the “love shy” (a person prevented from entering relationships due to severe shyness and anxiety) suggested in 2012 that as much as 1.5% of the population might be involuntary celibate.

There are those who dismiss the idea of widespread inceldom. Arguments against typically allude to voluntary abstention; that those who do not date or have sex are simply choosing not to do so. However, this is a misconception: Over 95% of singles would rather be in a relationship than stay single. Moreover, it is sometimes claimed that the phenomenon of incels is mixed with that of asexuality; in other words, that not everyone who doesn’t engage in sex has a desire for sex. Nevertheless, statistics tell us that only around 1% of the population self-identifies as asexual, and we should remember that even asexual people can desire a (sexless) relationship.

Perhaps the biggest hiccup both in proving and disproving that incels are widespread is self-identification. Does someone need to self-identify as incel for us to claim they are one? The topic elicits an article of its own, but suffice to say that anyone can reasonably claim a person is incel as long as they show signs of (or even better, admit to) struggling with attaining romantic relationships. Therefore, if a person vehemently denies they are incel (due to e.g., denial, fear of judgement, insecurities), we may still assume they are incel as long as the signs are in display.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day raw data isn’t enough to change the perspective of the public on the topic. The understanding that incels are an everyday occurrence must come from within each individual, and can’t be forced. This change must be sparked primarily by a realization that each one of us likely knows not one, but many incels, and may even be one themselves. As it turns out, having a broken heart is a remarkably common human experience.

People reacted to this story.
Comments to: The Incel
Among Us
  • Avatar
    July 27, 2020

    Woah

    Reply
  • Avatar
    July 27, 2020

    Good read.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    July 27, 2020

    Something people seem to forget is that incel is used to describe someone with these specific issues. Not the generic Stereotype people would rather jump too. Lots of people, including people’s friends and family are incels. Lots of people don’t really seem to quite understand that they have met and likely still do know lots of incels. Ignoring this and only vilifying the very state of being an incel just harms their friends and family who are also afflicted.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    July 28, 2020

    I know this may not sound very positive, but this things happens among animals aswell.
    Males and females across all species always looked for the most quality genes to reproduce, and the rest gets less or nothing at all. Thats how evolution always worked. And I am afraid there is nothing one could do about it.
    For a human being it gets depresive even more than for a dog or any other living creature, because we are aware and social and inteligent beings.
    Now by my statement I do not want to upset anyone. And I am aware that feeling unwanted lonely and unappreciated can lead to a lot of psychical and even physical problems. I am just observing and asking questions philosophically as to why and how and what next.
    Nature can be a bitch sometimes.
    Big question is… is it correct to look for a meaning of life in reproducing/sex/relationship? Is it worth to spend the entire and unique life a person have in a dark depressive state, drowning in desires one cannot achieve?
    We are existing, breathing on this crazy enormous “magical” planet surrounded by life and colours in an never-ending universe full of mist and stars and explosions. I believe that living is a miracle, even though some around us may be richer or prettier. But there are also many in worse scenarios. We are still here, talking to each other, having dreams emotions etc. And all of us can leave any mark on earth.

    What am I trying to say by all of this?
    We shouldn‘t label ourselves and eachother. Nobody is perfect. Who cares if you are blue/black pill, ethnic or whatever. There always was and always will be bad/shallow people and good/empathic people. We born and we die alone (go alone back to the other side). None of us knows what awaits there and none of us know the true purpouse of all of this. Maybe we cease to exist, maybe we find out we were wrong this whole time. Maybe it gets better in the next life. But in any of these cases, we all should try to enjoy the moment of being aware and alive having the chance to explore all of this greatness life has to offer before we lose it. Get the most of it. Many died young and many haven´t been born at all. And we didn´t come here with a guide and so we all do the best we can.
    This may all sound like a brutal spiritual pill nonsence. I do not want to preach. I am just trying to find answers to those questions I gave earlier. Rope is not an answer for me and pain neither.

    I have a friend. I believe he could be an Incel, because he is behind his 30, never had a relationship and is still a virgin. He never heard of this phenomenon though. As I was hanging out with him for so many years I observed his positive attitude. Always enjoying what life has to offer. Always smiling and having fun. Forrest, music, swimming, taking care of the garden and his grandmother. He cried once I remember as we had an argument and I told him I am still here, no need to be afraid. He was always a good and empathic helpfull person and I always cherrished that.

    He taught me one thing:

    There is still much to life for. Friends, family, animals, hobbies. The most important thing is never to be alone completely. And always look for the brighter side. Do not let that depresive “demon” to eat all your brains out. And never judge yourself by the way how others treat you.

    God bless you.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      July 28, 2020

      No, I’m not “genetically inferior” because women don’t want me. I’m not “genetically inferior” for being Asian, short, and smarter than average.
      The systematic allusion to the “good genes hypothesis” is nothing but a means by which women try to legitimize hypergamy when they can no longer deny it.

    • Avatar
      July 29, 2020

      You are genetically inferior, the good genes hypothesis doesn’t only apply to women but to life in general, physically you’re just objectively less attractive and appealing be it to male or female because of your genes, and being asian has nothing to do with it, a lot of really famous good looking idol asians you just happen to be ugly short and bitter and it sucks

  • Avatar
    July 29, 2020

    interesting

    Reply
  • Avatar
    July 29, 2020

    Keep writing essays

    Reply
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