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Involuntary celibacy

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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Involuntary celibacy or inceldom[1] means being unable to get sex or a romantic partner. An incel or incelibate[2][3] is a person who is in this situation. Female incels are sometimes called femcels.[4] Homosexual incels are sometimes called gaycels.[5] Transgender people going through inceldom are called transcels.[6]

Discussions on the incelosphere (incel websites) are mostly by heterosexual males. But female incels and gay incels also exist.[7] Incels, especially male incels, are often misogynistic and seem to feel a sense of entitlement to sex, with some supporting arranged marriage.[8] Some incels even support violence against women, such as rape, and violence against romantically successful men (some of which are often refered to as "Chads"), who are resented[8].The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the subculture as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem",[9] and says self-described incels have committed several mass murders in North America.

The word "incel" was invented in 1993 by a college student 'Alana' from Toronto, Ontario. She made a website to discuss her sexual inactivity with others.[10][11] The website, titled "Alana's Involuntary Celibacy Project",[12] was used by people of all genders to share posts about the topic. During her college career and after, she realized she was queer, and became more comfortable with her identity. She later gave the site to a stranger. After reading about the 2014 Isla Vista killings, she wrote, "Like a scientist who invented something that ended up being a weapon of war, I can't uninvent this word, nor restrict it to the nicer people who need it".[13] Another notable incel was Christine Chubbuck. She committed suicide on live tv in 1974.[14] /r/incels on Reddit was one of the biggest Incel forums. On November 7, 2017, Reddit decided to get rid of it because of their new site rules.

There are many subgroups of incels. For example lesbocels are a subgroup of gaycels meaning lesbian involuntary celibates. Some femcelish lesbians call themselves incelbians. Or for example disabledcels and mentalcels are subsets of inceldom whose involuntary celibacy is caused by them being disabled.[15][16] Femcels who believe that their inceldom condition is permanent call themselves trufemcel or truefemcel.[17] They call the state of being unable to get romance or a partner as femceldom.[18] The largest inceldom-related forum at the turn of the 2020s decade was the subreddit trufemcels, a platform for femcels.[19]

Some incels believe face shape and jaw size is very important to finding a mate. Some male incels may get surgery to make their jaws larger.[20][21]

Many incels take views from fields like evolutionary psychology.[22][23] Some incels believe that male incels have no chance against more attractive males, and women have things easier because of feminism and cosmetics.[24] Incels may believe their lack of success is because of being shy, poor body image,[25] penis size,[26] or their appearance,[27] and believe that having lots of money is the only chance to find an attractive partner.[28]

Words used by incels

Chad: A sexually successful man.

Stacy: A sexually active woman who is considered attractive.

Roastie: A woman who had sex with many men.

Black pill: The real or perceived socially unspoken realizations that come from being a longtime incel.


  1. Mezzofiore, Gianluca (April 25, 2018). "The Toronto suspect apparently posted about an 'incel rebellion.' Here's what that means". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. "Incel: la comunidad misógina que mata por falta de sexo". lasillarota.com.
  3. Futrelle, David (27 April 2018). "When a Mass Murderer Has a Cult Following". The Cut.
  4. "Forget 'incels', 'femcels' are the new online terror to haunt your dreams". 27 June 2018.
  5. Ehman, Anandi C., and Alan M. Gross. "Sexual cyberbullying: Review, critique, & future directions." Aggression and Violent Behavior (2018).
  6. "LGBTI incels: What it's like to be queer when no one will sleep with you". Archived from the original on 2020-06-30. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  7. "Women can be incels too". The Guardian. 30 April 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wilson, Jason (25 April 2018). "Toronto van attack: Facebook post may link suspect to misogynist 'incel' subculture". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  9. Janik, Rachel. "How incels are celebrating the Toronto mass killing". Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  10. Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (2018-04-24). "'Incel' sexual frustration 'rebellion' at center of Toronto attack". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  11. Ling, Justin; Mahoney, Jill; McGuire, Patrick; Freeze, Colin (April 24, 2018). "The 'incel' community and the dark side of the internet". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  12. Ling, Justin; Mahoney, Jill; McGuire, Patrick; Freeze, Colin (2018-04-24). "The 'incel' community and the dark side of the internet". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  13. Baker, Peter (March 1, 2016). "The Woman Who Accidentally Started the Incel Movement". Elle. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  14. Kansan article [1]
  15. Gothard, Kelly, Peter S. Dodds, and Christopher M. Danforth. "Exploring Incel Language and Subreddit Activity on Reddit."
  16. Moreno Azqueta, Carlos. "Semióticas de la virginidad masculina. Una introducción al análisis de discurso de la comunidad INCEL (Involuntarily Celibate)." (2019).
  17. "Forget 'incels', 'femcels' are the new online terror to haunt your dreams". 27 June 2018.
  18. Ryding, Maja. "Sexuellt marginaliserade män: En tematisk analys av forumet incels. co." (2020).
  19. Farrell, Tracie, et al. "On the use of Jargon and Word Embeddings to Explore Subculture within the Reddit’s Manosphere." WebSci'20 (2020).
  20. "Incels (Involuntary celibates)". Anti-Defamation League. July 30, 2020. Archived from the original on July 31, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  21. Contie, Allie (June 26, 2018). "Learn to Decode the Secret Language of the Incel Subculture". Vice. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  22. Barnés, Héctor G. (June 3, 2018). "De paseo por el infierno sexual: los hombres que se reúnen para insultar a las mujeres" [Walking through sexual hell: the men who meet to insult women]. El Confidencial (in Spanish). Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  23. Tait, Amelia (May 8, 2018). "We must try to understand how unwanted virginity leads self-hating incels to murder". New Statesman. Archived from the original on May 28, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  24. Scaggs, Alexandra (May 8, 2018). "'Sex redistribution' and the means of reproduction". FT Alphaville. Archived from the original on August 9, 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2018. (registration required)
  25. "For many, sexless lifestyle is not a choice". Georgia State University. July 24, 2001. Archived from the original on May 30, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  26. Myers, Fraser (July 2018). "Incels: the ugly truth". Spiked Online. Archived from the original on July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  27. "What is the Incel Movement?". The Week. April 25, 2018. Archived from the original on May 30, 2018. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  28. Guerra, Jennifer (June 1, 2018). "Il vero nemico degli incel è il maschilismo stesso" [The real enemy of incels is masculinity itself]. The Vision (in Italian). Archived from the original on December 8, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.