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Involuntary celibacy is the absence in human sexuality of intimate relationships or sexual intercourse for reasons other than voluntary celibacy, asexuality, antisexualism, or sexual abstinence. The term (which is sometimes shortened to incel) describes those who, despite being open to sexual intimacy and potential romance with someone and also making active, repeated efforts towards such an end, cannot cause any such end(s) to occur with any significant degree of regularity—or even at all.
As a concept, involuntary celibacy distinguishes itself from other various celibacy types by two major overall characteristics: First, it is a pattern-like, semi-perpetual condition that cannot seem to improve despite concentrated effort of the affected individual towards improving sex appeal and social skills to try to attract sexual partners. Second, involuntarily celibate individuals are at a complete or near-complete lack for intimate physical connection for very long spans of time—years and even sometimes decades, not merely weeks or months—and are also at a complete or near-complete lack of opportunities for sexual advancement in the first place, thereby making betterment of their own sexuality through accumulation of "sexual experience" impossible.
What makes involuntary celibacy an especially difficult condition for its sufferers to deal with is the fact that most of the time the circumstance cannot be explained through external personal factors—most incels, based on inquests by researchers into the population, are not especially physically unattractive, and most resemble in an interpersonal sense their peers who are not involuntarily celibate. Although a few of the involuntarily celibate population may have discernible personality disorders that preclude current and future sexual opportunities, the small amount of research done on this subject indicates that the incel population are on the whole socially normal, healthy individuals whose frustration is merely a product of their lack of sex, and not vice versa. This makes an individual's involuntarily celibate situation extremely difficult to resolve through the standard psychological methods of pinpointing and "fixing" internal and external life circumstances.
Involuntarily celibate people may suffer from unusually intense loneliness, frustration, and depression that often arises as a result of this condition lasting for the lengths of time it typically tends towards. Also, in most Westernized societies there is the additional social pressure for people in 20s or 30s age ranges to have experienced sexual interaction in some form; thus, if the person has no such experience while all of his or her peers do, serious psychological consequences can result.
Rather than being an "active denial" of sexual situations, such as a circumstance where the person is considered "ugly" and thus avoided by potential partners, involuntary celibacy is a "passive denial" wherein opportunities for sex quite simply fail to emerge, and any attempts on the part of the incel person to instigate one is fruitless as well.
The comparatively personable nature of incels, however, leads only to being rejected, ignored, or spoken to in a merely friendly tone. Perhaps just as importantly, it also seems that incels are not approached by others for romantic and/or sexual reasons even in situations where they are putting themselves explicitly in social circumstances meant to attract partners, such as large-scale activities. It is said to be this conundrum—both the "cannot successfully approach" and the "never approached" ends of the problem—that causes incels their pain.
Limitations and disappointment, the indefinite postponement of sexual and romantic gratification, delay even of dating (much less marriage), and in particular the total lack of sexual experiences at key transition points during adolescence and young adulthood (things like one's first kiss, making out, petting, "first base" etc.)—all the types of lacks that seem to be the psychological cornerstones of the involuntarily celibate condition...
But this does not tell the complete story of involuntary celibacy, which in everyday life can in fact be actively destructive to a person's emotional and interpersonal well-being, rather than just a periodic nuisance or inconvenience, as is usually the case with relatively short-term "dry spells".
Consequences of this type are usually due to a "backlog" of sexual arousal that is psychologically analogous to the "backlog" of anger and/or frustration that many people with clinical depression and similar issues often feel towards themselves and others, wherein frustrations in a specific circumstance that would be seen as insignificant by a non-depressed person are interpreted as monumentally important by the affected individual. Simultaneously, internal consequences that can have external manifestations in an incel person usually follow the standard sexual frustration pattern of being or becoming tense, moody, overly-easily sexually aroused, irritable, and belligerent, and to have trouble sleeping.
There is some controversy, both academic and amongst involuntary celibates themselves, concerning the duration of the celibacy needed to qualify for the label of involuntary celibacy. Someone who is "single" and without sex for several relatively short stretches at a time is usually not looked upon as being involuntarily celibate. Researchers Donnelly and Burgess (see below) used a floor figure of six months of involuntary celibacy in their study design, but others apply the term only to those who have never been involved in a sexual and/or romantic relationship even once, while other opinions extend the definition to include those who get sexual opportunities extremely rarely (such as once or twice within a five-year bloc, or once or twice within a decade).
- Cognitive biases and/or negative explanatory styles such as learned helplessness or fundamental attribution error.
- Self-sabotaging passive-aggressive patterns: involuntary celibates usually counter that any passive-aggressiveness in them is the result of involuntary celibacy rather than the cause.
- Self esteem issues affecting one's feeling of normal entitlement; again, most involuntary celibates argue that their self-esteem and self-confidence are just fine.
- Codependency issues that undermine one's ability to be sexually assertive; involuntary celibates argue that their sexual assertiveness is just fine—in direct and stark contrast to those with love-shyness.
- The presence of proven psychological disabilities such as social phobias, social anxiety, and similar may play a role in preventing courtship.
Have 'nice guy' syndrome
Low self-esteem, low self-confidence
Originally posted by Adyta
reply to post by surrealist
Have 'nice guy' syndrome
Low self-esteem, low self-confidence
That's the problem right there. I used to be a nice guy, and have low self-esteem and self-confidence. One day I don't know what happened, but I just "snapped out of it" and my self-esteem and self-confidence were at all time highs. I guess I figured life's too short to go around feeling sorry for yourself and worrying what other people think of you. Just started standing up straighter, talking louder and with more confidence, and looking people in the eye.
Getting rid of "nice guy" syndrome is quite simple, and only requires one thing; start being an asshole. When I say asshole, I don't mean tripping old ladies and spitting on dogs. I mean sticking up for yourself and not being walked on. Confront the people that treat you like garbage, and let them know that # wont be tolerated.
Ever notice how the hottest chicks are with total d-bags, yet the nice guy is single? Women likebeing treated like complete garbage. It is a fact.
Maybe I'm rambling. In all honesty I didn't read the whole post. I'm tired.
Starfire: There are two wolves fighting in each man's heart. One is Love, the other is Hate.
Ghost: Which one wins?
Starfire: The one you feed the most.