The blackpill is a hodgepodge of online philosophies about human mating, all of which share the belief that sexual liberalism and technology have made dating increasingly hopeless for heterosexual men.[note 1] The blackpill is somewhat in contrast with the hippiepill which states that sexual conservatism since the 1980s (prudishness, forced abstinence etc) and technology have instead made dating increasingly hopeless for most men.
Since 2016, traditionalist incels have popularized the term 'blackpill' to further mean that modern women only care about shallow, visual signs of genetic fitness. These incels think that female choice inevitably leads to polygynous harems, which they believe, in turn, is the cause of most male sexlessness today. They further argue it's possible through collective advocation of rape or monogamy to increase the reproductive prospects of incel men, even in prosperous countries.
Not all incels are blackpillers and not all blackpillers are incels. The media often conflate the two, and falsely insist a belief in the blackpill is something all self-identified incels share. Many self-identified incels do not believe in the blackpill and many reject the pill dichotomy altogether.
Blackpillers have made many individual cults that are designed to beat members down, keep them from finding partners, and make members feel more isolated. Blackpill or blackpill-associated cults have also engaged in inspiring child murder, celebrating alleged child kidnapping, heavy outgroup shaming, promoting fear of the outside world, a unique us vs them vocabulary, targeted suicide advocacy, and a system of brainwashing. Blackpillers dismiss criticisms with NAB (“Not All Blackpillers”), and “it’s just shitposting brah”. Thing is none of them vocally try to stop these practices if they recognize them.
Beliefs found in various definitions of the philosophy
- Nothing can change female sexual desire (biological essentialism)
- Everyone's sexual market value is mostly or entirely genetically determined
- Dating success is determined by things men cannot easily improve on
- Most incels are hopeless without cosmetic surgery
- All women prefer very large penises
- Rape is not so bad and many women like it
- Women are only capable of true love in the case of high status men and/or male models
- Women reject 80% of the male population
- Women mostly have a horrible character, if any
- Women are incapable of romance and love without societal intervention
- Women's depression and loneliness are at best self-inflicted, at worst a means of getting attention
- Women behave like children
- Women exhibit a dual mating strategy (betabuxx)
- Women have a passive, transactional and opportunistic love style
- Women are shallow about the looks of men and especially about looks of other women
- Women's sexuality is stuck in a more r-selected past as they have been subject to less selection pressure
- Men need sexual intimacy and romantic intimacy
- Inceldom is harmful
- Lack of 'enforced monogamy' reduces men to their looks
- Polygamy in general is bad and always unworkable on a community level
- Eliminating traditional gender roles necessarily destabilizes society
- Patriarchy would solve or mitigate inceldom
- Eliminating women's right to vote would solve inceldom
- Sharing women is pathetic and necessarily chaotic, unworkable and/or immoral
- We should treat women as a caricatured notion of how traditional religions subordinated women
- Rich men are often merely betabuxed
- Women are compatible with enforced monogamy as they naturally fantasize about sexual coercion
- Sexual coercion is a natural part of human sexuality
- Marcels should be mocked, particularly if cuckholded.
- The belief that ugly incels should kill themselves
- The belief that incels should LDAR
- The belief that incels should not work out or improve their life
- Promotion of unhealthy individual behaviours, such as eating unhealthy foods
- Incels have, "inferior genetics", or are genetic mutants
- Incels shouldn't have sex outside of an increasingly non-existent mating structure
- Cicisbeos should be ridiculed, and being a volcel is better than being a cicisbeo
- Men who pay camgirls should be ridiculed
What is wrong with the blackpill theories
Virtually everyone who has taken an objective look at the blackpill has concluded it was false, and therefore there is no "controversy" over the fact that it is wrong. However, for true believers, here are some empirical facts about how it is wrong.
Women generally don’t use hookup apps, men do
Women generally don't flock to hookup apps, as 72% of Tinder users in the USA are male. And only 7% of women in the US even opened Tinder (by far the most popular hookup app) in 2020, let alone went on any dates on it.
Even among US adults aged 19–28 (the age bracket of most self-identified incels), only 48% of people have reported ever using an app dedicated solely to dating. This figure only includes people who have installed one of these types of apps once and not active users, which likely encompasses a much lower proportion of young adults. Together with the lopsided sex ratio found on dating apps such as Tinder, as mentioned above, only a small minority of women are likely active users of dating apps. This low female engagement with dating apps is in concordance with Rosenfeld's (2018) examination into the proportion of actively dating single American women that reported having dated someone they met from an online dating app in the last 12 months (22%).
Interestingly, Rosenfeld appeared to find evidence that partnered women (that used dating apps) were more likely to meet up with men from online dating apps compared to single women. Together with evidence that suggests that users of “hook-up” oriented apps like Tinder (and perhaps online daters in general) have more unrestrained attitudes to sexuality, are higher in the dark triad traits, and have a generally higher short-term mating orientation (especially men on these apps) compared to non-users, it is likely that this perception of women being extremely promiscuous on Tinder is partly a function of strong confirmation and sampling bias.
So it is true that some promiscuous women are taking advantage of the anonymity, ease of use and plethora of thirsty men available on dating apps to have affairs and hook-ups with sexually attractive men. However, these women are likely a minority of female dating app users, with a meta-analysis into the motivations of Tinder users (Ciocca et al., 2020) finding that women were more likely to report using these apps to boost their self-esteem and waste time by chatting with random people online compared to male users. According to other research into the motivations of frequent dating apps users, it appears that “self-validation” is a primary driver of the use of these apps among females, which belies the claims that they are chiefly using them to seek out attractive men for casual sex.
Women also aren't generally having tons of promiscuous sex (at least in the United States). Disregarding one's personal opinion on casual sex, it's a core idea of the blackpill philosophy that most women are doing such a thing. This is likely false, as the amount of sexually promiscuous women in the United States is still a strong minority.
Women’s attitudes towards male, facial sexual dimorphism isn’t static
Blackpillers have this black and white obsession that women only care about hyper-masculine cheekbones and jawlines in men.
Women, in reality, have mixed preferences toward male facial masculinity nowadays.
In an eye-tracking study measuring female attraction to facial sexual dimorphism in men, there were mixed results. Women generally found androgynous faces attractive when they had less conventionally attractive facial features, and found masculine looking faces attractive when the men had more conventionally attractive facial features.
Another study showed mixed results as well. Researchers Penton-Voak Ph.D. and Perrett Ph.D. conducted a study in which they manipulated computer generated composite faces of men and showed them to women. They adjusted for sexual dimorphism, creating faces with big defined jaws, and ones with more feminine jaws. Turned out that manly faces were not at all attractive to women when they weren't ovulating.
Finally, Lidborg et al. (2020) conducted a vast meta-analysis (155,348 people) of 91 studies that examined the effects of various traits are associated with physical masculinity (facial masculinity, height, muscularity, voice depth, etc.) on mating behaviors (sexual frequency and reproduction) in men.
The authors found evidence of a minimal positive effect of facial masculinity on mating; however, this effect was driven mainly by differences in sexual attitudes (masculine-faced men being more promiscuous on average). This effect was also not significant (i.e., the result was likely a fluke). There was no evidence of an effect of facial masculinity on reproductive outcomes in men, unlike what was found for other traits such as muscularity and height (which were generally weak in the aggregate).
It is important to note this study only examined linear relationships between two variables (i.e., facial masculinity and sexual/reproductive success). Like the above-mentioned research, the lack of an effect found for facial masculinity here may suggest that women typically have a “sweet” spot in terms of their preferences for the level of facial masculinity in their partners. That is, women may prefer moderately masculine men as compared to very masculine men.
Still, this finding casts severe doubts on the claim that women are sexually selecting for very masculine men or even that facial masculinity, in general, plays much of a role in driving mating-related outcomes for men at all.
Male tradcels are more lookist than women
A core tenant of the blackpill philosophy is blaming women, but not men, for lookism. It actually turns out that men are more lookist than women in long-term relationships. And blackpillers claim to want long-term relationships. For example, a study by Pamela C. Regan and Ellen Berscheid of 70 men and women, rating 23 characteristics in sexual and marital desirability found that men cared more about the looks of a potential marriage partner. In other words, women cared less about looks than men.
In dating apps, men and women aim up in looks to roughly the same degree. In some studies, men are even more choosy about looks than men.
Looks outside of muscle doesn't correlate much with sexual success
Correlations between looks, height, income, masculinity and partner count are only weak or entirely absent, with muscularity being the only consistent predictor of lifetime sexual success among a variety of superficial variables, so looks are unlikely to explain most inceldom. Blackpillers will go on and on about how building muscle is “cope” for a man, implying it's a waste of time with regard to attracting women. They label men who attempt such things as “gymcels” and tell them there's no point to working out, presumably in an attempt to demotivate them.
Contrary to their convoluted theories, it turns out that building muscle is a proven way to attract women... Who knew! Science has also shown that men in general are bad at accurately judging their own looks.
According to a study by UCLA, men who are muscular are more successful than non-muscular men in having multiple sexual partners and successfully pursuing affairs with “mated women”. The women in the study also reported finding muscular bodies more attractive (to a point) and claimed their most recent “hook-up” partner was more likely to be more muscular than their current partner, providing some weak support for the strategic pluralism hypothesis. Conversely, this discrepancy between the muscularity of women's short-term and current partner may be explained by women having higher preferences for physical attractiveness in men when it comes to exclusively short-term sexual relationships.
Mostly ignores material concerns
Economic causes of inceldom like wealth inequality and economic stagnation come up short. Costs of living increasing discourage family formation. Millennials have only a fraction of the worth babyboomers had at the same age. Many blackpillers only focus on hypergamy as an economic issue, but the effect sizes of women dating up are typically pretty small (see hypergamy).
Women are only way choosier than men in certain situations
Both sexes are very choosy about their partners. Evidence from online dating suggests that in terms of messaging patterns, both women and men aim up to roughly the same degree and few of either sex aim up excessively or unreasonably. Men are, however, substantially less choosy in case of casual sex, but when it comes to marriage (when the man needs to invest his resources), men are also very choosy. Some studies conclude that men prefer a good looking partner more than do women. Women are less interested in sex and initiate relationships less, which means by principle of least interest, women can overall date up (see Juggernaut law), but the effect sizes are not large.
Traditionalism doesn't reduce inceldom that much, if at all
In the 19th century U.S., even though divorces were rare and traditional gender roles were strict, around 70% of men below age 25 were unmarried. In Medieval population about 20% of the population was poor or destitute, preventing them from entering marriage contracts set by the male Lords. There also seems to be no correlation between how relatively rigid gender roles are and how sexually dissatisfied a modern country is. For example, Japan is the least sexually dissatisfied nation, but it has relatively rigid gender roles for a developed country. Japanese women are encouraged to work more female-centric jobs than in most countries and earn less than men more than in most developed countries, including Sweden and the USA. There is generally mixed evidenced on the relationship between traditionalism and quality of life as summarized in the tradcon article.
Counter-arguments to this include that conservatives do have more sex, even though even many conservatives are gender progressive nowadays. Japan is also one of the least religious countries and has a peculiar history regarding their sexual modesty. Historically, there have also been more incels due to harsher ecologies, so Medieval Europe and 19th century U.S. may not be a good comparison.
Ignores facts about welfare states
Some blackpillers hold that poverty is a better solution to inceldom than mass abundance. To the contrary, child-rearing could instead be more subsidized to reduce female selection based on income. Blackpillers respond that women would then turn to looks and status. State welfare advocates also tend to promote broad societal egalitarianism (Jante Law, e.g.), a sort of status leveller that is rumored to reduce intrasexual competition. However, they do not usually put forth a plan on how to reduce sexual dimorphism in the face of globalization. And in 2019 they tend to favor open-borders and liberal internet policy, which can increase sexual dimorphism in the dating sphere.
Vast majority of women aren't promiscuous
Data on sexual activity in the U.S. suggests that only a small minority of women is currently engaging in a promiscuous lifestyle. These are presumably particular women with a genetic disposition for a fast life history, i.e. they are promiscuous and do not invest much in the offspring (i.e. NAWALT). Only 33% of users who have dated through Tinder got a committed relationship out of it, the rest went for one-night stands or causal sexual relationships, suggesting the majority of Tinder users are indeed fast-life strategists, with such women being possibly more superficial in their choices based on looks only. Women who truly enjoy rape are presumably also only a minority of fast-life strategists among women as the Jolly Heretic noted.
Sexual partners aren't distributed 80/20
Blackpillers will often say that, “20% of men are ‘getting’ 80% of the women in society”. Ask them to give a citation for this and they'll probably always cite dating app studies. What they of course always leave out is that almost 80% of hookup/dating apps are male, and in a mostly monogamous society their “rule” is mostly just them not understanding the demographics of the apps they are using.
Even sex isn't distributed 80/20
Even sex itself is not distributed 80/20. In the U.S., sex is not as unequally distributed as 80/20, but only around 60/20, meaning 20% of men have 60% of the sex, and this is similar for women and men. As the demography article shows, sex has declined for both sexes and there is no evidence for a large rise in sexual inequality favoring few Chads.
First definition in full
The term blackpill was first used in 2011 by a blog commenter named Paragon on the Dalrock anti-feminist blog and was later adopted by OmegaVirginRevolt's blog. Paragon said only mass poverty could solve men's systemic dating issues, as he saw that as the only mechanism that could bind women to men short of eugenics. Modern blackpillers agree with Paragon that female desire in inflexible and that psychology is mostly determined by genetics. However modern blackpillers favor mechanisms such as promiscuity-shaming instead of poverty, to bind individual women to individual men. Facing dating difficulties in Canada, Paragon moved from Canada to the Philippines, a less prosperous country than Canada, and married there. In Paragon's own words:
“”[…] to reconcile that there are no personal solutions to systemic problems—which can only resolve over evolutionary time.
And any solution will very much entail steep trade-offs, in that males can’t have their cake and eat it too—a prosperous population of deferred ecological pressures (like we currently enjoy), without an expectation that this prosperity will increase the mating latitude of females (dramatically perturbing the breeding population, to the point of near evolutionary instability).One will always follow the other, as male consensus on these matters is practically impossible in terms of inter-sexual competition(as opposed to the broad accord females enjoy through an abundant wealth of sexual opportunities, courtesy of their reproductively limiting function).
The blackpill and media
Journalists have also been known to falsely conflate “involuntary celibates” at large with blackpillers, and overinflate the real world significance of blackpillers. Such journalists have been known to present false narratives implying impending, cataclysmically widespread blackpiller violence in the US, even in the absence of credible threats with respect to that claim. This has led to wider debate in journalism about irresponsible labeling of blackpillers by, “terrorism experts”.
Why the overreaction in the media?
The false implication that blackpillers wield more power than a tiny street gang is probably due to the fact that relevant sensationalist journalists hate their lives and may be hybristophiliacs. What would be more accurate would be to point out that blackpillers are instead rather generically nerdy, anti-social, right-wing narcissists who absolutely love people taking them too seriously.
Just as Darwinist feminists would frame those who are unlucky in love, self-described blackpillers proclaim their, “subhumanity”, while wanting anti-male, or what they regard as, “dysgenic”, solutions.
Showing how many blackpillers capitulate to feminist narratives, 19% of respondents on a popular incels.co thread proposed legalized rape as the solution to inceldom in a thread, 17% supported male genocide, and 41% supported re-instituting patriarchy in a May 2018 thread.
Many blackpillers are hypocritical and their worldview is primarily informed by pornography and/or 4chan. For example, anti-cuck, alt-right blackpillers with cuck fetishes masturbate and/or post in r/IncelHumiliation, which is not an exaggeration, it's a fact.
They often take pride in making others angry, otherwise known as pathalogical anti-social behaviour.
The person who first formalized the blackpill, Paragon, believed in radical biological essentialism, a prominent alt-right view. Paragon is white, but not knowingly a white nationalist or member of the alt-right as a collective and is thought to be currently living in the Philippines. The first two blackpill boards anywhere were either founded or discussion-seeded by a self-described “neo-reactionary”, i.e. Caamib. Reddit made it clear they would not tolerate that style of incel discussion, and so Braincels was populated next. Braincels was a previously dormant sub founded by a non-racist anarcho-communist named AnathematicAnarchist. The forum espoused a unique version of the blackpill and was not particularly traditionalist or alt-right (outside of slut-shaming). Braincels actively sought to minimize racism in their Reddit community and before AnathematicAnarchist committed suicide, were largely hostile to the alt-right. The lack of racism on Braincels was largely due to continuous bans of alt-right users, presumably mainly to prevent the entire subreddit from being banned but also because the mods were ethnics (one was an Indian Stalinist).
On incels.co, the current largest blackpill community, anywhere between 6% and 27% of users identify as alt-right (95% CI). and 49% identify as traditionalists. Their continued non-banned presence on the forum leads to constant threads complaining about race-baiting, far-right views, and there exists mild but ultimately toothless animosity between “stormfrontcels” and ethnic users. However, many openly racist users have also been banned.
Self-described 'blackpilled' communities
r/truecels was arguably the first blackpill community. The admin promoted removing age of consent laws. Posts in the forum mainly revolved around discouraging incels from dating.
r/incels was a ban evasion of r/truecels and was banned from Reddit for attempting to incite violence against women.
incels.me was a ban evasion of r/incels, and moved to incels.is, then to incels.co, and then back to incels.is. The founder of the forum was under criminal investigation in 2021 for running suicide encouragement/facilitation websites. Incels.me users would often direct incels to the founder's suicide facilitation websites.
Blackpill science is a subreddit devoted to reposting scientific articles with a conclusion that is geared towards discouraging the will to date, particularly the will for incels to date
r/BlackpillFeminism was a subreddit that regularly made posts about killing men, wishing rape on men and castrating male children. It was banned from Reddit on the 18th of June 2020.
The "Blackpill" philosophy is usually attributed to self-described, "incel", men. However this subreddit showed how even women and noncels self-identifed as 'blackpillers'. This subreddit also demonstrated the sociopathy which seems inherent to the blackpill philosophy.
- In short the original blackpill definition is "I'm a virgin because women have freedom"
- Distribution of Tinder users in the United States as of June 2020, by gender. Statista. Retrieved February 5th 2021.
- Percentage of adults in the United States who use Tinder as of April 2020, by gender Statista. Retrieved February 5th, 2021.
- Promiscuous America: Smart, Secular, and Somewhat Less Happy by Nicholas H. Wolfinger (April 18, 2018) Institute for Family Studies.
- Yang, Ting. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886914007132 Preferences for sexual dimorphism on attractiveness levels: An eye-tracking study Personality and Individual Differences. Retrieved February 5th, 2021.
- Penton-Voak, I.S Female preference for male faces changes cyclically: Further evidence Evolution and Human Behavior. Retrieved February 5th, 2021.
- Regan, Pamela Gender differences in characteristics desired in a potential sexual and marriage partner. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality. Retrieved February 5th, 2021.
- Frederick, David. Why Is Muscularity Sexy? Tests of the Fitness Indicator Hypothesis Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Retrieved February 5th, 2021.
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228641949_A_Global_Survey_of_Sexual_Behaviours table 4
- Roger Devlin said this somewhere too
- Vox Day
- Sexual sublimation
- Jake Davison
- Few millimeters of bone
- Jake Davison
- 40 Years Old Virgin... A Black Pilled Story: You Must Watch This! – Bulldog Mindset (April 6, 2019) (Runtime: 75:26 min.)
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