From, the incel encyclopedia
What are basic questions for most may be a reminder for involuntary celibates of their celibacy

Incel is short for involuntary celibacy, which, in turn, is short for involuntary sexual abstinence.

This wiki uses the literal definition of "involuntary sexual abstinence", and mostly ignores appropriated or limiting definitions. Involuntary sexual abstinence is prolonged abstinence from sexual intercourse born from an inability to have socially allowed, consensual sexual intercourse with anyone that you are attracted to.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] In this sense, incel exists across a spectrum. Those who self-identify with the term 'incel', tend to be in involuntary sexual abstinence anywhere from 6 months to decades continuously (post-puberty).

Life during incel

Positive reaction

Some incel people react positively to being involuntarily sexually abstinent. An incel person may be glad they can't have normal sexual relationships, and the narrow set of behaviours and thought patterns often necessary to enter the world of sexual relationships. Over time, an incel person may face less social expectation to have a partner. They then become free to carve out a unique life and personality of their own.

Despite wanting sex, an incel person often accepts their situation, and directs their sex drive in other ways.

If the incel person has a high sex drive, they may be satisfied masturbating, having virtual sex such as cybersex, sexting, or advocating politically for the incel demographic.

Negative reaction

Severe incel is not always enjoyable and often entails multiple negative feelings.

Despair, anger, and envy


Despair can emerge from feeling life was wasted fruitlessly chasing sexual intimacy. Many incel people also feel the tools mainstream society offers for entering sexual relationships are comically ineffective and often exploitative to those experiencing incel. This, in turn, leads to anger often.

These negative feelings can be exaggerated by highly sexualized media, causing involuntary celibates to feel regret and envy about missed or unattainable opportunities for love and sex. Envy often generates hostility towards those who are more successful.

Ostracization, social suppression, social exclusion, and suicide

A feeling of ostracization also occurs in those negatively affected by incel, due to being suppressed and socially excluded by others. For example, the general public mostly favors that allosexual involuntary celibates behave in a completely asexual manner, and that they suppress their sexual feelings towards others. Involuntary celibates are especially discouraged from voicing their sexual concerns, expressing sexual desire, making sexual advances, or complaining about their lack of sexual success.

Involuntary celibates are excluded from relating to the themes of most common music pieces and artwork. They are often excluded from common rights of passage, such as first dates, first kisses, dating, marriage proposals, engagement, marriage, natural reproduction, provision of children, etc. They also have no material reason for the common right of passage of moving out of one's parents house, considering they are not incentivized through geographical expansion of lineage. Geographic relocation for an incel person is often a form of harmful solitary confinement. While living by oneself for decades at a time is not literal solitary confinement, it can mimic what life is like for those in solitary confinement in prison (who are also incel by definition). Such a situation sometimes feels like a "supermaxx prison with internet". Millions of involuntary singles have likely killed themselves due to incel. And there have been many anecdotal reports of incel suicide in self-identified incel Discord chatrooms. Suicide is also common among almost anyone in forced isolation.

The connnection between involuntary sexual abstinence and suicide is not lost on mainstream culture. Mainstream New York Times journalist Gabriel J.X. Dance, spoke on PBS about how involuntary sexual abstinence leads to suicidal thoughts (in some, not all).[11]

Not all of the public is as sympathetic. When pressed, some members of the public will deny to involuntary singles that sex is a need at all, despite a majority of the public rating sex the most pleasurable, joyous, and meaningful regular life experience they have.[12]

Ratings of how pleasurable and meaningful activities are, with sex being rated most highly in all categories (Grimma, Kemp & Jose, 2015)

Women find men who do not have sex less appealing as potential romantic partners or as friends.[13]

Possible physical symptoms

There are many potential negative symptoms of incel, two of which are erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia according to researchers at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute's HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies.[14] An American Journal of Public Health study found that delayed sexual activity, “creates health risks by impeding development of the emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal skills that are crucial to satisfactory sexual functioning and general well-being.”[15]

Incel is often an, "invisible condition". The sociologist Denise Donnelly noted that despite there being numerous known causes of involuntary celibacy, those experiencing incel could have be seen as otherwise normal by social standards. In other words, incel people are not deviants by default.[4]


Main article: Etymology

The word 'celibacy' comes from Latin caelibatus “unmarried state”.[16] Most references to 'involuntary celibacy' in pre-1950s literature were about people socially disallowed from entering marriage contracts. After the 1950s, the term 'involuntary celibacy' became a synonym for "involuntary sexual abstinence", without reference to marriage status.

Those who use the abbreviated term 'incel' without a motive to shame others almost universally share a common definition. They mostly define 'incel' as a life circumstance of involuntary sexual and romantic abstinence born from not being able to find legal, consensual sex and/or romance. This near-universal definition among those who commiserate about a lack of sex or romance contradicts the appropriated, stigmatizing definitions. Specifically those stigmatizing definitions contained in post-2018 Wikipedia articles, criminology/sexology journals, and post-2014 mass media.

French clergyman Antoine Banier

The earliest recorded usage of the term 'involuntary celibacy' was by a French clergyman named, Antoine Banier in 1739. He used the term 'involuntary celibacy' to describe female celibacy born from not receiving a payment for matrimony from a wealthy man's family.[17]

Henry Flynt, Harvard University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts

Henry Flynt giving “The Creep Lecture

The first recorded person to self-identify as being in "involuntary celibacy", using that term verbatim, was the communist economics student, mathematics student, and avant-garde author Henry Flynt. He did this during a public lecture in a common room at Harvard in 1962.

This lecture was called “the Creep lecture”.[note 1] In his lecture, Flynt attempts to understand what constitutes a 'creep', after being called such by a woman at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Flynt related the insult to a broader pattern of sexual rejection throughout his life, what he calls "involuntary celibacy".

While not claiming to define all of involuntary celibacy, a type of incel-experiencer he feels is particularly stigmatized is the incel person who “is shy, unassertive, lacks confidence” and someone who, “from the outside appears to be in a childish state of arrested development”. He went on to say that such a predicament sparked creativity and original thought that “normal people” lacked.

Unlike prior public figures who had only used the term “involuntary celibacy” as a short aside, Flynt elaborated on a portion of the concept for an entire lecture. Flynt also went into a long diatribe about how he thinks women are highly uniform, conformist, and social policing drones, unlike, in his view, male “creeps”. His usage of the term is similar to how it is used in highly publicized incel forums. As such, Flynt is sometimes referenced as the person who coined the term “involuntary celibacy”. Especially by those who think of incel as a collection of communities selectively critical of women and society.[18][19][20]

Brief history of the incelosphere

Main article: Incelosphere Timeline

The incelosphere consists of all communities and websites which are positively focused on involuntary sexual abstinence. Unlike the history of incel, the history of the incelosphere is easier to quantify.

For the sake of brevity, this section is truncated by leaving out forums which focus on involuntary sexual abstinence but don't self-identify with the literal word 'incel'. For a broader history see Incelosphere Timeline.

Pre-internet grievance spaces and matchmaking groups

Prior to the internet, there were some IRL grievance spaces and matchmaking groups focused on alleviating involuntary sexual abstinence, and this part of the incelosphere encompasses thousands of years.

(needs to be filled out)

Alana Boltwood

A Usenet user named, “Alana Boltwood”, became interested in the subject of involuntary celibacy after being approached by a fellow Carlton University student who was complaining about not being able find a sexual partner. At this time, Alana sympathized with the student, as she was also having similar problems dating in college. After leaving college and reflecting on the encounter, Alana began thinking about starting a website for people having dating issues. After leaving college, and before starting the website, Alana was already successfully dating, (contrary to media reports) but wanted to help others who had issues she had experienced years prior, during college. She started a website called Alana's Involuntary Celibacy Project with the intention of inspiring academics to look into the topic of involuntary celibacy. Media conflicts over whether Alana started this website during 1993 or 1997. However Alana herself has stated that she started the website was 1997 and not 1993, while acknowledging the 1993 date as fake news.[21] This means Alana almost certainly started the website years after leaving Carlton University, contrary to many claims in the media and on Wikipedia, despite authoring her site on a Carlton University domain.

Alana's website coined the term, “INCVEL”, which she called a movement and a life circumstance not requiring self-identification. She compared her idea of an invcel/incel movement to the gay liberation movement, and wrote on her website that both almost parallel each other. She stated that both involuntary virgins and the first gay rights activists were unfairly stigmatized as inspiring violent murderers, and that the early stigma of both movements was very similar in general.[22]

Alana notably claimed that the term “involuntary celibacy” had no definition, but implied one could draw out the edges of the definition from intuition, which Alana tried, listing at least 15 different ways one could be incel.[23] However, she did state that involuntary celibacy could be best divided into two camps: married incels and single incels.

Starting in 1997, Alana's website linked to a mailing list Alana ran, where “invcel” was later changed to “incel” at the suggestion of someone in the mailing list she created as it was easier to pronounce and did not sound as much like, “imbecile”.[24] Alana, like Flynt, is also sometimes referenced as the person who coined the term “involuntary celibacy”.

Academic study of self-described incel people was first done in the Donnelly Study in 2001, through polling the members of Alana's email listserv. This study defined incel as not being able to find a romantic or sexual partner for 6 months or more. And added an addendum that self-identification is an easier barometer of incel status than trying to poll the population at large for involuntary sexual abstinence.

6 month definition

The website started in 2003 and defined incel as 6 months of more of not being able to find a sexual partner, involuntarily. They did not limit the term to any particular gender, and both women and men were allowed on a bulletin board they later started on the website. The bulletin board had a brief radical period, when the admin was Rammspieler, but outside of that time period, was much less radical.

This 6 month metric definition is still in use in some incel spaces, and there remains disagreement about whether this definition is appropriate due to many conceivable loopholes.

Incel commentators such as Naama Katz[25] have asserted that a 6 month metric is too short for a good faith definition of "hard up", as she claims this metric would pathologize teenagers not having sex with each other, which she implies would be a bad thing.

Lee, Cernan,,

Emphasis on romance

Lee, a former administrator of Alana's listserv, started an informational website and bulletin board called in 2004. Their site definition of incel emphasized a lack of romance more so than just a lack of sex. Lee linked the mailing list Alana created on The mailing list was now ran separately from the main bulletin board by whoever operated a computer hardware store in Quebec, Canada called Saturnus.[26][27]

A screenshot of the popular forum from 2007

Later, Cernan, a Canadian resident, started the online bulletin board in 2006 as a place for people of all identities and genders to commiserate about not being able to find a sexual or romantic partner. Both and were feminist forums, and applied the term 'incel' to anyone who was involuntarily sexually abstinent, including those outside online attitudes/communities/cultures etc. Their usage of the term 'incel' was clinical, sometimes speaking of it as an under-recognized medical condition or sexual orientation.

Circumstantial rather than genetic

Both forums defined the term as a "life condition", although the debates over whether the condition was genetic or purely circumstantial eventually tore the forum apart.

After this drama, started in 2008, where those who argued incel was more circumstantial than genetic took up adminship. Those who argued incel was more genetic started a much smaller forum called Involuntary Celibacy Acceptance and Management.

Bargh9, Caamib, Braincels, Vcelguy and Lamarcus Small

A PSL forum user of Indian descent named Bargh9 created the subreddit r/truecels in 2016. The subreddit's main moderator was a Croatian and user named Caamib. Caamib used word 'incel' mainly to refer to celibate men who have the potential to acquire material resources, but who are, "too moral to use seduction tactics". Caamib believed that feminism, female promiscuity, and liberalism had reduced men decent, intelligent men to sexlessness.[28][29] The subreddit contained appreciation of the wealthy serial killer incel Elliot Rodger and sometimes advocated lowering the age of consent. After this subreddit was banned, Caamib set up a ban evasion at r/incels. This subreddit also focused on only male incels. After r/incels was banned, ban evasions were set up at Braincels,,, among other places.

Braincels,, and defined incel as a life circumstance of being involuntarily without romance. They believed the definition could, in theory, apply to women. However, in their view, female involuntary celibacy was virtually impossible due to the wide scope of romantic choice so many young women have. Unlike the initial intention of r/incels and r/truecels, these newer forums tended to view incel people as "genetically subhuman", rather than 'decent' men unfairly selected out., a bulletin board used as a real-time, public chat room, had suffered many deplatforming attempts, and former dubstep artist and Linux server administrator Lamarcus Small was the man who kept the forum online for many years and to this day. Vcelguy, an alleged Ukrainian resident, did the same with his more traditional bulletin board Much of the censorship of came from rather than the general public, as very much wanted a monopoly over the incel space outside of major social media.

Criminology/sexology journals, CVE organizations, Wikipedia, and digital journalism

Being absent on the incel topic for almost 20 years of self-identified incel people (1997-2016), these sources latched onto incel people in 2016. In an erasing and stigmatizing fashion, they often limit the scope of incel study to only after 2016, and study the most unhealthy communities during that time period. Such sources often give a brief aside about Alana, but fully ignore Cernan and Lee's very popular forums, which lasted for longer than the forums they are currently studying. They also appropriate the incel term from both older and newer online communities, by ignoring that the term has virtually always been used by the communities to refer to anyone who is involuntarily sexually abstinent.

These sources tend to call 'incel' an identity, loose subculture, or highly organized group. They often try to paint "incel" as an extreme, misogynistic and entitled coalition of men, members of which occasionally commit mass murder. In a contradictory fashion, said sources also occasionally refer to non-misogynistic women as incels. Additionally, the identity and loose subculture definitions contradict the organized group definitions. The contradictory and opportunistic nature of these incel definitions are contextual to the professional and monetary incentives these self-described professionals individually have. For example, criminologists more often claim that incel people are highly organized, while gender studies claims they are not, and that it constitutes a loose subculture.

Contrary to perceptions in these sources, non-self-identified involuntary celibates, and even self-identified involuntary celibates do not share belief systems as a rule. Any large scale activism by involuntary celibates as a group would have to face the (so far unbroken) obstacle that most involuntarily celibate men do not want to publicly identify as such, along with the inherent embarrassment of advocating on behalf of a low-status group. As such obstacles haven't yet been broken, incel people are not currently represented much politically, and aside from a few exceptions, almost all of their communities are online.

Many mass murders have been improperly blamed by these sources on "incel forums". Elliot Rodger and Alek Minassian both are presented by the media as radicalized by self-described incel forums. Elliot and Alek used PUAhate and 4chan respectively. Neither PUAhate nor 4chan ever self-identified as incel forums, even though some incel people use or used those sites.

Bucking the overall media trend of defining incel in vague, stigmatizing ways, some modern academics have started returning to the non-appropriated incel definitions found in academia prior to 2014. Such modern academics returning to the non-appropriated 'incel' definition include Khandis Blake, Menelaos Apostolou, and Stefan Stijelja. All three of whom use terms such as 'incel', 'involuntary celibacy', or 'involuntary single' to refer to anyone who fits the literal meaning of those words, and where the presence of a subculture/ideology/attitude, etc is not a necessary condition for who 'incel' applies to.

First lexicographic recognition

The term 'incel' became first lexicographically recognized in 2018, where it was defined as a life circumstance.[30]

Алексей Поднебесный, hippiepill, and vaginocapitalist theory

During the time Алексей Поднебесный self-identified as an incel, he had more articles written about him than perhaps any self-identified incel at that time or since. All the articles are Russian language, and so they have not gained much attention in the West. Алексей became notorious and loved for his local environmental and anti-corruption activism. Later in life, he became an incel person activist, and started two self-described incel forums, including and (both now defunct). He also ran many blogs about incel and his anti-feminism. Unlike Lamarcus Small's forum, Алексей argued that social conservatives in the 1980s created incels, due to abstinence only education programs and fearmongering about sex (this argument is sometimes called the hippiepill).

He also popularized the term 'vaginocapitalist theory'. This theory states that most women conspire with each other (usually unconsciously) to avoid naturally pleasurable heterosexual acts of sex, in order to extract wealth from men. This is not an original theory however, having previously been articulated by the early socialist Mary Marcy, as well as the academic Roy Baumeister. and was an Incel Wiki that started in early 2018, after a Wikipedia admin attempted to push the narrative on Wikipedia that incel was a subculture rather than a life circumstance. This Wikipedia admin primarily used a 2018 statement by an assistant professor of subcultures study as justification for her incel definition. She also stated she was pushing an alternative definition due to herself being an incel denialist. Her effort on the Wikipedia page was influential as the page has been ranked #1 and #2 on Google for over 5 years. had issue with this 'subculture' definition, and as a direct response to this Wikipedia admin and the professor she cited, built their wiki to emphasize that virtually all incel forums in the past and present define the term as a life circumstance, not guarded by ideology, but instead interpretations over common, definitional words. For example, while blackpillers guard who is blackpill, even blackpillers don't guard who is incel based on 'blackpill' status. But incel people will sometimes gate-keep over differences of analysis of the word 'involuntary'. changed domain names a few times, and the original authors and creators of that moved to, and later, here.

Non-subcultural 'incel' gatekeeping

Semantic arguments

The only 'incel' gatekeeping that revolves around philosophy has to do with semantic arguments of what "involuntary", or "inability", means, rather than anything that resembles a universal incel cultural exclusivity. Much in the same way gay people don't have universal, cultural exclusivity.

The infighting over whether to include love-shys in incel forums mainly hinges on the meaning of the word, “involuntary”, and whether, “involuntary”, means, “against personal choice”, or, “against conscious will”. However, in different contexts, the word, “involuntary”, can mean either, and both are different experiences.

Sex frequency ambiguity

Within incel forums, gatekeeping about who counts as experiencing incel is common. This is usually not due to subcultural gatekeeping, but rather because of the fact that it is impossible to know

  1. the degree to which someone wants to date
  2. if someone is honest about their sexual activity

Demographics of human incel

Main article: Demographics


Less than 1% of men are asexual,[31][32] roughly 96% of single men would prefer to be in a sexual relationship,[33] and the vast majority of young adult men accept random invitations to sex.[34] Therefore, most young adult men who don't have sex for months at a time are probably incel by the definition given in the Donnelly Study.

15-30% of 18-30 year old American men haven't had sex within the last year. The same CDC report says that 10% of American men age 24 report having no sexual experience at all. In Japan, a more extreme case: 25% of men over the age of 30 are virgins.[35] It's thus possible, then, that most 30-year old American or Japanese men have an incel person male acquaintance, even if that acquaintance doesn't personally identify as such.


While not sharing an overarching ideology, male celibates in the USA have trended liberal over time

Involuntary celibates are politically diverse.[36] Some believe in personalitist-exclusive beliefs. Others believe in the purplepill, blackpill, or the redpill, while others do not subscribe to any pills, or even any philosophies. The most common shared beliefs among modern, incel forum users is the belief that most female celibates are voluntarily so, because of the very high sex drive of young men.


8 attendees of a male incel meetup

Incel forum users are racially and ethnically diverse, especially relative to the overall racial demographics of the larger parent (or former-parent) social media platform. Passing implications by some media that incel forums are unusually white have not found much support in academic studies and forum surveys. Academic studies will sometimes explicitly criticize media coverage for exaggerating the white demographics of incel forums.

Polls of Braincels and a blackpill forum showed that whites constituted a low percentage of users when compared to demographics of all users on Reddit at-large. On these particular forums, East Asians and Indians are over-represented among Americans (see Demographics - § Race).

Mental health

Facts gleaned about surveyed incel forum users include:

  • 78% suffer from extreme sadness, anxiety, and stress.
  • 82% have considered suicide.
  • 62% have considered surgery to improve their looks.
  • 77% report being a healthy weight or underweight (only 23% report being overweight, which is far less than the general American population average).
  • 57% report receiving a medical diagnosis labeling them as non-neurotypical or as having a physical disability that impairs their normal daily functions.

Existing websites about incel

Main article: List of incel forums
Small cross-section of incel related forums and websites

There is a loosely connected set of websites devoted to incel, not all of which use incel terminology or portray themselves as “incel forums”. Those who visit these sites are affectionately referred to as engaging in "cybercelospherianism" or exploring the world of celibates contained in the cybersphere.

Participants of 2022, Xenforo incel forums are unrepresentative of involuntary celibates as a whole, as the vast majority of involuntary celibates do not participate in these forums. For example, there are millions of American men over the age of 35 with no sexual experience, a large portion of which could be described as “involuntarily celibate”, but no incel forum comes close to reaching this membership. This is for several reasons, but the largest one is probably popular portrayal of involuntary celibates as extremely violent and misogynistic.

Incel forum users constitute the segment of involuntary celibates sociable enough to have a proclivity for joining these online communities and choose to do so despite often strong negative sentiments against them. This also means these forums select for the portion of involuntary celibates that happen to fit popular media stereotypes, and this further skews activity inside them.

Academic recognition

Main article: Incelology

Anglo-American academia

The term incel entered academia as a sociological term describing a life circumstance after a study of members of the self-described incel mailing list Alana had on her website. This study was primarily authored by the sociologists Denise Donnelly and Elizabeth Burgess and was published in The Journal of Sex Research. It was subsequently cited in academia over a dozen times.[4] In this 2001 peer-reviewed paper studying an incel person listserv and involuntary celibacy in general, an involuntary celibate was defined as someone who wishes to have sex but has not been able to find a willing partner in the past six months.

Later the term was defined as a culture-less life circumstance in a family encyclopedia,[5] in University of California Press by author and sociologist Laura Carpenter,[37] and in InterVarsity Press by Professor of Anthropology Jenell Williams.[38]

In 2001 Elizabeth Abbott, Dean of Women at Trinity College at University of Toronto, wrote the book, “A History of Celibacy”, which devoted a chapter to involuntary celibacy, and took it seriously as a culture-less life circumstance. The term “involuntary celibacy” was used verbatim, as well as “coerced celibacy”.[39] In the chapter, Abbott included various groups of people as involuntarily celibate, including:

  • Those in prison
  • Those without access to birth control
  • Those without the money to have a child
  • Women whose families lacked money for the dowries required by their society
  • People who would lose their jobs if they were known to be sexually active (for example, apprentices and journeymen in certain trades in Medieval Europe, or certain Western domestic servant or educator positions prior to the past century)

The term is also in peer-reviewed sociological journals to describe people in sexless marriages or other relationships who wish to be sexually active.[8][40]


Main article: Love-shy
Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin

Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin[41] was a professor of psychology at Humboldt State University and Montana State University who published two books about what he called, “love-shyness”. He defined love-shyness as fear-based incel. In 1987, he argued for love-shyness to be treated as a medical condition and for society to take it more seriously. Before his death, he used the terms “incel” and “love-shy” interchangeably as can be seen in a recovered clip from the abandoned “incel Project” documentary.[42]

Brian's work, although it sometimes contained pseudoscience (such as using Zodiac references as if they actually pertain to reality), was deemed valuable enough to be reviewed by contemporary psychologists in peer-reviewed academic journals at least twice. In addition, Gilmartin's last book, The Shy Man Syndrome, had a foreword by E. Michael Gutman, President of the Florida Psychological Society 1988–1989.[43][44][45]

While Brian is not known to have attempted to erase female involuntary celibacy, he focused almost exclusively on male 'love-shys' in his research and writing. His hyperfocus on gynophobia over androphobia and men over women in general has been criticised.

German studies

In 2000, Beate Küpper wrote a psychology dissertation called, “Are singles different from the others?: a comparison of singles and couples”, exploring the causes of “involuntary singles” as opposed to “voluntary singles”.[46] In 2002, she later published her work in a book under an academic publisher with the name, “Are singles different? A Comparison of Singles and Couples Series: Focal Points of Personality”.[47]

In 2004, Tectum Verlag, a German academic book publisher published Olaf Wickenhöfer's study of “involuntary single[s]” called “Unwillingly Single: A study on the history of socialization and everyday cultural practice”, citing Donnelly, Burgess, Gilmartin, and Küpper, as well as his own study.[48]


Involuntary celibacy is not at this moment officially recognized by a major psychological or psychiatric institution as a medical or psychological disability or disorder. But involuntarily celibates who have been studied were found to be likely to have had unusual life circumstances. The Journal of Sex Research notes that celibate men are more likely to have been conceived later in their parents life than the general population and are more likely to be lower class and unemployed. The involuntarily celibate men they studied tended to work in sex-segregated jobs, had more education than involuntarily celibate women, and followed particularly masculine life trajectories to a degree that it hindered their ability to meet women. Involuntarily celibate women were also found to follow life trajectories particularly close to feminine gender roles.[4] At the end of a study documented in the Journal of Sexology and the Sexuality and Society Reader, the researchers concluded that there had not yet been enough research done on involuntary celibacy and incel people to fully understand them, writing, “Until the phenomena of involuntary celibacy has been fully investigated, and the results disseminated, it will remain a taboo topic, cloaked in mystery and ignorance, and an untold number of persons will continue to suffer in silence and isolation”.[49]


There are many potential causes of incel. Sometimes, one or more of these causes of incel can be exacerbated by government or society.

Avoidant/mental related causes of incel

  • Fear of intimacy (termed "love-shyness" when it prevents partnership)
    • Sexual aversion
    • Sexual anxiety / Sex-shy / Genophobia[50] / Sexual Anorexia
    • Gynophobia / Androphobia
    • Avoidant personality / avoidant attachment style
    • Literal love anxiety
      • Love anorexia (loss of love appetite due to love anxiety)
  • Love disregard
    • Misanthropy
      • Love aversion
    • Love ambivalence
  • Fear of rejection
  • Self-hatred[51]
  • Artificially-induced:
    • Post-SRI permanent sexual and amorous anhedonia (PSSD)

Rejection related causes of incel

  • Sexual rejection
    • Unappealing personality for your current location
    • Unappealing looks for your current location
    • Cockblocking Societal Disorder / Clamjamming Societal Disorder
    • Lack of Free Brothels Societal Disorder
    • Lack of Sharing Basic Resources Societal Disorder
    • Lack of Females Appreciating Non-Masculine Men Societal Disorder
    • Too Much Religion Societal Disorder
  • Romantic rejection
    • Unappealing personality
    • Unappealing looks
    • Lack of Resource Distribution Societal Disorder

Pairbonding related causes of incel

  • Being under a monogamous contract where the other partner won't 'put out'

Hippie related causes of incel

  • "The odd one out" (in orgies without doublestuffing)

Physical related causes of incel

  • Vaginal agenesis
  • Vaginismus[52]
  • Endometriosis[53]
  • Aphallia
  • Genital mutiliation
  • Dyspareunia[54]
  • Dysautonomia / Over-active nervous system
  • Terminal illness[55]
  • Erectile dysfunction (Peyronie’s disease etc)[56]
  • Post-orgasmic illness syndrome
  • Chrohn's Disease[57]

Forced celibacy

Sexlessness is often deliberately forced, to prevent pre-marital sex, to mate guard, to protect minors, to punish criminals,[58][59] to create an alternative to the death penalty,[60] to prevent easy access to sex,[61] and to reserve sex only for individuals deemed 'competent' or 'fit' for sex.[59][62] Incel has also been created in non-human animals for the purpose of population control.[63]

Prisons and psych wards

Prison inmates in many prisons are banned from having sex with other inmates, banned from sex with guards,[64] banned from masturbation, and often banned from conjugal visits.

In psychiatric hospitals, the situation is more severe, as everything sexual banned in prisons is also often banned in psych wards, with the addition of no conjugal visits ever.

There exist exceptions in some prisons and mental hospitals, but such exceptions are usually under-the-table, and rarely allowed or discussed.

Illegal sexual preferences

Incel forums have been bombarded with people whose sexuality is primarily pedophilic, hebophilic, ephebophilic, or zoophilic. Depending on the country, such people cannot have sex with those they are attracted to, in order to protect the mental or physical health of minors or animals. The originator of the term 'incel', "Alana", almost predicted such a thing would happen. In 1997, she included minor attracted persons and other sexual deviants in the original online definition of 'incel'.

As of 2022, and partly due to mainstream websites banning incel discussions, self-described incel forums have become more taboo in nature. While not all incel people are minor attracted or zoophilic, or even respect pedophiles/zoophiles, the largest incel forums now contain a small majority of minor attracted persons.

By declaring sexual deviants incel, the point isn't that their incel should be alleviated or that they are entitled to sex, but to simply state that they want sex and are unable to have it. Outside of minor attracted persons and zoophiles, this wiki advocates for alleviating incel. There is no reason for us to encourage illegal sexual activity as such things would likely harm minors or animals.

Groups servicing incel

Among humans in English speaking countries, sexualized media is commonplace, but sex itself is mostly taboo. Asking strangers for sex, having sex around strangers, being nude around strangers, and direct sale of sex are all highly punished. Despite this, there exist some organizations which try to legally alleviate incel for those negatively effected. Such organizations include the International Professional Surrogates Association for sex/gender phobias, fashion/workout businesses for presentation, plastic surgery groups for deformities, and some offline matchmaking businesses.

Similar terms

There are many near-synonyms of the term incel. For the mass noun version of synonyms, click on synonyms of incel. For gender-specific words see malecel or femcel. Near-synonyms of incel include:


See also

External links


  1. later published in full in the 1975 book, Blueprint for a Higher Civilization.


  1. Henry G. Spooner (1916) "The American Journal of Urology and Sexology", Grafton Press, pages=249 (
  2. Denis L Meadows (1973) "The dynamics of growth in a finite world: A technical report on the global simulation model World 3", Thayer School of Engineering, Darmouth College (
  3. Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo (1946) "Aftermath of Peace: Psychological Essays", International Universities Press (
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Donnelly, Denise; Burgess, Elisabeth; Anderson, Sally; Davis, Regina; Dillard, Joy (2001). "Involuntary Celibacy: A life course analysis" The Journal of Sex Research. 38 (2): 159–169. doi:10.1080/00224490109552083. S2CID 143447476. Archived from the original on 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Shehan, Constance L., ed (February 29, 2016). "Celibacy". The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies. 1. John Wiley & Sons. p. 238. ISBN 9780470658451.
  6. Carpenter, Laura M. (2010). "Gendered Sexuality Over the Life Course: A Conceptual Framework". Sociological Perspectives. University of California Press. 53 (2): 155–178. doi:10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155. JSTOR 10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155
  7. Harvey, John H.; Wenzel, Amy; Sprecher, Susan, eds. (2004). The Handbook of Sexuality in Close Relationships. Mahwah, New Jersey: Taylor & Francis. p. 900. ISBN 9781135624699. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Strong, Bryan; Cohen, Theodore (2013). The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. Belmont, California: Cengage Learning. p. 50. ISBN 1133597467. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  12. Grimm C, Kemp S, Jose PE. 2014. Orientations to happiness and the experience of everyday activities. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 10(3): 207-218. Abstract FullText
  13. Parker J, Burkley M. 2009. Who’s chasing whom? The impact of gender and relationship status on mate poaching. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 45(4): 1016-1019. Abstract
  14. Dan Childs: Losing Virginity Later Linked to Sexual Problems[archived June 22, 2017], ABC News on February 19, 2009
  15. Gina Tron: The Cost of Losing Your Virginity Late, Vice on December 21, 2016
  16. Online Etymology Dictionary: celibacy (n.)
  21. Alana - Incels and Love Not Anger - Full Interview
  37. Carpenter, Laura M. (2010). “Gendered Sexuality over the Life Course: A Conceptual Framework”. Sociological Perspectives. University of California Press. 53 (2): 155–178. “JSTOR” 10.1525/sop.2010.53.2.155
  38. Paris, Jenell Williams (2011). The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. pp. 132–133. ISBN 083086850X. Retrieved 2015-12-30
  39. Book: A History of Celibacy, Elizabeth Abbot, Da Capo Press, New York, 2001, chapter: Coerced Celibacy: Involuntary Celibacy, pages:303-337, ISBN 0-306-81041-7
  40. Harvey, John H.; Wenzel, Amy; Sprecher, Susan, eds. (2004). The Handbook of Sexuality in Close Relationships. Mahwah, New Jersey: Taylor & Francis. p. 900. ISBN 978-1135624699. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  41. Obituary: Brian G. Gilmartin, Havre Daily News on October 21, 2016
  43. Elizabeth Rice Allgeier (1988). Book Review: "Shyness & Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment". Journal of Sex Research 25 (2): 309–315. doi: 10.1080/00224498809551463
  44. Jonathan M. Cheek (1989) "Contemporary Psychology": APA Review of Books, 1989, Vol 34(8), 791–792
  47. Single-Generation: Beate Küpper
  48. Single-Generation: Thema des Monats - Menschen ohne Beziehungserfahrung
  49. Donnelly, Denise; Burgess, Elisabeth; Anderson, Sally; Davis, Regina; Dillard, Joy (2001). "Involuntary Celibacy: A life course analysis". The Journal of Sex Research. 38 (2): 270. doi:10.1080/00224490109552083. S2CID 143447476. Archived from the original on 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  54. Human Sexual Inadequacy by Masters and Johnson page 259
  57. Moody, G. A., & Mayberry, J. F. (1993). Perceived Sexual Dysfunction amongst Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Digestion, 54(4), 256–260. doi:10.1159/000201046
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