Step Your Dick Up: Why incels deserve better advice

William Costello
13 min readAug 6, 2020

Men who can’t get sex are seen as losers

We hear a lot about double standards between female and male sexual behaviour. Women who have a lot of sex are often slut shamed, while men who have lots of sex are seen as ‘studs.’ What is often ignored however, is how true the exact inverse of this is. Men who cannot get sex are seen as losers and lampooned as members of the most derided group in society…incels.

Meanwhile, perpetually single women are celebrated in society and we lament the lack of good men out there. Examples of this include the 2019 Psychology Today article, Are There Not Enough Men Worth Marrying? and the NY Post article, ‘Broke Men Are Hurting American Women’s Marriage Prospects. Not to mention the media love in for ‘self partnered’ Emma Watson.

However, it may well be true about the mismatch between what women want and what men are offering. This supply and demand problem is of course the difference in the way we perceive the two groups. Choosy women are not involuntary in their ‘celibacy’. It seems that women have tough choices… but incels have no choices.

This essay is not so much an exploration of what we say ‘about’ incels, but rather what we say ‘to’ incels.

I aim to explore,

  • Who are the incels and do they deserve such disdain?
  • What is the plight of an incel?
  • Why the advice given to incels is useless
  • Why we simultaneously hate incels for giving up and for trying to better themselves

Who are the incels?

This definition of incel is not one I would agree with entirely. It is however, the top definition on Urban Dictionary and highlights the way in which incels are seen in society

It’s important we know who we are talking about when we use the term incel. The definition used in the image above is not one I fully subscribe to, although it is the top definition in Urban Dictionary and gives an idea of how incels are seen in society. An incel, or involuntarily celibate, is someone forges a sense of identity around their inability to access sex or relationships. The term has almost become bastardised beyond a useful concept as it exists as a mere insult to many. It is insufficient to use a time metric definition of e.g. six months because there is a difference in character between someone who defines…

William Costello

Psychology PhD Student University of Texas at Austin. MSc Psychology, Culture and Evolution from Brunel University London 2020/21. Bylines: Areo and Quillette.