This may not be news to college students, but some people remain sexually inactive through no choice of their own. A desire for sex exists, but no prospects do. There's a term for people who can't get laid: involuntary celibacy, or 'incel.' A longer definition explains: “Involuntary celibacy is chronic near-total or total absence in a person's intimate relationships or sexual intercourse that is occurring for reasons other than voluntary celibacy, asexuality, antisexualism or sexual abstinence.” I think we can all remember that person on our floor freshman year that was involuntarily celibate, no matter how hard he or she tried.
But incel is not something to be taken lightly. Newscaster Christine Chubbock committed suicide live on air in 1974, and it was believed that incel was a root reason. As a 30-year-old virgin, she'd suffered unrequited crushes and severe depression.
Chubbock's case is rare because most people don't take their own lives, and inceldom usually afflicts men more than women.- Just searching the web returns many forums and blogs dedicated to the incel man's plight. After scouring a few, these men range from misogynistic to clueless. A few showed a sense of entitlement; they felt they expected all women to say yes. Others I pitied for the way women had allegedly treated them. Being excessively rude during a rejection just makes it worse. But the most interesting article regarding inceldom was from the Huffington Post. One man pleaded for a governmental program aiding incel men. Completely implausible and ludicrous, right?
This man suggested the government facilitate a program where women are paid monetarily to date incel men. “Women would freely apply for such program, as would incel men. Every woman would have a limit of 30 dates,” the blog explains. “If she doesn't find a suitable partner during those 30 days she will be fired to prevent scammers - however, she would be paid the full sum, as would a woman who finds a partner during one of these 30 dates.”
Whether you think this is an excellent or unfathomable idea, it has major flaws. What about gay men or women? It will inevitably attract some women with only financial motivation. How do men feel knowing women are being paid to date them? Would that not lower self-esteem even more?- It objectifies women, and forces the government to foot the bill. An outcry over how tax dollars are being spent on partial hookers would ensue. Knowing the government struggles to pay for the current entitlement programs guarantees this won't take shape anytime soon, or ever.
For those of you who would never need the government to pay your date, you might ask, what causes someone to be incel? Well, posters on the forums say lack of a job, unattractiveness, shyness and/or constant rejection stunts their sex life. Mayo Clinic asserts being incel can be caused by, and contribute to, low self-esteem and severe depression. Victims may also suffer from the inability to approach potential partners and build relationships. When people consistently fail to enter into a relationship, disregarding sex, it can cause some heavy blows to the ego. Unfortunately, society depicts the happy life as one we share intimately with another person. It fails to capitalize how being single can also bring enjoyment.
Luckily, there's a solution to being incel. People CAN reach happiness without sex. Dennis Sugrue, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School, asserts that people can actually reach the biochemical effects of sex through masturbation. Reaching orgasm, even through self-stimulation, gives a natural high, can boost your immune system and even help you cope with pain (the pain of being incel).
So, whether you are celibate voluntarily or involuntarily, you still can lead a fulfilling life. Do not act as irrationally as Christine Chubbock did. While it can feel like everyone around us is hooking up, there are plenty who find contentment in other facets of life. Don't get hung up on sex, whether you're having it or not.