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What is Involuntary Celibate?

An Involuntary Celibate, is a person who desires a romantic or sexual relationships but has difficulty forming them despite their desire.

The term Involuntary Celibate, was created by a woman named Alana in the late 1990s. She was then in her mid-20s, had just begun dating, and started a website for lonely people who were well into adulthood and were unable to find love or sexual partners. The forum was initially a positive space where like-minded people would visit to discuss their loneliness.

Alana left the community and as the years progressed the label was co-opted by lonely young men with body image and self-esteem issues who believed they were denied sexual and romantic partners by society – and that women were to blame. Now, within the incel online communities, women are heavily stereotyped, objectified and dehumanised with some incel forums and websites condoning sexual and physical violence towards women.

Involuntary Celibate Stereotypes

  • Heterosexual men who blame women and society for their lack of romantic success
  • A subset of the online misogynist “manosphere” that includes Pick Up Artists and Men’s Rights Activists, known for their deep-seated pessimism and profound sense of grievance against women
  • The ideology is rooted in the belief that women have too much power in the sexual/romantic sphere and ruin incels’ lives by rejecting them
  • The most violent sector of the manosphere, and have perpetrated a range of deadly attacks against women

Incels have created a unique lexicon used to describe a range of things such as ideologies, race, gender and the phrases are often derogatory in origin and are used to describe people of different genders and race

  • AWALT – ‘All Women Are Like That’ – this is used to generalise women in a negative way.
  • Beta – This is used to describe a man who is physically or mentally weak and is the opposite of an ‘alpha male’.
  • Betabuxx – The term is used to describe a man who finds a partner. However, incels believe that the man is financially supporting the woman whilst she finds sexual fulfilment elsewhere, usually with a ‘Chad’.
  • Blackpill – Blackpill is the nihilistic viewpoint that men are systemically oppressed, and think that the only solution to overcome this would be by a drastic change of the society we live in through violent means.
  • Chad – Chad is used to describe a man who is handsome, intelligent and charismatic. Chads are ultimately the opposites of incels and can be admired and loathed in some circles.
  • Cope – Another nihilistic ideology. Cope is used to describe people who work to improve themselves by dieting or exercising for example. The idea is that all this is a way to ‘cope’ with their situation and is a temporary fix.
  • Cuck – The term was not created by incels, but cuck is an abbreviation of the word cuckold which is used to describe a the husband of an adulterous wife.
  • Currycel – This is used to describe incels of south Asian descent.
  • Fakecel – Used to describe an incel who has had sex.
  • Femoid – A term used to describe women.
  • Gymcel – An incel who uses exercise and the gym to ‘cope’.
  • Heightcel – An incel who is involuntary celibate because they are short.
  • Ricecel- A word used to describe incels of east Asian descent.
  • Stacey – A Stacey is an unintelligent, attractive and promiscuous woman. Memes in incel circles often depict a Stacey and Chad in a relationship together.
  • Tyrone – A term used to describe a black ‘Chad’. Memes usually depict a Tyrone as a racist caricature.

Eric Foster: Incel Behaviours | Hollyoaks

Verity attempted to help Eric settle into the village by convincing him to befriend Romeo Nightingale. Romeo believed that Eric had feelings for Maxine Minniver and he and Theresa McQueen set them up on a date, but Eric turned nasty. He then began targeting Maxine and posting his misogynistic thoughts to forum site Men First. After an argument with his employer Sally St. Claire, Eric exploded and trashed the school corridor, resulting in his firing. He then began working at The Love Boat, spiking the drinks of several women. Maxine suspected him of being the spiker and caught him out when she made him drink a drink he had spiked, but nobody believed her.

After Verity’s death in December 2022, Eric began to significantly spiral. Learning that Verity’s fiancée Shaq Qureshi had shared a kiss with Peri Lomax, and that Nancy’s late sister Becca Dean had an affair with a student (which Nancy tried to excuse), he began plotting drastic action. He purchased a weapon and after finding Maxine searching his caravan for evidence, he locked her in and drove away with the caravan attached. Trapping Maxine in his family’s old holiday home, Eric returned to The Dog in the Pond during Verity’s wake – armed with a crossbow – and shot Tony’s wife Diane Hutchinson before holding the attendees hostage. Armed police eventually stormed the pub and Eric was shot, surviving as the bullet missed when Maxine tripped him over.