Ok, so. The post I promised you next, some photographic art, isn't quite ready. So you're in for a bombastic Lawrence Sterne sentence length rant from my son Fry. If you ever wondered why he chose the name Fry, its the pizza delivery boy from Futurama. He felt that was sort of him. Of course, I'm his mother, I think he's so much more than Fry (even though, quietly, Fry is a much more important character than it would seem).
I was stuck for a picture to use to illustrate this post, you'll see why when you get reading - there is no one item, or one person, that can sum up this subject. So I ended up picking some references I hope most of you will get: hapless wannabe player Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory. (This isn't Fry at all, by the way, too shy! But it is the subject matter.) And Hank from Californication...if you've seen it, you can't help but love him - and more importantly, want to BE him...read on.
Because Fry's shy to the point of rudeness (and he knows it), people often don't see the wordy analytical self you're about to be subjected to. Like me, he does his best talking by writing. He usually writes and commentates on sports blogs and sites and enjoys arguing with and taming trolls, but I, you know, made him write for my Guest Season here...so, this upcoming post is both my pride and my fault!
It discusses something many men are going to completely 100% empathize with; and which many women are going to get teeth jarringly irritated by. I think Fry has a brilliant voice, dense, wordy and angry yet strangely mellow. I wish more people could hear him talk on a range of subjects like I do. I wish he would give in and just...be a writer. And lest you think I never get subjected to the subject below, at length...<throws up hands> I so do!!
(No idea how a son of mine managed to grow up this far and be so sexist in places...I apologize to all women readers for the dishwasher comment coming up! Then again, I'm one of the people who hates the existence of The Game, whilst I've been known to touch on it myself when needed, without knowing it was what I was doing. As he defines me, I am Pool B. You'll see what that is.)
Please enjoy Fry. The Inimitable Fry. Look inside his head and...well, I'm not going to tell you how to react, I'm going to get out of the way and let him talk...
The Incel Experience
“I didn’t want to write this book. In fact, it’s something I thought I’d never do. I am as embarrassed to write this as you may be to pick it up. And that’s fine. It means we’re in this together.” – The opening line of ‘The Rules of the Game’ by Neil Strauss.
Well hello there. For those of you who don’t know me, on this blog I’ve been affectionately designated the alias Fry, my supposed cartoon surrogate. Not so long ago I was invited to participate in this little practice by your gracious host, how lucky you all are (on the sole condition that I didn’t bore her by rambling on about anything sport related). WARNING: The following will contain self righteous waffle that’ll have the majority of you piercing your eyes out of their sockets to escape the trauma, save yourselves now and open a new tab while you still can.
See what I did there? Whether it be through humour or curiosity one way or another I know I’ve got your attention. That little number was a strand of a basic psychological trick which will make a further cameo along with many others throughout the course of this piece. So, what exactly is the point of this article? A good question, though to answer it we must first ask ourselves, what is Incel? It’s a warm summer evening in Ancient Greece… (If you understood why that explanation stopped dead, we’re going to get along just fine). The point of this article is simple, to inform and educate… lol, nah, the point of this article is because I enjoy hearing myself talk (or in this case I suppose reading myself write if that makes sense), and it just so happens this is a topic which encompasses almost every philosophy which weaves the fabric of my “wonderful” mind which I intend on prostituting out right now for your amusement.
Many of you will have one basic question from the get go, what does Incel mean? Coming across it for the first time over the internet approximately a year ago, Incel is short for ‘Involuntary Celibacy’ and broadly defines anybody who feels the frequency of their sex life is out of their control in some fashion – being a virgin not through choice making me a terminal sufferer, and I use the phrase terminal sufferer very strategically for the moment. Once discovering this, as I thought, cleverly succinct turn of phrase describing a vastly expanding movement particularly in modern culture and our obsession with self image tying into who’s around our arm, I quickly discovered the term being used as a poison chalice to those on both sides of the fence. Those unaffected by it (i.e. people with no such worries about their sex lives) had a tendency to go on the offensive, theorising that it was merely created to excuse those who didn’t have the drive to improve their social standing through conventional methods.
Harsh, even slight ignorant but understandable once I saw the mentality some who completely invest in this ideology undertake – speaking of it in the exact same tone as they would an illness and giving it a name almost reinforces their insecurities like a diagnosis. Being someone not opposed to adopting victim mentality, as the relinquishing of personal responsibility provides tremendous freedom, observing how some of these people relate to each other has made even me cringe. So what’s the point of this article? None what so ever, it’s merely me giving you my interpretation of this word through describing my thoughts and experiences. If by the end I’ve provoked you into coming up with your own conclusions, I win… you heard me =)
No better place to start than talking about me (general life principle, but at the moment it has relevance to boot). I’m 22 y/o, as I mention before am a virgin, and have spent roughly the last 4 years of my life obsessing over one question, why? Sometimes that ‘why’ has been spoken through frustration, sometimes through curiosity, occasionally through a desire to learn, but on the whole through a sense of segregation from the rest of the world. To this day I’m baffled by how easily those around me are able to attain what I consider this elusive force of nature – attraction. There are those around me who obtain it without even trying, those who obtain it by being genuinely lucky, those who work damn hard and are rewarded, and those who see it as one of life’s greatest playthings (one particular person comes to mind here, and he/she is laughing his/her arse off right now reading this). As I’m discussing a largely image conscious subject, lemme give you a face to match the words.
Since the age of 13, I’ve carried an uncanny resemblance to actor Daniel Radcliffe (no matter how much I’ve tried to change that), and when I’m focussed in concentration I bear many of the mannerisms of football manager Andre Villas Boas (not to mention we share the same ‘physical enthusiasm’ lol) and I’m currently sporting facial hair which looks like Wolverine cross bred with the Lemmy (that’s the lead singer of Motorhead for those of you sorely lacking in taste) – a look which has granted me approval from man folk everywhere, on one such occasion followed by an ironic declaration of ‘my g/f has banned me from growing one myself’. Strange as it may seem, my looks have been the least of my worries for some time. Not that I’ve got any confidence in my looks providing that envious ability to turn heads in a room, or make a woman lose all prospective on her environment as I do constantly, I just made peace awhile ago that it’s a factor out of my control. In the judgemental, deceptive world of human interaction, your facial structure and expressions are your fortress that the enemy will survey for imperfections and insecurities as they search for any hint of your potential to become a threat to them. And there’s no getting away from it, you and your face are one and the same, it’ll portray even the most committed BS merchant for who he or she really is eventually (unless they actually believe in what they’re spouting/how they’re acting of course). Your weaknesses, your inhibitions, your true desires are all lathered over your face, and this is poisonous to an Incel. But Fry, surely you must realise that women are less impressed by visual stimuli (um hmm) than men, instead being more responsive to how a man can make them feel through his intelligence and wit? Well, as you’re about to discover, that rational provides little comfort for a fella like me… for you see when I put my mind to it, I can be a very effective tool too =)
Now that you have a general overview of me, in particular my self-image, hopefully I could be offered to explore one of my favourite pastimes with you in storytelling as I divulge a bit of my background. You may have noticed a potential red flag earlier in this piece, a slight plot hole in the narrative of my life, when a 22 y/o guy claimed to have taken up an interest in his lack of sexual prominence for only four years? I mean, are you supposed to believe that for the five years he spent in that jackals pit for perceived inferior men known as secondary school that he wasn’t self conscious at all before the age of 18? In short, yes, you absolutely are. My past not to be outdone by my present as an outsider, I was 100% asexual throughout the entirety of my journey through the education system. I was an unkempt, unhygienic, happily unburdened school kid, bubbling with the innocence of a pre-teen. My disinterest radiated like a beacon throughout my social circle and beyond, I’d happily nod along to my peers’ daily tales of their elaborate preferences and half baked conquests without any pressure to participate in these delusions of grandeur productions. But while being an object of great confusion for the girls, more creepily strange than alluringly mysterious admittedly, I managed to obtain something more in those 5 years without trying than I have the past 4 years since – recognition.
I could make a girl smile, giggle, in essence feel comfortable (though without breaking the touch barrier), three characteristics in a woman which seemed purely conceptual to me for a time. On one such occasion I received the pinnacle of female recognition with the acknowledgement of attraction in the form of a letter, a situation which I look back on retrospectively both cringing and humorously laughing at my own incompetence as I allowed that potential opportunity to pass me by without so much as a passive head nod to the girl in question. But unlike my present day persona there was no sense of self-recrimination, after all she may as well have written the letter in French, I wouldn’t have been able to empathise with her feelings at the time however she demonstrated them. But through the wonderment of my extended adolescent childhood unravels more bumps in the road for the Incel – while their face will ruin all their efforts to camouflage their desires due to the irremovable stain of desperation, the fact remains that the only efficient solution is to somehow become detached from that desperation and reach a place of acceptance for their circumstances. Almost every perspective on social dynamics can be summed up by this simple universal truth… the more unattainable, the more valuable. Within the realm of sexual politics that translates to the more distant, the more interesting and potentially attractive.
See, I said you should’ve opened another tab didn’t I? Now you’ve gotten yourself emotionally invested in my story. Come now, you were warned about the kind of guy I was when you made the decision to keep reading. Whatever your feeling right now is your responsibility, not mine to provide you with resolution and closure. But as I’m a charitable fellow, lemme offer you a failsafe in the form of a second warning. From here on out there will be much figurative fist shaking, a lot of smug hypotheses, and whisper in quietly… a bit of sexism - see if we whisper it the women won’t hear us over the dishwasher ;)
Now that I’ve discussed my identity and my background, it’s time we had some real fun and a vantage into my psychology – count yourselves lucky I’ve been given a page limit lol. To throw you an instant curveball before I proceed any further, contrary to what you may have naturally assumed, a certain amount of time ago I reached a place of solace with my Incelism, I lost my desperation aura (for the most part anyway) - so you ask, why has that not been enough to change both my circumstances (i.e. why the V plates still hanging around) as well as my attitude towards it? Excellent question, one which trumps up several different answers depending on my mood, who’s in my company, what time of day it is, etc… all ranging from lack of extensive exposure to women, lack of exposure to an environment where something’s likely to happen, an inability to take risks, an absence of any genuine motivation to change in this regard, certainly in comparison to the rest of my male counterparts. All responses which have plenty of validity to them, but the one widely acknowledged obstacle in my way is me – my mind – my psychology.
Now of course this answer is completely wrong, but then I would say that… but I’m right, it’s wrong… or is it? Anyway, I shall now proceed with convincing all of you that it is indeed wrong, if I can convince all of you it’ll make it easier to convince myself… of which I’d have no need however because it is wrong (side note – you may think I’m joking, but my mind actually operates like this lol). Between the ages of 18-20, my psychology was that of any other teenager, namely inflexibility. There was no intention of adapting and evolving, there was only frustration, anger and mild depression. Women were cartoon figments to the point of desensitisation for their existence as an each individual entity to their own. The thought of having a relationship, any kind of relationship, with one was stuff akin to unicorns and vampires (whoops, sorry for letting that cat out the bag BJ&S) with that particular world being an entirely fictitious universe of which I was only able to play spectator piling over the layers of delusion and twisted narcissism. Thankfully, I grew past this phase to an equally compromising conundrum at the age of 20… as some inflated man clutching his glass of red would say in a deep, pompous accent, “ah, the plot thickens”.
So for whatever reason at the age of 20, emotional maturity happened and women suddenly transformed into interesting observations rather than irrelevant obsessions. But along with this enlightening change in reality came a price, the same price which accompanies all who seek knowledge in its various forms, it meant sacrificing blissful ignorance for the unnerving realisation of the truth being difficult to comprehend. Yes ladies and gentlemen, 20 y/o was the age I became equated with the little social convention cynics everywhere aptly refer to as ‘the game’. The sequence of psychological tricks we all play on each other in an attempt to gain the acceptance, approval and appeal of others – and while I’m no means an advocate of this presence in sociology, in fact I resent its existence completely, it’s been nothing but a fascination for me ever since. The theoretical power to manipulate one’s own environment, create one’s own choices, form one’s own ideal world is the very essence of what the self absorbed human psyche requires for absolute tranquillity – and for those unfortunate enough not to have been blessed with peace of mind, clarity of soul or the short circuit solution of religious belief, the game (in its broadest sense) is the only source for our own personal zenith. But out of risk of this becoming a far more expansive discussion than it needs to be, allow me to centralise it towards most people’s typical impression of what the game is – the process in which enables two people to tolerate each other’s time, attention and eventually bodily fluids.
Now I can hear the wailing cry of the doubters now, suddenly through the magic of suggestion I’ve polarised my audience into three neatly cohesive groups… Pool A understand everything I’ve written up to this point and are intrigued to see where I’m going with this from an analytical point of view, Pool B think I’m talking out of my backside and are only still here because Jeremy Kyle isn’t on for another 10 minutes, and Pool C are empathizing with me completely. Pool A are well versed at the game and they know it, Pool B is well versed at the game only they don’t realize it, but Pool C unfortunately know they’re hapless players. Well I’m not here to cater to any of you; I’m my own group bitcha *puts hand down baggy sweats*, I’m here to do what I’ve been doing the past 2,500+ words and entertain myself (entertaining you is just a bonus). Before we get started on the philosophical element of the game and its devastating effect on the Incel population, let’s nose dive right into what many of you are dying to hear and toss out some game play strategies (apparently some people call it flirting, weirdos lol).
There is absolutely no other place to start than with one which has broken the pop culture barrier and been utilised as a parody for the game on several occasions, the infamous Neg. For those unaware of this technique watching it in motion is quite simple, observe two women who really despise each other having a polite conversation before one breaks subtext code non-silence – the period just before this happens the girls are negging each other silly. Neither compliment nor insult, the neg is meant to allow the subject to draw their own conclusions usually by fronting out their own insecurities, and when delivered by a light-hearted, carefree man can instantly grasp the attention of a self-assured, confident woman (negging an emotionally stunted woman, especially badly, is pointless and self-destructive).
There’s a million variations of ‘flipping the script’, the act of saying, doing or simply being what she’d least suspect simply by reflecting back subconscious stances she’s upheld since puberty. You have Push/Pull, technique men and women alike adopt naturally, which keeps the subject in a perpetual state of intrigue, wonderment and slight frustration as their love interest will turn attentive then emotionally distant on a dime.
Disqualification, which is essentially equivalent to banter, flirtations most commonly utilised weapon (and on a personal level, one of the most boring practices ever). You also have more specialised methods of rapport building where you give the subject the illusion that you’ve taught them something about themselves – which can be achieved just through manipulation of language ranging from so-called ‘mind reading’ to simple conversation. You may have noticed my repeated usage of the word ‘subject’, am I being deliberately patronising and provocative? Of course I am, if it provokes a reaction (particularly if it’s something controversial), it provokes a conversation with an instantaneous hook – we all love a bit of argumentative drama. But just in case the womenfolk feel left out, cos we can’t be having that can we, let’s give a mention to the female perspective in this engrossing battle of wits. The sad truth for most men everywhere is however skilled they presume they are at manipulating an articulate, sophisticated, beautiful woman into their lives and bedrooms, until a woman makes that conscious decision to let go she controls the territory on which the game’s perimeters are fought. You may be a player but you’re playing her game, jumping through her hoops like an obedient seal, and it’s the guys who embrace this fact (without literarily vindicating it, which would be the Incel’s special job) that ultimately wind up winning.
There, wasn’t that fun? Isn’t the game great? But did anyone notice a pattern there by any chance? What I realised very quickly about the game was all it appears to accomplish is make a mockery of our social programming whether that be our need for advantage, respect, self-discovery, variety, etc… holding our pitiful dreams up to us like a distorted mirror, and If there’s one thing which eats away at an Incel’s ego it’s a lack of fulfilled dreams – the perception of failure in the face of an adversity others can’t understand. The mind of an Incel is trip wired with environmental wounds posing as defensive mechanisms, with comforting delusions covering over escape hatches – much like their arch nemesis The Prolific Player, they are made not born. They’re left to marinade in a crippled ideology which prevents them for distinguishing their identity from that of their capacity to change it – much like the compulsive gamer conversely can’t accept their identity for what it is. All of which brings me full circle to the italicised quote at the top of this article, a quote written by a self-professed Incel turned pick-up addict which touches on probably the most influential belief housed in an Incel’s make up which prevents their own salvation – thinking they’re abnormal.
I said earlier that knowledge came with a price, but then all things worth obtaining come with a price otherwise we wouldn’t pay it. The price of becoming a student of the game was steep; it converted a mirage of a molehill into a very real mountain, leaving me with the downright annoying truth that I’d have to take what I wanted, it wasn’t going to knock at my door carrying a six pack of champagne and a funnel (if you got both that reference and why I used it, you are a grade A nerd and I salute you lol). But along with the price came the reward, an indispensible epiphany which has changed how I think and feel about Incelism before I’d even heard the term. So before I depart I shall leave you by referring back to the very reason why I’m here…
So then, as a representation of my people I finally pose myself the question, what does Incel represent to me? Are we one of life’s sad cases, doomed to live an existence of mediocrity and lost potential? Quite possibly, are we a group who got dealt a bad hand but refuse to make the best of it? Perhaps, we don’t exist in a fairy tale nor would expect that sort of preferable treatment. But despite feeling ordinary in an extraordinary world at times, we are just victims of psychology like everyone else. There’s nothing special, exceptional or shameful about our state of mind or our circumstances – we just happen to be another species of animal living within a social contrast inhabited by equally strange herds.
The Game has taught me there’s one thing which gives us all a unifying quality as people… whether or not we are any good at it, bad at it, resent it, embrace it, all of us are foolish enough to entertain it in the first place. So as a parting message, I’d like to kick start a revolution of sorts. I say we look to abolish our own shackles of self infected oppression, cast aside all our insecurities, let go of our inhibitons, forget all we have been conditioned to expect from ourselves and others, just say no to our fractured courtship propaganda… and to this end, we march right up to the first person who holds our eye contact for longer than a millisecond and deliver a phrase which will forever go down in the annuals of time as the ultimate chat up line, a line so deviously simplistic it’ll be outlawed as governments look to clamp down on population control. We’ll tell our children of how it used to be complicated to have “the conversation” with them, but how that all changed when genius mind of his generation Fry (who sadly died at the age of 23 due to the increasing ‘drug fuelled sex heart attack’ epidemic) came up with the phrase, “Fancy a fu@k”?