Have you ever heard of the ‘incel’ community? ‘Incel’ stands for involuntary celibate, and they are a community of men who consider themselves undateable and undesirable due to their average or less-than-average appearance and their lack of financial resources. As a result, incels have a great deal of hostility towards women, as well as attractive men (whom they call ‘Chads’) that they see as hoarding all the sexual opportunities.
But, now, there’s a new community of angry single people, and it’s not men. They’re ‘femcels,’ which stands for female involuntary celibates. While femcels are viewed as the female counterpart to incels, I find that these two subcultures are actually quite different.
While incels are driven by feelings of rage and injustice because they are being ‘denied’ sex by women (at least according to their logic), femcels are driven to celibacy because they are tired of being treated as disposable by men. It’s not that they don’t want to find a healthy, fulfilling relationship filled with passion and sexual pleasure, but due to their past bad experiences, they have come to believe that finding such a relationship (and such a man) is decidedly impossible.
So, rather than continue putting ‘skin in the game,’ these women pull themselves off the market. They stop dating. They stop flirting. Maybe they even stop putting time and effort into their appearance. Instead of looking for love, they decide to cling tightly to their singleness. Instead of going on dates, they spend time with friends and online communities of like-minded women who have given up on men.
While many people may bad-mouth femcels due to what they perceive as these women’s bitterness or misandry, I actually have to say I respect their motivations. At their core, ‘femcels’ want to stop the destructive cycle of being used for sex and then being discarded by men. They are tired of accepting less than what they deserve, tired of not being honored or cherished as they should be.
It’s no wonder so many women feel so devalued in our society. From Pornhub to OnlyFans, porn is everywhere, and the average man is using it on a regular basis. And this porn is only getting more graphic and more violent, as creators constantly have to make more click-worthy content in order to get views. No wonder we are seeing things like choking and anal sex becoming ubiquitous in the dating world. (I have written blogs on these topics before, you can view them here and here).
In addition, I am finding that toxic attitudes to women are on the rise. Go onto any college campus or into any locker room, and you are going to hear and see toxic masculinity on full display. In order to be respected and be seen as ‘one of the guys,’ men will throw women under the bus and describe women in graphic sexual terms and tease or outright scorn any guy who seems to be ‘pussy whipped’ or too sensitive.
In other words, dating can be very painful for women. If they aren’t a ‘perfect 10’ or they don’t have Instagram-worthy curves, they feel like men don’t treat them with respect or dignity.
“Guys today don’t care about commitment or getting to really know you,” confided one of my clients. “At least not if you’re an average girl like me. They just see us as walking fleshlights. They pressure us into all kinds of rough sex that they see in porn, and then they ghost us. I’m tired of it. That’s why I decided I’m done with men forever.”
I can definitely admire and support the self-preservation that motivates many femcels. But getting angry and telling men to kick rocks is only the first step, it shouldn’t be the ultimate destination.
I am all for taking a ‘time out’ from dating and focusing on yourself and your own self-care. Instead of having meaningless sex that won’t likely end in an orgasm, women can turn to self-pleasure and sex aids instead. Instead of spending 2 hours getting ready for a date that is rude and pressures you into sex, you can spend the evening at a book club with your girlfriends, or doing a DIY project, or furthering your education, or fine-tuning your resume. There is nothing more worthwhile than focusing on yourself and what you need to do in order to lead a full, conscious, whole-hearted life.
But that’s where femcels lose me. Because clinging to resentment and blocking off your heart from the world is NOT self-care. I would even argue that it is a form of self-destruction. We need human connection to thrive and grow and become our best selves. Avoiding the risk of heartbreak means avoiding the possibility of love. Avoiding the risk of ‘bad guys’ means avoiding all the good guys as well.
Because there are good men out there. I really, really believe that. And I also really believe that there is someone out there for everyone. When you shut down and refuse to even accept that as a possibility, you are doing your heart such a grave disservice. You’re robbing yourself of the chance to be fully seen and fully cherished by your soulmate. You’re robbing yourself of a ‘happily ever after’ and declaring that you will just make do with the ‘unhappily never after’ out of spite and fear.
Fear and resentment are some of the lowest energetic frequencies out there. When you go out into the world and give out those vibes, you’re basically plastering a ‘stay away’ sign on your forehead to all the good guys out there. You’re thinking ‘all men are dogs,’ and ironically, this thought will lead you to send out energy that will actually attract the ‘dogs’ and not the good guys you desire. You’re only going to attract men that are operating on that same low-level frequency, and the guys who are on this frequency are probably also very insecure and angry, and they won’t treat you very well as a result.
But when you consciously do the soul-work that you need to do, and you firmly and intentionally set boundaries and declare your worth, you can go out into the world with an open, fearless heart. You will be cloaked in self-love and you will stand firmly in your worth, meaning that you won’t allow yourself to be mistreated. If you’re on a date with a guy who suddenly starts ‘negging’ you or putting you down, you can walk out with your head held high, releasing that negativity without allowing it to harm you or your opinion of men in general.
And, for what it’s worth, I urge femcels to take some responsibility for the type of guys they may have been choosing in the past. If you’re only looking at the outside (such as the handsome guy at the party or the ‘bad boy’ with sexy James Dean vibes), you can’t be surprised when these guys don’t turn out to be Mr. Right. Don’t let yourself be distracted by the most handsome or rich guy when there may be a hidden gem right in front of you, such as the quiet, shy guy who you always see at the library or the somewhat awkward guy who always smiles at you at the dog park.
Now, I am not telling you to settle: Sexual attraction is still key, and I want you to end up with a man who you feel passion and desire for. But make sure that you’re in the right heart-space: Because when you’re vibrating at a high frequency of wholehearted love, you might find that you’re better able to see and connect with those hidden gems out there.
Remember, getting angry about being mistreated is okay. Protecting your heart is okay. These actions can be rooted in self-love and can be deeply healing. But the goal needs to be healing not stagnancy. Getting locked in resentment is not a way to live consciously or a way to honor your deep, precious needs for connection and passion and love.
What do you think? Have you ever explored the femcel community? Would you ever write off dating or men altogether?