How Former Incels Feel Now When They Look Back On Their Behavior

Sex is important.

Whether you're having it or not, it can be a huge part of life.

There are people who don't have sex by choice.

Incels or involuntary celibates are a different matter altogether.

An incel is defined as, "a member of an online community of young men who consider themselves unable to attract women sexually, typically associated with views that are hostile toward women and men who are sexually active."

Redditor DannyMThompson asked:

"People who had considered themselves 'incels' but have since had sex, how do you feel looking back at your previous self?"

Sex changes everything. That's all I know.

In Narnia

james bond GIFGiphy

"Oh God, high school me wore fedoras and believed my 'superior intellect and science-based social theories' were too much for everyone and that I was really a James Bond type with my knowledge of various fields."

"Turns out I was gay as f**k but so deep in the closet my zip code was in Narnia, not really that smart in anything but too ADHD to focus past basic knowledge of anything and in a desperate need of a new wardrobe."


Be Mature

"I never really considered myself an Incel at the time (mostly because I'd never heard the phrase) but I was very incelly in high school, I was the type of person who would hold a door open and then wonder why girls weren't falling into my lap. Turns out high school me wasn't that attractive and 'nice' isn't a personality."

"I fell very much into the Chad's 'n Stacey's frame of mind for a while. A lot of things changed really, but mostly I just grew up. It's a super childish view of things and just doesn't take into account that the people around you are... well people. If someone held a door open for you, you wouldn't throw yourself at them. It's about the maturity in relationships. But seriously forget high school me, proper fool."


after leaving the military...

"I suppose I was an incel from 23-27 after leaving the military. I was depressed, underweight, socially isolated... I never got fat or super into gaming as is stereotypical, just worked a lot, hung out with my dog, smoked way too much weed, and just sort of forgot how to interact with women."

"Which was probably for the best, most of my relationships prior to 23 were unhealthy at worst, meaningless at best. Ending that era of my life was a long struggle that took concerted effort towards trying to be more positive and social."

"One big event was buying and learning to ride a motorcycle at 27- sort of shocked me out of my routine, opened my eyes to the fact that life was not a downhill slide from the adrenaline filled days of 18-22, that new experiences were waiting to be had."

"Eventually I met a woman that I just couldn't bear to have the usual 'flirt until I awkwardly distance myself' experience with."

"I forced myself to not to my mind wander when we talked, I powered through all anxiety to call and text her daily, I even eventually would do crazy stuff like get dressed up nice and go to dinner with her -not something I could have ever seen myself doing at one point. So I'm married now, still have some issues, but very happy. So I'd say nothing to me, just gotta live through it kid."



"I was raised by incredibly cruel people, my aunt and grandmother."

"They had me absolutely convinced that I was very ugly, pathetic, and just a total loser. They even hinted that I’d be better off gay (as if it’s a choice) because I didn’t have a shot with women. They also made me feel that as an immigrant I was considered 'weird' and strange and women would consider me less of a 'catch' because I was a foreigner."

"Since I believed all of that, I had a real resentment toward women and like many young people I protected my pain with anger."

"Eventually I discovered that I was not ugly at all and in fact was considered quite attractive by many (which I never fully could wrap my head around). And guess what, turns out women like guys with exotic accents and viewed my foreign-ness as interesting and even exciting."

"I’m just glad I realized all of that before I had become too entrenched in my anger or wasted too much time."



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"I see my younger self as in severe need of help, help I never got. Although I did get plenty of criticism, criticism that was about as useful to me as an instruction manual written in Chinese."


Always have a therapist nearby.

Be Normal

Gilbert Gottfried Trick GIFGiphy

"I despise that guy. He’s an embarrassment to me. Somehow, it never occurred to me until I had sex that women are literally just normal people like you or I. They laugh, they swear, they fart, they poop, they even (gasp) enjoy sex!"


‘late bloomer’

"I think I was maybe just a ‘late bloomer.’ I had lots of female friends and was a bit geeky (before it was cool). When I went to Uni I realised that rejection wasn’t as bad if I could laugh about it with my mates after. When I lost my V, it wasn’t the big deal I thought it would be. Once that barrier was broken though, I really came into my own and never looked back."


"more like a friend"

"I always had 'more like a friend' relationships with girls (and then women) until I found someone with who things just went naturally. It's at this moment that I realised how bad I was acting all those years."

"I used to find somebody and become kinda obsessed over them. Thinking about what it could be like to have a relationship with them when I went to sleep, dreaming about them. So in my mind, we knew each other VERY well."

"In reality... Not so much. I was so surprised when I was getting rejected or so-called 'friend-zoned' because I thought we were a perfect fit! As I once read, before a person 'friend-zones' you, you girlfriend/boyfriend-zoned her/him first."

"At least I didn't discover the term Incel at that time. Old me was a piece of sh*t and full of hormones."



"I knew a guy who was involuntarily celibate but not what I'd call an 'incel.' He was my husband's roommate/best friend from college and eventually became my roommate. He was a virgin at 24 (not that there's anything wrong with that) and had also never dated. He definitely felt sorry for himself that nobody liked him etc etc."

"He was overweight and didn't take care of himself very much and was socially awkward."

"Well, he went to the doctors and discovered he had low testosterone. After giving himself shots on the regular, he actually started to really blossom. He started working out, took care of himself and actually became confident enough to approach women. This was almost 10 years ago. His wedding was last fall."



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"It's a bit like empirical science. A lot of useless speculations disappear like morning mist in the sun, when you apply 'try and fail again and again until you have some degree of success.'"

"It takes practice to be a human being, and some people postpone their practicing indefinitely. A big problem is that some people believe what THEY think other people think of them, ie they live in a prison built and maintained by themselves."


We're glad these people felt open enough to share about how experience and time changed their point of view.

Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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