Sargon’s Advice for Incels: A Response

Sargon of Akkad recently posted a video entitled Advice for Incels, wherein he tried to have a genuine sit-down with those of the incel (involuntary celibate) community. I am glad it exists since it is one of the few attempts I’ve seen to speak to incels in an understanding and caring fashion, without deriding or mocking them.

ContraPoints’ fantastic video on the subject is the only other one I can think of. She’s also the only woman I’ve seen give any substantive commentary on the subject that wasn’t just mocking and shaming incels for their existence. I get that. Incels come across as hateful and misogynistic. Not the ever-expanding fourth-wave feminist definition of “misogynistic,” but genuine, old-school hatred. The reaction of “Well, fuck you too, you fucking loser,” is pretty understandable.

That being said, it does kind of bother me that so few women have offered their non-sarcastic perspective on the topic. If you look up dating advice for incels, it’s almost exclusively dudes talking to other dudes about “what women want” like we’re some kind of elusive alien species that they can only guess at using anthropological studies and evolutionary psychology. I can’t help but wonder why these guys don’t just fucking ask their wives or girlfriends or female friends/family members what they find attractive. The incels certainly aren’t going to consult a real-life woman, so why don’t you?

So I’m going to give my two-cents on the topic by building upon what Sargon says in his advice video. Here we go!

 [I’m going to give some] worldly advice from an older man to younger men to talk to them about their fear of not getting laid. There is a lot that older men could teach younger men on the subject. There is a great deal of wisdom that should be passed down.

Alright, boys, let me tell you about women!

I agree with Sargon here that there are a lot of men in the world who really need positive male guidance in their lives that they just haven’t been getting. I actually think that’s one of the reasons Jordan B. Peterson is so popular despite his works being highly questionable: He provides an authoritative source on “how to be a man” that these guys aren’t getting elsewhere.

It sucks if you’re not good looking. I know this because I’m not good looking. There is a definitive and probably scientifically demonstrable advantage to being good looking.

It is true that there is a scientifically demonstrable advantage to being good looking. It’s called the Halo Effect–people project competency and other desirable qualities onto you far more readily if you are attractive. The Halo Effect is almost entirely something seen in first impressions/with strangers, however. If you know nothing else about the person besides how they look, their looks are going to be heavily weighted, but the Halo Effect is minimized once more information is known.

You also have to take into account that beauty is largely subjective. Sargon’s own comment about not finding himself to be good looking is the perfect example of this. He thinks that he is unattractive, but half of the comments on his video are people–men and women–telling him that he’s hot.

However, all is not lost, because women are honestly not very visual creatures. Women respond to behavior primarily, beyond anything else. You can see this because their favorite books are rape fantasies. Hey, I don’t buy these books, it’s women who buy these books.

This is actually accurate, scientifically speaking. Men are aroused by visuals far more than women. That’s why pictures/video pornography is consumed mostly by men and written porn/literotica is consumed almost entirely by women. Something like 50 Shades of Grey, which I agree is essentially a rape fantasy, is popular because women tend to enjoy the overall experience of romance and interplays of power more than just looking at nudie pics. Summary: Lots of women like foreplay more than appearance.

What they’re attracted to is masculinity itself, in my opinion. They’re attracted to the physical act and the motions. The fact that they are being acted upon is in many ways the more attractive thing to a woman. I’m pretty certain that this is more women than not who’d prefer a man to be manly, physical, and active than to be a soyboy frankly–a weak, passive male feminist. And I think that this is primarily the reason why male feminists have real trouble getting girlfriends, unless they’re pretty boys.

I take slight issue with this, and it’s essentially the one major issue I have with Sargon’s video as a whole. The problem I have is that it presupposes that there is one particular way to be masculine and it’s that one particular expression of masculinity that women are attracted to. And I just don’t think that is the case. I don’t think it’s ever been the case. “Masculinity” can mean different things and can be expressed in different ways. An old timey lumberjack and a football bro are both masculine, but not in the same ways.

Even being passive is not inherently at odds with the concept of masculinity. A very popular character archetype in literotica is a guy who is in some kind of submissive position, who has the power to act but the dedication and discipline to be led by someone else. It’s the discipline that is considered masculine and attractive. That’s just one example, but I think that establishes my point.

The issue I see with many male feminists is two-tiered. Firstly, there is a very justified stereotype surrounding the male feminist that he’s a creep who is compensating for being a creep by waving the feminist flag. Secondly, in my experience, it seems like male feminists have an issue with expressing any kind of masculinity. They don’t just dislike Sargon’s version of masculinity, they dislike any expression of maleness and are rendered perpetually insecure and anxiety-ridden about being “too manly” at any given point, cringely backpedaling whenever they cross whatever that constantly shifting line of “too manly” is. And, as Sargon says, being utterly lacking in confidence and self-assurance is a quick way to turn anyone off.

A lot of the things that make you attractive to a woman is your career, in many respects. The fact that you do an important or dangerous job is often a turn on for a woman even if you’re not very good looking.

I slightly disagree with this point. There are many, many women who are attracted to men who do “important, dangerous” jobs, as Sargon said. He brings up police officers and firemen as the example of the kind of women-attracting job incels should take up. I’m not saying this isn’t accurate, but it’s not the complete picture. There were many comments on his video of men stating that they don’t want to make themselves miserable in a dangerous or important job that they hate just because it’s the kind of job that attracts women. And I agree with that. You don’t have to put yourself in potentially life-threatening career fields or climb up the soul-crushing corporate ladder just to get a girl.

You don’t need a dangerous or important career to be attractive. You need a career. Being dedicated to something and passionate about what you do is attractive. Enthusiasm is infectious. You don’t have to run into burning buildings. You can work in fucking tech support, but if you’re really, genuinely interested in tech, there will be some girl somewhere who finds that charming. Why do you think artists get so much attention? Nine times out of ten, it’s not because they’re especially good looking or especially financially secure. No, it’s because people are attracted to people who invest their time and energy into something they care a lot about.

Also, Sargon is British and looking at things from the perspective. I am American, however, and from that perspective, I take some serious issue with telling incels–guys with some clear and deep-seated issues with power dynamics in their social interactions–to get one of the few jobs that puts them in authority over people they would otherwise feel lesser than. That is just asking for yet another news story about some cop overreaching his authority and violently abusing some random guy for giving him too much lip, or a cop getting some pretty woman to give him sexual favors in order to get a ticket dropped.

You might have to lower your standards. You’re not going to be going for the sevens and eights, but you can still find women who will be attracted to you on the basis of what you are, not who you are.

I am a woman. I know, have known, and will continue to know lots of other women. Pro-tip for all you guys out there: Nothing makes a woman think you’re a creep more than referring to them by the number-level of their hotness. I’m not a feminist, but if anything could be considered objectification, giving women a 1-10 rating to determine if they’re high enough up on the chart to be fuckable would be it.

This is also a problem I’ve seen from many an incel. They will lament how hurtful and unfair it is that Stacys only go after the hyper-attractive Chads, but then go on and refer to women who they deem to be unattractive as ugly slags. They’ve trapped themselves in a self-defeating loop. When the man is obsessed with looks–like incels–they’re going to only be attracted to women who are mutually obsessed with looks, which means they’re only attracted to the one group of women who would never date them because they’re not attractive enough. No wonder they’re having such a hard go at things.

Women will always take on men as a project, right? For example, my wife is desperately trying to make me less of a messy bastard. That is her goal. Women are forgiving of faults as long as the direction is correct. And you have to be heading in that direction.

I’d generally agree with this, especially his point about heading in the right direction. From what I’ve seen and experienced myself, that is true. Like anything, it can go wrong–a woman can overstep boundaries and try to actively control her boyfriend or husband more than he is comfortable with (if he’s into that, sure). At it’s best, though, this is how many women establish themselves as the support system for their man–she’ll stay by him despite his faults and help him grow as a person, and in doing so she also grows as a person and their relationship becomes stronger and more intimate. That’s the ideal. Just being kinda annoyed that your girlfriend wants you to clean your room more is the happy medium.

I think that’s a fine place to stop. He goes on about how stewing in pathological self-hatred is bad, shocker. So what do women want in a man? I don’t know. The most definitive, generalized statement I can think of is that women like men who are secure in whatever their particular expression of masculinity is, and they like men who know what they want and are on an honest path to getting there. You could probably talk to an evolutionary psychologist who will go on about how the female animal wants the strongest mate or some shit. Maybe that’s it.

But here you go, here is my totally qualified advice:

You have to know where you are going and what your goals are, and you have to find someone who’s goals dovetail with your own so that you can both pursue your own purposes without getting in each other’s way. If you want a careerwoman, do not pursue women who want to be homemakers. If you don’t want a gold digger do not chase after women who’s priming skill is digging for gold. Ideally, you’d be able to actively help each other reach your respective goals, but–at the very least–you need to not hinder each other. That’s not to say concessions will never be made, but they will be sacrifices that you’re prepared for and willing to deal with.

And as for the incelian misconception that you’re too ugly to get a girlfriend: the answer is no. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. When women interact with you, they see baggage and a guy with a very high chance of becoming a stalker. It’s the same thing that makes men avoid desperate women because they don’t want to wake up one morning to a rabbit boiling in their kitchen. It’s not your looks, it’s your attitude. And thankfully, attitudes are way less expensive to change.

I did not think my current long-term boyfriend was attractive when I first met him. I thought he looked like a dork. I still enjoyed our first date, though, because I thought he was funny, and he had interesting job. He was interesting, and he was interested in me, with an end goal that wasn’t just getting laid to prove his worth as a man. He had mental and emotional hangups. So do I. We talked about it. We talked about everything we could think of because we liked talking to each other. And now we live together. And he still looks like a dork, and I don’t care because he’s an amazing human.

So I guess my advice to incels is pretty straightforward:

1.) You probably look fine. Not everybody gets to be hot, but guess what, that puts you in the same boat as most of the planet, and most of the planet still manages to get laid. You might have body-dysmorphia. Maybe consider seeing a therapist about that.

2.) Being resentful and hateful towards women as a gender is not a good look. Women aren’t inclined to like people who view them as universally despicable subhumans, believe it or not.

3.) Cultivate your own interests and your own goals in life (outside of desperately wanting to get laid and earn a hot woman’s affection), and there is a very high chance that you will find a woman who likes you because your individual interests and life goals intersect.

4.) This.


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