What Kind of Man Lets Sexlessness Destroy His Ego?

Summary: I see so many discussions framed around sexless men framed in terms of how men perceive the sexual dynamics between themselves and women. This quickly gets political, which never appears to solve any of the problems resulting from this social phenomenon anyone cares about. It also bugs me I never see in public discourse this discussion framed in terms of what men can do to change their perceptions of themselves. So after a friend posted a comment, I (unfairly) pounced at the opportunity to explain some of my thoughts on the subject.

In a discussion about an article in GQ magazine covering men’s reaction to the #MeToo movement, a friend made this comment:
Honestly, I think men are in a bit of a catch-22 situation. Women often want a particular thing (e.g. a certain kind of manliness or assertiveness), but those same things might be viewed by some as problematic.
Here’s my response:
I could probably find some men who would tell you you’ll only be caught in a Catch-22 if you’re drawn to communities, subcultures or social circles where women who find that certain something women often want problematic. Like, there are entire communities where all women might find a certain kind of manliness or assertiveness problematic. We don’t need to talk about those spaces because they’re the kind people in them who are miserable stick around for a long time only if they’re sorry bastards. And that often doesn’t have anything to do with them not being able to get laid.
The standard advice is something like move to a rural area, go to a Church, etc., where apparently all the women are so traditionalist you’re guaranteed to find yourself among more established and less ambiguous sex/gender roles, and you’re set. Never mind that’s an overly simplistic depiction of what those spaces are really like, that advice is impractical for anyone who doesn’t want to have to change everything about themselves to find a partner.
But to be fair I think there is something to changing one’s perspective. I’ve met men in person, or come across them online, who by all appearances refuse to let themselves be attracted to the kind of women who don’t find normal, decent behaviour from men problematic. They complain not even about a lack of sex, but a lack of romance, affection or acknowledgement. Yet they refuse to let themselves spend time away from their community/subculture/scene so as to find a partner who would be attracted to them. Alternatively, often these men acknowledge being more assertive or manly is something they could do, and that would make them attractive. But that would be wrong, because being assertive like that is unvirtuous, and so only men willing to deign to be assertive, thus becoming @$$holes, get laid.
I’d call this internalized misandry but in a lot of cases I think passive-aggressive men are just rationalizing their own anxieties or fears. This leads to a lot of Nice Guy syndrome, which I think deserves more public sympathy than it gets. Nice Guy syndrome is a societal problem distinct from Inceldom which has also grown, and which has eaten more male-coded spaces as the toxic Manosphere has grown. I think Inceldom is gross, and I don’t get why one would opt choose that as some kind of political self-identity of all things. Crudely put, a lot of these men are cucking themselves.

Maybe I’m rationalizing or underrating the miserable suffering of loneliness or sexlessness, as I’m on a SSRI right now and I’m in a long-distance polyamorous relationship. I think that might get a lot of guys calling me a super-cuc. But there are plenty of men who just happen to be involuntarily celibate, but don’t identify with that, and so don’t let it destroy their own psychology. And all of us are doing fine. It doesn’t swallow our identities and every waking thought, and a lot of men nearing thirty doing alright in this state have had sex only a handful of times in their lives.

 

A pattern I notice is the kind of men who end up constantly woeful and wistful with a romanticized version of romantic/sexual relationship and Nice Guys lacking self-awareness is they’re constantly orbiting political or politicized social scenes. They often say they do so because it’s part of fighting the good fight. Some of them are open about the fact getting laid is a significant bonus attracting them to the community. They say this in private exclusively in the company of other men. This happens in all gender-balanced communities more than most men would care to admit, but if the group norms in practice entail more gender equity, it’s likely this doesn’t happen as often anyway. Of course, there are endless horror stories of that One Social Justice Scene That Was Full Of Sexual Harassment/Assault, so your mileage may vary.

You can get some of these men to admit they’re fighting the good fight to get laid in moments of frustration. Or at least he’s been trying to get laid, and he admit he has been fighting the good fight for so long and so hard he feels like he deserves a break in getting laid. And then there are the guys who are tragically unaware of how much their activity in the community is clearly driven by an urge to get laid, one way or another.

 

What I’ve noticed is through a combo of internalized misandry or anti-male feminism, and rationalizing of one’s own character flaws, involuntarily celibate men become so resentful because they don’t realize so strong a desire to pursue so narrow and base an end isn’t how to achieve it. Sexual and affective fulfillment are part of a whole package coming with romantic relationships. Romantic relationships are one only one kind, among those like bonds with friends, family and colleagues. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the men whose reality is so warped by their lack of access to sex are completely isolated, and don’t have good, strong or loving relationships with anyone (close to them) in their lives. Oftentimes when a man desperately goes into a social scene seeking only sex, affection, attention and status, not just women but everyone can smell it on him. Most often I think it’s just if a man is so focused on that one thing, he’ll clearly ignore anything and everything else which might make him more attractive.

I notice the men in all kinds of social scenes who don’t necessarily get the most laid, but have the best relationships, are the ones who would be just as involved or embedded in the community even if they weren’t, or when they weren’t, receiving attention from women (or, presumably, men/non-binary people if they’re in a gay/queer scene. I wouldn’t know). I think why they have the best loving relationships with their partners is because the authenticity and the realization of their own values is what makes them attractive.

Post-script: I have more thoughts on the subject of Inceldom I may not get a chance to write up. For one example of a good man who for a long time was involuntarily celibate and suffered for it but didn’t let that destroy himself, see this post by quantum computing scientist and blogger Scott Aaronson.

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