Record Number Of American Men Not Having Sex

The share of Americans not having sex has reached a record high

For most of the past three decades, 20-something men and women reported similar rates of sexlessness. But that has changed in recent years. Since 2008, the share of men younger than 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled, to 28 percent. That's a much steeper increase than the 8 percentage point increase reported among their female peers.

What do you think is driving this change: porn, social media, video games, social anxiety, drugs and alcohol, etc? A large chunk of young men aren't getting laid, but the ladies seem to be doing fine. Is online dating finally filtering out undesirable men, while multiple women are happy with sharing top men in casual sex arrangements? What's going on with college campuses? Something has changed and the trend doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

Comments (96)

Aug 19, 2019

The Washington Post is fake news.

Secondly, surveys about sex are never accurate. People are not honest about their sex lives with their current partner. Do you really think they'll be honest on a random survey!?

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Aug 21, 2019
WolfofWSO:

The Washington Post is fake news.

Do you really think they'll be honest on a random survey!?

My answer would always be "not enough."

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Aug 25, 2019

Since its anonymous and there are no consequences, as opposed to with your partner, one would expect more honesty, not less.

Aug 19, 2019

Lot of incel posts on WSO these days. Gotta admit I didn't see that coming.

Edit: The MS thrown at this says way more about you than me, kids

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Aug 19, 2019

"I have a 2.38 GPA from Tucscon State Community College but want to do IB in NYC" to the incel posts feels like a pretty natural progression to me tbh

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Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Aug 19, 2019

"Hey all long time lurker first time poster. I have a 3.82 at a top target (think Harvard/Penn/Stanford) and am interning next summer at a top BB in NY (think JP Morgan/Morgan Stanley/Goldman Sachs).

I don't know what the problem is. I, for one have a penis and fuck like all the time."

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Aug 19, 2019

What do you think is incel about this? Changing social dynamics and what's driving them are interesting to most guys here (it affects us all).

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Aug 19, 2019
Bizkitgto:

A large chunk of young men aren't getting laid, but the ladies seem to be doing fine.

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Aug 19, 2019

Social media would be my bet.

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Aug 19, 2019

Hard to say, but likely some correlation here with falling fertility rates, particularly in the developed West. Japan is on the extreme end at 1.4 births per woman (below the replacement rate of 2.1), but the U.S. itself is only at 1.8, implying shrinking populations over time (ex-immigration).

It appears there's a clear shift as nations develop and prosper, that fertility rates decrease (which are largely a function of boning, although I'm sure condoms/birth control have a distorting effect as well).

Why? My bet is on the substitute effect of better porn. Yes, we had porn 50 years ago. But take a look at porn 50 years ago vs. porn today and tell me how they compare. Porn today is incomparably better in both quality (video, effects, etc.) and number of videos, which the internet & innovation have supported; It isn't a full substitute, bu rather 'good enough for most of the time,' which largely pushes the same effect: less smash.

The problem is that this also reduces the incentive to actually go out and talk to a godamn women. Why worry about rejection or carefully sweet talking a woman into letting you fuck her if 90+% of the time, you can beat it to Mia Malkova? Yeah you have some grungy looking girls, but a ton of porn stars are quite literally in the top 1% of attractive women on the planet (who 95+% of guys will never bone), so it offers a channel into which you can pseudo-bone her. Sure, that other 10% of time you'll go out to a bar and hopefully bone that 4 who's been eyeing you like a slab of mediocre meat, but that other 90% of the time, you'd likely be fine jerking it to a perfect 10.

The issue is the more you substitute these videos (which ar artificial), the less you go out, talk to women, and improve your game. So you feel discouraged and go back to porn. Then you get a little bit worse as you have less interactions with women, so you go back to porn again, etc. It's a negative feedback loop that limits your ability and drives you close into the land of the eunuch.

Once the whole sex doll tech improves, it'll likely accelerate all of these trends, as there would be little incentive in talking to a women & dealing with that hassle. The only thing left would be reproducing, but test tube baby tech is also advancing to cover this weakness. The adoption cycle will likely take a while initially as people are hesitant, but then it'll catch on lightning quick like Alexa did.

There are multiple forces at work here reinforcing this trend, at least in dev nations (EM world is getting there as well, at varying rates by country). Curious to hear your takes. Anyway, thought about typing more but the whole Mia Malkova part has me flying at half-staff so gotta get it out of my syste

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Aug 19, 2019

Cringeworthy

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Aug 19, 2019

I'm with you on the birthrate thing, but don't think s3x will make up for normal coitus. What normal guy will say, "Yeah, I could lay down the mood for a night of bed hopping with my lover, or just nail this plastic silicone doll..."

There is a reason that female pleasure products are nothing more than a supplement, not a substitute.

Aug 19, 2019

I think you're spot on. I was talking to my friends about this (we're in our 30s), and we were joking that if we had access to high speed/high qualit porn when we were teens that we'd never leave our room. Now that was just a joke, but the more I thought about it - the more I thought, maybe he was on to something. Being a teen is akward enough, asking out a girl was scary enough (never mind the whole school would find out after) so what's the path of least resistance? Porn. What stops kids like us from porn back in the day, dial up internet, poor quality, and the fact that our desktop was in the living room (no privacy). Kids today got amazing quality porn and it's in their rooms - imagine being raised by porn, you'd have no need to talk to girls and deal with all that shame of crashing. I dunno, I think it's altering the behavior of kids and it at the very least is a contributor in this discussio. When VR porn becomes indistinguishable to reality, it's game over.

The only thing porn can't do is satisfy you...yeah you can get your rocks off, but afterward you're not fulfilled...compared to finishing with your gf/wife and you're both lying their naked after with her falling asleep in your arms...the calmness and complete feeling you have. Porn can't do that and it leaves you with an empty hole inside you. What happens when guys can't fill that emptiness inside them and it grows and grows?

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Aug 22, 2019

VIolence?

Aug 25, 2019

Virtual girlfriend?

Sep 13, 2019

In your room? It's literally in kids' pockets from the age of 12 these days.

I don't have the sources (just go bing it), but the lack of sex, especially for young men, contributes to poorer physical and mental health both. In addition, porn is also generally very unrealistic sex in many different ways. It sets unrealistic expectations for men as most women aren't going to be willing to do 75% of what porn stars will do, thus potentially contributing to more devious thoughts and actions by young men.

The internet in your pocket is scary stuff. I'm in my late 20s, and I am so happy I grew up playing outside and only getting dial up around 10 years old. Hell, I didn't have a dumb cell phone until high school when my mom got tired of trying to find me after sports.

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Aug 21, 2019

Don
Don't date robots

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Aug 19, 2019

I'm just shocked that people are taking that article at face value. Do you people really believe everything you read, on the internet!?

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Aug 19, 2019

It's not really that shocking...

Aug 19, 2019

they're all too busy posting on reddit

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

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Aug 19, 2019
AndyLouis:

they're all too busy posting on reddit

or WSO these days

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Aug 19, 2019

I put partial blame on apps like Tinder, etc.

It has created a culture where people are constantly holding out for "something better", and thus get either crippled by the sheer number of options, or just ignore peers they'd normally go for, in search of their perfect 10.

We have also developed a new norm where hitting on someone seems to only be acceptable if it's understood that the other part is also looking. This again brings us to the available channels - I've heard younger (male) friends say that they absolutely wouldn't hit on a girl unless they were 100% sure she was single, and then only through the "accepted" channels.
The #metoo movement, as good as the intentions are, doesn't help on this. Your life could be ruined in 2 secs if some chick deemed you a creep for hitting on her, and taking a picture of you, and sharing it online.

I personally stick to the old-school way of hooking up. Tinder worked GREAT when it was fresh, but it has turned into a total pay-to-play shitshow now.

And yeah, the availability of porn is also maybe to blame. Easier to jack off than to put some work and getting laid.

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Aug 21, 2019

The high divorce rates falls into this category as well. The whole mindset that, "there is someone hotter and better I have a chance to hook up with," has since propelled this psychological impact in dating these days. Friends who are divorce attorneys are banking (literally) from the amount of clients coming in.

I may not be a solid chad 10 on the physical looks, but it took me awhile to improve my socialization of women (and be able to talk to their moms confidently) to get them on a date.

Ditch the tech, wear good fit clothing, look appropriate - and be nice (kindness).

No pain no game.

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Aug 22, 2019
H13x:

The high divorce rates falls into this category as well. The whole mindset that, "there is someone hotter and better I have a chance to hook up with," has since propelled this psychological impact in dating these days. Friends who are divorce attorneys are banking (literally) from the amount of clients coming in.

I think most statistical analysis refutes this. Divorce rates are and have been dropping for years, even before Tinder and dating app culture. So are marriage rates, but the divorce rate is dropping independent of that.

The takeaway seems pretty clear. People having more options in their dating life means that they don't marry as quickly, but when they do, they stick to it more assiduously. Which seems like a healthy and good thing.

Aug 22, 2019
tackytech:

It has created a culture where people are constantly holding out for "something better",

I'm holding out for the following:

1

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Aug 22, 2019

Classic. Crazy-Hot matrix!

Aug 24, 2019

Lol don't get the tranny part. Why would they be less crazy?

Sep 14, 2019

What's the oldschool way of hooking up?

Aug 19, 2019

Economic uncertainty, proliferation and access to porn, greater use of apps like tinder, and repercussions of being #MeTooed.

Those are the reasaons

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Aug 19, 2019

I relate somewhat to this. I live in nyc and work at a nightclub. I have been told by people of all races and sexual orientations that I am a very attractive guy. I am somewhat sexually active(i.e I usually meet girls through my job) 1) I have rejected some women because I am afraid of #metoo. 2. I am a conservative guy and lots of women particularly white women do not like that. This has led to me prefer Latinas. 3. I notice there has become an uberization of sexuality meaning one in which hooking up and relationships is sharply based on proximity. I went to a big frat school for my first 3 semesters of college one of my buddies was in the best frat and I got to sleep with some beautiful girls solely bc they thought I was in the frat. 4. I am totally fine with waiting another 15 years for the right woman.

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Aug 19, 2019

It's so sad that men have been made to feel that way, hesitant to be themselves or to advance appropriately... i do NOT like #metoo and i am female. equating a level 3 situation to a level 8 situation is never ok, if the scale refers to hardship/trauma/etc.... I respect masculinity, and I'm sorry that you've been to made to feel that way. This is not the first time I've heard this.

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Aug 20, 2019
Mytwocents22:

It's so sad that men have been made to feel that way, hesitant to be themselves or to advance appropriately... i do NOT like #metoo and i am female. equating a level 3 situation to a level 8 situation is never ok, if the scale refers to hardship/trauma/etc.... I respect masculinity, and I'm sorry that you've been to made to feel that way. This is not the first time I've heard this.

I suspect your definition of "appropriate" and what many men define as "appropriate" are wildly different.

MeToo seems to be used as an excuse by men who either are actually perpetrating some pretty creepy advances or women, or by men who were too shy/not confident enough to approach anyone in the first place, and now have a refuge from that fundamental inability by blaming something outside themselves.

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Aug 20, 2019

what is this source of information? Men who are fuckin may be too busy to answer a survey about men who are not.

Most Helpful
Aug 20, 2019

Speaking as a current chad who was an incel until 20, this is an issue that pisses me off. News flash, some guys attract women more easily, does that mean you have to go wallow in your virginity and hate women? NO, you could try to better yourself.

You think it's looks? Fat chance, women care less about natural looks and more about how you carry yourself. Buy clothes that fit, shave, stop chewing with your mouth open, get a decent haircut, and be in shape (no you don't have to be addicted to the gym).

Incels are lazy fuckers who don't want to take responsibility for their sexless ness and would rather complain and play video games with other virgins than make themselves uncomfortable trying to better themselves. I've been there, it sucks, it's easy to think women are only into dumb douchebags who are shallower than the girls they fuck, but there are women out there who will have a good convo with you, who don't care whether you have a 6 pack, and who just want some dick and a good time.

You gotta hone your craft. I've been around dudes I thought had natural game, they fall on their asses too, they just don't let it get to them. Rejection is normal, it's not a death sentence. You have to realize that women, like men, are plentiful. One no just puts you that much closer to a yes.

an easy idea. After you've gotten into decent shape and no longer have dinosaur posture and Napoleon dynamite mouth, take a weekend trip to a town where you know nobody. Maybe you go bold and hit up Miami, maybe you play it safe and go to Jacksonville or Myrtle beach, maybe you go out of the country and fuck girls you can't understand (me too is absent in Latin America), just do it. Suave dudes weren't born with it, they practiced, so put away the Cheetos and Starcraft, do some pull ups, and quit your bitching.

Kinda like people blaming everything but themselves for lack of success, incels are just a different variety. Toughen up you pussies.

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Aug 20, 2019
irieIB:

fuck girls you can't understand (me too is absent in Latin America)

Incel to chad, still no respect for women. Cool, cool.

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Aug 20, 2019

Jesus, why do you try to white knight every thread? I've never really gotten the use of the word cuck until I see your contributions to every thread, they're hyper-liberal responses based on emotion rather than any actual logic.

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Aug 20, 2019

If not being fluent in Portuguese is disrespectful of women, I give up. Way to cherry pick one thing I said and call me a woman hater. Gtfo with your holier than thou nonsense.

Respecting women is treating them as they are: people. Not putting them on a pedastal, not putting them below you. No means no, no with a hair twirl means try again in 5 minutes, and a blackout girl is always off limits.

Thank you for reading my post, now pleasego reread it and tell me again how I'm disrespectful to women

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Funniest
Aug 20, 2019
irieIB:

Speaking as a current chad who was an incel until 20

face palm

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Aug 22, 2019

i thought you were always born a chad not made into one tbh but solid advice

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Aug 23, 2019

I've never seen a 180 transformation but you can definitely improve.

Aug 23, 2019
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Aug 23, 2019

Damn, my dad really let himself go, should probably lay off the bagels.

@Ozymandia nice try dipshit, I said "fuck women you can't understand" not "...you can't understand if they say no" it's a reference to a language barrier in Brazil, not condoning rape.

You and the lefty with children should focus less on putting words in people's mouths in an effort to virtue signal and focus more on reading comprehension. I'm an asshole, but I'm not a monster, learn the difference

And if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm also a troll, so lighten the fuck up bro chih Minh

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Aug 26, 2019

So is it just the camera angle or is the guy really short?
Seems kind of like an angry dwarf (little person, whatever is the proper term now) pickin g afight.
In any case, fascinating display of anger and retribution.

Aug 20, 2019

I don't think this is something to blame on women in the dating market. To me, it's more about the women (and general society) who are parenting these kids. Women seem to be better adjusted to modern times, while men from young age to older struggle.

Outdated codes of chivalry need to be scrapped or changed. And there's really no way outside of a strong father in the home to train men to be the physical testosterone ridden weapons of the past, with maybe the exception of sports. And with so many women having the ability to earn more than men, the balance is fucked up.

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Aug 20, 2019

Plastic, birth control, and other contamination in the water supply combined with lack of Vitamin D and strenuous physical exercise significantly reduces testosterone levels.

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Aug 21, 2019

Liberals, whining, and bowing down to blue haired women on college campuses is also killing young "men's" testosterone levels.

Citations required*

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Sep 14, 2019

Can confirm purple haired women walking their men on a leash after 10:30 pm on campus.

Aug 20, 2019

I don't know the reasons, but this is truly frightening. Society gets turned upside down when large amounts of men are sexless. Sexless loners are some of the biggest menaces to society. I virtually guarantee most mass shooters and terrorists across the globe fit this bill. Why do you think 72 virgins is considered such a great opportunity to kill yourself? Ever fucked a virgin? You would never think banging a virgin was such a great thing if you've ever fucked anyone else before.

How do you cure the incel problem? I honestly don't know. Maybe legalize prostitution more broadly so some of these guys can get a release besides taking it out on society? Maybe isolate all of them in Greenland once we complete the purchase?

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Aug 20, 2019

LMAO buy Greenland. "I heard it's very green there!"

Aug 21, 2019
DickFuld:

I don't know the reasons, but this is truly frightening. Society gets turned upside down when large amounts of men are sexless. Sexless loners are some of the biggest menaces to society. I virtually guarantee most mass shooters and terrorists across the globe fit this bill. Why do you think 72 virgins is considered such a great opportunity to kill yourself? Ever fucked a virgin? You would never think banging a virgin was such a great thing if you've ever fucked anyone else before.

How do you cure the incel problem? I honestly don't know. Maybe legalize prostitution more broadly so some of these guys can get a release besides taking it out on society? Maybe isolate all of them in Greenland once we complete the purchase?

Damn, looks like the Dutch rejected the offer. Poor bastards have nowhere to use their terrorism except at elementary schools now.

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Aug 21, 2019
DickFuld:

I don't know the reasons, but this is truly frightening. Society gets turned upside down when large amounts of men are sexless. Sexless loners are some of the biggest menaces to society. I virtually guarantee most mass shooters and terrorists across the globe fit this bill. Why do you think 72 virgins is considered such a great opportunity to kill yourself? Ever fucked a virgin? You would never think banging a virgin was such a great thing if you've ever fucked anyone else before.

How do you cure the incel problem? I honestly don't know. Maybe legalize prostitution more broadly so some of these guys can get a release besides taking it out on society? Maybe isolate all of them in Greenland once we complete the purchase?

Interesting you mentioned that Richard - There was a great Ted talk a while back on Sex Workers and Prostitution - a big point the speaker was making was that a lot of these mass shootings/terrorist attacks are done by men who haven't had a sexual experience with a woman and thus very sexually frustrated. Basically, her solution was to get these guys laid to prevent them from acting out.

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Aug 23, 2019

They're already working on exterminating themselves. Suicide in that community is insanely glorified.

Aug 21, 2019

Isn't this "less sex" trend kind of a global phenomenon now?
Lower birth rates, less sex, etc. might be a part of built-in population control impulse, or it might be a reflection of the whole lower birth rate as a result of more work and higher cost of raising families.

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Aug 21, 2019
earthwalker7:

Isn't this "less sex" trend kind of a global phenomenon now?
Lower birth rates, less sex, etc. might be a part of built-in population control impulse, or it might be a reflection of the whole lower birth rate as a result of more work and higher cost of raising families.

Less sex =/= lower birth rate.

You can have sex without getting pregnant...

Aug 27, 2019
CRE:

Less sex =/= lower birth rate.

You can have sex without getting pregnant...

Dammit! I've been doing it all wrong!

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Aug 21, 2019

I think of it in context of economics. In broad generalizations, in order to get laid before dating apps, you had to be the most attractive guy in the bar. Maybe you didn't start as the most attractive guy in the bar, but as the other guys would get paired off you would slowly rise in the hierarchy. You were only competing with the guys at that bar on that particular night.

Now that there are dating apps, you have to compete with all the other guys in the region. Think of that as globalization- competition is widespread, so all the action is going to concentrate on the top players.

Considering the fact that generally women are more discriminating than men when choosing a sexual partner, if the woman is willing to have sex she is going to be able to find someone. The men now have to compete with the best looking guys in their region.

That, and I'm sure porn has something to do with it. There are unlimited amounts of porn of every kind, built to cater to your each and every preference you might have. That kind of access will absolutely have some kind of negative effect on motivation to go out and find real sex.

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Aug 21, 2019
dan_yo23:

That kind of access will absolutely have some kind of negative effect on motivation to go out and find real sex.

You have to have all but given up if you prefer jerking it to YouPorn over actual sex.

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Aug 21, 2019

Yeah I genuinely don't understand that argument, porn is fine and all but is there really enough of a population of men replacing sex with porn to make it a noticeable percentage of men? Maybe I'm just naive to the specific statistics

Aug 21, 2019

I am not saying that more people prefer porn over sex- I'm saying that porn has become more accessible and has adapted to cater to every small desire. That has a non-zero effect on how much people have sex

For lack of a better analogy, think of porn as UBI. Sure, if you are on UBI your life will be much more basic than if you worked hard to get to the middle or upper class. But UBI is free and requires no effort. All the people who were poor already will remain on UBI. All the people who were rich already will continue to work and stay rich. In the middle, however, some people are going to decide its not worth it to work hard to have a quality of life slightly above UBI. Might as well give up entirely and just take the free money.

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Sep 9, 2019
CRE:
dan_yo23:

That kind of access will absolutely have some kind of negative effect on motivation to go out and find real sex.

You have to have all but given up if you prefer jerking it to YouPorn over actual sex.

And finally this!
Someone up the comments put it very romantically in the lines of "the fulfillment of waking up in bed together"

Aug 21, 2019

Bingo

Get Mr Nash 2.0 here a Nobel in economics

Aug 21, 2019

This might be true, but all you are saying is that you just need to go to a bar, rather than sit on your couch...

I don't think this is some big secret. Girls don't go out to just sit there and not get hit on...I am sure that they like the attention more than looking at Tinder dudes fantasizing about them all day.

Aug 22, 2019

Why don't incels become monks and turn into volcels? The love of Christ is more powerful than any sexual release!

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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Aug 23, 2019

big if true

Aug 24, 2019

Cuz people be too involved in vanillas and exotics

Aug 25, 2019

The bar is way higher. Also #metoo so some men find it easier to just forgo courtship altogether.

Currently applying to medical school.

Aug 26, 2019

A lot of factors are at play here. I've seen some people touch on why this is, others equating a symptom as the cause. No, porn is not causing this. Look at the when the percentage of males and females sexless diverged - 2008. Porn existed long before 2008.

2008 is when dating apps, namely Tinder, but also social media in general began to blow up. Simply put, this shifted the dynamic of the dating market heavily into female's hands. Becky no longer is limited to the people at her highschool and in her neighborhood, she now has thousands of guys she can scroll through on Tinder, while hundreds more are hitting her up on social media. You simultaneously have positive reinforcement echo chambers where women of all sorts are told they're god's gift - no matter how they look. What results is a woman who is highly, highly selective. Because she can be. This is simply embedded in their genetic code; women seek out the best mate to have offspring with. Men, on the other hand, don't bear a child for 9 months if they have sex so they have a different mating strategy. What's collectively called the patriarchy, historically suppressed this through various means and shaming tactics. That's increasingly being dismantled.

Well, Tinder and social media isn't real life. These sexless men (incels) should just take a shower and get in shape! To that I'd say, Tinder and social media are increasingly becoming the dominant means in which men and women meet. "Met Online" is now the most popular way couples meet, and this figure is only accelerating.

Oh, and what about all the "progress" we've made as a "society" in setting women up on equal footing. We already know that women are naturally highly selective, they're told they should be highly selective, and now they're replacing men in what typically has been a man's means of value in society - providing aka bringing home the bacon. Women now earn more degrees than men and, in major cities, out earn men.

Do you think a woman who is constantly told she's beautiful on social media, has Tinder with 1,000s of guys wanting to have sex with her, has a better degree, and makes more money is going to want to fuck an average guy?

And I've only talked about 1 side of the equation here. Men are facing an increasing number of forces that essentially tell them they're worth less than women. What you see is a good number of them checking out.

This isn't a fucking matter of taking showers and caring about appearance. Also, this is a fucking Investment Banking forum. Half you guys are probably making well above average money and I'd wager 90% of this forum is white. I'm white too, but let's not pretend non-whites don't have it harder in the dating market. This has been proven time and time again.

Put yourself in the shoes of some 5' 6" guy who is of average intelligence. Are you really stupid enough to believe it's all about confidence and personality to the point where that would get this guy laid? He sees the hand he's been dealt and for him his best option is to probably earn a degree and then slave away at a job to save money to find a girl who will milk him dry. He's smart enough to piece the puzzle together, so he checks out. Right or wrong, he checks out. That's what's happening.

Look at the open hostility women have towards men with certain characteristics - being short, for example. This is hypergamy being enabled.

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Aug 27, 2019

For what it's worth I know guys who are maybe 5 foot and white who have no problem getting women. And none of them are rich.

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Aug 27, 2019
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