Horny on main: Psychoanalyzing my classmates to find the incel

The breakout rooms I’ve shared with Leo have yielded little incel evidence, only quickened heartbeats and sweatier palms. Aisha Shard

The internet is a dark, terrible place. Incels are some of the people who make it so.

Shorthand for “involuntarily celibate,” the term describes a type of person who, among other things, is obsessive, sexually frustrated and often fixates on other people’s behaviours, reading too deeply into their actions. Reports from the University of Butt Crack suggest that, on average, 1 out of every 12 people is an incel.

I am currently investigating my 11-person seminar to understand which of my classmates fits the bill. I’ve narrowed it down to three sexy people.


Ari is short for something — incel is also short for something. That was my first clue. After that came their cavalier, cocksure attitude. Incels are infamously reclusive and hard to engage in conversation. On the surface, Ari seems the perfect opposite.

But to the trained, masterful eye, the flaws in the facade appear.

Ari simply pretends to be a personable, charming individual to throw keen eyes off their trail. I won’t be fooled that easily.


I admit that Yusra doesn’t hit the conventional incel markers. Where incels are generally understood to be upper-middle-class white kids radicalized online and weirdly obsessed with making their beds, Yusra was born and raised in Syria, having fled with her family during the war. She’s studying to get her MD and join Doctors Without Borders.

By all accounts, Yusra’s down to earth, altruistic and damnably good looking. But I can see something — something behind that warm, lively glint in her eyes — that shakes me to my core.


The dark horse of the competition, Leo seems the least incel-y, but could very well be pulling the wool over this reporter’s eyes. Appearing well adjusted and quick witted, the breakout rooms I’ve shared with Leo have yielded little incel evidence, only quickened heartbeats and sweatier palms.

The thing that drew my attention toward Leo was the fact that his partner is, like, constantly coming into his frame. They’ll tousle his numerous locks, whisper in his strong ear or touch his rugged shoulder, likely smelling his perfume, which I imagine is vanilla, oak and hints of sandalwood.

I’ve yet to figure out which of my strong-jawed, square-shouldered classmates is the incel, since most of them don’t outwardly appear to be versed in the dark arts of the internet, and none exhibit signs of behavioural fixation or sexual frustration.

Ah, well, guess that just means more titillating evidence gathering for me! ☺

This article is part of The Ubyssey’s 2021 spoof issue, NICE Magazine.