We are at a crossroads. The decision we face is dire — and it will bend the course of history. Whatever you choose to do in this moment, you will have to live with it forevermore. I say this because on the surface, the question appears straightforward. But that is the danger here.
Are you pledging not to simp for the entire month of September?
Long ago, to label someone a “simp” invoked a bitter strain of misogyny: the simp was a “sucka idealizing medicore pussy.” The epithet made sexual attraction into a channel of ugly materialism, with women’s bodies as the coveted objects — they could be judged superior, average or lacking, and if you expended too much effort or thought on a woman seen as unworthy, your boys could bust your balls over it. To state the obvious: People deserve affection regardless of their alleged quality of pussy, and the men who cried “simp” in the old days were patently insecure when it came to accepting or revealing their own emotional vulnerability.
Since then, however, the act of simping has expanded to include any show of positive feeling toward an individual you would presumably like to fuck. Liking or replying favorably on thirst traps, subscribing to OnlyFans accounts, basic compliments and even traditional courtship may now fall under the dreaded purview of the simp.
This is an ironizing of the fragile masculinity that gave us the concept in the first place — you can call your bro a “simp” just for saying hello to a woman he knows, and it’s understood that this is an unserious claim. Divorced from its origins, “simping” has also largely ceased to imply anything in terms of gender or orientation. Anyone can simp for anyone and anything, including objects, fictional characters and abstract concepts.
You might correctly observe, then, that according to current usage, it is not possible to avoid simping, i.e., marking approval and admiration in any way, and surely not for a span of 30 days. Unless, that is, you revert to the old, earnest, unfunny and problematic definition of “simp.”
This looks to be what’s happening on Reddit’s r/NoSimpSeptember, a takeoff on various internet endurance challenges, the most notorious being “No Nut November,” when participants try to abstain from masturbation for a month. (MEL rejects this annual custom and encourages readers to get off as frequently as they like.) The No Simp September rules are written specifically for straight men, who are forbidden to “donate any money to booby streamers, tik tok (*shudders*) dancers, E-girls, etc.,” as this theoretically constitutes “one of the purest forms of simping, you are submitting and surrendering your financial power for a fleeting moment of lust.”
Neither are men allowed to “upvote, like or comment on a post, just because there is a girl in the photo.” Distressingly, viewing porn also counts as simping under this draconian rubric. That, in effect, makes the event a heightened form of No Nut November, with additional outlets of heterosexual desire shut off. You can’t even click the heart icon on a cute selfie. I hate it here.
No Simp September would be a nightmare of asceticism under the best of circumstances, but at this juncture (six months into the coronavirus pandemic, several weeks out from the presidential election, the nation’s cities roiled by civil unrest) it’s downright inhumane. Sex workers earn a living on streaming sites, and people need validation of their hot photos to get through the day. To value someone else as beautiful, smart or otherwise appealing isn’t to merely “simp” — it is a public service.
Whether you’d hop into bed with them is basically moot right now, anyway. If we’re meant to be “in this together,” that damn well better mean simping without shame or limit, as nature and meme humor intended. We must let the simps run wild and free, or risk forgetting that it is a boundless community to which we all belong. I think, therefore I am, therefore I simp.
No, if we are to observe No Simp September, it should be — as a few sarcastic parties have hinted — a festival of unrepentant simpage. In this version, the direction to avoid simping is wholly insincere, articulated only that we may deliberately and repeatedly violate it. As the boys joke about “failing” No Nut November a couple minutes after midnight on 11/1, so would “No Simp” take the hallowed form of a rule that is made to be broken, and never had a hold on us.
By embracing our supposed weakness, and by universalizing it, we contribute to an aggregate bliss, the maximum flattery in the midst of fear and dread. The best part is, it comes easily. You’ve always known how to simp, and nothing will stop you. This is not the time for puritanism and self-denial. When October rolls around, I want everyone exhausted from nonstop simping.
Well, what are you waiting for?