Dear Lana,

I’m trying to understand the psychology of simping. It seems quite ingrained in the human condition from some time. Going back all the way to the troubadours of the medieval era, the simp has always been a niche part of society, at least occupying some significant part of the popular consciousness. It seems to encompass predominantly men, to which I’m not entirely sure why, and I wonder if its creation is tied to our collective understanding of masculinity and femininity.

I wonder if there’s some sort of internalized rejection simps live off of. Do simps gain some sort of ineffable satisfaction from simping? Harkening back to Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, I was thinking about her distinction between subjects and objects again, specifically how it ties into gender and Sartre’s concept of bad faith and how that ties to simping. I was reflecting on this idea because I am genuinely curious: Do simps genuinely want their affection to be returned, or do they thrive off the idea that they will never be enough?

Beauvoir articulates the unfortunate associations between subject-identity and masculinity and object-identity and femininity. If these traits are indeed societal, then what explains this deviation found in simps? Although modern society has become progressively more progressive, gender and queerness has always been part of the cultural vocabulary, even when there weren’t words to describe such concepts. One could observe the transgressive nature of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice representing an outsider defined by religiosity but amplified by his cross-dressing disposition. There were simps for Portia in the beginning, but simps don’t get to far in literature, or in life. There is an element of object-identification that seems structuralized… yet I’m not too sure how it originated. Why would anyone seek out to be an object over a subject?

It is quite an enticing idea — inadequacy. It is an especially potent idea if inadequacy is perceived to be permanent. And, after a certain point in our lives, when we finally gain a sense of how much control we think we have in our own lives, it becomes a structure in which we live our lives. Beauvoir draws an equivalency between subject-identity and freedom, but I would hesitate to call object-identity the opposite of freedom. To me, it’s more like not caring about your own freedom, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as the pursuit of freedom. If object-identity is a form of bad faith, then its immune to Freudian structuralized self-shattering. If one adopts object-identity, there is no need for continuance of growth. Jesus takes the wheel, and poof! There goes the rest of your life.

Are simps happy? Is Sisyphus happy? Do they have the same answer?

In many ways, I think there are many parallels between the modern phenomena of simping and The Myth of Sisyphus. When you simp, you are putting effort towards a goal. But, when you attain that goal, you lose your identity as a simp. If you wish to retain your identity as a simp, then you need to let go the prospect of attaining your goal of winning affection; doing so, would result in the destruction of your identity as a simp. Therefore, when living life, simps are presented with a constant dilemma: working towards their goal, or losing their identity. When presented with the prospect of happiness and the prospect of losing your identity, nine times out of ten I am convinced people will choose to retain their identity.

Are simps doomed to a life of unhappiness? No, of course, not. Silly me. Simps are happy. Didn’t I learn anything from Camus? Of course, I would also have to draw a discrepancy between felt happiness and believed happiness. It is simple enough; one is felt, the other is believed. One is in your mind, and the other is in your mind (get it? because happiness isn’t real, and it’s all in your mind). Do simps feel happy, or do simps believe they’re happy? I find it a bit hard to believe that a perpetual state of sexual frustration equates to happiness. But, hey, who am I to say what is happiness (I’ve certainly never felt it… kek).

I’m sure simps understand the extent of their inadequacy. The chad-virgin dichotomy didn’t start from nowhere. If one identifies as a simp, then they must be familiar of the existence of the chad-virgin spectrum, which originates from the same internet cultural genesis that created gave birth to the simp. If the simp falls on the virgin side of the spectrum, then identity formation necessitates awareness of the chad. It is through these metaethics that there exists a causal relationship between existence and identification. Simps cannot exist without chads, just as chads cannot exist without simps. Drawing from the traits of this spectrum, then in order for simps to retain their identity, they must continue to reject subject-identity and all of the freedoms that comes with it.

Ironically, the only way for a simp to stop being a simp is to want to not be a simp. But, not wanting to be a simp amounts to the rejection of object-identification, resulting in a inner catastrophe that would render the torrential blizzard firestorm acid hurricane of puberty merely a gentle drizzle on a Sunday afternoon.