Narcissists, Sex and Fidelity: The Somatic and the Cerebral Narcissist
Cerebral narcissists use their intellect, intelligence, and verbal skills to derive narcissistic supply. Somatic narcissists leverage their body and sexuality to secure an uninterrupted flow of supply.
(for instance: following a major life crisis).
Frequently Asked Question # 29
By: Dr. Sam Vaknin
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Are narcissists mostly hyperactive or hypoactive sexually and to what extent are they likely to be unfaithful in marriage?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of narcissists, loosely corresponding to the two categories mentioned in the question: the somatic narcissist and the cerebral narcissist. The cerebral narcissist reduces people to functions and the somatic narcissist regards and treats them as objects.
The somatic narcissist derives narcissistic supply from other people’s reactions to his body: sexual conquests, bodybuilding, youthfulness, athletic prowess, competence in outdoor activities, or mere preening and titivating. Cerebral narcissists flaunt their intellect, intelligence, and knowledge to secure attention and adulation.
Whether one becomes a somatic narcissist or a cerebral one depends on one's upbringing as a child. If the infant is taught that it can secure the parents' love only by being intellectually brilliant - it becomes a cerebral narcissist. If it is conditioned to excel in sports or outdoor activities and to compete for sexual conquests as a prerequisite for being loved, it becomes somatic.
Narcissists are misogynists. They hold women in contempt, they loathe and fear them. They seek to torment and frustrate them (either by debasing them sexually - or by withholding sex from them). They harbor ambiguous feelings towards the sexual act.
The somatic narcissist uses sex to "conquer" and "secure" new sources of narcissistic supply. Consequently, the somatic rarely gets emotionally-involved with his "targets". His is a mechanical act, devoid of intimacy and commitment. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one's sex drive is a primitive, basic, and common impulse. The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, endowed as he is with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control.
Still, sex for both types of narcissists is an instrument designed to increase the number of Sources of Narcissistic Supply. If it happens to be the most efficient weapon in the narcissist's arsenal, he makes profligate use of it. In other words: if the narcissist cannot obtain adoration, admiration, approval, applause, or any other kind of attention by other means (e.g., intellectually) – he resorts to sex.
He then becomes a satyr (or a nymphomaniac): indiscriminately engages in sex with multiple partners. His sex partners are considered by him to be objects - sources of Narcissistic Supply. It is through the processes of successful seduction and sexual conquest that the narcissist derives his badly needed narcissistic "fix".
The narcissist is likely to perfect his techniques of courting and regard his sexual exploits as a form of art. He usually exposes this side of him – in great detail – to others, to an audience, expecting to win their approval and admiration. Because the Narcissistic Supply in his case is in the very act of conquest and (what he perceives to be) subordination – the narcissist is forced to hop from one partner to another.
Some narcissists prefer "complicated" situations. If men – they prefer virgins, married women, frigid or lesbian women, etc. The more "difficult" the target – the more rewarding the narcissistic outcome. Such a narcissist may be married, but he does not regard his extra-marital affairs as either immoral or a breach of any explicit or implicit contract between him and his spouse.
He keeps explaining to anyone who cares to listen that his other sexual partners are nothing to him, meaningless, that he is merely taking advantage of them and that they do not constitute a threat and should not be taken seriously by his spouse. In his mind a clear separation exists between the honest "woman of his life" (really, a saint) and the whores that he is having sex with.
With the exception of the meaningful women in his life, he tends to view all females in a bad light. His behaviour, thus, achieves a dual purpose: securing Narcissistic Supply, on the one hand – and re-enacting old, unresolved conflicts and traumas (abandonment by Primary Objects and the Oedipal conflict, for instance).
When inevitably abandoned by his spouse – the narcissist is veritably shocked and hurt. This is the sort of crisis, which might drive him to psychotherapy. Still, deep inside, he feels compelled to continue to pursue precisely the same path. His abandonment is cathartic, purifying. Following a period of deep depression and suicidal ideation – the narcissist is likely to feel cleansed, invigorated, unshackled, ready for the next round of hunting.
But there is another type of narcissist. He also has bouts of sexual hyperactivity in which he trades sexual partners and tends to regard them as objects. However, with him, this is a secondary behaviour. It appears mainly after major narcissistic traumas and crises.
A painful divorce, a devastating personal financial upheaval – and this type of narcissist adopts the view that the "old" (intellectual) solutions do not work anymore. He frantically gropes and searches for new ways to attract attention, to restore his False Ego (=his grandiosity) and to secure a subsistence level of Narcissistic Supply.
Sex is handy and is a great source of the right kind of supply: it is immediate, sexual partners are interchangeable, the solution is comprehensive (it encompasses all the aspects of the narcissist's being), natural, highly charged, adventurous, and pleasurable. Thus, following a life crisis, the cerebral narcissist is likely to be deeply involved in sexual activities – very frequently and almost to the exclusion of all other matters.
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However, as the memories of the crisis fade, as the narcissistic wounds heal, as the Narcissistic Cycle re-commences and the balance is restored – this second type of narcissist reveals his true colours. He abruptly loses interest in sex and in all his sexual partners. The frequency of his sexual activities deteriorates from a few times a day – to a few times a year. He reverts to intellectual pursuits, sports, politics, voluntary activities – anything but sex.
The cerebral narcissist renders himself unattractive to his partners by gaining weight, neglecting his body and personal hygiene, not attending to his rotting teeth and crumbling health, and dressing shabbily. This self-inflicted and ostentatious abuse has the effect of bringing sexual and physical intimacy to a screeching halt and forcing his mate or spouse into patterns of behavior and lifestyle alien to her nature: if she is a codependent and fears abandonment she abjures sex altogether (becomes asexual) and if she is not, she is forced into adultery and promiscuity.
This kind of narcissist is afraid of encounters with the opposite sex and is even more afraid of emotional involvement or commitment that he fancies himself prone to develop following a sexual encounter. In general, such a narcissist withdraws not only sexually – but also emotionally. If married – he loses all overt interest in his spouse, sexual or otherwise. He confines himself to his world and makes sure that he is sufficiently busy to preclude any interaction with his nearest (and supposedly dearest).
He becomes completely immersed in "big projects", lifelong plans, a vision, or a cause – all very rewarding narcissistically and all very demanding and time consuming. In such circumstances, sex inevitably becomes an obligation, a necessity, or a maintenance chore reluctantly undertaken to preserve his sources of supply (his family or household).
The cerebral narcissist does not enjoy sex and by far prefers masturbation or "objective", emotionless sex, like consuming porn, or, much more rarely, group sex, or visiting prostitutes. “I practice the safest and most thrilling sex there is: masturbating to pornography”. Actually, he uses his mate or spouse as an "alibi", a shield against the attentions of other women, an insurance policy which preserves his virile image while making it socially and morally commendable for him to avoid any intimate or sexual contact with others.
Ostentatiously ignoring women other than his wife (a form of aggression I call “ostentatious fidelity”) he feels righteous in saying: "I am a faithful husband". Women who show interest in or approach him are, by definition, immoral sluttish whores for attempting to break up his marriage. At the same time, he feels hostility towards his spouse for ostensibly preventing him from freely expressing his sexuality, for isolating him from carnal pleasures.
The narcissist's thwarted logic goes something like this: "I am married/attached to this woman. Therefore, I am not allowed to be in any form of contact with other women which might be interpreted as more than casual or businesslike. This is why I refrain from having anything to do with women – because I am being faithful, as opposed to most other immoral men.
However, I do not like this situation. I envy my free peers. They can have as much sex and romance as they want to – while I am confined to this marriage, chained by my wife, my freedom curbed. I am angry at her and I will punish her by abstaining from having sex with her."
To be celibate, rationalizes the cerebral narcissist, is to be more human, not less so. To abstain from sex is to set oneself apart from the base desires of the animal kingdom. Many religions proffer the view that celibacy is a requisite step on the path to enlightenment.
Thus frustrated, the narcissist minimises all manner of intercourse with his close circle (spouse, children, parents, siblings, very intimate friends): sexual, verbal, or emotional. He limits himself to the rawest exchanges of information and isolates himself socially.
His reclusion insures against a future hurt and avoids the intimacy that he so dreads. But, again, this way he also secures abandonment and the replay of old, unresolved, conflicts. Finally, he really is left alone by everyone, with no Secondary Sources of Supply.
In his quest to find new sources, he again embarks on ego-mending bouts of sex, followed by the selection of a spouse or a mate (a Secondary Narcissistic Supply Source). Then the cycle re-commence: a sharp drop in sexual activity, emotional absence and cruel detachment leading to abandonment.
The cerebral narcissist is mostly sexually loyal to his spouse. He alternates between what appears to be hyper-sexuality and asexuality (really, forcefully repressed sexuality). In the second phase, he feels no sexual urges, bar the most basic. He is, therefore, not compelled to "cheat" upon his mate, betray her, or violate the marital vows. He is much more interested in preventing a worrisome dwindling of the kind of Narcissistic Supply that really matters. Sex, he says to himself, contentedly, is for those who can do no better.
This is not affected abstinence or grandiose celibacy, though. The repressed libido all but vanishes and, in this sense, the cerebral narcissist is intermittently asexual, albeit never sex-averse. Many cerebral narcissists are also schizoids and avoid gratuitous social contact as they do sexual congress.
Both types of avoidance have similar psychodynamic roots: fear of loss of control and of escalation as others are seen to dictate the frequency, intensity, and details of sexual or social encounters (the cerebral narcissist may end up being bored out of his mind, or compelled to participate in activities he would rather avoid) and the perception of sex and gregariousness as breaches of personal boundaries: sexual or social partners know no limits and are liable to be all over the cerebral narcissist if he allows them, driving him to defend his privacy aggressively and unpleasantly.
Paradoxically, once forced into the action, the cerebral narcissist finds both sex and socializing to be pleasurable and enjoyable activities. But, he simply lacks the willpower and predilection to initiate or to participate in these interactions unless absolutely coerced to.
Somatic narcissists tend to verbal exhibitionism. They tend to brag in graphic details about their conquests and exploits. In extreme cases, they might introduce "live witnesses" and revert to total, classical exhibitionism. This sits well with their tendency to "objectify" their sexual partners, to engage in emotionally-neutral sex (group sex, for instance) and to indulge in autoerotic sex.
The exhibitionist sees himself reflected in the eyes of the beholders. This constitutes the main sexual stimulus, this is what turns him on. This outside "look" is also what defines the narcissist. There is bound to be a connection. One (the exhibitionist) may be the culmination, the "pure case" of the other (the narcissist).
The narcissist masturbates with
and in his partner's body. She is an inert object. He does things to her -
never with her. He rarely bothers to ascertain her likes and dislikes. And
because narcissists are misogynists, sex with the narcissist is frequently
sadistic, painful, repulsive, and humiliating. The partner feels used if not
abused. Many describe the encounters as "sick and perverted". Yet,
counterfactually, the narcissist considers himself to be the world's greatest
lover. Moreover: he coerces his unfortunate sexual partners to uphold this
grandiose fantasy and its attendant delusions.
He is likely to enquire if he is the best lover the woman has ever had, how many times she climaxed, if she has had with him experiences she had never had with another man. Sex with the narcissist is akin to an anxiety producing 100 meters dash coupled with a reality TV quiz.
The partner would do well to lie and acquiesce, to tell the narcissist that his was the best sex she has ever had and that he is, by far, the most endowed, creative, accomplished, and skilled of lovers. Narcissists do not take well to being contradicted, criticized, or disagreed with. Advice is not welcome. No equal partnership bladderdash here.
But the deception has to be subtle and convincing because if the narcissist finds out that he had been conned about his sexual prowess it constitutes severe narcissistic injury and produces narcissistic rage or even withdrawal.
Cerebral narcissists go through somatic phases in order to acquire or hoover new life partners. It is akin to the dynamic of rape: not about sex, but about domination, power, and control in a dyad. The cerebral seeks to leverage spectacular accomplished sex to engender submission, dependence, and addiction in the prospective and actual partner. Like the somatic, the aim is conquest – but, unlike the somatic, the cerebral settles for long-term liaisons.
Once the target is acquired (or if the potential target is deemed unsuitable for the “job”: inadequate, frustrating, demanding, or unavailable), the cerebral reverts to his habitual asexuality or hyposexuality, his libido spent and now sublimated into intellectual pursuits.
This curious motivational pattern also accounts for the cerebral’s reaction to being cheated on: not jealousy, but rage at the narcissistic injury, at the loss of control and disempowerment, and at the depleting waste of scarce resources (like time and money) invested in the cheating partner.
The cerebral remains sexually exclusive as long as he keeps getting fed the 3 Ss: Supply (narcissistic or sadistic: adulating companionship), Services (homemaking, secretarial, business), and (rarely) Sex. A potential target and an actual partner should satisfy any 2 out of 3 Ss unobtrusively and uncritically. Cerebrals sometimes resort to maintaining two or more concurrent intimate relationships to meet all 3 Ss.
Cerebrals are transactional (“what’s in it for me”). They find sex boring, repetitive, limited, and medically perilous. Sex requires tedious and grating reciprocity coupled with inordinate amounts of investment - but offers only marginal variability and little ROI.
At best, the cerebral masters some passing arousal while he interacts with an objectified female body, often in kinky or humiliating ways, her submission as confirmatory of his conquest. Typically, deficient in both emotions and empathy – the cerebral is utterly turned off by his profound disinterest in his partner’s humdrum personality and life.
The cerebral perceives sex as a lamentable and repetitive maintenance chore which consumes precious hours better dedicated to truly pleasurable pursuits, like reading or writing, or watching documentaries, or doing research.
Contrary to misinformation online, cerebrals abhor casual sex for several psychodynamic reasons: 1. It is perceived as aimless (no acquisition, only momentary copulation); 2. The fact that the female wants no further contact after the sexual encounter is a severe narcissistic injury, challenging the cerebral’s grandiose sense of uniqueness and addictive irresistibility. Ironically, the cerebral is as faithful as they come owing to this confluence of aforementioned factors.
But the cerebral is not devoid of deceit. He is the epitome of false advertising: In the initial phases of courting, he is invariably hypersexed: pyrotechnic fireworks ensue in bed. But this is merely a show off of yet another superior skill, like the cerebral’s intellect, or his sense of humor. Unfurled, this peacock’s train is merely intended to attract, addict, and dominate before it is retracted. It is not on permanent display.
Cerebrals reject, abuse, and withhold as their three main modes of communication. They absent themselves both emotionally and sexually. No wonder their intimate partners end up with other men, any men: even fractions of affection, comfort, emotions, attention, and sex are vastly preferable to the inanimate wasteland of the faux and servile togetherness with a cerebral.
Narcissists cheat on their spouses, commit adultery and have extramarital affairs and liaisons for a variety of reasons which reflect disparate psychodynamic processes:
1. In the quest for narcissistic supply, the somatic narcissist resorts to serial sexual conquests.
2. Narcissists are easily bored (they have a low boredom threshold) and they have a low tolerance for boredom. Sexual dalliances alleviate this nagging and frustrating ennui. The quest for novelty, diversions, and thrills – a vacation from his own life - is combined with a journey of self-exploration and discovery that involves “filling in the gaps” in the narcissist’s biography: a missed adolescence, an old flame, a new aspect of his personality.
3. Narcissists maintain an island and focus of stability in their life, but all the other dimensions of their existence are chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable. This "twister" formation serves many emotional needs which I expound upon elsewhere. Thus, a narcissist may be a model employee and pursue a career path over decades even as he cheats on his wife and fritters their savings away.
4. Narcissists feel superior and important and so entitled to be above the law and to engage in behaviors that are frowned upon and considered socially unacceptable in others. They reject and vehemently resent all limitations and conditions placed upon them by their partners. They act on their impulses and desires unencumbered by social conventions and strictures.
5. Marriage, monogamy, and child-bearing and rearing are common activities that characterize the average person. The narcissist feels robbed of his uniqueness by these pursuits and coerced into the relationship and into roles - such as a husband and a father - that reduce him to the lowest of common denominators. This narcissistic injury leads him to rebel and reassert his superiority and specialness by maintaining extramarital affairs.
6. Narcissists are control freaks. Having a relationship implies a give-and-take and a train of compromises which the narcissist acutely interprets to mean a loss of control over his life. To reassert control, the narcissist initiates other relationships in which he dictates the terms of engagement (love affairs).
7. Narcissists are terrified of intimacy. Their behavior is best characterized as an approach-avoidance repetition compulsion. Adultery is an excellent tool in the attempt to retard intimacy and resort to a less threatening mode of interaction.
Narcissists typically claim that they have cheated in order to “put the spark back into the relationship (with the spouse or primary intimate partner.)” Of course, how exactly an act of betrayal and faithlessness can rekindle the ambers of a relationship founded initially on trust and sexual and emotional exclusivity is left conveniently unsaid.
In the wake of an affair, the narcissist possesses the perfect alibi: if he does try to revive his sex life with his spouse and fails, he can proudly say: “I left no stone unturned, I even went as far as cheating on my partner – all in order to resurrect our bond!” If he doesn’t try to reanimate his sex life with his spouse, he turns it around and says: “This is proof that the relationship was doomed to start with and what I did was, therefore, not cheating. I was actually FORCED to seek sexual and emotional alternatives by the dead weight of this relationship.”
There are two
types of triangulation (using a third
party to manage the emotional, intimacy, and transactional aspects of a
relationship): breakup and restorative.
Breakup triangulation involves overt and ostentatious cheating with a third party in conjunction with other egregious misbehavior. Its aim is to irrevocably break up with a current partner.
Why triangulate rather than simply terminate? A myriad reasons: revenge, rage, community property, inability to let go (codependency), restoring the cheater's self-esteem, feeling desirable and alive again, obtaining succor and ersatz intimacy, or uncertainty about one's true wishes.
But usually, it is simply the desire to cast one's mate as the villain who ended it all because of he is insanely jealous and not magnanimous or empathic enough to forgive and understand.
Restorative triangulation has the exact opposite goal: to revive the relationship by provoking an emotional response from the jilted partner. Such triangulation involves the mere favorable mention of another person, hints at possible misconduct or compromising circumstances, or, at a maximum, aggressive flirting and non-penetrative sex acts, such as kissing, petting (making out), or hugging.
Triangulation is a last resort and risky strategy. It often escalates counterproductively into sexual assault by the recruited third party or results in an extreme reaction by the offended partner who chooses to discard an unfaithful, disrespectful, narcissistic, and dysempathic counterparty.
Triangulation - using a third
party to provoke jealousy in, garner attention from, or punish one's intimate
partner - sometimes goes awry and ends badly. The third party can sexually
assault the triangulator or the targeted intimate partner can simply walk away
from the whole manipulative scene.
Most triangulators are impulsive and defiant. They externalize their own dysregulated negative emotions which often overwhelm them. Their thinking is short-term, their empathy gone and so they are often shocked by the consequences of their own misbehavior: being raped by the "nice guy" or a breakup with the spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend
Things especially cascade and escalate out of control if all the parties involved are immature and narcissistic and therefore callous and exploitative. What starts as a mere flirtation ends up being a deleterious power play to the point of no return for everyone involved.
When it comes to sexual assault, there are no "safe men". On the contrary, most sexual transgressions are committed by male "friends", "brothers", colleagues, or acquaintances. This is because men misinterpret all female behavior as sexually inviting (sexual overperception bias), respond aggressively to teasing (overt flirting and signalling), use sex to communicate (to comfort, console, protect, commiserate, and hold), and are preoccupied with possessing the woman and competing with other men (often "stealing" her from her boyfriend or husband).
Women, listen up: If a man has ever expressed sexual interest in you, he is never "safe" to be alone with. This is doubly true if his advances had been rebuffed in the past. He would interpret the continued contact following his rejection as a change of heart and mind and would pursue you even more vigorously in order to assuage the humiliating narcissistic injury you had inflicted on him by turning him down.
Women know all that, of course. So, why do they keep exposing themselves to the very same risks? Why do they repeatedly engineer circumstances that are conducive to coercive, non-consensual sex? Because they have a recurrent pipedream: they want to be lusted after, desired, and attended to - but "safely" so, without having to go all the way. They also use other men to triangulate (provoke jealousy in an indifferent partner or break up with him). Innocuous, sexless, flirting is way to restore the woman's sense of femininity and battered self-esteem.
These needs are so overpowering that women sometimes drink senseless and do drugs with total strangers or with casual "friends", ending up raped in dingy hotel rooms or apartments. There is another reason that so very few assaults get reported: women feel that what had happened was their fault, that they had led the guy on, that they owed him the sex. This is the price they have had to pay for his company, attention, and support and for finding them irresistible. The politically incorrect fact is that many women find this deal - unwanted sex for restorative companionship - perfectly worth it. Which is why they keep repeating the pattern: most sexually assaulted women have endured more than one such incident in almost identical situations of their own making.
Some women who are rejected
and abused by their primary intimate partners trash themselves: get inebriated,
high, and end up having dingy promiscuous sex often with lowlife scum - or
otherwise recklessly self-destructing.
This egregious misbehavior is intended to secure three concurrent goals:
1. To punish and hurt the partner by debasing his "property"
2. To self-flagellate for the perceived infuriating, incapacitating, and self-defeating dependence on the indifferent or abusive partner (thus confirming his view of her as unattractive, worthless, bad, ineffectual, damaged goods, and broken sluttish "whore"); and
3. To humiliate the partner and guilt trip him for having hurt the woman and for having failed to save her from herself or to triangulate with the aim of getting to the partner and eliciting an emotional reaction from him (jealousy, anger, anything).
In their desperate attempts
to put narcissists and narcissistic abuse firmly in the rebound rearview mirror, many victims
select new intimate partners who appear to be antithetical to their erstwhile
bad guy abusers: self-effacing, easygoing, good-hearted, kind, supportive, laid
back, and empathic beta male Big Lebowskis.
Regrettably, such mate selection entails a blind and unthinking preference for the ostentatious non- or anti- narcissist. It renders the survivors of abuse gullible. They become vulnerable and amenable to the dubious charms of covert narcissists and passive-aggressives who masquerade as "nice guys." Appearances are frequently deceiving and most of these newfound paramours are anything but nice and good: they are psychopathic predators, wolves, not sheep.
On a first date or encounter, we present our gender personas to each other and weigh mostly sex-related factors such as physical attractiveness, a "feel good" emanation, or even a sense of humor.
As the relationship deepens, we begin to factor in dimensions of the partner's personality not merely as a man or a woman, but as a person. This is where attachment or repulsion set in. And this is when faux "good guys" are exposed as what they truly are: thespian love-bombers, sexual assaulters, pernicious and stealthy abusers, worse even than the overt and grandiose former narcissistic partners.
with no intent to exit the shared fantasy - even with the same man repeatedly -
does not provoke romantic jealousy in the narcissist.
Actually, cheating with the same man preserves the idealized version of the woman, while casual, sluttish sex challenges or destroys it.
So, the narcissist prefers the former: if she has a stable, long-term, intimate lover or if she has sex with someone she has known for a long time – but only someone who does not threaten the shared fantasy with him.
The shared fantasy demands presence and availability. If the narcissist is busy (not available) or absent, the woman is free to do as she wishes (object inconstancy). But if he is available and present, she should be all his, exclusively. If she then spends time with other men, he perceives it as a rejection of the shared fantasy and it provokes abandonment anxiety and romantic jealousy.
Cheating which challenges or destroys her idealized version (drunk one night stand) and is intended to facilitate an exit from the shared fantasy (prefers to spend time with other men) provokes extreme romantic jealousy focused on both the sex and the intimacy with the other man (=the substitute shared fantasy). Cheating that is intended to mortify leads to a breakup without romantic jealousy.
The narcissist doesn’t have sex (except sadistic despoiling) or real intimacy with his woman, so he does not mind if she has both with other men. He has a shared fantasy with an idealized version of his woman, so he feels excruciating hurt and intense romantic jealousy ONLY when the woman replaces the shared fantasy she has with him with a shared fantasy (=intimacy) with another man and, in the process, as she exits the shared fantasy she had with him, destroys the idealized version that I am interacting with.
The narcissist's "romantic jealousy"
has little to do with the adult variety and is actually a close kin of sibling
The emotional age of the narcissist is between 4 and 11: a child trapped in an adult body, terrified and disoriented by the adult world. Like all children in this range of ages, the narcissist is incapable of reciprocal intimacy, has access only to negative emotions, resorts to fantasy, and his empathy is mainly cognitive (cold).
The narcissist's sex drive is undifferentiated and not yet correlated with his object relations (not directional): he is autoerotic and tends to objectify his sex partner as a toy, playmate, or aide to masturbating with her body, often in a kinky or even sadistic manner.
So, the narcissist is not possessive in the masculine sense of the word: he is not a man, so he does not feel threatened by men, nor does he compete with them for his partner. He parentifies his mate: she becomes his mother - and a mother would never abandon her child for a man.
of meeting his partner's emotional and sexual needs, he may even experience
relief that she is being gratified elsewhere, taking the inexorable pressure to
perform off of him.
Still, even a good enough mother may suddenly prefer another child. This is exactly what happens when the narcissist acquires siblings: they garner his mother's hitherto exclusive love and attentions.
The narcissist becomes clinging, needy, possessive, and "jealous" only when he anticipates abandonment: losing his "mother" to another "child" (her lover). His behavior uncannily resembles adult romantic jealousy because it, too, is the outcome of a fear of losing the partner.
But this is misleading. It is a child's existential terror-informed anxiety reaction to being left alone and unloved in a world beyond his grasp and comprehension.
or love bombing of a sexual sadist
differs to that of the narcissist or psychopath. It is intended to achieve 6
goals: 1. Establish mastery, a power hierarchy, and an external locus of
control 2. Mold the woman into a mindless and obedient whore 3. Overcome the
woman's natural revulsion and anxiety by habituating her and coopting or
hijacking her fantasy life 4. Expose the woman to brainwashing messaging and
signaling 5. Push the woman to dismantle her boundaries, abrogate her values
and morals, and violate her own rules of conduct 6. Push the woman to dismantle
her boundaries, abrogate her values and morals, and violate her own rules of
Put together, these create a shared psychotic space within which the shared fantasy thrives on false promises and make believe role play. Whenever the woman tries to exit this common territory, she is punished with sadistic sex, egregious abuse, withholding, or rejection.
Finally, the only way open to her is to resort to another man with whom she can create an alternative sanctuary, however fantastic and brief. She cheats and the shared fantasy is irrevocably undermined as mortification sets in and the woman is now perceived as a threat to be shunned at all costs.
sadist fantasizes not about sex but
about humiliating, trashing, and degrading the woman. Conventional sex leads
him ultimately to boredom and ED.
Only women of types (1) and (2) would acquiesce and cater to sadistic needs:
1. Women who are submissive and already deeply in love or irresistibly infatuated with the man. These women require grooming to be brought to this stage.
2. Promiscuous masochists in sex clubs and private networks. It takes a lot of effort to find them and there are huge risks involved, medical and personal.
3. Women in casual sex would never agree to realise the sadist's sexual fantasies. They also demand equipotence (negotiated power symmetry). So, sadists avoid one night stands as they are likely to be unfulfilling and merely provoke performance anxiety. They also invariably end up in a narcissistic injury (rejection or humiliation). Sexual sadists with a weak sex drive, opt for massive sublimation (converting the sexual energy into non-sexual, socially acceptable activities) and only intermittently go for alternative (1). The problem is that (1) requires an intimate committed relationship which most sadists are not willing to embark on. They are looking merely for an admirer, playmate, and lover (shared fantasy), a toy to dismantle - not for a wife or to become a father. Many sadists deceive their women and make false promises to the contrary in order to secure the 3 Ss (sex, supply, and services). At times, they go as far as marrying a woman so as to secure her cooperation.
So, even when the sadist does find (1), the women - angry and disappointed - end up cheating on him. This leads to harrowing mortification time and again. The prize (shared fantasy) ain't worth the price (grooming plus mortification). This is why most sadists go through inordinately long stretches of celibacy.
People with atypical sexuality often give up on sex altogether in order to not hurt the innocent (lonely, fragile, broken women; children) and/or because finding a partner requires excessive investment of resources and/or because the sex is likely to result in psychologically or physically dangerous and bad outcomes to themselves and/or to others.
Sex is an irresistible, primordial, largely reflexive and autonomous
language. Like every other tongue, it can be used to express many things: I
love you (or like you) and desire you within our growing intimacy (healthy), I
want to render you an extension of myself and then make love to my own,
extended being (auto-eroticism), or I want to humiliate you and hurt you
The sexual sadist is actually asexual: he can go celibate and abstain from sex for years at a time. His psychosexuality is more like a rapist’s: it is a power play, not a mode of communication.
The sadist uses conventional sex to masturbate with the partner's body. But when she, his ostensibly intimate partner, tries to revert to sadism-free exclusively conventional sex, he becomes hyposexual: no arousal and frequent bouts of erectile dysfunction (ED).
To regain his erstwhile drive and prowess, he transitions from sexual sadism to exhibitionism and voyeurism: he masturbates to his partner’s gaze and in her presence, he initiates threesomes or group sex to vicariously enjoy the proceedings, or he watches her gratify herself, etc.
Map of Sex in a Relationship with the Narcissist
Narcissists sexualize intimacy (sexual overperception).
Example of family with mixed sexual signals:
Mother's family - men and women – are all asexual, father's side are all promiscuous.
Father's attitude to sex as dirty and all women as whores. Mother was subtly incestuous.
Example of ambient, emotional incest: she reacts to the child’s compliments or insults regarding her appearance as a lover would.
The narcissist can be with a woman in one of two ways:
1. As an asexual child with his mother (long-term life partner); or
2. As a promiscuous but stern father with a disposable slut to be sexually despoiled and verbally abused (disciplined).
When the narcissist loves a woman as he had loved his mother, as a long-term intimate partner (he always loves women as a child loves his mother), he renders myself asexual, so as to avoid incest.
When he desire a throwaway woman, like his promiscuous father did, he transforms myself into her stern disciplinarian father: he hates and fears the woman, he sadistically despoils, torments, taunts, frustrates, and abuses her in every way, and he pushes her away, often towards other men (partly to reaffirm his view of women and for the other shoe to drop).
The narcissist fantasizes not about sex but about humiliating, trashing, despoiling, and degrading the woman, alone or with others (in group sex). He is a sexual sadist.
Given the opportunity and consent, the narcissist sexually assaults. Conventional sex leads his ultimately to boredom and ED (erectile dysfunction). He uses even group sex merely to despoil and humiliate the female.
The narcissist is to women what a pedophile is to children: sadistic monster.
Women cannot reconcile true intimacy and love with the narcissist’s objectifying, despoiling, and sadistic sex. The former preclude for them the latter.
STAGE I: INDULGING HIM SEXUALLY
At first - when the attachment and bonding between us are minimal - women indulge the narcissist sexually.
This amplifies and solidifies his own attachment to and bonding with the woman.
STAGE II: CUTTING OFF HIS KIND OF SEX
The women then get attached and bonded and they demand to revert to conventional intimate sex. They refuse to continue to have the narcissist’s kind of sex.
STAGE III: SEXLESSNESS
At this point, the narcissist develops sex aversion or even ED and the relationship is rendered increasingly sexless and disintimate.
The narcissist’s attachment and bonding weaken: he begins to regard the relationship as a chore and the woman as a nuisance because he is not getting his sexual needs and desires met.
STAGE IV: CHEATING or BREAKUP
The narcissist is still attached and bonded and refuses to let go of the woman or set her free, despite her desperate attempts to break up (erotomanic stalking).
Women either stay with him (for material reasons), render services, but are free to cheat on him serially and indiscreetly; or women triangulate ostentatiously in order to terminate his stalking.
He is forced to choose between loveless sex and sexless love and in both cases endure mortifying betrayal.
Narcissists - both male and
female - are gender-neutral
(neuter) and goal-oriented. They much prefer to impress and inspire awe than to
communicate with their dates, have a good time, or even flirt. When they
seduce, it is also an order to impress and inspire awe, it is a performance.
Everyone – men and women – are indistinguishable: an impersonal audience.
Sadistic narcissists seek a special type of narcissistic supply: sadistic supply. So they prefer by far to frustrate, tease, and humiliate rather than to love, have a good time, or even have sex. If the narcissist is heterosexual, he (or she) will target the opposite sex but this is owing to his (or her) virulent, visceral, and unrelenting misogyny (or misandry).
In this sense, all narcissists are essentially castrated and asexual because they are still prepubescent kids: their sexual energy is totally sublimated and directed at obtaining supply.
The cerebral narcissist can go through stretches of celibacy that last for decades. The somatic narcissist and histrionic female are utterly auto-erotic: they merely masturbate with the bodies of their sexual partners, attempting to impress them with their performance, voluptuousness, and irresistibility.
The narcissist equates love with giving and giving goes hand with hand with an entitlement and license to abuse.
Why, when women replace the narcissist as a man (lover, husband), does it cause him mortification? Only women possess this power.
1. The narcissist interacts with women in two roles: child and father. Their rejection recreates the family dynamics (dead mother maternal abandonment).
When women reject the narcissist and betray him, they are also doing it as a mother would reject her child, as his mother had rejected and abandoned him.
When women prefer another man to the narcissist, he perceives it as adopting another child to take his place. This is life-threatening, it is about survival.
It also reaffirms and confirms his essential unlovability as a defective, inadequate, unworthy, bad, and failing object.
When women swap him for a substitute man ostentatiously or inform the narcissist about their cheating in detail, it is impossible to interpret their misconduct in any other way.
2. The narcissist reframes women’s cheating and betrayal as total rejection of his entire being and in every possible role (child, man, lover, companion, guru, husband, father, even provider).
Men reject only specific adult functions and roles that he fails in (as a business partner, collaborator, friend).
And why do the narcissist feel that he is the rejected party if he is the one who is doing all the rejecting at first?
There is a qualitative difference between his rejection and theirs: the narcissist’s rejection is a mere test, posturing, "not serious", a bluff, and a facade.
The etiology is different as is the motivation: his rejection is tentative, intermittent, targeted, and prospective ("Will my needs be met? Am I too crippled to be worthy of their investment, commitment, and unconditional love? "), their rejection is final, total, and retroactive ("my needs are not met ... Sam is not worth wasting time on").
In short, there is no equivalency or symmetry between his rejection of his intimate partners and their rejection of him:
He rejects his women as a child would reject his mother: harmless though unpleasant temper tantrums coupled with understandable sexlessness. The cerebral never cheats on them (replaces them with other women or harm them).
The narcissist’s women reject him as a mother would reject her son: life threatening, harrowing, hurtful, coupled with understandable sexlessness. They cheat on him and betray him (replace him with other men and harm him).
Their response is the nuclear option, totally disproportionate to his provocations. They are reacting to the breakdown and the dysfunction of the idealized version of him, not to the real him: to their broken dreams, frustrated fantasies, and thwarted wishes. The narcissist bears the brunt of their dissonance.
He ends up being mortified because, during the grooming/lovebombing/honeymoon phase, he colludes in conjuring up the idealized him. He comes to believe in it as they both enter the shared fantasy. The women's abrupt and cruel exits force the narcissist to "wake up" and contrast the idealized, embraced, beloved him and the real, rejected, abandoned him.
The narcissist feels deceived and bitter because early on in the shared fantasy he had exposed the women to the child who served as a lure (to establish object constancy and forestall abandonment). They chose to ignore it at their peril. The narcissist thought it was an integral and essential part of the deal they had struck. When they cheated on the child and betrayed it, he felt that they had breached a contract. He doesn't deserve it. Plus, the child is narcissistic, sick, which renders the abandonment and betrayal even more egregious and heartless.
During the grooming phase, the narcissist trots out the Father. The woman has daddy issues and constructs her idealized version of him around it. He colludes in this process in order to transition as smoothly and seamlessly as possible to the shared fantasy.
Once in the shared fantasy, the narcissist reveal the child. It is a shocking revelation which causes resentment: the woman feels that she had been deceived. The child's narcissistic abuse type 1 and sexlessness is interpreted as humiliating rejection, withholding and abandonment. She withdraws and cheats or tries to bargain the child away and replace him with the idealized version. This results in narcissistic abuse type 2.
Narcissistic abuse type 2 is adult and carried out by the Father, the core of the idealized version of me. This confluence renders it traumatic and hurtful.
Yet, it is the narcissist’s self-assumed dual role that makes it easier and safer for his intimate partners to cheat in the first place:
The father role makes it feel safe for them to misbehave: they expected unconditional acceptance from the narcissits, regardless of their misconduct.
They also did not perceive their actions as cheating or betrayal. One cannot cheat on a child or a father, both wouldn't mind or care. It is also common and accepted practice to carp regarding one's son or "old man". It does not constitute a betrayal.
The narcissist wants a sexless transactional relationship and end up having it. Why does he feel enraged and unhappy? Because repeated mortifications and losses have estranged him from his False Self. He feels imposed upon, at the service of an alien entity, a badly mistreated plaything. There is a part of him that has awakened and disagrees with the agenda, preferences, and priorities of the False Self. This is the narcissist’s experience in Cold Therapy.
Similar to latent or closet homosexual and to asexuals, the cerebral narcissist gets married as an alibi to avoid women and sex and to maintain an appearance of normalcy. His sadistic ore kinky sexuality is unconventional and turns women off. The few women who share his psychosexuality or acquiesce are mentally ill, hurtful, and even dangerous. The rational path is to go celibate and thus avoid the risks of rejection, cheating, betrayal, stalking, and blackmail.
Why would a narcissist choose
to renounce sex and the pleasures of intimacy and succor with a partner? Why would
he transform such a decision into an ideology of superiority akin to a
There are two etiologies to cerebral narcissism:
1. When there is overwhelming efficacy in extracting narcissistic supply via intellectual pyrotechnics (when the narcissist is truly astoundingly gifted); and
2. Avoidance in the wake of repeated failures in relationships: sex invariably leads to the formation of a shared fantasy which results in betrayal and cheating by the disgruntled partner and life-threatening mortification. Cerebral narcissism is the strategic outcome of pain- or hurt-aversion.
Every few years - or decades - the cerebral narcissist tries again to become somatic. Such attempts are based on mistaken and counterfactual beliefs that he or the world had changed, or that he had finally found the right partner. So, he boldly ventures forth only to rediscover long-forgotten facts and lessons:
1. His body is far inferior to his mind as a tool for extracting supply (he is unattractive); and
2. Sex still leads inexorably to failure, betrayal, cheating, and mortification because he is a child, not a man and cannot meet a woman's emotional needs.
Reminded of why he chose to withdraw in the first place, so many years or decades ago, the cerebral narcissist then reverts to his dominant mode as a cerebral and again eschews sex and intimacy. Until the next round, if any.
The intimate partner as a
mother allows narcissist to SAFELY explore femininity in general and his
femininity (auto-eroticism and latent homosexuality) in particular (without the
threat of sex).
This is one example of how the intimate partner is indispensable in regulating the narcissist’s internal mental space: she is his ego and his self.
my Shadow - Give Me Love
The narcissist and his borderline partner swap their projected Shadows, seeking to legitimize them and to experience these forbidden aspects of themselves by merging and fusing with the intimate partner. This dynamic involves porous personal boundaries and the mourning of a bad, dead object.
narcissist’s experience of his life is best described by resorting to a
conveyance metaphor: movie, car, train, bus, boat. He suffers from object
inconstancy: both internal and external. This leads to ego incongruency
(internal) and discrepancy (external). He is in flux among self states.
Finally, he resorts to hyperrealism or hyperreflexion.
There may be some kind of projection of the feminine onto the partner and its later introjection. At the same time, the other partner is similarly projecting the masculine and then introjecting it. Homo-erotic homosexuality is best described as a projective-introjective symbiotic swap of anima and animus.
Heterosexual Men with sex and gender identities which are full-fledged and fully developed react holistically to the totality of a member of the opposite sex: her bodily attributes to start with, but also her intelligence, sense of humor, vibe, company, life experience, traits, personality, accomplishments and conversation. They are irresistibly attracted to the entire offering: the sex, of course - but the rest as well.
Women reify the reality principle.
As a puer aeternus
(eternal adolescent, Peter Pan), the narcissist's main concern and occupation
is the avoidance of minacious reality. Hence the repeated, studious, abusive,
and ostentatious ("stay away from me") shunning of women.
The narcissist adheres to and reifies the pleasure principle: he is his own libidinal object (sexually and emotionally) and, immature that he is, he likes to play with toys (money, books, collectibles, electronic devices, cars, female bodies).
The narcissist feels safe and calm when he is all by himself because reality then makes no demands on him: via its agents: when solitary, he is self-sufficient and in full control.
What determines whether the
narcissist experiences narcissistic mortification or mere searing romantic
jealousy when his partner misbehaves with other men?
Reminder: mortification occurs when the rejection is total, abrupt, ostentatious, and when the narcissist needs his partner the most. It is a stark reminder of his power for self-delusion and gullibility. Romantic jealousy is a normal reaction to the anticipated loss of the partner.
The narcissist divides all women into homemakers, promiscuous, and promiscuous-glamorous.
When cheated on or abandoned, he experiences mortification only with homemakers. He then transforms external mortification into an internal one: they are not like that or to blame for their misconduct, it is my fault, my abuse and withholding pushed them to the limit. He overlooks any facts to the contrary, including the partner's past promiscuity and a pattern of betrayal and sexual and emotional licentiousness.
With promiscuous-glamorous (beautiful, entrepreneurial, autonomous), the narcissist experiences both retroactive and reactive romantic jealousy. "Owning" this kind of partner - who could have chosen any man - upholds the narcissist's grandiosity (uniqueness, irresistibility) and sense of virility. Losing her challenges both.
With promiscuous only partners, the narcissist feels nothing and experiences no reaction: cheating is both expected and accepted as way out of the fun and fuck shallow relationship he has with this kind of partners.
has four functions:
1. To signal the intensity and persistence of the interlocutor's or correspondent's ostensible emotions and to chart and document the growing, all-pervasive attachment
2. Virtue signaling: to convey the purity and authenticity as well as the good intentions of the love bomber
3. Gaslighting: to engender, foster, and impose on the target an immersive virtual reality bubble within which a cult-like shared fantasy or shared psychosis is established and takes hold.
4. To induce the target to enter the hall of mirrors where she is idealized and becomes infatuated with her rendition, an addictive experience which results in operant conditioning. It grants the love bomber with the power to withhold access to his contraption as a way to modify the target's behaviors (intermittent reinforcement)
Study the differences between grooming and love bombing in one of my previous posts here.
Narcissists and psychopaths effectively fake such immersion in their targets. They emulate the behaviors of the healthy male. They are very convincing and misleading thespians, giving the impression that they are truly "into the woman". But really, in the recesses of their cesspooled and diseased minds, narcopaths abstract a single aspect or dimension of the prey on which they focus. They are goal-oriented and women are just instruments, means to an end (narcissistic supply, sex, money, contacts, and so on). Narcissists and psychopaths reduce other people - women included - to assemblages of functions and transact with them: I will give you my attention, time, and faux affection and you will give me sex, for example.
This one dimensionality of the interaction is at the core of the discard part of the cycle (idealize-devalue-discard-replace): once and if the woman has nothing to offer (for example: she is unattractive or no longer available for sex), the narcissist and psychopath has no further use for her. It is wasteful to invest scarce resources with no return on the investment. The woman's other assets and aspects are irrelevant: they do nothing to further the narcopaths's agenda or to secure his aims.
Real, fully evolved men love and adore women and revel in female company. Narcissists and psychopaths love and adore what women can give to them and revel in female absence: apart from her assigned roles, they consider the woman to be a contemptible underdeveloped nuisance, sometimes even a hate object.
Narcissists regard sex with a healthy intimate partner
as a narcissistic injury to which
they react with narcissistic rage and other forms of externalized or mutated
Healthy sexual relations require give and take, a reciprocity that negates the narcissist's entitlement to special treatment: his needs - and only his needs - should be catered to. The partner is there to service them. He masturbates with the partner's body and often also humiliates or even hurts her sexually. She is his sex doll, sex slave, or sex pet.
Moreover: the narcissist perceives sex as a competition against prior entrants, replete with vigorous performance criteria. In his mind, his partner is the referee and her orgasms the sexometer. This engenders in him performance anxiety and resentment for being dissected, compared, and judged at all: his grandiose omnipotence is challenged and he is rendered hypervigilant.
The narcissist's sex is largely auto-erotic: he makes love to himself via the reflecting agency of his partner. More evolved forms of intercourse involving authentic collaboration towards mutual gratification elude him and infuriate him as they reveal his incompetence and impotent emotional illiteracy.
Two cognitive deficits conspire
to entrap the gullible narcissist and render him prey to psychopathic women:
his grandiosity and the Madonna-whore complex.
The narcissist divides all women to Madonnas (sexless homemakers like his mother) - and whores (promiscuous psychopaths or borderlines). When he comes across the latter subspecies of woman, he idealizes her as a homemaker and Ignores all the copious info that he possesses regarding each and every single one of her true attributes: defiance, aggression, dysempathy, promiscuity, substance abuse, a history of cheating, and more.
He counterfactually idealizes his chosen life partner as a SAFE HOMEMAKER - not as an IRRESISTIBLE SLUT.
He then convinces himself grandiosely that women - both Madonnas and whores - are smitten with him even when in reality they regard him as at best mere entertainment or useful at times, are very reluctant to meet him and to sleep with him, and are not attracted to or infatuated with him as a man.
Thus deluded, he falls victim to callous, cruel, perfidious, hostile, or goal-oriented women with cluster B personality disorders who traumatize him and take him to the cleaners.
Women weigh the looks of a
potential partner for casual sex &then, to a lesser extent, his personality
On a date (or a relationship) - even a single outing - personality is king: is he attentive, nice, kind, empathic, supportive, and attracted? Looks come second and the mind matters but only up to a point: average intelligence is less intimidating than genius and a sense of humor has to be accessible in order to register at all.
The personalities of narcissists - both cerebral and somatic - are exceedingly obnoxious and repulsive. Laughable pomposity combines with outlandish grandiosity and sadistic misogyny with objectifying chauvinism.
All types of narcissists are, therefore, forced to labor inordinately hard to get any woman to just glance their way, let alone date them or sleep with them.
Only damaged, broken, promiscuous, & mentally ill women deign to consider the narcissist as a mate or a date. And even these bottom of the barrel specimen invariably recoil and jump ship after a short while.
The cerebral - of less than average good looks to start with - spends months upon months targeting potential sexual partners in pyrotechnic displays of superior intellectual fireworks which usually backfire: most women find such ostentatious efforts to impress them into submission manipulative and creepy.
The somatic dedicates the same amount of time, albeit behind the scenes, honing his body into an irresistible proposition. Women go to bed with the somatic only to then discard him as so much wet Kleenex, disposable & forgettable.
So, while the somatic scores much more than the cerebral, his return on investment is also derisory.
Still, at least the somatic has some sex life. The cerebral is doomed to long celibate stretches - years or decades! - without regular female company & sex. Even his "intimate" partners cheat on him serially & overtly with other men. He ends up being a pitiable meal ticket in a sexless liaison, a sugar daddy, or the infrequent client of cheap sex workers as he gets older.
is when people who used to have a full-fledged relationship remain in the
confines of a dyad and share living and business quarters as functional
roommates or business partners, but are emotionally and/or sexually avoidant
and absent. They keep on keeping on owing to inertia or habit, community
property, common children, peer pressure, social expectations, low self-esteem,
economic, legal, or other dependence, pessimism regarding the dating pool out
there, sometimes good sex, and any other reasons they can think of.
But many of these disgruntled spouses or partners seek sex, intimacy, and love elsewhere. And a small minority do so openly, ostentatiously, often with their official primary partner present and observing as the flirt with another person evolves into much more.
Why flaunt the extra-dyadic affair so cruelly and egregiously?
There are three successive phases in such radical misbehavior:
I. Triangulation: attempting to rekindle the relationship by provoking jealousy. A cry for help, really: a signaling of distress and dysphoria.
If this fails and the partner couldn't care less there is II. Rage and a wish to hurt the partner's feeling by defiant in-your-face, overt, dysempathic, and disrespectful cheating that he is forced to witness.
III. Gradually, being unfaithful becomes a way to self-soothe and cater to emotional and sexual needs not met by the primary partner. There is little effort to conceal the succession of new lovers because the cheater no longer bothers about his or her partner's emotions and whether s/he is hurt or not. Emotional absence and utter indifference as well as unrelenting and driven selfishness had replaced love, friendship, or even common courtesy. The rationalization is: "He (or she) doesn't care or mind, so why bother to hide it?"
When forced into true
intimacy and a firm demand for reciprocity, some narcissists experience erectile
dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation.
Such non-virile malfunctions are the discernible outcomes of their performance anxiety and the challenge to their grandiosity engendered by an equal partner in an egalitarian state: between the sheets, we are all the same.
The narcissist expects women to be awed, inspired, entertained, and be irresistibly attracted by his impersonal performance in other settings (such as the workplace). This is vicarious courtship, wooing by proxy, a non-romantic shortcut in lieu of true attentiveness to his partner.
Spending time with a woman and investing persistence, intimacy, and succor in a budding relationship bore the narcissist to tears because he has to feign interest in another person, essentially a prop and a mute witness to his grandeur - and no one can conceivably be as interesting as he is. She must never be allowed to steal the limelight from him.
Narcissistic sex is becoming the prevalent form of mating in our contemporary dystopia of casual, anonynous, animalistic romps. Even when technically accomplished, it is either mechanical-clinical-perfunctory - or pyrotechnic and competitive. It is a spectacular decoupling of sex from any emotion and of courtship from copulation. It is a form of ritualized rape or at best mutual masturbation and involves only power and self-gratification.
As gender roles are gone and everyone emulate and imitate psychopaths and narcissists, unisex and unigender are fast becoming the twin scourges of the wasteland that our interpersonal relationships had become.
Romantic jealousy is a form of abandonment or loss anxiety. Brain studies show that even
a one night stand can lead to a full-fledged, emotion-laden love affair. So,
spouses are right to be worried about infidelity. Adultery - even the most
casual fornication - can lead to a loss of the mate and the disintegration of a
But how about emotionless sex? Just the mechanics and the fluids, with no bonding or attachment? Definitely possible and even common. But it is playing with fire because it can result in a deeper involvement even in the wake of a single lustful consummation. Sex can lead to love exactly as love leads to sex: it is a two-way thoroughfare.
But more often intimacy leads to sex - not the other way around. Sex is a mode of communication, a bodily way of saying "You make me feel ... (good, safe, curious, warm, happy, self-confident, desired, empowered, and intimate)". So, I consider emotional affairs to be a far more serious threat to the integrity and longevity of a couple than the merely sexual ones.
In the age of smartphones and social media, the potential for infatuation and falling in love with a third party is far more pervasive and greater than the threat of actual, physical cheating. Relationships are based on the perceived scarcity of eligible partners ("Where will I find another one like him? He is so rare!"). But transport and communication technologies made possible abundant access to multiple compatible mates, dissolving the very glue that once held couples together.
Romantic rejection is total: in a relationship you offer you all and, when dumped, you
are dispensed with in your entirety. Your thoughts, emotions, memories, values,
sexuality, intimacy, vulnerability, and hopes are dashed and trampled on,
usually cruelly. It is not like other experiences of rejection - in a job
interview, say, or an audition - where only your skills or talents are
The decline of sex in modern society has to do with skyrocketing rates of and opportunities for rejection. But this is only one of the costs associated with pursuing intimacy and love via sex. Casual sex carries the risks - almost certainty - of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI). And increasingly more so, meaningful, repeated sex with a significant other involves Herculean efforts.
Most potential mates today - both men and women in the cesspool that is the dating scene - are damaged goods. In the West, about 15% of the population are officially diagnosed with a mental illness. People are narcissistic, entitled, dysempathic, spoiled, immature, brattish, inconsiderate, unable to commit and attach, and selfish. It is a miracle than any relationship survives at all. Indeed, divorce rates are as high as they have ever been and fewer folks than ever are getting married or bear children. Ours is a world of porn-consuming, sempiternally dating, perpetual adolescents, consumed with hedonistic self-indulgence and celebrity-fueled delusions of grandeur. In an anomic and atomized and solipsistic asocial landscape, we pull the drawbridges and repose in our digital castles, screens flickering, until we die.
Sexual Fantasies of Narcissists and Psychopaths
Click HERE to Watch the Video
Inevitably, the sexual fantasy life of narcissists and psychopaths reflects their psychodynamic landscape: their fear of intimacy, misogyny, control freakiness, auto-eroticism, latent sadism and masochism, problems of gender identity, and various sexual paraphilias.
Fantasies which reflect a fear of intimacy involve the aggressive or violent objectification of a faceless, nameless, and sometimes sexless person, often in impersonal, alien or foreign settings (example: narratives of rape.) These usually coalesce with misogynistic erotic storylines in which females are humiliated, coerced into hurtful submission, and subjected to violation and degradation by one or many. Where sadism-masochism, homosexuality, or sexual paraphilias such as pedophilia are present, they are injected into the fantasy and colour its composition and progression.
In his fantasies, the narcissist or psychopath is always in unmitigated control of the environment. The assemblages of bodies and limbs which populate his daydreams – his body included - are minutely choreographed to yield maximum titillation. He is like an exhibitionistic and voyeuristic porn director with an endless supply of well-endowed actors either cowed into compliance or craving it. Naturally, the narcissist’s fantasies are devoid of any performance anxiety or of the need to reciprocate in the sex act by pleasing his anonymous and robotic partners.
Such imaginarium invariably leads to acts of self-stimulation, the ultimate manifestations of auto-eroticism. Even when the narcissist incorporates his real-life partner in his fantasies, he is bound to treat her as a mere prop, a body to masturbate with, in, or on, or an object to be “defiled” in acts such as group sex, swinging (wife-swapping), or outright sexual deviance (examples: urophilia, or coprophilia.) This crude and overt denigration serves to render her a “slut”, or a “whore” in his mind, the kind of woman with whom he can have lustful, emotion-free sex. He reserves love, involvement, and intimacy to sexless “madonna”-type, sexually inaccessible or unattainable women, such as his mother.
The somatic narcissist’s and psychopath’s sexual promiscuity emerges from underlying problems in gender identity. Many of them are closet bisexuals, cross-dressers, and prone to paraphilias such as pedophilia, fetishism, and sexual sadism or masochism. Some of them try to act out their fantasies and get their partners to assume roles commensurate with their propensities and predilections, however outlandish, illegal, or extreme.
A useful test to tell apart healthy sexual fantasies from narcissistic ones is to pose the question: would you be equally satisfied having sex with a sophisticated inflatable robotic doll as with a flesh and blood partner? If the answer is "yes", then, in all likelihood, we are dealing with a narcissist or a psychopath.
Yet, these glimpses into the thwarted and the demented rarely go down well with their significant others. The narcissist’s self-exposure often elicits reactions of horror, repulsion, and estrangement. No wonder most narcissists don’t even bother to share their fantasies with their “loved” ones. The cerebral narcissist merely retreats to sexual abstinence punctuated by compulsive, porn-fuelled masturbation. The somatic narcissist compulsively hunts for new feminine prey to sacrifice on the insatiable altar of his False Self.
As a cerebral narcissist, I use sex to acquire (hoover) new mates. My sexuality reflects my
mind: exuberant, inventive, creative, experimental, kinky, well-informed, &
sometimes deliciously forbidden & shocking. It is addictive & hooks the
woman. She keeps craving sex with me & coming back for more.
But, for me, sex is a tool. I enjoy not the sex itself but the exhibition of skill & prowess, techniques & games. Displaying my sexuality to a potential partner is the equivalent of the peacock spreading its multicolored tail. I expect applause for every orgasm, admiration for every role play I construct, amazement at my stamina (which is truly formidable). It is all about narcissistic supply & nothing to do with intimacy.
Consequently, women complain that sex with me may be virtuously accomplished & pyrotechnical - but also very mechanical & impersonal, even faintly sadistic. They feel objectified & dehumanized, even as their bodies & brains want ever more of me in bed (really, everywhere 😉). Once the woman is secured as a source of secondary supply & a service provider, I lose all interest in sex & become utterly asexual & celibate. My partner finds the transition from a sex addict to a monk unnerving, creepy, & eerie.
I miraculously regain my sex drive when I need to transition from one spouse to another or when my intimate partner cheats on me. Inevitably, all my women end up having multiple emotional & sexual affairs of which I am fully aware & acquiesce with as a way to get rid of their nagging presence in my life. But if the cheating becomes blatant & indiscreet & involves emotions (if my partner falls in love with another man), my sex drive is reawakened & I engage in brief spells of reclaim sex. Having secured her return to the fold, I turn off again.
The only way for me to remain sexually interested in my woman in the long run is to share her with other men in threesomes & group sex. There is a complex psychology behind that & you can read about it here, in the section on swinging: https://samvak.tripod.com/pedophilia.html
need for drama is a much neglected aspect of the somatic
narcissist. The chase, conquest,
breakups, infidelities on both sides, crises, heartbreak, ghosting, hoovering,
and triangulation are far more important than the sex itself.
Masochistic narcissists also find the self-destructive pain and devastation wrought by such relationships utterly irresistible.
In fact a woman can repel the somatic narcissist sexually and still retain his undivided attention if she is a drama queen and especially if she plays the hard to get, promiscuous, dissolute, and traitorous slut.
Narcissism is about control. Power plays and mind games are at the core of all of the narcissist's interpersonal relationships and interactions. Sex is just the denouement of a complex dynamic of who is on top.
The Madonna-Whore Complex is more aptly renamed: The Mother-Slut Complex. It is well documented: some men relate to some women as saintly, immaculate, dignified, and supremely moral homemakers and childbearers. In short: mothers who should never be subjected to sex, defiling and incestuous as it is. They crave the constant presence of these women, but not their bodies. They feel repelled and threatened when these women demand their due. While they often abuse these women, both verbally and otherwise, they are committed to them financially and emotionally in the long run and form stable, albeit sexless dyads and families with them.
The same men view all other women as sluts and whores, worthy of the degradation inherent in sex. They fantasize about them and lust after them. They coerce them into sex if they cannot get their way with these females otherwise. But they would rather just dispense with the intercourse and be gone. The post-coital presence of these women is an embarrassing reminder of the human frailties of these men and of their "corruption" and "fall from grace". They invest only the minimum necessary in these women, both financially and emotionally ("maintenance level") and are not committed to the resultant relationships. Still, they are rarely abusive to them gratuitously.
of Attraction and Rejection by Somatic Narcissists
Somatic narcissists use sexual conquests and certain types of sex (kink, BDSM) to engender and garner narcissistic supply.
Contrary to misinformation online
1. Somatic narcissists can and do maintain sexually exclusive relationships; and
2. Cerebral narcissists do go through somatic phases (type inconstancy)
Somatic narcissists and cerebrals in a somatic phase settle ONLY for two types of relationships
1. Fuck and Fun (sex and constant conquest, even with the same woman, if she is labile and promiscuous); or
2. Fuck, no Fun (sex only)
Both Somatics and Cerebrals in a somatic period of their lives are NOT interested in:
3. Fun only (endless courting or friendship without sex). If the somatic finds the partner sexually unattractive or unavailable, he absents himself or dumps her outright.
In a Fuck and Fun relationship (type 1), if the Fun is compromised (the partner becomes demanding, critical, dismissive, bored, or aggressive) - the sex stops as well and the somatic narcissist loses all interest in the relationship.
While in a somatic phase, cerebral narcissists maintain a primary relationship with a "service provider" (homemaker, adulator, business partner, or personal assistant) and other liaisons with Fun and Fuck or only Fuck buddies and partners. In other words, they are likely to cheat on all their intimate partners simultaneously.
Thus, double - or triple or quadruple - parallel lives are typical of cerebral narcissists in the throes of a somatic state, not of somatic ones who typically recoil from long-term commitment and permanence (constancy)
Cerebrals in a somatic stage are also insistent on pledges of one-sided sexual exclusivity from all their concurrent partners and regard any triangulation or sexual misbehavior with another man as an immediate and irrevocable dealbreaker.
Narcissists go through an
ineluctable cycle in their relationships, especially intimate ones:
Always based either on self-deception (idealizing the partner) or on outright fraud by the prospective mate. This inevitably leads to
When the dissimulation wears thin, is hard to maintain owing to countervailing information (confirmation bias no longer effective), or is exposed, it results in
Aggression and Abuse
These are multifarious: anything from rejection and silent treatment to verbal put-downs, withholding sex, and down to physical and sexual abuse. Few partners - mainly codependents - take this mistreatment lying down. So, the final leg of this tortuous tour is
Abandonment and Punishment
The partner acts out: cheats, ostentatiously avenges herself, dumps the narcissist, abandons him emotionally (becomes emotionally absent and indifferent), or undermines him passive-aggressively.
Even when the cerebral narcissist is all by himself and a woman is fully
available and keen on him, he is not interested or aroused when he is in the
throes of a shared fantasy, including in a sexless or a fractious one.
He becomes promiscuous only in between shared fantasies.
It is not that he is loth to risk the shared fantasy by engaging in extradyadic sex: he simply becomes contentedly asexual when he is involved in one.
The incentive structure in the shared fantasy disables his sex drive: masturbation to porn is part substitute to real life sex and the disincentives are many and powerful:
1. Aversion to incest (the partner is a maternal figure);
2. Powerful sublimation: intellectual pursuits pleasure him way more than sex and the gratification is deeper and more enduring as his intellectual accomplishments - real or imagined - resonate with his grandiosity;
3. Indolent inertia: the prize of sex is not worth the price of having to endure a woman's carping and her tedious company;
4. Difficulty of finding a partner to his autoerotic, immature, often sadistic, kinky sex;
5. He feels safe within the shared fantasy, as long as there is no anticipated abandonment and no challenges to his grandiosity.
In contrast, the cerebral feels unsafe - paranoid, even - when he ventures out. He also foresees ineluctable hurt and mortification down the road in any new liaison and shared fantasy.
Protracted dysphoria and anxiety reduce the urge to have sex (hyposexuality is actually one of the presenting signs of both). The cerebral narcissist’s asexuality could well be the outcome of depression and anticipatory anxiety: he fully expects to be betrayed and abandoned once his partner had found out the truth about him.
It is as self-fulfilling prophecy: the very anticipated abandonment which he so fears and his concomitant hurt-aversion lead to his emotional and sexual withdrawal (avoidance) which inevitably results in the dreaded outcome: breakup and heartbreak.
cerebral narcissist's inner monologue, addressed and signaled to his
I am a Genius Child (Wunderkind).
Admire me and serve me as the Genius that I am.
Love me unconditionally as a mother loves her Child - not as a woman loves a man. I am a child, not a man: real as the former, fake as the latter.
Satisfy with other men your emotional needs for adult intimacy and your physical urge to have sex. Expect and demand nothing grown up from me, your Child.
I prefer to explore the world and its marvels on my own, leveraging my magnificent brain. You are not invited: don't be the kind of intrusive mother who makes a nuisance of herself. Go away until I call for you!
Sin of self-love possesseth all
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
'Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
(Sonnet 62, William Shakespeare)
Interview granted to Vancouver Province, November 2014
Q. Why does narcissism appear with sexual paraphilias?
A. Narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply: attention, whether positive (adulation, admiration, affirmation), or negative (being feared or hated.) They use narcissistic supply to regulate their labile (volatile) sense of self-worth. Somatic narcissists derive narcissistic supply from their body and, mainly, from their self-imputed sexual prowess, sexual conquests, and sexual exploits. They objectify their sexual partners: they treat them as mere gadgets to masturbate with and over, as glorified inflatable dolls. In truth, the somatic narcissist is auto-erotic: he makes love to himself via the agency of another person’s body. Narcissists are the products of arrested development: mentally, they are children. Consequently, in the sexual act, the partner is a toy: devoid of autonomous existence, age, personal history, boundaries, needs, wishes, or fears. The narcissist plays with his newfound toy: he rattles it, takes it apart, experiments with it, releases aggression, or relates only to parts of it. These sexual behaviors are known as paraphilias.
Q. Would forms of sado-masochist, dominant-submissive sex be a manifestation of narcissism?
A. Not necessarily and not exclusively. True, many narcissists are also sadists. A minority of them are sexual sadists. Still, strictly speaking, sexual sadism is not a psychodynamic dimension of pathological narcissism. Narcissists nurture grandiose fantasies of omnipotence, but these narcissistic power trips, power plays, and mind games rarely manifest sexually and, when they do, they rarely involve or invoke classic sexual sadism.
Q. Would a pathological narcissist think in his mind that it's okay dominate or injure another person during sex?
A. Narcissists rationalize and intellectualize their misconduct. A narcissist who is inclined to sexual sadism will construct an elaborate narrative to justify his misbehaviour and render it ineluctable, necessary, and even beneficial to the victim! Narcissists are ego-syntonic: they feel good about who they are and how they comport themselves. They firmly believe that their choices are both virtuous and wise.
Q. Do pathological narcissists typically think of themselves as a victim when things go wrong?
A. Paradoxically and ironically, narcissists have an external locus of control (aka alloplastic defenses): they blame other people and the world at large for their failures, misjudgements, defeats, misfortune, bad choices, and misconduct. The narcissist is very likely to feel that he is the victim of both circumstances and human envy-driven malice beyond his control. Most narcissists also harbor persecutory delusions: they are paranoid and ascribe their downfall to vast, elaborate, and intricate conspiracies.
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