What do narcissists look like in bed?
Narcissists are disasters when it comes to almost every aspect of an intimate relationship. They lack empathy, seek conflict and need constant attention and validation, or everything blows up.
So how does this personality type appear in the bedroom? Well, according to experts, narcissists can actually be passionate and skilled sexual partners, which makes relationships with them even more confusing.
“Some people will say this relationship is a nightmare, but for sex,” says Ramani Durvasula, a psychologist and author of It’s Not You: Identifying and Healing from Narcissistic People, due out February 20. They’ll say, “Sex is great, but this person is terrible for me. He’s cruel, cold, dismissive, and unsympathetic. But they’re really good in bed.” ‘ “
Don’t be fooled. Although having sex with a narcissist may seem exciting, this is usually because it serves the narcissist’s needs – not necessarily yours.
“Narcissistic people are very sensitive to reward: they like things that make them happy, and often don’t think about the consequences,” Durvasula says. “So sex is the ultimate narcissistic game.”
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Are narcissists better at sex?
It depends. Narcissists generally need attention, validation, and admiration, and sex is just another opportunity for them to chase these things, also known collectively as narcissistic supply.
Therefore, it is common for narcissists to take pride in sexual performance, but this is because it fills their ego, not because they actually care about their partners.
“Narcissists use sex as an opportunity to validate themselves,” says Chelsea Cole, psychotherapist and author of If I Only Knew: How to Outsmart Narcissists, Set Guilt-Free Boundaries, and Create Unshakeable Self-Worth. “They usually do it one of two ways: be great in bed and get praise for it, or be completely selfish in bed and make you work to please them. Either way, it’s all about the narcissist.”
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In fact, narcissists do not care about their partners’ needs, and if their partner offers even the slightest constructive criticism, they will likely gaslight it in return.
Because narcissists lack empathy, they also tend to see sex as a transaction, Durvasula says, and have fewer concerns about engaging in casual sex and one-night stands. They will also be more likely to manipulate new romantic partners into having sex in the relationship sooner than they might like.
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Why do narcissists abstain from sex?
On the other hand, once someone gets deeper into a relationship with a narcissist, it is common for them to withhold sex as a way to manipulate their partner into doing what they want.
Narcissists use sex to punish their partners by withholding it and also by shaming their partners’ sexual performance, says Stephanie Sarkis, a psychotherapist and author of Healing from Toxic Relationships: 10 Essential Steps to Recovering from Gaslighting, Narcissism, and Emotional Abuse.
Cole adds: “They use sex as a weapon. They withhold it when you don’t do what they want, reward you with it for doing what they want, and generally use it to get what they want.” “However, as a relationship progresses, it is very common for sex to become rare or non-existent and is used more and more to reward or punish you.”
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What does sex with a narcissist look like?
Having sex with a narcissist is often very performative, Durvasula says, describing it as having an “almost pornographic vibe.” “It’s intense sex, look at me,” she says.
Sex also adds to the hot and cold nature of the narcissistic relationship. It’s common for a narcissist’s passion and care for their partner to dissipate once sex is over, Cole says.
“They use you when they need something, and they put you back on the shelf when they’re done,” she says. “That’s why it can be hot and heavy one minute and completely careless the next, because it’s not about intimacy, it’s about control.”
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It is also important to remember that the health of a relationship should be evaluated by all of its parts. Just because sex is good, doesn’t mean a relationship is.
“Sex messes with people’s minds. It creates a greater sense of intimacy where there might be none. It can be a power play. It can seem very commercial. It can be a way to embarrass people. It can be a way to control people,” Durvasula says. “Because it’s a complex interpersonal space, you can imagine it becomes complex x 10 in a narcissistic relationship, because they attract exactly the things they’re not good at: empathy, intimacy, compassion, and security.”