Narcissists and Sex: Why Anything Goes…

narcissists-sexNarcissistic partners will inevitably – and without fail – use the sex within the relationship to control their victims. Whether the sex is controlled via withholding, controlling the when and the how often, or just by making it so good that it becomes addictive depends upon the type of narcissist we’re dealing with and how this narcissist has chosen to carry out his/her pathological relationship agenda.

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In my case, the sex was great for the entire twelve years that the narcissist and I were together. It just was. In fact, to this day, the sex is still the single thing about the relationship that I miss. He marveled at it, I marveled at it,  and without a doubt, it kept us both interested even during the times when he was being his most horrible self. One of his catch phrases went something like “If two people can be together this long and still have great sex, we must be destined to grow old together”. Yeah…right. That phrase would have been truer had it been “If two people can be together this long and one of them isn’t a narcissist….” because, when it comes to the sex, the fact that one partner is an N changes absolutely everything.

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The truth about narcissists and sex is that anything goes and that, unfortunately, means it matters not how great your sex life is together or how loving your N appears to be with you in bed or how perfectly your bodies meld together naked. He will still cheat on you with anyone and everyone, he will still be fascinated with weirder than weird porn, and he will still create profiles on dating sites. As good as the sex is, you may even wonder, from time to scary time, if your N is perhaps bisexual or maybe “curious” about it – even while he’s acting homophobic! To a narcissist, sex means both nothing and everything. 

On the one hand, because the N can’t feel love or true affection – and certainly lacks the capacity for commitment – the sex between the two of you (that you cherish) means absolutely nothing to him. Zero. Zilch. On the other hand, sex happens to be one of the only ways that certain narcissists (like my ex) can connect to anyone at all and, so, the more sex with a wider variety of people, the better the rush! In the end, when it finally dawned on me that my partner was good in bed only because he’d been practicing outside of the relationship and not because he felt any connection to me, I was completely devastated. I felt tricked. And, deep down, I still fucking hate him for that.

Narcissists like my ex use addictive sex to snag, keep, and eventually devalue their victims. At some point during our relationship (and probably the first time he cheated), my ex discovered his Ace in the Hole. Wow – this is easy. I can be good in bed with anyone and that means more supply for me. Let the games begin! And so, apparently, is exactly what he did.

narcissist-free-zari-ballardYou see, it’s the narcissist’s job to know how we work. Long before we’ve ever learned how to read the narcissist, he’s got us all figured out. The narcissist knows that if the sex is consistently good, it’s likely we’ll allow it to override the bad stuff. In other words, the sex becomes the narcissist’s benefit of the doubt for everything he’s done, is doing, and even plans to do. One time, during a break-up that I actually initiated, the N sent me an email that was very telling: Thanks a lot for putting me on the streets, bitch. No problem. There’s someone I can stay with and all I have to do is fuck her good and tell her what she wants to hear. You’ve given me no choice. Really? Little did I know that when angry, even the most pathological of liars will blurt out some truth. Later, of course, my ex swore up and down that there was no one and that he’d only been trying to push buttons but that one sentence…. all I have to do is fuck her good and tell her what she wants to hear… stuck in my head. During yet another “break-up”, I received a text stating,  You suck. I can’t believe I wasted all my sex on you all these years. Excuse me? Did he just say wasted all my sex on you ? What the hell does that even mean? Who talks like that? Slowly but surely, it became painfully clear to me how he truly felt about all that wonderful sex we were having. Our love was indeed a lie.

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Now, there are other types of narcissists who use the withholding of sex to get what they want from a victim partner. This, I believe, is the most common form of narcissistic sexual control. My ex, of course, was not one of these types of narcissists. Not only did he never withhold sex, he had no problem requesting it no matter what the situation. In the middle of a fight…right after screaming how much he hated my guts…after cheating on me and getting caught red handed…after smacking me hard across the head as he liked to do…..after literally threatening to put a bullet in my head (if he only had a gun)….and then suddenly Uh, could we stop fighting for a minute and just fuck?  To be honest, most of the time I jumped at the chance for an easy (if not demoralizing) way to peace and – what the hell – I knew it would be good! But there were other times as well where I just couldn’t do it and I’d demand to know how he could.  “How can you think it’s okay to ask for sex after what you just said to me??” I’d ask, sobbing. His typical matter-of-fact response was to simply lay down on the bed and pat the area beside him. No words…no smiles…just that patting gesture that I unfortunately knew could lead to something I wanted. Other times, he’d respond with nothing but a blank stare. How does what I just said have anything to do with having sex right now? I don’t get it.  Towards the end, when I knew that, as good as the sex was, he didn’t really feel anything, as soon as we finished I would just cry. He was clearly beginning to use the sex that he knew that I loved to actually devalue me before each discard.  I became very confused and he was as empty inside as empty can be.

In relationships where sex is withheld by the narcissist, victims will often admit that the sex itself – when it finally happens – is not necessarily even that good. The dynamic of the narcissistic manipulation becomes a matter of victims becoming desperate for what they can’t have and the narcissist knowing it. The “reward” of a sexual encounter is then deliberately timed for maximum narcissistic impact such as the end of a silent treatment or after being caught with someone else, or after vanishing off the face of the earth and then reappearing out-of-the-blue. Again, for the victim, the sex becomes the codependency to hope ….the connection to peace with the N…just as it did for me. The sex becomes our connection – the only connection – between us and the narcissist that feels anything like love at all. And because the N is such a good pretender, we accept this love at face value and sadly settle for the crumbs. How sad is that?

Every day, from the stats of visitors that visit this blog, I find an abundance of search terms/phrases that include the words narcissism and sex.  This is very telling to me about what weighs heavily on the minds of readers. In this article, I hope I have appropriately shared what I think happens to us in our quest to be loved by a person who can never love us. Even though we see the signs of a narcissistic personality, we don’t want to give up. We still want this person to love us back even after discovering that, because he’s a narcissist, he doesn’t even know what love is….even after discovering that his entire life is ruled by a pathological relationship agenda and he’s okay with that….even after realizing that our pain and suffering is his reward for a job well done.

The time for recovery from narcissist abuse is now, my friends. If you are here reading, you have most likely come to the end of the line. Educate yourself and understand what you are dealing with. Remove yourself from the manipulated reality and begin to build the wonderful life that you deserve.

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  • Laurie

    February 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm Reply

    Hi Chad, our son is married to a gripping troll narcissist,, 12 1/2 yrs of HELL for us and it gets Worse as time rolls on! I don’t think he even knows he is as she has his thinking unbalanced and turned inside out trying to make her every whim happen,, she’s trashed us everywhere she can this last incident was Christmas of 2017 she told horrific lies about us on her Facebook Christmas Eve .Friends of ours on her page showed it to us,,, I’m so angry I can spit nails!! I’m sure he doesn’t know she did it then again maybe he does,, kids are her trophies ,, she’s had 3 affairs on him this last one he found out,, I think she let him find out to manipulate some more… he’s kept her around still ,,,now a 3 rd child is due in May good grief,, she trashed me so bad 4 yrs ago in person I sought counseling for myself. the counselor suggested this website for men and women to check out its designed for men but good info regardless,,,
    It’s called Shrink For this will help anyone really.. Very informative!!!
    I’m waiting for the day if ever for our son to open his eyes when he does I will share this sight with him. But for now after what she said and did about us,, we are going No Contact,,,,, we Love our grandkids but it time to be rid of Drama and stress,,,, breaks our hearts sometimes one just needs to let go,, she’ll have the kids disliking us anyway eventually of course her parents are Golden,, and they both are NPD my husband worked with her father,, what a nut job too… apple didn’t fall far from those trees,, hope the website builds on what Zari has shared here!!!!helps someone,,,,Good luck all!!

  • Leroy

    January 25, 2018 at 5:57 pm Reply

    Oh wow! Never thought of narcissist being this way……wife’s mother is a narcissist and my wife wasn’t the favorite child but was the one who could never please her……I married wo realizing all the baggage that would crop up after mid 30’s to early 40’s……but we’ve worked thru a lot of the emotional stuff now……just turned 50 and marriage is great again……I do love my wife. Leroy

  • aaron ronalds

    December 22, 2017 at 3:59 am Reply

    your messed up lady. I am sorry i came here looking for intelligent and educated information to help me deal with my troubled girlfriend, all I am reading here is elementary English, jaded female centric opinions, and a woman with obvious relationship issues polluting the knowledge base with her own mentally unstable agenda. stop stereotyping a dynamic adaptive and broad disorder with garbage like this
    “He will still cheat on you with anyone and everyone, he will still be fascinated with weirder than weird porn, and he will still create profiles on dating sites. As good as the sex is, you may even wonder, from time to scary time, if your N is perhaps bisexual or maybe “curious” about it – even while he’s acting homophobic! To a narcissist, sex means both nothing and everything. ”
    Your own personal experience, im sure troubling and tragic, needs to be kept seperate from your offering of assistance. your relationship may have been a textbook narcissistic love saga, but relationships in definition are infinitely unique. use your audience and podium to teach helpful advice, keep your antiquated opinions and Man’ger bottled up where it belongs.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm Reply


      Hi Aaron,

      I’m not sure why you’re trolling my website but I can take a good guess. Only when I strike a nerve does a troll strike. The truth is that the behaviors of narcissistic abusers in relationships are NOT unique at all and this is why this website has nearly 6 million views. We can’t all be “messed up”…lol. The fact that our relationships are all exactly the same is, indeed, what brings us together to support each other in recovery. Since you don’t defend your case at all with details, your tirade is really meaningless and all I can say is Happy New Year and peace and blessings for 2018.


    • Tricia

      January 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm Reply

      Lol Sounds like Aaron must be a Narcissist. Just saying. I love what she wrote. Totally explained the time spent with my narcissist. They all seem to have the same behavior. Thank you for writing it. Definitely helped me see the light.

  • Deb Codding

    December 4, 2017 at 11:05 pm Reply

    Your experience mirrors mine very closely. My ex had dozens of affairs and one night stands throughout our 11 years. He convinced me that I was not good enough for him no matter what I did. Just when I perfected whatever he wanted sexually (to his standards that is), he upped the ante with wilder and more risky things. He kept all his women in the dark and believing that they were the only ones performing sexually exciting deeds for him. When in fact, we all were doing anything we could to be THE ONE that sexually satisfied him. No kink too crazy. It was a no win situation. He was the only winner in the situation with a host of women willing to do just about anything he wanted, including myself. I started to get wise to his narcissist sociopath ways about 2 years ago (I am a slow learner). It has been very enlightening, sitting back and watching him act out textbook narcissist ways – like a cartoon even. Now that I have been free of him, I see that I am actually the only winner in this situation. His side chicks and current legitimate girlfriend are still prisoners of the most incredibly dishonest man I have ever known. The bizarre thing is that, thanks to triangulation, the women are all pitted against each other, believing the others are psycho and hateful while he comes out, somehow, forgiven and taken back by each of us every time. Nothing he does seems to be a deal breaker. The line in the sand just gets moved so the women can forget the awful things he has done. He was actually furious with me that I changed my name back on social media because he did not want to have to explain to his side chicks that he was now a free agent and had no intentions of having a public relationship with them. The scope of his secret life is that shocking.

    • Zari Ballard

      January 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm Reply

      Hi Deb,
      Yes, it’s amazing how they can go on for quite a while without having their world’s collide. There is always a deviant secret and you are so right about everyone striving to THE ONE. So sad that we become participants in the game when all we want is to have a normal relationship. Like you said, they simply move the line in the sand a little further to keep up the facade and to keep all his minions on the move. Yikes! It’s pretty awful…


  • Chad Mcswain

    October 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm Reply

    I’m going to have to disagree with some of the hype about narcissist being that great in bed. My female narcissist ex (she just discarded me 3 months ago after 3 year relationship) was nowhere near the best sexual partner I ever had. She did love to be intimate with me most of the time, but she just wasn’t that great at all. She made up by excessive love bombing in gifts, etc. Yes, I was lucky enough to have one that didn’t use me financially. My situation is extremely different compared to most. Mine was so hard to detect in the beginning. She was a hard worker, drove hour and half from her job to be with me everyday and seemed to be my soulmate. We did everything together. I thought she was just this poor emotional abused child as a kid with learning disabilities. She had been an ugly duckling that grew up to be beautiful as she became a teenager. After a few months I started noticing the self-centered conversations, compulsive lying, mind games, manipulation, broken promises and never being there when I really needed her. When I would confront her on these issues I would get the silent treatment for days. Then when she drove me totally crazy and I started lashing out verbally, it was always my fault. She got caught in severe lies serious lies last year and then she discarded me. I chased for 2 months until she finally came back. This time, I finally confronted her about being mentally and told her she could get help or not to come back. I think this was the final discard. She changed her number, blocked me on all social media eventually and moved in with her sister. I tried to chase first couple of months this time, because I thought possibly she was just bipolar or borderline that could be helped with meds and therapy. She did communicate through messenger at first, then email. Always said she loves me, was hurting and but she needed to move on. Last month a counselor sat down with me and explained she was a full blown covert narcissist and she shut our entire life off light a light swith with no closure because I have exposed her/seen through her. I didn’t see the devaluation phase that most speak of, just love bombing to discard. But after going through a lot of our past conversations with counselor, I do see some devaluation, just not like most. This woman was the love of my life, my best friend. For them to immediately throw you away and all the great times/memories they shared with you, immediately like you never existed is beyond belief. My kids loved her like a stepmom, my family and friends loved her, hell.. even my dogs loved her. But she discarded all of us overnight like we never existed when she realized I ripped off her mask. The trauma that I’m experiencing is unimaginable , unless you have been in love with one of these creatures. I went no contact last month once I realized what she was. I’ve only gotten 2 e-mails from her, both were hateful blaming me, but I didn’t respond. I hope she never contacts me again so I can be strong enough to rebuild my family and life without her. Do I still love her and miss her? More than any woman I’ve ever had in my life. It’s like going through a death. That’s what I tell myself, that she died. I felt that I always needed to be there for her and take care of her for her problems. Im probably a codependent myself. But I’ve realized she can’t be helped. These people are seriously mental I’ll. Narcissism is the only illness where the patient is left alone and the victims have to be treated….

    • Zari Ballard

      November 13, 2017 at 12:45 am Reply

      Hi Chad,

      After a few months I started noticing the self-centered conversations, compulsive lying, mind games, manipulation, broken promises and never being there when I really needed her. When I would confront her on these issues I would get the silent treatment for days. Then when she drove me totally crazy and I started lashing out verbally, it was always my fault. That was your devaluation right there. You didn’t go from love-bombing to discard, you had plenty in between. Just because they are “good” every once in a while does not a good person make.

      While I LOVE, for the most part, what you say here: Narcissism is the only illness where the patient is left alone and the victims have to be treated…. … because that is EXACTLY right except for one thing…a narcissist is NOT mentally ill. People who are mentally ill do NOT want to be that way and would do anything to get better. A narcissist has a personality DISORDER and this is a very important difference. You give her far too much of a pass to say she’s mentally ill while inadvertently insulting the struggle of those with mental illness at the same time. A narcissist ENJOYS causing pain and, believe me, she knows right from wrong, she just doesn’t give a shit. What you are right about is that she can’t be fixed. Yup that is right…her “bad” is as good as it’s ever going to get and, truly, that is all you need to know. If you can, please read my book When Evil Is a Pretty Face which I wrote just for the guys about the female narcissist. It will bring you some comfort and more validation that YOU were never the problem. Wishing you the best, brother…..


  • K nw

    June 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm Reply

    I’m so in deep. He hasn’t seen me in a week. Not even since I broke my foot a few days ago. We’ve been arguing because he went 2 days without calling. Still no account of where he was. He said fishing, but also told me he had to leave the house to call me. I didn’t mention that he’s still married after 2 years of saying he would leave once I acted the way he wanted. Said “I talked too much, over opinionated, smart mouth, bossy, didn’t speak clear enough, thought I was better because of degrees, kids controlled me… dumb ass, stupid ass, bitch and GOOFY ASS when angry…” How am I staying in this. Said since i was raped, he was having a hard time dealing with having sex he also says awful things about my deceased husband. But yet I am addicted to his approval and hungry for his wanting me and love that he once had (I guess). But yet, I can’t stand him and afraid to break up with him… because maybe I am what he says. I am a combat veteran with PTSD and on a lot of meds that makes it hard to get up and stay up. But yet he wants to talk to me on the phone while he’s at work… until he’s mad and tells me if I wasn’t on the phone with him all day, he could get things done. Now he’s not praying or reading the BIBLE with me. I can’t take it any more but I’m so afraid. But then again, what he’s done for me doesn’t hold a candle flame to what I’ve done for him. Help me please!

    • Zari Ballard

      July 10, 2017 at 2:20 am Reply

      Hi K nw,

      Your post is very sad. It is even sadder to me that you are a combat veteran and not getting the help that you need for your PTSD. The narc is only making that worse for you. I wish you could just let him go. Your self-esteem and happiness should never be based on the behaviors of ANY person let alone a lying pathological piece-of-shit narc. I mean that. You need to be taking care of yourself and not worrying about this loser. He is a walking talking LIE, my friend, and he always has been…from Day One. And he will not be leaving that marriage anytime soon…I guarantee it.

      Now, you came back from war ALIVE only to suffer through THIS? No way. Block his number. Lock the door. And get yourself the help that you need to feel at peace with yourself. He will destroy you and what a complete shame that would be after all that you’ve gone through. Please save your life…you so deserve to be happy:)

      Zari xo

  • Laurie King

    June 2, 2017 at 5:58 pm Reply

    I was with my boyfriend for 4 yrs, the last 2 of them were not good at all. This is just a few things that started going on…He was mean to me, silent treatments for no reason, no sex, told me he was too old for it & scared that viagra would give him cancer!! He would throw ranting raging fits out of nowhere that left me with my jaw on the floor because they were for nothing or the tiniest reasons. I didn’t realize I was brainwashed by him into thinking I was a piece of shit, no good for anything. He made me cry after these screaming attacks then tell me to get out of his house. I used to be in nursing, I had been getting severely beat up @ my job by a patient & had to go on disability, I needed several surgeries, he then abandoned me physically/emotionally, he told me it was too stressful to talk to him about it. He never would hug me when I came home with bruises on my face & body, I’m a very thin woman, never had a man be this way to me. I thought I was losing my mind, he constantly told me I was a psycho nutcase. I’m 52, attractive have a nice figure, but he treated me like I was ugly & horrible, told me he hated the sight of me, constantly. He broke up with me after I got drunk & had my 1st blackout( I’m not a big drinker) I told him what I thought about him in front of his business partner & wife when we were on our way home from an evening out, it was bad but had been building up inside me for 2 yrs. This was the 1st time he had actually taken me anywhere in yrs even though I practically begged him to. After that evening he broke up with me I was such a mess, I thought about suicide many times. I was confused, I thought everything was my fault. We were broken up for a yr, during this time I would go to his house & visit our dog & run his business while he was out @ the pub he goes to everyday. I found out that he was seeing a hooker regularly, he had no idea I knew, I was devistated! My depression became so bad that I’m not sure how I’m still here, he told me no sex when we were together. After a little research, saw photos of this hooker online where she advertises, we look very similar & same age, this made me feel worse. He was a tightwad but was spending $200 an hr for sex w her, it made me so sick, but I was for some reason so in love w him. When he would come back from drinking we would sometimes talk before I left to go home. About 5 months ago we were talking about reconciling, I asked him what he was going to about his hooker. His jaw hit the floor, he had no clue I knew. He swore it was over & he would never contact her again. She lives 3 mins away from the pub he goes to. I was hoping things would be great but I couldn’t stop being jealous of him being w her & it created many fights between us all the time. He never takes me anywhere now, in the beginning of our reconciliation he did a few times. Now we hardly have sex, he’s too tired bla bla.. When we do have sex he had all these new moves w me. I haven’t said anything to him about this but my instinct tells me he’s still seeing her. He has sworn on his mothers grave he isn’t seeing her but I don’t believe him. He’s back to the silent treatments, fits, tells me I’m crazy, can’t stand the sight of me, my gut tells me he’s still seeing her. I’m at such a loss right now, he’s not speaking to me again, it’s been 4 days. All my friends have moved out of state in the last 2 yrs & I have no one to talk to. Please give me advice before I become the mess I was before, I’m close to being there now. Why does he have such a hold on me ? Why can’t I just get on w my life & not wish I was with him when we’re in a fight? I’m an intelligent woman except for this damn man, what can I do, is there hope? I also have to find a new career due to my injuries @52 yrs old, am scared no one will hire me due to my age, all my friends were permanently laid off from their high paying jobs, but have degrees, I didn’t go to college & feel I’m doomed all the way around. I didn’t really know what a narcissist was until reading about them, he’s definitely one, think many books were wrote about just him. I’ve told him he’s a narcissist & that makes him so mad. I feel so lost & depressed, please help me, I desperately need advice ?.
    Thank you,

    • Zari Ballard

      June 21, 2017 at 12:43 am Reply

      Hi Laurie,

      I will go to my personal email and send you my books.I believe they will help you so please look for them….I will send it to the email address that you used to write your post.

      Zari xo

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