Narcissistic 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.
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.
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.
You 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.
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.