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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  • Inga

    January 1, 2016 at 10:57 pm Reply

    I have read your words and felt like crying…yet again….I have just emerged from a three and a half year relationship with a sexual narcissistic. Like your experience; the sex was so so good…so good it had to be right. Thats what I thought. I was addicted. For the first time in my life; I would have literally run over hot coals to throw myself at this man. I would have done anything. And he knew it, he played upon it. He orchestrated it. All for an exchange of lust and also to feel that bliss of being wanted by him.
    Always, always on his terms; we met up once or twice a month in a hotel room. He never came to my place and I never went to his; he did not meet my friends or family and nor did i meet his…. And no; neither of us is or was married to anyone else. Its just how he wanted it; a secret sexual intense storm that vanished as soon as it was over, and left me discarded and ignored. Until the next time, when the sweet texts and calls would begin. It went on for years. He kept me as his supply on the phone each day, kept me maintained as the willing admiring, adoring fool that I was; I changed life plans, ditched other potential boyfriends, altered my holiday plans, did as I was told every time; in short I clung to him and our sexual rapport like a lifeline. All a joke of course. It took me so long to work it out. Nobody ever told me about narcissists. I had no idea. I thought I was involved with an emotionally reticent but deeply caring man who was my friend and lover. Now, the more I read, the more I feel a sinking dismay at how well I have been played. By a master masquerader, after so reading so many womens’ accounts such as yourself, I realise that I didn’t stand a chance against such a shrewd manipulator, both sexually and emotionally. I realised that I was manipulated by the phone calls; so have blocked his number and wham; just like that I am free. So far anyway; its now only day 7, but I don’t think he is the hoovering type thankfully.
    Thanks again for such a great article Zari. I am sighing in sadness but relief too when I read your final lines;” 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.”
    Thats what made my cry.
    Much appreciation,

  • tanja

    December 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm Reply

    Hello everyone, I was with a N on and off for 14 years. This was before I realize what he was. I was also in the same frame of mind that some of you that posted. I left my N 4 years ago and I’m very happy now that I did. Once you realize that you are dealing with a N then you can realize what YOU need to do. You have to go thru the pain of your hurt and realize that the relationship was a lie. You also have to realize that you as a person deserve so much more then what you was getting from your N. They don’t change because they are who they are. Stop worrying if the N is with another, be happy for them and be happy with yourself that you are no longer with them. Stop thinking that after the N leave you or you leave them that there life is so happy and they skipping because they are not. My N thought that he was going to break me down or that I’m so in love with him that I would continue his games, NOT. My love for myself was greater. My N still tries to call or text and even tries to see me (sex) but he he shut down every time. LOL I’m not the same woman anymore and I love myself even more everyday with a smile on my face. The last time I seen him, he wasn’t looking so good. The hell he put me thru has now turn on him. Do I feel sorry for him, NOT because to me what goes around, come around and you do have to pay for it. So Ladies or men’s that dealing with a N, life is to short to waste time on hoping that they will come back or change. Because the same N that left will be the same N that return. Close the door on them and you go skipping on your merry way. Trust me, life is so much better.
    Good luck to all who are still struggling.

  • hannah

    December 7, 2015 at 8:52 am Reply

    My evil begrudging most disgusting parasitic husband who always preached he wanted me to be a pious wife and that i wasn’t and couldn’t be a good wife cos i wouldn’t be submissive to him…Would give me threats that if i didn’t obey all his his beating,verbal abuse. (Which on a daily basis i was called a fat ugly Bastard,mother fucker,ugly fuck face,lard arse,tranny,ugly fat bitch..etc etc…)oh and threats everyday over a small disagreement that he’d marry someone else..this i had to hear everyday for 9yrs..and then he’d vanish for months,weeks or days just cos bills and kids needed looking after or that his parents never accepted me as his wife…you see he divorced his ex from Pakistan who he said he never fpund attractive cos she wasnt his type so he was only marrying her to please his parents.once he knew i was divorced he chased me for one year till i gave in and he manipulated me by making fake promises..anyway cut long story short…he beat me up every month in the first year,sat on my 8mth pregnant stomache hacked off my hair…said his father said that men hit women and sp did his father do the all these same crimes before,his father even murdered and got off..going back yrs now..he would call his mum a slut on a daily basis so really he was already conditioned by a narc father and a mother who praised him if he did wrong and would always put her son on a pedestal so he really had two damaged parents with bad parenting skills.i have had to take years of verbal abuse and serious neglect from him…He would leave me in my most traumatic time..whenever I’d suffer some sort of calamity he’d go off to live at his parents so he didnt have to witness my sufferings or pick up the pieces of his doings.he also has a gambling addiction and drug addiction…and one of the most disgusting things id have to put up with was his perving habits where if a woman stood infront of him or walked past him he’d ogle at her and perv on their young son has also noticed how his dad pervs and questioned why daddy does this??..he cheated on me once while my mother went into a coma for 6wks and i was a complete mess as i was told she wouldn’t make it (thank GOD she did!)..the day i heard of my mothers illness he decided to ignore my msgs and calls..i couldnt understand why he was being cold..then while i was suffering during that period..he came to my doorstep one evening and boastfully shouted out the persons name he was seeing…he said he’s going to show me and everyday im going to walk on eggshells with him and the only way for him to lose is for me to kill him…and even then he wins.. (his words..not mine)he later admitted to only meeting that person once and told them he couldnt persue anything as he couldn’t hurt his kids!!can you believe the cheek????..anyhow he wormed his way back in cos i was too thick to let go and put an end to our marriage.he knew i loved him and he knew my fears and what nerve to he played on my emotions.Before the cheating…when i had our 2nd child he walked out on me and left me in agony just a day before i gave birth..i was already in labour and he knew i was having contractions but just left so easily and reason was cos he couldnt give up his lifestyle.which was drugs mates and gambling…oh and this man prays all the time by the way!!! other good men a bad name that do pray and act upon the meaning of it and how a husband should really love and treat a woman…He is a fake and i use to tell him the truth which is why he hated me..he now is openly chatting to his ex wife who he once could not stand as she wasnt a good wife too i am now??..surprise surprise..nothing new there…He does not have any empathy nor does he have any shame in any of his evil acts. He was always jealous of me for some strange reason..thats why if someone said he was lucky to have pretty wife like me that would cause some kind of rage and jealousy in him..thats when the threats would begin.Everyday i was called dirty hurtful names over nothing..he is truly sick and evil in every its been 5mths since our separation as he started to hit the kids and emotionally abusing them to call me those same dirty names he called me .so when my 7yrs old child told him its not good to swear..he turned round and slapped him so hard across the face he actually left a handprint on the side of his face..i called the cops and had an injunction order taken out so he cant come near me or kids with threats or violence..Everyday i pray he suffers great torment and loses everything…but then i might be waiting forever for seeing him pay for his crimes

    • Zari Ballard

      December 14, 2015 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Hi hannah,

      You’re story is very heartbreaking and I am sick that you had to endure any of it/all of it. I dare say that your husband leans toward the more sociopathic end of the spectrum. It’s amazing you even survived it. But now you are separated and he is court-ordered to stay away. It is the best possible decision you could have ever made – both to leave him and to make it so he CAN’T see those children. Your children will always remember that you protected them so don’t ever worry about that. The truth is that narcissists can no more love their children than they can love their spouses/partners. It just is what it is. While it’s rough growing up without a father, fathers like this they just don’t need.

      I apologize for taking so long to respond to your post. Thank you for sharing and I wish you nothing but the best, sister. Please write anytime…I’m here to support you:) You and your children deserve to be happy. Rush along that divorce and be done with this evil parasite once and for all.

      Zari xo

      • hannah

        December 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm Reply

        Hi Zari.Thanks for your support and comforting words .It helps to know I’m not alone . There’s just one thing i can’t stop doing and that’s thinking of him or what he’s doing or if he’s thinking of me.i know i shouldnt as he was an a*** and did not once show any empathy or remorse for my pain.i wish i could stop thinking of long do you think it will take before i can heal and forget him altogether.x

      • hannah

        December 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm Reply

        I may have survived but the sad truth is my mind and heart are both dead.i can’t function properly nor make any proper decisionsi feel like my mind has been put on pause and I’ve lost track of time and reality .i just sit all day and cry as i truly loved him amd can’t accept the lengths he went to to hurt me.or why he hurt me ? Now I’m always shaking with anxiety and i wake up in middle of the night in a huge panic and sweat..i feel my heart is in my throat thats how how fast its beating.while im suffering here and have done and will continue doing so…he has never suffered any hardship nor trauma like what he bestowed upon me.i pray i get justice by hearing he’s dead.

        • Zari Ballard

          December 20, 2015 at 2:03 am Reply

          Hi Hannah,

          Please, girl, if you can, download my book When Love Is a Lie from Amazon because it will help you understand what happened. My story shares nowhere near the devastation that you endured but it will offer some insight into the narcissistic mentality and why evil is just evil. You can’t control his behavior or even what happens to him but you CAN control your reaction to all of it. It’s all we can do…

          Stay strong!!

          Zari xo

  • Melissa

    December 3, 2015 at 9:26 am Reply

    My spouse just started going to Sexual Addictions Anonymous meetings after being found out he was having an affair with my “best friend”. Insert barf face here. I knew there was more.
    I had known he cheated on me a few times early on in our 13 year relationship, but I always chalked it up to a mistake in the situation he was in. Accidents happen I would tell myself. I didn’t realize how many it had actually been until I was at my complete all time low. I got out a pen and paper and thought really hard.
    I came up with 11 incidents… that I knew of. Not all those were actually physical, but TRYING to be physical. I knew there was more. I pressed him for information. He told me about 3 more women. The tally is 14 different women. I mostly know all of them. And as sick as it is, I actually got into “swinging” with him. I opened the door to fuel his addiction to the extreme. We knew a vast amount of fellow perverts, and I occasionally gave him permission to go out and have sex with other women. These women are NOT included in the 14 mentioned previously. I don’t count those as part of this because I knew about them. I condoned a lot of things a healthy person wouldn’t stand for. I tried to stop that stuff a few times but it was another addicting temptation. He just kept getting pulled back in… and I allowed it.
    I’m at a hard place right now. The answer is to leave but it’s not that easy. I pointed out to him that he’s most likely a narcissist AND a sex addict. He needs treatment for both regardless of whether I stay here with him or leave. I have doubts, but there’s hope as well. He is speaking with his therapist tomorrow about the discovery of his narcissism.
    When I look at all the evidence and everything I’ve read, I know whole heartedly I should just leave him. But the reality is, I’m codependent and need to get myself out of that title before I do anything. I also have 2 children with this man child and refuse to subject them to a premature split when this is all so fresh. I do have hope that maybe therapy and the SA 12 step program might help him. I’m not forcing him to go, he made those decisions on his own.
    He doesn’t get angry at my criticisms and constant questions. He can’t answer half of them either but it looks like he’s trying to feel sympathetic for what he’s done to me, to our family.
    I have a plan. I’m working on my own independence and myself in general while he continues his own recovery. I’m not banking on anything but I need to have the means for supporting myself and my children before I do anything drastic.
    I honestly don’t know why I’m posting this here. I guess I’m reaching out. I want to know wtf I’m supposed to do in this messed up situation I didn’t ask for. All I wanted was to feel loved the same way I love…
    I do have a time frame in mind. I’m not going to subject myself to this for the rest of my life. I just have to give him a chance because I do really love him and all this just came to fruition very recently.

    Sorry for the long ish post! This is actually the very very short version.

    • tanja

      December 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm Reply

      People make mistake and people who do tries very hard to not make the same mistake again but with some people there mistakes become a habit. A habit they continue over and over again. So the question is, why keep loving them, when they surely don’t love you.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 26, 2015 at 12:10 am Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to respond and I hope you had a nice Xmas (under the circumstances). It’s hard for me to make an objective observation about your situation. No matter what, I will/would never be “okay” with my man having sex with other women and I’m pretty sure I speak for 99.9999% of the women that post here. You’re a better woman than I if you were able to handle that. As you already know, that lifestyle doesn’t work unless both partners are completely into it. I think it’s, to use your words, “sick” and, yes, allowing him to do it and even participating in it yourself just egged him on. I can only assume – because you obviously are more lenient when it comes to cheating than most women – that this is why you are even considering giving him another chance. My question to you now would be: what are you giving him another chance to do? To be monogamous? Because I’ll tell you right now…that is never going to happen. Sexual “addicts” can’t be fixed – if that’s even what he is. Secondly, narcissism can’t be “treated”. It is un-fixable. Narcissists don’t think there is anything wrong with what they do and, in fact, feel perfectly entitled to do it. Based on what you’ve told me, if he truly is a narcissist, he is going to fuck anything and everything (i.e the best friend) until the end of time. Yes, this is a very messed up situation.

      I know you say that this all just came to fruition recently but the fact is that it’s been going on for a very long time. What came to fruition is that you basically figured it out. The no-answer “look” that he gives you when you ask questions is what we call the narcissistic blank stare. He can’t provide answers because he doesn’t have any. The truth is that you caught him…figured it out…or else he’d just be continuing on without an ounce of remorse. Good luck with this because narcissism is un-fixable and cannot be “treated”. Just remember that. Time is a’wastin’ and life is was too short for any of this crap.

      Best of luck to you and your family….

      Zari xo

  • Felicia

    November 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm Reply

    Everything you said in this post was me and my N too. I’ve always thought he’s on the sadistic side when it comes to sex and would do it with both sexes , more than one at a time and liked to be rough. He took control in the bedroom and it was hot and exciting but there were times he would cross the line of normal. Eeeek.!!

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