Protect yourself from sexual narcissists by arming yourself with the understanding you need to find your strength again.
Photo by Maru Lombardo on Unsplash
by: E.B. Johnson
Narcissists and dangerously insecure people that use their complexes to manipulate, control and abuse the people around them. Most narcissists believe they are better than everyone else, and this belief doesn?t stop at their romantic relationships or intimate partnerships. To the narcissist, sex is just another means to control ? and one that has lasting and long-term consequences for everyone involved.
Protecting yourself from the clutches and abuse of sexual narcissist is necessary in order to shelter and care for your own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. By learning how to spot the signs and behaviors of this type of narcissist, you can safeguard your happiness and build up the basis of understanding you need to survive and thrive in the midst of a narcissistic onslaught.
Sex and narcissists.
When it comes to narcissism, their abuse doesn?t just end at general put-downs and immature and self-centered behavior. To some narcissists, the ultimate means of control is excercising their complexes through sexual manipulation and coercion, one of the most dangerous and toxic forms of abuse that can be exercised in an intimate relationship.
Sexual narcissism occurs when one partner has a grandiose view of their bedtime prowess, and uses that aggrandized behavior to emotionally and physically manipulate their partners in and out of the bedroom. The sexual narcissist is a person who lacks the ability to truly get intimate with their partners, and their marked by their willingness to exploit their partner?s (sexually) to get what they want. Sexual narcissists take their self-obsession to an entirely different level, and it?s important to know the signs of their abuse so you can protect yourself from their damaging behavior.
Signs your sex-life is being manipulated by a narcissist.
If your sex life is being controlled, manipulated or dominated by a sexual narcissist there are a few concrete signs you can look out for. Though some narcissists are more covert than others, there are some behaviors that just can?t be hidden. If one or more of these traits sounds familiar, it might be time to take a step back and reassess.
Focus on the physical rather than the emotional
To many types of a narcissist, love-making is an opportunity to focus on appearance and image, making them abhor flaws or weakness and center in on physical aspects of themselves or their partners. Sex isn?t about connecting to them. It?s about measuring up expectations, and when that happens you?ll start to notice on an emphasis on the physical, rather than the emotional ? leading to something missing in both the bedroom and the relationship.
Charming with a catch
Narcissists have an inherent need to be desired, and that can allow them to come across as alluring or attractive. In the early stages of a relationship, they?ll use this sexual charm and charisma to win you over. Once you?re on the inside, however, you?ll start to notice that these traits are crafted (much like a honeypot) to impress, entrap and then ? ultimately ? manipulate.
Forcing you to serve their needs
While not all narcissists allow their flaws to permeate the bonds of intimacy, some do. Sexual narcissists might start off romantic, caring and loving, but they quickly devolve into self-centered people who use you to cater to their own selfish needs. They might expect you to behave as though you are little more than an extension of their wishes, or they might treat your body as though it is little more than piece of property created to serve their desires.
Coercing you into sex acts
Narcissists love to use coercion to get what they want, and this includes sex. The narcissist has a hard time swallowing disappointment, so if they don?t give you what you want they might react with anger or passive aggressive behavior that makes you feel bad or undermines your self-esteem. Whether it?s a full-on tantrum or a blame game, none of these responses are mature, intelligent or justified. Happy couples respect each other?s boundaries and wishes.
Neglects you after sex
Because narcissists are concerned only with their own happiness and gratification, they often disappear emotionally (and physically) after sex. If you get left hanging or feeling empty or alone after the act, it might be a sign that you ? and your body ? are being taken advantage of by someone who only cares about their own self-interests.
Infidelity and sexual violence
Whether they like it not, many sexual narcissists have been linked with both infidelity and domestic and sexual abuse and violence. In one study, sexual narcissists were found to engage in higher levels of infidelity than those without, and in another, there was shown to be a direct correlation between male sexual narcism and domestic and sexual violence. Because they?re obsessed with satiating their own needs, narcissists that use sex as a means to meet their ends can find themselves suffering from sex addiction, which further undermines their internal and external behaviors and happiness.
How narcissists use sex to destroy relationships.
There are a number of ways that narcissists wield the above behaviors and tools to destroy and undermine their relationships. Though blame games, neglect and emotional and sexual coercion might be the means which which they deliver their blackest deeds ? the true art of destruction occurs through anger, unresolved hurts, dominance and shifting dynamics of power and control.
Narcissists wield their entitlement in way that can convince both parties that they are owed sex or responsible for giving it at the whims of others. They don?t care if it?s convenient. They don?t care if it?s pleasurable. To them ? sex is the ?want? and they deserve everything they want, when they want it, even if it comes at the cost of those around them.
Likewise, narcissistic partners can also use withholding as a means of manipulating their partners and maintaining their sense of entitlement. This can occur when one partner believes that they have a right to withhold intimacy as a means of control. Just as forcing a partner into sex is damaging, withholding to emotionally control or manipulate someone is just as damaging.
Relationships work around one central basis: compromise. When two people come together to share one life, we have to learn how to navigate the delicate dance of give and take that keeps us both happy, content and fulfilled. Only when we work as a team can we create something that is lasting and worthwhile.
2. Weaponizing anger
Many narcissists struggle with deep-seated insecurities and traumas that make it hard for them to trust, and make it hard for them to stabilize their emotions. For this reason, they come to learn that sex can be used as a weapon against their partners, leading them to engage in sexual violence or sexual withholding in order to manipulate and undermine their partners and spouses.
For the angry person, sex is an easy weapon to wield, but it?s one of the most destructive behaviors we can engage in. When you utilize fear and mental and emotional coercion to get what you want, you?ve undermined the other person?s wellbeing and destroyed their sense of trust, safety and security.
Narcissists weaponize their anger because it is easy. Through fear, they are better able to manipulate, manage and control their partners, and force them into a narrow world where the only point of view that matters is that of their abuser?s.
3. Sadomasochistic dynamics
Relationships are a delicate dance, and one that requires both partner to be equally committed, engaged and present in what?s going on mentally, physically and emotionally. When one partner fails to this, the entire equation becomes unbalanced, leading to hurt feelings, division and anger that festers like a sore until it erupts in violence, anger and the destruction of the things we value.
In this degrading environment, it?s easy for a sadomasochistic dynamic to set in. Unable to put up with the narcissistic abuse anymore, one partner might become distant and start withholding intimacy from the abuser. In turn, the narcissist might revert to sadistic behavior and engage in cheating or divorce ? justifying it through gorging on the masochistic feeling of revenge and power they get from the act.
This cycle is one of the easiest for abusive / abused couples to fall into, and one of the ones that takes the most intricate and careful of navigations to manage. The only way to get around a sadomasochistic cycle of wounding one another is to open up and get to the root of what?s going wrong within each of you.
4. Seizing control
Narcissistic abusers can use both withholding and sexual coercion and violence as a means to redraw the lines of power and redistribute the sexual and intimate equity in their favor. A narcissistic who is more indifferent to sex might pull away and withold intimacy to put their partner in their place and seize control. Likewise, they might also pressure their partner or spouse into sex they don?t want to have.
To the narcissist sex ? like everything else ? is a game with one goal and one goal only: redistribute the power and take control. Narcissists only feel as though they?re happy or fulfilled unless they?re on top and in control of the thoughts, behaviors, responses and emotions of those around them.
This kind of desperate need to be ?1 often comes from abandonment issues, or deep-seated issues that revolve around loss or a destruction of trust at a critical point in their emotional development. While this behavior can be addressed, it takes a lot of insight and a lot of radical acceptance in regards to the reality of what both partners are experiencing.
5. Destroy self-confidence
One of the most insidious ways by which narcissists abuse and control their partners and ?loved ones? is by destroying and undermining their confidence and sense of self-worth. Sex is just another way by which narcissistic abusers achieve this end, using the act and feedback on the act as a means to keep their partner feeling bad about themselves.
So that they can maintain the perception of superiority, sexual narcissists will often engage in putting other people down ? questioning (and therefore forcing them to question) their desirability and acceptability.
They might also target their partner?s through ridicule, blame, sarcasm, shame and marginalization. By putting their partner constantly in a state of psychological distress and conflict, they are better able to strong-arm in their need for dominance and manipulation tactics.
Ways to protect yourself from a sexual narcissist.
If you?ve found yourself the victim of a sexual narcissist, there are steps you can take to protect and heal yourself. Healing is slow, but it?s a process that can open up some truly transformative revelations and opportunities when we give ourselves the change to create boundaries needed to thrive.
Take a self-inquiry
Self-inquiry is a powerful way to get in touch with your emotions and get to the root of what?s hurting you from the outside in. Let your thoughts come as they are, and allow your emotions to come to the surface as they are and for what they are. In order to start the process of setting boundaries and protecting ourselves, we have to dig into what?s wrong and how we?re feeling. Drop the judgement and drop the blame. Give yourself the time, space and freedom you need to express yourself and do so in way that allows to come to terms with your patterns of thinking and the way you?re reacting to the suffering you?re experiencing.
Focus on the future
Once you?ve had the opportunity to get in touch with how your partner?s actions are making you feel, you can start to focus on the future and get a solid vision of where you want and need to go. Just because you?re suffering now doesn?t mean you?ll suffer forever, but you need to get a clear picture of what you want so can start communicating your own needs, desires and boundaries to the narcissist that?s limiting your shine.
Accept what happened ? but don?t internalize it
Narcissists have an uncanny skill when it comes to making us believe that their behavior is our fault. Rather than internalize the sexual and emotional abuse you?re experiencing accept it for what it is and also accept that it is not your fault. Only one person in your relationship knowingly chose to engage in destructive and abusive behavior, and it wasn?t you. Don?t take on someone else?s baggage ? you have enough to be getting on without their guilt, shame and insecurities being added to it.
Get back in touch with things that make you feel good
One of the best ways to overcome the undermining abuse of a narcissist is to get back in touch with the hobbies and pastimes that make us feel good. Focusing on the things we enjoy, or the things we do well is a great way to rebuild your self-confidence and reinstill the sense that you?re a strong, powerful individual that?s totally in control of their own destiny. Focusing on your strengths in time of trouble is a great way to get back in touch with the power you think is lacking and get back on track to happiness and self-esteem.
Putting it all together?
Dealing with a sexual narcissist is a delicate process that takes time, understanding and a radical sense of self-acceptance. The behaviors of these self-obsessed people are extrememly damaging and toxic to our overall mental wellbeing. In order to defeat their machinations, we have to learn how to spot the signs of a sexual narcissist and limit and put a stop to their damaging manipulations once and for all.
If you believe you?re dealing with a sexual narcissist, give yourself some time and space to get a handle on how you?re feeling and what?s going on. Sexual narcissists like to weaponize their anger and use it to undermine their partners. Take a stand and refuse to allow them to manipulate and control your body and your intimacy by taking a stand, putting up your boundaries and sticking to them. Focus on your strengths and translate those strengths into the power you need to thrive and overcome this darkness in your life. It won?t last forever, but you have to make the decision to stand up to your narcissistic abuse and take charge of the future that?s yours and yours alone.