Narcissists don’t have sex as a way of being intimate with someone (or vulnerable), but they’re often very affectionate. During sex they typically want to play the dominant role as sexual narcissism is another way that they can assert power.
The narcissistic trauma bond can heighten the sexual experience and make it more intense, even in long term relationships. This is due to the chemicals released (oxytocin and dopamine) in the brain. The push and pull of the narcissist’s affections and cold treatment leads you to crave the closeness of sex more than in a ‘normal’ relationship.
When you do have sex more chemicals are released. This is one of the key reasons that it is so difficult to leave a narcissist, you’re addicted to the chemicals and find it difficult to get your ‘high’ with anyone else.
Narcissists want to be admired and be perceived as superior and the ‘best’ so they often ask questions about your previous partners, to determine that they are better than your exes. Narcissists will typically boast about how their previous partners said that they were the ‘best’. If you don’t validate their superiority as a lover, they will withdraw and become abusive.
There are a number of forms of sexual abuse. Commonly it includes:
- Non-consensual sex or sex acts that humiliate and degrade the victim
- Habitual cheating and expecting their partner to tolerate it
- Love bombing – In the very early stages of the relationship they will try to accelerate the relationship very quickly. They will tell you you’re perfect, the best relationship they’ve ever had, and they will be in love immediately. They may give you extravagant presents, plan expensive holidays and want to move in together or even marry within weeks.
- Crazy ex – Their last partner will be described as ‘crazy’. Narcissists will make their partners crazy through emotional abuse, but will then claim it is the victim’s fault.
- Criticizing your friends and family – They need to isolate you from your support network so, early on, they will start to make small criticisms of the people in your life.
- Future faking – They will describe an idyllic future that you will soon realize is unrealistic. You will be constantly reminded of this golden future. It will be held up as an incentive to stay with the abuser.
- Need for control – They will try to assert control immediately and override your wishes, even on little things.
- They do not respect your boundaries - At the beginning of the relationship they will push your boundaries to see what they can get away with and if you’re someone they will be able to abuse.
- Lack of empathy – They may fake emotions at the beginning or to manipulate you.
- Sense of entitlement – A narcissist needs to feel that they’re the best, everyone else is less than them.
- Pathological lying – They make you believe that they’re a person they’re not (e.g. They will say “I would never cheat” while they are cheating). This deception is something they actively enjoy.
- Dismissive – No interest or attention to things or people that don’t benefit them.
- Highly judgmental – They will be a harsh critic of others.