Narcissists Don’t Make Love (?)

SOURCE:  Psychology Today


To some degree, we suspect that narcissists view their sexual partners as objects that satisfy their needs for pleasure, status, and power. As you might imagine, this kind of attitude probably doesn’t bode well for long-term relationships. In fact, one thing we suspect, but have not tested, is that more frequent sexual activity might actually harm relationships involving narcissists.

Here’s why: Sex generally acts to bring partners closer together (both physically and psychologically). In other words, sex can be thought of as a mechanism for enhancing relationships, For narcissists, however, who view sex more in terms of personal gratification, sex might actually cause increased separation. Think of it like this. It’s hard to imagine that a marital therapist would suggest that a couple engage in more frequent isolated activities in the hopes that they will grow closer to one another. Certainly, this would instead lead to further separation. Likewise, if sex is essentially an isolated activity (albeit in the presence of another person), then one can imagine how more frequent sexual activity might actually cause relationship partners to feel more separated from each other.

Granted, we are taking the perspective of the narcissist in terms of our speculation. It’s certainly possible that the (less narcissistic) partners of narcissists grow more and more attached with each sexual act. This would be particularly cruel because while sex works to make one partner more attached, it pushes the other partner away. It’s possible that to some degree this might even account for findings from our labs showing that ex-romantic partners of narcissists report being particularly unsettled by their relationships. Again, we haven’t tested this idea directly, but it certainly seems like a logical possibility.

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