Narcissistic Abuse and Sex: Abuse of Intimacy

Narcissistic Abuse and Sex: Abuse of Intimacy

When an empathic person is in a sexual relationship and especially an intimate long-term relationship with another person, sex creates emotional, physical and spiritual bonds.  Bonds and trust that grow from the connected exchange sex provides deepen the feelings of love and caring toward their partner. The chemical release of dopamine and oxytocin during sex floods your body and brain with feelings of love as well as creates a need to feel more of the same. 

But when there’s a narcissist involved, things don’t quite work this way.

You may think the narcissist is bonding to you too and may believe deep connection and love flow reciprocally between you both. In the case of a sexual relationship with a narcissist, the bonds on their side do not exist in the same way and the sharing of sex for connection is not what it appears to be.The narcissist uses sex to gain a feeling of power.

Meanwhile, because of the emotional bonding coupled with the body and brain chemicals, we grow deeper connections to them. Likely the love bomb-devalue cycle in other areas of your relationship with the narcissist will happen and trauma bonds will take hold as well further complicating things.

Lack of empathy means lack of intimate connection.

Without empathy, the narcissist can not put themselves in the place of the other person or find the depth of connection that the empath feels. They also are ego driven people and view sex not as a way to bond but as a way to own or possess another person and to meet their own needs only.  The narcissists may seem like attentive lovers (at least at first) that appear to be giving pleasure for the benefit of you, their partner, but as the relationship continues and masks come off it can become clear that this is not the case.

This is because the narcissist never had the intention of giving to you, they had the drive only to please them self and to make you react to them in a sexual way which fuels their ego and gives them supply.  The way the narcissist uses sex creates an imbalance of power in a relationship where you are becoming filled with trust and intimate love and they are remaining self-oriented only and using the vulnerability intimacy can create to gain control.

This power was always the intent and main sexual drive of the narcissist, the intimacy felt was only yours and once under their sexual control in this way the power becomes abuse and is a factor in deeper trauma bonding.

Sex as supply.

There are ways the narcissist gains supply through sex, for one, they hear our words of love and gain supply, it’s like direct feedback to the narcissist that they have secured us as supply and we are fully bonded. The narcissist also feeds off of the oxytocin and dopamine high, both their own and ours, that sex floods our brains and bodies with.

These chemicals that are released are powerful “feel good” and bonding chemicals and leave you feeling satisfied yet wanting more so it deepens the connection to a partner.  

We know that all attention is supply to a narcissist and sex seems to be a heightened supply because of the intense feelings it creates in you. Narcissists often get an ego boost from sex which is another form of supply. They sometimes view themselves as really great at sex and use you to prove that to themselves. They often like you to “perform” or make a show of just how great they are sexually. This can feel inauthentic and cause you to have a sense that something is not right or even leave you feeling unloved. 

Objectification

Objectification of all people is common for narcissists. They see us as objects for their own gain or pleasure maybe even so far as eventually you may feel like a sex doll or like you are expected to perform in a certain way lacking all authentic and spontaneous behavior on your part, or maybe like you are not even there.

Basically, a narcissist is having sex with them self and using you as an object to complete the sex act with as well as gaining further power over you. You may be seeking love and sharing an intimate exchange with them but they are seeing you as a warm body to use for their own purpose. It can feel like sex with a stranger when you look in their eyes as they objectify you.

This, when combined with trauma bonds, can create a cognitive dissonance during sex.

Have you ever felt empty and ended up in tears during sex with a narcissist?  Knowing intuitively something is not right but feeling connection and love at the same time can cause that empty feeling and leave you silently crying. Being objectified is not being intimately cared for and emotionally abusive.

Ways a narcissist may abuse intimacy

The deeper we feel a connection through sex the further the power is stolen by the narcissist to use as their own supply and manipulate you. They do this in many ways, here are a few examples:

  • Forcing you to cross personal boundaries and go beyond the comfort zone
  • Demanding  sex when it’s not wanted
  • Threaten to leave if sex is not up to their expectations at that moment
  • Withholding  
  • Forced or non-consensual sex
  • Objectifying
  • Shaming
  • Depersonalizing

They know sex bonds us to them, they may even think or say they feel close and bonded after sex, this, if is a truth at all is a half-truth and it works to ensure you that the feelings they are having are mutual which sadly is not possible given they do not feel empathy. The narcissist feels like they own you and sex is one way they use to make sure it stays that way. 

What happens to you?

Having a narcissist for a partner can leave you feeling emotionally alone and when it comes to sex it’s no exception. The isolation and loneliness when in a sexual relationship with a narcissist can be so completely devastating you literally change and seem to lose vital parts of yourself.

Having your intimacy abused not only diminishes the feeling of empowerment you may feel but damages self-worth.  Being used sexually in the ways a narcissist uses and abuses is not an easy thing to accept; it’s painful, humiliating, devaluing, dehumanizing and can crush self-esteem.

Having the natural and beautiful part of being an empath, your ability to bond with love and empathy expressed through sex and intimacy not only unreciprocated but used as a point of power and control against you can leave you feeling like it is now hard to trust. You may even feel naive or foolish for having trusted. Feelings of guilt, shame and anger may also be present. These are all normal ways to feel after having your intimacy used and abused, Now is the time for understanding exactly what took place and using active self-care to find healing.

Can you think of ways the narcissist used sex to manipulate you?  If any time you felt off or distance or emotionally not right during or after, maybe even sad or used these could be clues to seeing the manipulation that took place. 

Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here.

Meet Richard Grannon: Here’s Part 1 of My Interview with the Spartan Life Coach

Meet Richard Grannon: Here’s Part 1 of My Interview with the Spartan Life Coach

At your request, I have interviewed Richard Grannon! In this video, I’ll share the first part of the interview – find out why he does what he does – and what he’s got planned for the future. Plus: a fun lightning round!

About: Richard Grannon, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) Master Practitioner, is passionate about helping people defend themselves, get back on their feet, and finally free themselves from narcissistic abuse. Richard attended Aston University, where he studied Psychology and trained under Richard Bandler, the co-developer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Much of Grannon’s specific interest in narcissistic abuse originally stemmed from personal relationships — he’d witnessed it firsthand before and could tell something that something was wrong or “off,” yet he couldn’t quite identify it. It was only through his psychological training that he began to recognize patterns of narcissistic abuse.
Richard realized that this was likely the case for victims worldwide: they were either unaware of how they were being treated, or unaware of any possible solutions to their problems. Richard graduated with a BSc in Psychology and a renewed sense of purpose. He could offer direct, practical solutions for narcissistic abuse victims and help them reclaim their self-worth.

As a NLP Master Practitioner Richard Grannon cherishes his ability to reach a wide range of people. He’s worked with people from all kinds of different backgrounds and guided them toward the way out, all while helping them take back their power and sharpen their sense of reality. He draws on elements of numerous forms of psychotherapy, such as NLP, cognitive behavioral therapy, zen meditation, psychodynamics and more, to create the most effective and personalized solutions possible for each individual client.
One of Richard’s most effective ways of promoting healing and growth is by running a course for overcoming narcissistic abuse. The sad truth behind the concept is that there is little recognition of it as a major problem for victims, and Richard decided to create his own resource that people could turn to: the Spartan Life Coach course. The course directly addresses the mental health needs of victims of emotional and psychological abuse, and provides life-changing video tutorials, hypnosis visualization tracks, and written exercises.

Although Richard started his career doing one-on-one sessions, he now focuses more on courses like this as well as seminars so that he can reach more people than ever and inspire hope around the globe.

No matter what his professional role is, Richard Grannon believes in empowering people and helping them rediscover their own worth.

Antisocial Personality Disorder vs Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Similarities and Differences

Antisocial Personality Disorder vs Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Similarities and Differences

What is antisocial personality disorder, and how does it compare to narcissistic personality disorder?

We already know what narcissistic personality order or NPD is, right? But just in case you’re new here, let me just quickly review the clinical definition for you.

What is narcissistic personality order (NPD)?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a psychological disorder with symptoms such as an exaggerated sense of self-importance, an obsession with power and personal success, self-centeredness, and the inability to empathize. It causes the affected person to have a pretty distorted self-image, unpredictable and intense emotional issues, and most notably, a serious lack of empathy for the people around them. The lack of empathy leads them to not feel or understand the feelings that aren’t their own – and clearly, this causes serious issues in relationships.

Someone with NPD may also have a sense of superiority and grandiose fantasies of power or importance, not to mention a huge sense of (often unearned) entitlement, and they may consider themselves and their ideas more important and correct than anyone else’s.

What is anti-social personality order (APD)?

Now, let’s quickly cover the diagnostic criteria for APD or anti-social personality disorder. First, Antisocial Personality Disorder is considered a “mental health disorder” characterized by a blatant disregard for others.

Here, we see similar traits, including a propensity for egocentrism and self-directed goal-setting without regard for societal norms or rules. In addition, personality traits include a propensity for manipulating and deceiving others, hostility, and a sense of callousness. Also present are irresponsible and impulsive behaviors, excessive risk-taking, and other behaviors considered outside of the social norms.

Confusing, maybe, because there are some similarities there. For example, a narcissist will be uncomfortable in situations where they aren’t the center of attention, and so will the antisocial person. Both narcissists and people with APD can be very dramatic, and each likes to feel that they’re the center of the world.

What are the differences between APD and NPD?

Both the narcissist and the person with anti-social personality disorder are typically victimizers of others. However, while the narcissist lacks empathy, the anti-social personality has a reckless disregard for the safety of others – slightly different but still very similar, right?

But there are also some marked differences between APD and NPD, and that’s what we’re covering next. Probably the most notable one is that in most cases if the narcissist breaks the law, they aren’t caught because they’re very carefully calculating their behavior. For the anti-social person, though, being arrested at some point in their lives is pretty common.

NPD vs. APD on Attention from Others

Narcissists also really NEED their sources of narcissistic supply to self-validate. When it comes to their personal identities, the narcissist bases their self-esteem on how other people react to them and treat them. As a result, they tend to have an exaggerated sense of self that fluctuates to desperate self-doubt (which is usually not verbalized for many narcs). Narcissists are also known for their emotional extremes and mood swings.

NPD vs. APD on Self-Esteem and Personal Goals

On the other hand, the anti-social personality derives self-esteem from their own personal gain, power, and pleasure – not so much through the approval of others. They will aggressively and openly go after what they want without regard for the concerns of others. They want power, control, and material gain – the APD focuses mostly on functional benefits instead of the narcissist, who focuses on getting their supply needs met (the ego is more important to the narc).

It makes sense then that the narcissist’s goals are generally based on getting approval from other people and the need to see themselves as special or different. The narcissist also doesn’t really know why they do what they do, and as I mentioned, they have a great sense of entitlement.

The anti-social personality’s goals are based more on personal gratification, and this type of person lacks concern for societal standards when going after what they want.

NPD vs. APD on Relationships

Here’s an interesting note on empathy for both personality disorders. While we know that both lack empathy for others, the APD also lacks remorse when hurting or mistreating another person. While the same appears true for a narcissist, there is this interesting twist here – the narcissist tends to be hypersensitive to the reactions of others as they relate to themselves. The narcissist also seriously underestimates the effect of their behavior on other people.

Narcissists need relationships because they help provide them with validation and recognition, while anti-social people will build and discard relationships for their own financial or social gain. When their relationships end, narcissists are known to “hoover” their exes, while the ASP will walk away without a second thought.

NPD vs. APD on Sex and Intimacy

When it comes to sex and intimacy, the anti-social personality disorder person cannot have a mutually intimate relationship – they are all about exploiting other people to get what they want, and sex and intimacy are no exception. It’s the only way they know to relate to people. So the APD will use bullying and intimidation to control the people around them.

For narcissists, relationships are all about supply – getting their needs met. The narcissist enters relationships to serve him or herself only, boost self-esteem and fulfill the narcissist’s needs. Here is where people are most damaged by the narcissist – in intimate relationships. Narcissists are most often abusive to those closest to them. They tend to have very little interest in other people’s experiences, which leads their relationship partners to feel unheard and unimportant in many cases.

NPD vs. APD on Manipulation

Like the narcissist, the anti-social personality also includes manipulative behavior through seduction and charm, but for different reasons. But, again, the narcissist does it for supply and attention, while the ASP does it to meet their personal goals or for personal gain.

The APD-affected person is more likely to be blatantly callous and sadistic, deceitful, and to commit fraud. They are also more openly hostile and mean to others than narcissists, who are more likely to reserve these behaviors for their established sources of narcissistic supply.

NPD vs. APD on Taking Risks

Narcissists are less likely to take big risks and engage in hazardous behaviors, while the ASP is all about both of those things – in fact, they are known to be incredibly impulsive and irresponsible. As far as anyone can tell, many narcissists are financially and socially responsible, but that’s because they are also very concerned with their personal image and what others think about them. On the other hand, the ASP tends to lack the ability to be financially and socially responsible and really struggles to follow through on things promised and on agreements (legal or otherwise).

NPD vs. APD on Emotions

Narcissists have emotions, and they let everyone know it. But the ASP brain is wired differently. Neuroscientists believe that the brain’s prefrontal cortex has structural and functional issues that cause the ASP to have an inability to have remorse and genuine emotion. So while narcissists struggle to display remorse and genuine emotion in a normal way, it’s because they’re too self-focused sometimes to pay attention to or respect the feelings of others – not because they don’t feel anything. The APD genuinely can’t experience normal human feelings at all.

People with NPD can be affected by depression and anxiety; people with APD cannot. Both can experience drug and alcohol addiction – but for different reasons. The APD does it to indulge risk-taking and impulsive behavior, while the NPD does it to self-medicate or even to impress others in some cases.

NPD vs. APD on Revenge

The narcissist will feel wounded when their pride feels attacked or when someone doesn’t agree with them, and they may seek revenge for the narcissistic injury they get out of the deal. The APD doesn’t care what anyone thinks of them, but they will react with anger or aggression if their personal goals (for material or personal gain) are affected.

Can someone be both narcissistic and antisocial?

Yes, the two conditions can be comorbid, but not often. The symptoms overlap, but the specific diagnostic criteria are specific to motivations, so it’s rare that they can both be identified in a person.

Question of the Day: Do you know someone who is APD or NPD? What have your experiences been? 

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

Related articles

How Has Narcissistic Abuse Affected Your Self-Awareness?

How Has Narcissistic Abuse Affected Your Self-Awareness?

Are you self-aware? After you’ve been through narcissistic abuse, you might not be as self-aware as you think.

The definition of self-awareness is having a high degree of knowledge about yourself. It’s awareness of your habits, emotional tendencies, needs, desires, strengths, and weaknesses.

Having a high level of self-awareness is a powerful tool. It allows you to change your life more effectively, since you know how you tick.

People who lack self-awareness find life to be frustrating, quite often – so right now, that might include you – and it most definitely includes a lot of narcissists, believe it or not. I know that sounds confusing, but stick with me.

In today’s video, I’ll offer tips and life hacks to help you to develop your self-awareness, even after narcissistic abuse.

How to Be More Self Aware After Narcissistic Abuse: 6 Ways to Change Your Life for GOOD

If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to my YouTube channel! http://youtube.com/angieatkinson

1. Notice your thoughts. Unless you’ve been meditating for years, your mind is constantly churning through ideas and endlessly providing commentary. You can’t just look at a tree and admire it, your mind has to comment, “That’s a beautiful tree.”

Notice your thinking patterns.

  • What are you thinking when you’re feeling nervous?
  • Bored? Interested?
  • Walking down the street?

Notice that similar situations result in similar thought patterns.

  • Do you judge people and situations?
  • Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the past or the future?
  • Do you expect the worst to happen or the best? Or do you adopt an attitude of, “Let’s just see what happens” instead?

2. Notice your feelings.

  • What are you feeling throughout the day?
  • What do you feel while you’re eating?
  • Driving to work?
  • Lying in bed?
  • Waiting in line?

Once you’ve notice your emotion, question it.

  • What am I feeling? Why?
  • What do I need right now?
  • How do I normally react in this situation?
  • Is that smart?

3. Understand how you deal with frustration or emotional discomfort. A huge chunk of your time is spent trying to make yourself feel better. If you feel slightly frustrated or uncomfortable, then you may spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to change the situation or the others around you to resolve those negative feelings.

  • Do you try to control others?
  • Do you attempt to distract yourself?
  • Is your first instinct to leave the situation?
  • Do you surf the internet or eat a big bowl of ice cream?

4. Examine your friendships.

  • Where do you find your friends?
  • Are most of your friendships long-term or short?
  • When your friendships end, what is the common cause?
  • What types of people do you prefer to be friends with?
  • What types of people do you avoid?

5. Examine your intimate relationships.

  • Do you see a pattern in the type of people that you’ve been involved with?
  • What are the negative characteristics they all share?
  • Why do you think those people appealed to you?
  • What were your shortcomings in your relationships?
  • Are you clingy? Jealous? Too focused on work?
  • Failed to communicate your needs?

Think about how you contributed to the failure of your relationships. Have you changed your approach from relationship to relationship, or do you continue to repeat your mistakes?

6. Keep a journal. There’s no better way to learn about yourself than to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences each day. Studies have shown that we don’t remember our past very accurately, so record it while it’s still fresh in your mind. Be sure to include your high and low points for the day. Note how well you ate and slept, too. You might find some useful information. * Create a habit of writing in your journal for at least 15 minutes each day. You’ll start to notice patterns and learn a lot about yourself. Understanding yourself might be the most important piece of your self-development puzzle. If you don’t understand yourself, it’s difficult to apply all the great information available today. Maintain an awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Examine and question them. You’ll be surprised by what you find.

Save Yourself: Finding Your Personal Catalyst to Escape Narcissistic Abuse in a Toxic Relationship

Save Yourself: Finding Your Personal Catalyst to Escape Narcissistic Abuse in a Toxic Relationship

If you’ve ever been in an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist, then you know exactly what I mean when I talk about how stressful the idea of attempting to “right” the situation can be. While on one hand, you KNOW you want and deserve better for yourself (and, if you have them, maybe your kids), on the other hand, you also KNOW how difficult it’s going to be if you try to escape from a relationship with a narcissist.

How to Save Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse in a Toxic Relationship

For a lot of survivors of narcissistic abuse, a number of factors keep them feeling stuck in narcissistic abuse situations. For example, you might have small children to worry about, or you might have concerns about how you’ll survive financially after leaving. There are also fewer practical concerns, such as the fear of abandonment and worrying about being alone for the rest of your life.  This is when you’ve got to buckle down and find your catalyst for getting yourself free – a reason to save yourself. Start here.

Stop Feeling Like a Victim

I know things are difficult, and I know how tough it can feel to make such a life-changing decision – it sucks. And you deserve to be loved, comforted, cherished – just like we all do.

But right now? It’s not the time to feel sorry for yourself – it’s time to stand up and take ACTION toward improving your life. This is the time to put your emotions aside and look at everything logically. We will work on healing your emotional stuff later.

Know That You Have Value.

It’s time to stop letting the narcissist treat you like a commodity (as in narcissistic supply) that only exists to be a part of their grand scheme, whether you’re the shiny thing he shows off to all his friends, or you’re the proverbial punching bag for his verbal and emotional abuse and manipulation tactics. Or, maybe you’re the safe person – the go-to “dumping ground” for the narcissist’s insecurity, venom and hate.

Yes, You DO Deserve Better

Here’s the thing that you might not know — you deserve better.

I know. You’re reading right now, thinking to yourself that I can’t possibly KNOW that you deserve better. I mean, I don’t know you personally – and the truth is that you could literally be anyone. So how do I know you deserve better if I don’t know you personally?

Because everyone deserves to be treated with respect. It’s time to save yourself.

How to Discover Your Personal Catalyst for Motivation

Inspiration to Save Yourself from a Narcissist’s Abuse

What is a catalyst?

A catalyst can be something that you experience – such as an event, or it can be words spoken by another person, or a book or a movie that causes you to alter your life in some way.

Some catalysts are simple – such as a man who gets fired because he’s always late. Losing the job can be a catalyst for that man to make sure he gets to his next job on time, or find a job that gives him so much personal satisfaction, he never wants to let his company down.

The event of getting fired, often at an inopportune time, caused him to make a change in how he acts in life.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Change is hard. It’s easier to do what you’ve always done because there’s comfort in familiarity.

Leaving your comfort zone thrusts you into new situations and forces you to deal with new ideas and new ways of handling various aspects of life. It’s scary and no one wants to go through it voluntarily.

If you were to take a survey of random strangers and ask them, “Are you happy with your life?” you would get more no answers than you would yes ones. There are a lot of people who aren’t happy with their lives, but it’s not always obvious on the outside.

And, when you’re dealing with the roller-coaster ride that is a relationship with a narcissist, you may realize that life could eventually get easier if you just left already – but you may also be afraid of what’s coming next, and let’s be honest – you might worry about how you’ll manage without him or her – especially if the narcissist is currently supporting or helping to support you financially.

Related: Learn more about financial abuse and how to recover from it.

Some people don’t know how to change it. They don’t understand how they can find a catalyst to motivate and inspire themselves toward the kind of life they want.

Sometimes a catalyst enters your life, and you’re too focused on the ordinary, that you miss it completely. You may have to train yourself to watch for opportunities if you want to raise yourself to a higher level of success and happiness.

Change Begins and Ends with You

If you take the time to look over your life at this moment, what would you think about it? Think about the people in your life – those who you’re in an intimate relationship with.

  • Is it everything you wanted it to be and hoped it could be?
  • What about where you are in life?
  • Do you wish things were different?
  • Does it create a hunger within you to have more?
  • Do you wish you made different choices?
  • Do you feel alone in the world?

Is your toxic relationship making you miserable? 

Maybe you don’t think you deserve better. Or maybe you’ve given up on the idea that there could be more – that you deserve more or that changing things is even worth the effort. If you dislike what’s going on in your life right now, but you don’t change anything about it, you will still be miserable in three months, six months or a year down the road.

You will have lost time and you will have missed the opportunity to make changes during that timeframe. None of us is getting any younger.

If you want more out of life – if you feel that you should have more – and the unhappiness with your life sits like a rock in the pit of your stomach, then you need to take steps to make changes. You must find the catalyst that will propel you into getting free from your abuser. 

You Deserve What You Choose to Deserve: Choose Wisely

Physical signs like that are always indicators that something isn’t the way you want it to be – that it needs to be addressed. And ignoring these physical signs can lead to emotional complications as the stress of the matter weighs heavily on you.

Related: Learn about PTSD and how it affects you – plus, what you can do to cope.

Staying where you are in a life you’re not happy with will lead to feelings of depression, sadness and resignation.

That hole inside of you that aches for something more, for something better will never be filled. 

That’s not what you deserve. It’s not what anyone deserves. Life is not meant to be something that’s just endured. It’s meant to be lived with excitement because it’s an adventure if you decide that it is.

Resources for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support

Pin It on Pinterest