Is Narcissism Psychological Viagra? Join Counselor Andrea Schneider and Host Kristin Walker

One of the most damaging psychological mechanisms an extreme narcissist will use in their tormented tool chest is SEX.

THE PROMISE OF IT
THE MECHANICAL ACTION OF IT
THE WITHHOLDING OF IT

We carefully use the word sex in relation to what happens because, to the narcissist, the beautiful act of making love is an impossibility. Sex is one of their most powerful weapons of your mass destruction. If you are a highly empathic person with an abundance of compassion, an intoxicating imagination, and issues around appropriate boundaries, you are the perfect meal for the emotional impotence of a narcissist.

On this episode of Mental Health News Radio author and counselor, Andrea Schneider, joins host Kristin Walker to discuss the relationship between narcissism and sex. In her book, Soul Vampires: Reclaiming Your Lifeblood After Narcissistic Abuse, Andrea takes readers on a journey through the phases of the romantic journey with a narcissist. She shares her expertise with us on the show and in co-writing the blog article to accompany this highly charged subject.

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The very idea is a dichotomy:  sex with a narcissist.  The act itself is often found to be repulsive–which is why so many victims of narcissists find themselves feeling depraved, ashamed, confused, and nearly destroyed by intercourse with a narcissist. The partner who was romantic during the chase stage in the relationship can become enraged, distant, and even repulsed by intercourse and often requests more and more depraved sexual acts before consenting to any further encounters or refuses intercourse completely. Viagra is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. The acting-agent in Viagra is used to increase blood flow to the penis needed for an erection.  Expanding upon this definition we see sex with a narcissistic abuser as psychological torture, the acting-agent a narcissist uses to extract emotions from one’s prey. When one is a narcissist, lacking in empathy, one has massive amounts of spare time.

Imagine a 7,000 square foot house completely unfurnished. This void in a human becomes boredom, anger, jealousy, and rage. The narcissist requires furnishing, by any means possible. For someone with narcissistic personality disorder this often means they spend a lifetime watching how other people react to and with emotion. They become profound mimics and consummate actors. Simulating the actions of people who have soul and studying their vulnerabilities, testing other’s boundaries for weaknesses. This is done in the search for establishing control. These people find sex a very useful tool. Sex will often be used during every phase of the relationship, but it differs during the stages of the narcissistic relationship in diverse ways:

Idealization: Creating a fantasy for the love making you will be having with a person so adept at pretending to be your perfect lover, soulmate, friend that you are practically swooning at the very thought of sex. With some the act of sex will never take place.

Devaluation: Once they have you hooked with or without intercourse, the devaluing begins. You have ceased to be a challenge and the herculean effort to secure your affection will now be met with indifference, seductive withholding, rage, and calculated demeaning of all they once praised about you.

Discard: By the time they want you out of the picture your self-esteem is non-existent. It is not uncommon for this to happen during a family tragedy, your own illness and without warning.

Repeat: Unless and until you cease all contact they will repeat this process over and over again IF you remain a decent source of admiration, keep their ego fed, and provide legitimization of the narcissist.

We have found that survivors of narcissistic abuse crave real life examples so we have included 3 below modeled on people who’ve bravely shared their stories with these narcissistic types or possibly from our own experience with them.

An example we’ll use is Mr. Puer, who represents the epitome of eternal boy syndrome. His entire life has been spent “innocently” attempting to woo women and men to fall for boyish charms and a seemingly innate goodness and naiveté. But underneath the façade, Mr. Puer is far removed from the ability to be intimate with anyone–especially with anyone who calls him out and expects him to act on his trial and error approach to seduction. Their response will be met with surprise and often disgust.

Typically his long-suffering spouse is his secondary source of narcissistic supply. Mr. Puer will sometimes refer to her in front of others as a “once powerful woman” and he cannot understand why she now is content to simply be a housewife. In fact, she has been managed-down through the years to expect to be ignored and triangulated with her friends, Mr. Puer’s colleagues, and even relatives as her punishment for being a normal, sexual human being. Mr. Puer is put off by many women. In fact, he admits to finding many of them disgusting. He is a misogynist screaming unresolved “mommy issues”. Mr. Puer is actually terrified of women, repelled by them, and/or enjoys with great sadistic pleasure the ritual of building them up and tearing them down. For Mr. Puer this behavior is a balm–the noise that keeps his ego satiated and constant boredom at bay. The more he can torture his spouse–as well as any other woman he finds attractive–the easier it is to manage being a weak and impotent fool. It is an emotional impotence that rivals his physical ineptitude when it comes to the actual act of sex. “Making love” is a place to play a game and create a fantasy that he knows he can never live up to—thus the need to punish the target for falling for him.

Mr. Puer would be categorized as a covert narcissist. As author Christine Louis de Canonville has written so eloquently, they never live up to their potential. The true meaning of the word coward, they stumble and stutter when called out for their childish behavior. Passive aggression is the modus operandi here and sex, the actual act of it, is something they do very little of in their lifetime. Mr. Puer may never cheat physically on his spouse (although he will cheat emotionally over and over again) but not because he doesn’t long to, simply because he physically can’t. And the reasons why he cannot are used to punish any woman that achieves any fraction of emotional closeness with him. The punisher and hater of the self must abhor anyone who sees the fool or worse attempts to love him.

On the other hand, Casanova, is one who readily or frequently enters into casual sexual relationships with women, often called a “womanizer”. Casanova is the consummate yet mechanical lover. He is the bold/overt version of Mr. Puer. Casanova is sexually overt, a serial cheater, and often covets married lovers. He wants to take what another man has–his wife—just to prove that he can.  It matters not whether this is the wife of his best friend, employee, employer, or sibling. Casanova may have children with many different partners but feels no need to pay child support or play an active role in his children’s life other than to use his children to obtain sexual conquests. We find Casanova with pictures on Facebook playing the role of “single” father and has a story of how much he is maligned and abused by the mothers of all of his children. Like Mr. Puer, Casanova is a parody of himself as he ages. In fact, no narcissist ages well. Nothing shallow stands the test of time. To a narcissist, time is the enemy. Casanova has studied the mechanics of the act of sex over the course of his lifetime. He may be technically skilled but all of his lovers feel used, cold, and invisible. The weapon of sex is used to extract attention, power, and ease the constant boredom that Casanova feels. Although the mechanics of sex may be perfected over time with multiple partners no actual intimacy exists because, like Mr. Puer, Casanova is incapable. A “thin read” of emotional absentia.

Lest we give the impression that only men are narcissistic predators, one last example we will name, Miss Gone, as in the 2014 film, “Gone Girl”. She is also a serial cheater. Her most prized possession is her perceived sexual attractiveness. Miss Gone may decide her current husband and father of her children is no longer able to satisfy her unending demands for attention and sex. She begins affairs that are often dangerous. For example, she may consort with the most income-producing client of her employer. The affair becomes the focal point of Miss Gone’s existence. She becomes giddy when viewing pictures on her cell phone of her new lover wearing her underwear while holding a gun and shares these images with her co-workers. When a coworker is praised for a job well-done, Miss Gone begins a smear campaign to make sure that person is fired before they can report her affair with the firm’s biggest client to their employer.

Miss Gone engineers an endless drama unfolding with her current spouse being jailed for having weapons in the house, being a drug abuser, and violently attacking she and their children. Her husband is already emotionally and physically traumatized by Miss Gone’s behavior during their marriage but now he is facing criminal charges, attorney’s fees, and the smear campaign in his community, with his family, and his children. Miss Gone must throw the “book” at him in order to cover for her affair. Soon the police, court-appointed therapists, and the community become aware that Miss Gone drops charges on the weekends she needs someone to babysit; this is when her new lover is available. At his exit, she takes her anger out again on her children and husband. None of the charges filed against her husband are ever proven. Eventually, the police threaten to haul Miss Gone in on charges if she files another claim. Even her new lover is not enough to satisfy her needs. Miss Gone begins courting amongst her female colleagues and friends who might be interested in joining she and her lover in a three-party sexual game. Anyone who expresses discomfort at the thought then becomes the target of her rage. Her lover is not comfortable with this but is already trauma-bonded and will do anything to please her. He has no idea that he will become exactly what her soon-to-be ex-husband is–discarded, emotionally tortured, and traumatized. Unlike Casanova and Mr. Puer, Miss Gone is fully capable of displaying an array of emotions and often at terrifying heights. Crying, screaming, sexual deviance, and emotional depravity are the tools at her disposal in order to achieve the attention she constantly craves.

Both covert and overt narcissists are covetous creatures. During a sexual act they are as entranced by their partner’s ability to enjoy sex as they are repulsed and envious. The unknown realm of bonding with another human being is terrifying for them. Many partners of narcissists report feeling as though they are “under-glass” as if being studied like they are an alien creature. The alien is the narcissist; incapable of true human connection and what connection is – the naked bonding with another soul.

Mr. Puer, Casanova, and Miss Gone will “rinse and repeat” with many women and men over the course of their lifetimes. Mr. Puer is too cowardly and ashamed of his sexual impulses to act on them, Casanova and Miss Gone are too cowardly and shameless not to act. None of these narcissists achieve what their emotionally impotent behavior seeks to realize: honesty, depth, intimacy, and the fulfilment that comes from sharing your soul equally with another human being.

From our guest Andrea Schneider:

I believe the subject of extreme narcissists and sex is a very important one because, as we talked about, extreme narcissists will use sex as a weapon to extract narcissistic supply from their targets. Also some narcissists will engage in what is called “seductive withholding” to frustrate their target. For example, an extreme narcissist may seduce a new dating partner and ensure that their target is sufficiently hooked on them during the idealization (infatuation) stage. Once the devalue stage begins, the target will pursue sex with the narcissist, only to be rejected as sex is withheld in order for the extreme narcissist to have the highest level of power and control. This behavior is so emotionally abusive to the target, who generally speaking, is beginning to feel disoriented with the gaslighting that happens beginning in the devalue stage, thus resulting in cognitive dissonance.

In my private practice I work with many clients who are caught in the web of deceit of their abuser. These individuals experience sex to be a bonding force, whereby Oxycontin and endorphins create a physiological high which then bonds them to their abuser. When abuse is intertwined with sex, the target also experiences the chemical rush of cortisol and adrenaline when stressed. The chemical highs and lows of this abusive interaction form what is called a trauma bond, which can be broken with much healing, No Contact, and psychotherapy. However, the trauma bond (often solidified through sex) makes initially ending the relationship with the abuser very difficult, like coming off of a potent drug.

What I see as very concerning are individuals who are in the dating world who become involved with predators on dating sites. Such soul vampires are hiding behind a profile which allows them to pretend to be someone they are not (i.e. the wolf in sheep’s clothing). The seduction phase often begins with flattery, phone sex, seductive emails, and future faking of a life together, often with sexual language designed to hook and bedazzle the target.


Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach, with a private practice in Southern California. She has been practicing for more than 20 years, helping women, men, children, teens and families heal from trauma, loss, abuse and major depression/anxiety at various life transitions. Andrea received her MSW (masters in social work) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her bachelor’s in psychology from UCLA. She has worked in numerous clinical settings ranging from a domestic violence safe shelter, school-based counseling for children and teens, community mental health clinic, day treatment facility, a hospice and a psychiatric mental health clinic for a major HMO. She has been in private practice for more than 11 years. Andrea also brings her expertise to supervising pre-licensed master’s-level clinicians and enjoys training other therapists and medical practitioners in her areas of expertise. She provides in-person psychotherapy as well as telehealth support. Visit Andrea’s website and blog at andreaschneiderlcsw.com.


Kristin Sunanta Walker is the CEO of everythingEHR
Host of Mental Health News Radio and founder of MHNR Network
Author of her upcoming book Emotional Impotence.

For more information about Kristin visit her bio page here.

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