The Narcissist and the Opposite Sex
This chapter deals with the male narcissist and with his "relationships" with women.
It would be correct to substitute one gender for another. Female narcissists treat the men in their lives in a manner indistinguishable from the way male narcissists treat "their" women. I believe that this is the case with same sex partners.
To re-iterate, Primary Narcissistic Supply (PNS) is any kind of NS provided by people who are not "meaningful" or "significant" others. Adulation, attention, affirmation, fame, notoriety, sexual conquests - are all forms of PNS.
Secondary NS (SNS) emanates from people who are in repetitive or continuous touch with the narcissist. It includes the important roles of Narcissistic Accumulation and Narcissistic Regulation, among others.
Narcissists abhor and dread getting emotionally intimate. The cerebral ones regard sex as a maintenance chore, something they have to do in order to keep their Source of Secondary Supply. The somatic narcissist treats women as objects and sex as a means to obtaining Narcissistic Supply.
Moreover, many narcissists tend to frustrate women. They refrain from having sex with them, tease them and then leave them, resist flirtatious and seductive behaviours, and so on. Often, they invoke the existence of a girlfriend/fiance/spouse as the "reason" why they cannot have sex or develop a relationship. But this is not out of loyalty and fidelity in the empathic and loving sense. This is because they wish (and often succeed) to sadistically frustrate the interested party.
But, this pertains only to cerebral narcissists - not to somatic narcissists and to histrionics (Histrionic Personality Disorder - HPD) who use their body, sexuality, and seduction/flirtation to extract Narcissistic Supply from others.
Narcissists are misogynists. They team up with women who serve as Sources of SNS (Secondary Narcissistic Supply). The woman's chores are to accumulate past Narcissistic Supply (by witnessing the narcissist's "moments of glory") and release it in an orderly manner to regulate the fluctuating flow of Primary Supply and compensate in times of deficient supply.
Otherwise, cerebral narcissists are not interested in women.
Most of them are asexual (desire sex very rarely, if at all). They hold women in contempt and abhor the thought of being really intimate with them. Usually, they choose for partners submissive women whom they disdain for being well below their intellectual level.
This leads to a vicious cycle of neediness and self-contempt ("How come I am dependent on this inferior woman"). Hence the abuse. When Primary NS is available, the woman is hardly tolerated, as one would reluctantly pay the premium of an insurance policy.
Narcissists of all stripes do regard the "subjugation" of an attractive woman to be a Source of Narcissistic Supply, though.
Such conquests are status symbols, proofs of virility, and they allow the narcissist to engage in "vicarious" narcissistic behaviours, to express his narcissism through the "conquered" women, transforming them into instruments at the service of his narcissism, into his extensions. This is done by employing defence mechanisms such as Projective Identification.
The narcissist believes that being in love is actually merely going through the motions. To him, emotions are mimicry and pretence. He says: "I am a conscious misogynist. I fear and loathe women and tend to ignore them to the best of my ability. To me they are a mixture of hunter and parasite."
Most male narcissists are misogynists. After all, they are the warped creations of women. Women gave birth to them and moulded them into what they are: dysfunctional, maladaptive, and emotionally dead. They are angry at their mothers and, by extension at all women.
The narcissist's attitude to women is, naturally, complex and multi-layered but it can be described using four axes:
- The Holy Whore
- The Hunter Parasite
- The Frustrating Object of Desire
- Uniqueness Roles
The narcissist divides all women to saints and whores. He finds it difficult to have sex ("dirty", "forbidden", "punishable", "degrading") with feminine significant others (spouse, intimate girlfriend). To him, sex and intimacy are mutually exclusive rather than mutually expressive propositions.
Sex is reserved to "whores" (all other women in the world). This division resolves the narcissist's constant cognitive dissonance ("I want her but", "I don't need anyone but"). It also legitimises his sadistic urges (abstaining from sex is a major and recurrent narcissistic "penalty" inflicted on female "transgressors"). It tallies well with the frequent idealisation-devaluation cycles the narcissist goes through. The idealised females are sexless, the devalued ones - "deserving" of their degradation (sex) and the contempt that, inevitably, follows thereafter.
The narcissist believes firmly that women are out to "hunt" men by genetic predisposition. As a result, he feels threatened (as any prey would). This, of course, is an intellectualisation of the real state of affairs: the narcissist feels threatened by women and tries to justify this irrational fear by imbuing them with "objective", menacing qualities. This is a small detail in a larger canvass. The narcissist "pathologises" others in order to control them.