Okay, Shoshanim, welcome to this new, brave world where I reign supreme. My name is Sam Vaknin, I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, now in its 10th edition, and I'm a professor of psychology.
And so today we are going to conclude this series about schizoids, and we're going to discuss our schizoid world and the role of sex in this schizoid world.
But just a recap, the schizoid empty core, this void, this black hole, is the core of diverse mental health phenomena, such as narcissistic pathologies, borderline disorders, and psychopathy.
So the schizoid core, the lack of identity where a person should have been, and there's nothing but howling emptiness, aptly described by Kernberg and others.
This schizoid core is the core of our understanding of personality and character pathologies, especially the dramatic or the erratic ones, also known as cluster B.
And so studying schizoidism, studying schizoid phenomena, is very crucial to understanding these disorders. This is especially true since the entire world is gravitating towards a schizoid solution.
Now that sounds seriously frightening, and the reason is because it is.
Did we get it completely wrong? Are we not actually a social creature, so on political? Are we a race of self-sufficient loners who had been misled, who had been led astray by the claims that we are actually sociable creatures? Is our authentic condition lonliness, as many existentially said suggested, do we actually much prefer to be alone? Do we prefer being alone to having to suffer the quirks and intrusions of other people?
We are irritated by other people. We can't stand other people. That's the truth. Our intimacy, society, are they just constructs? Are they manipulative myths, a kind of mythology intended to foster herd mentality?
The very concepts of society and intimacy were invented in the 18th century, and they were invented by philosophers such as Jacques Rousseau and others, who were pretty close to the elites of the day, to monarchies and aristocracies all over Europe.
Is intimacy, is society alive, perpetuated, propagated, and brainwashed into us by the elites? Do they want us to believe that we are social creatures and that we need intimacy?
The biology is pretty clear. We do need intimacy. Intimacy has very strong effects or neurotransmitters on hormones, on specific tissues. We crave intimacy. We seek intimacy. Our life quality changes when we do have intimacy.
But society, society is a different issue. It's an abstract concept, very difficult to define.
When we interact with other people, many of the consequences are actually adverse. They're not good.
Anxiety and depression are often relational problems.
The very concept of self is an outcome of object relations. So self-disorders, disorders of the self, are also outcomes of our interactions with others.
In other words, it's a double edged sword. Interacting with others could have a very beneficial effect on us, but could have a very bad effect on us.
Frankly, we are not quite sure about the balance.
And yet everyone wants us to believe that we need to work together, that community is the natural state and order of things. Everyone wants us to adopt a herd mentality, follow social mores and conventions and rules, but is solitude actually the normal baseline state? Aren't cities a pathological aberration, this conglomeration of atomized individuals, each one in his or her own cubicle?
Studies, including recent studies, have demonstrated conclusively that the more people we are surrounded with, the more lonely we feel. I'm kidding you're not.
What determines our sense of loneliness is how many people are around us, quantity and density of human population around us in villages and in suburbia with detached housing units.
The sense of loneliness is lower than in very dense cities.
So is loneliness about being together with other people exactly the opposite of what we had been told all our lives?
Research by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management just released, surveyed 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom. The study found that the majority of these adults were frustrated by having to return to office life after 14 months of self-isolation.
The respondents to the survey deplored background human noises. They hated having to share a desk with a co-worker and they lamented inadequate video conferencing facilities because they wanted to avoid face to face contact.
Are you listening well? A majority of these 2,000 people loved it, loved the solitude, loved being alone, loved, adored self-isolation and hated having to go back to human contact.
The survey found that half and an overwhelming majority of the young believed that they were more productive working from home all on their own with minimal human interaction. These people resented bitterly the need to exit their schizoid cocoons and face other people. Even dating, even sex have almost vanished in the past 20 years.
I refer you to studies by Liz Awad, Jean Twenge, and others. Dating had declined by well over 60% over the last 15 years and sex has all but vanished in huge swaths and cohorts of especially young people.
We are increasingly avoiding each other, ensconced in digital, impregnable castles and moored in compensatory fantasies.
And you know what? We love it. We seem to prefer it this way. We want to be cocooned. We want to be isolated. We want to be separated. That's the way we like it.
But what about primordial drives? I mean food we get from the local grocery store. Uber eats.
So that's settled. Education is outsourced. Distance learning is taking over. That's settled. Office life had migrated into your living room. That's settled. You don't have to see people anymore.
What about sex, for example?
Here's a misconception. The schizoid state is a state of social isolation by definition. The schizoid finds no pleasure in interacting with other people. He regards it as nuisance. It's irritated by it. It does not derive any benefits from any kind of exchange of intercourse with other people, sexual intercourse included.
Most schizoids are therefore hypo-sexual, or a-sexual. Schizoids are totally self-contained. They're totally self-sufficient. And they have an empty core.
Increasingly, this comes to be the typical description of people around the globe, not only in the West.
But a small minority of schizoids are hypo-sexual, even to the point of promiscuity and sexual self-trashing. These schizoids use dysregulated, a hazard, and unbounded sex in lieu of meaningful object relations and intimacy.
So we are beginning to see a polarization. A small minority of people, because society as a whole is becoming more and more schizoid, schizoid characteristics, schizoid typology, schizoid traits, schizoid behaviors are beginning to characterize and typify the majority of people.
So we see a polarization. We see a tiny number of people, anywhere between 2 and 5%, depending on the survey, a tiny number of people who do engage in social interactions with emphasis on casual sex and the like.
And the overwhelming vast majority of people who never live home rarely interact. Or if they do, they do it in a cursory, curt, perfunctory manner through social media, digital platforms, and so on and so forth.
Fake mock interactions, exact interactions.
So coming back to sex, because sex is the only interaction at this stage that requires another warm body, another living, breathing human being. And it is supposedly a primordial drive, an urge.
Freud had founded his entire work on the belief that sexuality is the core of everything we do and every way we act.
So there are these schizoids who are actually hypersexual. Sex plays a crucial role in the psychodynamics and lives of such schizoids. It is their cardinal mode of communication. They use sex to communicate. It is their only efficacious method of socializing and bonding in intimate relationships to the extent that they are capable of intimacy.
And sex is the main regulatory mechanism of moods, emotions, affects, and even cognitions.
But the sex of these schizoids is autoerotic. It's fantasy based, so it's not meaningful on the interpersonal level.
And this profound meaninglessness may be the reason why these schizoids keep selecting the wrong mates. Culturally or religiously inhibited mates, hypersexual partners, misogynistic or misandrist mates, narcissistic, psychopathic, avoidant, or classically schizoid intimate partners. These are all wrong choices, unavailable people.
So the more society becomes schizoid, the more likely we are to see a dysfunction, a global or pervasive dysfunction of mate selection and dysfunction of relationships.
The very concept of intimacy of having a relationship, having an intimate relationship, romantic relationship, and sex itself, they're all going to crumble. They're all going to crumble because of wrong mate selection.
And wrong mate selection is because the sex of schizoids is autoerotic and fantasy based. It's fantastic.
In this sense, schizoids are closely allied with narcissists. Narcissists found they established their relationships and sexual choices and behaviors on a shared fantasy. Fantasy is an all pervasive defense mechanism and an organizing and explanatory principle in all cluster B personality disorders.
The schizoid core is at the foundation of these disorders.
We are seeing a world that is becoming more narcissistic, more psychopathic, and by definition, more schizoid.
So these people in this world, when they try to adapt to the new normal, revert to fantasy and become increasingly more autoerotic, which would explain why pornography is flourishing.
Sprengerography is about masturbation. Masturbation is the ultimate autoerotic act.
Similarly, homosexuality or same sex attraction is likely to explode and thrive because same sex attraction has a strong pronounced autoerotic component. You're making love to the same gender as you are.
And this profound meaninglessness guarantees the total failure of the old model of doing things.
Because you see, we had organized our society around the nuclear family or the extended family, depending on the culture and the area and the period in history, but the family. Everything was centered around the family. Even the state was perceived in the 19th century as an extended family with its own budget exactly as a family, as a budget. All the functions were in the family. Education, for example, was a familial task.
And then we started to outsource functions. Education became outsourced. Taking care of children became outsourced. Daycare. Politics became outsourced. Everything became outsourced.
Clans, families, tribes meant nothing as organizational units.
And so in a schizoid world, the organizational unit, the cell, the atom is going to be the individual. And this would preclude any meaningful interconnection, would preclude the very concept of institutions.
We are moving towards a world without institutions, a totally networked, distributed, diversified world.
The schizoid uses sex to connect only to himself. The schizoid instrumentalizes his sex partners, their gaze. He uses their gaze for exhibitionistic self trashing. The schizoid uses the bodies of his sex partners, leverages them for sadistic self degradation, masochistic self degradation or sadistic activities or mutual masturbation. He uses the attention of his sex partners to regulate the sense of self-worth.
In other words, the schizoid uses bodies to become alive, to experience his own existence.
When the schizoid is hypersexed, the schizoid's sexuality is also a form of self-harm, with all the functions of self-harm, drowning out negative affectivity, feeling suddenly alive, self-punishment and affirmation of negative self-perception and introject.
I came back to sexuality and sex because this is the last remaining vestige of human contact. Everything else has moved online. Everything else is virtual and digitized. Sex is on its way, of course, as well. Phonography is just a harbinger of virtualizing or digitizing sex. Sex dogs, sex holograms, I mean, it's on its way.
In 2030 years, people would be very unlikely to use other people's bodies to obtain sexual gratification.
But right now, this is still required.
The schizoids deal with it by withdrawing, not by approaching, but by avoiding. They use other people's bodies, of course, but for self-gratification, autoerotic self-reference.
Sex is a metaphor. Similarly, it's the same in every other field of human endeavor and interaction.
There's a schizoid wave coming, with strong, pronounced grandiose narcissistic features, entitlement and psychopathic defiance, impulsivity and recklessness. It is sweeping the globe. It affects both genders, especially women, by the way. And it is bound to transform the very way we organize society.
For example, I don't think in the future we're going to have the concept of institutions. I think we're going to work in ad hoc self-assembling networks. I don't think we're going to look for partners. We can look for team members short term. I think we're going to regard ourselves as nodes in ever-changing, ever-shifting kaleidoscopic assemblages of networks. We're going to belong to multiple networks all the time. We're going to shift and switch workplaces, short-called relationships, sexual partners, locations, languages. We're going to flow. It's a society in flux.
Actually, I doubt very much that we are going to continue with the Jean-Jacques Rousseau concept of social compact. I think the very concept of society is an organizing principle, explanatory principle, hermeneutic principle. The very concept of society is dying.
I don't think we're going to have societies in the future, intimate relationships, institutions, politics. We're going to have none of this. We're going to be self-contained, self-sufficient, black holes, universes adrift in the multiverse, where there are permeable walls of dissociation, permeable walls of communication, which led through only flickers of mutual recognition.
This is the new normal. Prepare yourselves. It's coming.