My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
You see, the narcissist is autoerotic, he is psychosexually in love, but with himself, with his body or with his brain. Both the somatic and the cerebral narcissist prefer masturbation to adult, mature, interactive, multidimensional and emotion-laden sex.
Narcissists are, of course, misogynists. They hold women in contempt. They loathe and fear women. They seek to torment women and to frustrate them, either by debasing them sexually orconversely, by withholding sex from them altogether. To say that narcissists harbor ambiguous feelings towards a sexual act would be the understatement of the millennium.
Narcissists tend to view all feelings in a bed light. In the narcissist's mind, a clear separation exists between the honest woman or woman of his life, which is really a saint to be his mother or his wife, and the horse that he is having sex with.
The cerebral narcissist is often celibate. Even when he has a girlfriend or a spouse, he refrains from sex, abstains from it.
He prefers pornography and sexual auto-stimulation to the real thing. The cerebral narcissist is sometimes a label hidden, not yet outed, homosexual. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one's sex drive is a primitive, basic and common impulse, says the narcissist.
The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, that he endowed his ease with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control, is in no need of sex.
Still, the cerebral narcissist also has bouts of sexual hyperactivity, in which he trades sexual partners and tends to regard them as objects. However, with a cerebral narcissist, this is a secondary behavior, a phase, transitional one. It appears mainly after major narcissistic traumas and crises, and in order to secure new sources of narcissistic supply.
So the painful divorce, the devastating personal financial upheaval, and this type of narcissist, the cerebral, adopts a view that the old intellectual solutions hadn't worked, and he frantically groups and searches for other ways, new ways, to attract attention, to restore his false ego, his grandiosity, and to secure a subsistence level of narcissistic supply.
Everything goes, but sex is lengthy, and it is a great source of the right kind of supply. Sex is immediate. Sexual partners are interchangeable.
A solution is comprehensive. It encompasses all the aspects of the narcissist being. Sex is natural, highly charged, adventurous, and, as a byproduct and side effect, pleasurable.
Thus, following a life crisis, the cerebral narcissist is likely to be deeply involved in sexual activities very frequently, and almost to the exclusion of all other occupations and matters.
But, as the memories of a crisis fade, as the trauma abates, as the narcissist wounds heal, as the narcissistic cycle recommends and the balance is restored, the cerebral narcissist reveals his true colors. He abruptly loses interest in sex and in all his sexual partners.
The frequency of his sexual activities deteriorates from a few times a day to a few times a year. The cerebral narcissist reverts to intellectual customs, sports, politics, voluntary activities, anything but sex, a process that Freud labeled sublimation.
This kind of narcissist is afraid of encounters with the opposite sex, and is even more afraid of emotional involvement or commitment that he fancies himself prone to develop following a sexual encounter.
In general, a cerebral narcissist withdraws not only sexually, but also emotionally. A married cerebral narcissist loses all overt interest in his powers, sexual or otherwise. He confines himself to his world and his work, and makes sure that he is sufficiently busy to preclude any interaction with his nearest and supposedly dearest.
The cerebral narcissist becomes completely immersed in big projects, projects like life-long plans, a vision or a cause, all very rewarding narcissistically and all very demanding and time-consuming.
In such circumstances, sex inevitably becomes an obligation, or a maintenance chore reluctantly undertaken to preserve his sources of supply, his family, his spouse, his household.
The cerebral narcissist does not enjoy sex, and by far prefers masturbation or objective emotional sex, such as going to prostitutes.
Actually, the cerebral narcissist uses his mate or spouse as an alibi, a shield against the attentions of other women, an insurance policy which preserves his virile image while making it socially and morally commendable for him to avoid any intimate or sexual encounter or contact with others.
Austentatiously ignoring women other than his wife, which is a form of aggression of course, the narcissist feels righteous in saying, I am a faithful husband.
At the same time, he feels hostility towards his spouse for ostensibly preventing him from freely expressing his sexuality, for isolating him from carnal pleasures.
The narcissist's thwarted logic goes something like this. I am married and attached to this woman. Therefore, I am not allowed to be in any form of contact with other women, which might be interpreted as more than casual or businesslike.
This is why I refrain from having anything to do with women, because I am being faithful as opposed to most other immoral men.
However, I do not like this situation. I envy my three peers. They can have as much sex in romance as they want to, while I am confined to this marriage, chained by my wife, my freedom current. I am angry at her, and I will punish her by abstaining from having sex with her as well.
Thus frustrated, the narcissist minimizes all manner of intercourse with his close circle. Spouse, children, parents, siblings, very intimate friends.
No sexual contact. No verbal exchange. No emotional investment. The narcissist limits himself to the rawest of primitive exchanges of information and isolates himself socially.
The cerebral narcissist's reclusion ensures against a future hurt and avoids the intimacy that he so dreads.
But again, by being a recluse, by being a hermit, the cerebral narcissist also secures abandonment and the replay of old unresolved conflicts.
Finally, the cerebral narcissist is really left alone by everyone, with no secondary of sources of narcissistic supply at his disposal.
And so, in his quest to find new sources, he again embarks on ego-mending bouts of sex, followed by the selection of the spout where a maid, a secondary source of supply.
And then the cycle starts all over again, a sharp drop in sexual activity, emotional absence, cruel detachment, leading to abandonment, leading to hypersexuality, etc.
The cerebral narcissist is mostly sexually loyal to his spouses, is faithful. He alternates between what appears to be hypersexuality and asexuality, which is really forcefully repressed sexually.
In the second phase, when he is asexual, he feels no sexual urges consciously, except maybe for the most basic which drive him to masturbation.
The cerebral narcissist, therefore, is not compelled to cheat on his maid, to betray the trader, to violate his marital vows.
The cerebral narcissist is much more interested in preventing a worrisome dwindling of the kind of narcissistic supply that really matters.
Sex, he says to himself, contentedly, is for those who can do no better.