Dear Sam, first of all, thank you for coining the terms cerebral and somatic narcissist and thereby helping us understand the process of narcissistic sexuality better. Please explain to us in utmost DETAIL what the differences are between the cerebral and the somatic narcissist, and how these differences affect their sexual lives.
I think before we go into the distinctions between cerebral and somatic, it would be very helpful to discuss the narcissist's sexuality in general, whether somatic or cerebral.
So thank you very much for giving me this opportunity because the issue of the narcissist's sexuality is a very neglected niche in the study of narcissism.
There are many taboos, a lot of shame involved, there are misunderstandings and so it is left to all kinds of speculations and misinformation.
So let's start with the basics of the narcissist's sexuality.
It is important to understand first of all that the narcissist is not an adult.
Because he's not an adult he has no sexuality.
Sexuality is age dependent.
It's a critical outcome of other processes which have nothing to do with sex.
That's why for example in psychology we don't use the term sexuality, we use the term psychosexuality.
It's always coupled with psychological processes of maturation, of growing up, life experiences, formation of other parts of the personality and so on and so forth.
Narcissist doesn't go through all this. Narcissist is frozen at age four, six, maximum nine.
As we all know there is child sexuality of course, but it has very little to do with adult sexuality.
In other words when we observe narcissists, we are likely to see infantilization, infantilism in the narcissist's sexuality.
Second point, Freud was the first to suggest that we react very strongly to urges, wishes and drives that we are ashamed of, or that they are socially unacceptable.
So, the biggest homophobes are likely latent homosexuals and they resent their homosexuality so they become homophobes and so on.
Later on Freud expanded this into the field of politics and he said that there is narcissism of small differences.
He said that when people resemble each other it is then that they become aggressive towards each other.
It's the same with the narcissist.
This process is known as reaction formation.
The narcissist has reaction formation to his own sexuality.
Being a child, in essence, he feels ashamed, guilty, bad, egodystonic about his sexuality and he resents it and he spends his life attacking his sexuality in a reaction formation.
These are general comments. In a minute I will come to your question as usual.
I first answer my questions and then it becomes your question.
The third point that is important to make is that Freud at a much later stage of his work.
I mention Freud all the time because I know you are into psychoanalysis, you like that.
In a much later stage of his life Freud borrowed actually from Jung and he expanded the concept of libido which we will discuss later.
He said libido is not only sex but the force of life and he positioned another force which fights the libido and he called it Thanatos, it's the force of death.
It's important to understand that while all healthy people are libidinal, the narcissist has no libido. Instead of libido he has only Thanatos.
Narcissist is totally thanatic in the sense that, for example, the narcissist will always prefer inanimate objects to animate objects. He will always prefer physical objects to human beings, to people.
And if he interacts with people he is trying to convert them into objects, he is object oriented, not in the object relation sense but in the day to day sense and we can say that he is thanatic.
He cathects, he invests his emotional energy in dead things and when they are alive he wants to make them dead which would go a long way towards explaining fetishes and so on which we will come to later. So this is also very important
And the fourth point I want to make is that sexuality is crucially dependent on gender differentiation, gender identity and much earlier on sexual identity.
So there are phases, the first phase you discover your sexuality as a human being, you experiment.
Many people go through homosexual experiences before they settle on heterosexual identity.
So we explore our sexuality in its totality and then we say okay this is not for me, this is not for me, I am this. So this is sexual identity
And after sexual identity we go through a process called socialization and another process called acculturation where we acquire social and cultural edicts, dictates as to how to be the sexual identity that we chose.
So I choose to be a boy, I choose to be heterosexual boy and now I am looking around, what does it mean? How do I have to behave as a heterosexual boy?
So I look at my father, I look at my uncles, I look at my teachers, I look on television, I watch things on television and so on and I pick up cues from society, from the culture on how to be a heterosexual boy like a recipe and this is called gender differentiation or gender identity.
Narcissists, because they get stuck at age four or six or nine, nine is very evolved narcissist so usually it's four or six.
Of course they don't have sexual identity and they absolutely don't have gender identity, they are hermaphrodites, they are the true transgenders because their psychology is utterly female and male. Utterly not differentiated, a huge mass mixed together, salad of male and female elements, not separated in boxes and fully constantly interacting.
If you take these four principles into account, we can finish the interview because I answered all your questions in fact.
These four principles, when you put them together, explain everything.
They explain attraction to children, they explain fetishes, they explain BDSM, they explain role playing as women, they explain cross dressing, they explain almost everything but okay, we will go one by one but these are the principles.
Now within narcissism, the driving force, the main engine, the vital energy, elan vital as Bergson called it, the vital energy is narcissistic supply.
Because the narcissist lacks an ego, has no ego, that's the irony, narcissists don't have ego, exactly opposite of all the nonsense online.
If the narcissist doesn't have ego, he has to import ego functions.
Everything that the ego does, he has to ask other people to do for him.
So this is narcissistic supply.
For example, one of the main functions of the ego is to tell the narcissist not to do some things because of consequences in reality.
So the ego provides the narcissist with a reality test.
Narcissist has no ego, has no reality test, what to do, it's dangerous.
So he goes to other people and he asks them to help him in effect. He says, tell me about reality, tell me about myself.
I think I'm a genius, is that true, am I really a genius? I think I'm handsome, am I handsome?
So he goes around, he collects input from other people and he uses this input to construct a picture of reality, which usually is done from inside via the ego.
Most healthy people, I mean all healthy people don't need other people for this, but the narcissist does.
Because he needs narcissistic supply from other people, he has to use his assets. He has to use what he has to convince these people to give him supply.
Because why would you give me supply? I have to give you something for you to give me supply.
It's normal in human transactions that if I want something from you, I have to give something to you. What can I give you?
So here there are two groups of narcissists.
The intelligent narcissist, those who were born with intellectual endowments, good brain, high IQ or whatever, they use their brain to obtain narcissistic supply.
They show other people how clever they are, how intellectual pyrotechnics and they impress people with their knowledge, their analytic skills, etc.
And this way they obtain supply. It's like the peacock tail, they open the peacock's tail, but in this case it's intellectual.
And they obtain supply and these are the cerebral narcissists.
And there are other narcissists who have a lot of muscle, but not much up there, there are such people and so they use their muscles, they use their body, their body build, they go into sex as a tool to obtain supply, they diet all the time, they develop very frequently eating disorders.
I mean they are obsessed with their bodies. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. These people invest three to six hours a day in their bodies.
And when it happens with women, so these are the kind of women who spend in beauty salons for six hours a day and there are such women. And men who are in gyms and fitness centers and so on, six hours a day and there are such men.
And these are the somatic narcissists and they obtain supply usually, not always, but usually via sex, through the sexual conquest.
And this is the distinction between them.
The common mistake after I developed these concepts, and perhaps it was my mistake, didn't make it clear, all narcissists are both cerebral and somatic.
There is a dominant side and a recessive side, like in genetics.
So a cerebral narcissist is capable of being somatic.
When the cerebral narcissist loses, for example, his main source of narcissistic supply, when the cerebral narcissist has a major life crisis, when the cerebral narcissist crashed and he has hit rock bottom, he needs supply very fast.
And now if you write a book, you will get the supply in three years. It's not fast, not fast enough.
To recover, you need instant shots of supply, like adrenaline.
So he becomes somatic. He becomes somatic for a while in order to obtain quick supply through sex.
He recovers with this supply, it's like water to a dying plant, you know, you put some water to the plant, he recovers, and then he has time and energy to invest in something long-term which will restore him to his cerebral phase, and then he will become again asexual.
So with the somatic it's more difficult because for the somatic to become cerebral, that's extremely rare.
But cerebral to become somatic is common.
Somatics do become cerebral, but they look comic. It's often that somatics think they are geniuses, and it's comic, simply comic.
But they do go through cerebral phases as well.
So there is type inconsistency. There is fluctuation or movement between these two types.
There is dominance, the cerebral, 80% of his life, 70% of his life would be cerebral and asexual. The somatic, 80% of his time, will be focused on sex and will not write so many books.
But this is the picture.