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My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am a professor of psychology, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, and I haven't slept all night. Don't ask.
And I am going to make a very short video now about some differences in social sexuality.
Okay, people with unrestricted social sexuality.
Social sexuality is your attitudes to sex, mainly with strangers. In other words, can you and do you have sex with strangers without any problem? Do you actually like it? Then you are socio-sexually unrestricted. You are socio-sexually permissive.
If you cannot have sex with strangers, if you need a modicum of connection, some type of acquaintance, a little chat or talk before, getting to know the other person, definitely if you need emotions, you are demisexual.
In these cases, you are socio-sexually restricted.
People with unrestricted social sexuality, people who can and do have sex with strangers on a regular basis, people who are promiscuous, people who are dissociative, they have the sex and then they forget big parts of the sex and even the partner.
People who are dysregulated sexually. All these people are typically subclinical psychopaths. Subclinical psychopathy is psychopathy that cannot be diagnosed. It doesn't meet the criteria. You don't pass the PCL R test with a sufficient number of points, which is 30 in North America.
So if you still act in a psychopathic way, you are defiant, you are contumacious, you resist authority, you are reckless, etc. You have a kind of a psychopathic style to borrow Lynn Sperry's term.
In this case, you may be a subclinical psychopath.
Subclinical psychopathy, subclinical narcissism and Machiavellianism or manipulativeness, these are the ingredients of the dark triad personality.
The dark tetrad personality includes sadism.
So back to the topic of acne, people with unrestricted social sexuality, promiscuous, dissociative, disregulated sexuality are typically also subclinical psychopaths.
I said it before, why am I repeating myself?
But there is a group of people who sleep with strangers habitually. They are in many ways promiscuous. They do dissociate and they are dysregulated, but they are not social sexually unrestricted. They hold a traditional view of sex. They have conservative values. They've been brought up in the religious family or a highly traditional society with specific rigid gender roles with how to behave and how to not behave, what constitutes a whole and what constitutes a brogue, etc.
So these kind of people behave as if they were social sexually unrestricted, but actually they're social sexually restricted. And this of course creates a dissonance. This creates a cognitive or other dissonance between their values, their traditions, their upbringing, expectations of their environment and their actual behavior.
And these people are usually frequently egodystonic. They don't feel comfortable with what they're doing. They regret the sex and they go through bouts of shame and guilt after each sexual incident. They usually have sex because they get drunk and they get drunk in order to have sex. Some of them are shy, introverted, socially inhibited. And so they use alcohol, for example, to disinhibit themselves.
Then they become a lot more sociable, a lot more horny and they end up having sex with strangers which they didn't want to do in the first place.
So they're egodystonic.
They've been in a dissonance, even in a conflict that they cannot resolve between who they are and how they act. As time passes with the accumulation of these misbehaviors, with a lot of guilt and shame layered upon more guilt and shame, regrets to ameliorate all these.
The egodystonic person takes steps.
Now guilt and shame and regret create anxiety. And the anxiety is of two types.
Anxiety because what you have done and anxiety because of what you're about to do.
Anticipatory anxiety. I'm about to lapse. I'm about to do this again. I know I'm going to do this again. I know I'm doing it right now. I know I shouldn't do it.
So there's a lot of anxiety involved in such people.
Together with the cognitive and other dissonances, axiological dissonance, other dissonances, together with the cognitive dissonance, there's anticipatory anxiety and there is actual post-facto anxiety.
There's regret, there's shame, and there's guilt. And all these become intolerable.
So these kind of people who act promiscuously, permissively, have sex habitually with strangers, even though everything they believe and everything they are, tell them not to do so.
These people begin to avoid situations and activities that lead to sex.
This process is known as constriction. They constrict themselves. In many cases, they end up being atomized, self-sufficient, and schizoid.
They avoid people. They avoid parties. They avoid nightclubs. They avoid crowds. They avoid members of the opposite sex. If they're heterosexual, members of the same sex. If they're homosexual, they just avoid all triggers, possibilities, opportunities, occasions for sex.
They begin to regard sex as a very negative thing. They begin to develop sex negativity as opposed to sex positivity because sex makes them feel bad.
But you can ask, okay, why don't they have the kind of sex that would make them feel good, only with an intimate partner, only after a period of acquaintance, only involving intimacy, only in settings that would render the sex loving, and why don't they adopt a different lifestyle? Why don't they move away from a stranger's sex and thereby resolve the dissonance or avoid it because they can't help it. They're mentally ill in a majority of cases. Their mental illness pushes them to act out. Their mental illness forces them to regulate internal processes such as anxiety, such as depression.
Via sex, they self-medicate with sex. The drinking exacerbates the situation because it provides an alibi. I did it because I was drunk. I didn't know what I was doing. He took advantage of me.
So the drinking is a kind of cover. The drinking also decent habits. And gradually these people develop a drinking habit. It's as bad as that.
So they decline. They decline and they generate into a state of alcoholism, in effect, or at the very least, substance abuse disorder, alcohol abuse disorder.
On the one hand, and the alcohol gets intimately connected to sex with strangers. On the other hand, and so in specific settings, their reactions are totally automated, totally robotic. They find themselves in a nightclub. They find a man. They drink with him and they sleep with him. End of story. It's utterly conditioned in a way. It's habituated, becomes a habit.
And they have no alternative ways of regulating their internal environment. Everything else they've tried has failed.
They also are not getting support from their family, community, neighborhood values. Their value system is not supportive. It's critical. It's a harsh inner critic.
So they can't, they don't receive any sacchar from inside and they don't receive any sacchar from outside.
And so they self-soothe and self-medicate with stranger sex because they have no other viable alternative.
Being mentally ill, they also find it very difficult to maintain long-term relationships. And it's, they spiral down. It's a downward spiral and they can't stop it.
They misbehave by their own standards. They get drunk, they sleep with strangers and they feel bad. They feel regret and shame and guilt. They castigate and chastise themselves. They hate themselves. They loathe themselves. They want to destroy themselves.
And the best way to destroy yourself is to again go to a bar, get drunk and sleep with a stranger. They self-harm and self-mutilate with stranger sex.
And this is what is known as self-trashing.
But many of them choose the solution of simply avoiding life, avoiding anything outside the home, not going out, not meeting other people, not going to parties, not going to bars, not going to restaurants even, not just not living home.
And this is constriction. It's a common outcome in borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, but not in somatic narcissism, which is egosyntonic, somatic narcissism.
Narcissist doesn't see anything bad in what he's doing.
The irony is that these conditions have very, very effective treatments. Dialectical behavior therapy, for example, cures 50% of people with borderline personality disorder within one year.
The passage of time is another way to heal or to cure borderline personality disorder.
Well, over 81% of people diagnosed with BPD lose a diagnosis by age 40 or 45.
Similarly, histrionic personality disorder is not a very serious condition. It can be treated by modifying behaviors.
Behavior modification techniques and therapies such as schema therapy, transactional analysis, Gestalt therapy, they're very, very efficient in treating borderline and histrionic personality disorders.
So constriction, deterioration, degeneration into a state of solitude, malignant self-sufficiency, fear of life, avoiding people just because you think you are out of control, dysregulated, hopeless, lost case.
This is wrong. That's not the way to go, because there is more than one way out.
And as opposed to narcissism and psychopathy, where we literally have no effective treatments, none, we can modify behaviors in the best case.
In the case of borderline personality disorders, mood disorders, which lead to the same outcome sometimes, depression, anxiety disorders, in all these cases, we have very, very efficacious treatments. Anything from talk therapies, variety of treatment modalities to medication.
So don't give up on life. Don't withdraw into your small room with Netflix and two cats or a roommate. Go out there, seek help, better yourself, change yourself, modify your behaviors, learn to control your impulses, which is something DBT teaches very effectively. And then go out and re-engage with life, this time equipped, stronger, more resilient, with a more stable identity, able to cope with internal stresses and external ones. It's been done before by tens of millions of people.
The woman who invented Dialectical Behavior Therapy was hospitalized, a mental asylum. She had borderline personality disorder and it deteriorated into psychosis. This woman gave us DBT, the most successful therapy in the history of therapies.
There's always hope. There's always hope in this disorder.
Psychopathy is arguably not a mental health issue at all. Narcissism is. Both of them are pretty irredeemable. There's very little we can do.
But everything else, literally everything else, from schizophrenia to bipolar to depression to anxiety to borderline to histrionic, you name it, literally everything else, we can treat very, very successfully.
So what are you waiting for? Get out, get in there and do your thing.