My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Somatic narcissists are often portrayed as sex addicts or histrionic, but really they derive the narcissistic supply not so much from the sex act as from the process of securing it.
The conspiracies, the assignations, the chase and the conquest, subjugation and habituation of their targets, and even from dumping and discarding their prey, once having extracted the attention and admiration they had sought.
These extracurricular activities, the chase, the conspiracy, the assignation, these endow the somatic narcissist with a sense of omnipotence and all pervasive control.
His sway over his paramours and would-be lovers proves to the somatic narcissist and to others that he is unique, desirable and irresistible.
300 years before the term narcissism for the word narcissism was coined by Sigmund Freud, another great mind, William Shakespeare, has written Sonnet number 62, which describes perfectly the somatic narcissist.
Listen to this. Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye, and all my soul, and all my every part.
And for this sin there is no remedy.
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
He thinks no face so gracious is as mine, no shape so true, no truth of such account.
And for myself mine own worth do define, and I, all other, in all worths, surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed, beated and chopped with tanned antiquity, mine own self-love quite contrary, I read.
Self, so self-loving, were iniquity. It is thee, myself, therefore my senpai praise, painting my age with beauty of thy days.
Shakespeare captured the essence of somatic narcissism, and narcissism in general, in this single sonnet, better than a hundred scholars in a hundred voluminous, well-researched, deep, academic tones.
Narcissists are either cerebral or somatic. In other words, they either generate the narcissistic supply by applying their bodies or by applying their minds.
The somatic narcissist flaunts his sexual conquests, parades his possessions, exhibits his muscles, brags about his physical aesthetics or sexual prowess or exploits, and is often a health freak, a bodybuilder or a hypochondriac.
The somatic narcissist regards his body as an object to be sculpted and honed via extreme diets, multiple cosmetic surgeries, bodybuilding or weightlifting.
When coupled with psychopathic tendencies, the somatic narcissist appropriates other people's bodies and treats these bodies as raw materials to be dismembered, tempered with, altered, invaded or otherwise abused.
Utilation is a hallmark of a somatic narcissist's sadistic and psychopathic behavior.
The cerebral narcissist, on the other hand, is a no-eat-aller. He is haughty and kind of intelligent robot or computer. He uses his awesome intellect or knowledge, real or pretended sometimes, to secure adoration, adulation and admiration.
To the cerebral narcissist, his body and its maintenance are a burden, a distraction.
Both types, the somatic and the cerebral, are auto-erotic, psychosexually in love with themselves, with their own bodies or with their brain. Both types prefer masturbation to adult, mature, interactive, multi-dimensional and emotion-laden sex with an intimate pattern.
The cerebral narcissist is often celibate. Even when he has a girlfriend or a spouse, he usually abstains from sex. He prefers pornography and sexual auto-stimulation to the ring thing.
The cerebral narcissist is sometimes a latent, hidden, not-yet-altered homosexual.
The somatic narcissist uses other people's bodies to masturbate. Sex with the somatic narcissist, pyrotechnics and acrobatic society is likely to be an impersonal and emotionally alienating and draining experience.
The partner is often treated as an object, an extension of the somatic narcissist, a kind of toy, a warm and pulsating vibrator.
It is a mistake to assume type constancy. In other words, all narcissists are both cerebral and somatic.
In each narcissist, one of the types is dominant, so the narcissist is either overwhelmingly cerebral or dominantly somatic.
But the other type, the recessive type, the type that manifests less frequently, is there. It is lurking, it is waiting to erupt.
The narcissist swings between his dominant type and his recessive type. The recessive type is expressed mainly as a result of and following a major narcissistic injury or a substantial life crisis.
So cerebral narcissists and somatic narcissists are two sides of the same cone. This is never to be forgotten. The narcissist will always astound you with his sudden pendular shifts between two personalities, a Mr. Jekyll and a Dr. Hyde.