It is not uncommon for the lay person to view a sex addict as narcissistic, assuming the individual is focused only on self with a heightened sense of worth. In reality, however, the narcissist is one who tends to use this approach as a defense mechanism to protect the individual against powerful feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy.
When narcissism and sex addiction exist together, according to this Psych Central post, the individual is seeking protection against a wide variety of feelings linked to insecurity and unhappiness. Narcissism also gives the addict freedom to feel warranted in his or her actions to dodge the shame that tends to accompany this addiction.
When challenged, the narcissistic sex addict can become more defensive and resistant; behaviors can quickly turn into rage or even suicidal tendencies. Interestingly, when others display a negative reaction, the addict doesn’t accept it as reality as it doesn’t fit with his or her self-image.
The narcissistic sex addict is more likely to feel unsafe in any kind of relationship, even therapy. He or she will feel the need to control the therapy and will resist any learning involved. The individual needs to feel admired and is likely to respond negatively or aggressively to any input that leaves them in an unflattering light. This person also tends to want to avoid interactions that require them to examine their own issues and will attempt to derail or dodge the issue.
For these reasons, a number of professionals may recommend residential treatment over outpatient therapy. The former is often considered by the narcissist as less personal, but much more prestigious – fitting with their skewed image of self-worth.