What's the Connection Between Sex Addiction and Narcissism? - The Ranch

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What’s the Connection Between Sex Addiction and Narcissism?

July 12, 2017 Articles

Narcissism and sexual addiction often go hand in hand.

According to research on sex addiction and narcissism, both men and women in the sex- and pornography-addicted population also have narcissistic tendencies.

In one study of pornography, it was discovered that the time spent viewing internet pornography correlated to participants’ narcissism levels as compared to those who had never viewed pornography on the internet.

To understand the link between sex addiction and narcissism, it is important to look at these two conditions individually.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction does not discriminate. It impacts people of all genders and sexual orientations. It’s a compulsion to partake in sexual activities is a diverse manner of ways. It can be as serious and destructive as an addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

Whether it is obsessive viewing of internet pornography or an inability to have sexual relations with anyone other than a professional sex worker, this addiction can take over a person’s life and often careen far out of control before they even realize they need sex addiction treatment.

It can put relationships and marriages in jeopardy and cause people to cease being able to function at work, damaging job stability and careers. And it comes with many physical hazards as well, ranging from exposure to disease through multiple sexual partners and dangerous experiences.

It can lead people down a dark road because they are unable to control their need to obsessively partake and observe sexual experiences.

What Is Narcissism?

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have a grandiose sense of self-importance and then tend to exaggerate achievements and talents. They also expect to be complimented and applauded for these achievements, even if they are played up dramatically. They see themselves in a class of their own, superior to others, and “special” or unique in every way.  They project an image of success, beauty, brilliance and high status and expect adulation from people of the same station.

Because they lack empathy and have difficulty relating to others with compassion or sincerity, it’s difficult to be in any type of relationship with a narcissist because they tend to take rather than engage in reciprocal behavior. They have no respect for personal boundaries and focus only on their own needs, so they make difficult romantic partners.

Narcissists also need a tremendous amount of praise and appreciation, even if they have not behaved in ways that would seem to merit praise. Narcissists do not like being criticized. Research shows that narcissists exhibit anger, aggression and other negative emotions when they fail or don’t get their way.

How Sexual Addiction and Narcissism Intersect

Sexual Narcissism is an aspect of narcissism which gives people an exaggerated self-view when it comes to sexual performance. They project the belief that they have superior sexual skills, whether this is accurate or not, and they often decree their sexual prowess is far greater than that of others. They often ask their partners to make comparisons by asking questions like, “I’m the best sex you ever had, right?”

Sexual narcissists tend to be charming, self-aggrandizing and self-serving.  And they are sometimes sex-addicted.

An addiction to sex combined with NPD can be a very difficult combination. When someone enters sex addiction treatment, they can be more easily assessed for the co-occurring diagnosis of sex addiction and narcissistic personality disorder. When both conditions are identified, they can be treated appropriately and in a balanced way.

Without help, it’s very hard for this population to have healthy relationships. They focus on physical looks and experiences over emotional connecting and the relationships can turn abusive and controlling.

They May Not Truly Feel Good Inside

While narcissists often portend their own perfection in all things sexual and otherwise, they may not really feel like that. In many cases, narcissism is a way to disguise a poor self-image and hide the scared child within via bullying and aggression.

In one study, narcissistic men were found to have significantly lower self-esteem. They had more negative attitudes toward sex and greater egocentric patterns of sexual behavior. The men in this study seemed to fall into more conservative or traditional gender roles and were highly preoccupied with sex.

Although they may put up a good front about their own greatness, they did not truly feel it inside. That is one of the classic issues with narcissism and addiction.

Sources

Narcissism and Internet Pornography Use

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0092623X.2014.931313

Sexual narcissism: a validation study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8169963

Narccism, Porn use and Addiction

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2014/07/narcissism-porn-use-and-addiction/

What is Sex Addiction

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926231003719681

Internet Sex Addiction

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002764208321339

Hot to Recognize Signs of Sexual Addiction

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00325481.1991.11701111?journalCode=ipgm20

When the Grandiose Self Image is Threatened

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-6494.05015/full

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