In recent years, there has been a huge uptick in awareness about narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Many people notice flagrant examples of narcissism, like a coworker who talks endlessly about herself or a date who says most women tell him he’s the most attractive guy they’ve met on Tinder. But sometimes narcissism can be less obvious, and its signs may be counterintuitive.
This is the case particularly in the bedroom. Here’s a list of some sexual characteristics of narcissists. Some might not surprise you, but others could challenge your preconceived notions of narcissism.
Narcissists may actually be very “generous.” You may envision a narcissist as a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am type of lover who is only out to have his or her own orgasm and then rolls over and goes to sleep. Some people fit this description.
Others are much the opposite, though. Many narcissists pride themselves on being expert lovers who can give a partner multiple orgasms and the best experience of their lives. The only downside to this is that narcissists might expect their partners to rhapsodize over their lovemaking skill, and may even prompt partners to discuss this in awkward detail. Even providing oral sex for a partner is still all about the narcissist’s own ego.
Super Specific Preferences
Narcissists’ sexual preferences are often very specific. In bed, the narcissist may have very explicit ideas about what their partner should do or even say. They want the narrative to play out in a certain way, and they don’t have patience for changes to the script.
This has to do with their lack of empathy. Narcissists often don’t know or care that their partners don’t seem to be that interested in whatever scene they want to play out. This can lead to some strained encounters or even boredom on the partner’s end.
Lying About Being Open to Anything
Narcissists are often less “experimental” than they pretend to be. Many narcissists want to think of themselves as always in control and attractive. This doesn’t dovetail well with being game for a wide variety of creative acts. Some narcissists brag about how they are game for anything in bed, but they will not get into certain positions where they don’t look their best or they will not do things they think make them look silly.
By definition narcissists are highly self-conscious; they are only conscious of their own selves. In the bedroom this can stifle creativity and flow. There is truth to the cliché that narcissists enjoy looking in mirrors or taking pictures and videos of themselves during and as a prelude to sex. If you sleep with a narcissist, there is a higher chance you might be in one of those pictures.
Unable to Handle Criticism
Sometimes narcissists don’t learn from their mistakes. They may not even admit they make any. Other partners will likely show an increasing and evolving awareness of what partners like in bed. They will moderate their techniques if it don’t seem to feel good to their partners.
Narcissists, particularly if they’ve previously received positive feedback about their sexual performance, will often claim you must be wrong about your own sexual desires and responses. Narcissists might even tell partners they aren’t aware of how aroused they actually are, or that they like to complain, but their bodies are saying something different.
When narcissists happen to hit on what you like anyway, then everything is great. The first time you critique their technique, however, be prepared to be told you’re wrong. This can often get to a point where it feels like gaslighting, where you’re being made to feel like you must be crazy because the narcissist insists you do, or always did enjoy, something you never liked.
Even If It’s Good, It’s Still Only About Them
When you’re first in bed with a narcissist, you may have a great time or you may find the encounter boring and awkward, as with anyone else. The difference is that, in other relationships, you will likely both learn and grow together as a couple, and become more sexually compatible over time due to a greater understanding of one another’s preferences and tastes.
While dating a narcissist, you may feel increasing disconnection over time, both in the bedroom and out of it. If your partner is a narcissist, you will eventually recognize that — no matter how technically proficient he or she may be — the sex is not really about you.