QUESTION NUMBER 6 - Do Narcissists Really
I read somewhere in your web site that narcissists hate women. Nothing can be further from the truth, from my experience. All the narcissists in my life ADORED
women, they were addicted to women, they worshipped women. My ex-husband couldn't live without women - many women.
Narcissists abhor and dread getting emotionally intimate. The cerebral ones regard sex as a maintenance
chore, something they have to do in order to keep their source of Secondary Supply. The somatic narcissist treats women as
objects and sex as a means to obtaining narcissistic supply.
Moreover, many narcissists tend to engage in FRUSTRATING behaviours towards women. They refrain
from having sex with them, tease them and then leave them, resist flirtatious and seductive behaviours and so on. Often, they
invoke the existence of a girlfriend/fiancée/spouse (or boyfriend/etc. male and female are interchangeable in my texts) as
the "reason" why they cannot have sex/develop a relationship. But this is not out of loyalty and fidelity in the empathic
and loving sense. This is because they wish (and often succeed) to sadistically frustrate the interested party.
This pertains ONLY to cerebral narcissists, but NOT to somatic narcissists and HPDs (Histrionic
Personality Disorder) who use their BODY, sex and seduction/flirtation to extract narcissistic supply from others.
Some narcissists are raised by weak or inaccessible mothers and harsh, rigid, or sadistic fathers.
They tend to bond with males in male settings (army, sports, police, bodybuilding, the Catholic Church) and to seek empathy,
warmth, support, secure friendship, and love among their male peers. This macho bonding masks repressed and latent homosexual
tendencies, the result of incestuous or simply pathologically excessive love towards the father (or father figure). Terrified
of these homosexual tendencies, these narcissists are besieged by feelings of guilt (towards their mothers with whom they
compete for the father's affection) and inadequacy (they can never quite measure up to the father's standards). They become
extreme and virulent misogynists. By hating women and defying them - they hate and defy life itself (women being the givers
of life). They thus deny their effeminate self and exercise their self-destructive impulses.
Narcissists are misogynists. They team up with women as mere sources of SNS (secondary narcissistic
supply). The woman's chores are to accumulate past NS and release it in an orderly manner, so as to regulate the fluctuating
flow of primary supply. Otherwise, cerebral narcissists are not interested in women. Most of them are non-sexual (engage in
sexual acts very rarely, if at all). They hold women in contempt and abhor the thought of being really intimate with them.
Usually, they choose submissive women, well below their level, to perform these functions. This leads to a vicious cycle of
neediness, self-contempt (how come I am dependent on this inferior woman) and contempt directed at the woman. Hence the abuse.
When primary NS is available the woman is hardly tolerated, as one would reluctantly pay the premium of an insurance policy.
The narcissist does regard the "subjugation" of an attractive woman to be a source of narcissistic
It is a status symbol, proof of virility and masculinity and it allows him to engage in "vicarious"
narcissistic behaviours (=being a narcissist through others, transforming others into tools at the service of his narcissism,
into his extensions). This is done by employing defence mechanisms such as projective identification. Many of my FAQs and the essay are dedicated to these issues.
To re-iterate, Primary Narcissistic Supply (NS) is ANY kind of NS provided by others who are
not "meaningful" or "significant" others. Adulation, attention, affirmation, fame, notoriety, sexual conquests are all forms
Secondary NS emanates from people who are in CONSTANT, repetitive or continuous touch with the
narcissist. It includes the important roles of narcissistic accumulation and narcissistic regulation, among others. (See the
essay for more).
The narcissist believes that being in love IS actually going through the motions and pretending.
To him, emotions are mimicry and pretence.
He says: "I am a conscious misogynist. I fear and loathe women and tend to ignore them to the
best of my ability. To me they are a mixture of hunter and parasite."
Most male Narcissists are misogynists. After all, they are the warped creation of a woman. A
woman gave birth to them and moulded them into what they are: dysfunctional, maladaptive, emotionally dead. They are angry
at this woman and, by implication, mad at all women.
The narcissist's attitude to women is, naturally, complex and multi-layered but it can be summarized
using four axes:
- The Holy Whore
- The Hunter Parasite
- The Frustrating Object of Desire
- Uniqueness Roles
The narcissist divides all women to saints and whores. He finds it difficult to have sex ("dirty",
"forbidden", "punishable", "degrading") with feminine significant others (spouse, intimate girlfriend). To him, sex and intimacy
are mutually exclusive rather than mutually expressive propositions. Sex is reserved to "whores" (all other women in the world).
This division provides for a resolution of his constant cognitive dissonance ("I want her but...", "I don't need anyone but...").
It also legitimizes his sadistic urges (abstaining from sex is a major and recurrent narcissistic "penalty" inflicted on female
"transgressors"). It also tallies well with the frequent idealization-devaluation cycles the narcissist goes through. The
idealized females are sexless, the devalued ones "deserving" of their degradation (sex) and the contempt that, inevitably,
The narcissist believes firmly that women are out to "hunt" men and that this is almost a genetic
predisposition. As a result, he feels threatened (as any prey would). This, of course, is an intellectualization of the real,
absolutely opposite, state of things: the narcissist feels threatened by women and tries to justify this irrational fear by
imbuing women with "objective" qualities which make them, to his mind, ominous. This is a small detail in a larger canvass
of "pathologizing" others as a means of controlling them. According to the narcissists scenario, once the prey is secured
the woman assumes the role of a "body snatcher". She absconds with the narcissist's sperm, she generates an endless stream
of demanding and nose dripping children, she financially bleeds the men in her life to cater to her needs and to the needs
of her dependants. Put differently, she is a parasite, a leech, whose sole function is to suck dry every man she finds and
Tarantula-like decapitate them once no longer useful. This, of course, is exactly what the narcissist does to people. Thus,
his view of women is a projection.
Heterosexual narcissists desire women as any other red-blooded male does (even more so due to
the special symbolic nature of the woman in the narcissist's life humbling a woman in acts of faintly sadomasochistic sex
is a way of getting back at mother). But he is frustrated by his inability to meaningfully interact with them, by their apparent
emotional depth and powers of psychological penetration (real or attributed) and by their sexuality. Their incessant demands
for intimacy are perceived by him as a threat. He recoils instead of getting closer. The cerebral narcissist also despises
and derides sex, as we said before. Thus, caught in a seemingly intractable repetition complex, in approach-avoidance cycles,
the narcissist becomes furious at the source of his frustration. Some of them set out to do some frustrating of their own.
They tease (passively or actively), or they pretend to be non-sexual and, in any case, they turn down, rather cruelly, any
attempt by a woman to court them and to get closer.
Sadistically, they tremendously enjoy their ability to frustrate the desires, passions and sexual
wishes of women. It endows them with a feeling of omnipotence and with the pleasing realization of malevolence. Narcissists
regularly frustrate all women sexually and engage in frustrating significant women in their lives both sexually and emotionally.
Somatic narcissists simply use women as objects and then discard them. The emotional background is identical. While
the cerebral narcissist punishes through abstention the somatic narcissist penalizes through excess.
The narcissist's mother kept behaving as though the narcissist was and is not special (to her).
The narcissist's whole life is a pathetic and pitiful effort to prove her wrong. The narcissist constantly seeks confirmation
from others that he IS special in other words that he IS. Women threaten this. Sex is "bestial" and "common". There is nothing
"special or unique" about sex. Women are perceived by the narcissist to be dragging him to their level, the level of the lowest
common denominator of intimacy, sex and human emotions. Everybody and anybody can feel, copulate and breed. There is nothing
to set the narcissist apart and above others in these activities. And yet women seem to be interested ONLY in these pursuits.
Thus, the narcissist emotionally believes that women are the continuation of his mother by other means and in different guises.
The narcissist hates women virulently, passionately and uncompromisingly. His hate is primal,
irrational, the progeny of mortal fear and sustained abuse. Granted, most narcissists learn how to suppress, disguise, even
repress these untoward feelings. But their hatred does swing out of control and erupt from time to time. It is a terrifying,
paralysing sight. It is the true narcissist.
To live with a narcissist is an arduous and eroding task. Narcissists are atrabilious,
infinitely pessimistic, bad-tempered, paranoid and sadistic in an absent-minded and indifferent manner. Their daily
routine is a rigmarole of threats, complaints, hurts, eruptions, moodiness and rage. The Narcissist rails against slights
true and imagined. He alienates people. He humiliates them because this is his only weapon against the humiliation
of their indifference.
Gradually, wherever he is, the Narcissists social circle dwindles and then vanishes. Every
narcissist is also a schizoid, to some extent. A schizoid is not a misanthrope. He does not necessarily hate people
- he simply does not need them. He regards social interactions as a nuisance to be minimized.
The Narcissist is torn between his need to obtain narcissistic supply (monopolized by human beings)
- and his fervent wish to be left alone. This wish is peppered with contempt and feelings of superiority.
There are fundamental conflicts between dependence and contempt, neediness and devaluation, seeking
and avoiding, turning on the charm to attract adulation and being engulfed by wrathful reactions to the most minuscule "provocations".
These conflicts lead to rapid cycling between gregariousness and self-imposed ascetic seclusion.
Such an unpredictable but always bilious and festering atmosphere is hardly conducive to love
or sex. Gradually, both become extinct. Relationships are hollowed out. Imperceptibly, the Narcissist switches
to a non-sexual co-habitation.
But the vitriolic environment that the Narcissist creates is only one hand of the equation.
The other hand is the woman herself.
As we said, heterosexual narcissists are attracted to women, but simultaneously repelled,
horrified, bewitched and provoked by them. They seek to frustrate and humiliate them. Psychodynamically, the Narcissist
probably visits upon them his mother's sins - but such an instant explanation does the subject great injustice.
Most narcissists are misogynists. Their sexual and emotional lives are perturbed and chaotic.
They are unable to love in any true sense of the word - nor are they capable of developing any measure of intimacy.
Lacking empathy, they are unable to offer to the partner emotional sustenance.
Do Narcissists miss loving, would they have liked to love and are they angry with their parents
for crippling them so?
To the Narcissist, these questions are incomprehensible. There is no way they can answer them.
Narcissists never love. They do not know what is it that they are supposedly missing. Observing it from the outside, love
seems to them to be a risible pathology. They equate love with weakness. They hate being weak and they hate and despise
weak people (and, therefore, the very old and the very young). They do not tolerate what they consider to be stupidity, disease
and dependence - and love seems to encompass all three. These are not sour grapes. They really feel this way.
Narcissists are angry men - but not because they never experienced love and probably never will.
They are angry because they are not as powerful, awe inspiring and successful as they wish they were and, to their mind, deserve
to be. Because their daydreams refuse so stubbornly to come true. Because they are their worst enemy. And because, in their
unmitigated paranoia, they see adversaries plotting everywhere and feel discriminated against and contemptuously ignored.
Many of them (the borderline Narcissists) cannot conceive of a life in one place with one set
of people, doing the same thing, in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan. To them, this is death.
They are most terrified of boredom and whenever faced with its daunting prospect, they inject drama into their life, or even
danger. This is the only way some of them can feel alive.
The Narcissist is a lonely wolf. He is a shaky platform, indeed, on which to base
a family, or future plans.
Go Back to Home Page!
Frequently Asked Questions about Pathological Narcissism
Excerpts from the Archive of the Narcissism List
The Narcissism List Home Page
After the Rain - How the West Lost the East
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Suite101
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