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6 - Narcissists & Women

6 - Narcissists & Women (article 6 of 10)

by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.


Dr. Vaknin is author of of the informative book, Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited. He also edits various mental health categories on Open Directory, Suite101, Go.Com and  While his doctorate is not in mental health, this well-informed author clearly did his homework and writes from  experience.  Dr. Vaknin's CV is published here. His book, and much more, is available in hard copy or download on his main web site.

Dr. Irene

EDITED 2/09. Unfortunately, while the content itself stands on its own in helping people understand narcissism, the writer's credibility may be questionable. For example, see here:



Do narcissists hate women?


Narcissists abhor and dread getting emotionally intimate and they regard sex as a maintenance chore, something they have to do in order to keep their source of secondary supply. Moreover, many narcissists tend to engage in FRUSTRATING behaviours towards women. They will refrain from having sex with them, tease them and then leave them, resist flirtatious and seductive behaviours and so on.

Often, they will 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.

BUT This pertains ONLY to cerebral narcissists. NOT to somatic narcissists and HPDs (Histrionic Personality Disorder) who use their BODY, sex and seduction/flirtation to extract narcissistic supply from others. 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 (myself included) are asexual (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 need 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 in good times.

The narcissist does regard the "subjugation" of an attractive woman to be a source of narcissistic supply. 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 defense mechanisms such as projective identification. Many of my FAQs and the essay are dedicated to these issues (see: "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited").

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 of NS.

Secondary NS is afforded by 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 in "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" for more).

The narcissist believes that being in love IS going through the motions and pretending to some degree. 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 rather amply summarized using four axes:

1. The Holy Whore

2. The Hunter Parasite

3. The Frustrating Object of Desire

4. Uniqueness roles

The narcissist divides all women to saints on the one hand and to whores on the other. He finds it difficult to have sex ("dirty", "forbidden", "punishable", "degrading") with feminine significant others (spouse, intimate girlfriend). To him, sex and intimacy are opposite rather than mutually expressive propositions. Sex is reserved to the "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 - "worthy" of their degradation (sex) and the contempt that, inevitably, follows thereafter.

The narcissist believes firmly that women are out to "hunt" men and that this is almost a genetic predisposition embedded in their chromosomes. 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, indeed, ominous. This is a small detail in a larger canvass of "pathologizing" others as a means of controlling them. 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 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 asexual 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 are regularly engaged in frustrating all women sexually - and in frustrating significant women in their lives both sexually and emotionally. Somatic narcissists simply use women as objects: use and discard. 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 in his life 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, fuck 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, paralyzing sight. It is the true narcissist.



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