Narcissists, Porn, and Sexual Dysfunction

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Aug 05

I talk with many people regarding their intimate relationships with Narcissists.  Narcissists are generally exhibitionists and sex is just another method of getting attention and admiration.

They also watch lots of internet porn.

The narcissist is threatened by a partner’s sexual and emotional needs.  Because of this, most narcissists prefer internet pornography and masturbation to mature, adult sex.  This explains why articles related to Narcissists and sex describe claims of sexual addiction – claims used by the Narcissist as smoke and mirrors to cover up their affairs and porn addiction.

Narcissists commit adultery and have extramarital affairs or liaisons for a variety of reasons including control, power, attention, and because narcissists get bored easily.  This explains why partners of Narcissists almost always catch them on online dating sites, and also why narcissists are often addicted to internet pornography.  Research has shown that the more control narcissists have over sex, the more gratifying the experience tends to be.

This addiction (more often than not) leads to porn-induced erectile dysfunction, which they then blame on their partner(s).   Affected partners become traumatized, depressed, experience body-image issues, and these issues often spill over into other areas of their lives, like work and child-rearing.  They often turn to coping mechanisms such as food, drugs, alcohol, plastic surgery, and/or finding an affair partner or, they completely shut down sexually.  In severe cases, affected partners have attempted suicide.

So how does frequent viewing of porn/masturbation result in erectile dysfunction?  The mechanics include the following:

  • The need for higher thresholds of excitement
  • Causes lack of sensation and/or lack of desire
  • Lack of intimacy with partner/inability to orgasm (inorgasmia); which is not only caused by lack of sensation, but can be due to “edging”, which is when someone reaches the point of orgasm and stops themselves in order to prolong the porn experience, which then transfers over to sex with their partner
  • Persistent viewing of porn causes increased need to view because the dopamine receptors in the brain are stimulated over and over again, causing high tolerance
  • Perpetual refractory periods causing less desire to have sex with partner; they have no desire because they’ve been watching porn and masturbating
  • The problem isn’t necessarily in the genitalia, but in the mind…desire is rooted in the brain and over time porn/masturbation causes dopamine overloads/short-circuiting/burnout so that sex with a partner doesn’t achieve the same kind of result, even if the porn addict is in love with and attracted to their partner (not all addicts are Narcissists)
  • Creation of an idiosyncratic masturbatory style – masturbating uses a different kind of friction and pressure than one would experience with a partner/intercourse, which acclimates the person to a new kind of physical pressure that desensitizes the person during actual sex
  • Often can’t be treated with traditional drugs (Viagra, Cialis, etc.) like “traditional ED”.  Although they can provide blood flow to the genitalia and cause an erection, the person often cannot achieve orgasm because the main problem is rooted in the brain, which has been desensitized from porn

Again, not all porn addicts are Narcissists, but a high percentage of Narcissists are addicted to porn.  If you’re not sure which category your partner falls into, look for their willingness to overcome their addiction with your help.  If they blame their condition on you, or refuse to talk about recovery, chances are high that they are a Narcissist.  Even if they’re not, you’ll want to consider the possible effects on your mental and emotional health if choosing to stay with a porn-addicted partner who shows no desire to stop.

Besides, porn has humanitarian and ethical implications, including the following:

  • Increased demand for porn has caused an increase in human trafficking
  • Lower quality of life for people in the sex industry (in general, not in all cases) –cases of violence, emotional abuse, threats, etc. for people wanting to leave the industry
  • Causes unrealistic expectations for young teens, first sexual experience is often porn, long-term ramifications for normal relationships
  • Virtual infidelity –people begin to prefer porn to their partner(s), cannot be aroused by partner(s), people who watch porn often fake orgasms with their partner and then go watch porn to please themselves; dilutes connection with partner/spouse – often leads to increased real-life infidelity
  • Studies have found correlations between pornography use and marital/relationship instability; those who reported being happily married were much less likely to report use of internet porn
  • Pornography use has been linked to higher rates of divorce, extramarital affairs, lower rates of happiness in marriage/relationships and with life in general

This article isn’t meant as an argument for or against porn.  There are enough debates on the subject centered around sexual autonomy, choice, feminism, and other societal considerations.  Further, some older couples report that the mutual viewing of porn has helped spice up their romance in the bedroom…Though, there are very real societal ramifications linked to internet porn.

This article was written to help traumatized partners understand that if their Narcissistic partner blames their ED on them, there are very real physiological and psychological reasons why this may be happening, which have nothing to do with affected partners.  If this describes your situation, please seek professional therapy, and if your partner shows no signs of change, you may want to consider ending the relationship because the situation will only get worse.

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