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
SearchEurope.com. 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
EDITED 2/09. Unfortunately, while the content itself stands on its own
in helping people understand narcissism, the writer's credibility may
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
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
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
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
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.
SURVIVING THE NARCISSIST
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