Narcissistic Sexual Abuse

sexual abuseHas sex become something you just do rather than enjoy? Do you feel pressured into having sex? Is it possible to be sexually abused in a marital relationship?

Sexual abuse can happen to both men and women in and out of a marital relationship. In a relationship with a narcissist, however, that abuse becomes magnified. For the narcissist, sexual abuse is used to control your behavior, elevate their feelings of superiority, reenact their fantasies (not yours), and paralyze you. Not all narcissists use sexual abuse as a means of domination. But if you are in a relationship with one, knowing even the subtle forms of sexual abuse can be freeing.

  1. The Early Stage. A narcissist begins the abuse by grooming you. They do a mildly abusive act to see if you acquiesce. For instance, they might fondle you in front of your mother or demandsexting while you are at work. These unwanted or embarrassing sexual acts are designed to catch you off-guard and create a feeling of trepidation. It is also a subtle message to others that you belong to them. Not in a comforting way, but one that leaves you feeling like a possession. Be warned, sometimes narcissists share yoursexting photos with friends further adding humiliation. When you confront the narcissist, they minimize, deny, or blame you.
    • Verbal Assaults. In the beginning, the verbal comments are amazingly flattering. You are the person of their dreams. You meet all of their sexual needs. But as soon as you begin to disagree with a sexual preference, you are accused of being manipulative and controlling. You are openly criticized for your sexual desires or lack thereof. Then the comments turn vulgar. Sexual insults or debasing comments about your body become more common. You begin to feel not good enough, being called both a whore and a prude. Narcissists do not see partners as individuals with feelings and opinions. Rather they are pieces of meat. This is apparent in the general way they talk about the opposite sex.
    • Jealousy Rages. The narcissist demands that you tell them everything about your previous sexual partners and encounters. Then they use the information to call you a slut or use your encounters as rationalization for their own indiscretions. When you become jealous, they claim you are being irrational and domineering. Some narcissists want you to cover up in public while others want you to wear provocative clothing beyond your comfort level. No matter what the outfit, you are accused of being attracted to others, flirting, flaunting your body, and cheating. The narcissist will use these accusations as justification for further sexual abuse. “You deserve this,” or “You asked for this,” are typical narcissistic responses. They can also be jealous of children or pets, basically anything that takes your attention away from them.
    • Coercion Tactics. To persuade you into having sex, the narcissist uses harassment, guilt, shame, blame, or rage. For them, this is not sexual abuse. Yet it is; any coerced sexual act is abusive. For example, they insist on sex after an argument to prove your commitment. Or they will play the victim card and compel you to have sex so they feel safe, secure, or validated. They nag and insult you, become angry and disruptive, refusing to allow you to leave or sleep until you concede. When you do finally give in, you disconnect emotionally and hurry up just to get it over. It is not satisfying for you but for them.
    • Threatening Infidelity. The narcissist threatens infidelity if you don’t comply with their escalating sexual desires, change your appearance, or gain weight. They might dangle another female in front of you to bully you into doing sexual acts that you are uncomfortable performing. To isolate you from friends, they might openly talk or joke about being attracted to your friend. When verbal threats fail, the narcissist will be unfaithful to prove their point.
  2. The Pushy Stage. It’s never enough. No frequency or style of sex is ever enough. Just when you believe that you have reached your boundaries, the narcissist pushes you further and further. When you object, you are ridiculed for your stance and all of the tactics in the early stage are condensed into one rant until you concede. Just to prove their dominance, they use your opposition as an excuse for pushing you even more.
    • Inciting Fear. You begin submitting to unwanted sexual acts out of fear that the narcissist will hit you, leave you, humiliate you, punish you, betray you, or withhold money. To reinforce this fear, the narcissist will do these acts, blame you for “making me do it,” and then demand you have sex to prove your loyalty. The pressure to have sex is unrelenting and unforgiving regardless of your physical condition and sexual desires.
    • Selfish Appeals. A classic example of selfish sex is unprotected sex. Because intercourse is all about how the narcissist feels, they refuse to use condoms and insist you take full responsibility for birth control or STD/STI protection. It is not uncommon for a narcissist to lie about having STD/STIs, refuse to be checked, and then blame you when you contract it. Your concerns over unprotected sex are belittled and minimized. It is all about them.
    • Sexual Withdraw. Some narcissists completely withdraw all sex from the relationship. Any requests you make for sex are met with ridicule, rants about your performance, and excessive excuses for abstinence. You are to blame for their lack of desire, it is never their fault. They will also oscillate between excessive sex and complete withdraw to maintain control and manipulate you into doing whatever they ask.
    • For the narcissist, your body is theirs and their body is theirs. Therefore they feel entitled to give ultimatums about your body. You have to lose weight or exercise more or groom yourself in a certain way to keep them satisfied. You could be in the hospital sick and if the narcissist wants to have sex, you are required to meet their needs. You are forced into pregnancy or an abortion because it is what they want, not what you want. You are not allowed to breast feed your baby because they don’t like how your breasts look.
    • Destroying Principles. Prior to meeting the narcissist, you had standards of what was acceptable sexually. For instance, participating in pornography, prostitution, having multiple partners at one time, or sex with animals was completely out of the question. But now, the narcissist’s argument for bending your principles seems compelling. You begin to believe the lie that if you will submit to the act just one time, then they will be satisfied and not require more of you. So they persuade you into have sex with someone else while they watch or have you watch them having sex with someone else. They might record you having sex without your knowledge and then beg you to watch it with them. But it is not enough. If you withhold sex out of disgust over bending your principles, they become angry, belligerent and sometimes violent.
  3. The Violent Stage. Once the narcissist reaches the violent stage, sex can no longer return to an expression of mutual love or commitment. They are not able to be excited by such menial emotions or simple intimate acts. It is now about intimidation, control, domination, power, torture, and terror. Not every narcissist escalates to this level; many just remain in the pushy stage fully content. But for those who do advance, these acts are often criminal. It is the act that is criminal not the nature of your relationship. You can be married and a victim of sexual crime.
    • The FBI defines rape as “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” This is a good time to take a break and reflect. You might have made excuses for the narcissist’s actions in the past but rape is rape no matter what the nature of your relationship is. Take a deep breath and have a good cry before reading on.
    • Degrading Acts. Degradation is in the eye of the beholder. The narcissist would not view these acts as degrading but you might. You might even be okay with some of these acts or not. Without getting into too many specifics, here are a couple of examples: urinating on you, having sex while on the toilet, or sex in public places. Degrading acts are done to humiliate you and cause you to feel trapped in the relationship. The narcissist will say, “Who would want you but me after you have done this.”
    • Sadistic Sex. There are two forms of sadistic sexual acts: mild (also known as S&M) and severe which can lead to death. Mild examples include: master-slave role-playing, immobilizing you through drugs or alcohol, administering pain (whipping) during sex, confining you to a cage, typing you up, blindfolding you, or clamping your sexual organs. It is important to remember that any sexual act which is not consensual is considered rape. The severe examples include: physical beatings, psychological torture, burning, cutting, stabbing, vampirism, and murder before, during or after sex. A narcissistic sadist will not stop their behavior even when it is identified as such.
  4. The Exit Stage. You can choose to exit the relationship at any of the above stages, it is all sexual abuse. Understandably, some of these abusiveacts you might not want to share with others as a reason for your departure. It can cause you unnecessary embarrassment, increase your humiliation, and prolong the healing process. You are not obligated to explain to anyone why you leave. But it is likely that you will need some professional help in order to heal. Sexual abuse leaves scars that frequently are not fully seen until you are in a healthy sexual relationship.
    • Post-Relationship. Be warned, even after you have broken off the relationship with the narcissist, they do one of two extremes. Either you still belong to them (even after divorce) or they act as if you never existed. Since you are still theirs, they are entitled to continue to demand sex even if you are in a relationship with someone else. Or, they will wipe all memories or pictures of you out of their life pretending the relationship never happened. This is a narcissist phenomenon which can oscillate between the two extremes.

In the beginning, it is common for you to be in a state of shock and have intense fear about leaving. Just reading the information here may increase your anxiety or cause a panic attack. This is normal. You are coming out of the fog of abuse and it is a sign of health for you to react that way. Alternating mood swings of anger and depression are also typical as you begin to see your partner for the person they are rather than the image they have created. Just because a narcissist has an unrealistic image of themselves does not mean that you have to believe it.

 

There is hope for your exhaustion.  Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

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16 thoughts on “Narcissistic Sexual Abuse

  1. A girlfriend on mine from many years ago started communicating with me last year. We loved each other very much then and still do. But I have recognized things with her that seems like she was completely brainwashed by her ex husband, she had moved out over a year and half ago and is now finally divorced. What struck me some months ago and with your article was that she thought she USED to be a prude (in your article) about porn being shown with mixed company and in the marriage she got used to it but never cared for it. I knew situations that friends of mine had put that stuff on and neither of us were ever comfortable with it… i hated it and really did not like the friends then. Then she said her ex wanted her to engage in sex acts with other women but she herself wasn’t interested in it but she ended up doing it anyways. Her ex still bothers her with petty distractions at their workplace even though he knows she seeing me but we don’t live very close so its only periodic. I think he is trying to manipulate her to get information and gauge whether the relationship is still going strong yet he wrote me some hate mail saying what a horrible ex boyfriend I was to her (30 years ago, I drank a lot as I had a lot of triggers from severe CSA) I was but how ‘pained’ he was seeing his ex at work… but he continuously likes to bring stuff up to her attention there at work like its nothing and it has nothing to do with anything about work itself. It seems like total contradiction to me and pointed out it to her. I find the whole thing really weird and sent her all his hate messages including blaming me for being responsible for his ex’s, my girlfriends’, lack of parenting skills resulting in their daughters’ death from a drug overdose…. which is one of the reasons she contacted me as she knew I lost a stepdaughter years ago. I worry about some these things she’s dealing with there and feel like I am going to have to deal with some brainwashing that has been done to her. She is such a kind, smart and loving person but some of these things scare me.

  2. My ex husband forced me to deepthroat him. He used oral sex as punishment if I upset him. He used me for sex because I was his wife and then leave to go fuck his girlfriend he said he didn’t have. I loved him but I didn’t deserve this treatment.

  3. My stupid ex bf is an sadistic sexual predator! It’ s over already 4 years! He breaks in my mothers house and mine. I changed my kan locks 5 times! And my mothers 1 time. He is a predatory stalker. He has raped me erin 2010-2012 in my sleep! And now again! Since december. He threatend the woman i want to marry with a few times. But thank God… every time he does that die reports that. I’m almost finished with collecting evidence of domestic violence of 2010-2012! No one but me can decide who touches me. Who i’m gonne be with. Wii enters my house etc. That is MY CHOISE AND NO ONE ELSES. HE WILL PAY FOR HIS CRIMES! That will be the biggest rejection he has ever had in his missorble life : prison! Buy and rot in hell!

    • I am so sorry to hear the pain in your words.Reading your comment was like reliving the end stages of my relationship with a narcissist.My eX and I split 10 was ago.For me the straw that broke the camels back ,was him sleep raping me( after months of degrading sex).Simply put I’d begun to be afraid of him ,and whilst still loved the nice “him” I fell in love with initially ,the lights suddenly went on as I realised it would only become worse.
      I hope you can start to heal nowSites/blogs like this help me so much.Instead of longing for what once felt so amazing ,and special ,I can see everything thought I had was ,in fact a lie..take care x

      • I just found this article because i was looking up information…trying to make sense of what he did to me. And now i have learned it was abuse the whole time. Topped off with rape. And to add to that he was sleeping with another girl while with me…again. im havn a real hard time with all of this. How could a man who says he loves me force me…how was he ok with me crying and trying to stop him…how could he do that to ME when he had someone else too. And now that girls friend keeps startn crap with me. I had no idea that all the other stuff that bothered me was abuse..i had no idea there are others with my same EXACT story. 3 1/2 years of hell. Not all of it…he had his charming..”oh there is the man i fell in love with moments” ..but for the most part i was stuck in hell. Im fighting depression now..panic attacks..nightmares…and a whole mess of emotions. I could be doing ok then just start crying. He has gotten away with all of this stuff…a free man and he thinks it is cute.

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