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Problematic Relationship Patterns

NPD is a cluster B personality disorder, meaning people with this condition may experience difficulties regulating their emotions and behavior. In particular, a person with NPD may experience intense, fluctuating emotions and an excessive concern with prestige, power, and personal adequacy.

While sexual narcissism and NPD may sound similar, they are different. Namely, sexual narcissism is not a personality disorder nor a mental health condition. Instead, it refers to traits of narcissism that only appear in sexual behaviors. People can display traits of sexual narcissism without meeting the diagnostic criteria for NPD.

Additionally, while a person with traits of NPD may display narcissistic traits in their sexual relationships, these traits will also appear in other areas of their life and not just within their sex life. In fact, people with NPD may show no narcissistic traits within a sexual context, as the diagnostic criteria for NPD do not involve a person’s sexual behavior.

Furthermore, research notes an associationTrusted Source between sexual narcissism and sexually aggressive behaviors, such as sexual assault and coercion. However, no evidence currently indicates that narcissism alone may increase the likelihood of these aggressive sexual behaviors.

If a person thinks they may be in a relationship with a sexual narcissist, there are behavior patterns to be aware of, including:

Sexual entitlement: A sexual narcissist may feel that others owe them sex and that they have a right to sex on demand.
Sexual exploitation: They may be willing to manipulate or coerce others into having sex.
Lack of empathy: They may feel that a partner’s feelings or needs do not concern them.
Need for admiration: They may have an excessive need for admiration, especially for their sexual abilities.
Infidelity: Higher rates of infidelity occur with sexual narcissists.
Charming pickup artist: Sexual narcissists will initially be charming and employ manipulative dating techniques designed specifically to get a potential partner into bed.
Sexual aggression: High levels of sexual narcissism and entitlement may beTrusted Source a predictor of sexual aggression.
Convincing a potential sexual narcissist to get help may escalate their behavior since they may not perceive they have a problem and may attempt to put the blame on others.

If a partner shows any abusive, angry, or violent behavior, it is advisable to develop a safety plan. Resources are available to help. People can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or texting 88788. They may also wish to seek the help of a trusted friend or family member for additional support.

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