Recently, I responded to another FWW'r who blogged about how sex with her ex was painful. This got me to thinking about my own experiences and some conclusions that I have reached over the past couple of years.
Sex doesn't have to be the be all, end all of a relationship, as my fiancé says "it's the icing on the cake". We don't have a great relationship because the sex is great. The sex is great because we have a great relationship. I came to this revelation a few years ago and I learned a lot about my self. The sexual relationship I have with (lets call him Dave) is (as odd as this may sound) one of the reasons that I knew early on in our relationship that he was NOT a narc.
I've decided the best way to explain these revelations is to discuss them as they came to me. There really is no way to describe this without being completely open and honest, so if you are uncomfortable with the subject, please move along. I am quite comfortable with my sexuality, but many are not, so again move along. I promise there will be no graphic content, R rating not required.
I always thought that I liked sex and that my ex was a pretty good lover. Turns out he was really bad, exceedingly selfish (I know shocker, huh) and at a subconscious level I didn't trust him.
On my journey to find meaning and explain the crazy, I found a list of 25 narcissist traits, one of which was narc's will withhold sex. It was the one thing that did not match my ex. I never really thought it applied to him because my ex wanted sex a lot, for the first half of our marriage almost daily, I would hide in the bathroom until I heard him snoring. If I didn't give in he would act like a baby and the verbal battering and emotional abuse would ensue. I didn't love him, I don't understand he needs to have sex, I was controlling, trying to punish him, frigid. Eventually I learned to turn off and mentally went somewhere else. There were several occasions where I asked my ex to stop doing something because I didn't like it. I got the long sigh of disappointment and that was it, I had ruined everything. This would be a no brainer for a person who respects your boundaries, they just stop.
Do you know what using guilt or bullying someone into sex is called. Rape. I mentioned that several years ago, just out of general conversation. My ex went ballistic, yelling at me that it wasn't the same thing. I asked him why that made him so upset. I didn't get a response. One would infer that he was fully aware that he used bullying tactics to get what he wanted; he just didn't care or think he was doing anything wrong. Then there's having sex with you when you passed out drunk, I rarely drink and he always had a way of trying to get me drunk. He was always pushing alcohol at me. He wasn't successful most times, I learned over the years to not allow him to pour my drinks. He would make them increasingly stronger, because I couldn't taste the alcohol, so you think you've only had 4, but it turns out you had closer to 10. He told my psychiatrist once that liked to get me drunk because I was more sexually pliable. Why she didn't see this as a huge flag is beyond me. For the past 25 years I thought I had problems, I've learned that I don't. As a result, I would like to tweak that earlier definition to: Narc's use sex as a way to dominate and control their victims. Not 50 Shades of Grey dominate, that book is BS by the way, I mean monopolize. Make it all about their wants and needs.
When I type this stuff I can't believe I was married to this person that I stayed for so long.
Asking the Right Questions
I've noticed a somewhat subtle difference between how narcissist and normal people behave and what questions they ask. Post-sexual encounter, a narcissist will ask how they were or how was it, because they are concerned with their performance. Heaven forbid you say anything remotely negative and if you do it's best to blame yourself, ie your tired, having difficulties, it wasn't you. He actually asked me once, "why don't you make any noise during sex?" At the time I didn't know why. But that is a criticism aimed at me, if I wasn't screaming his name then obviously I have a problem.
When I'm with Dave occasionally he will "feel me out" (no pun intended) and ask is everything okay, if he feels it wasn't good for me. Early in our relationship he would request feedback, but not ten seconds later. The former was looking for a critique; the latter wanted to make the best possible experience for me. Wow, someone’s actually concerned about me. Dave has never asked me to "critique his performance". He's a bit of perfectionist when it comes to himself, as he sets pretty high standards for his performance at any task. He doesn't have to be the best, just do the best that he can. Oh, poor me, what shall I do about that. I would suggest that one tread cautiously when judging a potential lover's intentions when they are probing you for information (again no pun intended). Most men are pretty insecure about their performance, the size of their junk, stamina. The question you need to ask yourself, what does he want? To impress you or make you happy. A good lover has one goal, to please you.
Because narcs live in a false world that is about taking they don't know how to give. They only know how to act like they are. Do their actions match their words?
Sex is Better When you Like the Person
I thought I loved my husband. The sad fact is, I didn't, I never really did. I loved who I thought he was, the person he was sometimes when he was love bombing me. I've noticed that many women who are in the early stages of discovering narcdom say the same things. I miss the man he used to be, or I want that man back. Ladies that man does not exist and is as real as an actor in the movies. He may look like Han Solo, sound like Han Solo and pilot the Millennium Falcon, but Han Solo is not real. But I digress, I realize now that the sex was bad because I didn't really like who he was. Instinctively I knew that he was a monster and I was lying to myself about who and what he really was. I found myself constantly telling him how wonderful he was, because I thought he needed to hear it, even though sometimes I knew it wasn't true. He was always playing the poor me card and I fell for it. Making sure that he's needs were met because he's a friend and family didn't treat him good enough.
Trust and Intimacy is a Game Changer
I was never intimate with my ex husband, we had sex, I required quite a bit of work and foreplay to achieve orgasm and sometimes that didn't even happen. To make things even more difficult I didn't like to be caressed. I wanted to, but it made my skin crawl. In movies or TV a couple gets together, makes out, gets hot and heavy and has great sex. I used to think who dreams up this BS. It doesn't work that way.
For myself I discovered the root of true and deep intimacy is trust. With intimacy and trust came fantastic sex. Yes, I said fan friggin'tastic sex. I don't know if this would be the same for everyone. But it was for me. I was 46 when I started dating Dave and I had never gotten sexually aroused kissing someone. I had dated a few men before my ex and a few men after, before I started dating Dave, and this was the absolute first time something like that ever happened to me. It didn't happen the first time we kissed, more like a couple of weeks later, likely because I was less nervous. I have to admit the whole, I want to wait six months, plan went out the window. I had to explore this further, so when the kids where at Grandma's I dragged him into the bedroom (to be fair I did know him for a year, I'm not that easy). Unfortunately the oldest came home early while I was screaming Dave's name. Oh, how I wish that story wasn't true. But I was able to finally answer that question. I do make noise during sex, lots in fact, sex with my ex husband just wasn't scream worthy.
I Like to Over Analyze Everything
One would think I would just be happy with great sex and not dwell on it, but for those of you who know me. I dwell.
The question was, why was it so good? He didn't have any special technique. It wasn't a new thing, because I had dated jerk face for six months (Hence, the six month rule, which I broke with Dave, I know I have no shame). But there were other things too, I no longer require the traditional foreplay. If he snuggles his face in my neck and strokes my arm, I turn to mush, I'm like a puddle. So if we're cuddled up at night and he's snuggling I tell him "he's either going to have to stop or do something about it." I think the reason for this is trust. I am very comfortable with him, I don't worry about him pushing my boundaries and violating the limits that I set. He doesn't mock me, get frustrated or turn into a baby when I tell him to stop. He never pushes me for sex. I have decided and I've told him, I will never have sex with him unless I absolutely want to, I will never fake it. Sex should never be a chore or an obligation. I value my relationship with him too much and he knows that I'm always genuine and that I am into him.
There was a time that I could spend days getting up the courage to tell my ex something. Sometimes I opted not to. Now I just blurt it out, anything. I've known Dave for just over four years (dated three) and he knows things about me that my ex doesn't (I was with my ex for 25 years). I would never until my ex anything that could be used to embarrass or humiliate me. With time I found it easy to tell Dave things. There's no need to be embarrassed, because there is no judgment or keeping score.
I wish I could tell you some definitive facts or words that could help you determine if a man is a narc or not. But I can tell you that when you know, you know. What you do notice is there's a huge change in yourself and you really start to recognize the toxic behavior from your past.
(originally posted by a member of our private social network)