“He swept me off my feet with charm and romance, and I was so happy, euphoric even, until I wasn’t. Until his controlling, possessive, violent ways took over. I felt stuck and alone, and as though I was the crazy one.”
Relate to this? If so, you may have been in a relationship with someone on the narcissist/sociopath spectrum. While not everyone on the spectrum is abusive or criminal, the lack of empathy that comes along with sociopathy, paired with the need for power and control, can wreak havoc on relationships and tinker with all sorts of aspects of a healthy relationship, including sex and Girl Boners.
The other day, I had the pleasure of exploring these issues with Jenni J.V. Wilson MA, MFIi, a fabulous expert and cohost of The Relationship Show with Dr. Megan and Miss Jenni. Scroll down or hop over to iTunes or iHeartRadio for the full episode!
In the meantime, here are a few highlights I loved on sex and the sociopath—or more specifically, five of many signs you may be getting busy with one.
1. You struggle to let go of the relationship because the sex is HOT.
Jessica wrote in, sharing that she keeps going back to her selfish and controlling ex because with him, she has the best sex of her life. (Both Dr. Megan and Jenni wisely suggested she add “so far” to that statement—amen!)
Sociopaths can be so focused on performing like rockstars in the bedroom and bringing you more pleasure than anyone else has, they may very well do both. And as Dr. Megan pointed out, the rawness of sex without certain emotional layers can be liberating and, thus, steamy.
You may also feel more free to explore fantasies you deemed taboo or discover new ones you enjoy, because sociopaths tend to crave variety more so than others. But this can go the opposite way as well, which brings us to….
2. Over time, sex becomes complicated.
Sociopaths particularly want to impress you early on in a relationship, said Jenni, but down the road sex may become problematic. They may demand it frequently or withhold it, in effort to control you.
In the episode you’ll hear from a woman whose ex kept sex from her for this very reason, which ended up damaging her sense of self worth. (She’s in a much better place now. Hooray!)
3. You find yourself agreeing to sexual activities you’re not comfortable with.
Sociopaths can be skilled at pushing sexual boundaries, which is part of the danger, said Jenni, especially if you feel the need to acquiesce for fear of losing the relationship.
“Maybe there is something good about having someone who wants you to dress up in lingerie and play with certain toys, or wants to go down you when you’ve never been comfortable with that, or whatever it is that will push you past your comfort zone in a safe way,” she said. “It’s when you find yourself doing things that you really don’t want to be doing that you probably want to turn around and head a different direction.”
4. You break up and get back together repeatedly, which only makes the sex hotter.
Breakups, arguments and makeups invite some wild emotions that can fuel passion—or even create a false sense of hope or meant-to-be-ness. “So many people, myself included, have had amazing breakup sex,” said Jenni. Most everyone wants to feel something intense, she added, but when you’re with a sociopath, “it’s kind of an illusion. It will dissipate and then you’re back to where you started.”
5. Your safe sex isn’t so safe after all.
It’s not uncommon for abusive sociopaths to push boundaries regarding physical health as well. They may deem riskier sex a turn-on or no big deal. They may even aim for pregnancy you don’t want by poking holes in condoms or lying about using other contraception to “keep” you long term.
I’m all for seeking and embracing pleasure, but even if the sex is mindblowingly amazing—your best so far—it’s not worth staying with someone who hurts you. But knowing that and feeling able to take needed action are far different.
If you’ve never been on the hurt side of abuse, you might wonder why anyone would put up with it. Why not just leave? Having experienced the abuse, spoken with others who have and studied the subject at length, however, I know how complicated leaving can be. I also know positive change is possible and worth every effort. You can find the healing and happiness you deserve—if not today, then someday.
If your safety is at risk, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline for confidential, judgment-free support: 1.800.799.7233 or TTY 1.800.787.3224.
To learn more about sex and sociopaths, differences between narcissism and sociopathy, ways to find freedom and heal from toxic relationships—including Jenni’s expert insight and an experience I’ve never before shared publicly—listen to the episode on iTunes, iHeartRadio or below!