While most of us may be certain that we know of, or have even dated, a true narcissist, the label is widely overused. Experts estimate that diagnosable narcissistic personality disorder is only present in about five percent of the population. Indeed, if everyone who complained about their narcissistic ex actually dated a textbook narcissist, the world would be significantly worse off than it already is.
Still, there are many people who display toxic narcissistic behavior in their romantic relationships, even if they themselves don’t meet the clinical definition of a narcissist. And instead of throwing around an overused label, a new study suggests we may as well call them what they are: lousy lays.
According to research published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, men who are “sexually narcissistic” are more prone to, paradoxically, premature ejaculation and not cumming at all. Scientists concluded this after surveying 1,297 men about their health and their sexual history over the last couple of years. Participants also responded to the Hurlbert Index of Sexual Narcissism, a 25-item questionnaire designed to gauge sexual narcissism based on how much you agree with statements like, “In sex, I like to be the one in charge,” and “Pleasing yourself in sex is most important.”
The higher men scored on the scale of sexual narcissm, the more likely they were to masturbate, have partnered sex and be interested in sex generally. And yet, these same men reported lower sexual and relationship satisfaction — so much so that they generally preferred masturbation to sex with another person. Likewise, a high score of sexual narcissism was also strongly associated with sexual impairment, “including a propensity toward both premature ejaculatory response and delayed ejaculatory response,” the researchers concluded.
Study author David Rowland, senior research professor at Valparaiso University, explained to PsyPost that narcissistic men are “strongly driven by their own desire for pleasure, deriving sexual satisfaction more from orgasm than from other factors associated with partnered sex such as feelings of intimacy and relational interactions.” Rowland speculated that narcissistic men tend to experience premature ejaculation at the beginning of the relationship, and then have difficulty finishing as “relationship novelty wanes.”
Rowland added, “This is a correlational study, so one needs to be cautious about drawing causal conclusions, for example, stating that narcissism is the cause of diminished sexual and relationship satisfaction, or of more problematic sexual response during partnered sex. Other factors not assessed in our study may be responsible for these outcomes.”
So it’s too soon to tell if being narcissistic is the direct cause of not ejaculating or experiencing premature ejaculation during sex. But if you’re trying to last longer with a new partner, you might want to find another place for that mirror by your bed, just in case.