At the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist, there can be loads of kissing and physical touch. They will be calling you and messaging you all the time, taking you out to dinner and listening to you talk for hours on end. Not to mention plenty of honeymoon sex to be had and enjoyed. The thought of whether or not they even like kissing doesn’t even cross your mind.
Unfortunately, the honeymoon phase comes to a crashing end and the kissing and physical touch stops. You start to notice little negative comments coming from them and may even wonder what you’ve done for things to have shifted.
The reality is that the narcissist was just love-bombing you to hook you in. Now, any instigation of kissing and touching is probably all coming from you, trying to rekindle those amazing early days that you both shared.
On the flip side of it all you may be wondering, do narcissists enjoy kissing their partners at all? The short answer is yes, narcissists do enjoy kissing in the beginning… but not for the same reasons that you do.
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The Science Behind Kissing
Scientists are still trying to definitively figure out why we humans are one of the few creatures on the planet who feel the need to press our lips against someone else’s and share saliva. It sounds appealing when put like that, doesn’t it?
But here are some very good arguments behind the act of people sharing a kiss.
Kissing Relaxes You
When we kiss, our brains release ‘feel good’ chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.
Oxytocin is specifically known as the ‘the love drug,’ because it increases endorphins, which make the body feel good. Oxytocin is also known to promote bonding and attachment in humans, as well as creating feelings of affection.
Dopamine is released when we do something that feels good, like kissing someone we’re attracted to, which is what gives us that ‘high’ feeling.
We also have more nerve endings in our lips than any other part of our body, so when we press them up against another set of warm, soft lips, it just plain feels good!
In addition to all of that, kissing lowers cortisol levels, making you feel more relaxed.
|What’s in it for the Narcissist?
Kissing makes you feel good, which means you’ll give the narcissist copious amounts of attention.
For a narcissist, direct attention equals Grade A narcissistic supply.
When you kiss the narcissist, you funnelling large amounts of your life force energy into them, which means they’re getting their favourite drug on tap!
Kissing Determines Compatibility
According to biologists, kissing is one of the first ways we can determine who we’re most compatible with. That’s why someone who we experience as being a “terrible kisser” is a deal-breaker for us! They may not even be a bad kisser at all, it’s just that you’re not compatible with each other.
|What’s in it for the Narcissist?
The narcissist, in all of their egotistical superiority, truly thinks they’re the best kisser on the face of the Earth. They know that if they can win you over with their seductive skills, they’ve got you on the hook.
Kissing Increases Sex Drive
When we kiss and share saliva with someone, we’re also sharing testosterone, which increases our sex drive.
Apparently, women use kissing as a way to judge men and decide whether they’ll make it to the bedroom or not. Whereas men kiss to send sex hormones and proteins that make the female more sexually receptive.
In short, women kiss to assess whether they’ll have sex with the guy or not, while men kiss to increase the woman’s sex drive.
|What’s in it for the Narcissist?
Once we’re intimate with someone, we inevitably feel more connected and attached to them. The narcissist knows that lots of passionate kissing will lead to sex, which will lead to you feeling connected to them.
Once you’re connected, you’ll find it harder to leave, which holds you in place to keep feeding their ego and being sucked dry energetically. Plus, sex is another way for narcissists to receive narcissistic supply.
Kissing Bonds You
As you’ve probably figured by now, kissing is an intimate act, which actively bonds you to your partner.
The oxytocin and dopamine help to increase the feeling of attachment to your mate, plus the hormones feel so good, that you just want to keep feeling more of them. It’s all rather addictive.
Moreover, when you feel bonded to someone, you’re more likely to feel that it’s safe to be vulnerable with them and trusting of them.
I’m sure you can see where this is headed…
|What’s in it for the Narcissist?
Kissing helps you to feel safe with the narcissist, which means you’ll open up, be vulnerable and inevitably trust them. They want your trust because then you’re more likely to put up with their abuse down the track and stay loyal regardless of how they treat you.
Narcissists and Kissing
In summary, kissing relaxes us, makes us feel good and helps to strengthen our bond and connection to the other person.
So, let’s take our knowledge of snogging and apply that to explore the question – do narcissists enjoy kissing?
(Take this quiz to find out if your partner is definitely a narcissist).
Do Narcissists Enjoy Kissing?
Narcissists may enjoy kissing in the early phase, but not for the same reasons that you do.
You see, you’re enjoying the kissing because you’ve got so many ‘feel good’ hormones coursing through your body, which helps to make you feel like you’ve found someone truly special.
The narcissist enjoys kissing because they know it will hook you in and bond you to them. It grants them narcissistic supply in the form of attention and adoration going from you to them.
|READ: Narcissistic Supply Explained →
For that initial period, they make you feel like you’re the most amazing person on the planet and they can truly make you feel adored.
But here’s where it’s important to note the distinction. It’s not you that they adore, it’s the fact that you freely offer such a great source of supply to them.
It’s not that they adore you, it’s simply your valuable life force in which they seek to pillage.
Narcissists are purely transactional, nothing they do is for free. Therefore, if a narcissist is putting time and attention into you, it’s because they expect things in return.
Reasons Narcissists DO Enjoy Kissing:
- They get supply
- It relaxes you and helps you to ‘fall’ for them
- It helps you become attached and addicted to them (read up on Trauma Bonding below)
- It increases sex drive, which helps to bond you to them quicker
- It makes you feel safe to trust them
Notice how all of the above points are about the narcissist manipulating your feelings and emotions for their gain? It has nothing to do with loving you or wanting to reciprocate kindness and pleasure.
|READ: Narcissists & Trauma Bonding →
Kissing and Love Bombing
During the Love Bombing phase, the narcissist will be all over you. They’ll be showering you with gifts, taking you out on fancy dates and doing whatever they can to make you feel like you’ve found ‘the one.’
Remember, narcs don’t do anything without the intention of getting something in return. While you think they’re treating you amazingly because they’re really into you, that’s not the case.
They simply see you as a great source of narcissistic supply. Therefore, the are only giving in order to claim you as their item to be used and abused as they see fit. They want to own you.
This is where both of your addictions are fuelled.
The narcissist observes you heavily during the love bombing phase and quickly gets to know that you’re seeking approval and security from an outside source. So, they pretend to be everything that you need in order to hook you in. During this process, they earn your trust and get you to hand your energy and power over to them. In return, they secure you as a permanent source of narcissistic supply.
You’re signing your soul over to the devil without having ever been shown the contract.
Kissing plays a big part in the love bombing as it helps to quickly form a connection so that you are quickly bonded to them. You’ll be feeling so damn good from all of the ‘love’ hormones running through your body, that you’ll be lining up for more.
It’s so easy for the narcissist when they can let nature do their dirty work for them.
What do Narcissists Hate about Kissing?
Once the idealisation (love bombing) phase comes to an abrupt halt, you can bet that the kissing stops or dwindles right back to almost nothing.
Then in come the insults, arguments and devaluations, which leave you totally confused.
Where did it all go wrong? Things were going so well…
“Maybe if I just show a little more affection, we can get back to those amazing early days,” you think.
You see, narcissists don’t enjoy kissing for the pleasure and emotional connection it garners within a loving, reciprocal relationship. Unless there’s something in it for them, they find it unnecessary (and even uncomfortable).
The very nature of narcissism means that they outright avoid and repel their feelings, emotions and vulnerabilities, which can be unsuspectingly brought to the surface with intense kissing.
Reasons Narcissists DO NOT Like Kissing:
- They don’t like having to feel emotions
- It makes them feel vulnerable
- They despise true intimacy
- They don’t want to hand any ‘love’ or power over to you
- They need to control everything, so they won’t grant kisses or give anything to you if they feel it will somehow strip them of their power
- If they think you want it, then they will not give it
- They’re incapable of feeling a genuine connection and don’t see you as a worthy equal, therefore they don’t actually ‘feel’ anything while kissing
What Does it Mean when a Narcissist Kisses You?
As we’ve already established, narcissists enjoy kissing as a purely transactional activity. They don’t do it for the feelings and pleasure it brings them, nor do they do it to strengthen a genuine emotional connection with their partner.
So, what does it mean when a narcissist kisses you?
- Kissing gives you the illusion of mutual connection in the Love Bombing phase.
- They kiss you in front of others to ‘claim’ you and show that they own you.
- Kissing you when there’s an audience or in photos for social media signifies that they’re ‘successful’ in the relationship arena.
- Being all kissy and happy in the public eye means that they can control the storyline. It makes it harder for you to disclose any truth of who they really are behind closed doors.
- They’ll kiss to manipulate you, especially when they want something.
- They may kiss you as a ‘reward’ after being punished, which further strengthens the Trauma Bond.
- Kissing you may be a way for them to gain narcissistic supply and pat their ego.
- They may coerce you into kissing them, which makes them feel powerful and gives them supply.
- They’ll kiss you if it serves their larger agenda… even if you don’t know what that is yet.
Why Do Narcissists Avoid Kissing Their Partners?
Everything in a narcissist’s world is purely transaction, which means, if there’s nothing in it for them, they won’t do it.
Unless there is something for the narcissist to gain by kissing their partner, they will generally avoid it.
Here’s why narcissists avoid kissing their partners:
- They only use it as a manipulation tool
- There’s nothing in it for them
- They don’t have the ability to be authentically intimate
- They hate being vulnerable
- They think they’re too superior for that
- They don’t want to lose their position of power
Narcissists Withholding Intimacy
Narcissists will figure out very early on in the game that you actually like and need intimacy for your own reasons (which they’ll never be able to truly understand).
So, intimacy becomes a commodity, which they can withhold from you as a form of punishment and offer out when they want to intermittently ‘reward’ you.
They will project their own dislike of intimacy onto you and make you feel like the one who has trouble with intimacy.
My narcissistic ex did this continuously throughout the relationship to the point where I believed there was something deeply wrong with me. Why didn’t I want him to touch me? What was wrong with me? Now I recognise that after two decades of gaslighting, devaluation and abuse, I did not feel any level of safety or comfort with him at all. Intimacy wasn’t my issue, safety was.
The narcissist doesn’t think there could possibly be anything wrong with them, therefore you must be the problem. So, they superimpose their very wounds onto you and paint you as the one who’s broken and has intimacy issues.
Do Narcissists Like to be Touched?
During the all-important Love Bombing phase, narcissists can be very touchy-feely, which serves to hook you in, much like kissing does.
However, narcissists are in the business of taking, not giving. They have zero interest in touching and cuddling unless it serves a purpose for them.
If they are in the right mood, they’re more than happy to be touched when it suits them. But, the clause is that you are to give them all the attention and admiration. They have no intention of reciprocating the tenderness. After all, they believe that they are gods who deserve to be worshipped at all times.
Sometimes narcissists can play the victim when they are feeling low on supply, where they expect you to shower them with love and affection. But this isn’t because they’re craving physical touch, it’s because they need a hit of their favourite drug – narcissistic supply.
Narcissists can use cuddling and touching for all sorts of self-serving purposes:
- Reward/ Punishment
- Power & Control
|READ: Do Narcs Like Cuddling? →
My Own Experience with Narcissists and Kissing
After spending two decades with a covert narcissist, I’ve noticed some very interesting things over the years around kissing from when I was in the relationship.
In the beginning, we used to kiss and have sex all the time. It was intoxicating and I was all loved up!
But with the gift of hindsight, I can see how short-lived that love bombing period really was. In came the devaluations and ‘punishments,’ which were very subtle at first. Hidden enough for me to ignore them, but visible enough for me to think, “What just happened there?”
Then the sex just became sex. It lacked intimacy and passion, although it was the rare occasion that we would sometimes kiss.
My ex was never one for public displays of affection and I was quite shy, with my own shame issues from growing up with a narcissistic mother, so I didn’t push for it.
Years into the relationship, my ex decided one day that we should be kissing each other goodbye when one or both of us was heading out for the day. To be honest, I’d given up on even wanting any form of intimacy a long time ago. I just didn’t even want it from him anymore.
I was so shut down that I truly did think there was something wrong with me for not wanting it. Once I got myself out of the narcissistic marriage and started researching the topic, I realised that he was the reason that I was so shut down, hypersensitive and didn’t want to be touched.
The only form of physical contact I ever got from him was flicks, pokes and slaps on the ass. I repeatedly expressed how much I hated those things and asked him to stop. He wouldn’t stop, but always belittled me instead.
- “For f***’s sake, I can’t even touch you!”
- “God, you’re so frigid.”
- “What’s wrong with you? You’ve got issues.”
- “I’m just playing around, geez lighten up and have some fun.”
|READ: 100+ Gaslighting Examples →
But back to him wanting to suddenly start kissing each other goodbye. It was really baffling, but there were only two reasons I could see for him wanting to instil this new habit.
One, it stroked his already over-inflated ego by making him feel special. Or two, it would help to keep up the appearance of our relationship being ‘successful’ to the outside world.
He would often change how he did things based on what others were doing because of FOMO. He’d obviously noticed (about 10 years too late) that other couples would kiss each other goodbye. Well, heaven forbid he missed out on something that he felt entitled to, so he went right ahead and enforced it in his own relationship.
Can’t you just feel the love!
Something else I always noticed with him when it came to kissing was the New Year’s Eve countdowns. You know when everyone is counting down those last ten seconds until midnight, then they cheer and go and give their partners a big, loving kiss?
Well, I was always left standing there alone during and after the countdown, while my partner was chugging down drinks with his mates and cheering along with them instead. It always made me feel so sad that while I was looking around searching him out, I had never even crossed his mind.
I can only remember one year where seeing other couples coming together actually triggered a thought within him to do the same. To be honest, I could feel how inauthentic that kiss was that it actually repulsed me.
Narcissistic relationships are such incredibly sad and lonely places.
When I told my husband that I was done and was moving out, all of a sudden he wanted to kiss me passionately one day. It was disgusting and is now completely evident to me that he was just starting the idealisation phase all over again to try and keep me there for a few more years worth of abuse.
Spoiler alert – no amount of love bombing could have kept me there by that point! My only regret is not leaving sooner.
One last memory about my narcissistic ex kissing me (and this is a very interesting one) has to do with coughing. For at least the final five years of our relationship, on the rare occasion that my ex would try to kiss me, I’d have the most uncontrollable urge to cough!
It was the weirdest thing. Again, at the time I was thinking, “What the heck is wrong with me? Now I can’t even kiss anyone?”
Nope, it was not me having a problem with kissing, it was my entire physical and spiritual being screaming “Noooooo!!!” I feel like my inner being was trying its hardest to expel him from me, but I just didn’t understand that.
For a healthy person who has every ability to feel empathy, emotion and connection, kissing is a beautiful thing to be felt on many levels.
But to a narcissist, who long ago severed the very things that make us intrinsically human (empathy, compassion and authenticity), kissing is nothing more than a currency to manipulate with and get something back in exchange for.
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