Sexual Narcissism

  • June 30, 2023

It’s a very strange thing to take “pride” in your sexual interests. It is like taking “pride” in the fact that you like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

As if this liking were an achieving of some kind.

It is in fact a very strange form of narcissism to tout what you like as some kind of achievement, something to be “proud” of. A dangerous form of narcissism in that sexual interest is a very different kind of interest than being interested in mint chocolate chip ice cream. Then again, it would also be obnoxious in the extreme to find nothing but mint chocolate chop ice cream in the freezer case at the supermarket – and to be endlessly lectured by “activists” (and TeeVee commercials) about how fabulous mint chocolate chip ice cream is. To be obliged to affirm how fabulous it is at work. And to be fired, maybe, if you dared to say you weren’t interested; that you preferred vanilla. 

What, as Seinfeld used to say, is wrong with these people?

That is easy enough to answer. It is not they are interested in people of the same sex. That is a superficiality. We are all interested in various things and that is our business. Most of us would never think of making it everyone else’s.

It is that they are pathological narcissists.

They are interested in forcing you to be interested in their interests. If you are uninterested, then they style you a “phobe” – characterizing your disinterest and even dislike as fear, implying your disinterest and dislike arises from a lack of understanding – and that it is a kind of moral defect of understanding – when in fact it is they who are the defective ones.

For pathological narcissism is a defect – of the mind, of character.

It not only puts oneself first, it puts oneself above all others, first – and at their expense. Thus, “pride” in one’s interests becomes something others must also take “pride” in. Or at least be made to pretend they do, surrendering their inner selves – their convictions – to a public affirmation of the in-your-face (often literally) pridefulness that defines pathological people. For how else to describe people who do not keep their “pride” to themselves? Who demand acknowledgement? Who scream and shout and march about it?

And – for what? For being interested, sexually, in someone of the same sex?

For normal people, it is enough to take pride in what one has achieved – internally. The knowing that you did an honest day’s work and a good job. That you earned your daily bread. Put your family and kids first. That you dealt fairly with people and stood by your beliefs – and your word. That kind of pride is not the arrogant, entitled, boastful, incessant – insufferable – pridefulness of the “pride” movement.

The one is what holds a society together; the other tears it apart.

And so we have arrived at the reductio ad absurdum end-point of the “pride” movement – where liking something sexually is a thing to be proud of.  But the pride movement is much older than what’s been happening lately. It began many decades ago with the “black pride” movement that some reading this essay will recall. Offered up as a response to racism toward people who happened to be black – for no other reason than their being black – it urged black people to take pride in being black, for no other reason than just because they were. Not because they had achieved anything – as people – but because they were (and are) black people.

Other people were (and are) expected to show respectful deference.

This, in turn, fostered a narcissistically prideful attitude of specialness in nothing-special, for it is not a special achievement to be born a certain color. Or to like something.

Arrogant entitlement almost always rides shotgun. People who hadn’t achieved anything were owed something – which they demanded with militance, having acquired chauvinistic “pride” in who they were.

Black is beautiful, for instance.

And maybe so, to some. Just as other things are beautiful to other people. The world is full of beautiful – and ugly things. A good way to tell the one from the other is whether someone demands you acknowledge the beauty of a thing – and if you do not, characterizes you as a reprobate.

One need not be a Christian – formally – to understand that pride goes before the fall. And we have fallen very far, indeed.

. . .

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