Lovefraud has heard from many people who have been romantically involved with sociopaths. They often comment on the “amazing sex.”
Many sociopaths are skilled lovers, and there are reasons for this.
First of all, sociopaths are hard-wired for sex. They have an excessive need for stimulation, excitement and sensation. They also have no fear and no inhibitions. From a sexual perspective, that means a voracious appetite and anything goes.
Secondly, sociopaths get a lot of practice. They usually start young—precocious sexuality is one of the early behavior problems typical of a sociopath. As they get older, sociopaths continue to engage in frequent, casual sex. Sociopaths have plenty of partners, and plenty of opportunities to learn.
Sex but no love
But just because there’s sex—even what appears to be wild, passionate sex—doesn’t mean there’s love. Sociopaths may be technically competent lovers, but there will never be any true intimacy or emotional sharing involved.
Many people who have contacted Lovefraud have been confused by this. Their encounters seemed so caring, so earth-moving, that it was difficult to believe there was no love.
Here are the facts: Sociopaths are not capable of love. Sociopaths are, however, convincing liars, and they know that if they say the words “I love you,” they’ll probably get more sex.
Furthermore, when a sociopath seduces his or her target, it’s a way of establishing control. Along with getting the physical desires of the moment met, the sociopath may also be getting money and a free place to live. All for whispering a few sweet nothings—and to the sociopath, they truly mean nothing.
Diagnosing the disorder
The most accurate tool for diagnosing whether someone is a sociopath (also called a psychopath) is the Psychopathy Check List-Revised (PCL-R), developed by Dr. Robert Hare. The tool, administered by a trained professional, rates the person on 20 items to determine an overall psychopathy score.
One of the items evaluated is “promiscuous sexual behavior.” This is defined as impersonal sexual relationships, frequent one-night stands, cheating, frequent casual sex, several sexual relationships at the same time, deception to convince others to engage in sexual activity, and possible charges for sexual assault. (Believe me, sociopaths are capable of all of it.)
Another item on the check list is “many short-term marital relationships.” This means the person has frequent unstable interpersonal relationships and/or multiple marriages.
Irresponsible and casual sex, therefore, is one of the hallmarks of sociopathic behavior. Some sociopaths are also capable of truly frightening sexual violence—but that’s a topic for another post.