Why Psychopaths are Insatiable

Many of the women who have been romantically involved with psychopaths describe their partners’ appetite for sex, pleasure and power as insatiable. In the beginning of the relationship, the psychopath’s penchant for pleasure may seem exciting, fun and even romantic. You may feel very special to have encountered a man who can’t keep his hands off of you. The problem is that psychopaths usually can’t keep their hands off other women and men too. Once you discover the depth of his deceit and the frequency and quantity of their infidelities, you may ask yourself: Why couldn’t I satisfy him? Why wasn’t I enough?

The answer is that nobody and nothing can satisfy a psychopath. There are emotional reasons for this insatiability which I’ve gone over in previous posts. Because they lack emotional depth and the capacity to bond to others, psychopaths don’t care about the harm they inflict. On the contrary, they relish seeing people in pain and the idea that they’ve duped them. This emotional shallowness also leads psychopaths to attach quickly to their targets and detach just as easily. The lack of love, coupled with the propensity to do harm and low impulse control, propels psychopaths to move quickly from one relationship to the next, in a desperate search for the next dupe, the next pawn, the next conquest, the next rush.

Clinical studies also reveal that just as psychopaths can’t bond emotionally to others, the pleasures they experience are also shallow. Like the mythical character Tantalus, psychopaths are cursed to consume more drink, more drugs, more sex in a desperate search for an unattainable physical satisfaction. To offer an example from pop culture, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie featured cursed pirates whose punishment for stealing forbidden treasure was to become insatiable. Drink poured into them as through a bottomless cup without making them any happier or  more light-hearted. Food passed through them without being able to really savor it. They indulged their sexual appetites with as many partners as they could find, but none gave them enough stimulation or pleasure.

Psychopaths resemble those cursed pirates. The more they indulge their addictions and appetites, the more jaded and dissatisfied they become, the more quantity of sex, partners, positions, drugs or alcohol they need to get their next fix. Every new activity, place and person quickly becomes boring to them. The only constant satisfaction psychopaths experience is the sadistic pleasure to use, hurt and deceive other human beings.

So what do psychopaths feel in lieu of emotional attachment and sensual pleasure? Their desire resembles that of a voracious animal fixated on its prey. It’s focused yet impersonal, targeting whomever they perceive as vulnerable out of the herd. To lure some victims some psychopaths may invest a lot of energy and time in appearing loving, caring, nice, committed and faithful. But that mask usually cracks as soon as they believe they got whatever they needed from that particular victim. This is why so many victims describe the sudden 180 degree change in the psychopath’s attitude and behavior as soon as they got married, or as soon as they committed to their relationship. Before giving in, they were exposed to the psychopath’s mask, which he used to lure them. Afterwards, they saw the real psychopath.

As strange as it may seem, even something as visceral as the psychopath’s sensuality is as much of an illusion as his capacity to love. Psychopaths can be very sensual and affectionate. But this behavior is learned from victims, not natural to them. They see that women are attracted to and beguiled by romantic words and gestures, so they mimic them: but only for as long as they pursue a target or want something from her. Afterwards, the affection and attention suddenly evaporates.

As Skylar, a regular contributor to lovefraud.com eloquently states, a psychopath “is like a ghost, a shadow or a vapor. A complete hallucination created out of DNA. There is nothing real about him, and that is what so hard to take, because you know that there are so many like him: walking shadows. It’s frightening, but we have to lose our innocence at some point.”

Our innocence consists of anthropomorphizing psychopaths by attributing normal human motivations or desires to them. Because their brains are wired differently, psychopaths think, feel and behave differently than the vast majority of human beings. For them, desire is a predatory drive which can never be satisfied by anyone and anything for long. Emotion consists of  dominance. That, too,  is never enough no matter how many victims the psychopath collects or how much he controls and humiliates each one. Communication becomes reduced to a web of manipulation and deceit. As for love, well, that’s the biggest illusion of them all. It’s the fatal trap that slowly sucks the life out of so many victims: often slowly and painfully, until they have no energy left to escape.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction


  1. Hi again Claudia! just thought i’d say this is a great post (well all of them are) – but it is hits the nail on the head. My ex once said to me that he “will never want just you, that’s not what I want, we will never have mutual exclusivity”..that was after he’d fooled me into moving in with him of course and all the other stuff I’ve described before. No one will ever be enough tor these people. Whenever I spoke with my ex on the phone after we split up I could actually hear him mentally (I know that sounds daft but) playing my good points off against the bad points he’d clearly noticed with some other girl (s) he was playing with. I coudl hear the cogs in his mind going through, well Lesely is like this but x is like that…they want everything and nothing all at the same time. He also was insatiable and would say that when he worked in London all the girls he saw (just passing by) deliberately dressed provocatively for him (and men) and that if he fancied someone then why could he not just have them if they were offering it to him – there was no acknowledgement that he was with you. Anyone and anything was fair game. And it was never enough. Though what they do is project all that onto YOU and make out its YOU that is like that. So dangerous Claudia!

  2. Lesley, that’s why psychopaths are often sexual predators. No conscience or heart, no empathy or love, ever holds back their predatory drive for more and more and more targets. I’m so glad you’re seeing your ex for what he is. Claudia

  3. I like this trope of ‘pirates of carribean sea. it’s so stuitable to use the unsatisfied pirate to describe the psychopath. it’s so sad to imagine that when they cant full joy of living of doing something interesting and no taste of food. i started to pity them instead of hating them, think it’s good sign when started to stop hating and let go. i wished i can get cure soon… i read your website everyday and when i have see the fact that i was with a psychopath, it’s amazingly let me feel released, i just joined a new company with a very busy position and i keep myself busy, and after work, i read your website, i know all the bitter time will pass.

  4. my ex used to say : “how good is it if i can be with that woman, so pretty, so sexy… “you are a bad woman, you are so ugly..” ” why you are fat like this like an elephant, you should be thankful i am still with you.. ” ” yesterday i went to a mall, i saw a pretty woman, i went to ask for her number, i was talking happily with her, and i told her she is the most pretty woman i saw in my life… (yes, he talked to me , all these conversation), i was wondering how low esteem i have..

    But after left him for 4 months, now what i want to tell him is “Fxxx off from my life, your game is not for me already, i pity you” ….. that’s the courage i got from intensively searching for psychopath book and realize the truth and build my confidence back.

  5. Ling, yes, it’s a positive sign when the anger subsides. Anger is the obverse side of love; it’s too strong an emotion to be wasted on a psychopath. Claudia

  6. Ling it’s incredible that his emotional abuse was that overt. Many psychopaths are more covert and manipulative about it. They get you to focus on your insecurities by making it look like they have your best interests in mind or like they’re defending you from the criticisms of others. I suppose your psychopath no longer found it necessary to keep any mask on with you. He probably thought he had you fully under his thumb and could abuse and control you however he pleased. Claudia

  7. i was in the stage that : even he said this kind of words to me, i was keeping silent and let him humiliate me and i can still act like nothing happened, but my heart was bleeding and became numb, as i was so afraid that he would left me, you are right to the point and you have accurate analysis. i know that’s how he feel and i cant imagine how i can tolerate him to treated me like that, it’s like boiling a frog by cold water till the water boil, and the frog was killed slowly by getting used to the heat of the water. it’s creepy.and cruel….

  8. Claudia, great article. It was interesting that you wrote “Psychopaths can be very sensual and affectionate. But this behavior is learned from victims”, My own psychopathic ex was much younger than me and when I first met him he was very eager to please and learn. I mistook this as him being an good lover. I realised a few months into the relationship he was using me to learn and practice his love making skills on. He might have learnt some new tricks but behind that was an empty shell or as sklar puts it a hologram LOL

  9. Sarah, I think that psychopaths tend to be hypersexual: they need to dominate and experiment with as many partners as they can get to feel in charge and recharged. But they’re not naturally sensual or affectionate. That’s just an act, which generally drops out of the equation–along with the flattery, gifts, niceness, romance and all the other seduction props–once they think they have you under their control. And, as you rightly point out, each target is the practice audience for the next prey. Claudia

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