While it may be common for people to assume that narcissism and autosexuality are inherently intertwined, this judgment is not only wrong but hurtful and offensive to autosexual people.
Narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance and a desperate need for excessive attention, admiration, and validation, Gayle explains. “Beneath the façade of extreme confidence lies an extraordinarily fragile sense of worth that’s easily punctured by the slightest criticism,” she says. “Narcissism is a personality characteristic and way of interacting with one’s world that is very much about self-promotion, maintaining a certain prized image of themselves and outwardly to others, maintaining control and power, and which is the manifestation of internal fragility.”
Autosexuality is very different from narcissism. “Autosexuality, in great contrast, is a sexual orientation or is an umbrella term that describes various sexual behaviors and beliefs that are directed towards oneself with no reference to one’s self-esteem, their empathy for others, or their need for others’ validation,” Gayle explains.
“The hardest part about being autosexual is navigating everyone else’s opinions and misconceptions about autosexuality,” Vitale adds. “Many people still routinely bring up narcissism when I discuss autosexuality or my autosexual experiences, even when they’re not trying to be antagonistic or mean. The widespread tendency to associate autosexuality with narcissism just shows how much our society discourages people from truly appreciating and loving ourselves. It’s perfectly okay to be attracted to yourself, admire yourself, and revel in the love you have for yourself, no matter what kind of love that is.”