Research has suggested that more narcissistic persons may be more sexually attractive, particularly in short-term dating relationships. A recent group of studies explored this notion, and tried to get at the dynamics behind it.
In the first study, researchers simply manipulated scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; high, medium, low) and asked participants to rate the sex appeal of the bogus person. The high scores on the NPI were rated sexiest.
The second and third studies tried to get at the reasons why narcissists might be more sexually attractive. In study two, surveys of persons who were in heterosexual relationships were surveyed, along with a same-sex friend. The friends rated the participants’ appeal as a mate, physical attractiveness, and social boldness. It was found that narcissists are rated as more physically attractive and more socially bold, and these two factors contribute to their appeal as a mate.
A third study was a bit more realistic. Male participants completed a narcissism measure and were asked to approach 25 women in public and ask them for contact information. This time, the measure of sexual attractiveness/mate appeal was the amount of contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) that the participant was able to get from the women strangers. Participants were also rated for physical attractiveness and social boldness. Once again, narcissists were more sexually appealing, but it was mediated by physical attractiveness and social boldness.