What is going on with my parents?

For a narcissistic male, for instance, the sight of a woman may be sexually exciting because he is excited by the possibility of proving to himself how attractive he is. Or a sadistic person may be sexually excited by the chance to conquer a woman (or as the case may be, a man) and to control her or him. Many people are bound for years to each other emotionally just by this motive, especially when the sadism of one fits the masochism of the other. It is rather well known that fame, power, and wealth makes its possessor sexually attractive if certain physical conditions are present. In all these instances the physical desire is mobilized by nonsexual passions which thus find their satisfaction. Indeed, it is anybody's guess how many children owe their existence to vanity, sadism, and masochism, rather than to genuine physical attraction, not to speak of love.

--Erich Fromm