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This is from Beatrice Chestnut's book "The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge". Enjoy.

Sexual Fives

In the Sexual Five, avarice is expressed through an ongoing search for a connection that will satisfy their need for an experience of the most perfect, safest, and most satisfying (idealized) union. This Five may look like the other two five subtypes on the outside, having all the regular five inhibitions and introversion in the area of relationship, but the sexual five places a special value on one-to-one or intimate connections.



This five has a passion for finding a special person they can connect with deeply, sometimes a person they cannot find or have yet to find. Like the social five, this five also searches for a high ideal, but this five looks for the ideal in the realm of love. This five feels a need to find a high exemplar of absolute love. Like the search for the extraordinary of the social five, the ideal kind of connection this five searches for represents a very high standard. Sexual fives seek something like the ultimate mystical union- an experience of the divine in human relationships. And this can also happen with the search for good friends or a spiritual teacher.


While social and self-preservation fives are more removed from their emotions, the sexual five is intense, romantic, and more emotionally sensitive. This five suffers more, resembles the four more, and has more overt desires. This is the countertype among the fives. It may not be completely obvious from the outside, however- they may seem very much like other fives until you touch their romantic spot and inspire their romantic feelings. While they can appear reserved or laconic on the outside, sexual fives have a vibrant internal life that is highly romantic. There are examples of sexual five artists- like Chopin, who Naranjo notes is the most romantic of the classical composers- who display extreme emotional expressiveness through their artistic creations but are cut off in many ways from others in the everyday world.


Sexual fives live in an inner world filled with ideation, theories, and utopian fantasies about finding unconditional love. They live for a couple's love as a kind of ultimate or ideal experience of connection. However, what they search for represents an idealized form of relationship that may not exist in the human world.



Trust is the basic issue with the sexual five. The name Naranjo ascribes to this subtype is “confidence,” which has a special meaning related to an ability to trust the other, and suggests a search for the person who will be with you no matter what, the partner (or friend) that you can trust with all your secrets. Confidence is the kind of ideal that makes sexual fives very romantic deep inside. They search for an idealized version of love and relationship as a source of meaning in life.


The sexual five's search for a high exemplar of connection is so exacting that it's very hard to pass their test with consistency if you are the person in relationship with them. It's very easy for the sexual five to be disappointed. This subtype has such a great need to trust in the other that the need is not easily satisfied, and so there can be a lot of testing in their relationships.


Fives tend to be a private people, but this five has a great need for intimacy under the right circumstances- if they can find a person they can really trust to love them despite their flaws. This subtype expresses a need to be completely transparent with their partner, and they need their partner to be very open as well- and this ideal of trust and intimacy is not easy to find. Because of this, sexual fives can get very picky about the people they have relationships with, and they can become frustrated when they discover that the other is human. If a partner does not live up to their expectations of transparency and openness, they tend to feel disappointed and- because they have a fear of being hurt by others- to isolate themselves.


Some sexual fives say that their search for an ultimate kind of connection does not only center on relationship with a lover or life partner. One five said he related to the idea of “emotional promiscuity,” saying, “I want ultimate contact with a lot of people,” one at a time. And some fives with this subtype report that although they feel guarded in the face of too much emotional intensity, they have a deep desire for intimacy with a trusted few. One five with this subtype described especially appreciating the experience of “clicking” with someone- the feeling of having chemistry with another person- saying that when he felt this he could become infatuated very quickly.


Although the sexual five may look like a type four, this five is still quit five-ish, so is not likely to be mistaken for a four. And while this subtype is the five countertype and seeks to manifest an ideal of intimacy, it may be hard to discern the difference between this five and the other two fives, as all of the five subtypes experience a need to withdraw. However, this five has a need to find a special relationship that will provide both safety and an ultimate kind of love.


Stephen, a sexual five, talks about his subtype:


Full access to my feelings came after I started doing body work in my early 30s, and they were, and sometimes still are, very confusing and overwhelming- especially “softer” emotions like compassion. I'll find myself with tears welling up at times and need to look inside for the trigger, which can be as simple as the sight of a homeless person on the side of the road. My adult life has been a constant tension between my point's need to pull in a husband and my (emotional, physical, intellectual, financial) resources, and a mostly stronger drive to reach out and connect, not merely with my intimate partner, but nearly everywhere.


The reaching out is an attempt to fill an existential-psychic hole that seems to have existed from a prenatal stage. I seek connection with others to avoid feeling that emptiness. The name of the subtype, Confidence, is about building a bond with another (or many others on a one-to-one basis). For instance, when I have to give talks to a group, I find a single person to be my focus, while appearing to address the group. Relationships are the most fearful of objects, yet the most needed.


I have been called out on enneagram panels as not looking like other fives- too flamboyant, too out, too willing to talk about the inner landscape and the demons that inhabit it. This is true, and in my youth it was (physical) camouflage. Now it is merely a way of being. I have learned that the desire to disappear into the background of my youth was a false hope, and since I cannot disappear, I might just as well be who I really am.

The most important thing that needs to be understood about the sexual five is that we are in a constant struggle between the withdrawing and withholding (stinginess) of the basic point, and the need to reach out and connect driven by the instinctual energy of the subtype. Behind this tension is an emotional sensitivity that is hidden to the outside world and also to the five until they [we] allow awareness of emotions into their daily life.”



Specific Work For The Sexual Fives on the Path from Vice to Virtue



Sexual Fives can travel the path from avarice to nonattachment by noticing and working against the tendency to hold others to high standards as a way of avoiding intimacy. Recognize when you are testing others or adhering to impossible standards of connection as a way to avoid your fear and defend against your own fear of exposure. Notice the ways in which you might close yourself off to contact even as you long for it. Work toward achieving the intimate connection you desire- not through an attachment to an idea of what love can be, but through taking the risk to express your real feelings to the people in your life. Allow yourself to feel into and work with the fear that arises as you open yourself up to deeper relationships and authentic expressions of your emotions. Release your preconceived ideas about what connecting with others is supposed to be about, and challenge yourself to just allow contact to happen. Let yourself be surprised by life, and communicate the beauty of your deeply romantic feelings and desires more frequently and in more ways.


 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is scary accurate. Wow. Thank you for sharing. Have you read the whole book? If so, would you recommend it?
I haven't yet and not sure if I will (I sometimes buy books and only read parts I'm into/not the whole thing). I think it's good material for the 27 subtypes but it does seem somewhat like it's just building off of what was already there with Naranjo's descriptions. Expected a bit more since the book title makes it seem like it's about the 27 subtypes and was so long but there's a lot of extra stuff there and only like 3 pages on each subtype.
 
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Thanks a lot for your post! I was searching for my boyfriend instinctual variants, I hesitated between sx and sp. Now I know why I felt that he was a bit of a 4 and a bit of an F though He is a INTP. That was really helpful =)
 

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interesting and accurate. A few years ago I realized my view of relationship was just really not realistic. It is hard to admit and come to peace with but I am more stable now because of it. I will say ...this one is a rough road in Love. Would have loved to find the ideal in my head, but people are not built that way, so ...no dice.
 

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I've been really curious to hear the perspectives of other sx fives because I feel like I don't fit the five mold in certain key ways -- as it says above, "too flamboyant, too out, too willing to talk about the inner landscape" -- and it's both a point of pride and a point of loneliness to think of myself as an outsider in a group of outsiders.

I experience other human beings largely as exhausting, and yet I have an almost inexhaustible desire for intimacy with people I feel I really "click" with, whether they're lovers or friends or even strangers. I want to merge, essentially, feeling boundaries between me and the other person dissolve. I don't want this all day every day, certainly, anymore than I'd want to eat steak at every meal, but I'd like to have more of it than I do. I don't find anything scary about intimacy, I don't fear engulfment. I also don't want it with 99.99% (or more!) of the people I meet. And while not fearing closeness, I certainly get tired and irritated with partners a lot of the time; it's not like intimacy is one big happy party for me either.

I'm not looking for a perfect soul mate as I know that's not attainable, but I do have higher requirements in the "clicking" department than most people do. At various times in my life I've been so driven to find a mate that it's turned me into a virtual extrovert, going out 5 nights a week and dating up a storm. (Well, that also had something to do with a slightly out-of-control sex drive.) I guess I can also be intense in other ways... like, I love solo backpacking and often feel the desire and ability to "merge" with nature in the same way I would with a person. And yet if you met me your only impression would probably be that I'm really quiet. You'd have to know me much better to see the other stuff.

I guess that it sucks to have a ton of desire and yet also be so incredibly selective? But I don't really experience it as sucking. I would like to find someone to really bond with and have a life with, but I think I'll be fine if I don't. I have to say that my best friend and I are symbiotic in some ways (she is a damn strong 2!) so that probably takes some of the edge off the intimacy need.
 

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I want to merge, essentially, feeling boundaries between me and the other person dissolve.
I think that sounds more like sexual Nine.

This sexual Five description fits me pretty well, and it explains why in the past I thought I was a Four (and why sometimes I still have doubts, because most Five descriptions says we are so calm and emotionally cold, and I'm not like that).
 

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Shit I thought I was an 8. We have our similarities of our core fears and desires. Similar in caricatures.


584 sx/so. Explains my spiritual philosophy of non-attachment... and my hypersensitivity to not only emotions but on how I relate to the outside world when I am not preoccupied in my abstract world of the mind. I really thought I was an integrated 8 claiming the path of innocence in a broader sense.


Easy ways to distinguish: 8= Te= Practical. Gut based. Action based. Aggressiveness via overt-control.
5 = short of practicality, they can fall short of it leading to over-planning. Intellectual Arrogance and/ aggressiveness. High super-ego leading to authoritarian tendencies + instinctual stackings +connection to 8 = could look like an 8 in behaviour and motives..

They are both essentially unwilling to be controlled. 5 trust their own minds, 8 trust their gut/instinct.
 

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edit: woops I quoted myself..

I think that sounds more like sexual Nine.

This sexual Five description fits me pretty well, and it explains why in the past I thought I was a Four (and why sometimes I still have doubts, because most Five descriptions says we are so calm and emotionally cold, and I'm not like that).

I have read that Sx 5s have a tendency to merge as well. Since they can fluctuate between a sense of detachment towards those intimates they're seeking for and a period of open guardedness.
 

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I think that sounds more like sexual Nine.
Well, it occurs to me that when I say "I want to merge," what I mean might be different than what most folks have in mind. I mean those moments when you feel especially close to someone, looking in their eyes or whatever, and your awareness of yourself as a separate being fades away. But they're just moments.

I definitely have pretty firm boundaries outside of that, and don't alter my personality, give up my interests/needs and take on theirs, etc. Overall I am pretty independent & have a fairly solid sense of who I am. If anything I go too far in being self-absorbed.
 

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Shit I thought I was an 8. We have our similarities of our core fears and desires. Similar in caricatures.


584 sx/so. Explains my spiritual philosophy of non-attachment... and my hypersensitivity to not only emotions but on how I relate to the outside world when I am not preoccupied in my abstract world of the mind. I really thought I was an integrated 8 claiming the path of innocence in a broader sense.


Easy ways to distinguish: 8= Te= Practical. Gut based. Action based. Aggressiveness via overt-control.
5 = short of practicality, they can fall short of it leading to over-planning. Intellectual Arrogance and/ aggressiveness. High super-ego leading to authoritarian tendencies + instinctual stackings +connection to 8 = could look like an 8 in behaviour and motives..

They are both essentially unwilling to be controlled. 5 trust their own minds, 8 trust their gut/instinct.
Also identify as a 584 tritype (5w6 > 8w9 > 4w5). Unsure of my instinctual variants as of right now.
 

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@atenea Keep in mind that the desire for merging is common across all Sx-doms. It's what gives us our special intensity. At its most extreme it can manifest in an inability to function without being in the process of merging with someone.
I've been really curious to hear the perspectives of other sx fives because I feel like I don't fit the five mold in certain key ways -- as it says above, "too flamboyant, too out, too willing to talk about the inner landscape" -- and it's both a point of pride and a point of loneliness to think of myself as an outsider in a group of outsiders.

I experience other human beings largely as exhausting, and yet I have an almost inexhaustible desire for intimacy with people I feel I really "click" with, whether they're lovers or friends or even strangers. I want to merge, essentially, feeling boundaries between me and the other person dissolve. I don't want this all day every day, certainly, anymore than I'd want to eat steak at every meal, but I'd like to have more of it than I do. I don't find anything scary about intimacy, I don't fear engulfment. I also don't want it with 99.99% (or more!) of the people I meet. And while not fearing closeness, I certainly get tired and irritated with partners a lot of the time; it's not like intimacy is one big happy party for me either.

I guess I can also be intense in other ways... like, I love solo backpacking and often feel the desire and ability to "merge" with nature in the same way I would with a person. And yet if you met me your only impression would probably be that I'm really quiet. You'd have to know me much better to see the other stuff.
Yes, this, so much this.
 

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Most of this sounds a lot like me. Kind of hard to conclude on my instinctual variant, but sexual 5 is definitely an alternative. Isn't life very hard for a sexual 5 if they can't find someone to connect with the way they want? It might explain a lot of the loneliness and dissatisfaction in my life.

This is true for me: "One five with this subtype described especially appreciating the experience of “clicking” with someone- the feeling of having chemistry with another person- saying that when he felt this he could become infatuated very quickly."
 

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In the Sexual Five, avarice is expressed through an ongoing search for a connection that will satisfy their need for an experience of the most perfect, safest, and most satisfying (idealized) union. This Five may look like the other two five subtypes on the outside, having all the regular five inhibitions and introversion in the area of relationship, but the sexual five places a special value on one-to-one or intimate connections.
I definitely feel like this could apply to any sort of connection/ idealized union, including what sort of work to unite with. While the desire for the ideal person is probably the most important, I have also found myself looking for the ideal creative outlet/work. I want to find something with which I can perfectly meld, something that will be the perfect tool to release all of the things I hold in/hide from others. I have crazy high standards as far as this goes, and so whenever I grow dissatisfied and it stops feeling 'right', I find myself retreating into my mind, stopping working, contemplating why it isn't right and what might be better. I really see the disintegration to seven when this happens. I suppose the best thing to do would be like an 8, not overthink and just do, work through those uncomfortable feelings. But wow is that hard.
 
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