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Sexual 1 In Detail

Anger in the Sexual Sphere

Originally the SX instinct with the Anger of a 1 would produce a highly jealous character which was afraid that someone more perfect would come along to steal their partner, but Naranjo and his students would change this subtype into what it is today. So, what is the SX1? Well, when Anger comes into contact with the relations instinct it produces a character which merges it’s ideals of perfection and projects them onto another, correcting and forcing others to conform to their standards, here anger is expressed the most freely in the three subtypes of the 1, as they feel it’s their duty to reform others and make them more "perfect", a common social role of this subtype is that of a coach, the kind you pay to scream at you to get better.

Ichazo called the SX1 "Jealousy", an individual who feels that their union with another is always threatened by someone more perfect[1], which then manifests as impatient invasion supported by a sense of entitlement.[2] Naranjo described it as assertive anger that overlaps with desire, resulting in characteristic vehemence, comparable to an animal in heat, which he implies with the title "Zeal", he also implies that this can lead to a spirit full of conquest and possessiveness.[2]

Claudio Naranjo's Sexual 1 Description[3]

E1 Sexual – Vehemence/Zeal

Oscar Ichazo used the Spanish noun cello (zeal) in reference to the characteristic passion of the sexual, and this is a word that has a double meaning. When speaking of an animal in heat (that is, in the estrus phase), the word denotes great sexual excitement; In reference to personality, when we talk about doing things with zeal, we mean something similar to care, care, dedication or fervor. Thus, it is understood that heat, in its broadest sense, is something analogous to the intensity with which the animal in heat seeks the object of its instinct.

We would say that a sexual E1 is characterized by a special intensity of their desires that makes them urgent, vehement. If we want to understand why anger in the sexual sphere results in this jealousy, we can say that anger potentiates desire by lending it its aggressiveness. In other words, anger gives any desire a special strength and intensity, so that the person feels not only strongly drawn toward its satisfaction, but feels entitled to it.

The result is a type that is characterized by a strong spirit of domination and conquest. I will explain it with a collective behavior: when the emerald or diamond mines in South Africa were only exploited by Europeans, many objected that this was not fair, since such wealth belonged to Africans. However, many people—completely convinced—replied: “what good is it going to do for them? They have no culture!” And it seemed obvious to them that it was the Europeans to whom the diamonds belonged in view of their civilized character—which contrasted with the supposedly barbaric character of the primitives.

The same thing happened with the Spanish conquerors, who in the name of their very Christian emperor felt authorized to take the gold from the Aztecs or the Incas.

Similarly, some people feel more entitled than their neighbors to the good things in life, to the satisfaction of their desires or even to exploitative behavior. And in this there is not only vehemence of desires, but an illusory and exculpatory conviction that this satisfaction justifies aggressive acts.

A young man in one of my groups explained that when he was about six years old, he liked to put his penis between his sister's buttocks. His mother told him: “No! Don't do that!” And he answered: “Why not?”

Never before have I heard such an anecdote from a little boy: “Why not?”

Because we live in a sufficiently repressive culture so that it is usual that, when children are reprimanded by their parents for sexual activities, they experience it as a shame, and sometimes even with a guilt that leaves traumatic traces. For a sexual one, however, the strength of the drive is sufficient for the person—as in the case of the lustful enneatype—to be more willing to question the censure of authority than the strength of her desire.

Sandra Maitri's Sexual 1 Description[4]

1+Sexual – Heat/Jealousy

Sexual Ones have a vivacious, gushy, hyperanimated, and effusive style of behavior. This constant sense of being impassioned is a leaking of their sexual “heat” into their personality style. They are perpetually afraid that someone more perfect will come along and steal their partner, if they have one, and so are always on the alert for signs that their partner desires someone else. If they don’t have a mate, they are convinced deep down that another, better person will be more desirable to their object of affection than they are. As Ichazo says, “Union with another is always threatened by someone more perfect.”

Beatrice Chestnut's Sexual 1 Description

Sexual (One-to-One) 1 Subtype description (2021)[5]

This is the only Type 1 subtype that feels more comfortable with anger. They tend to express anger more than the other subtypes, even though they also sometimes control it. They are more critical of others than they are of themselves, although they are still self-critical. They claim connection to a higher moral authority and are more often reformers than perfectionists. They are zealous when advocating for what they see as right, for what needs to be fixed, and for their right to get what they want.

If this is your subtype, you express a need to perfect others and reform society so that whatever happens conforms to your sense of what is right, perfect, or just. You criticize others as a way to assert your moral authority. You vent anger and unconsciously avoid taking responsibility for correcting your own flawed perspective or actions. You have a strong need to control what’s happening. Your need to get what you want confirms your sense of what’s right and you avoid questioning your own standards or authority. You rationalize your right to take what you need or fix what needs to be fixed when anger fuels desire.

Sexual 1 Subtype summary (2013)[8]

Sexual Ones focus on perfecting others; they are more reformers than perfectionists. The only One who is explicitly angry, they act out anger through their intense desire to improve others and get what they want. They feel entitled in the way a reformer or a zealot can feel entitled: they believe they have a right to change society and get what they want because they have a higher understanding of the truth and the reasons behind “the right way to be.” The countertype of the Ones, they are more impulsive and outwardly angry—they go against the “counter-instinctive” tendency of the One to repress anger and impulses.

Sexual 1 Subtype description (2013)[8]

The Sexual One: “Zeal” (Countertype)

While the Self-Preservation One is a perfectionist, and the Social One unconsciously takes on the pose of someone who is “perfect” in modeling to the right way to be, Sexual Ones focus on perfecting others. This One is more of a reformer than a perfectionist. They have a need to improve others, but don’t focus on being perfect themselves.

This is the only One subtype that is explicitly angry and so is the countertype of the three One personalities. The Sexual One is impatient, can be invasive, goes for what he or she wants, and has a sense of entitlement. These Ones have an intensity of desire fueled by anger that motivates them to want to improve others. This can be expressed as a sense of excitement, passion, or idealism about the way things could be if people would reform their behavior, or if the reforms they envision were enacted by society. This makes them compelling and vehement.

This character feels entitled in the sense of possessing the mentality of a reformer or a zealot—one who knows how to live or do things better and so feels a right to assert their will over others. Like the mentality of a conqueror, this approach can be rationalized (and made virtuous) through the rhetoric of their adherence to a higher moral code or calling.

According to Naranjo, Ichazo gave this subtype the name, “Zeal,” meaning “a special intensity of desire.” Zeal suggests an intensity or excitement that fuels the desire to connect with others. It also means doing things with care, dedication, and fervor.

This One’s anger infuses his desire with a special intensity or urgency and the person has the sense that “I have to have it,” or “I have a right to it,” or “I have to improve it (society or another person) to make it the way I know it should be.”

In a collective sense, this can be seen in the idea of “manifest destiny,” the ideology that justified the takeover of the western part of the United States from the Native Americans in the 1800s. Despite what our retrospective view of that period might be, this philosophy was a justification for the white man taking over land populated by “savages.” Another example of this ideology can be seen in the minds of conquerors, as when the Spanish conquered South America. The rhetoric displayed there was, “I can take this because I’m noble and civilized.”

In the Sexual One, this intensity of desire can support the impulse to reform or perfect specific others or to make the world a better place in the way this One believes it should be. Sometimes, this desire to perfect others grows out of a genuine belief in an enlightened vision of reform or idealism. However, it may at the same time be fueled by this instinctual subtype’s need to make others more perfect. One woman I know with this subtype reported that she felt she would be justified in leaving her husband if he did not carry out her suggestions for his improvement. And she felt a need to help him become a better person so she could have a better partner

In Western culture there can be an anti-sexual or anti-instinctual sentiment—the idea that it’s not okay to act on one’s desires. For instance, the sinfulness of sex is so pervasive that it can be hard sometimes not to feel improper or naughty if we allow ourselves to freely express our sexual desires. But the Sexual One has a different, more liberated, attitude with regard to sexual desire. There’s a kind of “go for it” mentality that can then necessitate the finding of good reasons to support the rightness of whatever the Sexual One wants to do. Unlike the Self-Preservation Ones, these Ones don’t question themselves as much. Instead they are concerned more with making others into the people they think they should be.

These Ones are avengers; they are not afraid of confrontation. They may be containing a murderous rage that they cannot see. Their anger can be like a volcano that erupts. They perceive themselves as strong. They have great strength and determination and can be very brave. They are also impulsive and do things quickly.

Sexual Ones have two sides: a more playful side oriented toward pleasure and an aggressive, angry side. Pain is the emotion they repress the most and the one they find most difficult to show. They may act out their unacknowledged pain by leading a double life as a way of breaking the rules. Some Sexual Ones display “trap-door” behavior, discharging their anger and pain through “bad” acts. An example of this is Eliot Spitzer. As the Attorney General of the State of New York, he crusaded against lawbreakers, going after Wall Street criminals and prostitutes in an effort to reform society. However, he later resigned as the Governor when he was caught having an ongoing relationship with a prostitute himself.

In light of this type of behavior, this One can look like a type Eight. Like Eights, they can be energetic, assertive, and strong. These Ones believe they have a right to impose their vision and get what they need, in the same way an Eight might overpower or dominate a situation to impose their own will. But Eights and Ones differ in that Ones are “over-social” and Eights are “under-social.”

Sexual Ones bring intensity and energy to relationships. They can be forceful and insistent. They may attempt to reform their partners and friends, conveying the sense of being on a mission or drawing on a higher calling or authority in the things they do. They excel at pointing out what others might need to do to reform their behavior or meet specific standards, but focus less interest and attention in reforming their own behavior, seeing what they do as right.

Haiki Sexual 1 Description[6]

Sexual One: Vehemence

These are people that give their all in everything they do. They obsess and worry about every detail, with an addition for intensity and they transmit their anger into a passion for vehemence.

They are able to easily tap into themes of domination and conquest. They are sure of what there is to be done and they do it without hesitating. Claudio Naranjo spoke of them as being like Spanish conquistadors; in favor of a benevolent God and for the glory of their kings, they sacked and killed without weight on their conscience. To them, it was what had to be done.

In the terrain of romance, they end up being very suffocating while demanding a lot of the other. They confuse sincerity with assertiveness. Differently from Self-Preservation Ones, Sexual Ones can jump from hidden irritation to explicit rage in a heartbeat. They are extremely faithful and loyal; in this sense, they can be very similar to Social Sixes. They create boundaries and limits with clarity and try to respect them. But if they become careless, they can become possessive and jealous.

They are excellent agents of perfection, with a dangerous tendency toward idealization. They experience a constant search for intensity.

In order to grow, they must tone down their intensity and give their impulse a break, making contact with true serenity.

Sexual Ones spew out their anger on the world. There is bitterness written all over them. Their blood boils with their own violence and they become agents of righteous anger.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Sexual 1 Description[7]

SX1: Zeal -> Submission

In this subtype, there is a strong tension between a high level of natural impulsivity, uncontrollable by nature, and fear of what a loss of control would entail. They make themselves feel safe through maintaining a highly-controlled, Puritan-like attitude, but their fantasies remain full of desires. It is this projection of their impulses that leads to a zealous attitude, believing that others unable to control their own impulses gives them the right to intervene and submit the other to their ideal. This produces a hypervigilant control and, from there, a desire to find someone they can submit to, someone who will take control, and therefore they can not take the blame for their own desire. The fantasies of losing control are as feared as they are desired and, sometimes, they manifest through a type of double life, where they act out everything they consider wrong or dirty, while maintaining it separate from their orthodox daily lives. We propose the term “Submission,” with a double meaning as it alludes to the desire of finding someone who can submit to them, who they can control control, but at the same time, to the desire for someone who is capable of making them submit and lose control a little bit.


[1] Lilly J. C. & Hart J. E. (1975), The Arica Training

[2] Naranjo, C. (2017). "Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos"

[3] Naranjo, C. (2012). "27 personajes en busca del ser"

[4] Maitri, S. (2001). "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram"

[5] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up"

[6] The Haiki Enneagram Website (Link To Subtype Translations)

[7] Durán, C. and Catalán, A. (2009). "Los engaños del carácter y sus antídotos"

[8] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Complete Enneagram"

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