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Sexual 3 In Detail

Vanity in the Sexual Sphere

When Vanity meets the sexual instinct it manifests as a deceiving of oneself that love is the answer, that they must shape themselves into their beloved’s ideal to be loved, and ultimately that they are that image. People of this subtype find worth through the sexual instinct in being sexually attractive and desired by others, so they emphasize their physical characteristics. They are competitive with others about being seen as the most attractive, and being successful is measured by being desired, stressing the characteristics one would find attractive.

Ichazo called the SX3 "Virility/Femininity", the character which stresses the sexual characteristics of masculinity or femininity[1], a passion for pleasing that is fueled by a willingness to overindulge in the desires of others.[2] Naranjo described it as someone who wants to satisfy and please, achieving this desire through the cultivation of their image by appearing physically attractive and gentle.[2]

Trait Structure[3]

Dependent on the other's gaze

The sexual E3 lives daily with the idea of having a camera always watching him. He becomes an actor and practices the movements he captures while carefully observing the context or the one he wants to seduce or find interesting. He then deludes himself into believing that these gestures are natural.

This ability was developed above all in the primary relationship, when the mother's look at their emotional world was missing and they learned that what they valued was the surface, that is, the confirmation of their narcissistic expectations. The lack of real support, of having been truly looked at by their mother, becomes, as an adult, the pathological need to see oneself in the other's gaze. That other who values this perfect surface and thus gives it the illusion of recognition that allows it to exist. The look of the other momentarily helps to cover the emptiness, the sadness, the fear, the anguish, and the loneliness.

Since the sexual instinct is affected, that of the other must be a look in love, sexually enchanted; hence, the person of this character expects the other to confirm that he is valuable through desiring them.

Sweet and Maternal

Super attentive to what the other wants, the sexual E3 tends to take care of them, she likes to give and please, and create a mothering environment where she feels useful and safe. Her attitude is very tender and sweet. It is the most subordinate of the three subtypes.

She has a passion for family. If one of your dreams is the ideal love, the other is the perfect family. One of the situations that allows this role the most is being a mother and a housewife; there the sexual E3 feels like a fish in water and anything can subordinate it. Being a mother and a wife is a fundamental value in her life; even if she is not satisfied it is difficult for her to leave this role. In this place she feels safe, she knows how to function, she is practical and efficient as a housewife; cooking, caring, and solving.

It is about a person who apparently does not ask but seeks to give care and, however, has a great need for contact, tenderness, to feel loved, and protected. There is a great longing for intimacy and by giving it, she hopes to receive it in return, but she does not ask for it and, when she is saturated, she complains or gets angry. They are hypersensitive to rejection and can come off as a demanding boy or girl when they feel fragile or don't get what they want in return for their compliance. It is as if the mothering that has been lacking has been resolved by identifying with a maternal role that does take care of the specific needs of the other, and connected with sweet and loving seduction.

There is a healthy order and a sick order, and it is a natural part of life for the mother to meet the needs of the child. In this case, the order is affected and reversed. The mother, and sometimes the father, is the one who was cared for by the son or daughter. These adults were valued as children based on being attentive to their father or mother, or solving things in the family with their siblings or at home. Being sweet, accommodating and motherly seems to them to ensure a place of affection.


Complacency is a lie for the other. The sexual E3 seems to please and not ask, but his asking is subterranean, and repressed aggression will come out passively if he doesn't feel reciprocated. It is available to ensure dependence on the other and thus not enter into solitude. The thirst for love that feels calm with dependency and codependency in relationships. On the one hand, he believes that he will be loved through pleasing, but it is about servility, a false kindness and, as he also knows this, he never truly trusts that he is loved, he thinks that the love he receives is also false.

He has so much energy put into pleasing that he loses touch with what he really wants. What the couple wants is what he knows how to detect, to the point that he confuses it with his own need for it. And since he usually does what the other wants, he wishes for them. There is also an awareness of the effort that goes into pleasing, and here it differs from the sexual E9, which loses connection with itself to the point of physical desensitization to its efforts. The sexual E3 conforms and adapts, yes, but in the expectation that the other validates his “great work”.

Ambiguous in sexuality

Especially the sexual E3 woman seeks to attract and please, and when the gold comes she gets scared and doesn't know what to do. She fits the phrase “Look at me but don't touch me” very well. By feeling seen and desired, she already feels valued, and sometimes that is enough. She can activate the taunt mechanism for you to chase after her. She sells sex looking for protection and a tenderness that she sexualizes, that she substitutes for sex. Sexuality is based on the pleasure of the other and is used as a performance. It is a combination of erotic excitement and shy girl.

He tends to frigidity since, by using sexuality as an attention to the other, he does not have room to enjoy himself, it costs him spontaneity. There is repression of eroticism, rigidity, and lack of play and expression of their needs. It seduces from the erotic, while disconnected from the erotic. Sexual desire is transformed into a “you love me.”

The great attention he pays to the body is not to feel better but to look better, as a fundamental part of his image. However, it is not identified with his body but is dissociated from it. The sexual E3’s body is something he exercises control over and uses for the benefit of his image; it is not strange that it is difficult for him to let go until orgasm. There is a disconnect between the genital and the emotional.

The sexual E3 woman can really like very macho men even if they treat her badly. It is easy to find sexual E3 women partners with E8 men. She provokes, resists, submits... Being treated with force or violence makes her feel alive, and sometimes she provokes aggression. She can go from a violent man who scares her to a tender and sensitive one, whom she later dismisses as weak and finds boring.

He uses sexuality to get closer, fix problems, and please... He can get abused in order to avoid conflict or rejection. He splits his emotions and can panic so much that he gives in and endures a lot, but when he feels overwhelmed he can react with destructive fury. He can get into a circuit of pleasing-feeling abused-getting angry-exploiting-feeling guilty and back again to submit and please. He can only break it by becoming aware of what it causes and taking responsibility for it, by allowing himself to enter the void and desolation, by letting go of the objects he holds on to so as not to see himself.

In the absence of feelings and in order not to touch the void, the sexual E3 spends his life in search of sensations. He gets into conflictive relationships and he likes the danger, which is to feel alive in some way. Look for the intensity to feel and to avoid sadness, boredom, and dissatisfaction.

The sexual E3 man can present himself as someone very confident and aggressive, although deep down he feels insecure.


The sexual E3 has depressive tendencies. He is sadder and feels less valuable than the other two subtypes, and he tries to compensate with image and charm, with a smile and loving expression, being nice or pleasant. It is as if he had to pay to exist, as if he did not deserve it; he feels guilty for existing, and many times, like a burden to the family. So try not to give trouble, help, and not bother the other.

When the sexual E3 collapses, it looks at itself and does not have the necessary ego structure to sustain itself; it can then go into despair and self-destruction. He cannot deal with the truth that his life is a failure and that everything is an illusion. He needs personal work to be able to connect with something bigger and trust. To value himself just for being, since he lives as unworthy. When he regains more freedom to go after what he wants, he is no longer so eager to be loved; the instinct returns, as if to say: “you take an interest in me, because now I can't take an interest in you.”

There is a background of sadness and the person is perceived as fragile. He feels a constant internal loneliness, from which he tries to escape by seeking links, especially with the opposite sex, that give him narcissistic food but not real nutrition in the face of his loneliness. Very low self-esteem, as it comes from childhood, will hardly be cured with a partner.

As a child he learned to keep his emotions, to cry alone, and to solve himself; to endure. Not feeling entitled to express what feel makes him feel that he is worthless and hopeless. As if he didn't deserve or as if he owed something to the world. The feeling is having to give without receiving.

He learned to constantly devalue and compare himself.

He idealizes the other: the friend, the teacher and, above all, the partner; he cannot live without putting them on a pedestal. It is difficult for him to realize this enormous idealization, because it is the most common thing in the world to blind himself to the other's defects and see only his bright part: all his virtues look wonderful, worthy of praise and imitation, a desirable north and a corroboration that perfection exists and can be achieved (surely based on work and effort).

This embellishment of the other camouflages the deep need to be the one who is treated like this. The sexual E3 idealizes in the hope that they idolize him, of being treated with that aura of special and uniqueness, that the other also sees only his virtues and praises, and recognizes them. Such an attitude hides a double deception. First, not recognizing the hunger for love and unconditional admiration for him. And second, by giving the other a treatment that has nothing to do with him, he is left confused and on slippery and incomprehensible ground.

The irruption, which the sexual E3 experiences as sudden and treacherous, of the true nature of the other, can provoke a crisis of great dimensions, a radical denial of all those virtues that he previously he admired so much, which leads him to run out of the relationship, accusing the other person of having cheated on him.

He will then turn his head and look for another (friend, teacher, partner...) who will finally meet his expectations. In this way he avoids the possibility of facing the harsh reality that the deception had been caused by himself.

Shy and Insecure

It would seem that the sexual E3s are shy people, especially the women, who were, in general, good and quiet girls, and they remain with that internal feeling of eternal girls. Shyness appears more before groups or before someone they take for an authority figure.

It is the most insecure of the three subtypes, since the devaluation is more bare. Having valued the physical image so much, he has fewer internal resources; seems to live in a daze where the feeling that there is nothing inside is revealed and translates into having nothing to say and going blank. On contact he gets scared when he begins to feel and withdraws.

In situations with “public” he feels very vulnerable. As he was not seen as a child, when he feels exposed as an adult he does not know what to do or say. He wishes to remain invisible and at the same time longs to be the most watched.

Being cold, paralyzed, and not knowing how to act is typical of this subtype. Since he does not know the proper behavior, he stands still, observing what is the best behavior among those who are on his record. These are moments that he lives with great suffering and defenselessness, where he defends himself by not compromising with anything or anyone, and even less with himself, with what he feels. In this tense wait, he adopts a distant statuesque pose that, due to his inclination towards beauty, he may adorn with a beautiful smile or kind words, while buying time to try to find out, prisoner of internal desperation, what is expected of him.


The sexual E3 denies both her intuition and sensitivity, which she has experienced as causing emotional and relationship chaos. He learned to ignore himself and has turned those qualities into false confidence and sweetness. He is perceptive, but represses his sensations, or disconnects and seems not to perceive what is there. He denies the internal and external world to maintain a smile and obtain love, since if he expresses what he perceives, he runs the risk of confronting his aggression, with the fact that there are some things he does not like, and with the fear of being rejected for expressing it.

When the sexual E3 is discovering and working on itself, it begins to reconnect with its desire and pays attention to its intuition; the barrier that prevents him from perceiving the sensations is diluted and he faces things; until he ended up becoming someone very intuitive and perceptive, with a great acuity to see what is happening in the other. His hypersensitivity then puts him at the service of seeing not only what the other needs but also what he feels, and he can be very close, empathetic, and compassionate.


Being in function of the other: kind, helpful, accommodating, and understanding, apparently ensures affection and avoids possible rejection. It also maintains the image of that ideal person that everyone wants. Or it even allows him to go unnoticed, thus avoiding feeling, being confronted, attacked, questioned, etc. He can rest.

The sexual E3 was educated to be like a dog, which is rewarded for how well it does things, for how much it obeys. Unconditional like dogs with their masters, he never pouts, never gets angry, always has a smile, and a waddle that wags his tail as a demonstration of being eternally happy. One of his worst fears is confrontation.

The sexual subtype was looked at and valued only when he was what the other expected. He was never rewarded for having his own initiative, much less for being an individual who fights for his ideals. Expert from very early on in guessing the other, he was running out of internal referents and with a hollow feeling, against which he has fought fattening more and more the idea that without models one cannot live.

He was applauded for being pretty and seductive, and comes to feel that he only exists because he has a body; hence that great fear of deterioration and old age, and that feeling, when he begins to become aware, of having been a piece of meat that has been used.

Frivolous and Superficial

The sexual E3 trivializes the painful emotions and situations of his life. The surface he stays on is a permanent childlike state that he uses as a defense against taking responsibility for his life.

Sometimes it is difficult for him to get involved in situations that require his intellect and he prefers to remain on the surface, which is what is known, his comfort zone, where he feels accepted, accepted because of his beauty as if it were a beautiful vase. Assuming this role of man, woman, object, he feels safe; he no longer needs to question himself or turn around to see who he is, a prospect that terrifies him because he doesn't have much idea of himself either.


One of the biggest fears of sexual E3 is losing control and freaking out. It is so much control that he exerts to maintain his ego ideal that it stiffens his body as well as his mind. Anything out of his control that could threaten his image terrifies him. As a body defense mechanism, it maintains a rigid structure that lives like a steel tube that supports the structure of the self. Faced with situations of chaos in childhood, this structure served the child to feel safe, to feel sustained.

This control extends to many areas, in the illusion of being able to manage everything without making oneself vulnerable. This is how the sexual E3 prevents itself from truly giving itself in its relationships. Getting to satisfy the needs of the other is a strategy to not be in oneself, where nothing worthy of being valued or loved appears.

Self-control blocks the ability to recognize the basic needs and desires, being more important than those of the parents, and more important to maintain the false image constructed. This learned way of controlling the body's threatening impulses gives it back a power over itself.

In this sense, we can interpret the multiple eating disorders in this subtype as an attempt to mold not only a perfect body, according to an idealized image of fashion, but also to control their emotions and sexual impulses, preventing them from giving themselves over to pleasure.

We could interpret anorexia in sexual E3 women as a way of saying “No” with her body, since she lacks the voice that says “No” to (emotional and sexual) abuse, dependence, and the plasticization and castration of their feminine energy, in our culture. Thus, through control over his body, he expresses “I don't want, I don't receive you,” depriving himself of nutrition or vomiting what is nutritious, and at the same time he sends the message: “give me, I need,” because he cannot be nourished by his own energy. In this way the daughter can maintain control over her physical and psychic space, and at the same time a power over the mother, which requires her to respond to her expectations with a silent “No” capable of reaching death.

It is also about controlling the other. Just as the mother controlled him so that he would be the son who could correspond exactly to her ideal image, the son learns to control the mother: he not only perceives her desires and needs, but also controls her movements and actions to be prepared for any threat or act preventively. This control also fulfills the purpose of not feeling the fear behind it, and from which many misinterpretations of the motivations of the other, jealousy, envy, and competition derive.

Cold, Hard, and Numb

The person of this character can be perceived as cold due to their emotional repression. Although one of the most repressed feelings at E3 is fear, the sexual subtype is the one most in contact with it, as well as the most sensitive and vulnerable. One of his biggest fears is conflict.

Many times he avoids being in life, since in life there is conflict. He may look like a plastic doll. He fears that if he assumes that there is a conflict with someone or in some area of his life, everything he has built will come crashing down. As if the scaffolding supporting the fantasy that “everything is fine” was so fragile that if something moves, the castle collapses.

Aggression is seen by the sexual E3 as something catastrophic, which represses even at the cost of enduring being attacked. Many times they do not perceive the aggression of the other as such, or they deceive themselves by saying that it is not a violent situation at all. Sometimes it is difficult for him to differentiate between what is real and what is not. As if he doesn't believe what he's seeing.

It has a great capacity for both alertness and calm in extreme situations, such as accidents or strong aggression, due to its excess of control and coldness. Many times, having lived through unsustainable situations in childhood led him to this cooling down in order to survive and distance himself from pain. He splits from his emotions by looking at his life as a moviegoer.


The sexual E3 puts perfectionism mainly in the physical aspect. Motivation is to attract, be admired, and desired; that's how it feels. With perfection put into the image, she is afraid of getting old, losing her beauty. Make up your external image and also the internal one; she presents herself as the ideal mother, the unconditional friend, the perfect partner. If she feels  bad inside, she makes some physical arrangements to hide her emotions. She spends time and money on clothes, makeup, and whatever makes her look good. A certain exhibitionism masks shame, insecurity, and fear.

Much of his perfectionism has to do with fear of failure. Failing is one of the most feared ghosts. Doing it wrong is threatening. Sometimes it is easier for him to give up doing something than to risk making a mistake. It is difficult for him to recognize mistakes or admit that someone points them out to him, as if such a blemish would not fit in his image of perfection. And it is painful for him to connect with failure from the fear of recognizing falsehood, that this created world is not perfect.

The sexual E3 defends its image. To maintain it, he can protect others by justifying what is necessary: make up his childhood with supposedly wonderful parents. Or make up the couple's relationship, justifying even aggression. If he exposes the other, he brings to light the evil and, with this, his own ugliness. It does not support chaos or the rupture of the image that has been built because it collapses.

Critical and Demanding

Achieving such an image requires a lot of self-demand. There is also a demand for others, as if he couldn't stand it if things weren't perfect. It is something that does not show with the naked eye: it is what lies behind the mask. He strives to maintain a world in harmony because anything that is not right causes him anguish.

Outside the intimate relationship, it is difficult for him to formulate an open and direct criticism, which is expressed more with gossip or remains unexpressed. Behind the criticism there is often an envy that is not allowed to feel and that is connected to their low self-esteem. Recognizing the value of the other is difficult for him because it threatens his own image and value.


Part of their strategy is efficiency. Although the sexual E3 is not as efficient as the conservation subtype, it can achieve what it sets out to do if its relationship with the other depends on it. Efficiency is based on the image that it will give to that person who is important in your life.

Being, like perfectionism, at the service of the dual and sentimental relationship, it is not an efficiency that is worth it to fulfill tasks that help him feel the value of himself, nor is it useful to achieve professional success, as in the cases of the social or conservation E3. The efficiency of the sexual E3 is aimed at maintaining the superficial idealized image of the perfect woman or man to love.

Competitive and Envious

The sexual E3 is competitive if he sees that he has rivals who can take away a place of affection. Especially in love relationships, he can be very jealous and envious, although he does not openly show it: it is a veiled competition, with strategies. Try to be the prettiest, the kindest and most helpful, and act as if it comes naturally to you, without looking that many times it is to win a competition for the affection of a loved one.

Feeling of little value, he compares himself and does not feel capable, although he longs to be like that other he admires and envies. He looks outside, as if there weren't something inside him that supports him, that anchors him, that centers him. And there is a lot of competition with people of the same sex.

Repressed aggression and rage

As in all people of the E3 character, rage is denied and repressed. He has not been able to feel it in his childhood out of respect for the demands of controlling parents who expected from him the adorable, educated, and perfect child. Expressing it would have meant manifesting an inner world of its own, a whole taboo, either due to lack of listening or to respond to the ideal of the perfect family that cannot be questioned.

That is why the sexual E3 projects aggression onto others, provoking being attacked in order to accuse the aggressor, without taking responsibility for his own. He can repress his rage to the point where he does not feel it, although when it finally comes out, he can do it in a hysterical and overwhelming way. The hysterical outbreak of rage is the only form that is allowed, since he experiences it as if it were out of his control and, therefore, he does not have to assume his responsibility.

Another form in which anger is displaced are panic attacks, very common among sexual E3s, and which are often ways of expressing their suffering and fear, and a paradoxical way of expressing discomfort within the relationship. Paradoxical because while trying to express “something” that happens to be taken into account, these attacks produce a worsening of their invalidity and insecurity, and increase the level of their dependence on the other.


The function of a bodily symptom is to manifest what is not conscious. The disconnection of the sexual E3 with his body, and his denial of emotions, makes them appear as symptoms. It is as if the body shouted what the person does not want to see or assume.

There are serious problems in the area of expression, such as in the throat, or tension in the jaw due to the difficulty of expressing anger. Also skin rashes, which usually show the discontent of being in contact with something or someone; colitis or intestinal problems. The problem of managing emotions manifests itself as not being able to digest well. No matter how much the body talks, things continue to seem fine to the sexual E3 until they don't have more serious crises or breakouts; especially couple conflicts.


This character uses dissociation and denial to prevent dangerous emotions from erupting, so he learns to disconnect easily. He disconnects from reality and lives in an ideal world. This makes him, in his relationships, insensitive to his own and others' feelings.


Anxiety appears before the fear that emotions will overflow. He is more of a hysterical threat than a narcissistic one. The sexual subtype may also feel guilt; they fear mistakes, they accuse themselves as long as there is no conflict: a lot of anxiety is triggered by the possibility that someone, especially the couple, gets angry.

Proud and Arrogant

The sexual E3 got used to doing it alone and not asking. Many times the woman competes with her mother, as a consequence of the “privileged” link established with her father; and she, at the same time, can assume the function of her mother's mother, responding to her need for care and thus taking on a role that she does not correspond to. Although she feels the need for her, the arrogant man allows her to put herself in the daughter's place and ask.

Asking also stains the image of perfection that you want to give to the world. Asking means that there is something missing or bothersome; this is how he lived it in his family. A threat not only to his self-delusion of being perfect, but also to the relationship with the other, who has built himself on the deception of being the ideal person who has promised love and eternal happiness.

Claudio Naranjo's Sexual 3 Description[4]

E3 Sexual – Attractiveness

For the passion of the sexual three, Ichazo used the words masculinity or femininity, depending on the case. Rather, I used to explain it as an excessive attempt to conform to cultural (perhaps Hollywood) images of masculine and feminine. Today it seems to me that the fundamental pathology of these people lies in the fact that, instead of acting from an instinctive freedom, they put all their passion in the thirst for love and in the corresponding seduction through complacency or the image that is supposed attractive and exciting. The result of this is that the woman, being too aware of pleasing the man, loses the ability to enjoy her. Also added to this character is a certain passion for the family that, despite not appearing as a defect, embodies an exaggerated need to please that perpetuates self-alienation.

Of the three subtypes, sexual is the most dependent. He does not usually show aggressiveness and does not tolerate being rejected. His seduction is intended to be welcomed and confirmed, confusing the value of himself with the attractiveness of his body.

Sandra Maitri's Sexual 3 Description[6]

3+Sexual – Masculinity/Femininity

To Sexual Threes, physical and sexual appeal seems like the key to being desired, so they emphasize their gender characteristics. As a general style, the males exaggerate their virility and masculinity, and the women intensify their femininity. When attracted to someone, they take on the attributes of that person’s inner masculine or feminine ideal—in Jungian terms, shaping themselves into the other’s animus or anima. They are competitive with others about being seen as the most attractive, and being successful is measured by being desired. The passion of lying manifests here in deceiving themselves that love is the answer, that they must shape themselves into their beloved’s ideal to be loved, and ultimately that they are that image. It also appears in their use of duplicity to outmaneuver their rivals and win over the object of their desire.

Beatrice Chestnut's Sexual 3 Description

Sexual (One-to-One) 3 Subtype description (2021)[6]

This subtype focuses the most on one-to-one relationships—and on being attractive as defined by conventional standards. They may see attracting a partner in highly romanticized, fairy-tale terms. They know how to be charismatic and appealing, but focus on their outer presentation and may be disconnected from their inner experience of who they really are. They are more emotional than the other subtypes and often feel a sense of sadness deep inside. They put a lot of attention on supporting others and helping them succeed. They are more shy than the other subtypes and not as competitive, because they succeed when the people they support succeed.

If this is your subtype, you focus much of your attention on others. Your need to be attractive on the outside means you often lose contact with who you really are on the inside. You likely feel a deep sense of sadness about not being in touch with yourself and you may tend to have low self-esteem. You probably have a difficult time accessing this sadness, however, even though it can help connect you with your authentic self. You support others and achieve success through working to help them achieve their accomplishments as a way to avoid being seen.

Sexual 3 Subtype description (2013)[10]

Sexual Threes focus on achievement in terms of personal attractiveness and supporting others. In this Three, vanity is not denied (as in the SP Three) nor embraced (as in the Social Three), but is somewhere in between: it’s employed in the service of creating an attractive image and promoting important others. These Threes have a harder time talking about themselves and often put the focus on others they want to promote. They put a lot of energy into pleasing others and they have a family/team mentality.

Sexual 3 Subtype description (2013)[10]

The Sexual Three: “Charisma“

The victory or goal that the Sexual Three subtype is interested in (that expresses this Three’s vanity) is one of sex appeal and beauty rather than money or prestige—but they are just as competitive in pursuing these goals as a business executive is in work matters. In this Three, vanity is not denied (as with the Self-Preservation Three) or embraced (like the Social Three); rather, it’s somewhere in between, being employed in the service of creating an attractive image and promoting important others.

The Sexual Three is sweet and shy and not as extroverted as the Social Three— especially when it comes to speaking about himself. It’s hard for these Threes to promote themselves, so they often put the focus on others they want to support.

Although they are just as capable as the other Threes of achieving worldly success through competence and hard work, these Threes don’t feel the need to achieve goals in the external world because their focus is much more on pleasing and making themselves attractive as a way of earning love. They see their accomplishments in the successes and happiness of the people around them.

Although Ichazo called this type “Masculinity/Femininity,” Naranjo explains that this is not Hollywood-style masculinity or femininity, or even necessarily a very sexualized masculinity or femininity. This type is more concerned with having an attractive presentation as a man or a woman—and, subtly at times, with pleasing others by being attractive in a classically masculine or feminine way. And while Threes are heart types, in this subtype the pleasing may occur less through emotional connection or sexual seductiveness and more through a mental connection or enthusiastic support. Naranjo changed the name to “Charisma” to reflect the special way Sexual Threes motivate and excite the admiration of others through a quality of “personal magnetism.”

Sexual Threes achieve within relationships. These Threes are pleasers and helpers; they tend to work hard in support of someone else, expending a lot of energy in promoting others. Sexual Threes can be very ambitious and hardworking, but it’s always to make someone else look good. Often this Three doesn’t seem like a Three because they are not so focused on their own status and achievement, but for them it’s more about being attractive and supporting others—it’s enough for them to be beautiful; they don’t have to achieve to get love. It’s the pleasing that brings approval or love, so they don’t have to be conventional achievers.

Sexual Threes put a lot of energy into seducing and pleasing others. They may have a fear of disappointing others, and so they justify themselves with excuses to avoid confrontation. People with this subtype may have fantasies about the “ideal partner,” and they may want to change their partner to be like they would like him or her to be. They may have fantasies of waiting for “Prince Charming” (or “Princess Charming”) and living “happily ever after.”

These Threes tend to be oriented toward pleasing others in the sense of having a family or team mentality. They may focus narrowly on what is good for the family (at home or at work) and project the image of someone who is good in this way. Because so much depends on their being attractive to others, Sexual Threes think they need to be good and perfect to be loved. They tend to be very helpful to prove their lovability—they aspire to have the image of the “best lover” or the “perfect wife.”

Attaining love or desire from others becomes a goal, an achievement, a conquest for Sexual Threes. To support this, they have a passion for projecting a handsome, pretty, or sexy image. They feel an urgent need to be looked at and recognized as attractive by people they want to attract (romantically)—perhaps reflecting a lack of attention and admiration from their mother or father.

In this Three there is a sense of disconnection from feelings and from the real self. They often have no real contact with themselves or others. This disconnection is emotional, sexual, and physical. One Three with this subtype commented, “it’s like we put out an ‘Out to Lunch’ sign.” This is the main issue for Sexual Threes. They typically experience a feeling of emptiness, like a void. This Three experiences an empty feeling in terms of having a lack of a clear sense of self or identity. This is related to the fact that the Sexual Three experiences difficulty in being, feeling, and expressing authentically. While they may be very attractive, they may also have low self-esteem and be unable to love themselves. In the face of this, they may “put on a good face” and look sweet and complacent while hiding their strength as a way to look good for others.

The Sexual Three is the most emotional of the Threes, so you are more likely to see them expressing their feelings. This Three doesn’t wear the kind of social mask that a Social Three wears. There is a deep sadness within the Sexual Three. They often had a difficult early life, and they use “disconnection” from themselves as a way to forget, or to make up for and minimize, past abuses. There is a lot of fear of feeling emotional pain and sorrow, and so they learn to disconnect from their deeper emotional experience. They also experience criticism as very threatening, as it destroys their mask of being a “perfectly good person.”

Sexual Threes can look like Twos or Sevens. They can look like Twos because they seek to connect with others through being pleasing and attractive. They differ from Twos, however, in that they focus more on a specific image of physical attractiveness and less on shape-shifting, prideful self-elevation, and meeting emotional needs. They may be mistaken for Sevens in that they tend to be positive and enthusiastic in their support of others. They can be excellent cheerleaders. However, while Sevens are fundamentally self-referencing, Threes reference others as a way of determining how to be. Threes are more disconnected from themselves, while Sevens typically know what they need and want.

Haiki Sexual 3 Description[7]

Sexual Three: Self-Image

These are people who are not as externally-oriented as Social Threes and their vanity has more to do with the look of the other (singular other). They tend to seem very nice and trustworthy. Unlike the Social Three, they tend to be more timid people and have difficulty showing their aggressive side. They also may feel they are not smart or fun enough and this creates a lot of insecurity for them when relating to others. It is like exposing themselves to another would make them realize they are not all golden and the fear of that happening paralyzes them.

They often were not paid attention to as children and they now project their partner as a mother or father figure. They still want to get the love, affection, and attention that they had in early childhood. As children, they specialized in staying silent and not making noise. As adults, when their partner questions them about anything, they will take it like a dagger stabbing them - but it remains hard for them to show what they are really feeling. Normally, they focus most on a romantic relationship and every possible way of relating with the other. They must feel they are valued, and to do this, they will use a form of seduction so subtle that it can barely be noticed. In this sense, they could be compared to Twos but Threes put a lot of effort into this seduction while it comes quite naturally for Twos. Additionally, Twos are connected with their gut instinct while Threes are very much in their head. They are not rebellious, but good little boys or girls (or at least make themselves pass as such).

Infidelity of sorts is very common for both men and women of this type. In addition, they often form relationships with a sexual charge, even though the sexual aspect is often the farthest the relationship goes. Threes in general, but Sexual Threes in particular, are often victim to what we call “relationships” where they tend to seek out the most handsome/beautiful and successful person. They tend to value the other person’s appearance and status more than who the other person really is.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Sexual 3 Description[8]

SX3: Masculinity/Femininity -> Object of Desire

In this subtype, the passion of vanity dyed by a concern for appearance. Their attitude is flirty and they try to give an image that responds to the model of which society values as “sexy.” The desire to be an “object of desire” (our own terminology) and the way of getting it is an emphatic identification with prevailing masculine/feminine traits. The consequence is a forgetfulness of their own desire since they obtain a lot more importance through being desired. On the other hand, the disconnection that this entails provokes desire to be much more intense and interesting in imagination than in real life.

La Mirada Libre's Sexual 3 Description[9]

E3 Sexual: Attractiveness

They say that Marilyn Monroe lived terrified of losing her "sex appeal" (this is what this subtype is called), at the expense of public opinion... and it is is for that reason the sexual 3 builds the mask of a physically attractive, sweet and loving person to whom he will become a slave all his life (if he does not work on himself).

He puts all his efforts into pleasing and becoming an object of desire for another (whom he has idealized) and then compulsively tries to maintain that desire, directing all his actions towards that goal. Underlying this behavior is the illusion that the anguish, feelings of insecurity, and the fear of not having the courage and resources to be that ideal partner can be calmed and overcome.

He represses his own needs, controls his emotions and thoughts and puts all his attention on his partner. Consequently, he is not very interested in self-realization, neither professionally nor socially, since it is not in his plans to be an independent person.

This may resemble the fusion of the sexual 9, but the difference is that the sexual 3s are aware of the effort they make to achieve the goal they pursue, while the sexual 9 are not. The confluence with the other is such that there is no notion of repressing our part of being.

When sexual 3 thinks of love, he conceives only the love of a couple. He is a specialist in falsifying love; he exhibits a warm smile so you buy the idea of unconditional love and foreverness.

The fundamental problem with which he finds himself is that he confuses being desired with being loved. Since he identifies with his superficial mask (his physical image and warmth), accompanied by the belief of all 3 of “one has to be useful to be loved,” means that oftentimes he can be used as an object. It is like a poodle that pleases its owner with its nice haircut.

When he really desires, he is scared to death and is not able to initiate the approach, being able to ignore his object of desire out of pure fear (like 9 sex). The lack of resources to establish real contact generates a physical, emotional and mental block (they remain frozen). In this passivity he is convinced that it is the other who chooses him and thus he deceives himself, feeling the false security of being a kind and interesting person.

Finally, with his sale of sexual skills he pursues recognition: the goal is not pleasure but acceptance. His erotic and spontaneous desire is very emasculated in reality. You see a lot in the sexual 3 that, "look at me, desire me, but don't touch me!"

He is the shyest of the three, his move is "walk away" and he is the emotional of the three subtypes.


[1] "The Arica Training according to John C Lilly and Joseph E Tart"

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

[3] Naranjo, C. (2014). "Psicología de los eneatipos: Vanidad" (Trait structure translated by mel)

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

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

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

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

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

[9] Psychology of Ennea-types Volumes by Claudio Naranjo Interpreted by La Mirada Libre

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

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