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Sexual 8 In Detail

Lust in the Sexual Sphere

In this subtype Lust combines with the sexual instinct which gives a character that believes they have a right to their mate. It is often seen in this type that they are overtly domineering, rebellious and attention seeking, but this is an attempt to cover up their insecurity about being loved and desired. These people see relationships as conquests and want to hold power in said relationships. There is a polarity present in the sexual 8, on one side of the spectrum we have the sexual 8 who has a need to feel powerful through dominating the whole environment and wanting to hold the power in relationships as they try to get power over things and people, on the other side we have the sexual 8 who surrenders to a partner they see as worthy, trying to make a passionate appearance of surrendering while still, very much, wanting to stay in control.

Ichazo called the SX8 "Possessiveness", believing that they have a right to their mate[1], and this tyrannic demand over the other is experienced as an exaggerated demand for love.[2] Naranjo says that these people take possession of others through fascination and threat.[2]

Claudio Naranjo's Sexual 8 Description

Sexual Eight: A Lustful Histrionic

It is the sexual E8 that is the most explicitly lustful of the lustful characters, and we find it again in the old English novel “The Story of Tom Jones the Foundling,” by Henry Fielding, where the character is introduced to us at the beginning of the play, as a baby who appears in the bed of Mr. Allworthy, a kindly English aristocrat, and who is accepted by him as a bastard son, as well as treated with affection during his childhood.

Over the years, Tom Jones draws attention as someone who is in love, very attractive to women and freer in his own attraction to them than was established by the good customs of the aristocratic world of that time. From an affair with the ranger's daughter, and because of the betrayal of Blifil, son of Mr. Allworthy's sister and with whom Tom has grown up, our protagonist is expelled from the mansion.

His bad reputation increases with new picaresque troubles, such as his relationship with Lady Bellaston and with a duel that ends up in jail, while the censorship of his lustful acts will become more complicated throughout the work, due to jealousy of women offended by his infidelities, until he is finally condemned to die by hanging.

One of the most famous literary incarnations of this human type is the one we find in Dostoyevsky’s the elder of “The Karamazov Brothers”: the intense Dmitri, a Dionysian who, just because of his lust, attracts both the criticism of those around him and the sympathy of those who read his story. His bad reputation and the suspicion that he inspires reach so much that when his father is murdered, he is unfairly considered responsible, and at the end of the novel he is sent as a prisoner to Siberia.

The truth of the story that Dostoyevsky tells in his novel is that the crime was committed by an epileptic servant of his father, whom no one suspects because of his illness and his apparent idiocy, and also, indirectly, by Ivan Karamazov, the most intellectual of the brothers, since the servant who commits the crime deeply admires him and believes, through the murder, that he is serving Ivan by acting according to his way of thinking and feeling. As much as Ivan, despite his disapproval of his father, has never been coherent enough to translate his thought into action, it is quite natural for those investigating the murder to assume that the most violent of old Karamazov's sons (that he had money conflicts with him over the years and that once, in a fit of rage, he had threatened to kill him) was responsible for a patricide that he would not have committed, since Dmitri, despite being violent, he is also a kind-hearted person—and much more loving than his brother Ivan.

The conjunction of a violent, possessive, and dominating character in Dmitri with a noble humanity can be appreciated in one of the central episodes of the novel, which occurs when he is serving in a regiment.

The main characteristic of this type of lecher, which is not simply a thirst for intensity, but a vengeful will to dominate, and an ability to seize the other in order to humiliate him.

Regarding Dmitri's personality, the most important understanding that the end of the novel gives us is that, despite his innocence and the enormous weight of his unjust sentence of exile in Siberia, his reaction is to accept such punishment as an opportunity to redemption; and not of a redemption with respect to public opinion, but of his acute awareness of the monstrosity that his lustful and vengeful character signifies. Despite the very different personalities of Raskolnikov in “Crime and Punishment” and of Dmitri in “The Brothers Karamazov,” both end up in the same way: with a sentence that they understand as the first step towards purification and a new life.

Another Dostoyevsky character, Rogozhin in The Idiot, also embodies the character of a sexual E8, but this time on a more criminal level of aggression.

Rogozhin does not attend any social convention, he does not care about them; He goes about his business like a bull coming out of a bullpen.

Rogozhin and the prince meet on a train. Rogozhin already appears rude, direct, impolite, and hurtful, and says of himself that he never studied anything, almost making a show of it. In addition, he gets angry as soon as he hears something about Nastasya that he thinks goes against his own wishes.

When he first saw Nastasya, Rogozhin said, “something burned inside me.” The day after his first eye contact with her, his father gives him an order worth ten thousand rubles and he, without thinking twice, spends the money on diamond earrings to give to her as a gift. As he leaves Nastasya's house, where he has not dared to introduce himself out of shame, he knows that his father is going to beat him to the ground, or worse, and he says: “When I came home I was tempted to jump into the water, but I thought: it doesn't matter, and I went there like a convict.” He acts on pure impulse, he wants to dazzle Nastasya and nothing stops him; only afterward does he think of the possible consequences, and they do not matter to him.

The next meeting between Rogozhin and the prince occurs in an unusual situation. Rogozhin shows up intimidating and angry at the home of Gania's family, where he knows that Nastasya is at the moment, and where he assumes that the marriage between Nastasya and Gania is being arranged. He snaps at both of them angrily, telling Gania that he is offering him thousands of rubles to keep Nastasya: “I have said that I will buy her and I will buy her.” He is willing to fight anyone to possess Nastasya. It seems that it has not occurred to him to know if she wants to or not. He simply wants to possess her and is not willing to stop until he gets her. In an unprecedented scene, Rogozhin, in front of a crowded audience and in someone else's house, raises the offer of thousands of rubles before Nastasya, until he reaches one hundred thousand. Blind with fury, he doesn't stop lying in order to get his way.

In that conversation Rogozhin says: “You say that you love her out of pity. I feel no pity for her. What's more, I hate her.” He tells how Nastasya has confronted him on several occasions with different men and that it has cost him a lot of money, but he still continues with the idea of ​​marrying her. She has made fun of him, she has provoked him... On one occasion she told him: “Right now, perhaps I don't even love you as a servant, much less as a husband.” He started beating her and immediately afterwards he spent a day and a half in her room asking for her forgiveness: “What would I be without you.” She always manages to drive him crazy: “They say you'll kill me, but now I'm going to sleep and I won't close the bedroom door; so you can see what I fear!” Rogozhin admits to Nastasya that he hasn't slept or eaten for two days, waiting for her forgiveness, and inside he is making oaths that he will take revenge on her, to which Nastasya replies: “It is quite possible that you also swore an oath to take revenge of me when I marry you, to make me remember everything that has happened.” Rogozhin is playing a cat-and-mouse game of dominating dominators. He seduces by asking for forgiveness with a view to the fact that, the moment she is “his,” he will treat her with power, dominance, and revenge.

The prince tells Rogozhin: “Your love is indistinguishable from hate. And if it goes away, it will be even worse, you will hate her a lot for this love that you now suffer.” In that same conversation, we have another illustrative moment of the passions that move Rogozhin: he tells the prince that Nastasya has met his mother and that, for a moment, everything smoothed out. The prince replies, “I am very glad...maybe God will put your affairs right,” to which Rogozhin, in his impetuous way, snaps back, “It will never be like that!”

At another time, the prince tells him: “You are suspicious and jealous, that's why you exaggerate when you observe the bad. It's clear, she doesn't think of you as badly as you say. Because otherwise it would mean that by marrying you she consciously jumped into the water or went after the knife. Water or a knife!” Rogozhin replies. “Heh! If she marries me it is because the knife is waiting for her!” He is willing to kill her, but not at any moment, he is waiting for her to give herself to him to consummate his revenge.

He was a man full of vitality, who lived in the present moment without any concern for the ultimate conclusions, without thinking about tomorrow or anything that is not directly related to what drives him crazy.

E8 Sexual – Possessiveness

A sexual eight has a tendency toward social detachment. He is a rebellious person, much more than the other E8. He is also a more provocative person, who flaunts, who proclaims that his values are different from the norm. This occurs with all eight, but in the sexual subtype, this tendency becomes a clear detachment from the intellect.

The word to define it is possession. And I used to think that this also had to do with physical possessions, but later I realized that this passion is limited to grabbing the other: the sexual eight is very possessive in his relationships. This word also has to do with taking ownership of the entire scene: the sexual eight always wants to be the center. It is always fascinating. Their power comes from a greater seduction, from a greater power of fascination, which differentiates them stylistically from others. The other subtypes do not have as many colors in the feathers. In relation to the other subtypes, the sexual one is more emotional, while the conservation one is pure action and the social one is the only intellectual eight.

Sandra Maitri's Sexual 8 Description[4]

8+Sexual – Possession/Surrender

Both male and female Sexual Eights try to possess and control their mates. While Sexual Eights can be overtly domineering, it is an attempt to cover their insecurity about being loved and desired. Both male and female Sexual Eights see relationship as a conquest and want to hold the power in the relationship so that they don’t have to be vulnerable and dependent. Female Sexual Eights want to surrender control to a partner who they see as worthy, and may make a passionate appearance of surrender while staying very much in control. The passion of lust manifests here as the desire to possess the body and soul of an Eight’s beloved.

Beatrice Chestnut's Sexual 8 Description

Sexual (One-to-One) 8 Subtype description (2021)[5]

This subtype is the most provocative and rebellious. They speak out against rules and tend to be more magnetic and charismatic. They are more emotional than the other Type 8 subtypes and tend to be very possessive of the people in their lives. They display more passion and action, and less thought. They energetically take over the whole scene and like being in control and being the center of attention.

If this is your subtype, you have the greatest need for power of all the twenty-seven Enneagram types. You seek to have power over everything and everyone. You have a need to possess people and their attention, which fuels your need to be at the center of everything that happens. You want to control people and you want them to submit to your control. As the most emotional of the Type 8 subtypes, you may not be aware that you act from impulse and passion, but often don’t slow down enough to think about what you do.

Sexual 8 Subtype summary (2013)[8]

Sexual Eights express lust through rebellion and the need to possess everyone’s attention. Sexual Eights are intense, charismatic characters who want to have control and influence. Instead of seeking material security, they try to get power over things and people. The name “Possession” refers to an energetic takeover of the whole scene—a need to feel powerful through dominating the whole environment.

Sexual 8 Subtype description (2013)[8]

The Sexual Eight: “Possession”

Sexual Eights have a strong antisocial tendency. People with this subtype are provocative people who express lust through open rebellion—through declaring in word and deed that their values differ from the norm. Along with being the most rebellious of the Eight subtypes, the Sexual Eight is, interestingly, also the most emotional.

This outspoken, rebellious Eight likes to be seen as bad – or at least they don’t mind it -- and they tend not to feel any guilt over the rebellious things they do. It’s almost a matter of pride for Sexual Eights to go against the stream of convention or to disrespect rules and laws.

In childhood, many of these Eights experienced disrespect and a lack of affection and attention from one or both parents, so they decided (consciously or unconsciously) not to recognize maternal or paternal authority. This first rebellion against authority became the template for their strong rebellious tendencies.

The name given to the Sexual Eight is “Possession,” which refers to a kind of charismatic taking over (or dominance) of the whole environment—an energetic capture of people’s attention. These Eights display the idea of “Possession” in that they can take over a whole scene energetically, becoming the center of things. Sexual Eights like to feel their power by possessing everyone’s attention. They express the idea that “the world begins to run when they arrive.”

Sexual Eights express a need for dominance and power over others. They don’t want to lose control of anything or anyone, and they want to influence people with their words. Everything—whether it is a person or a material thing—is an object to possess. These Eights don’t seek material security; rather, they seek to get power over people, things, and situations.

In getting and maintaining this power, Sexual Eights can be fascinating and charismatic. Their power comes through a kind of seductiveness and intensity that differentiates them stylistically from the other two Eight subtypes. As Naranjo explains, these Eights have more colors in their feathers; they are more magnetic and more outspoken. They have great powers of seduction.

These Eights look voraciously for love, sex, and excessive pleasure in life. They seek adventures, risks, challenges, and the thrill of an adrenaline rush. In line with their passionate forward movement into action, they may be particularly intolerant of weakness, dependence, and slow people.

As the most emotional of the Eights, the Sexual subtype displays a great deal of passion that may at times get expressed through emotions that may seem surprising to others and atypical for the other Eights. In these very passionate, emotional Eights, there’s often a detachment of the intellect—while Sexual Eights may be very intelligent, they express action and passion more than contemplation in the things they do.

These Eights feel things deeply. This capacity can benefit a good relationship, but it can be a problem when a relationship isn’t going well. In romantic settings, Sexual Eights may encourage their partners to become very dependent on them or to treat them as the energetic center of their lives. They demand loyalty, but may not be faithful in return. (England’s King Henry VIII may serve as an example.) And they tend to have possessive relationships not only with lovers, but also with friends, objects, places, and situations.

This subtype can usually be readily recognized as Eights and is as not likely to be confused with other types. They may look like Sexual Fours in that both types can be angry, emotional, and demanding, but Sexual Eights distinguish themselves in their deeply confident (or overconfident) manner in contrast with the Sexual Fours’ sense of inner deficiency.

Haiki Sexual 8 Description[6]

Sexual Eight: Possession

These are the most intense and rebellious Eights. Not a rebellion, as in the Two-ish sense, but a rebellion in ensuring they get what they feel is theirs. It is a confronting rebellion, one of passion and action. One could say it’s complete social detachment.

They’re provocative and proud of their tendency to deviate from the norm and do whatever they want to meet their worldly needs. In the given moment, they can confuse their instinctual reactivity with emotional authenticity. It’s not that they do not feel authentically, however; they feel at full force, but they tend to want to possess others with what they are feeling.

They test those around them and at the smallest indication one would not go with them to the grave, they will feel as if they are being betrayed. The passion of lust in this subtype is transformed into the passion for possession. They are the Eights who when in an extremely neurotic state are very possessive and can create horrible messes in the world of relationships. All of this being said, they have a clear problem with limits. They are, unconsciously, the big invaders of the enneagram. However, they certainly do not want anyone to invade theirs!

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Sexual 8 Description[7]

SX8: Possession + Delivery

Lust is manifested in a total possession of the partner of which they demand unquestioned and absolute delivery to the other. In women, this commitment is seen more than possession, even though it is a devouring delivery, not easily differentiated from possession, as it demands from the other the same they give. There is no shame about this desire, that they go for what they want, guided by instinct with an overwhelming nuance. Possession involves pleasure from their own power, dominance, submission of the other. The fear of being dominated leads them to a dominating presence, from which love may be confused with possession. Desire is finding someone so valuable that they deserve to become part of me and confirm their worth, someone to incorporate and merge themselves with without losing their identity. This possession would confirm this fusion and would allow for their need of delivery to be satisfied.


[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. (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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