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Sexual 9 In Detail

Sloth in the Sexual Sphere

Sloth of the 9 when combined with the sexual instinct gives us the sexual 9 character, a character which has a need for the love of another for one’s own identity. The sexual Sloth here loses its instinctive character and becomes an ability to perceive the need of the other. Their own pleasure can be experienced if it is at the service of the loved person’s pleasure, with a feeling of abnegation where the self has no space. These people tend to merge easily with others, losing touch with themselves in the process. Total merging with another is seen by sexual nines to be what they need to be whole. The other becomes the reference, the compass to detect needs or thoughts.

Ichazo called the SX9 "Union", they need to love of another for their own identity[1], it's a symbiotic confluence where the individual lives the desires of others as his own and their true individual desires are often disregarded.[2] Naranjo described it similarly, as someone who postpones pleasure in his excessive pleasing and merging with the other, losing himself.[2]

Trait Structure[3]

Very patient

The sexual E9 is very patient when it comes to tasks, things, or relationships in which he believes. Of a patience that may seem infinite to others, but that for him is normal. With children and animals, his patience is extreme. This patience testifies to the need to maintain energy homeostasis in oneself and with the environment so that there are no frictions that could put you in contact with needs or choices.

Without nuances

Either black or white. He believes that several "versions of everything" cannot coexist. For example, in interpersonal relationships it is difficult for him to understand that there are parts of a person that he does not like, or that he likes less. Both in relationships and in the manifestation of their tastes, there is a middle way, things are white or black, or all or nothing, or they like everything or they do not like anything.

This vision hides the defense mechanism of denying what can produce negative emotions and, above all, it nourishes the false image of a world that is going well at all costs, for which there is nothing missing.

Tolerant with others and Severe with themselves

In others, he tolerates everything and finds justification for any act or behavior. (Although inside he has judged first but, from his desire for kindness, "magnanimously understands and forgives.")

With himself, on the contrary, he is severe, critical and does not go too far. In private life as well as at work, he does not forgive himself for any mistakes. The annihilation experienced in childhood and the devaluation received in primary relationships are completely introjected.


Like the chameleon, it is capable of being in any environment and context without being out of place. You can keep any conversation going by carefully following the other person's train of thought. From early childhood he acquires the ability of entering and leaving situations and environments without being seen. The imperative is to be there but without disturbing.

Above authority

Either he considers it worthy of respect or he does not recognize it. This aspect is very evident from an early age, when faced with a teacher or parent who has not earned his respect, he does what he considers most fair, does not listen to authority and acts on his own behalf. He makes a judgment and appraisal according to wholly personal criteria of that person's merit and ability to perform that role, and then acts accordingly.

But this force to go against authority does not come from the feeling of entitlement. Rather, it is an action driven by defending another or by one's own survival, an acting out by which the experience of low self-esteem can be skipped.

Blind faith

It is difficult for the sexual E9 to believe in someone because he does not believe in himself. But when she finds someone to believe in, she gives in, she does it blindly and rarely questions. Rather than faith, it would be better to say that it converges with the other.

Mediator and Peacemaker

Not only does he not like to be involved in arguments and conflicts, he does not even tolerate witnessing them. He is stronger than it: when there is an argument, he compulsively triggers the need to placate and fix the situation. He gets in the way without even assessing whether he is in a position to sustain the mediation. The imperative is to quickly regain calm and peace. He doesn't take anyone's side but he manages to assert everyone's reasons and, sometimes without even knowing how he does it, he always manages to achieve his goal.

The sexual E9 empathetically and exaggeratedly feels the pain present in the conflict. The suffering is unbearable for him, he feels the unresolved internal conflicts resonate and so that these do not take priority (understood as the resolution of his internal conflict), he immediately acts on the external world. This terror of conflict often has autobiographical resonances. He is willing to avoid it at all costs because in his childhood the overt conflicts had devastating consequences for him.

Aversion to change

If there is one thing that triggers a crisis in the sexual E9 and triggers all the alarms, with the corresponding paranoia, it is change. He does not understand why there is a need to change when things are working so well. Fierce supporter of the saying "the best is the enemy of the good," he applies it as much as he can, and to everything. He needs the usual customs, the usual people, the usual places; in short, let no one disturb his quiet, flat little world for which he has worked so hard.

Accurate in the development of tasks

The word "accurate" may fall short, almost maniacal and especially at work. Whether he performs tasks at the bottom of the organizational pyramid or at the top, the sexual E9 is extremely reliable due to his need to always have everything in its place. If a work program is prepared, it must be fulfilled, and if there are changes it goes into crisis and is not very elastic. It does not support the delays of the others, because they are an “unexpected variable” of the program.

Lover of good food as a shared pleasure

The sexual E9 loves good food and good wine, but only if he can enjoy it and share it with the person he loves or with his closest friends. He doesn't usually care much about what he eats, and he doesn't like to cook for himself either. Food and drink are a pleasure if they are shared and prepared for someone. When he is alone, on the contrary, they can become a way to fill the void caused by loneliness or the discomfort of doing things for himself.


He has a very deep sleep because he uses sleep as a defense to not feel.

Difficulty for physical contact

The sexual E9 does not like physical contact, he does not like to be touched. When talking about this, his idea is that everyone should be in their space. In reality, he does not have the experience of safe skin contact with her mother who, on the contrary, has often been invasive and not respectful of even physical limits. He has not learned to measure personal space.

Ashamed to communicate his feelings

He is ashamed to express his affection because he has not been taught to do so. The few times in his life that he has tried to be explicitly emotional, has been deeply hurt or has received a humiliating indifference, and it is a risk that he prefers not to take again.

Incapable of making decisions

The sexual E9 is not able to decide for himself, because he does not know what he likes and that is why it is impossible for him to know what is better. He lets others decide everything, even the important things. Although he will be angry if the decision does not seem fair to him, he will abide by it without raising the slightest objection.

Bad relationship with the body and sexuality

He has a terrible relationship with his body, he does not accept its forms or its aesthetics. He feels awkward, ugly, and thinks that no one will ever be attracted to him. That is why he forgets that he has a body, and the disconnection of desire from him contributes to his total focus on the pleasure and sexuality of the other.


No matter what happens or what others choose, you will always see the positive side and adjust your needs accordingly.  The sexual E9 has learned to adapt to circumstances for fear of being abandoned, excluded, rejected, and ignored. And this ability becomes a currency to be loved. In reality, it is a false adaptation, which generates a silent rage that accumulates. This anger, of which he is not aware, ends up expressing himself in a stubborn opposition to the other's proposals, posing impediments that are generally of a practical nature, in a kind of displaced revenge.

Indispensable and docile

The sexual E9 works tirelessly to make himself indispensable to the people around him (relatives, friends, acquaintances). Compulsively, he immediately answers "yes" to any request, even if it has just been outlined, without taking the slightest account of his capacity, his psychophysical availability, the eventual effort to be made or, lastly, his needs. Also in this case it is the price to pay for not being abandoned.


Believes that he always knows with absolute certainty what others need (he does not know what he needs). He is amazed that the others do not have that characteristic to the same extent. When someone does not understand him, he immediately blames himself for that inability that, in reality, is not his. He does not feel loved then, he suffers and is filled with rage. It never crosses his mind that the other might not instinctively possess that empathetic capacity that he considers universal.


Creating a comfortable environment, being open to welcoming the other, being hospitable and affable, using a voice that can be pleasant and friendly, and showing unlimited availability, make the sexual E9 well accepted in his environment. He acts like this because he feels the need to be welcomed by his fellow men and, above all, because he believes that, otherwise, no one would love him. Ultimately, he believes that he is not lovable for himself but for the attention he provides.

Sense of duty

The sexual E9 has such a strong sense of responsibility that he often takes on what does not belong to him. The motivation is twofold. On the one hand, he feels that all the obligations of the world fall on his shoulders (it is up to him to ensure that everyone fulfills his duty). On the other hand, he thus prevents himself from experiencing excessive pleasure in situations that might even procure it.

Susceptible to criticism

He always expects praise, recognition in almost all the activities he does. If he gets criticized for something he has done, he falls from the clouds with a start and suffers horrors. Indeed, the work that he does with dedication and commitment has value because it is through him that he can be recognized by the external world. His work therefore has a double function of expression and recognition. The sexual E9 believes that he exists only through what he does, and not simply because he is.

Disorganized or Extremely organized

He lives a disordered life inside (ordering himself would mean looking and suffering for what he sees) and for this reason his house is also completely untidy. Surprisingly, he also lives the ideal of being highly organized. He knows that he has a great chaos inside him, he would never want to deal with it, but he dreams that, with a blow of the sponge, everything will magically fall into place and nothing will be left out of place.

Loquacious or Mute

In environments with many people (parties, groups, congresses, assemblies), the sexual E9 can be very talkative, because he can not stand the discomfort of silence. He therefore feels obliged to relieve others of what he feels as density "breaking the ice" as soon as possible. He does this by walking up to someone and starting to talk. He experiences the sensation of saying things that are irrelevant and uninteresting, of being verbose, but he can't stop. He would love to observe the others and remain silent himself. In fact, if there is a lot of noise, he can be quite quiet, and even not answer if he is addressed.

Breaking the silence obeys a second motivation. If you start talking you will stop feeling outside the group - and therefore an object of attention - and you will be able to dissolve into it. The sexual E9 has difficulty feeling really part of the group, he always thinks that he is not up to the task, or that his characteristics will not be valued, or that there are already subgroups in which it will not be possible to enter and that, in any case, he will not will be accepted.


Makes precise projects and acquires commitments that he later postpones and sometimes forgets. Programs that seem to have the highest priority for a time suddenly and for no apparent reason lose interest and fade, replaced by the birth of other urgencies. The sexual E9 acts this way because it indefinitely postpones the satisfaction of its own pleasure.  Although at first he moves, and in good faith he believes that he truly feels desires, then the inner dictation of not giving himself pleasure arises. He believes that there is no room in his life for pleasure, and that he only has a reason to be duty.


Has an opinion that he firmly believes, and sometimes expresses it forcefully even if he hasn't been asked, extemporaneously. He is so convinced that he has carefully and correctly analyzed the problem that he makes absolute certainty about it, even though he is spectacularly wrong. The desire to assert himself is not connected with an integrated construction of his opinion.


The sexual E9 takes little care of his external appearance. She dresses without paying too much attention to the harmony of some garments with others and, if she is a woman, she rarely puts on make-up and seldom goes to the hairdresser's. She doesn't care about her aesthetics.

This carelessness is also manifested in the lack of care for their health, when they delay control visits to their doctor and when they ignore, neglect or forget symptoms that may indicate the appearance of some disease. Plain and simple, he forgets himself so much that he does not take care of himself at all.


Not depending on anyone is an absolute need of the sexual E9, which is in conflict with the need to bond symbiotically.  As a child, he could not trust the adults around him and learned very early to fend for himself and to reduce his demands more and more, to appear before the world serene, peaceful and unassuming. The motivation is, once again, to ensure the love of others, because if you are not a burden to anyone, you do not run the risk of being rejected. The price you pay is not realizing the lack of independence deep in your feelings and motivations.

Hyperactive or Distracted

As we have already seen, the sexual E9 sets in motion an "all or nothing" mechanism, in this case oscillating between periods (weeks or hours) of great industriousness and periods in which he wanders and dazzles himself with hobbies of diverse nature that manage to distract him (television, card games, music, books). In both modes, remaining in a superficial state prevents her from contacting his inner world: she is aware that it would be too dangerous and painful.

Claudio Naranjo's Sexual 9 Description[4]

E9 Sexual – Symbiosis

I would prefer to use the word union — the word Ichazo used — in a higher sense. Union means the response that we find in love, the desire for communion with the loved one. So such a word should not be used to describe a neurotic game. Therefore, I prefer to use words like fusion, confluence, symbiosis...

The sexual E9 experiences the need to be through the other, the need to be through union with another, through fusion with another person. He uses the relationship to feed his being because he can't stand on his own two feet. A true union would require the two people to walk on their own two feet before they actually meet.

But in this case a kind of substitution takes place. Because these people do not have their own place, their own being, and therefore they want to be in the world through the other. This makes them very affectionate people, but it is a suspicious affection, like one of the many forms of surrogate love that occur in the ego's repertoire.

What stands out in the sexual nine is that they belong to no one: they are people who do not fully live their passion — in the best sense of that word. They are precisely too dispassionate. When the Beatles wrote the song “Nowhere Man”, perhaps they were referring to someone of this character.

In Spain there is the “dead mosquito”: no one would notice that person, it is confused with the design of the wall paper. In English it is said that there are people who are like the flowers on the wall: they get lost in their surroundings.

Elias Canetti wrote a book about characters called “The Listening Witness” and described someone who is obviously a sexual nine:

“The Legacy never asks for a certificate and wouldn't get one either, since he's not going anywhere on his own business, he doesn't need them. It is true that he eats, but he does it in moderation and without causing discomfort. Nobody has seen him with his mouth open, he has the good sense to do it in a corner, without noise. He surreptitiously feels his teeth, he still has a few left”.

It is a very cruel characterization: this person betrays his needs so much, is so focused on satisfying the needs of the other, that he has few teeth left.

“People take a lot of photos on trips, and sometimes, when they don't have time to step aside, he's in the picture too, uninvited. The owner's family looks at her and makes a face. But also in those cases you can trust him. He himself takes the reels to develop and, when he returns with the photos, he has disappeared from them. How he does it is a mystery, they don't ask him and he doesn't explain anything, the important thing is that the owner's family stays like that in the family and the Legacy doesn't appear anywhere”.

All this is a result of the need for fusion. You can merge with another person, with a group, or even with your own body. But at the cost of life, of the subtle level of life...

Sandra Maitri's Sexual 9 Description[5]

9+Sexual – Union

Sexual Nines are driven by a desire for the love of another and for total union, which appears to them as the key to their happiness. Total merging with another is seen by Sexual Nines to be what they need to be whole. They tend to merge easily with others, losing touch with themselves in the process. This substitution of another for what they really need to merge with—their essential nature—is the heart of a Sexual Nine’s passion of laziness. Since this is the archetype of all of the sexual types, this attempt to fill the hole left by loss of contact with Being with the love of another is shared by all of the subtypes that follow.

Beatrice Chestnut's Sexual 9 Description

Sexual (One-to-One) 9 Subtype description (2021)[6]

This subtype merges the most completely with important individuals. They may take on feelings, opinions, and attitudes from others and not experience a sense of boundaries with them. They tend to be the sweetest, most shy, and most emotional of the three subtypes, as well as the least assertive. They may not have a sense of their own purpose and may take on a purpose from others without realizing it. They often don’t put themselves in the picture.

Notice how you merge completely with specific people in your life, to the point of erasing yourself. Be more aware of how you lack boundaries without being aware of the consequences of this. You may tend to have difficulty saying what you really think to people. Notice if you often stay silent or express agreement automatically, saying only what others want to hear or feeling opposition in secret. You may be unclear about your own sense of purpose and unsure of what you really want. You will need to get in touch with and act on your own individual desires and sense of purpose to further your growth.

Sexual 9 Subtype summary (2013)[10]

Sexual Nines express the passion of laziness by merging with the important people in their lives. Sexual Nines unconsciously take on the attitudes, opinions, and feelings of others, because it can feel too hard to stand on their own. These Nines tend to be kind, gentle, shy characters who are not very assertive.

Sexual 9 Subtype summary (2013)[10]

The Sexual Nine: “Fusion”

Sexual Nines unconsciously express a need to be through another—to gain a sense of “being” they don’t find inside themselves through fusion with somebody else. They unconsciously use relationships to feed their sense of being because it can feel too challenging or threatening to be on their own; they substitute another person’s agenda for their own because it feels more comfortable to stand or be through another. These Nines may not even realize they have made this substitution, however; it often happens at a subconscious level.

Sexual Nines are not connected to their own passion for living (in the good sense of the term “passion”), and so they try to locate it by blending with another person. When they are in close relationships, they may have the sense that there are no boundaries between their experience and that of important others. The merging with the other takes the form of an energetic taking on of feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and even behavior. These Nines feel a sense of loneliness or abandonment that seems like it can only be filled by another person, whether or not they realize it consciously

The problem inherent in this stance, of course, is that true union—a real relationship between two people—requires that both people stand on their own feet before coming to meet each other. But Sexual Nines may experience difficulty in standing on their own two feet, being grounded in themselves, and living out their own sense of purpose, so they look for it in another person

Individuals with this subtype can merge with a partner, a parent, a close friend, or any important person as a way of finding a life purpose and avoiding their own experience of the lack of such purpose. They have a sense of uncertainty about their own identity and a lack of structure in their lives, and they look to other people to satisfy their sense of who they are and what they want without realizing that this is happening.

Sexual Nines tend to be very kind, gentle, tender, and sweet. They are the least assertive of the Nines. However, the tenderness they express, like other gestures of caring that come from the personality rather than the real self, can be, to one extent or another, false. More than the other two Nine subtypes, these Nines can have a difficult time locating their own motivation to act in support of their own initiatives. They can even know they want to do something and not be able to do it for a long time, especially if it involves any kind of conflict with others.

Sexual Nines defend against the pain of early separation (and separations in general) by unconsciously denying the existence of boundaries. This is an attempt to avoid being aware of their own deeper sense of isolation, aloneness, and individuality. This Nine may have the sense that “I am when with the other.” In maintaining the important connections in their lives, they may be so focused on meeting the needs of others that they betray their own needs. When this occurs, they may engage in passive-aggressive forms of rebellion, such as avoiding someone or ignoring something important in a way that affects the relationship.

Sexual Nines can resemble Type Fours, as they may feel a sense of melancholy and experience and express similar themes and feelings related to relationships. Having their center of gravity in others means they have a special sensitivity to the wishes and moods of the important people in their lives and an acute awareness of the push-pull connection and disconnection dynamics in a relationship. However, while Fours are self-referencing, Sexual Nines are primarily other-referencing, and they may take on the feelings of another as opposed to having more immediate awareness of their own emotional ups and downs, as Fours do.

Sexual Nines may also share central concerns with Type Twos in that they can lack a solid sense of self and then look to their important relationships as a way to find self- definition or a sense of identity. Twos differ from these Nines, however, in that they focus more attention on constructing an image. Twos also usually enjoy being the center of attention, while this is much less comfortable for Sexual Nines.

Haiki Sexual 9 Description[7]

Sexual Nine: Fusion

Sexual 9s have a clear problem with limits with their partner. They transmit their innate passion for self-laziness through a passion for symbiosis. It is an addiction to fusing with the other. Even though it is tempting to use the word union for the sexual 9, it would be more accurate to use words with a more neurotic connotation like symbiosis or fusion.

As we have seen with the love-seeking of some 4s, they have a tendency towards romantic love, even when loving something/someone is impossible. Sexual 9s can often have a much greater emotional side than fellow gut-triad types.

It is as if they completely disappear. Instead of speaking in the first person, they tend to always talk in plural. “Us” is their new identity and they always think about what is best for their partner, and they themselves will always be left in last place. They make themselves invisible, even to themselves, and put themselves at the service of the other.

All of this anti-narcissist behavior, which 7s and 3s could truly learn a lot from, ends up truly harming them. When you reach an extreme of being altruistic and excessively good, it can be just as bad.

At the end of the day, they live in confusion and true identification with the other. The other who may very well also be an object of their own projections.

All of this being said, losing their own autonomy and consciousness of who they are is really important for them.

It is as if even as adults, like social 9s with the group, they keep searching for the fusion that they had with their mom during their first year of life. The concept of Contact-Withdrawal in Gestalt psychology is not their greatest strength; because of this, it is great for them if they practice distancing themselves, even just a little bit, from their partner.

Also, they even deny their own SX instinct, in favor of whatever their partner’s instinct is.

We see this subtype taking to the extreme the inability to stand up on their own feet, and as a result, the other ends up becoming everything for them.

This subtype has a desire for food, but fulfills it with a certain secrecy. They stuff their faces but only in a corner where no one will see them. Even being the way they are, they do not renounce the narcotization essential to the 9. They use the other to disappear and enter symbiosis. They need this sort of fusion with someone to fulfill their eternal wishes of true combination with another. It is a wild codependency. They make their partner or anyone close to them think they are irreplaceable with evident acts of care. Behind this, however, is the neurotic need that others need them, even if it means being like slaves or a disposal bin for others’ emotional garbage.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Sexual 9 Description[8]

SX9: Fusion

The desire for “Fusion” is an antidote to the loss of identity provoked by forgetting oneself. This need is lived through the other, losing their own interests to put themselves at the service of the chosen other. There is a tendency toward union, that is polarized when with a partner, whose needs, desires, thoughts, feelings, and actions they live through. The needs of the person they love become their own needs, the needs they forget and only satisfy vicariously, in an active effort to be there for the other. In the term “Fusion,” we see the dissolution of the self, which implies that this fusion has shades of the delivery of the SX9, as the expectation they have of the supposed unconditionally is transforming the other and subconsciously making the other do what they secretly desire. We also see that this merging attitude presents a possessive person underneath this apparent submission. Deep down, there is no renouncing of their own desire, but rather an expectation that, from merging, the other will realize, legitimize, and follow through with their desire.

La Mirada Libre's Sexual 9 Description[9]

E9 Sexual: Symbiosis

This subtype is called "fusion" because of the tendency to confuse themselves with the other and be through him, they confuse the other's desires with their own desires, turning the other into a kind of substitute for themselves. Just as the social serves the group, the sexual serves intimate one-on-one relationships. They are the sweetest but also the shyest and most intimacy-conscious of the three subtypes.

Our movement is to "walk away" and this is one of the keys that differentiates us from the other two subtypes, when we intensely want something for ourselves we feel anguish/pain and in a neurotic way we walk away and procrastinate, because the expression of desire in childhood repeatedly led us to physical or psychological harm. It is very difficult for us to realize this, over time and personal work, feeling that anguish can be a sign that something interests us (really us and not the other), like a lighthouse in the middle of the fog.

It is less painful to give up what interests us than to face the shame and pain of rejection. From a young age we learn to do with what there is and that everything is enough, giving up wanting things, emotions or love for ourselves, until it becomes so automatic that we no longer contact our desires. There is also difficulty for physical contact and decision making because we lose ourselves in the other and we no longer know what we want.

The mechanism we use is to confuse what the other wants with what we want ourselves, producing a kind of emotional fog or tangle, and receiving satisfaction through the pleasure that the other receives (by fusion). Empathy is overdeveloped, misused, and pleasure is deferred under the guise of duty (closest to 1 of the three subtypes).

As Claudio Naranjo describes "it is unpleasant to learn this lifestyle, but it is better than receiving rejection and suffering uselessly for wanting what is not there or cannot be achieved."

The sexual ones also have very marked the idealization and experience of platonic loves, through which we can get to consume ourselves completely. There is not enough value to desire or show interest in another person, so you usually live fantasizing in your head. Although we would like to make it a reality, we need the explicit authorization of the other through his action in order to find out. We are satisfied with very little attention and we can stay hooked in sterile and unidirectional relationships until the polar transformation of our attitude towards the other arrives (we kill him internally when we perceive a confirmation of rejection on his part).

Claudio Naranjo says that we lacked a father present and attentive to the sexual nines who loved us simply for existing and authorized us to exist.

It is the emotional of the 3 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. (2018). "La pereza psicoespiritual" (Translated by star_shine)

[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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