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Thread: Sexual 4s

  1. #11
    Member brainheart's Avatar
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    I'm a sx/sp 4w5 INFP 459, so there is a lot about me that is introverted and withdrawn. I balk at much of the Bea Chestnut and Naranjo descriptions of sexual four because I sure as hell would never mistake myself for an eight and I don't feel like I get a lot of insight about myself from their descriptions. That said, I very much relate to the idea of wanting something or someone so intensely that you actively sabotage it- how does Naranjo put this, something along the lines of you want someone so badly that you basically do everything in your power to make them reject you- (orangeappled also describes this well, as per usual). This can happen in relationships and it can also happen in the realm of career. I may work very hard at something for months only to set fire to it or completely abandon it. I am off/on, hot/cold, full/empty. I think that's the strongest distinction of the sexual instinct in any enneagram type: We are inconsistent and if something loses its luster we really struggle with keeping it going. My self pres instinct sort of helps me with this. As I get older I am increasingly recognizing the need for stability and some sort of routine, but it's always hard, keeping at something when it's no longer exciting.

    Too often sexual instinct is phrased as one-to-one, and while intimacy is part of it, it's primarily about getting a rush, a thrill, a charge (a surge of dopamine?). I suspect that if someone doesn't like the name sexual instinct and prefers one-to-one, they aren't sexual instinct first. They're describing something else.

    PS to OP: I don't think sexual doms choose their interests carefully. That sounds like self pres to me. Sexual instinct is completely irrational and often a poor decision. The interest chooses us and we are helpless in our blind following of it. That's how addictions work.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    I'm a sx/sp 4w5 INFP 459, so there is a lot about me that is introverted and withdrawn. I balk at much of the Bea Chestnut and Naranjo descriptions of sexual four because I sure as hell would never mistake myself for an eight and I don't feel like I get a lot of insight about myself from their descriptions. That said, I very much relate to the idea of wanting something or someone so intensely that you actively sabotage it- how does Naranjo put this, something along the lines of you want someone so badly that you basically do everything in your power to make them reject you- (orangeappled also describes this well, as per usual). This can happen in relationships and it can also happen in the realm of career. I may work very hard at something for months only to set fire to it or completely abandon it. I am off/on, hot/cold, full/empty. I think that's the strongest distinction of the sexual instinct in any enneagram type: We are inconsistent and if something loses its luster we really struggle with keeping it going. My self pres instinct sort of helps me with this. As I get older I am increasingly recognizing the need for stability and some sort of routine, but it's always hard, keeping at something when it's no longer exciting.

    Too often sexual instinct is phrased as one-to-one, and while intimacy is part of it, it's primarily about getting a rush, a thrill, a charge (a surge of dopamine?). I suspect that if someone doesn't like the name sexual instinct and prefers one-to-one, they aren't sexual instinct first. They're describing something else.

    PS to OP: I don't think sexual doms choose their interests carefully. That sounds like self pres to me. Sexual instinct is completely irrational and often a poor decision. The interest chooses us and we are helpless in our blind following of it. That's how addictions work.
    This is super interesting to me, and I think if more people understood sx in this sense vs the 'omg intimacy 1:1 only' element of it, there would be fewer people identifying with sx in general, and even sx-dom. I appreciate how you are not glorifying it (not that everyone does, as that isn't the case, but I often see anyone who doesn't identify with 'groups' as identifying with sx as the alternative. Heck, I don't identify with groups, and I am probably not so-last.)

    I can actually relate to some of what you are describing here, but would have to think a lot more on whether it applies to me in a dom/aux sense or not. I can struggle with what to do once 'excitement' and inspiration is no longer present, but I'm not sure if that is sx or something else in my makeup. In reading OA's post, I don't think I struggle with sx-4 issues, but anyway, I understand what you're saying here and appreciate your writing it!
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  3. #13
    Member brainheart's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes, I think there can be a lot of overtyping of sexual instinct due to it being put out there as a desire for intimacy. My guess is desires for intimacy transcend the sexual instinct (especially in fours).

    If there is any type I find myself envying or idealizing, it's the self pres four because of their tenacity and endurance. When I look at the artists and writers I most admire, they seem to be self pres fours. My guess is the second instinct in our stack is the one we look toward for balance and aspiration. It's like how we'd like to be (and how we can be if we work at it) vs how we inherently are.

    In relation to MBTI, as an INFP, I think my use of Fi+Ne operates in a sexual instinct way. This, of course, can be healthy or unhealthy. Healthy sexual instinct engenders the rush of being alive, tapping into the electricity that can run through everything, the power of inspiration and possibilities. Unhealthy sexual instinct is never satisfied and never willing to do the real work. My sexual instinct feels childish, both the wide-eyed wonder that childhood contains (the upside), and the indulgent temper tantrums and inconstancy (the downside). My guess is sexual dom INFPs see a lot of themselves in ENFP descriptions. I know I do, despite being an obvious introvert. There is a strong connection to Ne.

    Fi+Si seems more self pres within me- sticking to the routines and behaviors which will lead to holding on to the things (and people) that matter to me. My guess is self-pres dom fours are more likely to identify with the descriptions of Fi-Si loops, and the idea that they need to tap into their Ne more to get out of their ruts. Conversely, as a sx/sp four, I think my Si operates more like a parent. It can either be a helpful guide that nudges me toward consistent effort and healthy behavior (upside) or it can become overprotective and micromanaging, or even worse, totally negligent and absent (downside).

    Social instinct, as my least instinct, really seems to connect to inferior Te for me. It's this critical judging that I am often oblivious to but will out of nowhere on occasion unleash its fury and I feel the weight of my lack of accomplishments, my lack of impact on the external world. It's like this giant wave which smashes my boat, breaks my bones, and then is just as quickly gone. Next thing I know I'm on land, the sun is shining, my injuries are healing, and again I'm just as oblivious to it as I was before.

    Of course, these are all my personal theories/perceptions, so it might not jive with others' experiences.

    PS: One thing I meant to add was that when it comes to the Naranjo/Chestnut descriptions of the subtypes it's all relative. In other words, yes, I am probably more visibly opinionated and assertive-seeming than other INFPs, especially INFP 459s. I probably complain more, express my anger/annoyance more. I'm a fairly expressive person. I can't exactly hide my emotional reactions. And so in that way the sexual four description fits.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Venus Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five to One View Post
    I feel like there is a lot of bias about sx 4s and sx first in general. I've been having trouble relating to those and I used to type as so first for that reason, but when I look at the core of sx fixation it seems to be more true than the so one.
    I wonder how other sexual 4s feel about the description of this type. How much do you relate? How much do you agree/disagree with it? The same question for other sx types.
    I have said this elsewhere too, but I will say it again, I am this variant and I do NOT relate to the description (of sx 4). There are a few things here and there in some description, that at least try to steer a bit further than where Naranjo aimed originally, and there are some things I can connect with. I also get super irritated with "but anyone can do this and that" as at least in my case there's no effort being made to actually understand me, but instead being undermined and things being projected onto me to try to disprove me.

    Anyways, for me personally, I can mention how sx+4 has manifested in my life. There is an *extreme* neurosis around attraction, and that translates into wanting to be "loved" as I have always phrased it. And not being loved by anyone, but by a romantic other. I quite literally do not care about others kinds of love, and that speaks to the neurosis of the primary instinct. I have tended to put all my energy and focus into someone I was attracted to, become obsessed relatively quickly, and it was worse in my adolescence. By obsessed I mean I would...for instance, be anxious about my texts being seen and/or responded to - all day, several days long - and I have barely started talking to this person. In my mind I was already "addicted" and it would cause painful anxious feelings of "he will realize I am actually gross/ugly/repulsive at my core" that no one could possibly be in love with me. And it's not about "love" since that sounds like a bit of a soft thing here, but being in love, having that kind of magnetic power over someone, they meaning as much to you as you do to them.

    I did not believe that was ever possible because at my core I was hideously unattractive. That is how I felt, and it causes serious psychological harm, that kind of self-belief. From feeling pain to even terror - if he didn't seem that interested in responding to me, or talking to me in general, or if I even detected (and it is very easy to detect attraction) that he was attracted to someone else. I do not use the word "terror" lightly either; yes I would become enamored with someone, idealize the hell out of them, pouring all my hope into this one person, that finally "I will be loved," and at the same time this deadly anxiety at my core, that I was well, too repulsive at my core for anyone to ever fall in love with me.

    This would lead to wanting to contact this person even further, I am forgetting the details at this point to be honest, but this would cause me to be more self-revealing, making that pain of rejection even harder to bear, because here I am making myself naked and the other person is not into me. It was terrifying. I could have been drawn to situations that reinforced my self-belief though, that there's something inherently wrong with me. I would not say I was drawn to "bad people" as indeed most of them were kind and good people, but the commonality they shared was that they were not that into me. For decade on and off this would happen, and I just assumed there was something horrendously repulsive at my core for me to be so "hideously unattractive."

    Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, self-harm, including carving "UGLY" onto my thigh, addiction to smoking cigarettes, losing touch with reality via dissociation (I did not ever become psychotic though), feeling like I could be losing my mind, constant terror, pain and terror. For years and years on end - a decade now. But the very fact that I am able to talk about this means that its getting better.

    I would somehow manage to so intense that it would put them off, and they became even less likely to want to be intimate with me. Not that it mattered since I was fixated several times on guys that did not see me the way I saw them. Eventually they would give up, distance themselves.

    In relationships with some of these friends (as indeed that's all they were) where I had gotten very close, I could get reactive, pointedly expressing that I feel like they see me (the way I actually see myself, as gross and repulsive - I did not use those words though, but basically projected my own self-loathing onto them), they would try to reassure me that there's nothing wrong with me, but none of it stuck, because in that moment it was clear to me that if they were not attracted to my vulnerable and naked self their words were meaningless and "not authentic" or true (not that they weren't being authentic, more so I saw it as something cliché to try to make me feel better, but I "saw through the bullshit"). Hurt some of them unintentionally because I would spiral, afraid and scared. One of the absolute worst fears of <anytime sx instinct comes into play> is to make yourself naked (metaphorically) to someone who just doesn't find you attractive. Of course, I would go a little beyond that as I was "hideous" instead of the more neutral stance of "these specific people did not find me attractive." But if that gets repeated over an over again, for years and years, it can really traumatize, specially if sx is your primary instinct. Every single moment of something like that was terror-inducing for me, crying, dissociation, pain where I felt like I was pinned to my bed and kind of like my limbs were being stretched out in this awfully painful way, general fear and anxiety around this stuff, etc. And then that adds up and eventually the psyche can only take so much, you know.

    EDIT: I did NOT try to harm them intentionally and I quite literally do not understand what professional competition has to do with sx 4. It sounds so...random, and I don't relate to it as I don't really care. I do not see myself as a competitive person, and though I would *lash out* (again I am forgetting the details about exactly what I would say) when I felt rejected, it was not from a place of entitlement, or feeling superior or something, I was legitimately terrified that I am sexually (both metaphorically and literally) and romantically repulsive. That I did not have any power to attract who I wanted, but instead scared them away, or worse, had an opposite effect to "magnetically luring them in." That I repelled them. I could not fully piece together these thoughts because they were seriously jarring for me, hence why in the past I resorted to suicidal ideation because they were soothing to me in those moments.

    I don't think I believe this about myself anymore though.

    Anyways - I am also not more 8 than 8, even at my most vulnerable, even though I "lash out" due to terror (edit: I may - untentionally - hurt someone due to my pointed and intense emotions evolving from this core fear that I was repulsive, instead of through intense anger). I am still relatively soft, probably the strong secondary E9 coming into play there. I have never tried to compete with people, and though I experience really intense jealousy wrt attractions, I do not feel that kind of jealousy outside of the realm. And even then, I may lash out about how I feel like they do not care about me, and how I am repulsive at my core, I do not even attempt to "compete," (I acquiesce to these feelings of inner ugliness instead, and indulge the Soc side of my sx/so in "lamenting" about these painful and raw experiences; also in order to gather some support) as in my mind I have already lost to begin with (nor do I care about competition). And yes, I am Se PoLR. That plays a HUGE role. Not all subtypes look the same, there can be quite a variation.
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  5. #15
    Junior Member uncrowned's Avatar
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    Venus Rose, I can relate to a lot of what you said and it scares me a little. I had an episode lately that resulted in behavior I'm not very proud of. I'm E5 sx-first but with a wing of 4, so I suspect that may be one reason why it's not as intense as you describe + with lots of paranoia mixed in about the other person plotting against me (unhealthy 5 behavior from what I've read).

    It... sucks. It's exhausting. I've tried to deny the "sx" in me so I can feel a semblance of normalcy or at least non-neuroticism and average health, to no avail. I can't trick myself out of it, it runs in my blood so to speak.

    How are you doing lately? And what has made you improve?

    For me, I can detect the pattern early — the moment I start obsessing I'm like "here we go, put on your seatbelt". So at least in this latest episode, I was conscious of what was happening although out-of-control at the same time. I tried to devalue that person in my mind so there is a balance somewhere, with the intention of seeing them "whole" rather than an idealized version of them. What ended up happening is this intense inner conflict and the infamous push-pull, rather than a holistic healthy image of said person, which I berate myself over: really, they're only a human being! But why can I not see them that way? It is something in my unconscious and I will get to the root of it.

    So then I decided... f**k it! I'll expose myself and my ugliness on purpose because I knew this was futile as the person is unavailable (there is a pattern there that you can relate to as well, they're "not into me", either taken, emotionally unavailable, etc). So I did it, I figuratively undressed myself in front of them, but it wasn't like a big reveal... it was this huge inner shift, contained, and quietly explosive. But very obvious to anyone paying attention (most people don't). They definitely detected a change and actually started to pay more attention to me, not because I'm such an interesting person but because wtf is going on? My natural magnetism and friendliness was replaced by this intense frustration at myself, others, my life, reality itself. It was so painful for me because it was SO contained that it was destroying me from the inside. I did it to myself because for me, usually, when I go through this type of inner conflict, there is a truth there that emerges in the end. And I want to know what that is, almost masochistically. After the frustration passed, a deep inner sadness emerged. And then a black vortex of nothingness. Of pure end-of-the-line apathy, of psychologically being stripped of everything. I felt nothing anymore. Like actual nothing. I went home that day and had a panic attack. Then I was sick for a week, drowning in pain and some of the most intense shame I've ever experienced.

    I can see you're sx/so, I am sx/sp. So I don't know how much any of this helps or resonates, if at all. There is a description of the sx/sp stack with a statement that stands out so much to me in terms of what I experienced:

    Powerful sexual impulses facing inner resistance may manifest symbolically in the psyche, giving way to soulful interpretations of the unconscious.
    I feel like this is exactly what happened to me. The 'truth' that emerged from it all is that I'm seeking for something in myself or in my life by obsessing over these people. They're like a distraction almost. And they're wrong for me, I know how to pick them so that maximum projection occurs, i.e. I never really know them that well, so it's easy to put them on a pedestal based on first impressions, projecting many positive things onto them. The attraction is real, I don't want to downplay or deny that. But the fixation is not reality-based.

    Now I could be wrong, but the way I see it unfolding is the sx-firsts are more healthy when their dominant instinct is tempered by developing their blind spot. Does this mean we won't idealize partners when we're healthier? I doubt it, I think some idealization is a good thing even. But the obsession? Yeah... no. I need to do something meaningful in my life that I can call mine, focus my intensity in that work.

    I'm interested to know more about what these episodes mean and why sx is damn annoying! And how to make it better. Hopefully others can chime in.

    Ugh, sorry, this thread is about 4s. But I really could relate.

  6. #16
    ιяяєѕιѕтιвlє Ꮆяαѕρ Luminous's Avatar
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    @uncrowned There is a thread for sx doms... Sexual / Intimate First Support Group

    I've also heard that strengthening the blind spot is supposed to help create more balance. I'm also sx/sp. So we need to strengthen our so, which we might do (I'm saying all this, though it's not as if I've actually completely successfully done it nor am I expert in it) by going toward the brighter light, the sunshine, of broader connections. Forcing ourselves to make more connections with others who may not appeal as strongly to the sx beast.
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  7. #17
    Junior Member uncrowned's Avatar
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    Ah, thank you. I shall continue there.
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