Sex & The Enneagram: What Each Type May Secretly Want In Bed

mbg Contributor By Julie Nguyen
mbg Contributor
Julie Nguyen is a relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University.
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During sex, it's a good rule of thumb to approach it with a sense of open-mindedness and adventure. If you want to spice it up but don't know where to start? Consider turning to the Enneagram.

Not only is the Enneagram a useful tool to determine our core motivations and desires in our personal and professional lives, but it can also tease out any hidden erotic curiosities in sex. 

Here's what each Enneagram type may be looking to try out in between the sheets. 

Type Ones: Letting loose and being bad.

Ones (aka Reformers) can sometimes find it difficult to give in to their natural desires, viewing their fantasies as "bad" or "dirty." If they see it as something embarrassing or shameful, they can unconsciously repress it, which manifests in how they express themselves physically and experience pleasure. But sometimes being so in control and wrapped up in judgment can lead to a fantasy of wanting to be out of control and diving into the deliciousness and rebellion of cutting loose. 

In this case, it may be vital to reframe the performative aspect of sex and instead make enjoyment the goal. Measurable outcomes and the lack of an orgasm shouldn't be considered failures of sexual activity. Instead, Ones should focus on spontaneous enthusiasm and unbridled enjoyment. For Ones, BDSM can be a liberating sexual practice in letting go of control. Sex toys, in all their variety and gadgetry, can also be a starting point to take the pressure out of sex and return it to a playful place. 

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Type Twos: Total gratification with bondage.

Twos (aka Helpers) are often the masters of seduction, but it can be hard for them to be at ease with being personally seduced themselves—they're used to being on the other side of the coin. They can be uncomfortable with sweet and tender intimacy where they're receiving attention since it can make them feel like they're selfish. Twos can feel as if their pleasure is a burden and their needs are too much, so they have to earn it. Therefore, Twos can get caught in a trap of trying to be seen as the perfect partner and making sure their partner's needs are fulfilled while ignoring their own. 

Twos may enjoy seduction in two phases: first being emotionally wooed by their partners (think flowers, love notes, and little actions that they would specifically appreciate) and having their partner be fully at their service in the bedroom. Bondage and BDSM can help Twos to receive and also feel more comfortable completely submitting to being pleasured and savored by their partner.

Type Threes: No-pressure tantric sex.

Threes (aka Achievers) have a tendency to "do" their feelings in their relationship. They can detach themselves from how they're really feeling as they project a version of themselves that feels worthy of love. Threes can inadvertently carry this limited way of feeling and being into the bedroom. Depending on stressors, they may keep deep intimacy within sex at an arm's distance so they don't have to be fully present or vulnerable, even if they're not aware that they're doing it. When Threes can meet sex in an authentic place where there's no pressure to perform, excel, or dazzle, they can relax and melt into what simply feels good for them and just be. 

To remove their goal-oriented inclination and any implicit pressure, exploring tantric sex together can be a powerful method to channel a mind-body connection. Through foreplay and sensual stimulation, it moves beyond the orgasm and shifts into a place of awareness, empowerment, and enjoyment. 

Type Fours: Mental arousal.

Fours (aka Individualists) are romantic and passionate lovers who crave intensity and can be sensitive about being in an environment that can help them feel creatively expressive and sexually autonomous. The problem is they can focus too much on what could be missing and/or lacking with what they currently have, creating a push-pull dynamic and feelings of longing. Since they're fairly attuned to their fantasies, they and their partners should be open to experimentation and creating the right conditions. Fours want to feel sensual, confident, and wanted. 

Set the stage elaborately with candles and mood lighting and make it a special occasion. Take the steps to charge the room with erotic energy with things like risqué lingerie and blindfolds to emotionally build out a space where you can feel free to explore kinks and fetishes. Draw them further into lovemaking with eye contact, biting, fondling, caressing, light spanking, etc. 

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Type Fives: Role play with a flair for the esoteric.

Fives (aka Investigators) have a rich inner world and can apply their mind and energy to acquiring knowledge and diving into their interests. But being so heady can limit how they demonstrate expression and affection. Since they can be disconnected from their body, sex offers an opportunity for Fives to drop back into themselves and be present. 

Fives can be surprisingly comfortable challenging notions of sexual normalcy and indulging in deviant fantasies. They have to feel safe and nonjudged to share, though. Role play can serve as a way to pull them away from their cerebral nature while engaging actively in their imagination. 

Type Sixes: Dirty talk.

Sixes (aka Loyalists) are devoted, committed, and extremely loyal in their relationships. They fight for their partner and can stay unwaveringly firm in their connection. However, Sixes can also be anxious and doubtful of true intentions, which they may project onto their partners. Priming Sixes with feelings of unconditional support and comfort is essential foreplay to them, ensuring they are in a place to receive. 

Sixes' sexual fantasies may have the same elements that they desire in their own daily life. Ultimately, they want to feel safe and secure. Sixes do well with safe words and direct conversations about their boundaries and expectations. At the same time, dirty talk can turn them on while reminding them that they're deeply wanted by their partner.

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Type Sevens: Sex positivity and a willingness to try out new things.

Sevens (aka Enthusiasts) often already bring a playful attitude of experimentation and a joyful enthusiasm to sex. They may have a hedonistic urge for exhibitionism and exploring pleasure in its multitudes: ethical nonmonogamy, voyeurism, threesomes and group sex, playing with gender roles, etc. Sevens can quickly become bored by predictability, so keeping things intriguing by maintaining an open mind and sexually generous attitude is extremely attractive to them. 

Sevens usually welcome a nonjudgmental, curious partner who views sex as a creative exploration: Someone who is interested in pushing boundaries and trying out novelty-seeking sensual practices together will help them feel close and united. 

Type Eights: A dance of domination and submission. 

Eights (aka Challengers) are often passionate and straightforward in their lusty pursuit for pleasure, leading them to possess an aura of strong self-confidence. They are charismatic and charming partners who enjoy empowering their partner and also having sex in all of its vigor: Eights are the Enneagram type most likely to fight with their partner and resolve it with a passionate romp in bed. 

BDSM practices like binding and tying each other up can be a part of exploring dominant and submissive play with each other. It can be tantalizing to play around with the idea of control. If engaging in those activities, discussing sexual consent and boundary-setting is important to make sure the actions are imbued with mutual trust and respect. Eights want to feel grounded, alive, and connected and will seek sexual activities that will help them harness those feelings. 

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Type Nines: Provocative and focused foreplay.  

Nines (aka Peacemakers) are usually receptive, affirming, and accepting lovers. They tend to emphasize and nurture qualities of comfort and peace, and this may translate to the bedroom. Sex can feel familiar, and nines are often plenty satisfied sticking with their favorite tried-and-true sexual positions. They could be intrigued to try out something new, but they may not be the first one to make the call since they're not the type to initiate. 

Since nines may emphasize pleasing their partners, subverting that role and having all the attention themselves can be a thrilling dynamic. A nine will appreciate when their partners can put the nine's desires at the forefront in all of its naughty glory.

Takeaways.

The Enneagram is a dynamic system, and depending on awareness, health, and stress levels, you can shift and move to other points on the diagram. The same goes for sex. Some of the above may resonate for you; others might not.

Our fantasies can evolve and change over time—what matters is our capacity and interest in maintaining understanding, curiosity, and acceptance for what we want and what our partners may desire. Keep an open mind, try out new things, and have fun with the exploration!

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