Type Five Instinctual Variants (without stacking)
Sexual Instinct in the 5
This is my world. In the average range, the detachment and avoidance characteristic of Fives clash with the Sexual Variant's desire for intense connection. Sexual Fives like sharing secret information with their intimates. ("I've never told anyone this.") But they are always experiencing some degree of tension between pursuing those they are attracted to and lacking confidence in their social skills. Thus Sexual Fives are driven to engage intensely with people, although often with anxiety and a tendency to withdraw at a moment's notice. They are more affable and talkative than the other two Instinctual Variants of Type Five, but they can cause others surprise and consternation when they unexpectedly drop out and disappear for periods of time. On the one hand, when romantically interesting in someone, they can become extremely open and merged, more like Nines. On the other, when they feel unappreciated or misunderstood, they can quickly become emotionally distant. Powerful connections with others alternate with long periods of isolation.
The sexual instinct mixes with intellect to produce intense imagination. Sexual Fives create alternative realities - private "worlds" of various kinds - that they present to potential intimates. They are looking for the ideal mate, the mate for life, who will not be turned off by their strangeness. ("Does this intensity frighten you?") Strong sexuality gives Sexual Fives the impetus to risk emotional contact and also provides relief from their constant mental activity. It becomes a way to ground themselves. But in less healthy Fives, the mix of imagination and sexuality can become dark and fetishistic: they can become lost in disturbing fantasies and dreams.
In the unhealthy range, longing for lost love and feelings of rejection can lead Sexual Fives into isolation and self-destructive behaviour. They are often drawn, through voyeurism, into dangerous lifestyles and can be attracted to society's underbelly.
Riso and Hudson, Wisdom of the Enneagram