CRITICAL THINKING AS PRODUCTIVE QUESTIONS
3. 1. Why just twosomes?
2. Is the reason entirely sexual?
3. Whatever happened to the case for collaboration?
I certainly do not intend to say that intimacy cannot be found in anything but pairs. In the 60's and 70's Robert Rimmer was a 1-man band whose novels championed group intimacy, both sexual and non-sexual. Nor do I wish to imply that people cannot be quite content by themselves. But surely I do not have to present evidence that humans desire to and do form pairs as their preferred intimate connection.
I wonder why. Certainly, larger intimate groups are possible, and it does not push the imagination too far to see benefits in "moving beyond" pairs. But few of us have any drive to move in that direction. Why not?
Is it but one more reflection of our insecurity? It is quite vulnerable enough for us to open ourselves to one person. The risk associated with extending that vulnerability beyond one other person is foreboding in the extreme. Is it likely that bunches of people would want to establish intimate bonds with me? Why risk finding out? I have one other person. Enough is enough. Why push my luck?
Many often express the possibility of a systemic outbreak of jealousy were there more than 2 people involved in an intimate relationship? If so, why? Is insecurity at work here as well? Or is there some biological pressure for jealousy to emerge in situations where more than 2 people try to form an intimate unit?
Is there something about sexuality that just gets too messy when more than 1 other person is involved? Would males simply take advantage of larger-sized intimate units to withhold emotional sustenance from any others in the group? Or would women do so? Do we have a highly limited emotional reservoir that runs dry after we link with one other person?
Am I searching for a reason that does not exist? Although saying so begs the question, do we bond on pairs because traditionally, that organization is the one we know has been used before? Or does it take more energy and hard work to go beyond 2 people? Many of us as we age wonder how we had the energy to link to one person, given the complexities in forming an intimate connection with another person.
As a logical matter, we say that 2 heads are better than 1 for many purposes. Business theorists tout the innovative energy found in collaborative teamwork. Schools seem to periodically push the desirability of "group work." We do have a general sense that for many purposes we should pull together, and the "we" is a group larger than 2. But the same reasoning apparently does not apply to interpersonal intimacy.
I am puzzled. do you have any hunches?