Alright so I wanna get my logic system correct before I commit to an instinctual variant (although I'm fairly confident in sx/so at the moment).

One of the things that always confused me is the way each instinct relates to one another. I was told once that the second instinct was flexible, a take-it-or-leave-it sort of instinct that functions creatively. Another relation was that the second instinct supported the first, a form of currency. To me, this sounded contradictory. If the second instinct was meant to serve the first, how could one take it or leave it? Take sx/so. One manifestation of sx/so is that one relies on social status to attract a mate. If the one thing you relied on was taken away from you, wouldn't you feel insecure about attracting a mate? Another interpretation I've heard is that the primary instinct is the one people take care of first. Wouldn't you have to take care of your secondary instinct first so that you can achieve the primary instinct's desire? Or is it more of a prioritizing sort of thing?

Right now, I'm solidifying my system on a "means to an end" basis. What is your life goal and how do you go about achieving it? In this sense, I would be sx/so. I use groups to seek intense experiences. I think it might just come down to that.

sp/so = I use groups to preserve my security.
sp/sx = I use intimacy to preserve my security.
so/sp = I take care of myself to gain status/acceptance into a group.
so/sx = I use intimacy to gain status/acceptance into a group.
sx/sp = I take care of myself to attract intense experiences.
sx/so = I use groups to seek intense experiences.

The language could use some punching up. It also depends on how you understand instincts and how they relate to the enneagram itself. My current understanding of instincts at their most basic is:
sp = directly taking care of oneself
so = relating to multiple people
sx = excitement

I also believe the primary instinct never changes, but the secondary instinct could change. I think an sx/sp could at some point be sx/so if their sp is failing them. I suppose this could be what is meant by "flexible" and "take-it-or-leave-it."

Side note: this just occurred to me, but I'd love to see the way each instinct would manifest according to Merton's strain theory. Walter White turning to cooking meth to make enough money to take care of his family could be a manifestation of sp/sx* innovation.

Thoughts? These are more just random theories swirling around in my head than any meaningful insight into instinct.

* Not to say Walter is sp/sx, but this is a way sp/sx can manifest.