The Consanguinamory Reproduction Study… The results are in!

Okay folks, as some of you likely remember I was running a study on consang reproduction, to determine the risks.

There were 133 respondents, 18 of which had to be eliminated from the study either because they had no children, or gave logically impossible answers. This leaves us with a sample size of 115 couples who between them had 226 children (136 Girls, 88 Boys, 1 Intersex and 1 Gender Undisclosed)

Sixteen of the couples who responded were themselves the result of a pregnancy between first degree relatives, and three were the result of cousin pregnancies.

22 Children were born prematurely, 18 were overdue, two pregnancies were aborted, and the remaining 184 were born ontime.

21 of the children suffered from an illness, 14 of which the participant specified as a ‘common illness’ These included allergies, asthma, autism. Four of the children suffered from illness or disability which the participant is certain is down to inbreeding, and five are unsure what caused the illness as it is uncommon.

16 children had learning disabilities (16/226 x100 = 7.1%), 9 of which were also specified as children suffering from an illness.

The total number of children with ANY problem at all is 21 + (16-9) = 28

This gives brings us to the overall illness and disability rate of : 28/226 x 100 = 12.4%

However, if we were to exclude children suffering from common illnesses (eg. asthma) and learning disabilities (eg. ADHD) which occur frequently in the children of regular couples, we get (28-14)/226 x 100 = 6.2%

If we include only the four children who we are absolutely certain suffered illness as a direct result of their parentage, we get 4/226 x 100 = 1.8%

Confounding factors:

  1. Is my sample size too small to take a true reading? It could be possible, 115 couples is not a very large sample, however, I believe it is sufficient to take a snapshot.

  2. It is possible that parents of children who are disabled due to inbreeding have not found their way to the community, and therefore my study? If so, this could be a biased sample.

  3. Is it possible that some mothers felt uncomfortable seeking adequate medical care during their pregnancy in case the parentage of the unborn child was discovered? This could have lead to more health problems for the mothers and children in question.
  4. Is it possible that mothers who are pregnant via consanguinamory take better care of themselves throughout their pregnancy to try to mitigate the believed extra risk associated? In my study: a. Only 16 (7.1%) did not eat a balanced and varied diet, b. 13 were exposed to a toxin of some kind during pregnancy (only 8 (8/226 x 100 = 3.5%) of which were tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs, the remainder were environmental toxins and medications). This would indicate an overall careful attitude during the pregnancies.

2nd Generation inbreeding calculations

42 children were born from parents who were themselves conceived by related parents.

Of these children:

8 had a common illness

4 had learning disabilities, bringing the total to 12.

12/42 x 100 = 28.6%

The risk more than doubles for the second generation. This proves the theory correct that the risk increases with each subsequent generation of inbreeding. While nature allows for consang relationships and children to be born from them, it does not allow for many subsequent generations to practice inbreeding. It goes a way towards explaining the gene pool of Ancient Egypt, where up to one in 5 pregnancies was conceived via consanguinamory, and yet there was no mass disability… there was enough outbreeding to balance that and thus maintain the health of the gene pool. However the royal dynasties of that empire had to marry within the family for religious and political reasons, leading to inbreeding depression, disability and eventual sterility in the offspring.

Bottom line

The overall risk of a child being unhealthy in the first generation is 12.4%, in real terms a one in 8 chance. This may sound like terrible odds, but when you consider that this figure includes common chronic conditions which are also becoming increasingly prevant in the regular population also, and that when these conditions are excluded, and we include only uncommon problems (which are more likely to be expressed with two copies of the same defective gene), and problems we know for sure are a direct result of consang reproduction (only 1.8%), the ADDED risk is a mere 6.2%. Odds are strongly in your favour that nothing is going to go wrong as a direct result of consanguinamory, providing that your parents are not related.

The news is however not so great for those who are involved and wish to have a family whose parents were also close relatives. The risk is more than double for your prospective children than it was for you as generation one. Based on this I would advise against second generation inbreeding. That said, you can still have children, just not in the way you may have imagined. You have options such as using a sperm bank or surrogate. This way you get the best of both worlds, a safer way to have children.

I can’t tell anyone what to do, but what I can do is bring you the facts and trust that you now have the knowledge to do what is right for your circumstances. There has been very little research into the field of consang reproduction, professionals won’t touch the subject with a bargepole, and considering the illegality of incest in many places and the sensitivity of the subject, people will only come forward anonymously. What I have provided here is not absolute nor irrefutable,  it is simply one body of evidence which needs to be joined with several more bodies of evidence in the future. The figures I calculated may be approximate only due to the relatively small sample size, but they do give us the general idea.

As a final note, I would like to thank the couples who took part in the survey, you’ve done a great service to other consangs who are sitting there debating whether or not to have a child. The information you provided could help those couples to make the right choice for them.

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Being on the scale and in a regular relationship.

It probably comes as no surprise to people here that many people who aren’t strictly regular are in, or have been in regular relationships. Yet the people this applies to are quite varied, some are only interested vaguely in one particular relative and are quite happily otherwise regular, others are full consangs pretending not to be in order to remain hidden, and others are in between, some are in a regular marriage. This essay exists to explore the unique trials of people on the scale and what issues they may face when they attempt regular relationship.

Regular-Flexibles

A regular-flexible, as someone who usually prefers to date outside the family will have the least problems in a regular relationship, no real surprises here. He or she may have a passing interest in one relative in particular, perhaps a sibling, parent, aunt or uncle, maybe a cousin, but their feelings will not often be strong enough to persue this, at least not strong enough to contemplate giving up a regular relationship they’re already in because they still have some Westermarck Effect, albeit weakly. Their just-off-regular status would be invisible to anyone but themselves usually, and would pose few problems for them in their dating and marriage to regulars. For all intents and purposes, they could pass for regular unless presented with circumstances in which consanguinamory would come to the foreground.

Regular-flexibes are able to meet the demands of regular relationships quite easily, they can form intimate bonds with people they only met weeks ago at a work gathering or on a night out at the pub, a feat quite impossible for somebody high on the scale. Consanguinamory will always remain a passing interest to the regular-flexible that doesn’t hold a strong disgust to them as it would a true regular. Many of them may think that they merely have a fantasy fetish and perhaps indulge in the copious amount of pornographic material on the subject without necessarily exploring the possibility seriously.

Bisangs

Bisangs are able to hold down regular relationships, many of them marry. They are able to have feelings for relatives and non-relatives in equal measure. That said, their couplings with regulars are not necessarily unproblematic. Unlike the Regular-Flexible, the true Bisang has no Westermarck whatsoever, and so any feelings that he or she has towards relatives will be amplified to the same degree as anyone higher on the scale. An unattached Bisang would have no problems with dating a relative, and no problems dating a regular.

That said, when a Bisang marries and settles down, he or she will often wonder ‘what if?’ and may wish to seek answers to this part of their sexuality. While some will, as regular-flexibles, be drawn to pornography and fantasies, others will want to have a more comprehensive overview of why they feel the way that they do, and so will seek genuine answers.

Usually, the Bisang is interested in at least one relative, and this is not a passing interest or just a sexual fantasy, but interested to the degree that they wished that they had a relationship with that relative, or wished it was possible at the very least. The older bisang may regret opportunities missed or consang relationships that didn’t go as expected, while the youth may simply worry about the possibility of getting found out and give themselves all the reasons under the sun why they should not persue it.

As the Bisang has the ability to form and keep regular relationships, even over long periods of time (at least one I know personally has been in a regular marriage for over 20 years!) It is understandable that many choose to find a mate outside their family and settle down. Let’s face it, it’s less problematic in the sense that they aren’t looking over their shoulders or constantly needing to hide. For many bisangs it must seem like a no-brainer. That said, such marriages are not without some complications, many bisangs are left with a longing for what the cannot have for whatever reasons, for some it was fear, for some it was that the object of their desires was already happily settled down or uninterested. Whatever the reason, the unrequited Bisang will often feel like they have missed out, while the requited one will either be happy in a consang relationship, or happy in a regular one while retaining fond memories of what has passed.

Consang-Flexibles

The consang-flexible can just about get by in a regular relationship, it is not their preference, but they can just about make it in regular dating with a lot of effort. They aren’t the type usually to play the field, and then when they do date regulars they often go for people who remind them of their relatives, or they may date others on the scale if they can find such a person online.

A consang-flexible will always feel like there is something missing in a regular relationship. They are capable of loving a regular, but not so easily as the bisang or regular-flexible, that person must be something special for such a bond to be created. The bond that the consang-flexible requires for them to function adequately in a regular relationship is actually quite similar to the double-love bond experienced by consangs, and so typically they must be able to relate to their regular lover in a family-like way. Undoubtedly, the consang-flexible can feel more than just friendship towards the regulars they date, but the feelings are rarely as strong as those they hold for much desired relatives.

It will come as no surprise as this has the potential to cause much problems in a regular relationship, the consang-flexible may appear distant, preoccupied and unattentive, even though that is not how they want to be.

Full Consangs

Full consangs sometimes go into dating because it’s expected of them, or in order to hide their true sexual identity. Unable to feel more than friendship for these sexual partners, they will experience a sense of isolation and loss, and the relationships will feel hollow and empty. The regulars they become involved with will often feel confused when their partner withdraws and becomes uninterested in sexual contact or otherwise maintaining the relationship. For this reason, such relationships do not often last for longer than a year or two, as there is only so long that we full consangs can maintain the facade.

The unrequited full consang who has not yet had contact with the community yet may not understand why all of his or her relationships are failing, why they always feel empty. They may believe that there is something wrong with them, especially when they have such strong feelings for certain relatives. Those of us who are requited however, we know what we are, and sometimes find ourselves dating regulars more to keep our orientation hidden. Either way, it leads to much confusion for the regulars involved, and for this reason it is something that from personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend.

Are you on the scale and in a regular relationship?

If you’re bisang or regular-flexible, this may not be a problem for you at all, many people in these categories can and do have lasting and loving relationships and marriages with regulars, so don’t panic! The bottom line is that you and your partner are truly happy and satisfied in the relationship, and if you are, then kudos to you 🙂 If you aren’t, then you have the same choice as anyone else in a struggling relationship, find a way to solve the problem to the satisfaction of both of you, or part ways as amicably as possible.

If you’re consang-flexible, then you’re likely to have experienced significant difficulties. While the issue is down to your orientation, it is very important that you do not blame yourself, it isn’t anyones fault, you didn’t ask to be as you are. Are you in love with the regular you’re with? If you are, then you’ve something to work with, especially if you’re able to relate to them in a family-like way, and well done if so 🙂 If you’re not, then I’d advise you to be honest with yourself and set that regular free to find someone who can give them what you can’t.

If you’re a full consang, my advice would be to stop pretending to be regular, you may be able to fool others for a time, but you can’t fool yourself, and in the end it will only cause pain for both yourself and the regulars you date. Believe me, it’s not a path you want to go down, I’ve been there, done that, and found out the hard way that it doesn’t work because it can’t work. This may sound harsh, but I wouldn’t be doing you any favours by avoiding the issue. It is better to be alone and true to yourself than equally alone with somebody you can never connect to on any level beyond friendship and having to pretend to be something you aren’t every day.

Should I tell the regular I’m dating that I’m on the scale?

I’d err on the side of caution here, find out their opinions on consanguinamory in general before announcing your sexual identity. You might want to look up some news stories where consenting adults have been prosecuted for incest and say that you don’t think they should have been dragged before the courts because they were consenting adults… and see what kind of response you get. Obviously make sure the story you pull out is a good one, like, mentioning the Pladls would be a bad choice for a start. If he or she reacts with disgust, then you know that it’s best to keep it to yourself, but if the reaction is positive then you might want to open up gradually. Of course, it’s entirely possible that you hit the jackpot and they reveal that they’re also on the scale to some degree, in which case you won’t have to lie to each other any more. Like I said, I understand the need for honesty in a relationship, but testing the waters before outing yourself is the most sensible thing to do, safety comes first.

I know my relative is on the scale because they’re my ex-partner, but they’re dating a regular now, does this mean that they won’t be happy?

It all depends on where they are on the scale, the lower they are, the greater their chances of a meaninful relationship and thus success. If they’re higher up, then the chances of it lasting are slim. Whatever happens, be supportive as a family member, and be a friend as an ex.

If you’re still in love with this person, then the above advice still applies, and if the relationship fails, then you should wait a respectable amount of time before attempting to renew ties. Let’s face it, if you’ve just broken up with somebody, the last thing on your mind in jumping straight into another relationship.

I’m a regular, and I think my partner might be on the scale… what should I do?

First of all, don’t panic. I know that the realization may be a bit of a shock to you, and you’re probably wondering what he or she is even doing with you if that’s the case, but as you realize if you’ve read this far, there are many points on the consanguinamory scale and that many of them do not mean that your partner would be incapable of a loving relationship with you.

If you know for sure that they’re on the scale, talk to them about it in a calm and nonjudgemental manner and see what they have to say. Your partner may not want to come forward and admit their orientation to you, probably because they are afraid of what you’re going to think of them and the assumptions that they fear you’re going to be making. You need to be reassuring and accepting in order for him or her to come out to you.

Should you discover that they’re a full consang, and that they are only able to feel friendship for you, then you should end the relationship calmly and reasonably. Let them know that this is not because you are rejecting what they are, but that because you cannot meet their needs any more than they can meet yours. It is very important that you do not place blame, it is nobody’s fault. I realize that you will be hurt by this, and it will be hard to accept, but this solution would be best for both of you.

If they’re lower on the scale, then the chances are that they love you. The question is, does it matter to you that they’re on the scale? It is like a heterosexual being involved with an opposite sex homoflexible, bisexual or heteroflexible, or a vanilla dating a BDSM enthusiast, or a mono dating a poly. If your partner loves you, does it matter to you that there is a different aspect to their sexuality that you may not fully get?

If you’re on the scale yourself, you will understand their needs by default, if you’re not, then I understand it can be hard to wrap your head around. The most important part is honesty and communication. As lovers, it is natural to share in each others sexual desires, it may help in some cases to spice things up in the bedroom by doing a bit of role playing, this may work a treat for someone low on the scale, but not necessarily for someone higher up.

Conclusion

Being on the scale and in a regular relationship can present many unique challenges, for your and your regular partner. While this can work for many of you, it cannot work for all of you, it depends entirely on where you are on the scale. My main advice would be to be true to yourself, because you will never be happy if you are not.

Incestophobia from other sexual minorities

It came to my attention this evening that our friend Keith had a particularly ignorant anonymous comment sent to him which I thought I’d weigh in on, click the link to read what he had to say about it on his tumblr. It reads as follows:

“You people are hurting the LGBT community by trying to be part of it. LGBT people have been through enough without weirdos that are attracted to minors and weirdos that say its ok for a mother (the woman that gave birth to you!) to f— their sons or daughters. Please do the LGBT community a favor and stop mentioning us as if we are the same as you creeps.”

First of all, nobody in our fledgeling movement is advocating for adults to be allowed to have sexual contact with minors, we find that every bit as appalling as the next person. The reasons for this are obvious: sex with minors is wrong because it causes harm, often devastating harm that can take the victim a lifetime to overcome. What we ARE advocating for is for all consenting adults (by this I mean two or more persons over the legal age of consent), whatever their individual orientations should be allowed to have the relationships of their choosing without interference from the law or anyone else. What part of consenting adults do people not understand? It’s not rocket science.

Second point, nobody has said that consang is the same thing as gay, they are two distinctly different types of orientation. Homosexuality is a preference for a partner of the same sex, Consanguinamory is a preference for a partner within ones family unit. Consangs may be straight, bisexual or gay (just like regulars), and homosexuals may be regular, bisang or consang (just like heterosexuals). Clearly these are two very different communities and nobody is trying to pretend otherwise.

What we ARE doing is showing that there are some stark similarities to how gays have been persecuted (both historically and in modern times in some countries), and how consangs are persecuted now. The LGBT community knows it’s own history, the struggle they went through to be recognized and respected. We’re barely off the starting block and we need allies who understand what this type of persecution is like. For this reason we reach out to the LGBT community with an offer of friendship and solidarity. We may not be the same as you, but we sure as hell have to put up with the same type of ignorance and moronic comments from joe public. Incestophobia is every bit as wrong as homophobia.

We’re also not trying to be a part of the LGBT community, we’re simply trying to be allies, we have our own separate movement and our arguments stand on their own. That said, we would welcome allies, including LGBT allies. It may also be worth mentioning that since some Consangs are also LGBT, it makes little sense for the LGBT community to shun them and label them as ‘creeps’. This overlap is something that the Consang community and the LGBT community can work together on, so that the people that both orientations apply to can feel welcomed by both communities and get the support that they need. Right now these people are welcomed with open arms by us, but they’re shunned by the wider LGBT community… that’s something that needs addressing by the leaders of the LGBT community.

I actually find it quite saddening that a member of the LGBT community has felt the need to post something like this, complete with ad-hominem style attacks. I hope this person comes to better understand us and our community, and realizes that we’re not a threat to his or her community.

This brings me to my third point: supporting consang rights will NOT harm other minority groups. If we are to argue that all consenting adults should have the same rights, then we can’t turn our back on each other just because we find another group distasteful. You see, we don’t have to necessarily agree with each others personal choices in order to support peoples basic rights, we simply have to believe in the principal that all consenting adults should have the same rights. Equality cannot be called equality unless it applies to everyone. What’s right for one person may be quite wrong for somebody else, and that’s okay, we’re all unique individuals trying to find our way in the world. Stand apart and attack each other and we stand in the way of equality for everyone. However, if we stand together, united we are all stronger, and we can change the world for the better. We need to be building bridges together and working together for the greater good, not launching textual missiles at each other.

So today, in the face of this hateful and ignorant comment, I once more call for solidarity with other minority groups. Be our allies as we will be yours.

Lets Celebrate Consanguinamory Day, April 28th

This year is historic for our community for a very special reason, it is the year that we celebrate Consanguinamory Day for the very first time! It is a day to be set aside especially to celebrate consang relationships and orientation.

The origins of this holiday are from our forum, Kindred Spirits, where we were discussing the idea of having something similar to Valentines day to call our very own. We discussed possible dates for this occasion, and then put it to the vote. While very few people actually voted, we believe that the poll did show a preference for 28th of April. The reason? Because it is symbolic of double love. Valentines day is celebrated on the 14th of the 2nd month, so we just doubled the numbers, which gives us 28th of the 4th month.

So, how do we celebrate this fine occasion? As I said, it’s very much like Valentines day, we can of course buy our loved ones the kind of things we usually would at that time, chocolates, booze and perfumes and the like, perhaps dining out, or a nice takeaway meal late at night. HOWEVER, I might make a small suggestion… if you’re going to buy flowers, how about choosing the one flower that most symbolizes our love, lillies. We are after all Friends of Lily, so it is most fitting. Even if you’re a single consang, you can still buy some lillies for the house to celebrate your sexual identity, I already did!

You know what’s even better? It’s a way to flaunt it innocently, people who are not in the know wouldn’t know what those lillies mean, they’d just think ‘oh, somebody’s gotten a nice bunch of flowers’, and might assume it’s a birthday or get well gift or something.

Finally, I’d like to wish all of you a happy Consang Day! Stay happy, stay strong, and celebrate your love in style! From this year forth, let every 28th April be celebrated in this way. It’s high time we begun celebrating something uniquely ours, and this is it!

Orientations are NOT to blame for tragedies

I’m writing this as a pre-emptive strike against those who would seek to use the Pladl tragedy as justification for condemning consang people. We all know that there are those waiting in the wing to say ‘See, this is what GSA can lead to, now do you see why incest is illegal?” As you already know, people who come out with such things clearly don’t know what they’re talking about, and this article explains why.

I think for most people, it’s a given that people can be good or bad people, independantly of their sexual orientation. For example we all know good and bad people who are heterosexual, and good and bad people who are homosexual. It will come as no shock to my readers that good and bad people also exist within the consang population. Just like the rest of you, we experience the best and the worst that life has to offer. We’re really no different.

I’ve encountered literally hundreds of GSA and Non-GSA couples online, and guess what, none of them has gone on a homicidal rampage. Most of them are either happily settled in their relationships, or are struggling with the same issues every regular couple does, and yes, some of us are coping with the extra stress of secrecy. Guess what? That is NORMAL LIFE. What happened with the Pladls is NOT REPRESENTATIVE of consanguinamory, it’s every bit as anomalous to us as it is to regulars.

Look at it another way, if a man shoots his wife and children, do you blame regular relationships, or do you condemn what he did and try to understand why it happened? Of course we all know, we all do the latter. What I’m asking all journalists to do, if they do choose to write about the Pladl tragedy, is to afford us the same respect. Our community do not condone or excuse the terrible actions taken by Steven Pladl, but we will try to understand it.

My point is that killers come from all kinds of backgrounds, and from all sexual orientations. Ones orientation has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with ones ability to kill. This killer was a consang, but he was not a killer BECAUSE he was consang, he was a killer because he was unstable, likely because he was driven to it by condemnation, and legal and media harassment. So before you point the finger, think about what I’ve said today.

The Pladl Tragedy

Well folks, I was intending to make a post very soon but I did not expect it to be about something so awful as this. Some of you may be aware of the case of Steven and Katie Pladl, a father and daughter who were separated when Katie was put up for adoption as a baby. They were reunited in 2016 after finding each other on social media, and became lovers, Katie gave birth to a baby in September 2017. All sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it would have been had it not been for the interference of law enforcement and the media.

You see, they were found out and charged with incest by North Carolina, and then as per usual the media had a complete dipshit frenzy about it and went on what could only be described accurately as a witchhunt. Basically, the whole thing was to condemn this couple and treat them as nothing more than a commodity to sell newspapers.

These actions had a price, and a hefty one at that. You see, the pressure of the media attention and impending criminal case against them, for what ought not be a crime to begin with, must have tipped Steven over the edge. He killed Katies adoptive father, Katie, their child, and himself.

Now, please do not misunderstand me here, I in no way condone a murder-suicide. Steven obviously did a very bad thing here, BUT, we must understand the probable reasons WHY he did it. Can you just imagine the pressure of simultaneous legal and media harassment, not to mention the danger that would bring into ones life? Think about it, could this man walk down the street without somebody making comments about him being an ‘incest dad’ or some other such stuff? His face had been printed all over the media after all. Furthermore, his daughter, Katie, was prohibited from contacting him and was staying with her adoptive parents after she was released on bond pending trial. By extension, he could also not see the baby he had with her.

I think this would be enough to tip many people over the edge. So while we can and should condemn his actions as morally wrong, we can at least have some human empathy and understand why he did what he did. He was a man who could see no other way out, either for him or his daughter. It is obvious he was not thinking straight when he committed this crime, and it is equally obvious that it was a crime of passion.

The question is, after all this has happened, do people STILL think that harassing and persecuting people by using the law and media as weapons is the right way to handle unpopular relationships? What harm were they doing to anyone? Oh, that’s right, none at all. Had they have been left alone in peace, none of these people would be dead. The Pladls would have raised their child as a couple, and they’d have been happy. Instead, there are four funerals for the family to plan. What a tragic waste of human life this is. The authorities and the media have blood on their hands, they may not have pulled the trigger, but they forced the hand that did by inflicting so much emotional pain that he felt he had no other choice.

How many more people must suffer before these laws are changed? How long until the father/daughter couple across the road are just that, a couple deserving of equal courtesy and respect as everyone else? How many more people must DIE before these injustices will stop? Yes, DIE. Discrimination can be lethal, and this proves my point.

Family Dynamics and Consanguinamory

In society there is a lot of misunderstandings about us, and at the root of many of them is the assumptions about how consanguinamory would effect family dynamics. Of course, these wrongful assumptions are often used as justification for keeping our orientation illegal. While I could use this webpage to go over why incest should be legal, I’m not going to. I’ve covered these logical arguments extensively already in many of my other essays to the point that were I to repeat it all again already, I would do so at risk of sounding like a parrot. What I will do here, is to outline how our relationships ACTUALLY impact family dynamics. As always, I draw from my own experience, and from my years of communicating with other consang people.

Double-love and family dynamics

Myth: Incest destroys the family bond, you have to stop fullfilling your usual family role in order to become lovers.

Reality: People are able to have relationships very successfully in which they are both family and lovers simultaneously.

People who enter into consanguinamorous relationships are fully aware of what they’re doing, and they’re fully aware of the fact that they have the task of balancing their existing familial role with a romantic one. Contrary to public opinion, this is usually not a problem, with most people finding the balance that works best for them. People don’t go into such relationships thinking that they must ignore their family roles, and even attempting to do that would be a recipe for unfullfillment and problems. Many people new to consanguinamory do wonder where the right balance is, and to be honest there is no clear cut answers, some people balance more towards their familial role, some more towards the lovers role, some are more of less central, and for some people this fluctuates depending on the circumstances in their lives. None of these answers is right or wrong, but in all cases both roles are present and active in whatever balance suits the couple best.

Actually, I could explain it another way to make it easier for regulars to grasp the concept. If two people are close friends who have grown up together (perhaps they were neighbors and/or went to the same schools), and at some point they want to become more than just friends, do they cease to be friends because they took the next step? Of course not, they do not lose each other as friends, that friendship continues into their romantic relationship.  Actually, their pre-existing friendship is a pretty solid foundation on which to build a long term relationship. This is a known fact and nobody questions it, in fact in many friends to lovers situations, most people find it beautiful or cute, with some people wondering what took the couple so long to realize!

Our double-love is much like that, except that it is more intense. In our case it’s family to lovers. Just as regulars may use a pre-existing friendship as a base, we use an existing family relationship as a base. In essence we become more than family. The added intensity to our relationships comes from the increased amount of similarity that we share with our family members, such as mannerisms and behaviour in general, likes and dislikes, ways of thinking and being. All these things create an especially strong bond which isn’t really akin to anything else, despite the similarities of friends to lovers with family to lovers in the way in which these relationships are formed.

Relationships Breakdowns

Myth: If you break up, you’ll destroy the family bond you have. You can never go back to being just family.

Reality: Consang couples who break up CAN keep their family relationship intact, depending on why they broke up.

Assuming that consang people cannot continue in a family role just because a relationship has ended is quite narrow minded, and just not true. While it is true that things can never go back to exactly the way that they were before the relationship started, it is not true that it must end in disaster.

All relationships contain an element of risk, and things do not always work out the way that we had hoped or planned, but that doesn’t mean that its the end of the world. Sometimes, if the pressures of the secret keeping are too much for people, they decide to break it off, and after a time they can revert to being ‘just family’ while retaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.

However, if a breakup has been because of domestic abuse, cheating or other problematic behaviours, then the fallout is likely to be greater, just as it would be for our regular counterparts. And yes, sometimes this CAN lead to relatives becoming estranged. Nobody would want to continue to be in a relationship with an abuser, and so sometimes people have to go no-contact if this happens to them.

My point is that the course of consang relationships is very much the same as with the mainstream, sometimes things end well, sometimes badly, it depends on the people involved and their level of emotional maturity. I think all of us in the community know that there are certain risks we take to embark on this journey, and as long as people are making informed choices then this need not be an issue.

The sanctity of family

Myth: People NEED a non-sexual relationship with their relatives to preserve the beauty of the family unit

Reality: There is beauty within consanguinamory too, and while most people prefer to keep their familial relationships platonic, this doesn’t apply to everyone.

Behind this myth is the idea that if we persue our relationships, then we must destroy the inherent beauty present in a familial relationship which is platonic. The argument goes that because people rely on their families in times of crisis, especially relationship crisis, that this is somehow lost of we are dating within the family.

While it is true that we can’t turn to family members about any problems in a consang relationship (unless they’re aware and accepting, and that is a rarity), it isn’t true that a romantic relationship between relatives is less beautiful than a platonic one. It’s a matter of perception and what works for the individuals involved. To us, our family romances are the most beautiful thing in existence, we become literally everything to each other. So while MOST people in society wouldn’t want to have a relationship with a relative, it’s certainly not true that all people must have purely non-sexual relationships with all of their relatives. People are all different, and what works for one doesn’t for another.

Accepting the beauty of consanguinamory does not in any way tarnish or diminish the beauty of regular relationships. It’s just part of natural diversity.

Confusion

Myth: People who have these relationships are confusing two very different kinds of love, therefore they need help to work through their mixed up feelings.

Reality: People who have these relationships are aware of the two distinct kinds of love, they have both kinds of love at the same time, that’s our double-love. We don’t need help, we need understanding and acceptance

From a Regulars point of view, it must seem confusing, their Westermarck Effect does not allow them to see properly how it all works, and so they make the understandable assumption that we must have things mixed up in our minds. More than that, our decision to date a relative in itself is largely incomprehensible to them, they cannot imagine juggling the familial role with the romantic role. In this case, the confusion is not ours, but theirs.

As stated before, you do not need to destroy a family relationship in order to build a romantic one, rather you use the existing family relationship as a base on which to build the romance.

Consent

Myth: People can’t consent to sex with family members, especially their parents because of the power dynamics.

Reality: Adults are able to consent to sex with any other adults, which includes their relatives.

Consanguinamory does not involve coercion, grooming or power play. It involves human beings who know exactly what they are doing and why. Adult offspring are perfectly able to accept or decline any advances made by a parent, or make advances of their own. Contrary to some of the silly ideas floating around society, people do not remain ‘forever children’ to their parents, or at least in a healthy family they shouldn’t. Once somebody is an adult, they’re able to make up their own minds about who they date. You wouldn’t tell a 20 year old woman not to date her 40 year old boss at work (unless either of them were in an existing monogamous relationship already), so why tell her she can’t date her 40 year old dad if he’s available? Is she a grown woman able to make her own choices or not? Think about that.

Conclusion

Consanguinamory doesn’t interfere with family dynamics, not in the way people think that it does. If two people are happy together and enjoying a harmonious relationship, how could this do anything but enhance family life? Denying people the right to these relationships, tearing apart families when it is discovered and removing children from loving homes… THAT destroys family dynamics. The legal attitude towards consanguinamory is nothing more than tyranny of the majority, it’s hypocrisy, and it causes tangeable harm. This can be changed, by tackling incestophobic prejudice wherever we find it. Once people become more aware of the reality of our lives, what we’re REALLY all about and the oppressive cultures we’re often forced to live under… then things will start to change.

How flexible is human sexuality?

There has been some discussion on Kindred Spirits about whether or not peoples orientation can change over time. Could somebody start out as bisang and move up the consanguinamory scale if they ever have a consang relationship? Could they move down the scale if they have a regular one? Interesting question to be sure. That said, let’s explore the evidence. Remember, this essay is not intended to give a definitive answers to these quetions, rather it’s purpose is to simply brainstorm what we do know and see in which direction the evidence is pointing. Without further study, none of us can claim to know for sure (even though we may be certain about our own experiences).

FACT ONE: Many people, once having a consang relationship do not wish to go back to having regular relationships, however this doesn’t apply to everyone.

The debate we’ve been having is whether or not these people who would not now want a regular relationship have moved up the consang scale and become MORE consang as a result of having a relationship with a family member, or whether they were ALWAYS fully consang but did not realize it. The truth is: we don’t know for sure. It could be one way with some people and the other with others. The evidence at this point doesn’t point either way, it’s a matter of interpretation.

HOWEVER, what of the people who have had a consang relationship and still feel that they can date regulars? These people clearly did not move anywhere on the scale, they were, and still are bisangs. Could this point to human sexuality being more fixed that we would think, or could it point to it being flexible for some but not for others? Interesting thoughts to say the least.

FACT TWO: People appear to be unable to consciously change their orientation, even if they want to.

It’s a well known fact that people cannot just change what they are. How many people of non-standard orientations have wished at one point or another that they were ‘normal’? How many gay people underwent conversion therapy, only to find that it did not change their orientation? A lot to be sure. I see no reason why our orientation would be any more or less flexible than it is for other orientations. This appears to indicate that sexuality may flex a little, but not a lot.

FACT THREE: Older people appear less flexible than younger people.

Sexuality may be more flexible when people are in their teens and early 20s. How many people do you know who, for instance, may have experimented with a same sex partner in their youth, and then gone on to be strictly heterosexual for the rest of their lives? Same with consanguinamory, there are a lot of people who may have had something with a sibling as a teenager, only to later date outside the family and ultimately settle down and marry.

Does this mean that sexuality is less fixed when people are younger, or does it only mean that younger people are more willing to try different things because they’re still learning about themselves and the world around them?

Are older people more set in their sexuality because they’ve experimented when they were younger and discovered what their sexuality has been all along, or were they flexible when they were younger and became less so as they aged?

Bottom line

Ultimately, this appears to boil down to the nature/nurture debate. I am inclined to think it’s a bit of both, that sexuality is at least in part hard wired, but that positive and negative experiences can help shape around the edges. Those of us who are consang or bisang have always lacked Westermarck Effect, I think that part is for sure hard wired. That said, where land on the scale could be slighly influenced by our experiences. Would I have turned out bisang as opposed to fully consang had I have not had such a remarkable relationship with my dad? I’ll never know, but I do know that I would never have been a regular because I am not wired up to have Westermarck Effect.

Being a Single Consang

This issue effects quite a few of us, and it’s something I haven’t really written a great deal about. For this reason (and the fact that it’s been raised on Kindred Spirits recently), I thought it’s something I should weigh in on.

There are two main reasons why a consang may be single, the first is that they once had a consang relationship and it has ended, and the second is that there is nobody in the family who is both interested and available.

In both cases, some people attempt to plug the gap by dating regulars, something I did myself for a time. While this approach may seem sensible at first glance, it often is a pretty bad coping strategy for people who are exclusively consang. It’s like attempting to get rid of hunger by eating a cookie, it works only momentarily and then you feel emptier than ever. That said, it can and does work for some bisang people who are equally happy to date regulars.

So, what DOES work?

Sometimes, one of the best strategies is to communicate with others who understand, who are in the same boat as yourself. There is always something to be said about communication and mutual understanding because it leaves people feeling less isolated than they would otherwise be.

Others may cope by throwing themselves into their work or hobbies and leaving themselves no time to contemplate their desires. This could work for some, at least for a time, depending on how strong the desire is (and it is usually pretty strong for most people in my observation).

My personal way of coping is through my blogging and my activities on KS. At least if I can’t have what I want, I can help other people.

Ultimately though, there must be some acceptance that we don’t always get what we want, even when we once had it. It is difficult, because nothing can be substituted in it’s place, and the longing never disappears. This means that accepting it is about all we can do, and while we may not be able to change our orientation (and nor should we want to), we can work on feeling worthy and self-acceptance if those have been issues.

I have found that, at least for myself, having a complete acceptance of my sexuality has allowed me to be no just fully comfortable with it, but also in itself made it easier to cope with the fact that my dad is no longer my partner. Understanding consanguinamory and how it works as an orientation has enabled this necessary shift in perspective. It has given me the insight I needed not just to understand how and why we got involved in the first place, but also to understand all the extra pressures on consangs which caused the breakup. In many ways this has made me a far more empathetic person, and has fascilitated the work I now do in the community.

What doesn’t work?

Escapism through drink or drugs certainly doesn’t work, and in the long term can only be destructive to ones physical and mental health. Any relief those bring only last as long as the effects of whatever substance has been taken. Anyone suffering from substance abuse should really be seeking medical attention to combat the addiction before they can work on the reasons why they did it in the first place.

Trying to convince yourself that you’re regular also will not work, you may be able to convince everyone around you, but ultimately you can’t hide it from yourself, at least not in the long term. In these cases the suppressed desire will ALWAYS return, especially when you’re around the person you’re attracted to.

Trying to be something that you’re not, EVEN IF YOU ADMIT TO YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE LYING can cause you misery. Trust me, I know because I did it, I knew in my own mind what I was, but I dated because it was expected of me. It didn’t pan out too well to say the least. Now, even with a small amount of pressure to put myself back on the market, I still won’t. If I can’t have my dad any more then I must accept that even though it hurts, but I am no longer open to being an actor for the sake of pleasing others. Rather, I now just tell people (if they ask why I’m STILL single) that I’m just ‘not interested’ in dating and that ‘there are other thing in life’, and leave it at that. People get the impression that I’ve just had a run of bad luck with men, and since I have no plans to out myself, I’d rather it stays that way.

What are your thoughts on being single?

Many people work on the underlying assumption that being single is in itself somehow bad or some sign that you’ve failed at life or something dramatic like that. Nothing could be further from the truth! Far better to be by yourself than be in a substitute relationship with somebody you can only connect to on the most superficial of levels. If you genuinely CANNOT date regulars, as I’ve discovered I can’t, and no consang relationship is available to you, then being single may be your only viable option. This does NOT make you in any way a failure as a person, it just means that there is nobody available.

Having a relationship is a wonderful and positive thing, provided that both people are happy and coping well with the stress of all the secrecy. However, if one of you is seriously struggling, with secrecy stress, or guilt and this remains unresolved, then it can cause problems and may even lead to breaking up, as happened with me and dad. If this has also happened to you, you’re not alone, and it doesn’t mean either of you failed, it meant that you run into a problem that you were unable to resolve.

Remember, when we enter consang relationships, we’re basically on our own unless we found the community before even entering a relationship. Not knowing information you were never taught is not a deficiency of you or your partner, it’s a deficiency of information that was not provided to you at the time. You’d hardly berate yourself for not knowing other unknowns, so don’t beat yourself up for not knowing what type of problems you were likely to encounter as a consang.

Now, on the other hand, if you’re a consang whose love was never requited, again if you cannot for whatever reason date the relative that you’re interested in (maybe they’re in a committed monogamous relationship with somebody else, maybe they’ve already told you they’re regular… etc), then again, you have not failed at life. This is just one of those things that happens.

In truth, most people at one point or another have an interest in somebody else who is for whatever reason unavailable to them. We see that all the time, person A wants to date person B, but person B is already with person C. In the case of regulars, this often passes after a while and then they move on and find person D, who is available. For consangs it is very different, there usually is no person D. This is because there is only a small sphere of people in our families, and we wouldn’t necessarily want to date all of those, in many cases we would view a few of them as incompatible, and only one or two of those that we would be open to would likely have the same orientation as ourselves. So please don’t feel like you’re a failure if you’ve been unable to date, the circumstances are damn hard!

Conclusion

The take home message today, is that it’s absolutely okay to be consang and single, it doesn’t make you a failure and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. Work on your self acceptance and be happy with who you are.