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.
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.
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.
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.
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.