Consanguinamory Study now CLOSED

The Consaguinamory Study is now closed having been run for one year. There has been 164 responses in total, which is a larger sample size than I expected, so thanks to all those of you who participated in the study. I will be publishing the results within the next few days once my analysis of the data is complete. After that point my usual posting habits will resume 🙂

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When is it safe to let my guard down?

This is a very pertinent question for most of our people, for the simple reason that revealing ones identity to the wrong person could be potentially catastrophic. While the very safest option would be to never give out any real-world details, in some instances it may be appropriate or even desirable to do so.

So, when can we trust? Difficult to answer definitively, but I think we should run by this checklist before deciding to open up to somebody or not:

  1. How long have you had an online friendship with this person? Obviously it’s different sharing personal data with someone you’ve known for months than somebody you pretty much just met. I’d advise erring on the side of caution, and not sharing any such information with people until you know them well enough. Depending on how much you communicate, it may be a matter of months, or it may not be for years.
  2. How much have they revealed about themselves? If you’ve been chatting for a while then you should know a great deal about them. If they aren’t forthcoming about themselves then this may indicate a red flag. Genuine friendships go two ways.
  3. Has this person ever asked you for identifiable information out of the blue? If so this is a red flag, the person may well be a cop.
  4. Has this person asked for ‘pics’ [of a sexual nature or depicting nudity] out of the blue? If so then this person is extremely likely to be a fetishist, so if you’re looking for an offline friend in the community who really understands… this isn’t it.
  5. What sort of vibe do you get from them? Don’t disclose anything to anyone you suspect of being a spy or a possible pervert. While gut instinct is not 100% accurate, it’s often reliable and you should trust it when it senses danger.
  6. Have you had any video chats with the person? If you have, you’ll be able to tell more about them than just writing on a screen, and you’ll have more of an inclination as to whether or not they are the type of person you would want to reveal any personal info to.
  7. Why are you thinking about sharing such information? Do you plan on meeting this person offline?

This list covers when you shouldn’t reveal your information to another person online, but I think we need to talk about journalists as well. Journalists are duty bound to keep private their sources details, HOWEVER, this duty can be overturned by courts who may subpoena the information from a journalist against their will. Such a journalist would likely go to prison for refusing to answer the demands of such a subpoena. This puts him in the impossible position of either keeping his honor and integrity intact, or obeying a court order. For this reason, if you do choose to share your story with a journalist, do as I do, do it on an anonymous basis only. Not only does this protect you, but the journalist as well. He can’t be subpoenaed for information he doesn’t have in the first place. You’ll discover that most journalists who work for a company will be unable to meet these requirements because of the contractual constraints put upon them by their employers. However, many independent journalists are far more flexible in this regard, and these are the ones to work with.

There is another category of person with which I would operate on the exact same basis as a journalist, and that is anyone doing studies on us. It is very possible to answer questionnaires and even write about your circumstances in detail without having to provide any real world information. To anyone conducting a study, it should be the information that you’re going to be providing that is important rather than the identity of the participants. Again, NOT giving out such info protects both yourself, and the person doing the study.

All in all I think most of this is just applying a bit of common sense and caution. It’s a system which allows you to share info with others when it’s safe but at the same time to protect yourself. Whatever you choose to do, stay safe out there.

Patience (for talking with those who don’t accept us) – By Rainy

Rainy posted this at Kindred Spirits, with her permission I’ve reposted it here.
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Many people in my life see changing others like “chiseling statues from stones”. But people aren’t stone, we’re flesh and blood. Using a chisel & hammer doesn’t change us, it harms us. People say “you can’t force someone to change”. And you can’t.

But, we can help people change themselves.Genuine change doesn’t happen overnight. People won’t if they’re not ready – and some never are. We can’t force a captain to change course, but we can be a lighthouse in the darkness. The rest is up to them.

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Know Yourself
Ignorance is like a dark cave. If we don’t truly know ourselves, we can become as lost in it as those we guide. Our judgment becomes obscured by buried feelings, false conclusions we were taught and internalised, and personality aspects we never explored. We become vulnerable to uncaring people who perceive that which we’ve hidden from ourselves, and who won’t hesitate in harmfully using their knowledge. Knowing yourself can be scary, because our faults aren’t pretty and accepting them isn’t easy. But, if we don’t accept them, we can’t address them nor truly love ourselves for who we are. They don’t disappear, and self-ignorance becomes one of them.
My approach is:
* Remember I’m not as bad – or good – as anyone says I am. Or, if you prefer, “Memento Mori”.
* Reflect (but not dwell) on my past & motives. Why did or didn’t I do certain things? My past gives context to my present.
* Remind myself “no one’s perfect, I am as deserving of love & understanding as other people”.
* Imagine I’m observing a stranger, who’s really me in disguise. How do I feel about this stranger and her behaviour? Can I say “I accept & love you for who you are” to that same stranger? If I can’t, I’ve a problem, because I can’t run from myself.
* List my virtues & vices. Vices are often virtues which have fallen from grace.
* List my likes & dislikes, so I know I’m not tabula rasa. Blank slates don’t have opinions. I don’t need an opinion on everyone, and I’m sure not everyone wants to hear them, but I like knowing where I stand & what I enjoy.
* Talk to others about self-acceptance, especially if I’m having trouble. Sometimes a stranger can see what I can’t.
* Practice self-honesty by confronting what I fear about myself (if this is scary, that’s okay; you’re ready when you’re ready). My fears may or may not be justified, but there’s only one way I can know for certain.

Like so many things, self-acceptance grows with time. If you already know yourself though, then…

Be Yourself
We change others by being who we are. Isn’t that something? People naturally imprint on each other, it’s a way we learn. When you’re true to yourself, people see you aren’t ashamed of who you are. We can’t “be ourselves for others”, since being yourself starts with yourself and finding dignity with yourself, not awarded by others. Dignity isn’t avoiding things “beneath our station”, but realising our station doesn’t reflect our worth as human beings. Confidence encourages acceptance, even if we’re not popular, because it says “my validation derives from the worth of my beliefs, not popularity”. The brighter we burn, the more others see this.
My approach is:
* Remind myself that, if I can imprint on others, others may imprint on me if I’m not self-aware enough.
* Stand up for what I believe in. There’s nothing wrong politeness or compromise (usually both good things), unless I’m compromising myself.
* Be honest & forthcoming about my fears, doubts, & flaws. Not everyone respects them, but everyone has them. That being said, I feel there’s nothing wrong with being private & keeping personal secrets. So, I do my best balancing both.
* Have boundaries. There’s a line others shouldn’t be allowed to cross, that’s self-respect. Saying “No” may take practice (I didn’t learn right away), but it’s not wasted effort. Self-sacrifice isn’t wrong, but if I don’t have a self in the first place, then what am I sacrificing?
* Practice speaking my mind. The internet’s a good place for this (safety in anonymity), but not the end – it’s a beginning. Balance this with thinking before speaking.
* Ask myself: What are my goals? what do I want in life? what is my PASSION? Others may have opinions regarding my limits, but only I can know my limits and learn how to exceed them!
* Find someone who I needn’t hide myself from, so I get accustomed to being who I am. Encouragement doesn’t hurt!
* Find outlets for self-expression; they aren’t limited to painting, music, writing. My ‘art’ is whatever calls to me.

Those who know us become surrounded by who we are, which is why we should…

Live By Example
When we strive for better selves, others follow. Treat others as you would wish to be treated! Be a force others aspire to! Part of our struggle is being judged with no consideration, compassion, nor tolerance. By raising the bar we not only encourage others, we dispel negative myths about who we are. Even if others don’t follow our example, we won’t have lost anything by bettering ourselves; living by example isn’t exemplary if no serious self-improvement is sought.
My approach is:
* Be responsible. Remain aware that my actions aren’t unimportant. No matter how small, others may learn from them – good and bad. No matter how small, once done they’re done forever – and raindrops make the ocean.
* Remember that, when I’m alone “no one would know”, my true character is revealed.
* Set realistic & attainable goals for self-improvement.
* Observe the virtues of others I admire; if others can learn from me, then I can learn from others. There’s nothing wrong with asking advice so long as I’m not dependent.
* Read, study, and contemplate ethical & moral questions. Not finding answers is okay, people have been asking these questions for years.
* Reward myself & others for doing good deeds & having good traits – they need not be tangible rewards. Express gratitude. If I see someone doing good deeds, say “thank you”. This positively reinforces good behaviour, and good deeds shouldn’t go unrewarded nor unnoticed. Or if you prefer, “credit where credit is due”.
* Be mindful of my actions, they may become habits (an ounce of prevention… well you know the rest).
* Put my ethics & morals into practice; if my words don’t match my actions, something’s not right.

We mustn’t forget, perfection isn’t possible. What’s possible is…

Acceptance
We want change, but we can’t force change. When pushed, they push back harder. We must accept and love people for who they are *without* expectations, otherwise they won’t have courage to *exceed* expectations. Acceptance gives people time for consideration without pressure. Acceptance says “no matter what you believe, we won’t mistreat you” – a powerful message for people who’re terrified that we herald civilization’s downfall. Acceptance is like planting a seed and not burying it with bricks. Part of acceptance is not disrespecting them; treat people seriously. This may not be easy, but most people won’t engage others who don’t consider their views, treat them condescendingly, or invalidate their life experience. Especially regarding name-calling, we shouldn’t begin nor reciprocate such behaviour.
My approach is:
* Give others the ‘Benefit of the Doubt’. Like saying,” could you maybe explain that further? Perhaps I’ve misunderstood you.”
* Consider my past faults & flaws. No one’s without them, were’ not so different in that regard. I don’t blame myself for having made mistakes, so I shouldn’t blame others for making them too.
* Be considerate & respectful, and not condescending. If I wouldn’t like being spoken to or treated like this, then you probably wouldn’t like it either.
* Never stop trying to understand how someone thinks & why, and what their life’s been like. Our past needn’t define us, but can give context to who we are and what we do.
* Not forgetting that acceptance doesn’t mean “I don’t mind being denied my rights”, but rather “I won’t hate you for being different”.
* Identify ways in which we’re similar, and go from there. Afterwards, I consider their differences, and how I can learn from their different point of view.
* Find their attributes which are wholesome, or that I admire. Historical figures aren’t bad starting points, because sometimes proximity makes a difference.
* Never forgetting “thank goodness we don’t have to be roommates!” …unless I DO have to be roommates. Then I concentrate more on my other pointers, because it’s probably just as difficult on them as it is on me. With time, this still works for me.

If we can’t expect others to be adults, we shouldn’t join them. Instead, we can “lead the classroom”, which requires…

Patience
I’ll be especially forthcoming: patience is painful. If you’re a parent, you already know this! Regarding our opponents, patience asks us “journey with this person, who dislikes you, disagrees with you, resists truth, has no respect for you, and might never accept you” – a journey as long as it is logically labyrinthine, as some minds resemble Escher’s drawings. Patience is offering a hand every time they fall, gently presenting “another way”, but never saying “I told you so”. When your patience is tried – and it will be – take a breath, distance yourself (if not impossible). There’s nothing wrong with this. Patience grows as we exercise it; we can’t expect having much at first. We aren’t less deserving of our own patience, and we’re not any less for being human.
My approach is:
* Remind myself that impatience not only doesn’t help, but usually makes things worse. With time, patience extended becomes patience reciprocated. Impatience isn’t different.
* Keep my mind focused on my long-term goal & reward. For me, this is “helping you reach your HIGHEST potential as a human being”, to the best of my ability. What this potential may be, we can find out together.
* Distinguish between patience and idleness/apathy, as well as impatience and drive. For me, patience is “I know my current limits, I accept I’ve done all I can – for now”. Drive is “No matter how long it takes, I will find a way or I will make one”.
* Consider subjects I’m ignorant in, or when I’m not eloquent, or my inconvenient personal traits – and how others are patient with me despite all this. What seems easy for a musician may not be for a carpenter, and vice-versa.
* Not forgetting that patience doesn’t mean “I won’t resist abuse”, it means “Honest mistakes don’t deserve punishment”.
* Recognizing my emotions when I feel frustrated, so I can put emotional distance between myself and a situation. I must be careful not to avoid nor bury my feelings (repression makes things worse), but neither let them influence my temperament nor calm. And in the end, my frustrations can also lead me to a greater understanding of myself.
* Engage in patience-developing tasks, like gardening.
* Love others. Truly and deeply LOVE them, for who they are AND for their amazing limitless potential as human beings, with no expectation of reciprocity. Love them for how far they’ve already come and for where they could possibly go. For the good they’ve done, and wrongs they haven’t done. For who they’ve loved. Love for love’s sake.

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Pulling weeds and plowing earth isn’t easy, but gardens don’t bloom without care, and won’t bloom quicker even if we don’t like waiting. I don’t ask this of anyone who doesn’t want to; we must be willing to do this for others as much as ourselves, if not more. I strongly feel these virtues shouldn’t be pursued as “Ends justifying Means”, but as ends themselves. That we shouldn’t accept or be patient with others expecting a long-term reward, but because ALL human beings are deserving of what we’ve not been given. So, no matter what course our movement takes, we’ll have done good.

I believe understanding is love’s key; our relationships are built on preternatural understanding, and the stigmas we face stem from misunderstanding. But, my beliefs can’t speak for everyone, and my approach may not work for everyone. There are many paths in our world; this one is mine. I’m grateful for anyone who wishes to walk it with me.

When people understand “We’re not so different. We’ve the same fears. We’ve the same dreams. We want the same things in life”, I feel then and only then will we have equivalent rights – regardless of law.

Thank you for reading. I hope my words were helpful, and that you’re well.

Rainy

Self-Realization

For some of our number, discovering that we have a crush on a family member can be shocking enough, but subsequently realizing that it’s much more than that is different altogether. This article is about these discoveries about ourselves and how to make the process of discovery and self-acceptance easier.

From my observations, most people tend to go through certain stages before they come to the complete realization that they are consanguinamorous. While each persons experience is unique, these following stages seem to happen.

 

Observation – the ‘WTF?’ stage

This earliest stage is characterized by complete shock and confusion at realizing that we are attracted to a family member. After all, we have been told from the get go by society that only sick disgusting perverts would ever even think it… and yet here we are thinking it. Understandably this can be quite a blow to a persons self-worth and can be quite frightening to some people.

Denial – the ‘this isn’t happening’ stage

This understandable reaction to the observation leads directly on to this next stage. Where we lie to ourselves and come up with all kinds of rationalizations for why we thought what we thought. We might blame too much wine that evening, we might say we are under a lot of stress because of work and therefore not thinking clearly, or we might say it was a one off stray thought that doesn’t mean anything. We might even say that since it’s ‘never going to happen in a million years’ that we should just ignore these thoughts. We sometimes go a stage further and deny to ourselves that we even thought about it. We might say to ourselves something like ‘it isn’t him I like it was the smell of his aftershave’ or ‘it wasn’t her I like, it was the dress she was wearing’.

It’s all done to cover up the truth about what we thought and felt, even to ourselves. We go to these extraordinary lengths to deny it because it protects our self-image, who we think we are as a person. Since we have been indoctrinated to believe some extremely negative things about incest, we believe that if we deny it and lie to ourselves, then we are not associated with any of that negativity.

Cracks in the wall – The ‘I can’t deny it any more’ stage

After a period of time, if a person is still getting feelings for a family member, it becomes harder and harder to deny their real feelings to themselves. This is especially true when these feelings are triggered every time the other person is around. So then the person has a choice: deal with the feelings or go to extreme lengths to deny them (such as avoiding contact with the other person).

If somebody decides to deal with the feelings, they have to admit to themselves whole heartedly that they’re actually having them. This means that they must, at this point, admit that a part of themselves is not as they thougth it was. This aspect of self-discovery is one of the hardest; we all wear masks for different circumstances, but the hardest masks to abandon are those we never knew we wore, those we believed were the real us. So this isn’t just a surface level change of perspective, it’s something at our core which is not as we once believed it to be. This in itself can be earth shattering for some people, as they try to understand what they are while mourning the loss of the previously invisible mask.

Questions – ‘Am I really a bad person for feeling like this?’

At this stage, some of the nonsense society has forced upon us begins to fall down. We begin to realize that we’re the same person we have always been, we just know ourselves a little better now. We start to ask ourselves whether society is right about incest or whether the prejudice just comes from ignorance and fear. We start wondering how many people like us are really out there, equally alone, adrift with no rudder and no map. We question our intentions and realize that we want the same things in life as everyone else, we just want those things with a family member. We may even be so bold as to approach the one we love, especially if they have given us any signals that they might be interested. We might even quit making negative moral judgements about ourselves without examining the evidence. We might do some searches on the Internet and find the community.

Self-Acceptance – ‘I’m consang and there is nothing wrong with that’

This final stage occurs typically when people have successfully been able to exorcise all of the negative beliefs they held about incest, and instead being able to draw from their own experience and from all that they learnt through questioning. At this point, a person can be completely comfortable with their identity.

Such a transformation changes people, it makes us less judgemental of others we don’t understand, it makes us ask questions about all kinds of topics, it makes us skeptical about what we think we know, about what we hear and see. At this stage, we learn to love ourselves again, and know that our minds are truly set free. These things are of great benefit to us, as it allows us to grow as people and become better for it. We might even become angry at the world for it’s injustices, and set up blogs like this one to tell it like it is.

 

So, how can we make this process easier for people who come into our community who are struggling?

Actually, we can do plenty. We can offer reassurance and acceptance, we can direct them to the blogs and to Kindred Spirits. We can even ask them the questions which they should be asking themsleves. We can let them know that they are not alone, show them that these relationships can be healthy and beneficial to both parties. But the single most important thing we can do for others is to LISTEN, sometimes in the process of offloading a person can spot any flaws in their line of reasoning that they may have missed when not trying to put it into words, and being able to talk to others of similar minds tends to help anyone with any type of problem.