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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.