I realize that in various articles I have debunked some of the myths regarding consanguinamory. However I have decided to do this myth debunking article in order to bring to the table all of the anti-incest arguments so that I can set the record straight in a single article. This is both for the benefit of any exsanguinamorous readers that might have made their way here, and for the benefit of any consanguinamorous people who still think that they are somehow ‘broken’ or ‘bad’. Living with our sexuality is not easy when society does not accept us for what we are, and it’s a sad fact of life that people really do need to be educated before they can learn to accept us as a part of normal life.
MYTH ONE: Incest is always abusive
No, it isn’t. Abuse is when one partner in the relationship decides to do any of the following:
- Domestic violence; hitting other people is always wrong unless it is self-defense or defense of one’s family.
- Controlling behavior, like telling the victim what to wear or how to think.
- Emotional and verbal abuse, like making the victim feel bad about him or herself, yelling at the victim.
- Monitoring and spying, for example demanding e-mail passwords, reading phone texts and such like so the person has no privacy or personal space.
- Restriction of resources, such as money, household items, Internet access… etc
- Playing mind games and making the victim believe that they are going mad.
- Blackmail and threats.
- Making the victim believe that nobody is going to believe him or her if abuse is reported.
- Isolating the victim by making it impossible for him or her to see family and friends.
- Making the victim dependent on the abuser, like stopping him or her from working and therefore creating financial dependency.
- Sexual abuse and rape.
Sadly, many people, especially women, fall prey to these kinds of people. These behaviors are very wrong regardless of whether a perpetrator is related to the victim or not. The point I am making by highlighting is that many people have incestuous relationships without any of the above taking place, in fact, within consanguinamory such abuse is RARE. Think about this rationally, why would any person who loves their family member subject him or her to any of the above? Logically, they wouldn’t do any such thing. If anything, such abuse may even be LESS LIKELY within consanguinamory, because of heightened love and respect for family as family. It is possible of course to get an abusive partner within ones family, but it should be abuse that is illegal, not consanguinamorous relationships.
Over the years I have spoken to many people within consanguinamorous relationships, and almost all of them have been in happy and functional loving relationships. Those who weren’t fully happy were simply sick and tired of having to hide their love all the time, or had been caught and were fearful that they were going to be reported to police. A situation that leads to depression in some people.
Of course, that isn’t to say that they never argue… consanguinamorous people argue about all the same things as exsanguinamrous people do; money, kids, what color to redecorate the living room, what type of takeaway to order… etc. But this is a far cry from the relationships being abusive, this is LIFE for all couples regardless of what type of relationship it is. I’m sure that polyamorous unions and gay couples, not to mention heterosexual monogamous exsanguinamorous people have similar disputes and love each other to pieces the same as consanguinamorous people do.
I will add here that incest is as normal, as functional and a loving as any other relationship, it is simply different. Abuse CAN occur, but that doesn’t mean that it will. Assuming abuse is not a valid reason for banning such relationships. Furthermore, it makes it near on impossible for anyone who IS in a consanguinamorous abusive situation to come forward and get help. Think about it; if a brother and sister enter a relationship and they are both happy at first, and then the brother gets jealous of some guy his sister is friends with at work and he assumes she is cheating and then starts isolating her, spying on her, controlling her, and hitting her… how can she go to the cops when she will be charged with incest and also thrown in jail? She can’t, and so she suffers in silence, she doesn’t have the same protection from abuse as a woman who is in an exsanguinamorous relationship. The very law that people say protects people from abuse by their relatives is making it harder to stop any actual abuse cases, as well as making loving couples live in the shadows… this alone should be reason enough to strike the anti-incest laws from the books.
MYTH TWO: Incest is abnormal and perverted
Says who? It is a known fact that a small minority of animals are quite happy to mate with close relatives, which puts a rather large kibosh on the idea of it being unnatural. It should be no surprise that this rare tendency also exists in human beings. As for it being perverted… well perverse is in the eye of the beholder and entirely subjective. I personally find watersports and scat to be deeply perverse because it makes me feel ill… but that is just my personal opinion, somebody else might feel very differently. Other people can do whatever they like as long as it doesn’t involve or affect me. What business is it of mine if the guy next door likes to have golden showers? None at all. So what business should it be of anyone else’s if I were to get back together with my dad at some point? Again, it should be none of anyones business. My point is that we all have different sexual preferences, likes and dislikes… and we should all respect each others right to have these preferences without fear of ridicule, condemnation and persecution (legal or otherwise).
MYTH THREE: Incest always leads to deformed babies.
This is demonstrably untrue. Consider ancient Egypt, the royal families were very heavily inbred, and only after a large number of generations did congenital abnormalities show up in the resulting children. One such example is the boy-king Tutankhamen, his ankle was deformed and he had to use a walking stick (lots of canes were found in his tomb which he used for this very reason). It is not clear if even this was caused by the inbreeding, but it is a possibility that we shouldn’t discount. His sister/wife also miscarried twice…. but you must remember that this is after OVER TEN GENERATIONS of inbreeding with first degree relatives. Such an example is highly unlikely in this culture today.
That is of course not to say that increased risks don’t exist, they do and they should be explored and minimized where possible. I would be strongly in favor of genetic counseling being made available for any and all couples worried about the genetic health of their future offspring, including consanguinamorous couples.
We must also bear in mind that we do not make illegal breeding between other high risk groups, some far higher risk than incest. For instance we do not ban women over 40 from having children despite the far greater risk of downs syndrome babies, and we do not ban others with known genetic diseases from breeding with others who have or who carry the potential for those same genetic diseases.
Furthermore, we do not know what kind of abnormalities may result in inbred children. People always assume the worst kind of deformities or severe retardation but that is actually pretty rare. The imperfection may be so minor as to never bother it’s recipient. It may be as minor as needing to wear glasses, so minor that the imperfection is considered normal within the general population. Sure, the risks of SOME genetic defect is greater than for the general population, but not so great as to cause some catastrophe each and every time. Risks for unrelated couples is around 2% chance that something goes wrong, for first cousins this risk increases to about 3-4%, for second degree relatives the risk is about 6% and for immediate family it is around 9%. So yes, increased risks do exist, but it is nowhere near as high as the authorities would have one believe.
I would like to add at this point that I believe that consanguinamorous couples who do not want to take this risk should be allowed to have kids via other routes. Sperm banks for example, or surrogacy, adoption, or for those who are also polyamorous, perhaps breeding with a third party who is part of the triad.
Also, just because somebody is in an incestuous relationship, does not necessarily mean that they will breed. It is impossible for many couples, for instance middle aged and elderly consanguinamorists where the woman is going through, or has already gone through menopause. This is also applicable to mother/son couples a lot of the time as she is menopausal while he is in his prime.
Reliable contraception is widely available to everyone, how easy is it to walk into a shop and buy some condoms? Other more long term and reliable methods are available, such as birth control pills, the coil, implants, cap and spermicide, and of course the more permanent methods of vasectomy or having ones tubes tied. These are options to consider to prevent unwanted or badly timed pregnancy, and this applies to all people, not just consanguinamorous people.
MYTH FOUR: Incest perverts and distorts the family dynamic
I can see why an outsider looking in might believe this, because it appears that we abandon the family role to become lovers… nothing could be further from the truth.
When we become involved with a family member, we do not cease to be family, we add the romantic bond to the existing family bond. It doesn’t confuse the the two roles, and these roles are not in direct conflict as many believe. To be honest they go hand i hand quite well. I know this from personal experience, my dad was still my dad, I could still ask for his advice or take on something in the daughter role, and yet still be his partner and lover simultaneously. For me the contradiction simply wasn’t there. To love somebody as both family and as a lover is the double-love bond that makes consanguinamory unique and special, without the family side to the bond relationships feel empty to many people for whom it is a sexual orientation. Trust me, I’ve tried exsanguinamory and it feels wrong for me.
From personal experience I say this: Incest ENHANCES the family bond, far from destroying it, it serves to be an add-on, and it creates the most beautiful, complete and all-encompassing form of love that one could ever wish to experience. In short, the reverse is true of what people think!
MYTH FIVE: Incest is an act of desperation, nobody would seriously want to do that.
Again this is based on a misperception. It is based on the idea that because incest is apparently disgusting (it is to some people, but clearly not to everyone), people who engage in it do so because they are unable to find an unrelated partner. The assumption is that incest happens because the people involved are ugly or have some other defect that causes them to be unable to mate with others.
This is so far off the mark that it isn’t even funny. When I was younger I had offers for anything from casual sex to long term interest… I still get men chatting me up frequently (I’m in my 30s), but I am simply not interested in those men. I am a good looking woman for my age and I could still have my pick of men if I chose to… but that is not what I choose. I want my dad, not some guy who looks at me in a bar and says ‘fair rack you have there, I’d take you home any time’… yes, some random guy did actually say that to me, as if my breasts were my only alluring feature… to make it worse, I had my two year old child with me at the time (before anyone asks, conceived with by exsanguinamory with an ex-partner). Needless to say I turned this sordid proposal for casual sex down, he was very very drunk though in his defense, I found the whole thing pretty repulsive. To be honest his attitude made me feel dirty. I’ve had serious offers from other men, some of them good looking and clearly enamored, but for me exsanguinamorous dating just doesn’t feel right for me, the family bond is missing and for that reason it feels incomplete.
The point here is that I am more than capable and able to attract other men, I do so without even thinking about it… but the attention is unwanted. It’s nice to know that others fancy me… but that is a far cry from wanting to be with them. I’m consanguinamorous and they just don’t have what I want. Really, you could give me the most gorgeous looking guy in the world who has a few million quid in his bank account and a mansion with servants… I would still choose my dad over anyone else. He isn’t with me any longer, but he is the only man in the world I want for a serious relationship.
MYTH SIX: Incest is the result of mental illness
Actually, no it isn’t. Incest is the result of mutual attraction and love between two people who happen to be closely related… how is that any different from how exsanguinamorous relationships start? In reality it is no different except for the fact that the two people concerned are related!
It is possible to get two people who are involved in consanguinamory who also suffer from mental illness, but the illness is not caused by consanguinamory, and furthermore, consanguinamory is not in itself a mental illness. Gay people were also once accused of being mentally ill… and now that has been disproved.
The only mental illness that consanguinamorous people are likely to have is depression, as a result of having to hide their relationships and the stress of the fear of being caught and possibly prosecuted.
MYTH SEVEN: Incest is a sin
This depends on what religion you follow and your definition of a sin. Most religions condemn consanguinamory between anyone more closely related than first cousins. Yet it should be noted that religion and state are very separate entities and should always remain so. Just because somebody defines something as a sin does not mean that it should be illegal. For instance, adultery is a sin, but not against the law.
Most people consider consanguinamory to be sinful… but if you’re a Christian, there is just ONE verse in the whole Bible condemning it, in Leviticus. Yet also notice consanguinamory NOT being condemned elsewhere in the Bible. How did Cain reproduce if he was not part of a polyandrous triad with his parents? Did you know that Abraham and his wife Sarah were a bro/sis couple? How about Lot and his drunken threesome with his two daughters? None of this is condemned in the Bible. Furthermore, Jesus had absolutely nothing to say on this issue. For me it is simply a non-issue.
There is no valid reason for incest being illegal. It might well be against other peoples sensibilities but that is a far cry from it being necessary to legislate against it. A lot of the objections that people have to consanguinamory are based on misperceptions and misinformation. That’s the reason this blog exists, to dispel such myths and ensure that people get our side of the story too. Incest is beautiful, it is nothing to be ashamed of, or afraid of. It is time to end the discrimination and hate, it is time to open hearts and minds to us. We are nobody’s enemy, we simply want the right to live our lives in peace and comfort without fear. Surely this is not too much to ask?