Sunday, November 18, 2018

Hate Adds Pain to Genetic Sexual Attraction and GSA Relationships

I'm bumping up this entry I wrote a while back because there are people who need to see it.

Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) is a condition that may be experienced when close genetic relatives who have been separated for significant amounts of time, often since birth or before puberty, are reunited or introduced. It describes an intense physical and/or emotional attraction, and may include sexual attraction or be expressed through sex. The attraction may or may not be mutual. Even if mutual, not all GSA results in sexual contact. (Some people prefer the term "Genetic Attraction.")

Reading accounts or watching documentaries about those struggling with GSA feelings or related actions can be heartbreaking. There are many reasons as to why.

First of all, there are all of the problems that come with any attraction or any relationship. One person is attracted to someone else and that attraction is not mutual, or is mutual only for period of time. Relationships involve at least two different people who are trying to get along with each other and to deal with those outside the relationship as well. This can all be increased when the individuals are biologically related.

This new attraction and resulting relationship can bring change, disruption, and uncertainty to someone’s life, which is again something that may happen in general relationships as well, but can be more of an issue with biological relatives and the strong pull of GSA. This is especially a problem when someone has made a life and perhaps has existing vows with someone else. For example, a married, monogamous woman who gets in contact with a biological half-brother and finds herself strongly attracted to him and wanting to spend time with him, with or without sex. The time and attention taken from her marriage may be enough of a problem, but add sexual cheating to the mix, and it is even worse. She may love and value her husband, but feels this intense connection or draw to her half-brother that must be suppressed if she wants to have a chance to save her marriage. In that case, either choice is painful. Or what if she doesn’t want to save her marriage? What if it was dying before the GSA issue surfaced? Divorce is usually a painful experience anyway.

Some people experiencing GSA are disturbed by their feelings (or the feelings of their relative) because they feel a need to have that person in their life as a sibling, a parent, or a child, and they see sexual attraction or sex as incompatible with that role. They may feel like they finally had something they were missing for so long, only to have it taken away by unexpected or unwanted feelings and resulting tensions. Just the unfamiliar nature of these feelings may be bothersome.

In addition to all of the usual problems someone with an unrequited attraction or a mutual attraction between people can bring, one that is different with GSA is, of course, the legal, familial, social, and religious prohibitions imposed against sex with and marriage to close relatives. Incest between consenting adults is still criminalized in many places, including most US states, and bigotry against people in such relationships or experiencing such attraction continues to be perpetuated, sometimes in the most hateful and harmful ways.

This is sometimes compounded by a lack of solidarity. Even if there is a GSA relationship that didn’t break up any existing families, marriages, or relationships, and the individuals are happy together and able to share their lives in a functional way despite legal and social challenges, they may be rebuffed or judged when they reach out for understanding and support from others. Other people experiencing GSA who have decided not to have sexual relationship or have ended a sexual relationship or want to end their sexual relationship may disapprove of those who want to engage in or continue their sexual relationship. Or, if the GSA relationship is intergenerational, interracial [biracial with non-biracial], same-sex, or polyamorous, other people experiencing GSA may express disapproval based on one of those factors (in addition to all of the other people who disapprove based on those factors). Finally, those who have recently struggled or are still struggling for their own freedom to marry or just the basic freedom of association, such as LGBT people or poly people, may express contempt for consanguineous sex and love, including in cases where GSA is factor, or may be unsupportive of those in GSA relationships gaining the freedom to marry. Thus, instead of finding comfort from those who have also been targeted by those who want to control the sexuality of other adults, people experiencing GSA may find some more vitriol or at least a cold shoulder.

All of these things can bring pain and hardship to GSA relationships. Laws and public attitudes can be changed. There is some help for those struggling to deal with their feelings or the feelings of someone else or just to be themselves, but that help would be greatly aided by a change in the laws and public attitudes. That is one reason I call for solidarity. Someone who is struggling with GSA does not need the added burden of laws and finger-wavers that treat them as second-class citizens or with hate and impede their ability to make decisions in the best interest of themselves and their loved ones.

For help, see here.

[Edited for typing errors and clarity.]
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  1. One more typing error: the headline says "Genentic" rather than "Genetic".

  2. Perfect.
    It's obvious, GSA can be very painful, but this is not a good reason to hate people who are fine with their relationships or people involved in GSA in general.
    The people involved should decide what to do by themselves, no one has the right to influence their decision.
    "To act it or not to act it?"
    Only who is involved can give the right answer.

  3. From personal experience, GSA is a very challenging life obstacle to over come. Upon reuniting with my half sibling after 20 years of being separated since birth, we both developed strong feelings for one another on a spiritual level but had kept it consciously secret for a year until our next meeting where questions were asked and confessions were made. I had come to accept it whereas my sibling went through a depression phase and did not speak to me for a while. Now it seems they developed a cognitive dissonance to the subject and continues to deny previously held feelings, understandable. However, after I pointed out contradictory statements they had made in the past, now it seems their subconscious is protecting them from me by creating lies in their head and reasons to distrust me. In short, GSA must be handled very delicately and patiently by those experiencing the phenomenon.

    1. Anonymous, I am sorry to hear the difficulties you have been through. Thanks for sharing, Your input is appreciated.

    2. None of that was caused by her GSA. Her mental illness has been caused by massive amounts of internalized shame, it sounds to me. She feels too ashamed about being attracted to you to admit it to herself, so she's compartmentalized it. Since you tried to confront her about her denial, distancing herself from you is her new defense mechanism for avoiding her own shame. It's sad how society can cause someone so much trauma, just for falling in love with another adult.

  4. I got specific question for which I was unable to find an answer.
    I met my half-sister, two months from now, she is fifteen, and I have never seen her before. We developed strong feeling for each other, and I was feeling wrong about it, before I found out about GSA and reverse imprinting. I do love her, but I just can't be with her, before she is 18 (meaning psychically an adult, i dont want her to become psychically unstable bacuse of teen relationships with her brother).
    And my question about it is, does GSA disappear trough that time period, do I have a change to be with her in close relationship 3 years later from now? It may be rather silly question, but still it is the only one I need answer for... Thanks

    1. It is NOT a silly question. I know people who resisted their GSA attractions for a lot longer than 3 years, and still were strongly attracted to each other. When they finally got together in every sense of the word, they felt like kicking themselves for having resisted. But I do think it is wise to heed the age of consent laws.

      It is possible that if you spend time together regularly without sexual affection and have sex lives with other people, that your feelings for each other will transition to minimize sexual attraction, but I can't guarantee that.

      The bottom line is that it is a good idea to hold off for now.

    2. I agree, no matter whether you both eventually end up in a relationship or not, it is best to wait until she is older.

      As for if the feelings pass. I can't speak for everybody, and I myself count as someone with GSA or just someone who fell in love with his younger half-sister. But after ten years, my feelings have never disappeared. At times they have waxed and other times they have waned. But they are always there.

    3. It is more than wise to follow the legal age limitations.imagine driving without a liscence. trying to vote when you shouldn't.
      for the second, my personal opinion is it's like you are expecting your eyes to change colour or your nose to fall and a new one to take the previous place.

  5. I got an specific question, for which I really need an answer.
    I have been in gsa relationship with my half-sister, she practically seduced me, so I assume she has gsa same as me.
    But she is living with her mother, and we were feeling guilty and we cannot have normal relationship, because no one ciuld accept that brother and sister are dating.

    She recently breakup with me after month. But what a month! She felt in love with another, i cant blame her, beacuse she need normal relationship, and because she is with him right now, it gets quite weird between us, Im not sure what to do now, I love her, really, and if possible, want to spent my life with her, but right now im not sure if i have a chance or not.
    Will she still have gsa with me, even when she is with another?
    I was thinking if I left her for know for a couple of years maybe and give her some space and then try to get her back. Or should I stay with her? The question is, if i stay for too long, could she sanitized? And if I leave for that long and then come back, would she still have gsa with me? I can't decide whats the best to create healthy relationship.
    Thank you for answer, this is really important to me....

    1. That's a tough thing to go through. You need to think about what you want. She needs to think about what she wants. If those much up, then great. If she makes and keeps agreements with another that preclude you being with her, you have to honor that. But she could be train to find a way "out" of GSA. For some people, the drive to be together will always be there. I know people who fought against it for years before they finally admitted to themselves that they belong together in every sense of the word. Avoiding each other doesn't seem to help.

  6. Im going through a very painful situation.. I met my half brother about 8 months ago, and we had an instant connection and powerful attraction. We used to chat for hours and hours long, and made plans about getting together etc...until I told him something about my sexual identity. Now he absolutely hates me, he tells me the meanest most cruelest things and the sad part is that im still infatuated with him. At times he has apologized, and has shown me a softer side, but he is still abusive to me. I have retaliated sometimes sayng hurtful things to him as well.....but this is not what I want. I want things to be again like they used to be. Deep down I still have feelings for him Please advice me on how to fix this.

    1. Anonymous, I am so sorry you are going through this. Nobody should endure verbal or emotional abuse. It would probably be best if you emailed me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com so I can get more specific with you.

  7. I am in a GSA with my h/b. We have "crossed the line". I have been doing some online research about GSA and everything I come across is parental GSA (which grosses me or stories on how someone "got out" of a GSA relationship. I am a 40 year old widow and he has never been married....everything about our relationship has been thoughts are torn...I don't want to hide it, but I will. We have some friends that told us to "go for it"...which is encouraging.
    For the record, he never knew I existed and I was searching the adoption registries for my "sister"....ironically he is a ftm trans. I say ironically because this article is on marriage equality and you metioned somewhere about being looked down on by other people even in the LGBTQ community.
    I feel like I'm rambling at this point...I guess I was just wanting to ask if you had a good link to any forum or documentary that doesn't highlight parental GSA.

    1. First of all, congrats on your love and finding each other. I recommend Kindred Spirits, but it is any adult consanguinamorous relationships, whether siblings or adults with their parents, etc. Also, it welcomes people whether they were raised separately (GSA) or not. See here

    2. I forgot to add that I would welcome contact from you at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com

  8. Anon, I don't know if you will see this, but if you get notifications please consider getting in touch with me via tumblr. My page is:

    I also identify as FTM or along that spectrum and although I am most interested in cousin couples, I'd love to chat with you because I've always wondered if there would be trans guys in these kind of relationships. :) Thank you for sharing a bit of your story here! It was very interesting to me.


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