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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Genetic Sexual Attraction Can Lead to Lasting Love

This, below, was sent to me to be published by someone who is in a relationship that involves genetic sexual attraction. She is happily in a consanguinamorous relationship with her father. She had written this to someone else, and thought it would be good to be published on this blog, and I'm thankful for that.

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There seems to be little acknowledgment of the need of some of us to relate in a physical way in order to 'bond'. There is also no acceptance of the real maelstrom of emotions that grip us in reunion and find ourselves over the so-called line before we even understand what is happening to us. I fear that it makes it impossible for some people to reach out to people who truly do understand what they are going through at a time in their lives when they desperately need support.

There is a general lack of understanding that like ALL relationships... GSA couples have just as much chance of succeeding or failing as any other. The texture of our intimacy may be different but we are no more or less likely to make it work. I don't believe society in general can credibly back up a statement that 'conventional' heterosexual relationships have a better chance than any other in today's world.

There are a myriad of 'moral', 'social' and 'taboo' reactions to us but along with that comes the advantages no one outside of GSA can really understand. Our connection as a couple... our ability to effectively communicate with each other... to 'feel' what the other is feeling, to be willing to ease the other's pain because of our bond, making subjugation of our own individual agendas (or the need to be right at all costs) in order to put the other person's happiness before our own is a much easier task for us than it was in conventional relationships. Ego rarely gets in the way of resolving a conflict.

The bad? We cannot be public for fear of legal prosecution. We cannot socialize as a couple. We cannot share our happiness with people outside our home that are important to us fully (we can share some of it via our biological relationship, but not all). We are unable to stake a claim to one another if someone outside expresses a romantic interest in one of us. We cannot make our commitment to each other legal which has financial consequences should either of us become ill or die. (What we can do, we have done via our wills- but our pension plans and tax benefits cannot be shared)

Separately. we each have to control our reactions when others 'come on' to one of us. That also applies to how we share ordinary everyday details of our lives with the outside world-everything has to run through an editor in our heads. I think both my father and I have to work on our grief or loss over our original biological relationship and I think that perhaps that is harder for me than for my father. He had girls to raise as daughters; I had no father.

All of the things we work on separately we have to discuss together. It is important to both of us that as we navigate our own personal journey through loss of the original relationship or jealousy... that we understand each other's struggles and agree on how to handle the outside world. We both became very pragmatic about handling financial matters (i.e. our wills) knowing that we cannot change society, only ourselves. We've done the best we can under these circumstances to not let the outside world's judgment influence our commitment to each other legally or emotionally more than we have to.

Another area we went through together was incorporating our grief and our new connection into what we already understood and believed. Both of us were already socially liberal. The illegality put on GSA relationships was not that big of a hurdle. What was difficult, initially, was our long lasting guilt built up over the years created by the taboo of 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts'. We shouldn't have been attracted to each other, we should be father and daughter, we shouldn't 'act on it', we should try to 'normalize' our relationship etc., etc., etc. During this process we talked, talked, talked about our feelings and beliefs. We came to see our physical relationship as part of the healing process and as a replacement for all the things we had lost-interestingly we came to those conclusions long before either of us had heard of GSA.

It was only when we found a place for discussion that the idea of 'crossing the line' being somehow inherently wrong was presented to us. In hindsight I am glad we found our own understanding before being bombarded by our own community's judgment. I used to say I wish I had known about GSA before our reunion and perhaps that still applies to our first reunion when I was a teenager (so we could have avoided castigating ourselves privately for being perverts and running from each other without acknowledging to each other what we were feeling)... but not this time when we reunited as adults (by talking through our feelings together without influence of other GSAers who think 'crossing the line' is the end of the world, we were able to see what the physical aspect of our relationship really was-a way to bond and connect.

We decided for ourselves should our intimate relationship not work, we were as committed to maintaining our father daughter relationship as any two people could be-we did not have the doom and gloom predictors telling us it was impossible once the line was crossed. I now know, regardless of anyone else's experience, that we are right. You CAN cross the line and be okay. It CAN be a path to healing. You CAN retreat from it and stay in a relationship (I know several people who have without losing each other). You CAN be intimate with each other and committed to one another and be successful over the long term. The problem for a lot of people, in my opinion, is the conditioning of society and their inability to not be influenced by it; to make their own choices and personal journey through healing free of it. Pain is pain, and we all have it in reunion no matter what choices we make-the difference for me is this: will my pain come from regret at not honoring my feelings or from the healing process required of honoring those feelings as I work through the original loss and separation.

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Notice that while GSA almost always involves pain, the biggest problems facing this relationship have to do with prejudice and bigotry from those who have never experienced GSA, and envy and condemnation from some who have. The relationship works for the people who are in it. We should never use the law or bullying or discrimination to punish adults for finding love with each other. This relationship is one between capable, intelligent adults who were able to find other people. But they wanted each other more than anyone else. They should not have to hide. They should be free to marry. This is why we need full marriage equality sooner rather than later.

See this previous entry of mine.
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