“Janet,” 39, and “John,” 43, were kind and generous enough to be interviewed for this blog. As you can see from their ages, they are adults. Yet they are denied their rights to share the fullness of their love, sex, residence as lovers, and marriage. Why? Because they are brother and sister, brought together through Genetic Sexual Attraction.
FME: Are you half or full siblings?
Janet: We are full blood siblings.
FME: Describe your backgrounds.
Janet: I am from the south of England now living with my brother in the north of England, I was adopted at the age of 1 and raised by my adoptive family, but knew I had a 'blood' family from about the age of 5, although I never met them. John has lived in the north of England from the age of 11. He was raised by his biological mother with his younger three half sisters and younger full blood brother. Our father was off the scene from when I was 6 months, and neither me or my brother have had contact with him and are not really interested.
John knew of me all his life; he remembered when I was given away when I was 1. John was told to keep me a secret and not to mention my name to anyone. However this was a secret that he thought about every day.
My adoptive family explained to me I had another family when I was about 5. We met briefly when I was 17. It was difficult for me to deal with as I had problems and didn't get on with my birth mum. I was this secret to her new husband and her other children that turned up, and I guess she felt a bit embarrassed. John and I, at this time, really had no form of relationship or contact. I cut contact completely with the family and got on with life.
Years later, John contacted me. We met up one week after our first phone call, with others. The similarities and uncanny traits we had in our personalities were truly mind-blowing.
How would you describe the nature of your relationship? Are you living together?
We’re soulmates. We live together with my child, and John’s children stay weekends.
When did you first notice you had feelings for each other?
The first time I felt something was when we met 3 years ago. He gave me a hug that felt like a homecoming. I felt safe and secure, I smelled him and couldn't stop touching him; it was so intense. For the first time in my life I felt whole.
I wondered what was going on with me. I couldn't get him off my mind. After that first weekend had finished, we kept in touch daily by texts, emails, and phone calls. It was not uncommon to talk for 3 hours or more at a time. Every day we would tell one another how dearly we loved each other and how intense our feelings were becoming. Although from the second we set eyes on one another there was this electrifying sexual, mental and physical attraction, we never actually said those words because of the fear of pushing the other away. And hey, we’re taught it is wrong, illegal and immoral to have those thoughts, but as we now know we had absolutely no control to how we were feeling. It was never our intention to feel this way. I was fantasizing about him and felt a bit weird and freakish, so I googled, “help I'm in love with my brother,” that's when I found the GSA site, and realised I wasn't alone and wasn’t a freak, and there was reasons behind what I was feeling. Neither of us had heard of GSA, and would never have even thought of it.
We planned to meet up maybe a couple of times a year, but the intense hurt and need to be together was too great, and so we planned more visits. After one, the need to be together was so much stronger and we didn’t want to wait for the next planned visit, so John came to see me a couple of months after the last visit.
It got to a point I had to say something just so I would know if he felt the same. If he didn't, I would have had to move on somehow, but I couldn't carry on with it on my own. I got to that point of needing to know, and trusted enough that I wouldn't lose him by saying what I felt. He beat me to it and told me first. It had taken him 5 months to tell me how he felt, and it had been the most agonising 5 months of my life.
Confessing our true feelings was such a relief for the both of us. When we were parting at the airport, we hugged and just melted into one another, and from that moment we both felt totally and absolutely true love and knew things could never be the same again. We couldn’t live without one another.
FME: This is how an article in Marie Claire describes Janet and John’s relationship…
They both have dark hair, blue eyes, slim builds and slender hands. They’re both left-handed, love Indian food, a certain type of sweet, and real-life documentaries.
They finish each other’s sentences and often type the same thing when messaging…
Janet still uses the lexicon of a love-struck teenager: ‘The honeymoon period just doesn’t wear off. My heart still goes when he’s due home from work. It’s a very intense feeling.
I just need him.’
FME: Do you have feelings for other close genetic relatives that are anything like the ones you have for your each other, whether they are as intense or not?
How do you feel about the lovemaking side of your relationship? Is it a natural extension of your general feelings and love for each other?
It's a connection nobody would understand unless they are in a GSA relationship. The relationship is not all about sex; that's just another way of intense 'connection'. It certainly is a very emotional and spiritual journey of discovery.
Are you monogamous, in a closed relationship with each other?
Totally monogamous. We would not want anyone else, and no one could give what we give each other.
Does anyone know the full, true nature of your relationship and how did they find out?
We tried to tell our full-blood brother. We basically showed him the GSA site and left it with him for 10 minutes. His reaction was not the best. He was probably a bit shocked, but since then we’ve told him we have normalised our relationship. [In GSA terminology, “normalized” means having a nonsexual socialized expression of their biological relation as brother and sister.] We probably told him to gain some kind of acceptance. However, we realised this was selfish on our part, so no one knows the true extent of our relationship.
Our mother did question me and even pointed me to the GSA site, but we denied it. Still, she treats us like a couple in some ways.
If this was not illegal we'd have no problems telling people, including family. As it stands, everyone thinks we are just brother and sister sharing a house. We do get away to a different place about once a month for a weekend, where we know nobody knows us and we can be free to hold hands in the street and even cuddle. We would never dream of doing that in my own home town.
How did you start making love with each other?
It was planned. We'd only hugged previously. We both discussed what we wanted, then we met in a hotel room. We knew after that first connection in the hotel room that things would never be the same. We knew were going to be together forever.
The feelings were just so intense, it was like electric flowing from each other, we didn't need words; our bodies said it all.
Do you think close genetic relatives have some things better or some advantages that unrelated lovers might not? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?
I had issues all my life, never really trusting anyone. But meeting my brother, it's the first time in my life I've trusted someone 100% so you could say for me that's a definite advantage. It's difficult to put into words. Neither of us has ever felt love like this before. We get on so well and are similar in so many ways, i.e. tastes in food, the TV we watch. Both us have the same sense of humour. Unless you have experienced GSA, this would be hard to describe. I suppose the major disadvantage is the having to live in secret, and only being able to be completely be ourselves behind closed doors.
In many ways, our relationship feels as normal as any other relationship and we really can't see the problem in the way we choose to live. However, we are not naive and know in the society where we live this is not socially acceptable.
What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your love, especially other people who have experienced GSA? What do you say to people who say you couldn't possibly consent to sex with each other?
Do not judge until you've walked in our shoes. I'd like to ask: what actual harm am I doing to them? We are two consenting adults who are in love. If we lived in a country where this was legal I'm sure this wouldn't be such an issue. Our relationship together in our eyes is 100% normal. I respect other peoples’ views on our relationship as I probably would have also been shocked before I knew about GSA. You play the cards you’re dealt with in this life. We didn't expect this to happen to us and we deal with it the best we can. We are extremely happy and live life to the fullest. People who don't know us have commented on what a lovely couple we make. We just smile and giggle to each other. This was never said with my ex husband or to John and his ex wife.
Would you get legally married if you could, and if that included protection from things such as bullying and workplace discrimination based on your relationship?
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES and YES. We would love to get married and I hope one day, if not me and my brother, any other persons experiencing GSA would have this right.
Do you have any plans for the future?
We are continuously making plans i.e. holidays, new house, which country will allow us to marry and maybe emigrate. We plan to carry on being happy and living life to the fullest. Who knows what the future holds, but what I do know is that both of our futures involve us being together.
Have you met or do you personally know other GSA couples (that you are aware of)?
No, but would love to do so, to meet people who share this special kind of relationship.
What advice do you have to someone who has romantic or sexual feelings for a close genetic relative?
First off, make sure the feeling's mutual. If they are in a relationship or just starting I'd say it's the most intense love you'll ever experience, but it's something you have to keep secret, and there are times I want to scream off the top of the roof tops how much I love my brother. But I realise if we are to be together then we do have to keep it secret. You also have to tell lies [to keep the secret]. So if you can live with this and yourself it's a very special relationship.
You only have one life; live it to the fullest and make the most of it. I am with my brother and I'm the happiest girl alive.
Thank you to Janet and John for talking about their love.
Read here about other lovers denied their right to marry.
If you are in a consensual adult relationship that is forbidden by law or custom where you live, or you are denied your right to marry, and you want to share your story, contact me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com.
No adult should not be denied her or his right to marry the adult(s) she or he loves. They should not have to hide. Stand up for relationship rights and help us achieve full marriage equality.