Sunday, April 14, 2013

Diane Rinella Explains Why She Wrote Love’s Forbidden Flower

Thanks to a friend of FME, I was pointed to a recent blog entry by author Diane Rinella about what inspired her newest book, Love’s Forbidden Flower. She explains about seeing a counterculture film, and then finding the novel on which is based, and then deciding to write her own novel taking a different approach. (This entry was bumped up because I want more people to see it.)
As I did research along the way I learned numerous things, the most noteworthy were; romantic, consensual sibling incest is not a rarity, 10-15% of college age adults have had a relationship with a sibling, and the books that tackle the subject either contain justifying circumstances or are erotica.

That’s just people in their early 20s. The percentage increases as the years ago by, as separated genetic siblings are reunited or introduced, as people explore their sexuality, as siblings care for each other or comfort each other after a death in the family, divorces, breakups, or illness/injury; as siblings overcome their irrational fear of seeking what they really want and realize how compatible they are; as siblings share a residence initially out of need or convenience; as siblings look after each other in their golden years.
As romantics, we dream of the person we can share everything with. We exchange vows, some even prick fingers and share blood. What if you already shared something deeper with your soul mate on the most personal of all physical levels? Isn’t that beautiful?  We are told no, and I found that reality sad.

Yes, very sad.
Along the way I learned more about societies biases. Many say that consensual incest is illegal because of birth defects.

Yes, we call that Discredited Argument #18.
Let’s challenge that for a second. The birth defect rate of products of siblings is 7-12% higher than that of two non-related individuals. Most women give birth in their late 20’s to early 30’s. According to, a woman between 30-34 has a 3% chance of birth defects. With siblings, that increases by 7-12%. A woman of 44 (my mother’s age when I was born) has a 35-45% percent of defects. So if we base the bias on birth defects, should we not sterilize women when they hit 40?
Yes the argument is ridiculous. We don’t deny people we know have serious genetic diseases their reproductive rights, so why deny those rights to people without any serious genetic diseases?

But here is what really chaps my hide about the birth defect argument, other than the fact that anti-sibling union laws predate our understanding of genetics. People are capable of making intelligent decisions. A person who happens to be in love with a sibling is no less intelligent than anyone else. Let’s give them the credit to make good decisions.

Thank you!
Besides, since when do you have to be married, or even be in a relationship that everyone approves of, to have a child?

Good point. There are places where there are no laws against consanguinamory, just a ban on marriage. Also, even some places with laws against consanguinamory have no law against close relatives, such as a brother and sister, using artificial insemination or IVF to conceive a child using his sperm and her egg.
Let’s get more personal. My husband is half-Japanese. Not long ago our marriage was illegal because people thought interracial marriages were wrong. Brian and I can’t control our birth circumstances, neither can Lily and Donovan. Society bans love based on the uncontrollable.

Yes. And strictly speaking, Brian could only marry someone else who had roughly the same racial background. He couldn’t marry someone who had fully Japanese ancestry, nor someone with fully European ancestry. A silly law, but silly laws remain.
Then one really big thing smacked me in the face. When you really think about it, the true love of some is illegal because others think it is icky. There lies the real threat. If we ban marriages because of a person’s feelings of ickiness, then all marriages are threatened.
Read the whole thing. Thanks to Diane Rinella for this thoughtful explanation of her inspiration and journey. I hear from Lilys and Donovans. Most contact me privately, taking steps to protect their true identity. Some have been more open with me and I get to see their entire lives. A few have allowed me to interview them.
Time and again, what I have seen are people who are just like anyone else, or even more attractive and intelligent than average, who share a love so profound and beautiful that it pains my heart that they have to hide at all. And what is so frustrating is that when it is carefully considered, there is no justification for continuing to force them to hide their love.

So thanks again to Diane Rinella for what she’s done. I know she will open many more minds, and not only will the Lilys and Donovans be better off, but so will their family and friends, and so will anyone who will have less prejudice in their heart.

Read: Ten Myths About Sibling Consanguinamory

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  1. Will definitely try to read. :)

  2. Thanks very much for sharing this and for your informed, empathetic and thoughtful treatment of the important human rights issues your excellent blog forwards with keen intelligence on behalf of us all!

  3. I've read Love's Forbidden Flower and enjoyed each and every aspect of it. I know many will not see my point when they read what I am about to state and most likely will not see it as a reasonable and realistic point. BUT, oh well... Try to think of it this way... Look at many species of animal, hot and cold blooded in the world. Ponder that a moment. Do you not think that before they became as... flourished as they are today that their DNA was not that of siblings?
    Just something to think about.
    You've created an excellent post & I am very happy to have come across it. apologies for my minor rant :)

    1. Do not apologize! "Rant" all you want. Thanks for reading and commenting. You make a good point.


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