David and Athena are, as you'll see, intelligent and productive members of society. Their love for each other is beautiful. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love. They're names have been changed to protect them.
Read the interview below and ask yourself if there is one good reason these two consenting adults should be denied their rights or should have to hide.
FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe your background and who you are.
Athena: I am a 35-year-old litigation paralegal. I have an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I do not have any children nor have I ever been married. I live by myself but David and I plan on moving in with each other within the next six months.
David: I’m 47 and I have a BS in Biology. I am extremely well read. My maternal grandparents raised me and Grandma was a librarian. I am a lab tech and do research in the automotive industry. I am 5’8” 195 lbs. I have lifted weights since I was 10. I also play racquetball and do cardio at the gym. I have dark brown hair and blue eyes. I have five half-siblings and no children of my own. I live in the US in the Great Lakes area. I am told I have a good sense of humor but have an intense personality. Whatever I do I am all in. I have not been married. I currently live alone.
FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation?
David: I was a very promiscuous young man. I slowed down at age 32. I am heterosexual and have been monogamous since 32.
Athena: I would describe myself as bisexual although I believe I will marry David and be happy with my decision sexually. I am monogamous, but of course support all other types of relationships and sexual orientations.
FME: You are in a sexual relationship with your genetic half-sibling?
David: I am in a very loving relationship with my half sister.
Athena: I am currently in an emotional, spiritual and sexual relationship with my genetic half-sibling.
FME: So do you want to marry?
David: Yes, we are going to get married. We can do it legally because legally we are not related. My birth certificate has different parents and I have a different last name.
Athena: Definitely. It would be such a justification to our love for each other.
[FME: Please note that while there is a state in the Great Lakes area that does not criminalize consensual sex between adult siblings and while it is possible that, like other half-siblings have, Athena and David could be successful at having their marriage registered and recognized by the state, it is also possible that even though they are not otherwise recognized as family in state paperwork, the marriage could be invalidated if the authorities determined that they are genetic half-siblings (as state authorities will not knowingly recognize such marriages). Furthermore, there might be criminal penalties involved for filing the marriage license. The authorities would likely not do such an investigation unless someone ratted out the couple. However, I stress again that I’m not a lawyer and a lawyer specializing in family law and/or criminal defense in your location should be consulted about such matters.]
FME: What kind of relationship, if any, did you have while you were growing up? Had you heard about Genetic Sexual Attraction?
Athena: He is my father’s son from a brief relationship/marriage when he was 18 years old. My father left him and the relationship when he was an infant. I remember meeting him once when I was 12 but I did not understand who he was. I remember thinking how great he was and how gorgeous he was! He finally told me in the later years that I asked him to marry me twice, once when I was 7 and then when I was 12. When I was 20, he came into my life for the first time that a can truly recall vividly and our familial relationship was explained; that I had an older brother I did not know. So in my mind, we did not meet until I was 20 and I did not feel a brotherly love for him at all.
David: We had no relationship growing up. I “met” our father when I was almost 18 and she was 5 or 6. I communicated with them for about four or five months. Our father is difficult to say the least. I tried again when I was 23, she was 12. That lasted six months. Then, when I was 32 and she was 20. She and I got along great.
FME: When/how did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?
Athena: It was an instant and overwhelming sexual attraction when I was 20. We tried to act the part for months but at one point it was too overwhelming and we kissed. I initiated the kiss. He was sitting on the couch and I just moved towards him and I kissed him. That did not feel wrong or gross. It felt like love. We soon started a sexual relationship which ended after about after six months when we decided to not see each other. The sex was amazing and loving, not like the sex I had prior to meeting him. I always felt guilty and punished myself emotionally for the shame I felt. I was so confused about my feelings and felt dirty and evil, especially in the religious and moral sense.
David: When she kissed me, it blew me away. So soft. So perfect and easy. That was 15 years ago and I had not heard of GSA. Then there was another split form Dad. She and I had made love several times during that six month period. Then, nothing for thirteen years. I tried to communicate one last time with Dad and she intercepted the letter and got in touch with me. This last time we reconnected it took a couple months to get back to full affection. She made the first move again. That was two and a half years ago.
Athena: He had written my father that letter and I’d quickly looked at the letter before my father threw it away, to see where he lived. After I left my father’s house, I got online I did background checks and searched for an address and finally found him. That same night, I found his home and his mother answered the door and I told her who I was. She told me he was at work. I left my number and he called later that night and we met the next day, and I fell in love with him again after one look and hug. We waited weeks to have sex but the attraction was just overwhelming.
FME: Can you describe your feelings during that, David?
David: My feelings…it was wonderful, loving, so open, very comfortable. Great communication. Lovemaking is another spoke on the wheel of communication.
FME: Before this had you ever thought this would be possible or enjoyable? Do you, or have you had feelings like this for any other genetic relatives, or close family members whether they are genetic relatives or not?
David: No, I had not thought of relatives being with one another. I did not think it was possible, let alone so rewarding or fulfilling. It is the woman, her…that makes our closeness beautiful. I’ve had no other feelings like this with other relatives, and no prior experience with other relatives.
Athena: I had never heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction until I found your blog. It has been such a blessing to know that we are not alone. I have never felt this way with any other relative. I do not think of him as a half-brother anymore; we are so much more.
FME: How do you describe the sex/lovemaking now?
Athena: The sex is beyond belief, it is becoming one for that brief time and we experience an intimacy and ecstasy I cannot put into words.
David: Our lovemaking is so natural and erotic. Safe and adventurous. We love each other so much. It is the best I have ever had, probably because we really love each other. That makes the best sex. It is all very fulfilling.
FME: Describe your relationship now.
David: We have been together in a closed relationship for two and a half years. Although we live separately now, we plan on moving in together this summer out of state. We see each other as lovers rather than siblings. We didn’t grow up together so I think it might be easier for us to do this. I don’t know. I have another half sister that I could never think of as being a lover, but I don’t judge anyone else. Athena had been engaged at one point and he found out about us. He calls us sick but still pursues her, but now we are engaged and planned to be married.
Athena: We have been in a loving, committed, sexual relationship since reuniting two and a half years ago. It is funny that people we meet envy our relationship- the honesty, respect, love, trust and kindness we have for each other, but if they knew about our background, we would be judged and shunned. We laugh, hold hands, vacation, cook together, cry together, kiss each other good night and read in bed- just like every other married couple. From what I have witnessed of married couples in my circle of friends and family, our relationship is one of the best and strongest around. It does not feel kinky at all, it feels normal and natural. I find him extremely attractive and I have never enjoyed sex prior to him. He is my dream man in bed and out. Just a light passing touch from him can ignite passion in me. It would feel odd to be with someone else sexually. The romantic love is not raw, it is sensitive and loving (the only way I can think to describe it) I would say we are married spiritually and physically. He is everything I want in a man. I feel as if he is the lost side of my heart and soul and that we are complete when we are with each other. I miss him when I don’t hear his voice every day or feel his kiss on my lips or his breath on my neck at night when I sleep. He is my best friend and my lover, what more could anyone want?!
FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature/history of your relationship and how did they find out? Are you able to act like a couple in public... does anyone know you as a couple but not as family? What kind of steps, if any, have you had to take to keep your privacy?
David: My Mom, her Mom and full sister and my half brother on my Mom’s side all know. Two of my friends know. Her Mom and full sister were OK at first but have since flipped. My mom was uncomfortable at first but is good now. My half brother has no problem at all. And my friends do not care. I think it is passable to the friends because we did not grow up together. And…never underestimate the self absorption of most people. They are living their own lives, like both of us, and are happy we are this happy. We are not able to act like a couple in public where we live. We went out of state for twelve days over Christmas and it was incredible. Nobody knew us; it was great. We are just siblings in public at home.
Athena: His mother now remains our strongest support and I love her as my “soul” mother. To keep our privacy, when we move in together we will be living approximately three hours from where I was raised and where he currently lives.
FME: Having to hide the full nature of your relationship from some people can be a disadvantage. Can you describe how that has been? Are there any other disadvantages? Conversely, do you think consanguineous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?
David: Having to hide or relationship from people is a disadvantage. It is difficult to not be affectionate in public. I can’t really think of any advantages. Because we really didn’t know each other before adulthood, making her my sister is an intellectual exercise, much like making my father my father. Intellectually and in my heart, my dad is my grandfather who raised me.
Athena: I just wish we could be honest with everyone in our lives. I want to share my joy and happiness with the people I love. I am grateful for his mother and our friends that support us in all we do.
FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationship, or disapprove of anyone having this kind of relationship? What's your reply to those who would say that this is one of you preying on the other?
Athena: I understand that many think what we are doing is wrong. At this point in my life, he makes me a better person. I am a Christian and he makes me want to be a better person. God is strong in our lives and I believe that we will be blessed as husband and wife, whether it be lawfully under God or under human law is irrelevant. Because I did not really meet him until I was older, the only memories I have are ones of him being my object of affection so if anyone would disapprove, I say to them that they need to worry about their own relationships, not mine. I am an adult and so is he. We have both had long-term relationships and we have chosen to be with each other after all these years. We are both attractive and fit adults and would definitely not have a problem getting dates, we just choose each other! I am here to say that I do and can consent and it would be devastating to lose him. I feel as if I deserve to be happy and so does he.
David: I really don’t care what others think. I have support from most of the people I love. As far as preying… I was in my mid forties and she was her mid thirties. It took several months before we were serious. That’s the same pattern as the other long term relationships I have been in.
FME: Aside from the law, which I think is ridiculous, can you think of anything that would make relationships like this inherently wrong?
David: No I don’t think they are inherently wrong. Did you take Cultural Anthropology in college? There are cultures worldwide with practices that really challenged me. My professor said the goal was to look at these cultures and shed our Eurocentic eyes.
FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction? What advice do you have for family members and friends who think or know that relatives they know are having these feelings for each other?
David: I would tell other GSA couples to handle it however they see fit. Be happy. If no one is getting hurt and they love each other I do not believe it is wrong.
FME: Have you met in-person or do you know anyone else who has experience with consanguinamory or consanguineous sex?
David: Only kissing cousins.
Athena: I would love to meet other couples in this type of relationship where we could speak openly and lovingly with each other. We both have so much love and compassion to share with others!
FME: Any plans for the future?
Athena: In addition to getting married, we would like to have children in the future if we are blessed enough to get pregnant. We are lucky we are older and can make a home for ourselves and distance ourselves from negative influences and start our lives together.
FME: Anything else to add?
David: I have no regrets. She is a wonderful woman and I am lucky I found her! I have not had nearly as hard of a time with this as she has. I feel like I have waited my whole life for a kind loving woman with a beautiful mind and a terrific sense of humor. I am lucky. Your information has helped her already.
Athena: I thank God for him every night. My experience with GSA has been an amazing journey but we would love to have a support group to discuss the trials and tribulations we experience. Thank you so much for your blog; it truly gave me the courage I needed to continue on with our relationship and realize that we were not alone.
There you have it. Consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone, who have a beautiful love, but are denied their rights.
Why should they be denied their rights? There’s no good reason.We need to recognize that all adults should be free to be with any and all consenting adults as they mutually consent, and part of doing that is adopting relationship rights for all, including full marriage equality sooner rather than later. People are being hurt because of a denial of their basic human rights to love each other freely.
You can read other interviews I have done here.
If you are in a relationship like this and are looking for help or others you can talk with, read this.
Thank you to David and Athena for doing this interview!