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Sunday, May 8, 2016
Another Couple Who Would Marry If They Could
If my recollection is correct, this is the 47th ongoing relationship I've covered through exclusive interviews in which the lovers are denied the freedom to be open about their love and are, by law, denied the freedom to marry and have that marriage treated equally under the law. [Bumped up this entry for Mother's Day.]
The man interviewed below is articulate and clearly able to consent to his relationship. He and his lover should be free to decide whether or not to legally marry. Yet they could be criminally prosecuted and face other forms of discrimination if the wrong people found out about their relationships. They are consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone; why should they be denied their rights?
Read the interview below and see for yourself what he has to say. You may think this relationship is interesting, or it might make you uncomfortable, or you might find it incredibly sexy, but whatever your reaction, should these lovers be denied equal access to marriage or any other rights?
***BE WARNED that the discussion gets a bit explicit in some places.***
FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe yourself.
Tom: My name is Tom and I am 23. I work in a professional job and live in the UK. I am in a relationship with my mother who is 47. We have a loving and fulfilling relationship. The sexual part of our relationship has developed gradually over the last four years or so. I am an only child so we are each other’s only immediate family.
I would say that I am a normal looking 23-year-old, of average height and build with dark hair, which I share with mother. She is a little shorter than me. She is attractive, although she believes she is too thin. She keeps her hair long but she worries that she is beginning to go a little grey. None of that matters to me. The physical attraction between us is genuine and we love each other. That is more important.
People would probably consider us to be middle class. By that I mean that we live fairly comfortably. We are ordinary people in the way we that we live day to day and the things that we do with our lives. The only thing that other people might find remarkable about us is our relationship. A close friend of my mother’s is the only person that knows about us. We live very privately and are not the sort of people who would look to push our relationship onto others.
FME: Are you married or have you ever been married?
Tom: I am not married. I have had girlfriends in the past but, I would describe my relationship with my mother as the most important in my life. I was a virgin until the first time we had sex. My father died four years ago. Since then, my mother has not had any other man in her life. We both feel the need for our relationship to be permanent and we feel that it would help if we were able to make a lifetime commitment through marriage.
FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation?
Tom: I am heterosexual. Neither of us has an interest in partners of the same sex or would like to be involved with other partners either sexually or emotionally.
FME: You currently live with... ?
Tom: I left home to go to university at 18 but moved back to live with my mother two years ago. It was at that time we became lovers although there had been sexual contact between us before then.
FME: What was your childhood like?
Tom: I had what I suppose was an ordinary childhood. My father was quite successful with his own business so we had a good standard of living. My mother and father’s marriage was quite strained. He spent a lot of time away from home and they did not have a good relationship. My mother has told me that because of this, that the connection between them had weakened over time. Their marriage could be quite volatile. I believe that my father was violent towards my mother although she has never told me about the details of that.
I didn’t have a difficult relationship with my father growing up but I would not describe us as close. I was always very close to my mother. I think that was probably to be expected as we spent a lot of time together with just the two of us. When my father came home, it sometimes felt like he was intruding in our relationship. I never talked about that with my mother but I think we both sensed that. We were much more relaxed and close when it was just the two of us. There was definitely a special bond between us. I didn’t recognize it at the time but I think we were closer than most parents and children are. At least there was maybe an aspect to our relationship that was different.
My father died when I was 19 and she was 43. It was at that time that the physical side of our relationship really began. It happened slowly. It was very gradual.
FME: Is she your biological mother?
Tom: Yes, my mother is my biological mother.
FME: Tell us more about your relataionship with her while you were growing up.
Tom: I think we have always been very emotionally tied to each other although we didn’t really express that. I think we both knew there was something important between us. My mother has told me that she was lonely in her marriage to my father. I know that she worries that there was some sort of emotional gap in her life and that was how her feelings for me became more intense. I don’t know if that was the case; if so it doesn’t matter to me. I knew growing up that I loved her more than anyone else in the world. That hasn’t changed at all. I just see the way we are together now as an obvious extension to that. The fact that we are related by blood as mother and son is not secondary to the other relationship we have. I don’t see those two faces to our relationship as separate. They have grown together into one relationship that feels natural and right.
FME: Did you have any attraction to her while growing up?
Tom: When I was younger, we were affectionate towards each other but in a way that I suppose would be expected. She would hug me and kiss me but not in a way that people would find unusual. She was just a loving mother. I was comfortable with it and I’m glad that I had that as a youngster. My parents weren’t that way together. It was something that was exclusive to the two of us.
Growing up, when my father was away, my mother would ask me to sleep in her bed sometimes. There was nothing overtly sexual in that. We would both be wearing clothing. We would cuddle, but that was it. Of course it never happened when my father was at home and he didn’t know about it, nor did I ever tell anyone. I suppose sleeping in your mother’s bed is not something that the average teenage boy talks to other people about.
I can never remember being sexually aroused when we were together in that way but I did sense a closeness that was enjoyable and that felt different. I can look back and see how that was the beginning of my attraction towards her. She has told me since that she felt that as well. But she has also said that she has always felt that she wanted us to be together in a way that went beyond what other people would see as normal.
I went off to university when I was 18 and so obviously we spent less time together from that point onwards.
FME: How did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?
Tom: My father died when I was 19. I didn’t feel a huge sense of loss as we had quite a distant relationship, although obviously it was still a shock for both me and my mother. I missed a term at university because I felt she needed me at home with her.
She asked me to go back to sleeping in her bed with her during that time as she didn’t want to be alone. It was then that it began. I think that I would say it was spontaneous. My mother has told me that she wanted it to happen but also that she only allowed it to happen when it felt right. I certainly don’t think she forced it but perhaps it was inevitable with us sleeping together that way.
It developed over a period of months. Each time I came home for a few days we would sleep together in her bed. It became normal for us. We would hold each other and that led to us touching each other in a way which became intimate. It was comforting and there was a natural affection between us.
Eventually the touching extended to her stroking my penis. I don’t know if I would describe it as her masturbating me the first time it happened, but I did have an orgasm.
We didn’t talk about it but it happened quite frequently after that. It became more deliberate. It was mutual. We would do that for each other. It wasn’t something that felt wrong in any way and it was something that we both enjoyed. I looked forward to it happening.
Our relationship has moved on a long way since in sexual terms. We went on holiday together when I finished university and it was during that period that it went further. We stayed in a hotel, although we did use separate rooms. Perhaps the change in environment or situation had something to do with it. We did things during those days that were different to the way we had been before. We held hands in public, which must have looked slightly strange because of our obvious age difference. I think being in a different country made us less self-conscious. We got quizzical looks from people but we knew that nobody would assume that we were related in any way, so it felt less difficult.
On one afternoon we went back to the hotel and we lay on the bed in her room. We were holding each other and we began kissing. It went from something that was straightforward and gentle to something that was quite erotic in terms of the way we kissed each other. It probably went on for about twenty minutes before she performed oral sex on me. I was glad it happened and she has told me since that she loves doing that for me. She enjoys the intimacy of that act with me.
It was when we returned home that we had full sex for the first time. We have continued to have sex about twice a week ever since then.
FME: Can you describe your feelings during that process?
Tom: I was nervous the first time that we had sex properly. I think that was more to do with my inexperience than with anything to do with our relationship as a mother and son. There was an element of me that knew that what we were doing was something different to the way that most people have experiences. I think that I was drawn to that. My mother has told me that she was attracted to that and I feel I was also. Perhaps some people are predisposed to enjoy this sort of relationship. I don’t feel confused by that. It’s just the way that we feel. It is something we both want and we don’t feel the need to deny that urge.
FME: Before this had you ever thought this would be possible or enjoyable; did you have any opinion one way or the other about mothers and sons being together?
Tom: It wasn’t something that I had ever thought about before it happened. The sexual part of our relationship grew gradually and it felt instinctive. I responded to what was happening, I didn’t contemplate it or plan it. I don’t think either of us did. To me, it was inevitable so there wouldn’t have been any point in worrying about whether it was right or wrong.
FME: Describe your relationship now. Is it family-with-benefits, an affair, girlfriend-boyfriend, a marriage, what? Do you see each other as family or lovers, or are those two roles inseparable at this point?
Tom: We live together in a way in which we are both comfortable with. We both work and have quite demanding jobs. At the end of each day we have the privacy of our home in which we can nurture and support each other. There is still a part of our relationship in which the dynamic of mother and son exists. I would say that is something that we both cherish. But far more important to us is the fact that we are a loving couple. We both like exploring the sexual element of our life together, but that is only one part of our life. We value the fact that we are lovers in an emotional sense. That is the most important aspect of our life together.
FME: So this is a closed relationship? Neither one of you is looking for others?
Tom: We are very much in a closed relationship. The sex that we have is part of a loving relationship and we want to be together. We do not want or need anyone else in our lives.
FME: How do you describe the sex/lovemaking now? Taboo? Natural? Especially erotic?
Tom: I love sex with her, but I have nothing much to compare it to as I didn’t have a lot of experience before this. She has introduced me to the pleasure of sex and she is a loving partner. In the time that we have been together as a sexual couple we have discovered what types of the things the other person likes. She likes to wear certain things for me because she likes to excite me. I have learned what she enjoys sexually and I like to do those things for her. We want to please and satisfy each other.
I don’t have an interest in other relationships or other women. She gives me everything that I need and I love being with her in every way.
She has told me that the incestuous aspect of our relationship is a big turn on for her. She feels that it is what which makes the sex very satisfying for her.
FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature of your relationship and how did they find out? How have they reacted? Are you able to act like a couple in public? What kind of steps, if any, have you had to take to keep your privacy?
Tom: We value our privacy very much. We don’t feel the need to share our life together with anyone else.
My mother has confided in a woman who is a lifelong friend. She is the only person that knows about us. We know that we can trust her. Her attitude toward us is that we have a right to our happiness. My mother confided in her at around the time that we began having sex. She felt the need to talk to somebody outside of our relationship about what was happening. She wasn't looking for approval or even advice, but she needed to anchor her thoughts and feelings by talking to a person who would have a different perspective.
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 consanguinamorous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?
Tom: I don’t feel that having to hide our relationship is a disadvantage. Neither of us are the type of person that needs to live our lives publicly so keeping our relationship private is something that we are both happy with. We would like to express our relationship legally because that is important to us, but that has nothing to do with how other people see it. We do not seek other people’s approval but we feel frustrated that society is stopping us from living in a way that is important to us.
If there is an advantage I would say that it is in the bond we have. That bond exists on many levels and so is very strong.
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?
Tom: Our relationship is totally consensual. This is the relationship that we both want. Other people’s opinions are irrelevant to us in that sense. We are in love. That will not change no matter what anyone else might say or think.
FME: Aside from the law, which I think is ridiculous, can you think of anything that would make relationships like this inherently wrong?
Tom: I do not see that there is anything wrong in our relationship.
FME: It sounds like if you could get legally married, you would. Is that right?
Tom: We would like to be legally married. That would be important to us. We both have some insecurities. My mother worries about our age difference, even though that doesn’t matter to me. I want to know that I am the most important person in her life and I sometimes feel jealous of the life that she had with my father. My mother has told me that she loves me romantically more than she did him and that she enjoys sex with me much more than she did with him. She wants to give herself to me completely and I want to reassure her that my feeling and need for her won’t change. We feel that being married legally would be a statement to each other. We feel frustrated that we are denied the chance to make that statement.
FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing these feelings for a relative or family member?
Tom: Everybody and every situation is different so it’s difficult to say that my own experience would be the same as that of another person. For me, I think that I recognize that attraction and sexual connection does not respect the boundaries that are imposed by society. What is important is how you feel. You will know inside if something feels right or wrong. Let that guide you.
FME: 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?
Tom: Just to respect the right of other people to live as they wish. As long as a relationship is consensual then why should they be involved in another person’s decision about a relationship of any sort?
FME: Any plans for the future?
Tom: Just to be happy. I am in a relationship with someone that I love and who loves me. That isn’t going to change.
There you have it. They are consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone and yet face discrimination and denial of their rights simply for loving each other. They are happy and in love, yet they are denied their fundamental right to marry.
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.
If you want to be interviewed about your "forbidden" relationship, connect with me by checking under the "Get Connected" tab there at the top of the page.
If you know someone who is in a relationship like this, please read this.
Thank you to Tom for doing this interview! We wish you well in your intergenerational, consanguinamorous relationship.
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