Thursday, June 23, 2016

Seniors Grow Closer After Many Decades

Longtime famous sexpert Dr. Ruth Westheimer's column addresses a subject relevant to this blog. The attention-grabbing headline invokes "incest," which headline writers appear to enjoy using. This indicates it draw attention much more than it repels.

Q: I have an uncle who recently became widowed. I've been very fond of him since I was a child. I'm 60 and divorced, and he's 69.
"Uncle," if not being used honorarily, can mean a parent's full-blood brother, half-brother, adopted brother, even stepbrother, or the husband of parent's full-blood sibling, half-sibling, adopted sibling, or stepsibling. It is also sometimes used of older cousins, or a parent's uncle (great uncle). Based on the ages and lack of clarification other than the mention of his divorce and knowing him since childhood (which means for well over 40 years), it is probable that this is uncle the biological sibling of the letter writer's mother or father.
My uncle and I are getting very fond of each other. He kisses and fondles me and wants to be intimate, but I hesitate because I feel it might be incest. I'd appreciate if you could let me know an answer to this question, because I feel I'm weakening.
Most people would classify this as incest. If there is no genetic connection, it isn't incest biologically. However, that shouldn't matter. What matters is what these two mature adults want and mutually negotiate. Nobody else should get a veto.

How did Dr. Ruth answer?

A: The danger of incest is that if two close relatives have children, the shared genetics could negatively affect the health of those children. Since you're well beyond the age of having children, this factor doesn't come into play.
No, it doesn't and that was Discredited Argument #18 anyway.

But your relationship still would be incestuous, and so all your family members probably would be horrified, and some or all might shun you, assuming the sexual aspect of the relationship became known to them.
All would be horrified? That's a baseless assumption. Some family members could very well be supportive. But again, it isn't their relationship. They shouldn't get a veto.
So it's up to you to weigh all the factors and decide what to do.
If the two of you lived in some very isolated spot where no one knew you, I'd say there was nothing really wrong with it, but since you probably don't, I think you're right to give this budding relationship careful consideration.
We appreciate that Dr. Ruth is somewhat supportive, but what in the world does other people knowing them have to do with whether it is wrong or not? Consider this. If she was dating a man of a different race and some (or even all) of her family objected, would that make it wrong? No? So if it doesn't make it wrong with someone who is less-closely-related, then why does it make it wrong with someone who is more-closely-related?

It's not wrong. There might be some absurd laws criminalizing it in some places, but those laws are unjust and should be ignored or repealed. These lovers should protect themselves and enjoy the love they have found. If, by chance, you are the letter writer or in a similar situation, please contact us!

It isn't so rare for cousins, siblings, aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews, even parents and their adult children to get this close for the first time as senior citizens, sometimes having been previously prevented by distance or commitments to others.
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1 comment:

  1. In an episode of The King of Queens on TV last night
    "Doug and Carrie throw a wedding anniversary party for themselves. Doug invites his Aunt Sheila (Brenda Vaccaro), and finds out that his aunt and uncle are having problems. When Arthur meets Doug's aunt, he falls for her. Carrie eventually lets him date her, but ends up regretting it, leaving Arthur with plans to propose to her."
    Doug and Carrie were both shocked and disgusted at their older relatives having sex in their house, but could do nothing about it. People do get upset by change and new things but they can get used to things. Parents are often disgusted by their child's choice of partners, but are expected to diplomatically mind their own business if they don't want to lose their kids love and respect. Let's face it, life is disgusting in many ways, but some things are nice. Why spoil others' fun when they are having a good time? Life is short anyway. Live and let live.


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