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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

From Russia With Love

This blog has featured scores of exclusive interviews with 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.

The woman interviewed below is clearly able to consent to her relationship. They should be free to decide whether or not to legally marry, yet they could be harassed and persecuted if they were open about their love. They are consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone; why should they be denied their rights? If they were to move to another country, including most of the US, they could be criminally prosecuted for their love.

Read the interview below and see for yourself what she 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?


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FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Tell us about yourself.Natasha: We are currently living in Russia, and I am a full-time homemaker.



FME: Are you married or have you ever been legally and/or ceremonially married?

We're married in pretty much every sense but legally. We had as big a ceremony as we could get away with, with our close friends, some of my brother's work friends, and our elder sister.




FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation... are you heterosexual, bisexual, what?

I am heterosexual, and my brother is heteroflexible.


FME: You currently live with... ?

We currently live together in the house my brother owns, with our four children.


FME: You are in a romantic/sexual relationship with your full blood brother?

Yes. I am 39, and he is 40. We were raised together in our early years, but I don't clearly remember it. When our mother died, our father passed away soon afterwards, and social services got involved. From what I was told, it was very complicated and they eventually decided to put my brother in care - this was when he was about 5 - and I lived with our sister since, who is much older than us, and was about 20 at the time.

So I suppose we were raised separately, in the respect that while I knew I had a brother, for most my childhood I had very vague memories of him. We only really met up again roughly ten to twelve years later, when we were teens.



FME: What was your childhood like? What was your family life like? Was sex or "alternative" lifestyles a topic that was discussed, and how? What kind of a relationship did you have with your brother while you were growing up?

Well, my childhood with my sister was fairly conservative, so things like that weren't widely discussed. My brother didn't hear a lot in care either. We mostly figured things out for ourselves when we were older.

We didn't see each other a lot growing up though.



FME: How did sexual affection become a part of your relationship?

When we were teenagers, he came out of care and lived with my sister and I for a few years, then planned to go to college. Because we were so close in age, it made better sense to wait a year, and we went together. When we were living together in a flat, with no supervision, I initiated our relationship. I had spent the years since my brother came home getting to know him like you get to know every person when you first meet them, since I didn't really remember him, and I had what could be called a big crush on him. So in that sense it was a sort of planned, gradual thing, but I never anticipated a sexual side. I had brief fantasies, but mostly I just cuddled up to him. We were affectionate, but not sexual at first.

So the first actual sexual move was spontaneous and unpredicted, during a cuddling session.



FME: Can you describe your feelings during that event?

No, I don't think I can. I remember the feeling, but words, on this rare occasion, fail me.


FME: Was this your sexual awakening or had you been with others before?

This was the first time for us both.


FME: Before this had you ever thought this would be possible or enjoyable; did you have any opinion one way or the other about consanguineous relationships?

Not really. It wasn't something I had ever really thought about, up to just before I realized I had fallen for my brother.


FME: Do you, or have you had feelings like this for any other close family members whether they are genetic relatives or not? Any prior experience with family (could be step-sibling, for example)?

No. I think my brother is my soulmate, if such a thing could exist. I don't think I could love anyone else the same way.


FME: Does anyone know about this? How did they find out about it? How did they react?

Some close friends that we trust, and my elder sister, know. We told them privately and invited them to our wedding ceremony. They were shocked at first, but, as people who truly care about our happiness, they accepted our choices.


FME: How would you describe the lovemaking now? Is it Taboo? Kinky? Natural? Especially erotic?

I wouldn't say that it is kinky simply because he is my brother, but it's very intense for the both of us. I don't know if it's because of our relation; I've never been with anyone else.


FME: What are your living arrangements? Do you share a bedroom? Do you see each other as family or lovers, or are those two roles inseparable at this point?

We share a bedroom, and see our relationship first and foremost as a marriage, but also as family. He is my husband, lover, brother, and the father of children, and I think that all those roles are special in their right, but not separate.


FME: So you have children together? How are they?

We have four children, a girl, twin girl and boy, and a little boy, ranging from 18 to 8, and they are all perfectly healthy.


FME: What kind of steps, if any, have you had to take to keep your privacy?

Where we live, middle names are patronymic, and so, since I don't remember my father, I dropped mine, because having the same middle and surname would arouse suspicion.


FME: Are you ever able to act like lovers in public? Does anyone know you as lovers but not as family?

Rarely. Sometimes when we go on vacation, we act as a 'normal' family with our children, and if, whatever reason, a stranger of neighbor comes to our house. Just walking around among strangers, such as when shopping, people probably assume we're just another married couple, but apart from that, no.


FME: Having to hide the full nature of your relationship from some people can be a disadvantage. Can you describe what that is like? Are there any other  disadvantages? Conversely, do you think there are some advantages to consanguinamorous relationships?
The only real disadvantage is that it frustrates me to not be able to show my love without society judging me. The advantage for me is that I feel like we're closer somehow. Otherwise, it's just the same as any other loving marriage.


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, and that you could not truly consent?

Leave us alone, we are two consenting adults, for God's sake! I don't see why people can't accept this. They say I can't consent because he's my brother, but they can consent if, say, they end up marrying the best friend they once described as being "like a brother to them"? Consent is not genetic, and I certainly never asked or needed to ask for your approval.


FME: If you could be legally married and that included protections against discrimination, harassment, etc., would you get married? Or is this a different kind of relationship than that?

We definitely would if we could. To be honest, that's all I've really wanted for a long time.


FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be thinking about getting sexual with a family member or relative, especially a sibling?

Follow your heart! Don't let the negative stereotypes drag you down, just go for it the same way as you would with any other person you wanted to get into a relationship with.



FME: What advice do you have for family members and friends of people involved in a consanguinamorous relationship if they are having trouble accepting it? What about if they want to be supportive; what can they do?

The best thing you can to is to step back from it, and look at them, not as siblings or family, but as two people in love. Want to support them? Tell them you accept them, and recognize their relationship and rights. It's not a big thing. You recognize people's relationships all the time, whether it's with a simple "like" on a co-worker's "new relationship" status on Facebook, or a "Congratulations, I'm so happy for you!" when a friend mentions their engagement. We're just normal people, and all most of us want from you is a little recognition and respect.

FME: Any plans for the future?

We're fairly content. Unless incestuous marriage is legalized, I fully expect things to remain the same for us in years to come.


FME: Anything else to add?

Just that I wish everyone trying to gain equality and recognition the best of luck, and that I hope in some way, this interview can help people like us.



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Don't they sound like a "traditional" family? Why are these people who've been raising their four children together denied the right to marry?
They are consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone and yet they have to stay somewhat closeted and can't even exercise their basic human right to have their marriage recognized. They are happy and in love, yet they are denied that 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. As you'll see, there are people from all walks of life who are in consanguinamorous relationships.

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 or emailing me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com.

If you know someone who is in a relationship like this, please read this.

Thank you to Natasha for doing this interview! We wish you well in your consanguinamorous marriage.
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