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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Living Consanguinamorously - Keeping the Closet Door Closed


Someone came to this blog recently searching...
How my aunt and I can hide our incestuous relationship
The answer below will apply to consanguinamorous relationships of any composition, not just aunts and nephews or aunts and nieces.

Unfortunately, people have been compelled to stay closeted due to prejudice and bigotry, sometimes enshrined in law. Whether someone has had to hide or downplay their gender identity, their sexual orientation or their "forbidden" relationship, the oppression is harmful in many ways, but some people just can't come out of the closet, at least not at a specific time in their life. In some places, it is literally a matter of life and death. Even for places where consanguinamory isn't criminalized, many people in these relationships have good reasons to hide them from at least some of the people around them. As a result, many people don't realize they know people who are in consanguinamorous relationships.

In a perfect world, people would be able to simply love other adults without such problems, but we're not there yet. Civil rights, including things like full marriage equality, are generally advancing, at least on most of the planet, but there is still a ways to go.

Much of the answer raised by the question in the search was answered in an earlier entry about how consanguineous lovers can live together, so check that out.

There's also this entry on how consanguineous lovers can avoid trouble.

I'll try to avoid repeating too much of what is in those entries.

How you hide consanguinamory can depend on who you're with and whether or not this is a reunion situation or this person has pretty much always been in your life, and what your relationship looks like. For example, if your relationship is more of a family-with-benefits situation, hiding those "benefits" is going to be different than if it is more like a spousal relationship.

1) Move Away. As detailed in "living together" entry, moving away with your lover(s) to where people don't know of your relation is the most effective way of "hiding" the romantic or sexual side of your relationship. The good news for first cousins is that most US states don't criminalize their relationships and many states will legally marry them. People in consanguinamorous relationships have fewer options if they want to be safe from the possibility of prosecution. Whether you move away or not, though, some of these other considerations might help.

2) Move Out. If you're living with roommates other family members and you don't want those family members to know what's going on, move out, even if your not going to be moving away. If your roommates know this person is your relative, you can always find new roommates who don't know that, if you need to share a place. Who has keys to the place where you're getting together? Are you behind locked doors when you get affectionate in a way that would seem consanguinamorous?

3) Plausible Deniability. Relatives live together or spend time together for various reasons. Have one or more of those other reasons to be together. Obviously, living together is different than not living together and having dates or booty calls. If you're living together, you can say it is convenient or cost-effective to do so, or if one of you is big and strong and intimidating compared to the other(s) it can be claimed to be for security. If you're not living together, one of you can be said to be helping the other with something like home repairs or improvements, studies, or work. It might be worth your while to take up a hobby or interest together, or at least appear to do so. This is especially important for intergenerational relationships. If you're close in age, it's more likely to be believed if you simply claim to be good friends as well as relatives. It is important for you to agree on a cover story to answer otherwise revealing questions. This will be especially important if you end up having children together. See here for more about having children.

4) Keep Quiet. If you don't want Person B to know, then it might be a good idea not to tell Person A, even if you think Person A will be OK with it. If Person A knows Person B, and Person A knows what is going on, they might reveal it, even inadvertently, to Person B. Even if you think they've figured it out already, sometimes it is better to leave things unsaid. Even if they flat-out claim to know exactly what is going on, it can be better to stay silent or deny it, depending on what they are likely to do with the information. You might feel like telling everyone about your amazing relationship, but it's best to keep quiet.

5) Be Careful What You're Documenting. We live in an age in which personal communications are being hacked and "wire tapped," in which people have devices in their homes that are always listening to them, in which people are checking themselves into places on social media without even thinking about it, or allowing other to tag them and/or check them in. Microphones and cameras are everywhere. Who can track your automobile? Your phone or tablet? Who can log into them or your online accounts? Do you have your settings on social media so that people can't tag you or check you in somewhere without your permission? When you text or send a private message, you could be creating a record that others will see, or your might send your message to the wrong person. Be careful! There are messaging apps and email services that are more secure than others and that allow for things to be encrypted and to be erased after the message has been delivered. It's tempting to sext each other or take pics and video when you're lost in each other or missing each other, but you need to be careful. Technology is wonderful but there are certain risks that come along with using it.

6) Think Through What To Do if You're Caught or Otherwise Outed. Considering the likely ways your cover would be lifted can help you to improve your tactics to prevent being discovered in the first place. But sometimes, the best plans still go awry. Who is most likely to figure it our or catch you? How are they likely react? What can you say to them to discourage them from taking negative action? Can you answer their objections to your love? Always feel free to refer people to this blog to answer their questions, especially this page. Would you have to move? Some people take the extreme response of pushing the red button.

Whether you're in a relationship already or considering it because you realize you're in love with someone special or someone special is in love with you, being cautious can save you a lot of trouble.
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