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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Living Consanguinamorously - Dating Outside the Family

"Is it cheating to keep or start being with my relative while dating people outside the family?"
Cheating, which is not to be confused with ethical nonmonogamy, is violating existing agreements with one or more lovers while letting them believe the agreement continues to be in effect and unaltered. So if you have an ongoing sexual relationship with a close relative or family member you will keep, or you are pursuing one, you should not indicate to potential new lovers outside the family that you'll be sexually exclusive with them.

While many people find consanguinamorous relationships to be the best, or are consang in orientation, others are polyamorous (especially as an orientation) and either don't find other consanguineous lovers or have a need for someone who happens to be outside of the family. They might even want a unrelated lover as practical matter, whether due to discrimination against consanguinamory or not. Please do not make someone an unwitting beard, however; it's generally a bad idea to deceive someone entering into a committed relationship with you because you aren't or can't be out about your orientation, relationships, or sex life.

There is not necessarily a need to tell potential new lovers you're involved in or pursuing consanguinamory. In most cases, outing yourself would be a bad idea, especially since consanguinamory is still illegal in many places. However, in many more places, ethical nonmonogamy has mostly been decriminalized or wasn't criminalized in the first place, depending on where you are, so it is far less of a problem to be out as an ethical nonmonogamist.


Do It This Way

Unless you want someone who'll know everything about you and what you do, or you're looking for an informed beard, the best approach when attempting to start new relationships or connect with new lovers is to share with them that 1) you're not going to be sexually exclusive with them and 2) you will not be telling them about your over lover(s). (We're assuming your consang partners are informed and agreeable.)

For some people, this will be the end of seeing you. You have to accept that.

Others will accept those terms and will keep seeing you. They may or may not have the same terms themselves. 

There may come a time when you've determined it would be good to tell your unrelated lovers about some or all of your consanguinamorous involvements. Since this would be a change in your agreement, you should ask them if they are willing to agree to this change (in other words, ask if they want to hear about your other lovers), and you should let them know whether this will be an ongoing change or if this is just a momentary one. Please consider that they may not be willing to change their terms, such as if they have previously maintained that they will not be telling you about their other lovers. That can be a part of how you determine whether or not to share new information.

The possible positive reactions could range from basic acceptance, being an ally, thinking it is sexy, wanting details, wanting to watch, wanting to participate, or sharing information about their own experiences with consanguinamory, so be prepared to reset boundaries depending on your comfort and needs and those of your consang partner(s).

Note that this way of handing nonmonogamy can be applied to just about any relationship. Be honest, but you can be honest in ways that still protect you and others. Don't promise anything you can't deliver. Explain your needs, your boundaries, your expectations, and what you will bring to the relationship; what needs of theirs you can meet. Accept that you may change and others may change, but do not rely on the possibility that others will change to be more to your liking. Don't do, or allow to be done to you, anything to which you don't consent, and don't do anything to others to which they haven't consented.


Sharing Property, Contracts, and Parenting with an Unrelated Lover

Casual romance, sex, or play is one thing, but if you get to a point with an unrelated lover that you're considering doing something serious with them, like buying a home or making other significant purchases; co-signing contracts such as marriage licenses, domestic partnerships, business partnerships, leases; or raising children together, it would be a bad idea to do so without being out to them as consanguinamorous and having their support, especially if you live where consanguinamory is still criminalized. Again, making someone an unwitting beard should be avoided. The last thing you want is to have a home, retirement account, and 2.3 children with someone and have them shocked to discover you in bed with your cousin/sibling/parent/whomever and then turning you over to be prosecuted.


Yet Another Reason For Full Marriage Equality

Discrimination against consanguinamory pressures people to cheat and deceive rather than being open and honest. With full marriage equality and the removal of laws, stigmas, and prejudices against consensual sex and relationships, people will be much less likely to feel a need to sneak around and hide. They will have more freedom to talk about what they need and want and to seek the relationships in which they'll best function, and that will make things better for everyone.


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1 comment:

  1. yes cheating is wrongful. agreed with full marriage equality and child marriage should be illegal.

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