Genetic Sexual Attraction

If you’ve met a genetic relative for the first time, or after being separated since at least one of you was a child, and you have experienced a strong attraction to that person that includes physical or sexual attraction or has resulted in sexual affection or arousal, you are likely experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).

GSA is real and is a common, normal response to the circumstances involved. GSA is not an indication that anything is wrong with you or the other person. It is not wrong to have these feelings.

Again, it is important for you to know that…

You are not alone.

You are not crazy or wrong for having these feelings.

Genetic Sexual Attraction happens in up to half of all situations in which pubescent or post-pubescent genetic relatives meet for the first time or reunite after having been separated since at least one of them was a child.

Most people are attracted to people who look like them. Who looks more like you than a close genetic relative? The Westermarck Effect overrides this in most (not all) circumstances in which one person raises another or they grow up in the same home. Close genetic relatives who were separated won't have the Westermarck Effect countering a powerful physical attraction. Add in emotional and psychological factors involved in reuniting with a lost family member, and you have something extremely powerful.

There is no good reason why adults who are not violating existing vows to others, who are right for each other, should feel a need to refrain from being together in whatever way they want. Unfortunately, laws and prejudices in many places still need to catch up with reality. But what about finding support from others in the same situation?

There aren’t many places to find help regarding Genetic Sexual Attraction. Fearful of prosecution, persecution, discrimination, prejudice, bullying, or ridicule, some people who have experienced GSA stay in the shadows and don’t even participate in the few forums where they have some level of anonymity. People seeking out others who have experienced GSA, and thus are active in discussions, are usually doing so for one of these reasons:

A. They are a partner or other family member of someone who is experiencing GSA and they are jealous, hurt, insecure, worried, or confused about the partner or family member’s attraction to this “new” person in their life.

B. One person in a reunion is experiencing it, and another isn’t. Isn’t it always problematic when two people are interacting and one is intensely attracted to the other, but the other isn’t attracted in kind? Unrequited love or attraction is painful.

C. The feelings are mutual, but those experiencing them do not want to interact or continue to interact sexually. There are many reasons this might be the case, including…

  1. At least one of them is in a relationship and acting or focusing on the attraction violates existing vows to another, or otherwise damages an existing relationship. A common example is when a married person with vows of monogamy becomes distracted or cheats.

  2. The desire to have a familial relationship along with the belief that, at least for them, lovemaking can’t be a part of that (“I need a brother, not a lover”)

  3. Their own negative feelings towards the idea of consanguinamory (romantic or sexual love between close blood relatives.)

  4. Their desire to avoid breaking the law (where applicable), their religion’s prohibition, or the “incest taboo”; or the desire to avoid persecution and discrimination. Note that it is ridiculous and harmful to have laws against consensual adult sex, and we should not reject our friends and family for such a thing, either. When it comes to GSA, such laws and persecution only hurt.

D. They are enjoying a consanguinamorous relationship together and are seeking to talk with others who are doing the same, get advice on dealing with external challenges to their relationship, find reassurance, and share their happiness.

Unfortunately for this last group, those who do participate in GSA forums often face discouragement, judgment, and restrictions on the discussion. This is because the participants primarily motivated by reasons A, B, or C, make up the majority in such forums, while people enjoying their relationships are less motivated to spend time seeking and participating in such forums. They are too busy experiencing the best lovemaking they ever have, along with many other good things about being reunited with their relative. There’s a bit of a cycle that keeps itself going… the naysayers discourage the happy, and so the happy are less likely to participate. The less they participate, the more negative and discouraging the tone will be. The more negative and discouraging the tone, the less likely the happy will bother to speak up and challenge or offer a different perspective. For some of the happy, they only have so much time and energy and they’d rather enjoy their time with their loved one(s) rather than argue with the naysayers.

The naysayers have various reasons for their negativity, some more understandable than others. Some had personal experiences they feel negatively about now, personal moral agendas (including those who are against any sex outside of heterosexual, monogamous, nonconsanguineous marriage,) or do not want to hear about others being happy together when they themselves are not happily in a relationship or are trying to avoid having sex. Being envious, self-loathing, or trying to be the sex police is not a good way to go through life, and sincerely wanting to help others can still result in doing harm. It is harmful to break up a loving relationship others are enjoying just because the person outside of it thinks it is for the best.

There are those, including those who have had relationships initiated through GSA, who now argue (unconvincingly) that an adult child is unable to give consent to sex with a genetic parent (especially when it comes to daughter-father) and that the parent is doing something wrong if that parent allows the affection to become sexual, regardless of who initiates the sex. There are examples that counter this argument, as educated, intelligent, healthy, independent adult women stop denying themselves and their genetic father and make a life together.

Has acting sexually on GSA ruined the lives of some people? Like all sexual relationships, the answer is yes, for some it has. Some people are not right for each other, even if they are strongly attracted to each other, and some people are abusive (sometimes that is a reason for the separation circumstances to begin with). Some people aren’t free to be together. Then there are the issues of law, prejudices, discrimination, etc. But heterosexual, monogamous, nonconsanguineous relationships and marriages have also ruined the lives of some people; that is no reason to categorically condemn them.

Most romantic or sexual relationships do not last until death, or most of us would still be in our first one, but is the answer to avoid all such relationships? Obviously not. Though GSA and resulting consanguinamory can form an intense bond, some such relationships, or at least the lovemaking, will end due to conflicting personalities, lifestyles, or life goals, or external pressures. Some continue on, as people who are right for each other, living happily together and loving each other in every sense of the word.

For those brought together through GSA who are enjoying their consanguinamorous relationships, nothing else compares. They should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with each other, if that is what they want, and they should not be bullied or discriminated against.

If you want to talk with someone, you can write me a fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com or find me on Facebook.

The FREE, welcoming GSA Forums is now online.

This is a blog by someone experiencing GSA: GSA: The Lion's Den

Here's a YouTube channel dealing with GSA.

Here are some important blog entries on Genetic Sexual Attraction…

Successful GSA Relationships

Hate Adds Pain to Genetic Sexual Attraction

Suppression Brings Ongoing Pain

To Act or Not to Act, That is the Question

GSA is One of Two Main Paths to Consanguinamory

Hate Hurts

Genetic Sexual Attraction Can Lead to Lasting Love

On the Westermarck Effect

A New Genetic Sexual Attraction Resource

Real Issues Surrounding a Real Experience

Also see…

What Family and Friends Should Know

Why Support Marriage Equality?

Answering Arguments Against Relationship Rights

Against Abuse

A Natural Attraction

These people are or were in relationships initiated by GSA…
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  1. I think that was an excellent argument. Thank for sharing that with us, it does a lot to help those who have moral or legal issues with this rare and taboo topic. It does make me wonder, who actually makes this illegal? It's strange that people are being prosecuted because they law thinks it's incest.

    PS: I'm curious as to how you view sexual relationships of people who actually are in a family situation? That would be interesting...

    1. I make no secret that as long as they are consenting adults, I support their freedom to make their own sexual choices. Just look around this blog.

  2. Keith, have you ever seen this documentary about two GSA couples?
    This is the first part:
    Obviously the comments are full of hate.

  3. I am so happy I found this. My parents divorced when I was 6 and my sister was 2. We were reunited after ten years. We began a sexual relationship shortly after that. We stopped when I turned 18 and joined the army. Both of us were miserable for ten years trying to find someone we truly loved. The reality is that we do not love anyone else as much as we love each other. We have lived as a married couple for 12 years now. I can not imagine living without her.

    1. Anonymous, I am so glad this blog is a help. Thank you for reading and for sharing. Congratulations on you happiness. Feel free too comment any time and to contact me via email and Facebook.

  4. There is nothing more beautiful than completely revealing yourself to your birth mother, both in inner feelings and the body. In a world where most people hide everything, I bare it ALL for my mom and she in turn does the same. I was adopted and then met her at the age of 22. I was never happy with anyone after I met her and it just so happened we were really meant to be with one another. Nobody knows though, and quite honestly it's none of their business anyway. We're spiritual partners, creative partners and love partners. And something else, we laugh together twenty-four hours a day and if that isn't true happiness or bliss, than what is ????

    1. Anonymous, thanks for your comment. I am happy things are going well for you. If you haven't done so already, please contact me privately.

  5. Keith: As an extended comment from August 2, I would add that I've known and have seen quite a number of widowed mothers and or divorced women " shack up " with their sons and they are apparently happy as punch with their new habitats and conditions. I've analyzed this from every angle, even to the point of wondering if I'm Norman Bates and have " mother " living with me ! ( laughter ). But to be honest I've studied spirituality for years and one of the precepts is, " love the Divine Mother behind the earthly mother ". I may be biased in the sense that I have a daughter myself and wouldn't condone fathers and daughters in sexual relationships, but again, that may be a bias I have. I know adoptee females fall into this category sometimes. My mother's answer is simple, " I was in a relationship before with someone deceitful, but this one is going to be 100% honestly in everything, even down to standing in front of one another bare ". It actually doesn't surprise me, because we both are writers and come up with all kinds of scenarios all day long about all sorts of things, including our relationship. We do all kinds of things - role reversal where I'm female and she's male/'s nuts but I've never been in a relationship where I was this honest. We've had knock down arguments where we've ( metaphorically ) given one another black eyes, but we always work it out in the end.

    In conclusion, I'm in my forties and she is in her sixties, so having children is not an issue here. In a nutshell, and it's been proven scientifically, there is only ONE consciousness that prevades and upholds the known universe, so who you think is your mother or father may just be a personal or subjective viewpoint.

  6. I myself don't have 'GSA', but I still find this blog interesting; It's a good habit to take on new perspectives to challenge one's mind, and I always like to indulge in good ol'Psychoanalysis research.

    That being said, this article is mostly (99%?) sentimental in its approach rather providing more information to people outside of the clique, as I see it this article can be summarized as : "Approach your happiness if you want to regardless of external influence".
    Of course, unless it was meant to be entirely emotional support rather anything else.

  7. Hello. Me and my half sister both have gsa, and i have a girlfriend with a baby on the way. All three of us know about the situation, and we've talked about it many times, the three of us, and even had sexual experiences together. Lately, however, my lady has become very jealous of my sister, and she seems unable to cope without bouts of depression and anger. I'm unsure as to how to help, me and my sister have stopped sexual activities for the time being, but the urge/pull is so powerful for both of us that it's nearly impossible to stop, and it's only so long until i won't be able to give in. I'm worried about destroying my relationship, but i'm not able, or willing, to stop how i feel about my sister. Both of them love and respect each other, but my gf has trouble "Sharing" me. It makes her very upset, and i can't help, because when she looks at me, all she thinks about is her. I don't know what to do- but i just want the three of us to be happy and safe. Do you have any advice for me?

    1. Anonymous, thanks for sharing that extremely tough experience. The GSA bond is very strong, so it isn't surprising that your girlfriend is jealous. You're dealing with issues that are largely up to your girlfriend, and others that will be joint decisions between you and your girlfriend, or the three of you. Email me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com because there is too much to go over within a comment.

  8. Is anyone interested in sharing their story of love on a docuseries? email me: iputyouontv at gmail

  9. Excuse me, Keith Pullman. I would like to know: are you a geneticist? No offense, but I find it somewhat hard to believe the things you wrote on this site. For one, that author you interviewed claims that she did some research and found that children born to siblings have only 7% increased risk of defects. My attempt to find answers online had been futile, because most search results are copy-paste of that famous German brother-sister couple. Also, everyone seems to be saying things like "everyone knows that incest will result in defects" or "the risks are actually exaggerated, incest actually only increases the chance of defects by [insert any small number]%". Speaking of numbers, EVERYONE backs up their claim with numbers (50%, 7%, 30%, etc.) but they all seem to be uneducated guesses, with no source to back them up. The only professional-sounding (or at least the one which sounds the least like some uninformed guy who just wants to join the controversy) comment I managed to find was from Jurgen Kunze, a professor of human genetics at Berlin's Charite hospital, who told a newspaper: "When siblings have a child together, there is only a 50 percent chance that it will be healthy when it is born." That statement contradicts your claim that most children born to consanguineous parents are healthy. Please clarify, I'm really confused right now.

    1. I'm not a geneticist, but I stand by my statement. Perhaps this will help:

      I KNOW siblings who have had children together. I have paid attention to news reports of the same as well, and talked with people who deliver babies for a living about this. Almost all of the children born to siblings that I know of are very healthy. The 50% figure is outlandish.

    2. They're all over the place because studies of offspring to closer than 3rd-degree couples are rare, small, and have biased samples. Even the people performing the studies frequently admit that. Metastudies of cousin couples indicate, however, that 1st-cousins - 3rd-degree couples - have only 1-2% increase as a population over more distantly related couples (since we're all related). From that, anything higher than 12% increase for 1st-degree couples is HIGHLY dubious in my eyes.

  10. A few years a go, my half sister found me on facebook, We were both in our early to mid twenties, this came about a year after our father had passed away, he was barely in my life, and non existent in hers, there was a spark the moment we met, we had many sleep overs, we would cuddle and give eachother little peck kisses on the head and cheeks, we talked every single day, we both felt torn apart whenever we were away from eachother, to me, she was the most beautiful person in the world standing before my eyes, and ditto for her, at the time I was single and just didn't care for relationships, sometimes felt I only ever entered into them because they were made out to be oh so great, she was with a man who just wasn't very nice to be polite about him, she would hide it and make out he was the world to her, I saw through her words every time, it was like we had the kind of bond where I could sense what she was thinking and how she was feeling, she sensed the same.

    Months pass by and inevitably, her relationship with Mr not a very nice feller ended, I was there for her everyday, I felt the pain she was feeling, it was probably the first time I'd ever really felt such deep epathy for anybody, the very thought of her being treated badly, cheated on, called nasty names, not being the only one through someone's eyes really got me, it tore me up inside because for the first time, I had accepted someone whole, good bad, all the inbetween, I loved everything about her, this to me felt like the definition, or my definition at least, of perfect.

    A few weeks passed and we were as we were, cuddled up together watching a movie, i stroked her hair and looked her in the eyes and told her, she was a beautiful person who deserves above and beyond what she's been through, she smiled with the usual sparkle in her eyes and kissed me on the lips, from there that kiss snowballed to everything else, it was the most intense, beautiful, amazing experience of my life, finally, the flood gates had opened and we could be truly open and affectionate towards eachother.

    Time passes by again and I asked her to be in a relationship with me, I thought long and hard about what we would be getting into and really fought myself on it, but no matter how I span it, when I tore away at any possible reason not to, nothing was worth not being with her, because being with her is where I belong, there was nobody else in the world I could ever see myself happy with, she said yes and together we began on our beautiful journey, hand in hand.

    Fast forward to now, we are still just as happy if not more so than we were in the beginning, despite what society has dictated to us, we do not and will not ever feel that what we are doing is wrong, only the people important to us know about us, and that's probably the only frustration because we want the world to know of our beautiful love, some supported us, some told us we were stupid and needed to break up, we never faltered from eachothers side regardless, and because of our strong stance, people have grown to accept us.

    If I could I would tell anyone going through this that as long as you are both old enough to make this decision, to be strong, what you are doing is not wrong, at times you'll have the world on your back, at times people will try to break you apart for their own selfish reasons, but stay together, be proud of what you have, this is between the 2 of you, nobody else matters, I hope one day society will accept our love and we can finally be free from living in the shadows, until then, stay strong, stay together. :)

    1. Anonymous, thanks for sharing your beautiful love story with us. Please, if you haven't done so already, write me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com or on Facebook, where I can be found at /fullmarriageequality

    2. Thank you so much! I am crying now, not because I feel as if there is something wrong with me but because I feel as if I am not alone, a freak or wrong. Thank you so much! Thank you!

      ***Hugs thru the computer screen***

  11. Me being someone who actually has an open mind and tries to understand something for myself as opposed to being a number/sheep find this very helpful and very interesting. I do not wish to bore anyone with a long story but I have experienced this with a same sex sibling and am scared that they will not be as mature about it as me and we will lose contact, I hope this does not happen as I am still only getting to know them :(

  12. I am a little disappointed that my message wasn't posted and or answered. I'm really trying to be tolerant and see things from an outside perspective but I guess if your not talking about how cool it is to fuck your family then what anyone has to say is mote. Thanks anyway, I'll just figure it out!

    1. I'm not quite sure what you're talking about. I post all comments that aren't spam unless they are so trollish as to not warrant posting or the person making the comment requests it not be posted. I tend not to post words the US FCC would not allow on it's regulated broadcasts, such as the "f" word, but in your case I made an exception.

  13. I find this entire phenomenon very worrisome when it doesn't come with strong enough warnings. There are two taboos common across almost all cultures and countries:
    1) patricide
    2) incest

    Now, I understand all the historical/evolutionary explanations for 'why' and such. No need to educate me. My point is these taboos are unlikely to EVER be 'acceptable' under law or socialy. Due to that, the two relatives should, imo, be EXTREMELY cautious about this 'attraction'. Avoid it all costs might be a better way of putting it. My thinking is that even if there's some honeymoon period, all relationships have the potential for failure. How do you break up with family? Wouldn't that be a double tragedy, especially in the unfortunate parent/child reunion? The child loses, again? How unfair! Or, what if one person is eaten alive by guilt to the point of mental health issues? Now this 'love' is potentially fatal. Or the person tells someone and that somoene is rightly nauseated and goes to the authorities. It all just, imo, should be actively DISCOURAGED, not 'understood' to the point of acceptance amd rationalizing incest. I see nothing but extreme potential damage and rather than give in to their attraction, they seek counseling about it and strictly govern their interaction, even limiting it if necessary, than become entangled in a relationship that could result in embarassment, acorn, and further alienation. I also think the older of any relative dynamic has an extra responsibility to 'do the right thing'. Most people would be as disgusted by such relationships as they are pedophiles and it seems the risk of harms is over-whelmingly greater than not. I know you probably disagree with me, but we all must face the realities of the world or society we live in and if two relatives, long lost or not, cannot keep sex oit of their relationship, I think they are far better served not to have any relationship with the person at all.

    1. Anonymous, most of your concern has to do with the results of bigotry. How about we stop catering to bigotry, instead of driving lovers apart?

  14. I am not in a GSA relationship but two family members who I love dearly are. The fact of what others want to negatively judge not only just breaks my heart and want to cry for my female retaliative in this relationship so she doesn't have to anymore. The fact that she feels she must keep such a secret from her friends and society is horrible. She seems to struggle inside so much with her heart and with what everyone else has thought, said or might think and say if they found out. Which hurts him cause the distance she keeps him at with all she has been through with other guys would be great even without the stigma of them being related. As like her I too don't understand why it is so wrong when I never seen two people make each other so happy and love each other so much. How and why does society make it so hard for them. I ramble and am upset as I type this. I am a very emotional person when it come to the people in my life I love and care about so please excuse my explosion of words in trying to make sense of this all. I just want so much to know what to say or do to not make her feel wrong. I can't figure it out myself which I hate cause of that I have no way to help her realize that the love they feel and show each other when they are together (non-sexual people!) is what people yearn for till we die. It just is so mind blowing and shows me how society is a 'hater' upon all of us. If anyone could tell me what to do to help her not feel so wrong when she should wants and should feel truly in love and not feel wrong for it please let me know. I don't care that their related. How could it be so wrong when they make each other so happy? I don't get it! GRRRRRRRR!
    Thanks for listening.

    1. Anonymous, your comment is one of the most touching I have ever received. Please contact me privately at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com or and please invite your loved ones to contact me, too. I think your support means so much

  15. People need to remember that this is a blog and the writer is stating his or her own OPINION only. There are blogs that support and justify child abuse, does that make it right?

    This writer has slanted his opinion to try and justify something that is dangerous health wise.

    Don't be a sheep. Be a brave human and challenge yourself to look for love without taking this easy way out.

    On a last note: the reason that mixing ethnicities creates such a healthy child is just that, diversity of the genes and weeding out sickness that in breeding causes.

    I send these thoughts with kindness and a degree in genetics

    1. Yes, I'm stating my opinion and the opinions of others, my research, and what I've gathered after hearing from literally hundred of people who've experienced Genetic Sexual Attraction and some of the people in their lives, as well. You're giving your opinion that this is "dangerous health wise." I assume you're not talking about GSA, but rather having children together? I've already written extensively about this here:

      You know what is unhealthy? Avoiding a loving relationship because of what other people think.

      I can find geneticists that say interracial mixing is bad. I can find psychiatrists who say the same thing, and say gay relationships are bad. Thanks for your opinion. I'll mark you down in the "no" category.

  16. I'm a fan of erotic fiction, and I admit I've explored and enjoyed reading the taboo topics, even incest. However, those were just fantasies I briefly entertained. I read the article, "What it's like to date your dad," and was a bit shocked that the experiences reminded my of the erotic fiction, so detailed in the sexual scenarios, as if somehow the readers needed that If I wanted made up a story about experiencing GSA and test out the story, would this be a good place to test my skills as an erotic fiction writer?

  17. Oh thank you for writing this. I was in a GSA relationship for 2 years..I felt like I was alone until someone showed the term for it. I'm still very much in love with that person but we can no longer be you know of any, groups (closed ones preferably) on fb for people in GSA relationships or ones on tumblr or just somewhere on the internet in general? I feel like I need to talk to people who understand me or just GET how I feel..thank you again!


To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.