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
Genetic Sexual Attraction Can Lead to Lasting Love
On the Westermarck Effect
A New Genetic Sexual Attraction Resource
Real Issues Surrounding a Real Experience
What Family and Friends Should Know
Why Support Marriage Equality?
Answering Arguments Against Relationship Rights
A Natural Attraction
These people are or were in relationships initiated by GSA…
- Featured on This Blog
- Also on This Blog
- External Links
- Survivors & Support
- Blog: The Final Manifesto
- The Polyamory Wiki
- Nat'l Society of Genetic Counselors
- The Center for Sex-Positive Culture
- Nat'l Coalition for Sexual Freedom
- Consenting Adult Action Network
- World Polyamory Association
- Canadian Poly Advocacy Assoc.
- Polyamory in Australia
- Polytical.org [UK]
- Charlie Glickman [PhD SexEd]
- Help & Answers
- Genetic Sexual Attraction
- Blog entry: A Natural Attraction
- Feel attracted? - Advice
- Need help?
- For family & friends
- FAQ: Consensual incest
- FAQ: Why is consanguinamory illegal?
- Why support equality?
- How you can help
- Frequently Asked Questions
- "Consanguineous", Rather Than "Incestuous"
- For journalists
- An introduction to this blog
- About this blog
- Why I started this blog
- Important Info