Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rhode Island and New Jersey Can Make History

Those of you in Rhode Island and New Jersey need to support the current efforts to bring the same-sex freedom to marry to those states. Civil unions are not enough. These states are also some of the most friendly when it comes to consanguineous sex and relationships.

Perhaps these states can make American history with same-sex consanguineous weddings?

Attention lawmakers: Adopt a Marriage Equality Amendment into your state constitutions. Here’s the suggested language:

The right to marry or to personal consortium shall not be abridged or denied in this state on account of sex, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, consanguinity, or number of participants.

Lead the way to full marriage equality so that an adult can marry any consenting adults. Don’t treat people as second class citizens due to their sexual orientation or the person or persons they love.
— — —

Dropping By the Swingsets

This Australian writer says “sex positive” basically boils down to “swinger,” but this is incorrect, as there are many people who identify as sex positive, and many more who are, even if they don’t use the term, who are not swingers. I’m sex positive, and I’m not a swinger. I certainly support the rights of swingers, but I couldn’t be classified as one myself.

The column gets better, though, as swingers are depicted as they are, rather than as a nasty caricature…

I had to admit, I found some of the anecdotes in the forums pretty refreshing. Here we had seemingly well-educated, intelligent and confident people discussing better ways to give and receive sexual pleasure.

Further down…

I was impressed by the level of respect that everyone had for each other, especially themselves. There was no placating, no boundary-abusing, no malice or narrow expectation about what was morally right and wrong because, it seemed, this community was founded on the principle of safe, pleasurable, experimental, joyful sex that you want to have. That foundation is predicated on the idea the individuals involved have actively questioned how they want to live their sex lives, rather than just going along with a mainstream view which doesn’t seem to be that satisfying for a damn-large number of people, does it?

Consider, if you will, the distinct downsides of your ‘average’ heteronormative relationship; one partner, a dynamic based on restrictive gender expectations, forever alone in monogamous commitment. That may be fine if you’ve explored enough of yourself and the world to understand a few things before you ‘settle down’... but how many of us can honestly say we’ve really done that? The dating scene, for instance, is all about hunting down the perfect partner, rather than opening up to many.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with monogamy, only the way some people do it or some people who aren’t suited to it try to force themselves to practice it, thereby hurting others. There would be less of this is nonmonogamy wasn’t discriminated against in our laws. There are been people who have been lifelong monogamists with only each other, and they have had good lives. That shouldn’t be ignored. But nonomogamists have rights, too.
— — —

Director Niu Chen-Zer to Do Film About Incest

News from China

Flush from the Taiwanese box-office success of Monga, director Niu Chen-Zer has announced that filming on his next project, Love, will begin next month.

Budgeted at 40 million yuan ($6.19 million) and featuring Monga stars Juan Ching-Tien and Chao Yu-t’ing and newcomers Hsu Chi and Zhao Wei, Love tackles the controversial subject of incest, with both Hsu and Juan and Zhao and Chao playing romantic couples in the high-profile film.

I know nothing about the script. The headline says that the film will be “incest-themed.” I’m assuming it will be about consanguinamory between adults, as incest meaning “child rape” is hardly controversial; everyone except some of the perpetrators condemns such a crime. We need more films realistically and fairly depicting romantic and sexual relationships between consenting adult relatives, ones that don’t treat the characters as objects of ridicule for loving each other.
— — —

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bus Sighting in Florida

Senior Editorial Writer Gary Stein at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel mostly does a good job disarming the bigotry behind the opposition to marriage equality.

But, there was this bus sighting

Same-sex marriage will lead to horrible societal aberrations, like polygamy. Really? Gay marriage is already allowed in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen an increase in social aberrations.

Polygamy is not a societal aberration. It has been practiced for all of history. It is not “horrible,” any more than monogamy. What makes a marriage horrible are the people in it. Polyamorists and others who might want polygamy should be able to get married.

Mr. Stein, the next time a bigot says “same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy,” say, “What would be wrong with letting an adult marry any consenting adults?” Their “objection” will be one of the others you effectively counter in your essay, so you already know how to handle that. Or feel free to use what I’ve written.

Clearly, same-sex monogamy is not polygamy. If a man wants to marry a man, he should have that right. But if a man wants to marry more than one person, male or female, he should have that right, too, and the same goes for a woman. Equality just for some is not equality.
— — —

Master of the Home Domain

Locut0s of Vancouver asked

Why are so many stories about getting caught masterbating incestuous?

The answer seems obvious to me. Most people start masturbating when they are minor children. This means they are 1) likely living with family members, 2) not experienced at establishing privacy or perhaps unable to maintain privacy due to the nature of the home, and 3) experiencing frequent instances of arousal with the onset of puberty. Adults are more likely to have found ways to not get “caught,” though some still do. Also, some adults don’t masturbate as much as they did when they were younger because they are regularly having sex.

Sometimes, with either minors or adults, the person masturbating is not actually trying to go undiscovered. In other words, they want to get caught, at least on some level.

If you search for stories on the net though you will find lots. Some are sexy as you would expect, gf or sexy neighbour walking in and deciding to join in. But I've noticed a lot of them are incestuous in nature. Brothers, sisters, even parents joining in. And these are thread posts not fiction. WTF,is this common or something?

It is not uncommon. Some accounts you find may be made-up, but even those show that the person making up the story has a desire to share sexuality with a close family member.

Something else to keep in mind that with it comes to the middle class is that the further you go back over the last several decades, the more likely it was that minor children were sharing rooms, rather than having their own, separate rooms.

Locut0s then linked to this discussion as an example.


— — —

Monogamy Is Good... For Some

Clarisse Thorn starts off “In Praise of Monogamy” distinguishing three different forms of nonmonogamy: polyamory, swinging, and cheating.

Just in case it needs to be said: I never advocate cheating, ever. As for the first two, I know both poly people and swingers that I consider totally decent and wonderful folks!

I couldn’t agree more.

Yet one thing that often gets lost in conversations about all these options is the advantages of monogamy.

Yes. Although I think polyamory is great, I do not think it is for everyone, and I do think some people are better off being monogamous and just was monogamists should not dismiss the legitimacy of polyamory, nor should polyamorists dismiss the legitimacy of monogamy. My support for full marriage equality means that I also support the right to heterosexual monogamous noncongsanguineous marriage, if that is what someone wants for themselves.

She then goes on to list and explain some advantages of monogamy, which she says include: jealousy management for people who seem predisposed to jealousy; focus; societal acceptance, which is something we’re working on; and some people just like it better.

It’s a good article.
— — —

Allies and Bigots at CafeMom

Time to check in on again. PhoneGrease asked about “Incest between parent and a consenting adult child.”

Should the act if incest be legal or illegal? Why or why not?

Consensual sex between adults should not be illegal, because of basic human freedom and atrociously selective enforcement of such laws.

How about marriage? Having kids?

Those things should be legal. These are matters of fundamental human rights, including reproductive rights.

Besides the "eww" factor (if you do in fact feel this way), do you find anything wrong with parent/consenting adult child incest?

No, as long as nobody be being cheated on. It is often a very beautiful thing.

See the Discredited Arguments, which debunk all of the arguments made against rights in discussions such as this one.

What did the moms say?


How could a mother find her own child a child that she bathed and changed and nurtured to be sexually attractive? I don't get it and think it is disgusting.

“How can anyone find someone of the same sex sexually attractive?”

Some women give their child up for adoption or have them taken away, and they don’t see them again until they’re grown. But it is possible for a woman to re-evaluate an adult child and find that child she raised sexually attractive. As far as “bathed and changed and nurtured,” I hope her partner never gets sick or gets into an accident, because then in addition to the problems inherent with such trouble, sam would apparently lose sexual desire for that person.

mackQuin is an ally…

— — —

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Loving Thing

Edward Wyckoff Williams considers New York’s granting of the freedom to marry to (some) same-sex couples, tying it back to moment of US history in which another freedom to marry was granted.

It seems only fitting to reference a quote from Mildred Loving, the iconic plaintiff in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia, which made race-based marriage restrictions unconstitutional. Loving, a black woman who fought for the legal validation of her marriage to a white man, stated poignantly that marriage equality for gay couples is "what Loving, and loving, are all about."

Even though New York's marriage law was a legislative, not judicial, decision, the framework that the Supreme Court established to abolish laws written to deny blacks and whites the freedom to intermarry now serves as a moral blueprint in the fight for marriage equality. The underlying question has become, how can the state infringe upon an individual's right to love whom he or she chooses?

Let’s keep moving towards full marriage equality, so that an adult can marry any consenting adults.
— — —

ITLT Documentary Gets Publicity

This article ran to note the airing of a documentary running locally to the news source, “Incest: The Last Taboo,” a documentary I’ve noted before. The documentary features consanguinamorous siblings and parent-adult child relationships, but the reviewer eases the uncomfortable people to that point by first talking about consanguinamorous first cousins who appeared on Tyra Banks’ show.

Don’t wrinkle your nose at them like that! They’re human too, you know, and in South Africa it’s legal for first cousins to marry.

It’s legal for first cousins to marry in many countries and some US states. It should be legal everywhere under full marriage equality.

Moving on the documentary…

There are Alex and Pau, a brother and sister who are head over heels in love and live together in Seattle.

That sounds like the Pau who writes at the GSA forum and is currently pregnant.

Then we get to see Ron, who also fell deeply in love with his sister. Lastly, the documentary looks at the life of Ruth, who, after getting the hots for her father and finding out the feeling was mutual, decided to have a son with daddy dearest. All of these people insist that no molestation was involved and no one was coerced into copulation.

They insist? Has anyone seen any indication otherwise?

Sexual attraction – and action – within the immediate family is definitely frowned upon by most people.

Publicly, at least it would seem that is the knee-jerk reaction. But when people think through the issue, they usually will admit, even if reluctantly, that there’s no reason to impede upon consanguinamory. It is a far different thing than adults preying on children. And when people actually see the love that is shared, they are moved to offer their support.

But these people are fighting to be recognised firstly, as human beings and secondly, as a lawful union in their states.

Darn straight, if you will pardon the pun.

Incest is illegal in most parts of the world but there are folks who seek to change this. Homosexuals fought for their rights not to be deemed immoral because of their sexual orientation. Some people think that should apply to incest too.

An adult, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should be able to pursue love, sex, and marriage (or not) with any consenting adults. That should be obvious.

Here’s more from Pau, if you go to post #28 from the middle of this month.

Im definitely trying not to worry too much especially since so far everything is going well besides sickness…My sister just had a baby on the 8th at home with a midwife. My adoptive Mommy took the midwife aside to ask her if she knew anything about our situation. The midwife said she was not a professional in that specific kind of case but that she had seen cousins have perfectly healthy babies and that she really thinks we will be fine. Just as I have read on here most of the fear is because of how it used to be in the past in smaller villages or societes that inbred too much. And of course family history of genetic problems. My Mom asked the midwife why she didnt seem surprised or alarmed by the information she had given her. The midwife told her that she has seen just about everything.

The midwife has probably seen closer relatives have babies together, too, but wasn’t told of their relation. If you’ve ever seen the intensely strong love that consanguinamorous siblings can share, you can understand just what a wonderful home a child of theirs will enjoy.
— — —

Polyamory and Child Custody: Good News

Some good news from one of our favorite polyamory bloggers, Polly, who is a loving mother and wife. One of her husbands, Gabe (the one not recognized as her husband under the law), has been splitting from his other (and legally recognized) wife, Alison. The part that is good news has to do with the authorities.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, our family has been dealing with a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) in our home. This has involved home visits and interrogations (the CFI called them interviews) and social history investigations and all manner of invasive questioning not only of us, but also our family and friends, to assess whether Gabe or Alison should be awarded primary physical custody of their son, Junior.

The report came back today from the CFI, with the recommendation that Junior remain primarily with Gabe and our family in the event of a move, and that Junior should not be expected to travel more than 4 times per year to visit his mother.

Hooray! The investigator is not an anti-equality bigot.

Our family was described in positive terms. I was described as strong, confident, and family-oriented, and our home was described as structured and loving. The CFI had nice things to say about our three girls too: that they are good students, and welcoming of their "stepbrother."

Recently, the family won in court against Polly’s mother-in-law (mother of her other husband), who had hoped to use prejudice against Polly.

These are good signs for Polly’s family, and good signs for the polyamorous. What should matter in child custody is not whether the parents have a heterosexual, monogamous, nonconsanguineous marriage. It should be what is best for the children.
— — —

Any Adult With Any Consenting Adults

Someone identified as “... ...” (which is Morse Code for “S S”) asked, “Should same-sex marriage, polygamy, and incestuous marriage be legal?"

Those of us who support full marriage equality say, “Of course they should!” An adult should be free to pursue love, sex, and marriage (or not) with any consenting adults.

John Weather had the best answer, as chosen by the asker…

Of course.

He needed to return to elaborate…

Edit: What utter IDIOTS my fellow answerers are--incapable of understanding that free and responsible people have the God Given (or Natural) Right to form whatever unions, partnerships--and, yes, marriages--they wish to enter into, and to have them sanctioned by law, WITH OR WITHOUT THE CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF THEIR FELLOW IMBECILIC CITIZENS. This does not mean, you morons, that you're free to marry your dog or your children--who are not, by definition, free and responsible--but it does mean, you cretins, that may, if you wish, marry your brother or your sister, if you're both of age and not TOO subnormally mentally deficient. Why is this so difficult for you narrow-minded half-wits to understand?

Looks like John is fed up with ignorance and prejudice.

The Asker returned to comment…

— — —

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Documentary on Zanda and Valdis, Sibling Lovers - UPDATED

A documentary from 2010, “Family Instinct,” is getting some attention.

'Family Instinct' is a film about incest - an illegal act, social taboo and a violation of religious norms.

It is legal in some places and is supported in some religions, and not considered a violation in some others.

Zanda is a 28-year-old woman, worn out by hard work. Surrounded by poverty and despair, she is trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Her hardships can be traced back to living in a relationship with her brother Valdis. When Valdis is put in jail, the local community forces her to make a difficult choice: to stay with him or with her children. Despite her ill fortune, she manages to express her love for the children, still hoping to save her family. The film offers a tragicomic but highly authentic insight into the bleak reality of Latvian countryside today.

I haven’t seen this documentary yet, but perhaps the problem wasn’t the consanguinamorous relationship, but rather the bigoted reactions to it.

*** UPDATE ***

An anonymous commenter alerted me to additional, very important information:

Your plot summary deliberately left out an important fact:

"Valdis is serving a year's sentence in prison for physically abusing them." The 'them' being her two children.

I can assure you I didn't leave that information out deliberately; I saw the same summary on a couple of websites, a summary that didn't include that information. If I would have checked the film's official website, I would have found that.

I condemn child abuse and I wonder how a year's sentence could possibly be enough. That only makes sense if he merely slapped them once or twice.

I can understand siblings being loving with each other. I do not support, however, people who choose to be with child abusers. None the less, people do, and they are free to do so, as sad as that is. The Zanda should be ashamed to choose a child abuser.

*** END UPDATE ***

The film won an award at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, as did some other notable films.

— — —

A Doctor Recommends Genetic Counseling

The headline of this story incorrectly says that an expert in Kuwait “warns against incestuous marriages.”

Incestuous marriages in Kuwait in recent years have resulted in the births of at least 40 sufferers from genetically transmitted diseases, according to a senior doctor.

I would like to know how this compares to the general population. In other words, how many births were there total, and how many of the babies are sufferers from genetically transmitted diseases?

In an interview published yesterday, Dr. Sadeeqa Al-Awadhi, a consultant geneticist and chairperson of the Kuwait Medical Genetic Center, warned that marriage between first-degree relatives increases the possibility of genetic diseases and medical conditions in any resulting offspring, especially amongst those families who have already experienced such medical conditions.

The distinguished medical expert explained that genetic diseases and medical conditions are less likely to be passed down to children if only one parent is a carrier; when both parents are from the same family, this probability of both being carriers and of passing the condition on to any child produced increases dramatically.

Remember, a 3% chance increasing to a 6% chance is a 100% increase, which could be called dramatic.

Dr. Al-Awadhi urged all those considering marriage to "listen to the medical advice and not be ashamed of any disease" that runs in the family. Before getting married, she said, Kuwaiti couples should report to the Kuwait Medical Genetic Center for testing for various medical conditions.

Notice that the doctor didn’t tell consanguineous lovers not to marry, contrary to the headline. She just told them to be informed. Anyone seeking to have children should be informed. Anyone having children should consider their family’s genetics and should consider getting tests and counseling. We should not deny consanguinamorous people their rights to marry. Looks like there are many "first degree" relatives in Kuwait enjoying consanguineous marriages.
— — —

Give More Love

Amy Bloom writes about an inclusive view of love.

Every biologist, botanist, and zoologist will tell you the same thing: Nature loves variety. People may fear it, and some religious or political groups may hate it -- but Nature loves it.

Among her examples…

And don't get me started on the saddleback tamarins, monkeys whose families are composed of mother, father, offspring, and an "extra father" serving as mother's lover and nursemaid for the baby tamarin. (It's called cooperative polyandry, and if you're rushing to get to work while trying to feed the baby applesauce and keep it off your sweater, the life of a tamarin doesn't sound too bad.)

As I’ve said before, we can’t always draw hard rules for humans from the rest of the natural world, but we can find some inspiration.

She writes about still showing love for an ex.

As the world gets bigger, families need to expand. Two mommies not only rely on the usual cadre of pals and relatives that all lucky people do, they are wise to attach a couple of necessary and loving male figures.

The two dads often do the same, and every single parent I know has managed, through love and bribery and persistence, to create a network (and a safety net) for their small basic unit. This seems like a good thing, for all of us.

She concludes…

Friends creating a household, people joining forces to care for elderly parents, single parents creating a little village, single men and women finding some passionate attachment to others, whether romantic or platonic: Let's throw open the doors in our lives to a variety of families, and gather up the whole beautiful, variegated bouquet of them.

Really, it should be anyone else’s concern if the family next door consists of more than just one wife and one husband; there are any number of reasons there may be more adults in the home.
— — —

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York Gained Freedom to Marry, Not Marriage Equality

Congrats to (monogamous nonconsanguineous) same-sex couples in the state of New York for gaining the freedom to marry!

It is time to celebrate and thank the lawmakers who have taken this step.

However, we should not forget that some people in New York are still denied their right to marry. There's more freedom to marry in New York, but there's still not full marriage equality. Wouldn't it be great if New York led the way in the US to full marriage equality, so an adult could marry any consenting adults? Let's make it happen! Equality just for some is NOT equality. We who support full marriage equality want a man who wants to marry another man to have that freedom... even if that other man is already married, or is his uncle, brother, or father. We want loving couples like [Anonymous Daughter] and her husband and Liz and Ryan to be able to legally marry.
— — —

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Census Data Shows Shift in California Families

This article begins with an example…

On a leafy drive in west Los Angeles, at a newly renovated home with cathedral ceilings and a backyard pool, 4-year-old Kate Eisenpresser-Davis' friends have been known to pose an intriguing question: "Why does Kate have three mommies?"

Lisa Eisenpresser, 44, and her partner, Angela Courtin, 38, share custody of Kate with Eisenpresser's ex-partner.

When asked to describe their life, Eisenpresser and Courtin respond with the same word: "Normal."

Yet Eisenpresser and Courtin can’t legally marry in California.

New census figures show that the percentage of Californians who live in "nuclear family" households — a married man and a woman raising their children — has dropped again over the last decade, to 23.4% of all households. That represents a 10% decline in 10 years, measured as a percentage of the state's households.

Those households, the Times analysis shows, are being supplanted by a striking spectrum of postmodern living arrangements: same-sex households, unmarried opposite-sex partners, married couples who have no children. Some forms of households that were rare just a generation ago are becoming common; the number of single-father households in California, for instance, grew by 36% between 2000 and 2010.

How many “single” people are actually part of a polyamorous or consanguinamorous relationship, especially one in which they are basically spouses and would marry if they could? There’s no way of pointing out on a census form, even if you wanted to, that you’re in a spousal relationship with your sister, brother, or some other close family member. I wonder how many “same-sex households, unmarried opposite-sex partners, married couples” are part of a polyamorous household?

The proportion of same-sex households rose by 25% between 2000 and 2010, increasing in every county in Southern California.

Analysts and many gay couples believe the actual number of gay households is not necessarily increasing that fast — but in a more welcoming world, the recognition of those households is.

This isn’t just happening in California. People can either bury their heads in the sand, or we can progress to full marriage equality so that everyone can get married if they want, thereby strengthening more families. Does everyone want to get married? Will everyone do best in a marriage? No, but everyone should have that choice so that they can get married if it is what they want and if it will help their lives.
— — —

Polyamorous Widower Needs to Come Out to Family

“Dear Prudence” by Emily Yoffe had a letter touching on a polyamorous situation. The great blog, Polyamory in the News, has already noted this, too.

A man signing his letter “Can't Stop This Thing I Started” wrote…

I am a widower in my mid-50s with three grown children and many grandchildren. My wife died 10 years ago, and three years ago I moved into a new house. I hit it off very quickly with my next door neighbors "Jack" and "Diane," a married couple in their late 30s with a now-7-year-old son. Our relationship soon became sexual and we are a three-member "couple."

Great. Good for them.

The problem is my youngest son recently lost his job, is in terrible financial straits, and has asked if he, his wife, and two young children can move in with me! I haven't told any of my children about my unconventional relationship…Turning away my son in his time of need isn't an option, but breaking off my relationship isn't an option either. Should I keep the whole thing under wraps while my son and his family are here? Jack and Diane think I should be upfront and tell my son, but then everyone would know about this. Most people wouldn't understand, and frankly it would be humiliating!

Humiliating isn’t the right word. It could be uncomfortable or could result in a loss of employment or bullying, depending on how bigots react. It would be great to answer this by asking what he would do if there was no Jack; if Diane was a widow. But unfortunately, the fact is that people in many places aren’t allowed to be polyamorous the same way others are allowed to be monogamous or seeing several people casually; so prejudice is a complicating factor in this case.

I think the approach depends mostly on how his son and his wife are likely to react, and since it sounds like they will tell the other two adult children, how they will react. Will any of them try to cause grief for Jack and Dianne by calling the “child protection” authorities, or telling anyone’s employer?

This man will be doing his son and son’s family a favor by taking them in, and they should respect him in return.

Prudence concluded that it was best to tell his son.

Notice that the problem is not the polyamory itself. This polyamorous man has his act together, so much so that he’s able and willing to take in his adult son, daughter-in-law, and their children to help them through a difficult time. The problem is that if someone is prejudiced, they still have the power to make someone else’s life miserable because the laws allow people to be discriminated against for being poly or for other factors in their love lives or, in many places, their sexual orientation. Hopefully, the man’s son and daughter-in-law will be fine with the situation. Some people can’t handle their parent, even a widowed parent, finding love and enjoyment with someone else, but if that love falls outside the approved boundaries of the sex police, the upset person can wreak havoc. Those laws need to be changed.

Widowers in middle or later age are usually presented a choice by life: renew yourself or shrivel up and die early. Children should be happy when their parents choose the first option. This man has renwed himself through a thriving, loving relationship.
— — —

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nothing is Inherently Wrong About Polygamy

At an atheist forum, Mike Long asked, “What's Wrong With Polygamy?”

Personally, I'm in favor of marriage. The public declaration of fealty steers the focus of any marital problems onto resolution rather than dissolution. However, I don't think the question should be, "Should gay couples be allowed to marry?". It should be, "Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?".

We should be relying on government for assistance in enforcing contracts. But how these contracts are structured should be entirely up to the people involved. This, of course, includes people who wish to structure their households around participation by more than two individuals.

I guess there needs to be a set of default contracts (to protect children and establish ownership of chattels, etc.) which are deemed to be in effect when people share a household; but, other than that, the government should have no role.

I know that polygamy facilitates some injustices that never occur in "traditional" marriages , but is polygamy sufficiently evil by its nature to require the government to ban it?

I would add that the government should not prevent close relatives from marrying, either.


1.) When people say "polygamy" they nearly always mean polygyny. One husband collecting many wives. That's deeply patriarchal and mysoginistic.

Women in a polygynous marriage can be treated well and equally to the man. If a woman wants a polygynous marriage, she should not be denied her choice by law.

2.) Legally it's also the only form that works because the women are relatively powerless and there is a clear structure.

What? Does Steve have a low opinion of women?

There is nothing morally wrong with polyamory and it works nicely for some people (better than monogamy).


But recognizing such relationships legally is a nightmare and all but impossible.

Ah, Discredited Argument #11.

You just can't account for all possible constellations.

Why would you need to?

What if one partner in a triangle becomes ill? How gets to make medical decisions?

We could make the default the longest married spouse, and if they all married each other at the same time, then it could go to the elder spouse. But this is something that we could make part of the original marriage paperwork.

— — —

Polygyny in Kazakhstan

This article says that “Polygamy A Fact Of Life In Kazakhstan.”

With power comes privilege, and with privilege comes polygamy.

Polygamy should be available to all who want it. If three or more people want to be connected in a marriage/marriages, they should be allowed.

Technically, polygamy is illegal in Kazakhstan, and has been ever since Soviet authorities banned it 90 years ago this month. But while elsewhere in Central Asia having multiple spouses is a criminal offense, carrying a maximum penalty of two years in prison, in Kazakhstan polygamy has been decriminalized since 1998.

Any laws impeding the freedom of consenting adults to marry should be discarded on the ash heap of history sooner rather than later.

This has helped fuel a spectacular comeback that began two decades ago with the fall of communism.

The practice -- especially among the powerful or well-heeled -- has become part of the social fabric for Kazakhs, who say polygamy is on the rise both in cities and villages. There have been multiple attempts to legalize it, although none have yet made it through parliament.

Instead, it happens with social and religious, but not legal recognition.

Shynar-apai, a 57-year-old housewife who lives outside the southern Kazakh city of Shymkent, says she doesn't mind polygamous marriages "one bit."

Shynar-apai shares a sizeable family home, five children, and her husband with two other women -- her husband's younger wives.

"I don't see any problem with men having more than one wife as long as they treat all wives equally and are able to provide financial support for all of them," she says.

A husband shouldn’t be required to financially support his spouse if that spouse has career or investment income. That should be something they work out themselves, not outsiders. It may be that the wife or wives financially support the husband(s).

"In our family we don't divide anything. All our children call us, the three wives, 'mother.' We go to places together and take turns in doing housework."

Speaking from the point of a "baibishe," Shynar-apai says she prefers men who are openly polygamous to those who have affairs and lie about them. She says these mistresses and their children "have no rights, get no support from the man."

That’s an absurdity that more and more people are seeing.

A bill on "Marriage and Family" seeking to legalize polygamous marriages returned to parliament in 2008. But once again it failed to pass after coming under strong criticism from female lawmakers, notably Bakhyt Syzdykova, a young deputy and woman's rights activist.

"If you want to legalize polygamy then you would also have to legalize polyandrous marriages -- women having multiple husbands simultaneously," Syzdykova argued. "Otherwise, you would violate our constitution, which gives equal rights to men and women."

All forms of polygamy between consenting adults should be legal. That is part of full marriage equality.
— — —

A Mother and Son Prosecuted

Elle wanted to know what she could do to help, describing the following situation

A few weeks ago we found out that our neighbor was having an affair with her 19 year old son whenever her husband was out.

In some homes, this would be a polyamorous situation, but my guess from the rest of the information provided below that this was probably not polyamory but cheating instead.

As expected, myself and my whole family were disgusted by it.

People should be disgusted by cheating; there is reason to be. And there are people who are irrationally disgusted by the consensual sex lives of others. Such people should keep their disgust to themselves.

They'll be in court tomorrow for their sentence.

So this likely means they were prosecuted under incest laws. She wrote their sentence, which tells me this was a consanguinamorous situation, not a carry-over of abuse of a child, or the son could have avoided prosecution. I do not condone cheating, but it shouldn’t be a criminal matter. Neither should any consensual sex between adults. We also don’t know how the husband treated his wife; cheating might not be a big deal in comparison to what happened in the home, but that's pure speculation.

Her husband and older son are still going to live in the house, and me and my whole family are concerned for them. What can we do to help?

There is a possibility that the husband approved of the relationship, and the older son got jealous and ratted them out. We don’t know. The husband and wife might have had an agreement, for example, that allowed him to have lovers outside the home and for her to be with the younger son when he wasn't home.

However, if this was a matter of the husband being cheated on, and he’s not a toxic person, then he should be emotionally supported in that regard. The husband and the older son are both adults. If Elle wants to offer emotional support, she should make sure to include them in social events, especially in ways that introduce them to potential new friends and lovers. She can also invite them over for dinner.

Another way to help is to support getting the government out of bedrooms.
— — —

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Happy Spouse May Want Another Spouse

Romantic_Rebel asked, “What are your views on polygamy?” Granted, this was in a section of Yahoo Answers were mostly Muslims write, and I typically address the legal and social, rather than religious aspect of marriage equality, but I read the responses anyway.


Well polygamy has always existed around the world.

True. Sadia then goes on to write about Muslim restrictions on polygamy.


No woman wants to share her husband and that is why cheating hurts so much.

Many women do not want to share. Not all. Some are fine with sharing. Some have other husbands themselves.


If muslim men truly loved their wife they would not want a second one.

I’m not sure how that makes sense. A man may want another wife (or another husband) even if he never even says so. If a man truly loves someone else, and that other person has made it clear they need monogamy with their spouse, the man can either live with that or not; he can stay or leave. It would be unloving to lie or disregard existing vows while trying to fool the first spouse into staying around. But it isn’t necessarily true that if a man truly loves his wife, he would have no desire for another wife. This sounds a bit like an only child saying a sibling shouldn’t be desired, because if the parents truly loved him, they wouldn’t want another child. It could actually be the reverse. A man may find he loves being married so much that he has room in his heart for another spouse.

It is silly for a society in which people can legally have multiple sex partners (I’m not knocking that), divorce and remarry countless times, in which men can impregnate any number of women… to prevent a person from marrying more than one person as a time. If, for example, a man is willing to marry three women, perhaps before he impregnates them, and the women are all agreeable to this, why in the world would the law deny this, while it would allow him to impregnate all three women, but only marry one at a time?

To answer the original question, I am in favor of full marriage equality, which means both men and women are free to marry any consenting adults. That includes both polygyny and polyandry and every other form of polygamy. They should also be equally free to not marry, free to divorce, free to seek prosecution for and protection from domestic violence, etc. Certainly, if a Muslim man and four Muslim women choose to have a polygynous marriage situation, they should be free to have it, but legalized polygamy should not end there.
— — —

The Law Can Adapt to Polygamy

Jessica Martin writes that the legalities around polygamous marriage don’t need to be anything new. US law can support the polygamous freedom to marry.

HBO’s Big Love and TLC’s reality-TV offering Sister Wives have thrust polygamy into popular culture in the United States. Estimates are that somewhere between 50,000-100,000 families in this country are currently risking criminal prosecution by practicing plural marriage.

There are many more polyamorous people than that, many living in family and spousal situations, and some more not (yet) living together full time. They wouldn’t use the term “plural marriage” and may not have a polygynous structure to their polycules. But odds are, everyone knows someone who is polyamorous.

She cites Adrienne Davis, JD, an expert on gender relations and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.

In her recent article, “Regulating Polygamy: Intimacy, Default Rules, and Bargaining for Equality,” published in the Columbia Law Review, Davis approaches polygamy as a problem of bargaining, cooperation and strategic behavior.

She proposes some default rules that might accommodate polygamy, while ensuring against some of its historic and ongoing abuses.

Sounds good, but then the article goes there

“Polygamy creates vulnerabilities and opportunities for exploitative behavior, some of which we have seen played out in distressing fashion in recent high-profile conflicts, from Elizabeth Smart to Warren Jeffs and the raids on his Yearning for Zion compound,” Davis says.

The majority of people who want the polygamous freedom to marry are nothing like Jeffs or anyone how has been shown to abuse children. Do we judge monogamy by what some monogamists do?

She says that conventional family law, which limits its focus to “couples,” may not be up to the task of regulating polygamy, but a legal platform such as business law may address polygamy’s central conundrum: ensuring fairness and establishing baseline behavior in a relationship characterized by multiple partners, ongoing entrances and exits, and life-defining economic and personal stakes.

“Commercial partnership law has addressed these concerns through a robust set of off-the-rack rules,” Davis says. “There are already conceptual models for what might be thought of as plural marital associations. These include how new parties are admitted, how the association governs itself, and how people can leave.”

As I’ve been saying all along, it is possible. Bigots may try to hide behind “how would this be handled?” But it can be done. We can move to full marriage equality.
— — —

Malaysia Sends Adults to Prison For Consensual Sex

Yet another example of how we need full marriage equality worldwide.

A father and his daughter were jailed and fined by the Kota Baru Syariah Court for incest.

So who is the victim, since they were both jailed?

The daughter also bore three children from the relationship. They were held after the authorities received complaints from the public.

I wonder if the rats would want their own love lives subject to prosecution?

The father, 45, was sentenced to a year's jail and fined RM2,500, while his 25-year-old daughter was fined RM2,000.

There’s no information provided about anything actually being problematic. Nothing about the kids having problems, nothing about coercion or this starting when the woman was a minor, or a scorned wife. So I’m left to believe that this was a consanguinamorous situation between consenting adults; essentially a marriage. Now, a home has been broken up, and kids taken from their family.
— — —

Bigots Want Professor Epstein Fired

Bigots are complaining that a man who had consensual sex (actually, the charge was reduced to attempting) with a woman is still employed. Apparently, he's never supposed to work anywhere ever again because he had sex. You’d think people would have something else to worry about, but interfering in the sex lives of others is just too much of a draw.

See (I know, I know). was tipped off by, “Why Is David Epstein Still a Columbia University Professor After Incest Plea?”

Maybe because he’s a good professor and it was stupid to prosecute a man for sex with a consenting adult woman? Just because law enforcement is doing something ridiculous does not mean the university should, too.

Epstein, who had used his blog at Huffington Post to attack Sarah Palin, was arrested and charged with having sex with his adult daughter. And, as was reported at the time, “according to the criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, professor David Epstein’s incest was committed between July 2006 and June 2009 at a University Apartment Housing building on 120th Street.”

So (a) it went on for three years, and (b) it happened on university property.

Sex in university housing? Shocking! And three years? Yes, they’d totally, really, completely be fine with it if it had only happened once in another home.

Neither the university nor Epstein has commented on the case since his May 10 guilty plea, but the question remains: If a professor committed such a crime on university property, wouldn’t Columbia be justified in firing Epstein?

So, if professor is involved in a protest and is charged with resisting arrest, should that professor be fired? Epstein shouldn’t be fired. The law is ridiculous. And no comment as of yet… as if the bigots would accept any comment. Notice nobody has spoken out and said they were victimized. Not even the person who apparently ratted the lovers out.

Finally, the source of all of this, from The Columbia Spectator

Epstein will be placed under conditional discharge (essentially a less invasive form of probation) for one year.

He shouldn’t even have gotten that.

You can check the links yourself to see the prejudiced comments from bigots. But here’s a good one from Sam…

What really matters is that David Epstein is a fantastic professor, respectful of his students. His private life has nothing to do with his teaching skills. Besides, it seems that the relationship, if true, was with a consensual adult.

Consenting adults should be able to pursue love, sex, and marriage (or not) with any other adults. Either we take "consenting adults" and "right to privacy" and "my body, my choice" seriously, or we don't. A woman of age 18 can sign binding contracts, sue or be sued, go to prison for life, serve in the military, operate motor vehicles and heavy machinery, consent to sex with men or women she just met, get married (to certain approved people), have elective surgery, and just about anything else except legally drink alcohol or run for President. Are we to say she can't consent to sex with a close relative? Maybe you wouldn’t consent to have sex with a close relative, but so what? Other people do.
— — —

Monday, June 20, 2011

Polyamory is Natural and Growing

Melissa-Ann Reyes has a long article about polyamory and some of the different things it means to different people.

“Researchers are just beginning to study the phenomenon, but the few who do estimate that openly polyamorous families in the United States number more than half a million, with thriving contingents in nearly every major city,” according to a Newsweek article from July 29, 2009, “Only You. And You. And You,” by Jessica Bennett.

“Only about twenty percent of American adults…are married, living with their spouse, and, together, bringing up a child or children to which they both have a biological connection,” according to a February 1 2011 article in the Baystate Parent Magazine by Doug Page.

“There is a biological foundation for polyamory, as nature is inherently polyamorous,” Manriquez says. “Non-monogamy is ancient, and it arises in cultures all over the world, in Abrahamic traditions in the Old Testament, in parts of Africa, and in the Arab world.”

I do not think everyone is polyamorous in the sexual sense, but the person who doesn’t need multiple intimate relationships is rare. Think for example, of a lifelong monogamous wife who shares a very close nonsexual lifelong friendship with another woman. That can be considered a form of polyamory. In the sexual, dating, or marital sense, I would say that some people are monogamous, and they should not be doubted or disparaged, just like poly people shouldn’t. Everyone should be free to pursue the life to which they are drawn.

According to Mint, the poly community overlaps with several others, such as the bi community and the kink community. Mint adds that people in the goth, rave, and board- gaming communities have gravitated toward non-monogamy. The three of them agree that the polyamory community, which is growing rapidly in San Francisco, is very women-friendly and gender equitable, marking the distinction between polyamory and the more negative notions of polygamy that are commonplace.

There is discussion in the article about economic/political systems in relation to polyamory. I am not convinced that polyamory is incompatible with capitalism. I see no reason why a capitalist culture can’t support polyamory. Anyway, the focus on this blog is not economic or political paradigms, but rather supporting full marriage equality and the rights of all adults to love, sex, and marriage, worldwide. There is no reason why we could not have full marriage equality in the US, or any Western country, tomorrow.
— — —

Another Way Prejudice Hurts

Just because Father’s Day is behind us doesn’t mean I have to leave father-focused content behind for a while. Hugo Schwyzer says “Dads, Hug Your Daughters.”

One of the many reasons prejudice against consanguiamory is destructive is that it prompts witch hunts against close relatives who may not sexually involved with each other, but show physical affection (kisses, hugs, pats, hand-holding). This includes false accusations against parents. A mother or father should be able to be affectionate with their own minor child without being bullied or threatened. All parents should be affectionate with their children. I’m sure most people can agree with that, even if they don’t agree with me that once a child has reached the age of consent, barring some mitigating disability, the adult child should be free to consent to sex, including sex with their own parent.

“I was always daddy’s little girl. We did everything together. He was my hero. My father was always there with a hug for me; when I was little, he let me climb all over him like he was a jungle gym.

And then my body changed. I developed early; I had boobs by 11. And all of a sudden, my Dad stopped hugging me or touching me. He went overnight from being my best friend to being remote and critical.”

I read that in a student’s journal earlier this semester (quoted with permission). I’ve read and heard similar things countless times over the course of nearly 20 years teaching gender studies and doing youth ministry. Ask any family therapist who works with teen girls, and they’ll report the same thing I’ve heard: story after story of fathers withdrawing physical affection as soon as their daughters hit puberty.

That is sad. Some fathers are uncomfortable for their own reasons. But others solely because there is a stigma fed by prejudice.

Dads offer their own reasons. Scott, who has two daughters aged 15 and 12, tells me he has this overwhelming fear he might get an erection if he held one of his girls for too long. “I have no sexual desire for my daughters,” he says, “but I’m so scared it might be inadvertent, just a physical response. And if one of my girls noticed, wouldn’t that be more damaging than just not hugging in the first place?”

No, it wouldn’t. Some men, not just teen boys, get erections very easily. This is a biological fact and nobody should be freaked out about it.

Other fathers worry less about what their own reaction might be and more what others might think. “Maybe it’s paranoid,” remarks Todd, the father of a 14 year-old girl, “but I feel like every man who touches a girl is seen as a predator. Even dads. So I wonder what people might think if they see me being too affectionate with my daughter.”

Is the fear unwarranted? While many predators roam free, we also know (because the accusers have later recanted credibly) that some fathers have been unjustly accused and even convicted and incarcerated.

But here’s the thing about being a dad. Doing what makes you excruciatingly uncomfortable is part of what you signed on for when you became a parent. You get up in the middle of the night to change diapers and give bottles, even though your body can barely stand the sleep deprivation. You pull a trembling toddler off your leg on the first day of preschool, leaving her to the care of her teachers, and you sit and cry with guilt in the car. (Most dads I know cry harder and longer than their kids on these occasions.) And when that little girl starts to develop a woman’s body (too soon, you protest silently, it’s too soon!) you need to keep right on hugging her.

It is a good essay.

A girl should get all of the fatherly affection she needs. She should not be deprived, just as she should not be imposed upon.
— — —

When You're a Teen and Polyamorous

Godzillaisdamn, a young woman, wrote about being polyamorous

I'm only a teenager, so you guys probably wont take me very seriously but that's okay with me. I'm hoping someone who reads this can look past the fact that I am only sixteen and see my story and questions as real, and not just a 'sex thing'.

Some people know what kind of relationships to which they are suited and want in their lives in their teens, just as some people know exactly what career they want by that age. Some teens think they know, but discover differently with more experience. But there are those who correctly have figured out who they are and where they are going, and they demonstrate it the rest of their lives. So I never dismiss what a teen says in these matters.

I think it spawns off of the fact that 1) my parents spit when I was very young and neither of them ever had a 'normal' relationship with anybody else. 2) I just want to be able to love (note, not make love, just love) two people at the same time. I want to be able to feel the flow of love between the people in the group as we hold hands or cuddle. 3) I just love the idea.

As to the first point, certainly our parents have some influence over us, but some people are poly as who they are. Most polyamorous people had parents who were together, at least for much of their childhood, and did not identify as polyamorous.

So, I'm posting this not only to tell my story, but to ask some questions. And I'm hoping someone will take the time to respond to them.

1- Did any of you know you were polyamorous when you were teenagers?
2- How did you find out?
3- How do you meet other polyamorous people?
4-What are some terms I should know when (and if) I bring this up with my other friends.
5-How did you tell your parents?!
6-Is it hard to be polyamorous?

If you have answers for her, follow the link to answer. Below are some of the responses.

— — —

Ryanne Writes About Her Wife, Polyamory, and Solidarity

Sadie Ryanne writes about her relationship with her wife and her lovers in this primer for polyamory, and explains the problem with “compulsory monogamy.” A few of the words in the long essay wouldn’t pass US FCC broadcast restrictions. It is a great read.

Top three questions I receive from monogamous people about polyamory:

Q: Isn’t that cheating?
A: No. Mutually consenting to date or have sex with other people bears no resemblance to lying or breaking promises.
Q: Is that like polygamy?
A: No. Polygamy (meaning “many wives”) [she means polygyny] is a sexist, patriarchal religious institution in which one man has authority over multiple women. This is nothing at all like polyamory, which is a system in which people of all genders freely negotiate the terms of their relationships with multiple romantic and/or sexual partners.
Q: Don’t you get jealous?
A: No. (Read on if you’re curious…)

The other most common misconception about polyamory is that it just means “having multiple sexual partners.” Close… but, wrong!


Honestly, the biggest barrier to making polyamory work is not jealousy. It’s compulsory monogamy.

Like queer and trans relationships in most places, poly relationships are not legally recognized and face a whole host of political and social barriers. We live in a culture that is fanatically invested in monogamy, and does just about everything it can to discourage and punish polyamory. It teaches every one of us from birth that non-monogamy is one of the most horrible things a person can do.

And yet lifelong monogamy is not the norm.

Poly people face bigtory and discrimination all over the place. I’ve had people who totally accepted my being trans and my queer lovers, but who balked at my being poly. Relatives who accept my gay marriage start to question how “serious” my fiancee and I are only when they discover that we’re poly.

This is why education and solidarity are important.
— — —

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poly People Are Human Beings, Too

Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who wants to keep same-sex couples from legally marrying, recently asked, “If you just cared about somebody, have a committed relationship, why not allow one man and two women or three women to marry?”

This prompted a lot of people to throw poly people under the bus.

LKS wrote about it

Surely no one can argue that people are born with a polygamous orientation. But there is ample reason to recognize that some people are born with a homosexual orientation. That is the way they are “wired” from birth.

Antonkjacobs stood up for poly people…

I have written elsewhere and I still maintain that to deprive some minority of the same rights that others have merely because of social or religious disapproval of their lifestyle is a FORM OF PERSECUTION, no matter how you justify it.

I doubt very much that we're hardwired for monogamy. Many people have argued for a polygamous orientation, and they've made their case based, in part, on the amazing statistics regarding infidelity in modern, monogamous societies, but also, in part, on the anthropological finding that most human societies have not been strictly monogamous.

LKS responded…

As I understand it, sexual orientation is innate and cannot be changed. Promiscuity is probably an innate tendency for both heterosexual and homosexual persons. Promiscuity can, and should, be controlled by socialization.

Neither polyamory nor polygamy mean “promiscuity”. However, why should “promiscuity” be “controlled?” The sex polie need to worry about themselves.

Noting that sexual orientation is not the same thing as being polyamorous as a justification for denyin the polygamous freedom to marry is Discredited Argument #8. What we need is solidarity for full marriage equality.
— — —

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tale as Old as Time

Jonathan Kirsch takes a glance at new book, The Bible Now, written by Richard Elliott Friedman, a scholar who chairs Jewish studies at the University of Georgia and the University of California, San Diego and Shawna Dolansky, an assistant professor of religious studies at Northeastern University. The book takes a close look at what the Bible really says, and what it doesn’t, about marriage and sexuality

Thus, for example, the authors point out that the Hebrew Bible does not prohibit sexual contact between women, and they argue that the explanation can be found in the ancient practice of polygamy.

“Men with two wives, or even harems, had opportunities for group sex and for voyeurism of female homosexuality,” they frankly explain. “Today it is a fantasy for men, which they can view [on the Internet and in other media], but for men in the ancient world it was an option, at least for men of wealth who could afford it.” And so, since the biblical law codes were written by male authors, “men were not about to forbid female-to-female contact.”

I would also think that if a king or otherwise powerful man had dozens or hundreds of wives or a sizable harem (or even just a few women) and none of the women were supposed to be involved with other men, that there were lesbian relationships and lesbian sexuality when the king wasn’t watching, too.

Sometimes, the most telling fact about the Bible is what it doesn’t say. On the hot-button issue of gay marriage, for example, the authors point out that “the laws in the Torah in fact hardly address any matters of getting married at all.” Indeed, the Hebrew Bible is clearly not consulted as a source for marriage law since the rejection of polygamy by most Jews and Christians “suggests that they do not feel bound by the Hebrew Bible’s conception of marriage.”


Of course neither the Bible nor any other religious text should be used to legislate, but it can be important to note what religious texts do and do not actually say if you are in an associated religion or are talking with someone who is.
— — —

Full Marriage Equality Can Save Marriage

Zosia Bielski interviewed Pamela Haag about her book, Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses and Rebel Couples.

What she found is a generation of half-hearted, semi-happy marriages, couples who have traded in passion for low-stress arrangements that pivot around children – “the new spouses.” The result is a vague, itching dissatisfaction and partners who are easily ensnared in dalliances online, with Rep. Anthony Weiner being the latest wretched illustration.

But it doesn’t have to be this way: Ms. Haag is pleading for a reinvention of marriage for our era, “something more than chore reallocation, but less than polygamy.”

What’s wrong with polygamy? Allow people to have the marriages they want, and more people will be happily married.

Aside from divorce, what do you see as alternatives?

I look at arrangements in which they don’t talk about it but maybe their marriage is a little tolerant, or they practise the 50-mile rule, where they could have a fling if it’s beyond the home base. Then I move into the updated open marriage, where it has to be consensual and they can have other attachments under certain conditions. The best estimate I could find was [that this accounts for] five per cent of marriages. It’s definitely not for everyone but I thought it was interesting to see that it ever works at all.

One wife is permitted sex just with other women – the husband sees it as less threatening. Another has a “payback fling” for one of her husband’s affairs: she lets him know and makes the family a nice casserole dinner for when she’s out. These pacts seem like the opposite of don’t ask, don’t tell.

Ethically, it’s a really different arrangement because the spouses genuinely believe that it’s possible to have more than one intimate attachment and they have to consent that it’s a life they want to try in marriage. There’s a real premium placed on honesty. This new ethical non-monogamy is a philosophical belief.

We should be supporting people, legally and socially, in the marriages they choose for themselves. Nobody should be jailed or fired or bullied because of the other adults they love or have sex with. If they want monofidelity, fine. Polyfidelity, fine. If they want a completely open relationship, that’s their business.

— — —

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Term Incest Can Have Many Meanings

1Horselady asked, “How do you feel about incest? What do you think should be done about it?”

This is like asking, “What do you think about putting a penis in a vagina?” It depends on the circumstances. If that penis is being inserted into an 11-year-old by a 40-year-old man, or in a 30-year-old woman against her will, that’s a problem.

Likewise, when incest is conducted via rape or child abuse, that’s a problem. Rapists and child abusers should be in prison.

But when incest happens between consenting adults, that’s often a beautiful thing. That’s why I like to use the terms consanguineous sex and consanguinamory to distinguish fun and loving sex and relationships from predatory behavior.

mitchell175 from Boston, MA responded to someone who had quoted the Bible to denounce sex between close relatives….

Well, in the Adam and Eve thread on the Religion board I pointed out how if the story of A&E was actually true, then the only way they could have been the "progenitors of the species" is via incest. Mother/son, Father/daughter, brother/sister...

PreachersSon from Oklahoma City, OK tried damage control…

As I remember, I replied to that assertion by pointing out that there did not need to be any father/daughter or mother/son relationships, and that there only needed to be brother/sister relationships in the first generation. After that, you could have cousins marrying without any trouble, and the family relationhips would diminish from there. It's not like they had families with one or two kids back then like we do today. Even a few generations ago, families of 7 or 9 kids were not all that uncommon. So, there wouldn't be the bottleneck that you imagine.

Again, it's not something I would condone today. It just would have been a necessary evil. Of course, Adam and Eve really didn't have anything to do with the passages I was talking about, so I'm not sure why you brought them up. We probably ought to keep that discussion on that thread, though, and not import it here.

Consanguineous sex and spousal relationships have literally been going on for all of human history, and it is depicted in various religious texts an mythologies.

When it comes to consenting adults, we should have legalization and the freedom to marry. Otherwise, what should be done is either minding your own business or saying "congratulations!"
— — —

When the Love Outshines the Label

Justme, an administrator of the PFI forum, asks, “Do you even think of it as incest anymore ??”

In my day in and day out life i don't think of my realationship as incest anymore, we've been together for so long thats a thing of the past, when we were younger it was on my mind constantly to the point that sometimes i felt paranoid about it and found myself always looking over my shoulder to see if we were being watched, of course we weren't..

the only time i remember i live with my brother now a days is when we have sex, knowing im having very intimate sex with my own brother adds to the excitement of it all.. And of course there is nothing i won't do for him..

The rest of the time he's just the boy/man i chose, or rather picked to live my life with...

They’re living in a spousal relationship, and they should be able to get legally married, if that’s what they want.

When I'm with Linda, Melissa, and Matthew, I can't help but notice the family resemblance, and I do think about it as the intensity of their affection is all the brighter.


When I am with my sister, there is only love. It doesn't seem like incest. It is just good love.

Beepy, of Montreal, QC…

Well, I sometimes do. After all, he's still my father and still looks after me in that regard. We can go from "father and daughter" to "romantic" though.

Lovers should be able to work out their relationships without interference from the law. Those engaged in consanguinamory, in those nice moments together, may forget that they are hated by some and outlaws in many places because of their love.

(If you check out the PFI forum, please remember that they do not like to discuss polyamory.)
— — —

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Laws Against Adult Incest: Still No Good Reason

Uncle of GOD asked, “Is consenting adult incest still wrong?”

No, as long as nobody is breaking existing vows to others, it isn’t. It shouldn’t be illegal either way.

I want to ask you, what is wrong if a couple practice incest with the following conditions:

The only conditions it need meet to not be wrong is that it is between consenting adults and they aren’t violating existing vows to others. That’s it.

1) It must be consensual and between adults.

Of course.

You can't compare it with child abuse. Because your comparison would be similar to "consensual sex between two unrelated persion" and "rape".


2) No children.

Pregnancy can be avoided using high-technique protection.

It is not wrong for close relatives to have children. See Discredited Argument #18. There are people alive right now who have been good, productive citizens who born to close relatives. You probably know at least one, whether you know it or not.

Now express your view with logic.

Very little logic is ever used to argue that consanguineous sex is wrong.

BabeHart had the best answer, according to voters…

— — —

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good News in California, But It’s Still Not Over

The bigots behind Prop H8, which banned the same-sex freedom to marry in California, lost another round. They still have some more rounds to lose before this case is over, though.

A federal judge on Tuesday upheld a gay judge's ruling that struck down California's same-sex marriage ban, noting that his fellow jurist could not be presumed to have a personal stake in the case just because he was in a long-term relationship with another man.

That’s right. The H8ers tried to have the decision slapping down their marriage ban overturned because the judge was *gasp* gay!

In a 19-page ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker had no obligation to divulge whether he wanted to marry his own gay partner before he declared last year that voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

Kudos to Judge Ware.

The ruling does not settle the legal fight over Proposition 8. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether Walker properly concluded that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates their rights to due process and equal protection.

In my dreams, it goes on to the Supreme Court and they decide for full marriage equality, but we’ll probably only get the monogamous, nonconsanguineous freedom to same-sex marriage, for now.

"We all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right," Ware wrote. "The single characteristic that Judge Walker shares with the plaintiffs, albeit one that might not have been shared with the majority of Californians, gave him no greater interest in a proper decision on the merits than would exist for any other judge or citizen."

Justice moves slowly, but we must keep pressing on towards full marriage equality so that an adult is free to marry any consenting adults.
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Polyandry at Yahoo Answers

Unhappy Guy asked, “What are your thoughts on Polyandry? - Pros and Cons?”

What are the pros and cons of Polyandry? A woman can legally marry two or more men, at the same time. All men have to agree on that. Its like a family of four - 1 wife and 3 husbands. Children come later on.

I, of course, think polyandry is fine for those who want it. It tends to get attacked not only by “we don’t want anyone else having the freedom to marry” monogamists, but some polygynists, too. And then there are the attacks from the people who are more or less jealous of any woman in a polyandrous marriage, and attacks from sexists who think a woman couldn’t possibly handle more than one man.

There was some prejudice seen in the responses, unfortunately.


Slutty Backdated BS.

How can you love 3 persons at the same time?

Perhaps Se7en should ask a married monogamist with two children.

"I see what you did thar"…

Ew thats horrible.

Just.. no. no no no no! Marriage is supposed to be sacred and a bond between two people! Its just immoral to marry and be with more than one partner.

If marriage is supposed to only be monogamous, then there are an awful lot of marriages today and in history that weren’t “supposed” to be.

Airman's Wife…

Personally, I find it rather abhorrent. Marriage, to me, is supposed to be between two people, not four or five or six. I can only imagine the jealousy/intimacy/competition issues that could result from polyamorous relationships. I almost feel like it's an excuse for the person with multiple spouses to have new sexual experiences with new people, so that they don't have to deal with the "boring"-ness of staying with just one person.

People can do that without being married.

That being said, I believe that consenting adults over the age of 18 should be able to do what they want in private as long as they are not hurting anyone and they can all care for themselves and any resulting children financially and emotionally.

They should be allowed to do it in private, and allowed to legally marry.

There are various “pros”, or reasons why someone might want a polyandrous marriage, some sexual, some social, some financial, some religious, and many other reasons. Sexually, it could actually be a triad involving bisexual men. Or, it could involve two heterosexual men who are turned on by sexually sharing a woman. There are also women with higher sex drives and men with lower sex drives. Regardless, we don’t make heterosexual couples justify why they want a monogamous marriage. We give them a marriage license with little hassle. The same should be true for any set of adults.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Sibling Parents With Healthy Children

The thread at the GSA forum started by a woman expecting her half brother’s baby has continued. The expectant mother wrote…

We are very blessed to have supportive family that know the situation between us and that continue to love and support us. Of course our birth mother and my adoptive parents are worried about the health of the baby but they still congratulated us and seem happy. Just like us I am sure they will be much more excited when we know more about the babys health.

It’s great that family is supportive, rather than hateful amd rejecting. There is a lot of support and advice being given. Here’s just some.


I have something to say... Congratulations. You are having a baby with the man you love, and who loves you back. You are a VERY lucky woman in these days and times. Would you really care if your child was born with abnormalities? If you had a child with someone else who wasn't kin, and the child was born with defects, would it matter? Love your child no matter how it comes out, that's what you will do, and good luck


My full brother and I also have a perfectly healthy 1 year old.

She points out the ignorance in action that she encounters…

I actually work for a Child Health Department and am surrounded by health professionals, paediatricians etc. The funny thing is, they all comment on how advanced our baby is, but at the same time, they make jokes about babies being "inbred" etc. It just makes me chuckle to myself ;-)

The fact is, siblings not only have “normal” children, they can have children that are above average. The choice should be up to them, not hostile strangers. Sibling consanguinamory can be a stunningly beautiful thing, and no doubt can set the stage for a loving home in which to raise children.
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Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

CR asks, “What if you were not able to marry the person you love?”

Are you in a mixed race marriage? Do you know of a mixed race couple?

Prior to June 12th, 1967 it was illegal from a man and a women who were not of the same race to marry in the United States.
Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) , was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the “Racial Integrity Act of 1924“, unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Go to CR’s blog for more commentary on this anniversary.

One day everyone will be allowed to marry the one they love.

One day, everyone will be allowed to marry everyone they love.

The marriage police bigots long ago lost their fight to keep heterosexual nonconsanguineous interracial couples from marrying. They are rapidly losing their ban on monogamous same-sex marriage, and they’re going to lose their ban on polygamous and consanguineous marriages, too. We will keep moving towards full marriage equality.
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Fear of the Different

The Times Union of Albany, New York printed a letter from Amalia Rubin of Niskayuna arguing that denial of marriage equality is based on racism and religious biases.

In fact, the idea of marriage being between one man and one woman for life and procreative purposes is a relatively modern, European Christian view.

Many people in the world come from cultures where polygamy has been acceptable. India has some polygamy and polyandry. China has polygamy, polyandry and walking marriage, a matriarchal tradition in which husband and wife do not live under the same roof.

To claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only form of marriage would be to say that the other traditions and cultures are not real marriage or true morality.

This claim that the modern Christian view on morality is ultimate goes hand in hand with the mistaken idea that all other cultures are inferior and barbaric.

I will point out that many Christians support marriage equality, or at least some freedoms to marry in addition to the heterosexual, monogamous, nonconsanguineous form.

We no longer live in isolated fiefdoms, cradle to grave, behind walls in the shadow of a church everyone in the community attends. We are a connected planet with people who migrate to places on the other side of the globe. In most countries, there are going to be multiple religions practiced and various forms of marriage. This is a reason why full marriage equality is important.
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Again, Some Women Want Polygyny

And some women want polyandry, or some other form of polygamy.

Cheryl Lavin printed responses to a call for the legalization of polygamy, or at least polygyny. A man had written that it would be a solution to “his personal solution to a wife no longer able to have sex. He knew at least two women he wished he could ‘take home, love them and be there for them.’”


Those lonely women he’d like to take care of - they’re looking for a nice man, not a bozo who wants to cheat on his wife because she’s unable to meet certain needs.

Isn’t it the decision of those women to make? Martha presumes to speak for them. He doesn’t want to cheat on his wife. Instead of dumping her, he wants to stay married to her and marry other women, too. He could easily file for divorce, but that is not what he’s proposing.


TV shows like “Big Love” and “Sister Wives” are on because they’re oddities, not because public acceptance is growing.

You go ahead and keep telling yourself that, and I'm sure you think the same thing about "The L Word."

Harley likes the idea of polyandry…

It’s time for women to embrace their sexuality. Society is wrong about us. One man for life is boring and tiresome. One man cannot meet all of your needs, but multiple men collectively could make for a great husband. My friends are always complaining about how “he can’t fix anything” and “he won’t get off the couch once he’s home from work.” This one “won’t communicate” and that one “is too busy making lots of money.” But put them all together, and you’ve got one great husband, plus the big added bonus of having a variety of sexual partners.

I’m not opposed to poly­gamous relationships, but there’s no way they should be limited to a man with multiple wives.

I agree! That’s way I’m for full marriage equality.

There were more responses that labeled the man a creep, unfortunately. Marriage proposals can always be rejected. If you don’t want a polygamous marriage, don’t have one. But those who do want one should have that freedom.
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Equality Means Equality

Macha at Life as a Reader wrote about a male student who was treated outrageously because of what he wore to his prom.

It is just incredibly silly for anyone to make an issue over letting ANY student wear a dress to the prom. If one of the other males showed up in a kilt, would it have been a problem? What about females wearing tuxedos? I mean really... how are any of the other students hurt?

I have often written that for full marriage equality, gender equality is essential. However, part of gender equality is letting someone, regardless of gender, dress how they want. Obviously there are exceptions, such as needing to wear a uniform for certain jobs. But if there are different uniforms for the same job, the employee should be able to wear what is comfortable for them. Also, while I fully support support nudism/naturism in certain places (designated beaches, parks, private property, etc.) I think it is fine that some places/events have certain minimum clothing requirements.

They should be able to set certain limits on clothing at a prom, but they should be equal for everyone. If a female can show her shoulders or her lower legs, a male should be able to, too.

Equality means... equality. Gender equality and sexual orientation equality aren't really there if men and women don't have equal freedom when it comes to clothing.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Polyamory is a Beautiful Thing

Godzillaisdamn , a 16-17 years old female, asked, ”Why are people so against Polyamorous relationships?”

I was on another website asking people (anonymously) if they would ever be in a polyamorous relationship and the reactions were always something about it being gross and slutty.

Those people are ignorant and prejudiced. If they are not polyamorous, that’s is their right. But polyamorous people should also have their rights, and shouldn’t be slurred.

Conceptualclarity, a51-55 years old male…

They really do tend to undermine the marital relationship.

Quite often, polycules are the marital relationship. And some legal marriages (two people) are spared divorce by going polyamorous, and they should be allowed to make their expanded marriage legal/

Tossalterego, 41-45 years old male, got ir right…

Most if it has to do with the close mindedness of society.

LeelaLafont, 18-21 years old female, has obviously been relying of flawed media portrayals…

I disagree with them because they are one-sided. It's always one man, and many women. Why can't it be one or two women, and many men?

Godzillaisdamn returned to correct her…

I've heard of some like that. I think its just less common and not shown in the media as much. People also get the idea that all polyarmorous people are religious, and thats not true. I, for example, am nonreligious.

Ignorance abounds. People like Godzillaisdamn will help change that.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tweet From an Ally

Adrian Bott


I was polyamorous by choice for 20 years before becoming monogamous, also by choice. Kneejerk prejudice against either choice is moronic.

Agreed. But there are also people who are polyamorous by nature. For them, it isn't a choice. I liken Adrian to a bisexual who chooses a monogamous relationship with a man, and then later chooses a monogamous relationship with a woman. Some people are bisexual. Some are gay. Some are straight. The same way, some people are monogamous as who they are, others are polyamorous.

We should all be free to pursue love, sex, and marriage with any consenting adults.
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Friday, June 10, 2011

First Cousins Find Passionate Love After Heartache

Someone wrote in to the Daily Mirror to get advice from Coleen Nolan. He is getting a divorce, his cousin is getting a divorce, and they got back in touch with each other.

As our texting got more flirty, I told her I’d had feelings for her for about ­15 years and it turned out she had feelings for me, too.

We met up, shared a few kisses and cuddles, and found out we had so much in common. It was amazing.

Our relationship turned sexual and I have to be honest – it’s fantastic!

Good for them!

We’re concerned about what our family will think. We are first cousins and to my knowledge, it is legal.

I have told three friends, all of whom reacted differently. One had no problem, one found it funny, and one was clearly aghast at the idea.

That last friend will come around when he or she sees that it isn’t a problem. Or, maybe not… maybe that “friend” will let prejudice beat friendship, and that’s sad.

The family members who aren’t happy will simply have to learn to accept it. The love a person has is their own matter, not anyone else’s except the other lover(s).

Coleen’s response was supportive. Friends and family should support those who find love. Life is too short to be hateful, bigoted, and jealous.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sibling Experimentation and Love

Bizsurfer in the Northwest USA writes that his first sexual experience was with a friend’s older sister, along with his friend. Bizsurfer didn’t get very far with his friend’s sister, but the siblings did go on to advanced consanguinamory, though not in front of Bizsurfer, leaving a lasting impression on him…

I don't believe having seen incest firsthand so early in my life bothered me much. It seemed natural in a way, although I did begin to peek at my own sisters whenever I could after that. I think it's the fact that incest is taboo that causes all the problems.

It certainly causes many problems.

Given the freedom to naturally explore their sexuality, siblings could learn much from each other before going out into the world.

Certainly that is an advantage, as I have noted.

I can't condemn those who truly, freely, enter into such a relationship.

Nor should anyone. We should encourage people who have found love. The siblings’ parents apparently didn’t think so, assaulting the brother as a result.
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