Papabear Got It Wrong
I told you furs that Papabear wasn't perfect, and yesterday's response to a letter is an example. But I will certainly admit when I am wrong and revise my opinion!
As an explanation, not an excuse, I will just say that I had a knee-jerk response because it reminded me of a disturbing chapter in my own life, although that was not a matter of consensual incest. Yesterday's writer talked about a consensual sexual relationship with his aunt. I pointed out merely that it was, technically, illegal (in all states except Michigan and Rhode Island) and he should knock it off. I later pointed out in a response to another reader, Critter (thanks, buddy!), that such a relationship would likely wreak havoc within the furry's family and possibly lead to other problems, also noting that the relationship was likely inspired by lusty hormones and the opportunity of having access to a woman living alone in her home.
That all aside, Critter noted that just because something is illegal doesn't make it wrong (citing the Civil Rights movement against racist laws and practices), also adding that just because some people think it's "creepy" doesn't mean it's bad. Agreed on both counts.
Next, my mate, Yogi, chimed in, saying, "Don't assume that because she's his aunt that they are blood relations. She might be an aunt by marriage. She also might not be that much older than the writer." I bow to his sage insights.
So, let's sum up. Is he doing something wrong? Is the aunt doing something wrong? Well, the writer is 19 years old, so he is of legal age. The aunt, too, obviously. Technically, what they are doing is illegal in Washington state, but cases of incest are very rarely prosecuted, even between much closer relations such as a man and his sister. Could their relationship damage the family? No doubts there, unless the family is incredibly open-minded, but maybe that doesn't matter if they are so absolutely in love they don't mind some anger from family members.
I am concerned, though, about how much of this relationship is love and how much is simply lust. Critter and I both agree a little cooling off period might be wise so that they can both consider their motives for having sex with each other.
But, if they decide after a little break that they want to continue with their relationship, as my mate said, "Meh! What do I care?" That really should be up to them, and Papabear apologizes for letting his personal emotions on the subject get in the way of offering objective advice on this particular matter.
Returning to the writer's original question: "When is it normal? Is it common?" My answer would be that it is not very common, but that doesn't mean it is wrong. Is it normal? Oh, geez, after writing answers to over 400 letters in the past year-plus, I can honestly say there is no such thing as "normal." There is such a thing as "socially acceptable," but normal? No, just no. And when in doubt, I can always rely on the wisest advice I know from Wicca: If you are not hurting anyone, do what you will.
The writer doesn't care, in the end, whether it is "right" or "wrong." He just wants to be with his aunt. It makes him happy and her, too, evidently. For now, at least, perhaps that is enough.
Wow! My respect for you has grown two sizes today, Papabear! Takes a wise and strong Bear to think twice about things. And every advice person brings their own life story to the table, otherwise you couldn't give good advice (ask Amy Dickenson a question about infidelity for example).
9/6/2013 03:32:02 am
Wow, it's often very rare for a person to view them selves that they were wrong when they do have knee-jerk believes. I'm very glad you are pretty open Papa Bear!
9/10/2013 09:29:29 am
I feel a little sick now that you are saying it's ok to have sex with the aunt.
9/10/2013 01:08:20 pm
9/10/2013 02:31:26 pm
From what I've been led to believe, the main reason that incest is wrong is due to how inbreeding is supposed to have very negative effects on the genetics. As far as I know, children born of incest and inbreeding have many issues (genetic disorders, infertility, shrinking size, weaker immune system). Most of these problems can be worked with and eased, but life for the child would be more difficult than the life of a healthy child. So if it's incest with blood, I'm against it... only because it's lowering the quality of life for the possible child.
9/10/2013 02:39:26 pm
Good input, Sonne, thanks. As for the genetics argument, while breeding between relatives can increase chances of birth defects, it by no means guarantees it. Usually, discussions of the negative impact of inbreeding come from studies of small populations where inbreeding is common over generations, or sometimes within small populations of royal families (for example, hemophilia in the Romanovs).
9/10/2013 02:59:20 pm
Before you can say whether something is wrong, you have to ask, wrong on what level?
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