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I Had Sex With My Brother but I Don't Feel Guilty

By Joan McFadden

A woman slept with her sibling for years and has good memories. Not many people understand their relationship, she says.

Strangely enough, Daniel’s wedding day didn’t upset me at all. It was his 30th birthday six months later which really got to me, as he stood there with his wife Alison while they greeted the guests. I can honestly say that that was the only time when I felt real envy and wished desperately that it was me standing beside him, arms round each other as we showed the world how much we loved each other.

It’s not as if I’m not allowed to love Daniel, but the way we feel about each other isn’t something that we can share easily with anyone else. Daniel is my brother, but since I was 14 we’ve had a sexual relationship - and that’s not something that many people would feel comfortable with.

I’ve only ever spoken about this once before, and even then it was very much in the abstract. While I was still at university a friend had a major misunderstanding with a relatively new boyfriend when one of his friends had reported back to him that he’d seen her hugging and kissing another man in the union bar. She was firstly annoyed at being questioned and became even more exasperated when she explained that the man in question was her brother, as her boyfriend refused to believe her. Their loud discussion took place in the union with an interested audience, until he finally stamped out in fury, still refusing to believe her. As she flounced back to join us she made a remark about preferring her brother to any other man, whereupon one of the crowd said "Yuck, how pervy!" As she sat down beside me she muttered something like "It’s not that strange," and three or four drinks later I quietly asked her what she’d meant.

Fuelled by drink or maybe just rage, she started talking in a very intense but hushed way about how close siblings could be, going on to say that she was sure that many people experimented sexually with them as they grew up and then simply grew out of it. She said it was like practising your social skills on your family and so long as it was mutual, she couldn’t see the harm. I didn’t say much - partly because I couldn’t believe that I’d met someone who seemed to be like me - and she very quickly clammed up and moved over to talk to someone else and never brought up the subject again.

I think the only reason that I’m talking about it now is to emphasise that I truly believe that she was right - it doesn’t happen to everyone but it happens to some, and I don’t want to be made to feel guilty about it. Incest is so often spoken about in the same breath as abuse, but if you‘re close in age and equal in relationship terms then it’s entirely different. Of course abuse happens, but it can happen in any sexual relationship and there’s an expectation that a family member would never hurt you in the way that someone else could. There’s no comparison between siblings close in age having sexual feelings and contact and an adult forcing a younger member of the family to do something they neither understand nor want to be involved in. I think incest is traditionally seen as bad, but in some cultures that isn’t the case. When I was small I asked a Sunday school teacher if Adam and Eve’s children married each other since they were the first people on earth. She just laughed and didn’t reply. Having children with Daniel was never an issue and we were always careful about contraception.

All my memories of my relationship with Daniel are good. He’s only a year older than me and we’ve always been close, especially since we always seemed to be full of nonsense compared with our older sister Jane. She’s four years older than Daniel and very studious and focused, while he’s bursting with fun and light-hearted enthusiasm. I’ve adored him for as long as I can remember and my parents were always delighted by our closeness when we were small. We shared friends and moved happily in the same social circles, so I could never understand girls who didn’t get on with their brothers.

Things changed when I was 14. I had spent hours getting ready for my first Christmas dance when I knocked on Daniel’s bedroom door. It’s a dodgy age as you‘re trying to come to terms with your developing body and worry endlessly about how you look, so his wolf whistle was very welcome as he swept me into his arms and we pirouetted, laughing, around the room, before going downstairs to show off our finery to our parents and Jane.

Daniel’s appreciation really helped my confidence and I was aware of him smiling approvingly as boy after boy asked me up to dance, though my greatest pleasure was when he claimed me for the last dance. We giggled home to gossip and hot chocolate with our parents and by the next day all the finery was discarded and life was back to normal.

On New Year’s Eve Daniel went to a party and by the time he got home I was already asleep. I was extremely sleepy when he crept into my room and curled up on my bed, which was something we’d both done for years, especially if we wanted to share some snippet of gossip. When he started stroking my hair and face it was a surprise, but I could feel myself drifting pleasurably back to sleep as he caressed me gently. Then I became aware of his hand drifting lower and suddenly I was wide awake as he stroked my neck and started sliding his hand down my vest top. I wasn’t scared but I was surprised as he started stroking me, though my overriding sensation was one of sheer pleasure. I instinctively lifted my mouth to his as he kissed me and then he hugged me very tightly and left.

I lay in complete confusion with my mind racing and my body totally turned on. All the sex education I’d had said that this was wrong, that it was abuse and incest. But it hadn’t felt wrong and I certainly hadn’t felt forced. Rather, I felt that Daniel had stopped long before I’d wanted him to. It was hours before I finally fell asleep but I was sure of two things - that I’d really enjoyed it and I still adored my brother.

The next morning it was clear that Daniel had a hangover but as he grinned up at me from his prone position on the couch there was no awkwardness or regret between us. We didn’t discuss what had happened, but went for a long walk that afternoon with Jane and the dog and everything felt the same, down to Jane chiding us about being irresponsible about leaving our parents to do all the tidying up after new year’s dinner.

Over the next few years we had sexual encounters every six months or so, each time going farther and farther until I was 17, when we had full sex for the first time. We both went out with other people and there was never any jealousy, although I found it hard to be physically intimate with anyone else. Part of that was because sex with Daniel was so amazing that I had no patience for all the fumbling that seemed to happen with other boys. The sex was never pre-planned, but just always seemed to happen when there was no chance of being discovered.

Every so often I would wonder what people would think if they found out, especially our parents, but it always felt so right and was so exciting that these concerns were never enough to stop me. Sometimes he initiated sex and sometimes I did, but in between times our relationship was as easy, relaxed and affectionate as ever, with the incredible passion of each encounter quietly banked away until the next time.

I missed Daniel when he went to university, but went to stay with him every three months or so. Sometimes we would have sex and at other times neither of us seemed interested. By the time he met Alison he was working and I was a student, and I knew that this relationship was different, but it still came as a shock when he told me he wanted to marry her. However, I was more shocked when he said: "You only have to say and I won’t marry her, but then I want us to stay together and not see anyone else. We could be the old boring brother and sister who never got married, but ended up sharing a house because no one else would have them! I know this is meant to be wrong but I’ve never felt anything so right." This echoed everything that I’ve thought about our incestuous relationship over the years. After hours of discussion we agreed that it was time to stop the sexual side of our relationship and also decided that telling anyone else was a bad idea, parting in tears afterwards.

I know Daniel loves Alison, but she’s very wary of me. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t see me as a sexual threat, but she thinks of me as an emotional rival and I suppose she’s right. It’s not unusual - there are countless people dealing with all the emotions that result from partners becoming officially family.

I have wondered if there will ever come a time when I’ll look back on my relationship with Daniel in disgust, but I don’t think so. Everyone has relationships where the sexual element has ended but a great friendship remains, and that’s as good a way as any of summing up what’s happened with us. Daniel has a unique place in my affections, as I do with him, and that will never change.

As an academic I have a tendency to draw logical conclusions. I like to see a pattern and resolution, so it does pain me that what appears so lovely and natural to me would be regarded as abhorrent by most people. It’s not my subject, but I would be really interested to see a study on incest done on these terms, moving it away entirely from the concept of abuse. However, I simply cannot imagine that many people are happy to talk about it and I certainly wouldn’t put my family through hell by being the first to go public.

Three months ago I met Derek and I think this is going to be a lasting relationship. The sex is certainly amazing and he’s a warm and lovely man, so I have high hopes for this. The trouble with having someone like Daniel in your life is that it leaves you with very high expectations, but it’s hard knowing that the one person you love above everything is out of bounds. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that you can’t tell anyone, as his or her disgust would ruin everything.






Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Wrong, wrong, no matter how good it felt.  This is an abomination.  Thank heavens no seeds grew from that union.  My opinion on this matter is not based solely on my how I perceive the situation, but mostly upon the scriptural facts of such a union.

      It’s good to know that they both saw fit to walk away, but I do believe that when the moment arise, they will be lovers again, if only for one night



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Wow, this is sick.. Im sorry, love your brother, but dont MAKE LOVE to your Brother.. Big difference and NASTY !!! NASTY NASTY !



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • this is totally wrong! not only is it wrong to me personally, but its wrong in the Bible! goodgrief!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 17, 2008
    • there is never a situtation where this is right. Makes me sick!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amy L. Harden wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • I am still sitting here in shock over this story...

      Was this an “as told to story” or is this for real?  

      I am still trying to get the WTF feeling out of my brain about this...and then I start thinking about my own brother...I love the guy...but no way...would I go there with him! EEEEWWWWWWWWW!

      Are you sure this isn’t a premise for the next season of ‘Desperate Housewives”  or better yet an episode of “All My Children“?  

      Please, I am still trying to get over men kissing men and women kissing women on TV...it’s just too much information!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunshine2000 wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • So shocking and unbelievable...Even if it is JUST a story and not real—even then it is wrong and disgusting!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • This story would be totally shocking to me if it weren’t for last week a client confessed an incestuous relationship with her cousin several years ago. The relationship has been over for years, and no one else in the family is aware of it.

      She is facing a visit with extended family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and has been dealing with some jealousy issues regarding his wife.  

      This woman knew it was unacceptable, but interpreted his advances as meaning she was special, desirable. It was her first significant “romance“. She’s forgiven him, and herself, but is confused by her feelings.  

      Some things are just complicated. Is it wrong? Of course. Is it normal? Not at all. Is it something that sometimes happens to normal people? Indeed it does.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Coachmom.. OMG, Im still not as shocked about a cousin, as back in the old days it was acceptable to marry a cousin, at least its not a direct parent, Like a Brother... ?

      Your right, Sheppardess, EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
      Did I say NASTY enough... nope.. I didnt.. Just plain NASTY.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • That story just made me want the heave...Nasty..nasty..nasty...I can’t think of anything else to say but what shepherdess just said...she summed it up very well...WTF?????...sorry..this is just plain nasty!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • This is disturbing to me in more ways than one. Being close to a brother or sister is one thing. Crossing lines like that~ QUITE another! Whatever is at the core of thinking OF 'those lines' in the 1st place is beyond my understanding & I'm wondering what the ** caused either of them to think it to be acceptable under ANY circumstances. Neither of them had any business making advances or accepting them! That story can't be told as though it's "just something that happened.." I'm thinking that the only person who should really hear that story is a therapist who can help the people who were involved. Like, NOW. Good lord! There is nothing healthy AT ALL about that deal. There are just some things you just DON'T DO. Period.
      I'm bothered by why it cossed their minds initially. EW...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Jackie:  Give me a chance with the two o f them and I sure would.  Unfortunately, this type of crap does really happen.  I work with a girl with whom, this type of situation has been rumoured.  I think it messed with her pschye a bit, judging from the way she acts



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Beemeh Moore wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • This story scares me...I hope this is the not a true story because if it is...it is SICK!!!! Incestuous or not, it is wrong...there must be something wrong with your family...your parents must have seen this coming but never had  guts to talk to either one of you.  I could not believe one of your parent did not see this situation.  What happens if the same situation happens to your own children, what would you do? Are you going to make this happen?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • I read this in The Times UK
      It’s had the most comments any article they have ever printed
      [Link Removed]

      Personally I can’t imagine hwo anyone can have feelings in that way for a family memeber - it’s very wrong on any level


      Ukgirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Safari wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • Its seem to me like a wannabe story writer. If it true, then both of them need professional help from both mind and spirit.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Polly W wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • Unfortunately this stuff happens all the time, although we don’t hear about it or know about it. Many times it is consensual and adult, so “indecent liberties” with a minor are not involved. Sick as it might be—-come on we all know it happens.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cami Chitwood wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I’m just in awe...I couldn’t even FATHOM thinking of my brother in that way,it would NEVER cross my mind or his for that matter. My family has always been very close and growing up we all had our bras and panties on in front of my brother, we’d even go too the restroom in front of each other while the others getting ready or in the shower.  To me my situation was completely acceptable in my household, the reason being is NEVER would we feel so comfortable as a family if there was any slight DISGUSTING sexual thought. We are a very attractive family, my brother is very handsome, but thats as far as it goes. I’m certain without a doubt my brother never looked at me EVER and thought of his sisters that way, no matter how attractive we were.  Its just impossible for the mind to go there in healthy families.

      God has Blessed me with never having to face any type of rape or incest.  

      I can’t even believe you think that this is acceptable; if its your way of getting through the unethical situation your going about it all wrong. GO SEE A THERAPIST ASAP!!!
      Something is not chemically working properly in your brain....PLEASE get help!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cami Chitwood wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I don’t agree, yes this world is ugly, but I don’t know that there is consensual incest in the family unless they have been locked in a closet.  “Come on we all know” nothing...this is not acceptable.  Your acting as if no big deal, I can’t imagine sinking anylower with the ones I trust and love the most.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I don’t think anyone here sees it as no big deal.
      Face it there are pretty sick tickets in this world.

      Both of these people need some serious counseling.

      I hardly doubt anyone in their ‘right’ mind would do this. There are some serious issues at work here.

      Makes me sick to my stomach!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carolnphil wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I just got home from work, signed on and read this story.  All of a sudden I thought, “This is NOT what I signed up to read!”

      I realize I’m a grown woman but these aren’t issues I want to even deal with in my life EVER.  I would prefer friendships and fun stories; nothing horrific and as disgusting as this.

      I’m going to start censoring the storylines and choose which items to read and respond to from now on.  I can’t handle this mental overload.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie Lawrence wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • That is just sick and totally disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not to metion WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Termite wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I can not believe what I just read. I swear this is going on between someone I know and his sister. I have always said that there was something wierd going on with them. They are both in their 40’s now and she still sends him pictures out of a coloring book that she colors for him and love like letters. (I was told this by his 2nd and 3rd wives). He is on his 3rd marriage (she encouraged the divorces and is encouraging he get another one from his current wife), and she has been married twice and now she is gay. But they still are very very close, and not your normal brother and sister close, it’s just weird. I was having a hard time pin pointing the feeling I was getting from these two, I always just said that they had a very ODD relationship, but after reading this story, I truly TRULY believe that this was going on and still is going on between them.
      One word...YUK!!! Gives me the willies!! LOL



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Owlmaria wrote Jun 3, 2009
    • I only wonder why she chose to write about this. Or When this was written. She mentioned  an academic, what does she do now? Maybe there are some things that should not be written about or talked about except to get counselling.  Just may opinion!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Oct 8, 2010
    • Just wrong on so many leveles!



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