There's been a lot of talk lately about 'keeping it in the family'. A recent report states that family-themed adult entertainment has inexplicably spiked in popularity over the last year - by almost 700% in parts of the U.S. Where does this fascination come from, and is this last taboo ever actually broken outside of a Silicone Valley sound stage?
The short answer? Yes.
The phenomenon of genetic sexual attraction is sexual attraction between two close relatives. It's believed to be triggered when two family members are estranged early in life. Failing to form the family bonds which create a natural taboo around sexual bonding, they risk interpreting intense familiarity as sexual attraction.
Barbara Gonyo coined the term in 1980. She reported feeling overwhelmingly attracted to her own estranged son upon meeting him later in life. However, her son’s unresponsiveness towards her attraction meant she never acted on it. Known as GSA, genetic sexual attraction is reported in a full 50% of reunion cases between adults separated by early adoption.
The inherent and almost universal societal taboo around incestuous sexual relationships means that GSA is often accompanied by debilitating feelings of guilt and depression. Due to the illegal nature of these relationships in many countries, most of those afflicted will be forced to hide the relationship or deny it. The following twelve people, some anonymous, have publicly spoken about their experiences of GSA in shocking, taboo-shattering testimonials that shook the world.
12 The German Siblings Who Have Four Kids
In Germany, having sex with a close relative is an offense punishable by up to three years imprisonment. Patrick Stübing has faced this jail term, but his sister and wife has been fighting hard to get this law abolished.
At the time Patrick’s sister, Susan, was born, he was already estranged from his mother. Years later, the three were reunited. Six months later, their mother suffered a heart attack and died. Soon after, Patrick and Susan fell head over heels for each other and brought four children into the world.
Two of the couple's children have disabilities, which haven’t been traced back to inbreeding. Patrick has confirmed that the couple decided to have more children, even after the German authorities took their first baby away from them.
11 The Brazilian Siblings
Adrianna and Leandro were both orphans. They had been married for 10 years before discussing the whereabouts of their respective parents. The two had both been abandoned by their parents at a young age.
Adrianna knew her mother’s name as Maria. Maria abandoned Adrainna at the tender age of one. Coincidentally, Leandro’s mother was also named Maria. She abandoned him at the age of eight.
One day, Adrianna called the Globo Radio station that specializes in reconnecting lost relatives and finally got a chance to talk to her long lost mother - but this was just the beginning. Before hanging up, her mother also told her that he had an estranged son known as Leandro. Shocked, Adrianna quickly realised that she and her husband shared the same estranged mother.
10 The 18 Year Old and Her Father
A father and his daughter - who have chosen to remain nameless - lost contact for 12 years. When these two relatives met, sparks flew.
The daughter has been conceived when her parents were 18 years old, but the dad in question abandoned his wife while she was still pregnant and had not seen his daughter since she was 4 years old. Fast-forward 12 years and the 17 year old and her father began chatting online. They knew they were related and found out they had lots in common, down to a love for The Big Bang Theory.
The father soon invited his daughter to his house, and within days that had developed a sexual relationship. Two years down the line, they're planning to tie the knot and build a family together.
9 Barbara Gonyo and Her Son
Barbara Gonyo, the woman behind the term Genetic Sexual Attraction, experienced it at the age of 42.
Barbara fell pregnant at 16 but was forced to give her son up for adoption. 26 years later, in 1979, the two were reunited. At that time, Barbara developed a strong sexual attraction towards her son. She says she fantasized about him, to the point of obsession.
On the other hand, her son Mitch was entirely unresponsive. Despite this indifference, Barbara’s desire to sleep with her son grew so wild that she admitted she had never felt such attraction, even towards her husband. However, twelve years of hard work thwarting those thoughts paid off and she was able to save her marriage and salvage a normal relationship with her son.
8 Barbara Gonyo’s Client
As a renowned GSA expert, Barbara serves as a councillor to a number of other sufferers. One of her unnamed clients confessed to sleeping with his mother after finding her at the age of 21.
This went on for several years before stopping. The man stated that his mother ended the strange act because it was too emotionally painful for her. The excruciating guilt tore her up, and she was also fearful of being caught.
Although people trapped in a GSA relationship may be fully aware and willing, most suffer humiliating guilt. The man in this story reportedly said that he never regretted sleeping with his mother, but what depressed him was losing her. Barbara reports that such depressed feelings may even leave a GSA sufferer feeling suicidal.
7 The Twins Who Got Hitched
A pair of twins was separated at birth and the two were adopted by separate families. Years later, they met as strangers and experienced an instant attraction towards each other.
They proceeded to get married, allegedly without knowing their true relationship. When their relationship came to light, the legal system in the UK threatened to annul their marriage.
In 2008, Lord Alton stood before the House of Lords and presented this case. The Lord explained that a judge had cancelled the marriage - but the couple maintained they never knew they were siblings at the time of their marriage. The house agreed that to prevent such GSA cases, it was imperative to uphold children's rights that make them aware of their biological parents.
6 Rachel and Shawn
Rachel and Shawn (not their real names) dated for four years before getting married. In all that time, they never knew that one man fathered them both. Rachel is Shawn’s half sister. They were born 28 days apart.
Although they're now aware of their biological relationship, they say their marriage works. They go to bed together, they go to work, and they eat dinner like a normal family. They also have a good intimate relationship. Despite this, Rachel has second thoughts about having children with her half-brother, due to genetic concerns.
The two found out about their relationship after they made a commitment to seek out their unknown fathers at the age of 27. After finding out the truth, they now believe that their genetic resemblance did, indeed, intensify their attraction.
5 Sally and Her Son
Sally was reunited with her son 30 years after she gave him up for adoption. She vowed to be part of his life again, at some time in the future when she felt ready.
Two weeks after the meeting, Sally started feeling strong sexual desires towards her son. She said that, though the feeling was bizarre, she was sure she was falling in love with him. They spent their initial days cuddling and hugging. Soon after, they began having sex. Sally said that it was the most phenomenal thing she has ever encountered in her life. Meanwhile, her son also stated that he had found the idea partner in his mother.
4 Paul and His Sister
Upon meeting his biological sister, Paul, from British Columbia, immediately felt a strong attraction towards her. Even though he was married, Paul recounted that it was like meeting the perfect soul mate you always dream of. His strong feelings made him want to leave all else and walk into the sunset with his sibling.
These feelings transformed into a sexual relationship. For Paul, there was nothing wrong with wanting to "physically, emotionally and soulfully" bond with her sister in this way.
The affair went on for a while until his wife got wind of it. Paul ended his sexual relationship with his sister, and his wife has since likened the experience to "growing pains".
3 The Grandmother-Grandson Relationship
After Phil Bailey’s mother died, Phil embarked on a search for his grandmother. He unearthed her address and wrote her a letter.
His grandmother, Mrs. Carter, was elated to hear from her grandson. They began emailing each other. Phil emailed her one of his pictures and she says she found him to be ‘a handsome and sexy man.’ She reports knowing that she would not have a normal relationship with Phil.
Upon meeting, both felt a flood of sexual attraction towards each other. Soon, they were kissing, and the kissing grew into a regular sexual relationship. In 2010, they paid a surrogate £20,000 to give birth to their first child. Both of them are still very much in love despite public ridicule and the very obvious taboos surrounding the strange relationship.
2 Ivor Lytton and His Twin Sister
Ivor successfully tracked down his estranged twin sister in South Africa and planned a dinner party to meet her.
In Ivor’s own words, “From the moment we met, I was smitten, and continued to be drawn to her like a magnet. As I got to know her, I felt she had given me a life transmission. She put a smile in my heart and a spring in my step.”
However, falling in love with his biological sister has had dire consequences for Ivor and his family. Ivor has suffered massive depression, as his sister doesn't reciprocate his feelings.
1 John and Jenny Deaves
John Deaves had been married twice before initiating a sexual relationship with his once-estranged daughter. His second wife always encouraged him to get in touch and form a bond with the children from his first marriage. So, he complied.
However, John and Jenny Deaves developed intense non-platonic feelings towards each other upon meeting. This, of course, angered the second wife and she left. Both John's first and second wives joined forced and notified the police of the inappropriate relationship.
John and Jenny were able to evade the authorities for eight years until court proceedings put paid to their relationship in 2008. Prior to this, they had given birth to a healthy daughter in 2007.