Is It All Right To Hook Up With Your Cousin?

Charles Darwin married his cousin. They had ten children. Albert Einstein married his cousin too. So did Jesse James and H.G Wells. And the list goes on and on — millions and millions of people marry their relatives. In a few Middle Eastern nations, marriage between cousins accounts for almost half of all marriages. And in the Western hemisphere, cousin marriage is legal in Europe, Mexico and Canada and in at least 20 states in the U.S.A.

Incest is alive and well in the modern world.

And so what? What’s the big deal? The sexual revolution happened over a century ago and the leading figure of that whole movement — Freud — based his psychobabble on the fact he wanted have sex with his mom. His mom! So why is cousin sex and marriage still so taboo?

I tried to hook up with my cousin once. We were drunk and, at least in my head, flirting. I told her I wouldn’t mind hooking up with her and leaned in for a kiss. It did not end well. And, now, honestly I don’t think she’ll ever want to be in the same room with me again. But, seriously, what gives? Why all the fuss?

The birth defect excuse doesn’t work. Modern science makes it possible to reproduce with your cousin without giving birth to a freak of nature. (And anyway, what’s wrong with giving birth to a freak of nature in the first place? Aren’t we supposed to love everyone even if they’re special? Particularly if they’re special?)

Who says there has to be a deformed baby to worry about at all? What if Tom hooks up with his cousin Mark on a family vacation, and they end up getting married and living happily ever after? Actually, what if Mark and Tom were brothers and that happend? Or twins? What is wrong with that? It’s love. They were born this way! Who are we to judge them and tell them whom they can and cannot love?

Our intolerance towards cousin love and other forms of incest makes me think perhaps we aren’t that liberated. Is secular America, for example, more sexually liberated than the ancient Greeks were? The ancient Greeks practically invented the orgy. They seemingly embraced homosexuality. They were incredible sexual beings, primal and true to the nastiness of nature. Violent and virile brutes! Just look at the art portraying their sexual behavior back then. It’s men, women, kids, and animals all gettin’ jiggy.

Hell, I might go so far as to ask — is secular America more sexually liberated than conservative Islam? While secular America is more tolerant towards homosexuality, Islam is more tolerant towards cousin incest; the Quran allows you to marry your cousin. Moreover, at least theoretically speaking, isn’t this so-called sexual repression thing potentially incredibly erotic? Think of sex like boiling water. In secular America, we boil with microwaves: quickly, directly, mechanically — it’s a science, a biological function. In “repressed” societies they seem to boil with fireplaces: slowly, indirectly, ethereally — it’s something sacred. I don’t know, just saying maybe there’s something there.

Anyway, cousin, if you’re reading this: I’m sorry for making you feel uncomfortable. But girl, you have my number, so call me maybe? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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