I had sex with my brother but I don't feel guilty
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 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.