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So I am dealing with some issues right now that I don't know how to handle. I'll start with the basics. I'm a 34-year-old single-ish straight male and I have been in a very close intimate friends with benefits relationship with a 28-year-old polyamorous bisexual girl. We have definitely had our ups and downs, the main ones being that I want to formalize the relationship whereas she wants it to remain exactly the same. We also have some sexual problems that come up from time to time where she loses her libido for sometimes months at a time. During those times our relationship remain very sexual without any sex acts occurring which leaves me sexually frustrated because it feels like I'm constantly being teased. But, those issues aren't what I'm currently writing about.

So a couple of weeks ago, after almost three months of constant teasing with no sex I got fed up and ended the relationship. I stayed away for a week until my frustrations calmed down and went back to her and she welcomed me with open arms and lo and behold her libido is back and things seem a bit more normal.

When I returned however I noticed all of her sex toys out and she told me that while I was away she decided to explore her dominant side by using her toys on a guy. We've never been exclusive So that by itself didn't bother me. But, while telling me about it she was rather vague about who it was but said it was someone she knew. She is normally more open about her exploits So I thought it was strange that she would hide that info from me. She is also a homebody and doesn't hangout with anyone besides me and her male cousin who is close to her age. That got me really suspicious that she might have hooked up with her cousin.

Well, last night I asked her directly if it was and she admitted to it. She said there were no other acts performed and that she just used toys on him, not sure if I completely believe that though. She said that was the only time but that they had discussed going further. Now I am completely grossed out by it and it's really bothering me to the point that I might end things if she does continue that type of relationship with her cousin. We didn't talk long about it before she fell asleep So I'm going over tonight to talk more.

I love her dearly and don't want to give up what we have but I also can't help but being completely creeped out by the fact that on any given night she could have her cousin's dick in her mouth. This is her first cousin, as in her mom's sister's son and they grew up together rather closely. Is this a situation where I could give her an ultimatum of if she continues to hook up with him then I will walk out the door or is it something that is really none of my business and I should just somehow get over it? I feel super judgmental right now and I also worry that it might just kill all my attraction to her..

What are your thoughts? I know know it's legal in some states and she did tell me that it would most certainly be a temporary thing given how close their entire family is. I personally feel like it's something that she needs to talk to a mental health professional about. I also worry if I give her the ultimatum that she might choose cousin sex over our long term relationship. Please help.

Instantly Neurotic Concerning Extra Sexual Territory

Take it away, Wikipedia...

Cousin marriage is marriage between cousins (i.e. people with a common grandparent or people who share another fairly recent ancestor). Opinions and practice vary widely across the world. In some cultures and communities, cousin marriage is considered ideal and actively encouraged; in others, it is subject to social stigma. Cousin marriage is common in the Middle East, for instance, where it accounts for over half of all marriages in some countries. In some countries outside that region, it is uncommon but still legal. In others, it is seen as incestuous and is legally prohibited: it is banned in China and Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, and in less than half of the United States. Supporters of cousin marriage where it is banned may view the prohibition as discrimination, while opponents may appeal to moral or other arguments. Worldwide, more than 10% of marriages are between first or second cousins.

What's that, Slate?

A new group is struggling for acceptance. The group is people who are married to their cousins. These people note that 20 percent of marriages around the world are between first cousins, that Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married their first cousins, and that first-cousin marriage, while prohibited in half the United States, is legal in Canada and throughout Europe. Now a study by the National Society of Genetic Counselors says that having a child with your first cousin raises the risk of a significant birth defect from about 3-to-4 percent to about 4-to-7 percent. According to the authors, that difference isn't big enough to justify genetic testing of cousin couples, much less bans on cousin marriage. From this, the media have concluded that marrying your first cousin is "OK." Is it?

Slate's William Saletan goes on to conclude that marrying your first cousin isn't okay—which is easy for him to say, since he's already married, and the woman with whom he fell in love wasn't a cousin. (Or was she? "No two people are more distantly related than 50th cousins," says the fact sheet at CousinCouples.com.) But still, INCEST: seeing as it's perfectly legal for first cousins to marry in 26 states, and seeing as first-cousin marriages are recognized in all fifty states (and in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere), your reaction to a couple of cousins doing a little D/s on the DL seems a bit over the top. If a polyamorous bisexual girl can marry her cousin—and she can, INCEST, and that's not news to you ("I know it's legal in some states")—why the fuck can't a polyamorous bisexual girl mess around with her cousin?

That said, William Saletan isn't the only person on earth unnerved by the thought of first-cousin relationships—there wouldn't be a need for pleading websites like CousinCouples.com ("The world's primary resource for romantic relationships among cousins") if cousin couplings didn't freak some people out. But there's no need for mental health professionals or ultimatums, INCEST. Chill, cuz.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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