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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yeah, but he's my FIRST cousin

Stella Folk sent the following via email:

I've been having recurring dreams in which I forget that I have a boyfriend and date other men. Twice these other men have been my own cousins. When I remember that I'm already with someone, I feel incredibly guilty and decide I need to break up with the extra guy. Except when it's a cousin, then I just realize that's not done and get squicked out. What do these dreams mean?

You're reached a point in your relationship with a man where you've realized, subconsciously, that you're not getting what you actually want. You dream about having a lapse of memory and ending up being intimate with others and, not just random others, but your own cousins. While your cousins are male, what they represent is a taboo. In most Western countries, romantic/sexual relations between cousins is frowned upon. We don't have sex with our brothers or cousins, because it's incest: they're our kin. They're our own kind. This is the same taboo that exists around same-sex relationships: some people think a woman shouldn't be intimate with other women because there's this idea that human beings should not fall in love with or have sex with or even be attracted to their own gender, or their own kind.

In your dream, it's convenient that you forget your boyfriend : this allows you to pursue relationships that appeal to you. Your cousins represent women - either specific women or women in general (that's for you to determine) and this dream is about the fact that you feel a sense of loyalty and obligation to your current boyfriend, even though what you'd really like to pursue is intimacy with your own kind: women. That you're "squicked out" by the idea of intimacy with your male cousins is representational of the fact that, while you're clearly attracted to women, there's still a part of you that thinks lezzing out is icky. A lot of people take a while to get over the icky factor. Social taboos can be very difficult to move past, but it's worth the effort. Believe me - lesbians don't have cooties. And get used to it, because you are one.

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