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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Yey for Incest? *Revised*

The May issue of Gay Times arrived this morning and it includes a two page spread (pp 10-11) with the headline 'Oh Brother'. It states: 'Taboos. They create controversy. We love a bit of controversy'. It then talks about the DVD From Beginning to End which tells the story of two brothers in love. It's a gay incest movie (the GT feature comprises of a short couple of paragraphs against two pages of full photos of the brothers kissing). The article doesn't tell you that it's Brazilian film (trailer below with subtitles) and it does seem a more complex them than the "look at two hot brothers making out" angle that GT has, perhaps inevitably, gone for.

Yet, the article reminds me of just how prevalent real and imagined incest is in gay porn. Gay guys have for years been open about being turned on by two brothers having sex. Typically (as in this film) those feelings developed in childhood (usually done as chatting back story in porn), teen fumblings and now the consensual scene the film-maker can show. It's an acceptance of incest (and often implicitly childhood incest encounters) that will seem bizarre, and perhaps even scandalous within wider straight society.

In a previous version of this post (I was having an off day I admit) I wrote that 'English criminal law is only concerned where one sibling is over 18 and the other isn't' in a criminal law context. This is wrong, as it does criminalise 'penetration' in S.64 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It goes beyond Scots law (or is at least clearer) (S1 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995) to clearly include oral sex as well as vaginal and anal sex. However, acts such as mutual masturbation do not seem to be covered. English civil law prevents siblings getting married or entering into a civil partnership so the law perhaps reflects some confused attitudes on this issue.

If you think I'm over-stating things, can we see GT featuring a "Man's Best Friend" double page spread of Frank and his long-time companion, a chocolate Labrador called Jack"? I don't think so. So, sure they like 'controversy', but only stuff that's actually pretty well accepted within the magazine's gay readership. So, are gay men freakishly weird in enjoying incest? Is it a reflection of desire over reality? Is it perhaps, a revelation of true desire shunned and denied by straight society? All questions worth reflecting upon. In the meantime, here's the trailer for From Beginning to End (Do Come├žo ao Fim)...

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Nickyb said...

I'm rather confused by your assertion that English law is not concerned unless one party is under 18. What about SOA 2003 ss 64 & 65? Tow whit:

Sex with an adult relative

64Sex with an adult relative: penetration

(1)A person aged 16 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally penetrates another person’s vagina or anus with a part of his body or anything else, or penetrates another person’s mouth with his penis,

(b)the penetration is sexual,

(c)the other person (B) is aged 18 or over,

(d)A is related to B in a way mentioned in subsection (2), and

(e)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that he is related to B in that way.

(2)The ways that A may be related to B are as parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

(3)In subsection (2)—

(a)“uncle” means the brother of a person’s parent, and “aunt” has a corresponding meaning;

(b)“nephew” means the child of a person’s brother or sister, and “niece” has a corresponding meaning.

(4)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the defendant was related to the other person in any of those ways, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that he was related in that way unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that he was.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

65Sex with an adult relative: consenting to penetration

(1)A person aged 16 or over (A) commits an offence if—

(a)another person (B) penetrates A’s vagina or anus with a part of B’s body or anything else, or penetrates A’s mouth with B’s penis,

(b)A consents to the penetration,

(c)the penetration is sexual,

(d)B is aged 18 or over,

(e)A is related to B in a way mentioned in subsection (2), and

(f)A knows or could reasonably be expected to know that he is related to B in that way.

(2)The ways that A may be related to B are as parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

(3)In subsection (2)—

(a)“uncle” means the brother of a person’s parent, and “aunt” has a corresponding meaning;

(b)“nephew” means the child of a person’s brother or sister, and “niece” has a corresponding meaning.

(4)Where in proceedings for an offence under this section it is proved that the defendant was related to the other person in any of those ways, it is to be taken that the defendant knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that he was related in that way unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he knew or could reasonably have been expected to know that he was.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

As far as I can see, this makes any adult act of incest, whether hetero- or homo-sexual an indictable offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment. This appears to have come into force at the latest on 1st May 2004 (though given the lamentable state of legislation.gov.uk this may not be accurate). Am I missing something here?

Chris Ashford said...

Not at all Nicky. I made a very stupid mistake which will act as a reminder to me of the dangers of a combination of a) writing about something you don't normally deal with and b) doing so on a day you're not at your best and ill in bed. I've revised the post obviously and feel very very stupid. I've posted your comment anyway (it was detected as spam for some reason) as we all make mistakes. Thanks for pointing out my silly mistake.

 
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