January 27, 2004

O Cousin! My Cousin!

by peterb
While hanging out on CMU Zephyr tonight discussing election results, someone painfully pointed a link to the very strange Cousin Couples web site, which is where you go if, apparently, you're screwing your cousin and want to find a group of idiots who'll say "You go, girl!" While looking, we quickly discovered the Poetry Forum where people could write awful poems about how humpable their cousins are. This gave me some bad ideas, and of course it was just a few minutes before it all spun out of control. Normally we'd have preserved these in the topbot, but the formatting issues made it ugly. So I present to you, without further ado: Zephyr's Best Cousin'-Lovin' poems!

Sonnet #315: My Cousin is Sooooooo Fucking Hot
To praise a certain lady given grant
Without succumbing to society's curse
Even though she is the daughter of my Aunt
It's not like humping her is so much worse

The Love Song of Chester the Molester
Shall I part my mullet behind? Do I dare hump a niece?
I shall wear plaid flannel shirts, and sleep in the trailer.
I have heard the country-western music, and been fleeced.

Ode on a Grecian Cuz
Thou still unravish'd son of family,
Thou foster-child of Robert and Aunt Marge,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our Downs-syndrome children?

Soon Ogden Nash joined in:

I like eels
except as meals
and the way that their lack of intra-eel societal approval
of first-cousin consanguinous marriages feels

Quoth Dorothy Parker:

Men don't make passes
at women who are too closely related to them.

And, of course, combining Walt Whitman with filthy English jigs came naturally after that:

O COUSIN! my Cousin! our fearful trip is done,
My hands have searched your every rack, the prize I sought is won.
The port is near, the bells I hear, I would be safely harboured
I'll open your gate, but must sail straight, for you see I list to starboard.

What is a poetry contest with Emily Dickinson?

He touched me, so I live to know
That such a day, permitted so,
I groped upon the tracks.
It was a boundless place to me,
And silenced, as the awful sea
Our children are hemophiliacs

nlanza jumped in with some beautiful contributions, including: Edgar Allen Poe!

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'T is my cousin," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
On this night I score."

(At this point, nlanza and I both had to admit that one could probably read Poe's Annabel Lee into this little competition without actually changing any of the words.).
Nat also provided the ever popular hymnal:

Nearer, my cousin, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
E'en though it be state law,
That keepeth me,
Still all my heart would be,
Nearer, my cousin, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Two cousins lingered in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not marry both
And be one family, long I stood
And made out with one as long as I could
To where we got lucky in the undergrowth;

Perhaps one of my favorites came courtesy of jferro:

They tell me you are consanguineous and I believe them, for I have
seen your harelip passed down through the generations.

Corey, not to be left out, contributed this gothic gem:

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held a heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter -- bitter," he answered, "But I like it
"Because it is bitter,
"And because it is my cousin

Any contributions from you guys? Comment below. (Apparently some of the Cousin Couples partisans can get a bit uppity. I wonder how they'll deal with this little exercise in creative expression?) ADDENDUM: There has been quite a bit of activity in the comments to this thread. My reponse to some of your comments can be found in this article. Enjoy. Posted by peterb at January 27, 2004 10:17 PM | Bookmark This



After drinking too much robitussin,
a young man had sex with his cousin,
she said, "Oh Jim,
you need not be grim,
our kids will have toes by the dozen."

Ok, it was short notice. I'll also just say it's really nice to see you writing again - I was a big fan of your stuff back in Uni, and every couple of months I'd check the sadly bare frontpage. Finding your blog ( via Orkut ) was a real bright spark.

Posted by Bryn Davies at February 2, 2004 03:42 AM

I just wanted to say that your comments on cousin couples was very wrong!
I am in a relationship with my 1st cousin, we are getting married in August.
We live in England where it is not so taboo to have a relationship with your cousin.
I just wish people like yourself would educate yourselves in the facts and not the myths. Maybe if you had spent a litte more time at the cousin couples web site you may have found the facts.
I just hope that one day you can look back on your stupid comments and think how wrong you are.

Posted by mandy at March 3, 2004 07:21 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with Mandy. I also live in England and am in a very happy relationship with my second cousin.Anyone who has done their research will know that there is only a slightly higher risk of having a less than perfect child than non-related couples and there is genetic councilling out there for people who wish to have a child together.My doctor married her first cousin and they have two healthy, beautiful children, for a start.

In Britain and many other parts of the world, people are educated and clued up on the 'risks' associated with cousin relationships but it is certainly not prohibited.Maybe America need to catch up with the rest of the world and leave their narrow minded and uneducated attitudes in the playground.xx

Posted by Rowena at March 23, 2004 06:30 AM

The last two post were 310% right. I am involved with my cousin now and WILL be marrying her in the months to come. America has fallen into the idea that Cousins are a bad thing. So, I agree with Rowena that my fellow Americans need to get their head out of their rear ends.

Posted by Kippa at May 23, 2004 10:28 PM

"Some people are fixated on the fallacy that cousin couples pose an intolerable risk to their offspring. However it is likely that we are all descendants of cousin marriages. Before civil laws banning cousin marriages, it was preferable to marry a cousin in some communities as it is to this day in many countries. The notion “why marry a stranger" is just as prevalent in many countries as the cousin marriage taboo in America today.
There is a wide range of opinions on the subject of cousin marriages. This is fuelled by erroneous information, bigotry, and presumptions. Further we have civil laws and religious creeds based on obsolete information.

The facts about cousin marriages are much clearer.

There are no contemporary studies that indicate cousins have children with significantly higher than normal birth defects. Fears of cousins who marry having children with birth defects are indeed exaggerated. Simply marrying within your own race increases the odds of birth defects. Marrying within your own town further increases your chances. Cousin couples have only a slightly higher incidence of birth defects than non-related couples.

Fact: 26 states allow first cousin marriages; Most people can marry their cousin in the US.

Fact: US prohibitions against cousin marriages predate modern genetics. Hmmm.

Fact: In the first quarter of 2000, two delegates in Maryland introduced a bill that would prohibit first cousin marriage. This bill passed in the House of Delegates (82 to 46), however did not make it past the Senate Committee. Please remember Delegates Heller and Barve in the next election. The sponsors of the bill claim that a large ratio of out-of-state couples come to Maryland to get married – perhaps cousin couples. Their bill would have stifled revenues from marriage licenses while imposing ridiculous marriage restrictions.

Fact: No European country prohibits marriage between first cousins. It is also legal throughout Canada and Mexico to marry your cousin. The USA is the only western country with cousin marriage restrictions.

Fact: Children of non-related couples have a 2-3% risk of birth defects, as opposed to first cousins having a 4-6% risk. Genetic counseling is available for those couples that may be at a special risk for birth defects (e.g. You have a defect that runs in your family) In plain terms first cousins have at a 94 percent + chance of having healthy children. Check the links section for more information on genetic counselors. The National Society of Genetic Counselors estimated the increased risk for first cousins is between 1.7 to 2.8 percent, or about the same a any woman over 40 years of age.

Fact: Second cousins have little, if any increased chance of having children with birth defects, per the book "Clinical Genetics Handbook”– courtesy of the March of Dimes.

Fact: The frequency of cousin marriages in the USA is about 1 in 1,000

Fact: The frequency of cousin marriages in Japan is about 4 in 1,000

Fact: It is estimated that 20 percent of all couples worldwide are first cousins. It is also estimated that 80 percent of all marriages historically have been between first cousins!

Fact: In some cultures, the term cousin and mate are synonymous.

Fact: The range of consanguinity in Saudi Arabia is between 34 to 80+ percent. A study has been done on birth defects resulting from consanguineous marriages in this country. Read about it.

Fact: Albert Einstein married his first cousin. And so did Charles Darwin, who had exceptional children.

Fact: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest serving US president in history married his cousin (not a first cousin, however they shared the same last name).

Fact: The first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald married his first cousin.

Fact: Leviticus 18 lists all forbidden sexual relationships. Cousin relationships are not included.

Fact: God commanded many cousins to marry, including Zelophehad's 5 daughters, Eleazar's daughters, Jacob (who married both Rachel and Leah, first cousins), and Isaac and Rebekkah (first cousins once removed). All were ancestors of Jesus Christ.

Fact: Current studies indicate that cousin couples have a lower ratio of miscarriages -- perhaps because body chemistry of cousins is more similar. The verdict is still out."

Posted by Kippa at May 23, 2004 10:32 PM

Three hundred percent
(of toes) comes to dozens and
dozens. Quod erat.

Posted by sprite at May 23, 2004 11:29 PM

For those of you following the debate, I have posted a response to some of the commenters in this thread here:


Posted by peterb at May 24, 2004 04:54 PM

This comment on this site is LIE : Leviticus 18 lists all forbidden sexual relationships. Cousin relationships are not included.

The Bible says: Leviticus 18: Verse 5: "No one is to approach any CLOSE RELATIVE to have sexual relations. I am the Lord." ---- God is forbiding sexual relationships between cousins and blood relations - he allowed it before as can be seen with Issac and Jacob marriages but this was BEFORE this point in the bible. Once God had made it Law, by speaking it out, it was not mentioned in the bible again as it had been outlawed. So GOD FORBIDS COUSIN SEX AND THUS MARRIAGE. The relationship must only be that of sister and brother - no more. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Posted by Raj at August 22, 2004 08:15 PM

Raj is not quite correct. First of all, when the law records in Leviticus that a man should not have a sexual relationship with any "close relative", it then provides a list of those considered "close", including aunts, sisters, daughter-in-laws, etc. Cousins are not in that list, so it is reasonable to assume that God did not intend the ban to extend to cousins. Raj should be careful not to add to the scriptures his own assumptions about what "close relative" means.

Second, Raj argues that since no other statements regarding marriage to cousins are recorded after that point, that it must be still so today. I take it, then, that he still believes that adulterers should be stoned? I certainly hope not, for that means he has missed all that Paul so eloquently wrote regarding trying to complete in the flesh what has been started in the spirit.

Posted by Tom at March 21, 2005 01:25 AM

I am at a loss. I am so confused. I met a man and he turned out to be my first cousin, once removed. I didn't grow up with him as family, and we have fallen for each other. Now what do we do? I am a Bible believing woman and I love God more than anything, and His Word is the ultimate authority to me... I am just confused. It says in Leviticus no close relative, so how close are first cousins once removed? Also, there is never a history of God ordering anyone to marry their sister or Aunt, as he did for some cousins to marry, I have even heard it suggested that Joseph and Mary were cousins of some sort, because they both were descendants from the house of David. Therefore they were related in some way. In my heart I don't feel like it is bad, because of what I have found in the Bible and how I feel abotu this situation, but the societal push that this is an evil, gross thing is confusing to me. I would have never wished this upon my life, but it has happened, and now I have to deal with it. I only ask you guys be a little more understanding that sometimes people find themselves in situations they would have preferred not to be in, therefore have a little heart and soul, have a little compassion. thanks.

Posted by Grace at March 21, 2005 05:57 PM

i agree with grace although my story was a little not similar to her..i can relate so much..i don't know what to do either..we kept it for almost 4yrs..i didn't grow up with him..but i knew he was my cousin..and right now,our relationship is at stake because of other people who try to part us and humilliated us..it hurt alot..because they tried to keep me away from him,and even encouraged him to have another girlfriend..i'm so confused,although i know we love each other so much that no one really understood our special bonding..and whenever we see other couples apart so easily,i always wonder if it could happen to us..i'm ready to fight for our love....tell me if there could be a perfect clone of him unrelated,still i would pick him,cus'that clone doesn't have his heart..

Posted by anonymous at April 19, 2005 12:21 AM

I am 15 and i am dating my second cousin, I can say that the newer generation has been alot more accepting then you seem to be. I believe that you are a bad influence on todays culture and todays culture has been so much more open minded to peoples relationships. Though I may be 15 i do have to say you are completely wrong about people who are with cousins, because those relationships will last even if you dont date.

Posted by KLW at May 3, 2005 08:54 PM

OOoookay! My daughter and her boyfriend will most likely get married at some point. They are a charming and sweet couple! Problem is this... I met my daughter's boyfriends uncle and we hit it off really really well. We want to date each other but my daughter and my fuure son-in law are having a freak fit over it stating that they willb e cousins and even though not "blood cousins" still legal cousins and they are not willing to accept our dating. Is there any way to explain this to them so they understand that it is not incest??? Of course they won't listen to someone within family here.
Thanks. Just need to try and make them understand that it is not "sick".

Posted by Leesa at May 26, 2005 03:38 AM

I have known my cousin long before our families married, we grew up together. We knew eachother inside out. And over time I began to love her!

6 years later, after the marriage,we sat down and talk about everything liek we normally do and she got on the topic of her past relationships and what she really wants out of life. she began to get very serious and started to cry saying " Why do we have to be cousins? You were the guy i've always dreamed of being with. I love you, I've always loved you!"

We talked all night and that made our special bond we already had that much stronger and unbearable to stay separated. But now im torn between what our sick culture has led us to beleive is the right way and the thought that our relationship has never been this much closer, helping us realize we have alwasy been there for eachother, we have always loved eachother, and we deserve to be together. What should we do? Thanx

Posted by Ken at June 29, 2005 01:44 PM

For those of you out there who think cousin coupling and high degrees of interbreeding are fine things, might I suggest an extended stay in many of America's small rural communities, where the lack of diversity in the gene pool is rivalled only by the lack of diversity in pretty much every other aspect of human existence.

Posted by Dr. Click at July 8, 2005 08:32 PM

im 19 from england and im in love with my 1st cousin i need to no is it ok for us to get married iv tryed to look everywer but no wer helps me plz someone email me with information on this subject also what about if we have a baby can there be any problems i want facts plz someone

Posted by steven at July 26, 2005 04:39 PM

Wake up America! And especially you Peterb! You disgust me and are putting thngs out there that are completely wrong, I assume you are a "Christian". Maybe you should educate yourself a little better before you go out and accuse people of "screwing their cousins and being a group of idiots". Is screwing your significant other the only aspect of your relationship? I hope not. The bible makes it very clear what God's laws are about which relationships are okay and which are not. There are several comments on the facts I recognize from CousinCouples, maybe you should read them. Open your mind a little instead of trying to be funny. Maybe you'll find a much more peaceful heart than what I've seen here.

Posted by Jennifer at August 25, 2005 02:30 PM

I always assumed you worshiped C'thulu.

Posted by shelby davis at August 25, 2005 03:19 PM


Posted by babygirl at August 26, 2005 02:12 AM

Perhaps some of you people might spend a little less time with your noses in books of poetry (not that there's anything wrong with that), stop worrying about books of ancient mythology, pull your heads out of your rectums and get with the program. I try my best to avoid engaging in battles of wit with unarmed people but the uneducated and moronic anti-cousin-relationship idiots posting on (and hosting) this site needed to be addressed. Have a nice day, God willing...or whatever.

Posted by Scott at September 11, 2005 04:40 AM

I was just thinking to myself "you know, a week without the humorless complaining about our cousin-lovin' poetry is like a day without sunshine," when you came to the rescue. Thanks, Scott!

Posted by peterb at September 11, 2005 07:08 AM

Peter peter peter,
your cousin banter stinks
ive been married to my 1st cousin for over a year and you have been here with you poems your facts and your tea.
Its about time you and your crooners finished ya' tea washed ya cups out and excepted that cousin love is here to stay. All the tea in china will never make a blind diffrence to you your opinion.
So im happy here with my cousin and you keep there with your empty tea pot of facts.

Posted by mandy at September 16, 2005 07:31 AM

I am dating a guy that I've known for about 6 years. He and I have the same last name, but there are two different groups of us with the same last name around. We live in a small town and we assumed since we only just met that we must be from different families. We have now talked about our relatives and found that my Great Grandpa and his Grandpa were brothers, I think this makes us 2nd cousins once removed. I have such happiness with him that I never found with anyone else. I was raised that up to 4th cousins it was considered close relation and therefore you don't date them, but I can't make myself walk away from him and give up what we have. Being in a small town, we are being judged and I'm afraid my kids will suffer. I love him and everyhting about him so much. Any suggestions?

Posted by Tennille at September 16, 2005 01:45 PM


Move to New York, San Francisco, or Toronto.

Good luck!

PS: Seriously, 2nd cousins once removed doesn't sound all that bad to me. But I don't think you're going to find good relationship advice from random people on the internet.

Posted by peterb at September 16, 2005 02:58 PM


I'm not into moving. I'm not counting on good relationship advise I just wandered how others viewed my situation. As I mentioned I'm from a small town (less than 2,000 people) so I am assuming they are more small minded than the rest of the world and I wanted to get a feel if my assumption was right.

Anyway, thanks for responding! Have a great weekend!

Posted by Tennille at September 16, 2005 03:20 PM

im married with 5 children and ive been havingsex my 1stcousin since we was 13 yr old still do this day but we keep it on the down low shes a good friend and great lover

Posted by joel at September 30, 2005 12:35 AM

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