First, a little bit about me: I love television and movies of all kinds – my tastes are pretty diverse in terms of what I like to watch. I’m not anything close to movie critic or a movie snob, but I am not unfamiliar with what is generally considered to be quality, and even though I love plenty of silly and flawed productions, I’ll try to be objective when making my recommendations. I won’t lie: I am usually (though not always), preoccupied with romance plotlines – the “love story”. It’s just the way I am. Shippers gonna ship, ya know? It’s just what I enjoy most.
Unfortunately, I’ve been cursed in that the characters I want to get together/end up together aren’t always the characters that the author or script writer wants to get together/end up together. What can I say? I guess I’m just a rebel. I’ve also been cursed with a love for secondary and minor characters. But on the other hand, I have most fortunately been blessed with a strong imagination, and have found ways of coping with this curse.
But, as if that wasn’t enough, the curse got worse… (Do you hear the dramatic music playing? Duhn duhn duhn duhn) I moved on from just wanting unconventional/non-canon couples together to shipping incest every chance I got! The very thought of incest used to disgust me to the point of physically shuddering (literally), and then that disgust just went away. It completely vanished.
I remember seeing the film Angels and Insects when I was in middle school and being so disgusted by the scene of incest that I would have thrown up if I had had a weaker stomach.
In the film (a period piece), a man catches his wife having sex with her brother (the full frontal male nudity might have been a factor in my adolescent disgust, LOL), and learns that the affair had been going on since before they were married, and that the father of his children is really his wife’s brother.
I remained squeamish for a while, but I think I was just in denial.
When I saw Bring It On, I remember thinking that Missy and Cliff Pantone (Eliza Dushku and Jesse Bradford) would have made a very good-looking couple, and wishing they weren’t siblings. They had such a delightful bantering relationship – I just thought that they would have made a very appealing couple to root for.
The dam broke after I read a novel called Pretty Boy by Lauren Henderson when I was a senior in high school. The narrator realizes that she looks just like her lover’s mother, and then proceeds to have a fantasy in which she is his sister and the two of them get into a pillow fight that ends with sex.
Well, after my initial shock, I found myself quite thrilled by the whole idea. I’m not sure how or why my earlier disgust – my more-or-less natural repulsion to the incest taboo – faded so completely. But it did. This author totally corrupted me and ruined me for life, LOL. She made me feel like it was OK. Which makes me wonder how long I had been disposed towards incest-shipping without really realizing it.
This blog is my outlet, because I tend to keep this narrative kink of mine pretty secret. Yeah, I’m a closet incest-shipper. I do have a younger brother, and I’d be humiliated if he ever stumbled onto this site and knew it was mine. It’s not as if I’m interested in him, but it would be awkward to explain. And while I think everyone understands shipping to a certain degree, that understanding has a limit for people who don’t live and breath it like some of us do. And who don’t ship as many different kids of ships. Because, honestly, I’m into all sorts of inappropriate kinds of ships.
I call some of the most ubiquitous, popular and compelling brother/sister pairings “gateway incest ships” – like Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia from The Borgias, the Pevensie siblings from The Chronicles of Narnia, Justin and Alex Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place, or Jaime and Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. They tend to call to the surface the latent incest shipper in those disposed towards it, to wrench open and then stop the incest shipping door. And then there’s really no going back. Once you have one incest ship, it’ll never feel off-limits ever again.
Cliff and Missy will always be my gateway, even though I didn’t actually become an honest-to-goodness incest-shipper until a few years later. Pretty Boy opened the floodgates. And after that I never looked back. In fact, I deviated even further. Instead of shipping Missy and Cliff but wishing they weren’t brother and sister, I was glad that they were…because that was HOTTER.
It’s more than just a “fetish” or narrative kink, though. I’m not just talking about the titillation or vicarious enjoyment of a taboo or shaming act (and incest is really one of the last frontiers in that respect where our society is concerned). And even though the greatest satisfaction of shipping comes from the overcoming of the greatest of obstacles, and incest truly is one of the greatest obstacles (and I prefer brother/sister pairings where incest is considered an obstacle – both internally and externally – but a surmountable one) – that’s still not all that attracts me to incest shipping.
There’s also a sort of appeal to the simplicity and purity to the yin/yang idea of brother and sister, which is, I think, why the idea of twincest is so much more popular. Most mythologies/creation myths – Roman, Egyptian, etc. – involve an original brother/husband and sister/wife – sun and moon, earth and sky, etc. I think there’s a part of us that longs for that complementary understanding of the world.
I also, personally, have a very family-centric view of life. I hate it when a character has to leave behind their world to go be with the one they love. When they leave their parents and siblings behind in another time or a dimension or whatever. I can only ever tolerate it when they don’t have any family and friends. It’s not that I don’t believe in the love between a husband and a wife, but when half of all marriages end in divorce, it just makes sense to me to foster and prioritize the relationships with the people who are going to love you no matter what and forever. Of course, not all families are happy, healthy places. I realize that too. But mine is, so that worldview has probably affected what kind of shipper I am.
It’s probably why I don’t just want the brothers and sisters that I ship to have sex or some sort of physical relationship, I prefer for them to love each other above everyone else. I even love it when they’re totally codependant, which in most other relationships (real life or non-incest ships) would totally bother me.
Eventually it became so bad that not only was I rooting for brothers and sisters to hook up when they had great onscreen chemistry with each other, I was rooting for brothers and sisters to get together simply because they were brother and sister. And that’s how I became what I am, and how this blog came to be. Because I would watch a movie, like Bring It On, and ship the brother and sister hard, and I would want to find something on the internet, just something, from someone who shipped them too. But no, nothing.
But the one thing that I’ve learned in my years on the internet is that I am never the only one. YOU ARE NEVER THE ONLY ONE. So I started up this place.