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Back in 2005, I wrote a post entitled Step-Siblings Falling In Love – Is It Yucky For You? This seems to be one of the most popular pages that random Googlers come across here at KKB.

Basically, I was asking whether or not romance readers were comfortable with plot devices featuring step-siblings who fall in love. Every now and then somebody actually posts a comment on this thread – check out the latest one by a reader called Dezz:

…While I agree with everyone — I find nothing wrong with step-siblings get together, I myself could not see myself with my stepbrother. I have 3, all older than me, and 2 more ex- step brothers, both older than me as well. I can honestly say I view them as my brother’s and the ick factor is quite high when thinking about them as anything else.

However I have (somewhat) of a similar situation. One of my brother’s best friends recently came back after being away for 3 years. He is now 23 while I’m 17 and since we haven’t seen each other in so long feelings have somewhat changed. However, he is like my family. He practically grew up at our house and eventually moved in with us when he was older. Now he lives with my brother and I still see him constantly. He works for my step-father and is eventually buying the company… therefore putting him in my life forever. When I say I’ve known him forever it’s true. I should view him as a brother but I don’t.

A few months after he came back we told each other our feelings. However I’m to young and he doesn’t want to ruin anything. Basically we can never be together because of the family. So in a sense it’s slightly the same. And let me just say, it sucks.

I think her situation is probably different, seeing as it’s her brother’s best friend, rather than a step-sibling, but it did strike me as rather sad. Mind you, she’s only seventeen, so it may just be infatuation on her part.

Dezz’s story was in response to this question that I posed at the time:

…what if the step-brother and step-sister featured in the romance story, were actually brought up together? Does that make for a higher ewww factor, or would it not bother you either way?

Step-siblings who’d grown up together and happened to fall in love wouldn’t bother me too much, my biggest problem would be sexual relationships between blood brothers and sisters.

What say you? Is there a higher ick factor when the two protags are step-siblings who grew up together, or not? Would you be interested in reading such books?

73 Comments »


  • bkjones
    March 25
    3:40 am

    @Dalia: When I met my step brother we were in our teens and hated one another. We faught all the time nothing alike. I never seen him as my brother I already had a brother and a dad. Just because my mom married his dad it did not mean we were family. Years later we kinda started to have feelings never saying it to one another. I think back and it was a dangerous forbidden love. Is that why there is so much attraction? I feel like I love him and he loves me and needs me. Am I crazy what would people think. Is it ewww or a forbidden love story awww.

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  • kljones
    April 25
    6:18 pm

    I have lived and am living through this situation right now, actually. Our parents married when we were young teenagers, and I have loved my stepbrother for nearly 20 years. We are finally together after all these years and are getting married next year. We have both been through failed relationships and problems, and it is wonderful to be together like we have always wanted. Some people don’t understand or think it is bizarre, but if they had lived through it they would get it. Our family is supportive of the relationship. It is wonderful and I am happier than I can describe.

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  • ladyk
    May 15
    1:44 am

    I have a similar delimma. I grew up with my stepbrother because our moms were best friends from childhood. My mom and dad split when i was young and I have always loved, as in been in love with, my step brother. Nothing has ever happebed between us. My dad married my moms bestfriend…making it impossible for me to ever even try to be with this boy. We are the same age. I dreaed of marrying him when we were kids lol and our parebrs completely ruined it. I never got the chance to tell him how i feel and its super awkward now that we are pushing 30. I dont see anything wrong with it…but I’ll never risk it.

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  • Dalia
    May 15
    10:24 am

    Ladyk, I have followed this thread since 2005, not because I have a stepbrother I’m in love with, but because I find it so sad that people are missing out on happiness because of assumptions about what society thinks acceptable.

    Now, your situation seems to be more about family dynamics (dad marrying mom’s former best friend who is mother of The Stepbrother) and it’s precisely because it’s that – dynamics singular only to your family and not likely to get you stoned in the street or people crossing the road when you pass by or Lifetime coming to ask to do a movie about you – that I say:

    TAKE THE RISK.

    TAKE THE RISK.

    TAKE THE RISK.

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  • Lolo
    June 23
    5:02 am

    Yoh going through all those messages was comforting I’m in a similar Relationship with ny half brother Shaun, I never grew up in the same space with him because my mother had custody over me nor did he grow up in the same space as his mother and my dad though we’d visit them during the holidays our bond is very much pure he makes me feel good and there is alot of trust we eventually embarked into a relationship once he turned 19 while I was 16. then we separated for a year due to me finding out he impregnated some1 else though we were able to move forward from that, it’s been three years now I’m about to turn 18 and his 22 our parents recently found out through the Baby Mama I don’t what reaction to expect from them like imagine being deprived to love someone just cause it’s not something normal. these things happen and I don’t regret any of it at the moment his hurting because the Baby Mama will do anything to spite him even using the baby to her advantage it’s all so hard at the moment no1 accepts us nor is willing to care about how we feel about each other, the Baby Mama even makes things worse because Shauns family is on the baby mama’s side to them what we’ve done is so wrong nothin can make it right. though I won’t stop loving him nor will he!

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  • Giulia
    June 26
    1:10 pm

    Step Siblings are a Yes yes, be free to love my children. They aren’t related in any way, only the unlucky marriage of their single/divorced parents
    But blood related it’s a big NO NO. It’s like having relationship with your mother or dad

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  • like my friend jada her step brother and her when thay were little they did not feel anything for each other he moved away and came back and now there both in seventh grade and now there starting to feel feelings for each other. as her friend im not going to stop her of support her but i will help her get through any problems that she has

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  • Kithanalane
    September 16
    5:31 am

    I think the Social “Ick” Factor is the label Brother and Sister. That is a familial bond and also implies a genetic or blood bond. However, Biologically there is no reason for step siblings to be prohibited from have a romantic relationship. Where it gets complicated is how the relationship affects the family structure. It will change, and most likely will not be a good change especially if the relationship doesn’t work out or even blows up.

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  • ck
    November 9
    11:48 pm

    I don’t understand why even if they grew up together has to be an issue. I would think instead, how lucky and fortionate were they to spend childhood together before they started a relationship. IlI be kinda jealous.

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  • Marco Yolo
    December 13
    2:37 am

    This has some seriously flawed beliefs in these ancient comments. But anyways, I really don’t care if step-siblings that were introduced at any age get romantically involved in one another. Provided that they knew they weren’t related beforehand that is.

    To counter some of these people with dumb beliefs that “if they were around or in puberty it’s fine”… Even if they were introduced at an extremely early age… does that really matter? It’s like saying that a childhood friend is “icky” and “gross” simply because they were introduced early.

    Also, as long as they aren’t REAL brother and sister it really doesn’t matter, and is legal in most of the world because it’s just unlawful to keep 2 unrelated people apart from eachother. Even with the westermarck effect, there is a tipping point for any siblings to get romantically involved with one-another. With step-siblings especially there is ALOT more that can undo the westermarck effect post-haste.

    The only problem that arises is if they are blood related. Otherwise it is perfectly healthy and should be viewed as childhood friends getting together. They are certainly going to have a long and healthy relationship, and if anything bad happens it will be tragic. Hell, I root for them to meet at an early age specifically for that reason.

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  • k.l.
    July 2
    7:01 am

    I moved in with my dad& my step-family when I was in 6th grade. I had never gave any attention to my step-brother because he’s very quiet and not a noticeable person. Last summer, we got really close and inevitably fell in love with each other. We got separated because my step mom suspected us to have feelings for each other and a week later we started to call each other boyfriend girlfriend. During the 3 months we were “together”, we were kept apart at all costs and no one supported the relationship. I ended up being the one to break up with him because I felt so isolated from everyone and just couldn’t deal with the people at my highschool. 5 months later and I still love him ????

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  • Bug
    August 20
    2:16 pm

    I’m going through the same problem. Parents met when I was a freshman in high school and he was still younger and we didn’t really know each other cause of the weirdness of all the change. He left but came back and we started lusting towards each other hardcore. Then lust turned into flaming love and we’ve been together for six months now but don’t know how to come out to our parents. HELP.

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  • I was fifteen and my stepbrother was eight when our parents both met each other and became friends with each other because my real dad and my mom were married to each other at the time so I spend time with my mom and my second dad before they dated and married each other my stepbrother used to have a crush on my sister before she met her husband when she was a senior in high school. So when my stepbrother stopped coming around because he had long hair and was in a band also I miss seeing him for years. He came around and cut his hair which made him so adorable. One time he took me to go see frozen because the other one I wanted to go see was only playing late and I had to work at msrshall’s the next day. He pay for our tickets after I got us both lost mainly because he looked so handsome as I sat in the passenger side so I told him to go down towards the galleria a few miles from home. Noone was around when me and my stepbrother went inside the theater to sit in the seats by each other that was when he was touching me I was getting goosebumps when he put his hand inside my pink plaid tank top and felt his hand touch my nipple and my breast. He pull my hand to touch his hardness but I was so scared to do it. But the moment ended when the movie came on. So we sat in silence I kept on craining my head to see if he like the movie or not I also told him how I got raped by Dennis ackins over the summer in 2013 that was after our patents got engaged and after my real dad passed away in 2004. After my grandpa and my grandma also in 2003. So another moment came when my stepbrother stay with us on Halloween night of 2014 after I left my job at Marshall’s. He had a gf because I saw a picture of her. I was so very happy for him. I was still single after I loss my crush. So after everyone went to bed. I was gathering my stuff after I change for bed because I had hairy legs. So I wore my punk sweats and a top also. So me and my stepbrother were alone together. We had another moment together. I felt him gathering me against him feeling hia heart pounding bUT didn’t ask him why his heart was pounding. I lean up to kiss his cheeks wondering if he will tell his gf that time what we were up to. I reminded him he had a gf he shushed me because we both didn’t want grandma lillian, mom or dad to Encounter what we were doing. I got my stuff after he let me go. He followed me to the room. I got into bed he pull the spread and blanket to cover me. I was falling asleep bUT felt hum touching me again. I couldn’t let out a moan because the moment will ended if grandma lillian woke up and find my stepbrother in my room both mom and dad will be so upset at us both. Especially at me. I close my eyes and open them to stare up at him. I felt him rubbing me between my legs. I couldn’t lied and say I didn’t like it at all. I really did. I ask him if he wanted to get into bed with me he said no. He left me all alone. I still wouldn’t know what will haopen if we both saw each other again knowing I have a bf since this past February and he might have a gf also.

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  • I haven’t seen my stepbrother since our parents married each other back in 2015. I sometimes can’t stopped thinking of those two moments that happened between us both in 2013 and 2014, but what is the point. I am taken am in a very wonderful relationship with my canAda wonderful bf whom I love for a very long time. My stepbrother lives in Arizona with his mom and his stepdad. I talk to his mom but I only ask for him telling her I am his stepsister. His mom sounded so nice. She told me that he had a different number and that she had the number I call from my new used phone. I kind of hope he erased the texts from a few years ago because I really meant what I said treating him as a brother and nothing romantic because I don’t want to ruin our sibling relationship at all. I miss him a lot more wishing he will come and visit like he use to before he moved to be closer to his ex gf and before I dated my two mistakes on Google plus. I can’t call him up and tell him I still think of those two moments we had with each other back in 2013 and 2014 he will either laugh at me or tell me he forgotten about them. And I don’t want to ruin my relationship with my bf at all never in a million years. Sometimes I want to ask why his heart was pounding when we had a moment the second time on Halloween night of 2014.

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  • I have a stepbrother since our parents both fell in love with each other after my real dad passed away in 2004. Our parents dated each other after a year when my real dad passed away in a plane crash along with his co-pilot. So my tip Cesar told me that mom was seeing my stepbrother’s dad at first I thought mom and his

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  • I didn’t get to finish what I wrote and it was the whole story of the moments I had with my stepbrother and wishing I had one with him before our patents married each other on their wedding last may

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  • I haven’t seen my stepbrother or talk to him since last year or after my dog passed away. I would call him up but he is busy going to school and working. I am busy going to work and helping my sister take care of my niece. I get nervous around my stepbrother because I couldn’t forget those wonderful moments we had with each other wondering if he still remembered what haopen between us both. The first moment was at the movie back in 2013. We went to go see frozen instead of the book thief. I ask if I can go see the book thief right when my stepbrother came to town for the Christmas break. I got him some nice shirts for Christmas that year. He got me a book for Christmas that year in 2013. We went to go see frozen since the book thief was showing so late. And I had to work that year at Marshall’s. So we went to the mall only I accident took us both to Barton creek mall instead of the other mall. He look the same only more handsome. I never look at him in that kind of light before because I was only fifteen when I met him and my second dad before my real dad passed away. So we went inside to go see frozen after my stepbrother paid for the movie and we sat by each other. When we sat down. I felt his hand go inside my plade pink tank top that show part of my bra. I wanted to moan our loud but was afraid we would have gotten into a lot of trouble for behaVing that way in the movie theater. I watch him stroking my nipple and my breast. Didn’t really say I love it a lot hell I love even more the first time but was afraid our parents wouldn’t have approve of the touching and special moment we shared with each other. I felt him reach for my hand to go down towards his hardness to stroke him. I got so scare so I refuse to do it. I told him I care for him as a brother after we watched the movie and when I watch I’m getting bored. I sat closer to him. I cranNed my neck to watch him when I was laughing at the funny parts. I usually love kid movies alot more but it was okay. When we open each other’s gifts I gave him a hug and thank him for my wonderful gift. The next day he went home. I went back to online dating and work at msrshall’s. A year after I quit working at Marshall’s. And my stepbrother and my second dad went to Philadelphia to go see grandma lillian she came on down to come and see us all because I been waiting my whole life to meet her. I saw my stepbrother the next day. I got so nervous to see him because I couldn’t stopped thinking of the first magical moment that happened between us at the movie theaters. He had a gf that year when we saw him again. I was single again. And confuse about my movie friend whom I like alot more than he like me. Me, my sister wanted to go trick or treating so we ask our stepbrother to drive us both there. But it was late and cold. We all watch TV while I sat between my second dad and probably my brother who sat down with us all but on a different couch. My brother told my stepbrother that we all are glad he came around. I wrote them a letter saying u don’t have to be blood to family. Mom came around and accepted my stepbrother since he cut his long hear a few years ago. The second moment came up when I was getting ready to go to bed. That was after my brother left and to sister left to go home. I was getting my stuff. I went to my room and my stepbrother followed me to go to the old bed room that used to my sister’s room. So I went back to the TV room to get my book and other stuff also. I saw my stepbrother standing in front of me when I held my stiff in my hands. I didn’t say anything or said I forgot my stuff. I didn’t want to be too loud at all to wake mom and my second dad up at all.or grandma lillian also since she went to sleep earlier that year. He put his arms around me I did the same thing also. I felt his heart pounding wondering why it pounded that year when we had our second moment together. I lean up to kiss his cheek. I ask him about his gf that year he was with her. He shush me and didn’t say anything more about her. He let go of me and I went to my room with him following me. I got into my bed. He pull the covers up. I closed eyes feeling so tired that day on Halloween night. I felt him stoking me between my legs. I wanted to moan out loud but was afraid grandma lillian could hear and ecounter the special moment between me and my stepbrother. I love what he was doing to me that year. I closed my eyes and fell asleep on him. He stopped stroking me and was about to leave my room. I asked him to get into the bed with me he said no and left. He went home that day on the first of November of 2014. I hugged him bye and told him to texted me. The next year was 2015 a year I got Google plus and when I saw my stepbrother for our parents wedding. I was excited to walk down the aisle witht stepbrother instead I walk down the aisle with my brother. The Reception was awesome after the wedding and the picture taking also. I didn’t spend time alone with my stepbrother or had another moment alone with him at all. Because I had a crush on my rp partner that year. So I was on my phone the whole time or look at his posts. I dance with my uncle and rested also. The dress got dirty from being stepped on. Everyone went home and back to the hotel. I haven’t seen my stepbrother but got a text from him saying he was sorry to hear about my dog who passed away before or after the wedding. I wonder what would happen if we saw each other again knowing I have a bf but I still like my stepbrother also as a best friend.

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  • I called up my stepbrother today he didn’t answer the phone at all. I haven’t heard from since 2015.

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  • Gabi
    December 24
    10:24 am

    I have too much experience in this field. My dad remarried when I was 15, but I didn’t move in with the new family until I was 16 and it was January, at this time I had to two new step brothers one was 15, one was 13. I got along really well with the 13 year old and me and the 15 year old fought all the time.
    Then when summer rolled around I went to Arizona to see my family, but when I came back home I guess the 15 year old had missed me (I’m now 17 and he would be turning 16 in a few months). We started hanging out a lot and became closer. One night we stayed up late playing video games together and we got into an argument about something and we got into a stupid tickle fight, and we ended up kissing. I was so scared I just got up and left the room and we didn’t talk about it for weeks.
    Then of course it comes back up and we started getting closer and closer until we were actually dating behind our parents backs. We were so in love and I still have never experienced that love again. But of course our parents found out. They were furious, they wanted to be a “real family” and just wouldn’t have it. The strain of this and everything else caused us to fight too much and we ended up breaking up.
    Think I’m done? Nope. We still see each other on and off for the past 3 years. I’m not kidding when I say just last month he opened up his feelings about how he still loves me. I’m now 20 and he’s 19. I definitely still love him too. I know for a fact he is the love of my life but my parents would never have it.

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  • Renie
    August 2
    1:21 am

    I’m going through a really similar situation. Personally, I’ve always thought of relationships as extra special when the people involved are childhood friends/ step-brother/sister/etc. It just means they know more about the person since they’ve known them since like ever. They know you like no other guy on a first date could ever know you in one night. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in that situation. It’s how I’ve always felt. I’ve always had trouble being romantic with people I don’t know, so if you can have a love with someone you’ve known your whole life, I think that’s so special. I’m 17. I set my mom up with a guy on POF and they hit it off and they’ve been together 5 years now. At the time I was 13. My brother was 14. His sons were 14 and 16. I ended up having “a thing” for the 16 year old and I believe he shares my feelings too. People either find it strange or think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. My mother knows and the rest of my family knows except my moms bf and him himself. I think it’d be different if we were raised together but even then you can’t choose who you fall in love with….. you don’t have a brotherly bond with that person you cant just force what’s not there and for what reason should you? If you’re not blood then there’s no reason too. So I say: Awwwww

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  • Inquisitor
    September 5
    11:52 am

    I personally do not believe in any taboo of sexual activities, besides pedophilia. Sexual desire tends to be more instinctual. Emotional desire tends to be just that. As a relationship goes, it can be a combination of both that frives us towards it. societies opinion should only be considered when societies opinion matters to the individual… The only thing i would not condone on a large scale, would be direct blood relation. not for the “taboo”, but for the higher risk of species corruption from a shallower gene pool. whether or not you were raised together should not be an issue.

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  • Peace Sign
    September 20
    7:59 pm

    My step brother and I didn’t really date but we had a thing for some time.

    I just recently moved into my father’s house with his partner and my two step-siblings. 11yrs (F) 14yrs (M). Im 17 (F). I’ve known my step-brother for 4yrs and we get along really well. I slept in his bed multiple times, for like 3 weeks upon his request, because we just found it better sleeping with each other. My parents had some idea what was going on but didn’t say much. Because obviously a brother and sister don’t act the way we did. The whole family would jokingly call us boyfriend and girlfriend and we would call each other bf and gf. We had a very trustworthy relationship. We Cuddled a lot, kissed on the cheeks, he grabbed my ass, kissed my boobs, he called me ‘his’ and called him ‘mine’, we never kissed on the lips. But we did stuff any normal relationship would do, go to movies, have lunch, dinner, I would go to his footy games, he would come to my Oz Tag games ect. But it still feels very forbidden. Even though our parents seem ok with it, also our age gap (3yrs), we are both very mature, but it just makes things harder so idk. It’s just not normal where I’m from to be dating your step-brother. Some people said we were cute and others said it was weird.

    We just recently stopped our “thing” because he got an actual gf. He calls me his sister now. We love each other very much but we just can’t continue. It’s very hard because I believe he was the first guy I’ve ever actually loved.

    Honestly who cares tho, love is love and I say do what ever makes you happy despite what others think. Just as long as you’s aren’t actually related, please don’t do tht xx.

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  • Meegs
    September 27
    3:43 am

    I am not sure how I feel about this. It seems like everyone that does like their step sibling that I read is fairly young when this happens and then you just stop hearing about it. Perhaps it is the forbidden fruit type of situation or just powerful, young infatuation. Perhaps it is real.

    I feel conflicted. I have been sort of in lust with my step brother since my mother and his father got married when I was in 11 grade and he was in 16 (we are now 20 and 25). I say lust because I don’t think it is love? See….conflicted. Anyway, I have always admired him and loved him platonically. He is smart, funny, and hard working amongst many other wonderful characteristics. He has depression like I do, and we can relate to each other better than anyone else I have ever met and I think it’s the same for him too. He even told me on the phone the other day that he thinks I should get married to someone a lot like him (not in a douche-y way like that may sound).

    When I slept with someone the other day, I had a panic attack and called him crying (I got raped when I was 16 its a whole thing). I don’t know why I called him. We have NEVER been close. He is a quiet guy that tries extremely hard to avoid sharing, and he lived with his mom growing up. I only see him about once a year, and it’s always been that way. I am 20 and in college now in a different town. He is 25 and in medical school. I never see him, yet I called him crying. We ended up talking for 2 hours and sharing everything. I am an open book for the most part, but he actually shared with me. He told me things that I don’t think anyone besides his therapist has ever heard. We just connected, and now he is coming to visit me in my town and telling me to call him whenever I need to talk. Its very weird to be getting vibes from my step brother. I mean if this were any other guy, I would be so excited and head over heels because he is amazing, but he’s also my step brother. My parents and biological sister have already told me that they support the relationship as long as we keep things normal if we break up, but all of my friends think it’s creepy.

    I also don’t want to share my feelings for him or make the first move and have any of the following happen…
    A) have him say that I have misunderstood his brotherly love and make things awkward
    B) have us date but because we are young we date and then break up and ruin family events forever
    C) have us start dating before he goes off to residency in a different state and then I to vet school even further away

    What if these feelings just pass in another five years or some amount of time? What if him being “safe” in my mind is the reason I like him, not because he is actually right for me? What if I look back on this in some amount of time and regret doing something? What if I look back on this and regret doing NOT doing something?

    I have been in lust with him for almost a decade now. I still don’t know if it is real. I still don’t know if we will ever kiss or even talk about any of this. In the best of all worlds the movie will end with Cher and Josh kissing, but my life is not Clueless. Only I am.

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