[...] I am 23. I work in a professional job and live in the UK. I am in a relationship with my mother who is 47. We have a loving and fulfilling relationship. The sexual part of our relationship has developed gradually over the last four years or so. I am an only child so we are each other’s only immediate family.
[...] I am not married. I have had girlfriends in the past but, I would describe my relationship with my mother as the most important in my life. I was a virgin until the first time we had sex. My father died four years ago. Since then, my mother has not had any other man in her life. We both feel the need for our relationship to be permanent and we feel that it would help if we were able to make a lifetime commitment through marriage.
[...] I had what I suppose was an ordinary childhood. My father was quite successful with his own business so we had a good standard of living. My mother and father’s marriage was quite strained. He spent a lot of time away from home and they did not have a good relationship. My mother has told me that because of this, that the connection between them had weakened over time. Their marriage could be quite volatile. I believe that my father was violent towards my mother although she has never told me about the details of that.
I didn’t have a difficult relationship with my father growing up but I would not describe us as close. I was always very close to my mother. I think that was probably to be expected as we spent a lot of time together with just the two of us. When my father came home, it sometimes felt like he was intruding in our relationship. I never talked about that with my mother but I think we both sensed that. We were much more relaxed and close when it was just the two of us. There was definitely a special bond between us. I didn’t recognize it at the time but I think we were closer than most parents and children are. At least there was maybe an aspect to our relationship that was different.
[...] When I was younger, we were affectionate towards each other but in a way that I suppose would be expected. She would hug me and kiss me but not in a way that people would find unusual. She was just a loving mother. I was comfortable with it and I’m glad that I had that as a youngster. My parents weren’t that way together. It was something that was exclusive to the two of us.
Growing up, when my father was away, my mother would ask me to sleep in her bed sometimes. There was nothing overtly sexual in that. We would both be wearing clothing. We would cuddle, but that was it. Of course it never happened when my father was at home and he didn’t know about it, nor did I ever tell anyone. I suppose sleeping in your mother’s bed is not something that the average teenage boy talks to other people about.
I went off to university when I was 18 and so obviously we spent less time together from that point onwards. [...] My father died when I was 19. I didn’t feel a huge sense of loss as we had quite a distant relationship, although obviously it was still a shock for both me and my mother. I missed a term at university because I felt she needed me at home with her.
She asked me to go back to sleeping in her bed with her during that time as she didn’t want to be alone. It was then that it began. I think that I would say it was spontaneous. My mother has told me that she wanted it to happen but also that she only allowed it to happen when it felt right. I certainly don’t think she forced it but perhaps it was inevitable with us sleeping together that way.
It developed over a period of months. Each time I came home for a few days we would sleep together in her bed. It became normal for us. We would hold each other and that led to us touching each other in a way which became intimate. It was comforting and there was a natural affection between us.
[...] Our relationship has moved on a long way since in sexual terms. We went on holiday together when I finished university and it was during that period that it went further. We stayed in a hotel, although we did use separate rooms. Perhaps the change in environment or situation had something to do with it. We did things during those days that were different to the way we had been before. We held hands in public, which must have looked slightly strange because of our obvious age difference. I think being in a different country made us less self-conscious. We got quizzical looks from people but we knew that nobody would assume that we were related in any way, so it felt less difficult.
On one afternoon we went back to the hotel and we lay on the bed in her room. We were holding each other and we began kissing. [...] It was when we returned home that we had full sex for the first time. We have continued to have sex about twice a week ever since then.
[...] It wasn’t something that I had ever thought about before it happened. The sexual part of our relationship grew gradually and it felt instinctive. I responded to what was happening, I didn’t contemplate it or plan it. I don’t think either of us did. To me, it was inevitable so there wouldn’t have been any point in worrying about whether it was right or wrong.
[...] We live together in a way in which we are both comfortable with. We both work and have quite demanding jobs. At the end of each day we have the privacy of our home in which we can nurture and support each other. There is still a part of our relationship in which the dynamic of mother and son exists. I would say that is something that we both cherish. But far more important to us is the fact that we are a loving couple. We both like exploring the sexual element of our life together, but that is only one part of our life. We value the fact that we are lovers in an emotional sense. That is the most important aspect of our life together.
[...] We value our privacy very much. We don’t feel the need to share our life together with anyone else. My mother has confided in a woman who is a lifelong friend. She is the only person that knows about us. We know that we can trust her. Her attitude toward us is that we have a right to our happiness. My mother confided in her at around the time that we began having sex. She felt the need to talk to somebody outside of our relationship about what was happening. She wasn't looking for approval or even advice, but she needed to anchor her thoughts and feelings by talking to a person who would have a different perspective.
[...] Our relationship is totally consensual. This is the relationship that we both want. Other people’s opinions are irrelevant to us in that sense. We are in love. That will not change no matter what anyone else might say or think.
[...] We would like to be legally married. That would be important to us. We both have some insecurities. My mother worries about our age difference, even though that doesn’t matter to me. I want to know that I am the most important person in her life and I sometimes feel jealous of the life that she had with my father. My mother has told me that she loves me romantically more than she did him and that she enjoys sex with me much more than she did with him. She wants to give herself to me completely and I want to reassure her that my feeling and need for her won’t change. We feel that being married legally would be a statement to each other. We feel frustrated that we are denied the chance to make that statement.
[...] As long as a relationship is consensual then why should they be involved in another person’s decision about a relationship of any sort? [...] I am in a relationship with someone that I love and who loves me. That isn’t going to change.