How common is it for brothers and sisters to experiment? (A guide)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question ”How common is it for brothers and sisters to experiment?” and discuss what to do if you have experimented with your brother or sister.

How common is it for brothers and sisters to experiment?

A study done in New England indicated that generally 10% of guys and 15% of females had been involved in or experienced some type of intimate contact with a sibling or sister, and the most well-documented instance in this behavior was usually stroking of genitalia.

Cousin marriage is legal in many countries, but usually, the concept of brothers and sisters to experiment is usually extremely taboo in many societies and cultures, and even though it may be statistically common for brothers and sisters to experiment, these instances usually stay quite hidden.

The intimate attraction between people who are related is usually uncommon, due to the hypothesis that people who live together through the formative years may become desensitized to each other in terms of intimate attraction.

This hypothesis is known as the Westermarck impact. 

However, it has been seen that kin members who are separated at birth may feel intimate attraction towards each other owing to the fact that they have always lived apart.

In addition, in some cases it may also be possible for brothers and sisters to experiment due to the meeting only once in a while, or in cases where the parent is not the same, that is, stepbrothers and sisters.

A Rise in Brothers and Sisters Experimenting?

There has been a rise in brothers and sisters experimenting in the recent years, and this has been blamed on factors like media exposure, rise in the use of indecent web content, and in some ways to a breakdown in family structure in general, as it seems that family members are drifting away from each other as the culture becomes more individualistic.

There have been studies lately that have looked particularly at the rise of films depicting Intimate within the family in indecent web content, to the hit tv show “Game of Thrones.” 

The author of this study, Vanessa Brown, looked at a new genre called “Faux-Cest”.

She comments on this phenomenon saying that, “For the uninitiated, a film with the title ‘Family Play Date’ could be identified as a harmless, wholesome household flick. But in fact, this title — along with a growing number of other films — is part of a growing indecent web content trend.”

She also elaborates on how Game of Thrones may have contributed to the normalization of inappropriate intimate relationships, saying that this may have been due to the “rather squeamish relationship between two of the main characters — Cersei Lannister and her twin brother Jamie.”

She also points out to the instances when this relationship may even be defended by the characters, for instance when Cersei, one of these characters, says, “Jaime and I are more than brother and sister, we shared the tummy, came into this world together, we belong together.”

This relationship is seen as morally wrong and taboo even in the show universe itself, but the constant appearance of it on mainstream television eventually desensitizes the viewer to this subject.

Over time, it stops being so odd or weird, as it has been woven so deeply into the narrative of the characters, that it may seem like a normal thing that happens, and before long that kind of thing starts to find representation in indecent web content, which has affected intimate trends often, in the past, and it is possible that this history may be repeated.

How to know if Sibling intimate experiences are normative or concerning?

Studies report that sibling intimate attraction or experiences may sometimes be normative, and occur as a part of the formation of a child’s intimate/gender identity.

These behaviors are seen in children all over the world in almost every culture, as they are meant to imbibe the natural tendencies to procreate in the person, owing to their primal urges and the evolutionary need to create progeny. 

However, in some cases, these behaviors might stop being normative and naturally occurring and start to be concerning.

Behaviors of the sort described above may start as a result of curiosity and might manifest as normative intimate play among siblings.

The cause for concern is when these become too frequent or coercive or are occurring more in a private context than usual play behavior.

Research also indicates sibling intimate experiences reported extremely infrequently and are the least studied intimate behaviors among adolescents.

In addition, studies also show that females may also be more prone to exploitative sibling intimate experiences than males.

Physical relationship with sister

The physical relationship between sister and brother or two sisters may happen during childhood or early adolescence as a result of intimate curiosity, puberty, and confusion regarding their growing bodies and the experience of pleasure.

This type of feelings regarding inappropriate intimate behavior may develop between a brother and a sister between the ages of 9 to 16. 

Usually, for most boys and girls, this is the time when they start to discover their intimate organs and intimate feelings. 

In some cases, playing with oneself gives the children a glimpse into the pleasure that can be achieved from certain behaviors, and at the same time, it causes much confusion, due to the mixed messages the child or adolescent might receive about such practices.

In some cases, a physical relationship between sister and brother or even just two sisters may also come about as a game, and then continue because it seems fun.

It may also continue due to the strict regulations on dating or mingling with the members of the opposite gender in general, by parents or family or just society as a whole, and since that doesn’t limit the hormones that one is experiencing, a playful activity between siblings may turn into a physical relationship.

Sometimes the fact that it is a taboo behavior may also cause the relationship to continue.

Children tend to like doing naughty things often, and the fact that something is not allowed or that has a sense of danger attached to it might seem enticing, but they don’t realize till much later that it can change a sibling relationship forever.

Sibling relationships and consent

Many sibling relationships might get started without consent, or even continue without consent, turning into abuse.

Usually, intimate relationships within the family tends to be consensual most of the time in cases of Genetic intimate Attraction, which is the feeling of intimate attraction one feels towards someone they are related to but have either not met at all before adulthood or have met after many years when they are adults.

In the case of Genetic intimate attraction consent usually is not an issue because it occurs when the people are already adults, and therefore their consent is easy to determine.

Meanwhile, in case of children or adolescents, many of them may get involved in intimate or physical relationships as a game or in the course of their confusion about puberty and the formation of their intimate identity, a lot of these relationships may lack consent or may get started without consent and the status may change eventually.

A user on a social media account says, for instance, “I am in a relationship with my brother. I know it’s weird and abnormal, and what makes it worse is the fact that we share the same parents. It started with watching indecent web content together, and before we could even process what was happening, we found ourselves getting intimate.” 

This quote would suggest that there is nothing to the story and that apart front the obvious moral and social problem with this relationship, there does not seem to be any abuse. 

However, this user adds further:

“Actually, he is 5 years elder to me. When he was 14 and I was about 9, he would come into my room at night and touch me all over. He would say we were playing the husband-wife game, and that is what a husband does to his wife.”

The Problem with this situation is that the older brother achieved intimate maturity, or puberty, before the younger child did.

The reason there are laws against intimate relationships with minors is due to the fact that they cannot be assumed to have knowledge about the intricacies of consent, and therefore, even in cases where they say that they want to be a part of an intimate scenario, it may not mean much because they do not have the cognitive capacity for such a decision.

In the case of the user in the example above, it is entirely possible that she got into the relationship because she was merely curious, but that she was nowhere near ready to be in it and was therefore taken advantage of.

“I experimented with my brother”: Instances of Sibling relationships

Here are some people re-telling the instances of when they experimented with their brother or sister.

“When I was nine and my brother was eleven we fooled around together a few times. 

We’re both in our twenties now and we’ve not spoken about it since and we’re fairly good friends. I don’t even think about it much anymore but last night I had a moment of thinking that the first person I was close to in an intimate way was my brother and I got a little freaked out about it.

I often hear that it’s fairly common for siblings to experiment with each other before they really know what it is they are actually doing. I was wondering if anyone else here has experience as I do.”

Another user on a social media website tells the story of how they experimented with their sibling and how they felt afterward.

“I had intimate experiences with my sister as well. They happened on and off between 8-13 (for me, so 6-11 for her). We kissed and fondled each other, without clothes up top, but always with the underwear below the belt. Never climaxed, though I remember being very aroused, not about her being my sister, more about the intimate contact. Our relationship is pretty normal, we bicker and argue, but we’re both teenagers now. I’ve been in therapy for unrelated reasons, though I have talked about it. My therapist said it was pretty common for kids to mess around, play doctor, things like that.”

Another user commented about how they have been with their fraternal twin for some time now, and the fact that their relationship is not just intimate, which has been known to happen in some cases.

“I’ve been in an intimate relationship with my fraternal twin sister for around a year, we were 17 when we started and it really wasn’t a moment that then led to full-on intimacy or anything like that the first intimate contact I would say we had was pretty much just a passionate hug. We developed in terms of how we expressed our feelings so to speak (never had a girlfriend before this, she had a boyfriend for a few weeks but it wasn’t serious) over a fairly long period and had been intimate around 3 months after we started having more than a typical sibling relationship.

I’ve never been away from her for extended periods which I know is typically a common cause of people finding close relatives attractive, in terms of our family structure my father passed away when I was young my mother travels a lot for work so she’s out of the house for 3 weeks out of 4. Growing up we were largely looked after by my older half-sister and her husband. Apart from a few things (which is nothing millions of other kids don’t go through) we had a pretty normal childhood, no deep-rooted trauma, or anything like that.”

What to do if you have experimented with your sibling?

If you have experimented with your brother and sister and it was consensual but you feel bad, here are some things you can do.

  • If you do not want to do it anymore, make it amply clear to your brother or sister that you do not feel comfortable doing it.
  • If they persist and try to convince you, try to get some distance from them and talk to a grown-up you trust, one of your parents, a relative, just someone that might intervene and tell your sibling to not insist.
  • Try to back off from the relationship anyway, intimate relationships, especially when your body is still growing and you do not have adequate knowledge, are dangerous.
  • Try to get some intimate information from an adult, a teacher, a relative you trust, or a doctor, but make sure you are making informed decisions about your health.
  • If you feel guilty and afraid about what you have done, you can talk to one of your parents or try to see a therapist, they will never discuss what you have told them with your parents and they can also give you sound advice.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Helplines for Abuse

If you are in a situation where you feel you are being abused, by a sibling or anyone else as well, there are resources you can use, and you can get help and get out of the situation.

Here are some websites and helplines for this type of abuse if you or someone you know is going through such a thing.

Darkness to light

Raising Children

This website that contains a number of helplines may also be useful.

In addition, you need to try and find an adult you trust and let them know immediately that you are experiencing this, so they may try and remove you from the situation.


In this brief guide, we discussed the question ”How common is it for brothers and sisters to experiment?” and discussed what to do if you have experimented with your brother or sister, as well as what to do in an Abusive or Non-consensual situation. Please reach out with any questions or comments about this article or related subject matter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How common is it for Brothers and Sisters to Experiment?

How common is Sibling Attraction?

Sibling attraction is not very common, but it still happens more often than people think, for instance in a study done in New England showed that 15% of college-going students in a sample of 796 students had felt some sort of attraction towards their sibling.

Why would a brother be attracted to his sister?

A brother might get attracted to his sister due to many reasons, some given below:

They might be experiencing a particularly turbulent and hormonal puberty
They might not have an adequate release by way of playing with theirselves or indulging in other intimate fantasies.

Less age difference between the brother and sister may also contribute as the sister may be seen more as a peer and less as a blood relative
intimate relationships might be too taboo around the household, making the desire or need that much more pronounced, projecting it on to people nearby.

They may have gotten influenced by indecent web content or mainstream media that depicts such relationships often.

Is it common for siblings to experiment?

Yes, it is common for siblings to experiment in some cases, and to a certain degree.

For instance, research shows that siblings may experiment as a means of developing their intimate identity and to create a knowledge base for their intimate life in the future, but these behaviors are usually not too far gone or frequent, and stop almost as suddenly as they may start, in most cases.

Is there any brother and sister marriage in history?

Yes, there are brother and sister marriages in history, as they were often seen as a means of keeping the bloodlines pure.

A notable brother and sister marriage in history is the marriage between Tutankhamen and his sister.

The Roman Royal Agrippina also had intimate relations with her brother and son and also married her uncle.


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