This is a great discussion, and it's really helping me sort out my feelings on the issue. I hope at least a few others find it cathartic.
I still don't think there is a perfect analogy for breasts. I hear what the PP is saying with the vagina and clitoris, and they are good points. But the vagina is biologically required for babymaking (if you ignore modern medicine that can bypass the vagina, that is). The clitoris is important for orgasm. I have no problem with the idea that body parts have multiple functions. I just don't get the role of breasts in sexual gratification. They may function to advertise we are of a sexual age, they may attract a mate... but they are biologically useless in sex. They are not necessary. Their primary biological purpose is breastfeeding. I may not be making sense... I think I am talking in circles. I blame a lack of sleep due to a frequent night nurser.
I am not trying to convince anyone that I am "right"... I don't believe I am "right" as this is just a personal feeling. Like I said, it is my own hang-up. I don't know why I have such a hard time wrapping my head around and dealing with breasts as sexual objects. This conversation has been helpful, but I haven't really changed my views either. I'm glad that at least a few of you do understand where I am coming from and have feelings along the same line.
Oh, btw, I have never felt letdown either. I've always had low milk supply. Enough that DS gets breastmilk, but not so much that I am engorged or that I feel much of anything as far as the milk traveling. The primary sensation for my in breastfeeding lately is "ouch". (DS is teething! Haha!) So maybe if I had ever felt letdown, I would be able to understand the association with sexual feelings better... but as it stands I just don't. And like I said, the association of breastfeeding with sexual feedings is highly disturbing to me. But this could be my own narrow-mindedness or lack of understanding. But, for the life of me, there is just no way I can "go there". I want breastfeeding and sexual feelings to be miles apart. In different states. With no forwarding address.
Thanks for all of your great insights... each of these posts have been intelligent and thoughtful! Thank you!
ETA: I think women should be allowed to be topless anywhere that men are allowed to be topless. We both have nipples. Ours are just useful. (For breastfeeding, not sex.) This may seem incongruous with my prudish attitude towards breasts as sex objects... but in my mind it makes perfect sense. If the breasts aren't sex objects and are just what I believe they are supposed to be (baby/child feeding devices) then there is no reason they should be hidden. Religious reasons of modesty are a separate issue entirely (again, in my mind.) I personally would never go topless, but I don't see a big deal about other women going topless. I think it'd be great - especially on hot summer days it would probably feel refreshing.
ETA again: I totally hear what a PP was saying about changing views after breastfeeding is over. That could very well happen to me. I didn't think too much about this before I started breastfeeding, so I bet it won't be such a big issue to me when my breastfeeding days are over.