or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breasts as sexual objects just doesn't make sense anymore.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Breasts as sexual objects just doesn't make sense anymore. - Page 2

post #21 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post

anyways, I think that BFing being sexual gets to close to child molestation. Deriving sexual gratification from your child is creepy.
I don't have any experiences other than what I've read but if a woman can't control how she feels when BF then why is she to blame if she feels horrible about it?

The thought is odd, but this is a real thing that some women deal with and it's not like they are doing it on purpose. It's a sensation, it feels good, they feel guilty and try to get help but their kids end up getting taking away because people think they are pervs.

It's not like they are sitting around trying to be sexual. It just happens I guess.

So what should they do? Stop breastfeeding? Then will they be judged for that?

The whole reason I even looked into this topic is because of some things that people say that I don't understand and they sound sexual to me. I'm not saying that it is, but some things sound like the kid isn't the only one benefiting so that is why I looked into it to see if there was any truth to it.

I still don't have the answer but all I know is that article creeped me out, and I've read things about women trying to get help and people aren't willing to help them, they'd rather turn them in. But now I am starting to question, do they really need help or is what they are feeling natural? And I also wonder if some women are "open" about it, but no one looks down on them because they use different terms and don't quite spell it out using the words sexual pleasure. IDK.
post #22 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
No, I agree. I was reading the "What to expect" and she was talking about how BFing mamas may not be interested in sex because they are having their sexual needs met by breastfeeding uh-huh. whatev. Maybe she isn't interested in sex because she's had a screaming lovie on her boob all day?

anyways, I think that BFing being sexual gets to close to child molestation. Deriving sexual gratification from your child is creepy.

I can't speak to men and their perversion over boobs. I feel like they've taken out toy and made it dirty. We can't have anything nice.
What to Expect really says that!? Wow.

I don't know of anyone who has ever felt that breastfeeding is a sexual experience at all. It's just not the same at all as......well.....sexual stuff. At least to me it's not. When I have a non-stop nursling.....I don't want anyone or anything else touching them 'cause I am all touched out. It kind of makes me mad really. When I am not nursing all the time....it's different. I don't even know how to explain the difference, but there's a huge one. It's just no where near the same.
post #23 of 98
The more I think about this the more I wonder how much of this stuff with shaming women for anyone seeing their breasts is rooted from the same place that many come from with believing that if a married man strays it's the other woman's fault for tempting him. Society still likes to act as though everything that man does is because he has a primal need to do so and it's the dirty tramps in society that make him do that. I think they do have a certain amount of primal instinct, but so do women. Shaming women for breastfeeing in public is just absurd. People aren't as evolved and in control as they like to think.

I don't know a soul who feels that breastfeeding should be in private who isn't religiously conservative. Could some of those teachings be part of this? Don't you dare show your breast, you may tempt my man to stray?
post #24 of 98
i think it feels good but not in a sexual way. in an intimate way though. yk, intimate between me and baby. it is special and enjoyable but not something i equate with the intimacy i have with DH. i think they say sexual b/c the hormones and brain chemistry response is the same. i get satisfaction out of it, but the satisfaction isnt the same as a good time with DH kwim? but both acts give me the loving good feeling. it is just different. and maybe all those loving hormones make it less likely we will go looking to DH/DP for the same chemical rush. b/c we are filled up. i just wish that the articles and stuff could show this difference. it would go a long way to help people feel better about NIP. esp ext NIP.
post #25 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post

Maybe once I'm past the exclusive nursing 12 times a day I'll be more receptive to it.
Now that I'm not breastfeeding anymore, I'm much more open to my breast being a part of my sex life.
post #26 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post

I don't know a soul who feels that breastfeeding should be in private who isn't religiously conservative. Could some of those teachings be part of this? Don't you dare show your breast, you may tempt my man to stray?
In some cases, not all. And even if religion is a part of it, it has a lot more to do with modesty than it does to do with temptation. Personally, I have no desire to have my (what I consider to be private) body parts out in the open; it doesn't matter the reason, I am not comfortable with that.

Also, everyone I know IRL has either covered up, or nursed privately no problems. That was just them and what they felt comfortable with; no big deal. And for the people I am thinking of, religion is the last thing on their minds.

And some feel it's a special bonding time between momma and baby. They'd rather that special time be private.

So as another side to your point, I don't know anyone IRL who doesn't nurse discreetly and religion has nothing to do with it.
post #27 of 98
I read a book over a year ago ("The Descent of Woman") that touched a bit on this subject.
I'm paraphrasing this from memory and this is just the author's theory, but there is a section of the book where she talks about how women lost the ability to orgasm easily from intercourse after we began to walk upright. Men, then needed a way to entice women to have sex with them. So they began to emulate the most intimate, loving relationship a woman has...one with her nursing child. Face to face intercourse became the norm (so men could look in women's eyes as a baby does), breast play became more prevalent, and everything became a bit softer and gentler ("love" if you will).
I don't know how much solid evidence there is for this, but I do find it to be a very interesting hypothesis. And now, whenever I hear someone say that breastfeeding is sexual, I think it could be possible the sex is actually very breastfeeding-like!
I don't know if that will help any of the women who feel a bit conflicted by their breasts being considered sexual objects. I am fairly positive that breastfeeding came before ANY kind of foreplay.
It is also true that breasts are a sign of sexual maturity, it's really all tied together. Sex and bodies and babies...they all depend on one another, it's very hard to take out one thing and leave the rest.
post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post
In some cases, not all. And even if religion is a part of it, it has a lot more to do with modesty than it does to do with temptation. Personally, I have no desire to have my (what I consider to be private) body parts out in the open; it doesn't matter the reason, I am not comfortable with that.

Also, everyone I know IRL has either covered up, or nursed privately no problems. That was just them and what they felt comfortable with; no big deal. And for the people I am thinking of, religion is the last thing on their minds.

And some feel it's a special bonding time between momma and baby. They'd rather that special time be private.

So as another side to your point, I don't know anyone IRL who doesn't nurse discreetly and religion has nothing to do with it.
I am afraid you may have misunderstood my post. I don't mean that nursing mothers all feel this way. I don't know anyone who doesn't nurse discreetly either. I have never seen or heard of a woman who stripped in public to feed her child.

I am curious if religious beliefs may be a conscious or unconscious reason behind vocal opponents to seeing anyone breastfeed. I couldn't care less what a mother chooses to do while breastfeeding. I do care what others feel they can tell her she should do though. It's her body and her child to make those decisions with.
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post

anyways, I think that BFing being sexual gets to close to child molestation. Deriving sexual gratification from your child is creepy.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that women purposely "get off" on breastfeeding but as a PP pointed out both milk let down and orgasm release the same hormones. So as a breastfeeding Mom perhaps my nursing sessions have fulfilled my daily requirement of feel-good hormone so I am not as interested in having sex. There still isn't anything overtly sexual about breastfeeding but in a round about way it fills that need.

For what it's worth I woke up this morning, looked down at my very full breasts (DD only nurses once at night right now) and thought, "Damn! Those are some nice looking boobs!". I find my nursing body incredibly sexy.
post #30 of 98
Interesting. I wonder if anyone would ever argue that the clitoris or the vagina are not sexual?

Whoever the pp who said that these things have a dual purpose was bang on. Vaginas birth babies, but they also serve as a piece of essential equipment in making babies. The clitoris/G-spot may help to stimulate contractions in labour and/or lessen the pain of childbirth, but they also serve as a means by which women achieve sexual pleasure. Breasts aren't really that different for many of us.

My nipples are extremely sexual whether I am lactating or not. To be clear, nothing about nursing my baby is even remotely sexual to me. The feelings are alike in some ways though. When I am extremely engorged and the baby latches on and the letdown starts, that feeling of relief is almost euphoric. Not sexual, but still a good feeling.

Nursing my child feels good to me...well, when there's actually milk there. (I'm not a fan of the sensation of a child sucking on a dry breast.) I think it is meant to feel good for most people. We are designed for it to feel good. Not sexual, but good.
post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post
I am afraid you may have misunderstood my post. I don't mean that nursing mothers all feel this way. I don't know anyone who doesn't nurse discreetly either. I have never seen or heard of a woman who stripped in public to feed her child.

I am curious if religious beliefs may be a conscious or unconscious reason behind vocal opponents to seeing anyone breastfeed. I couldn't care less what a mother chooses to do while breastfeeding. I do care what others feel they can tell her she should do though. It's her body and her child to make those decisions with.
You don't have to strip naked to not be discrete. I've seen lots of non-discrete bf pictures that were taken in public places. But everyone has a different definition on discretion.

I'm sure that religious beliefs have something to do with it for some people. But I can think of lots of other reasons that people would feel that way. People do need to respect that they can't tell someone else what to do with their body, but respect is a two way street.

I feel that mutual respect should run rampant. I know that's not popular in this society, but it would help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post

Nursing my child feels good to me...well, when there's actually milk there. (I'm not a fan of the sensation of a child sucking on a dry breast.) I think it is meant to feel good for most people. We are designed for it to feel good. Not sexual, but good.
See this is where some of my questions came from. I think stuff like this should be discussed freely so that women can understand.

What is the purpose of having a child "nurse" if there is no milk? What is that doing for the mother, and what is that doing for the child? I am not talking about when you just have the baby or if you are waiting for the milk. I am talking about when you don't have any milk, and you know it, but you bring your kid to suckle. I don't get that so with all due respect, someone please explain it to me.
post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post

What is the purpose of having a child "nurse" if there is no milk? What is that doing for the mother, and what is that doing for the child? I am not talking about when you just have the baby or if you are waiting for the milk. I am talking about when you don't have any milk, and you know it, but you bring your kid to suckle. I don't get that so with all due respect, someone please explain it to me.
Sometimes your child has emptied the breast, but still needs to suck (for example, hasn't fallen asleep yet, but needs to nurse to fall asleep). Sometimes a mother is pregnant and the older child is still nursing, even though the milk has dried up. The child is still getting comfort from it. Some children have high sucking needs that have little to do with nutrition - which is why so many babies and toddlers use pacifiers or suck their thumbs.
post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post
You don't have to strip naked to not be discrete. I've seen lots of non-discrete bf pictures that were taken in public places. But everyone has a different definition on discretion.

I feel that mutual respect should run rampant. I know that's not popular in this society, but it would help.
What do you consider non-discrete then? Really? Cause I have never seen, pictures or otherwise, people being overtly non-discrete nursing. Some people consider it in-discrete to not cover your baby up with a blanket so you are completely covered. I find that rediculous. I am not going to make me and my baby uncomfortable while feeding him so you don't get (general you) disturbed by the sight of some skin. Honestly unless you have both boobs hanging out and your shirt up to your chin (as we all sometimes do at home ) while at the park I don't see a problem with seeing some skin.

As for mutual respect. Yea it should go both ways. The problem is, I don't necessarily agree with what you might think is respectful and vice versa.

As for the breast being sexual, I have no problem with that. Never have. And umm I have never ever ever felt letdown so I don't understand the comparison of that to an orgasm.

ETA: Oh yea.. and DH has told me over and over that it is legal for woman to be topless in Oregon and he wishes they would do it more often. hehe.. I have never checked into this however.
post #34 of 98
Thread Starter 
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.
.
post #35 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
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!
I don't think low supply has anything to do with it cause I don't have low supply and when I was nursing exclusively I had overactive letdown. So I just think it is the person.

As for breast not being part of sex.. if that were true.. you wouldn't get sexual pleasure from your breast being stimulated. I know some woman who can orgasm from that alone! They may not be "necessary" for sex.. but they sure make it a whole lot more fun!
post #36 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT View Post
I don't think low supply has anything to do with it cause I don't have low supply and when I was nursing exclusively I had overactive letdown. So I just think it is the person.

As for breast not being part of sex.. if that were true.. you wouldn't get sexual pleasure from your breast being stimulated. I know some woman who can orgasm from that alone! They may not be "necessary" for sex.. but they sure make it a whole lot more fun!
Good point about the letdown. I didn't realize it wasn't connected to supply.

Like I said in my original post, though, I am really not that into breasts. I've never gotten much (if any) sexual pleasure from them. To me, kisses on the neck feel more stimulating than anything DH could or would do to my breasts.

I think women can technically orgasm from anything. (Men too, probably.) I mean, I would guess many of us has experienced an orgasm while sleeping... and that was purely the mind doing the stimulating! Some people with foot fetishes can orgasm with just foot stimulation.

It's all opinions and perspectives, though... much of what I say could be interpreted to be an argument for either side.

I guess what it comes down to is that I don't want to be engaging in something that could be considered a sex act with my child. Breasts are highly sexualized, including the fact that lots of men like to "suck" on women's breasts. I can't even type that without it disturbing me! Again, so so much of this could be my own issues/fears/hangups.
post #37 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post

What is the purpose of having a child "nurse" if there is no milk? What is that doing for the mother, and what is that doing for the child? I am not talking about when you just have the baby or if you are waiting for the milk. I am talking about when you don't have any milk, and you know it, but you bring your kid to suckle. I don't get that so with all due respect, someone please explain it to me.
For me, it has to do with the weaning process which probably is pretty OT, but I'll explain anyway. My second child has always nursed for reasons other than hunger. Sad or hurt? Glean comfort from the boob. Happy and excited? Celebrate with a boob. For my first, it was about hunger only.

So this is new for me too.

This boy has always been a child who was perfectly content to go on sucking even after the milk was gone and he had a full belly even as a tiny newborn. He would never pop off when he'd had his fill, I have pretty much always had to remove him. A minute or two of this is fine, but after that, I get squirrley.

I don't bring him to the breast to suckle, he asks, begs and demands it. He's still getting something as I can still hand express drops, but he's not getting ounces. For him I think it's similar to a child sucking a thumb or chewing a blanket. He gains comfort from it.

Right now, we compromise. He gets to nurse while I count to 20. When I hit twenty, he needs to be done. Sometimes this happens amicably and sometimes it doesn't. It's definitely a process. I hope that answers your question.
post #38 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
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. .

Re: the bold, I don't think this is entirely correct. For many women, the nipples are a huge erogenous zone. Having the nipples stimulated heightens the ability to orgasm. Orgasm increases the ability of a woman to concieve. Not biologically useless in sex .
post #39 of 98
Thread Starter 
I wanted to add that another reason someone may nurse when there is no milk is to get the supply up. In my early nursing days I had to nurse every other hour, even if there wasn't much (if any) milk in order to get my supply level up as high as possible.
post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
I wanted to add that another reason someone may nurse when there is no milk is to get the supply up. In my early nursing days I had to nurse every other hour, even if there wasn't much (if any) milk in order to get my supply level up as high as possible.

Very good point.

In the beginning, we all bring our babies to the breast to suckle even though there is no milk.

Nursing with a milk supply is much more comfortable for most of us. THe baby doesn't have to suck as vigourously and there is a pause when the baby swallows so it's not constant sucking.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breasts as sexual objects just doesn't make sense anymore.