Just an idea... breast fixation and lack of breastfeeding... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 04-09-2010, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't imagine I'm the first person to think this, but I've long wondered whether there's a tie between our cultural breast fixation and the prevalence of formula feeding in this country. I was a formula-fed baby, and as a teenager I found breasts very arousing, though I was attracted to boys. That's pretty much gone away since I fell in love with my husband and am currently breastfeeding our own child, but I wonder about the correlation. My husband and I have talked about how obsessed our culture seems to be with breasts (and how disturbed it is when they are used for their actual purpose) and he thinks there's a link too... they way he puts it, people 'never got to do what they're supposed to do with boobs' so they're fixated on them in adult life... anyone else ever considered this?
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#2 of 8 Old 04-09-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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Yeah. But the ones who got their fill of breasts also are fixated on them too I mean, my DD who is 4 years old and still nurses once a day, really likes breasts. She notices them, talks about them, they make her giggle and light up.

I think maybe our species is simply oriented toward breasts overall. They make children happy. They make men (and women who are attracted to women) happy. Even older children, I was never breastfed but I remember wanting to lay my head on my mother's chest when I was upset, it was comforting.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-09-2010, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, I 'spose that's true... in general they're considered a source of comfort. My husband was actually formula-fed and is not obsessed with boobs like some men. I mean, he likes them, but they're just one of the things on my body he likes! There goes my theory. It does seem to me, though, American culture in particular hypersexualizes breasts.
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#4 of 8 Old 04-11-2010, 06:49 AM
 
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One of my BILs (in Germany) who seems to think I'm a bit crazy for (among other things - see signature) having BF my children for what he considers way too long once teased me that my boys would probably run away screaming at the sight of a naked breast once they're grown. (Traumatized by overexposure, ya know!)
If his theory holds true then lots of German (and American / Western) men obviously didn't see and feel "enough breast" when they were children - or why else are they all drooling at the sight of them?

As a tendency, I think it's true what the PP said - and as a German I'd say that Americans still take it a tick further ("bodily liquid", "gross", "icky", "fun bags" etc.) compared to Europeans.

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#5 of 8 Old 04-11-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ashleybess View Post
It does seem to me, though, American culture in particular hypersexualizes breasts.
Oh, definitely. To the point that other cultures notice. I remember a series of cigarette ads in Greece years ago that were on an 'international' theme - each billboard would show the box of cigs with a symbol of the particular country - like a toucan, a traditionally dressed tribeswoman, etc. None of the ads were sexualized in any way - except, so the billboard for the US? Showed the box of cigarettes tucked into the cleavage of a huge pair of boobs in a tiny bikini top. Because that was, like, the international symbol for the US. Boobs.

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#6 of 8 Old 04-18-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Maybe I'm weird, but I can't see any real reason (beyond cultural bias) that breasts can't be fun, sexy, aesthetically awesome, and food. I mean, we get all swizzly over celebrity chefs making sexy-looking food, right? Little bit of asparagus dipped in chipotle hollandaise, anyone? Mmmmm... it's food AND it's sexy. Breasts? Same deal. I don't see why we have to compartmentalize pleasure the way we do.

I don't think it's as much to do with breastfeeding (or not) as it is to do with Puritanical residues and general uptightness.

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#7 of 8 Old 04-19-2010, 07:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by spughy View Post
Maybe I'm weird, but I can't see any real reason (beyond cultural bias) that breasts can't be fun, sexy, aesthetically awesome, and food. I mean, we get all swizzly over celebrity chefs making sexy-looking food, right? Little bit of asparagus dipped in chipotle hollandaise, anyone? Mmmmm... it's food AND it's sexy. Breasts? Same deal. I don't see why we have to compartmentalize pleasure the way we do.

I don't think it's as much to do with breastfeeding (or not) as it is to do with Puritanical residues and general uptightness.
Thank you for this! It has often felt a bit strange to me when people say "BF isn't sexual", often in the context of NIP.
Well, of course it is! It's part of our womanly (reproductory) cycle - and it's designed to promote positive feelings on both ends. All the elements of procreation have some kind of "fun factor" to them: let's hope all of us had fun conceiving , I've heard of (and experienced) "near-orgasms" during pushing in childbirth, and most mothers (if given the chance) will experience a rush of euphoria when seeing, hearing, holding, smelling, and nursing her baby for the first time. BF (after mastering the initial learning curve) should also be a mutually pleasurable experience.

(Mind you: I'm not saying something "is wrong with you" if BF didn't feel all that good to you. I'm generalizing a lot here, and I'm consciously disregarding complications like cracked nipples etc.)

Maybe you hit the nail on the head here: our culture seems to feel a strong need to "compartmentalize pleasure" (quoting you) - innocent children and "madonna moms" here, sexy women (potential lovers) on the other side of the fence?

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#8 of 8 Old 04-21-2010, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not against breasts being considered sexual, but, obviously, when they are considered so exclusively sexual that a woman is chastised for bfing in public and people think bfing is 'gross', yet cosmetic breast surgery is mainstream, something's culturally askew. I know I'm preaching to the choir here... but I definitely agree that it is sexual, just as birth is. People get freaked by that because I think they believe in order for something to be sexual it must involve objects of sexual desire, and I've heard women say "I don't feel sexual toward my baby!" or, in regards to the possibility of orgasm during labor, "I don't want my baby involved in an orgasm!" So, yeah, our culture is totally compartmentalized when it comes to sexuality. Sometimes I ask my husband to kiss me while I'm nursing our son - it feels amazing, like a circuit of energy through all three of us!
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