Are breasts sexual or have we just sexualized them? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-30-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora114
It's the same basic animalistic instinct that women revert to during NATURAL labour/childbirth.
you mean in regards to the guteral moans, birth dance, squatting and seeking out water?
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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Prior to having kids I was really into the use of my breasts as an erogonous zone. I looooved having them touched etc etc. After our first was born and she was nursing day and night, I really felt like I didn't want to have them touched/looked at/or even brought into the act of intimacy. I was so focused on them being solely for my DD that I couldn't allow them to be used for my pleasure. As time has gone on (and with lots of patience from DH because he is a TOTAL breast man) I've come to a place where I can nurse and have them be for the nourishment and comfort of my nursling and then use them for my pleasure later on. I LOVE breastfeeding for many, many reasons, but I decided that it wasn't necessary to give up my private enjoyment of them in order to feed my babe.

If we sexualize our breasts too much and then some women feel they have to choose between breasts for sex and breasts for food, then what about our vaginas? Babies are born through that canal, does that not make vaginas sacred and thusly does it violate the sacredness of it to have sex? I say no. There is a way to view our vaginas as doing the jobs they were created for making babies and birthing them. And to me if my breasts help me to enjoy making babies (and being close w/my DH) then there is no conflict in also using them to sustain my babies.

I don't know if this makes any sense or not but....there it is.

SAHM to four beautiful babes :
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romans_mum
you mean in regards to the guteral moans, birth dance, squatting and seeking out water?
As to regards of the basic instinctual process.

The flight/fight response when the process is interfered with

How Labour can and does stall when the woman is in an unfamiliar and (in the back of her mind) unsafe/hostile environment

How labour will stall if any percieved danger is imminent.

That kinda thing.

If a woman, on a basic intrinsic and instinctual level feels unsafe in any way, her labour wont be as speedy or as relaxed. Stress + Fear = Slow labour. Heck Look at the hospital birth phenom. Women have been told and brainwashed on a CEREBRAL Level that the hospital is safe it's where you're supposed to go, but INSTINCT at the back of her mind speaks to her otherwise..

make sense??
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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makes perfect sense to me, my labor stalled every time we went to the hospital........because i grew up in new zealand, WANTED ONLY a homebirth in water with a midwife, so being practically forced to go to a hospital (which i hate because of other issues) it stalled, i think in the back of my mind, my labor stalled permanantly, because i knew there was no other choice but the hospital (i definatly wasnt ready for UC and neither was dh). They had to induce me at 41weeks.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laneylue
it's not really the man's breast that is sexual, but the act act of stimulating it.

Now that is a really interesting point. It works for other body parts too. Why is it so sexy to have a partner suck your fingers? Because fingers are sexual? No, it's the act of treating them in a sexual manner that is stimulating. Same with the nape of the neck, back of the knee, the armpit, lol. You can get great erotic sensations from stimulating all those parts but it isn't because they are sexual, it's because y'all were acting sexy about it!


It's Katherine Dettwyler's research that contains the story about the women who rolled on the floor laughing hysterically when told that American men get a sexual thrill from women's breasts, they asked, "You mean they suck on the nipple like a baby??!!" and just thought that was hilarious that men acted like babies.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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There is nothing inherently sexual about breasts.

There are many cultures where breasts are not considered sexual and seeing them means nothing.

Conversely, in China feet are considered incredibly sexy - they react to feet much the same way our culture reacts to breasts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
Nothing in and of itself is sexual its all how you look at it and how you imagen it being used
You mean, other than a vagina and penis, right? I mean, they are the reproductive organs so...
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KristiMetz
You mean, other than a vagina and penis, right? I mean, they are the reproductive organs so...
I dont instantly see a vagina or penis and think something sexual........a penis is a penis, and a vagina is a vagina.......we pee from that area, we give birth from our vagina.......so its not inherently sexual to me
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:15 PM
 
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I think there is a difference between sexual and sensual and didn't some poor woman get locked up because she 'admitted',to a mw I think, she had sensual feelings when breastfeeding? How completely ridiculous to portray this as abuse and yet let real abusers carry on unhindered. Absolutely pathetic. At times when bf my first dd I had some lovely sensual feelings probably because having your nipples sucked contracts your uterus,I guess I better be careful in case some uptight person thinks I am abusing my child, thats how f****d up people in this world are. Just totally unconnected with sensuality and obsessed with sex. Breasts can be for pleasure and breasts fill up with milk to feed babies, maybe women have been conditioned to feel bad if when bfing they feel anything else than a dutiful milk-dispenser feeling and thereby lose the sensuality of their breasts. Babies adore breasts on all sorts of levels, it's just more reasons to make women feel 'bad' about their bodies. Enjoy your breasts!! All that porn rubbish we are bombarded with daily does nothing to liberate our minds or our bodies in fact the more we see the more restrictive we become, there is nothing sensual in porn, it's just product. My breasts are not a product whether I'm bfing or otherwise.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romans_mum
i think they may have been converted to live that way in the 1800's by missionarys.......its very rare for any colony of people that isolated to think that way without having been taught it.
ITA.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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To the original question: I have no idea!

I just now saw the Baby Talk magazine that I've heard caused such an uproar. DH and I both agree that we've all seen more in a shampoo comercial! Well, not literally a shampoo commercial, maybe Victoria Secret commercials though. And on billboards, mall windows, clothing catalogues, high school campuses etc...

Whether they were created to be or not, why can't breasts be sexual in the bedroom, functional in regards to children, and no big deal on the street? I mean, mouths are, hands are, feet are.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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I think a big difference between vaginas and breasts is that you give birth to a child ONCE and then (usually) don't have sexual intercourse for a while afterwards. Breasts are used for feeding that baby many times a day.

There's a chronological distance between the use of the vagina for reproduction and using it for sex. That distance doesn't exist for breasts.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by little_monkeys
I do not concider my breasts an erogenous zone. I mean, I have just never felt good when someone messes with my boobs, it actually kind of bugs me.
I always hated my breasts messed with, too. Just leave them alone! They are for feeding my baby, nothing more.
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laneylue
I really am just curious as to whether or not biologically breasts are even sexual at all or if we are just conditioned to believe that they are and that's why they "feel" sexual to us.
We've been conditioned. According to the anthropologist, Dr. Katherine Dettwyler, of Texas A&M, in most cultures, breasts are defined as objects to feed children. “Only 13 out of 190 cultures said breasts were sexually attractive.”

http://www.baylor.edu/lariat/news.ph...ry&story=11854
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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Wow, that article was really choppy, I'd love to read some in depth on this, it's intriguing!
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forthebest
I think there is a difference between sexual and sensual and didn't some poor woman get locked up because she 'admitted',to a mw I think, she had sensual feelings when breastfeeding? How completely ridiculous to portray this as abuse and yet let real abusers carry on unhindered. Absolutely pathetic. At times when bf my first dd I had some lovely sensual feelings probably because having your nipples sucked contracts your uterus,I guess I better be careful in case some uptight person thinks I am abusing my child, thats how f****d up people in this world are. Just totally unconnected with sensuality and obsessed with sex. Breasts can be for pleasure and breasts fill up with milk to feed babies, maybe women have been conditioned to feel bad if when bfing they feel anything else than a dutiful milk-dispenser feeling and thereby lose the sensuality of their breasts. Babies adore breasts on all sorts of levels, it's just more reasons to make women feel 'bad' about their bodies. Enjoy your breasts!! All that porn rubbish we are bombarded with daily does nothing to liberate our minds or our bodies in fact the more we see the more restrictive we become, there is nothing sensual in porn, it's just product. My breasts are not a product whether I'm bfing or otherwise.
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies

I think you will find that most men are taught not to feel the stimulation. Also, in most intact men, they do get extremely excited when their nipples are stimulated.
my partner likes it...as do I...so I think breasts are sexual in the manner that whole bodies are...nothing bad. nothing wrong with seeing a butt or a boob, they're just body parts
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This part of the article is interesting. I'll have to pay better attention to the commercials to see:

"According to Dettwyler, the media sculpts American's sexual view of the breasts. Pictures of women breastfeeding ironically advertise formulas or bottles.

The advertisements are meant to twist the image of breastfeeding to sell a product, Dettwyler said.

'They are trying to give a subtle message that breastfeeding is illegitimate,' she said. 'It's lower class somehow.'"
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by arlecchina
my partner likes it...as do I...so I think breasts are sexual in the manner that whole bodies are...nothing bad. nothing wrong with seeing a butt or a boob, they're just body parts


.....And some male do like to be kiss on the chest, too.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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Something that interests me on this subject is to look at (Western) art back through the ages -- female breasts have been sexualized, (that is, viewed as sexually enticing objects) for a long, long time, even when breastfeeding was, of course, the norm.

I think that there is a duality there that people long ago were more comfortable with -- that breasts were both sexy and useful.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Breastfeeding was the norm for the lower classes, but the people who bought the art, rich people, for the most part, did not breastfeed their own children -- they hired wet nurses to do it for them. Breastfeeding has been a 'lower class' thing for a long time. One of the things that made formula popular was middle class women's inability to afford wet nurses, yet the desire to seem like rich women, and not be nursing.

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Old 08-06-2006, 02:21 PM
 
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Yes, that's true -- my point is just that it was not uncommon to see breasts being used for breast-feeding in those days, certainly more visible than it is today (at least where I live).
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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I think breasts have been sexualized by Western Society! I think breasts are made for feeding babies! Reading that Tribal woman don't find them sexual reinforces my thoughts on that!

Jennifer, mama to Zander (04), Maddie (07) & Lizzie (10/09)
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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I used to not like my breasts to be stimulated. I have an abuse history that has really warped the way my body appears to me. BFing has helped me to be more confident and fulfilled with my body and how I feel about it.

Now I enjoy my DH to stimulate them (gently!) and he loves his nipples stimulated too.

I think that the skin is the biggest erogenous organ that there is, and to deny yourself the pleasure is closed minded and a little sad. Not saying that other cultures are those things, but I just think that with the way things are here, and the sexualization of the breast, enjoy it if you do.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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I have small breasts - 34AAA and no-one has ever taken any notice of them at all. As a teen I felt odd as no-one in my family is as small as me and neither were any of my friends. Boyfriends alwways ignored them and so did my ex-h. dresses and tops never fitted properly and I found that really irritating too.

Breastfeeding opened a door to acccepting my breasts and really feeling that they were good for something. It changed my view from a sexual one to a nurturing one. I was below par in the sexual stakes but I fed my child for a year and that beat the socks of most other people I knew at the time.

Now I have fed three children and preparing for a fourth I am even more comfortable with them - and strangely as time has gone on they have become outrageously sensual to me. My dh is not fixated on my breasts (or anyone elses) but he pays them attention as part of my whole self and I feel as though feeding has opened some connections between them and other erogenous parts of my body which had previously not been there.

For me the sexual, sensual and nurturing aspects are all facets of the same. As is my body itself.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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Misery loves company .... Well, not really misery. But I must admit I'm one of the women whose sexual attitude in re: breasts has done a 180 in terms of response, and dh is baffled. He is a breast man .... Loves them! And part of that love is the fact that they used to be the "Go!" buttons for me .... A little tweak and I was off to the races. Seriously, could take me to/near orgasm very quickly. Those were the days ....!

I worried a bit about whether I'd be comfortable with dh touching them while bf, and about sexual feelings while bf (since I was so sensitive). And I honestly think I've done a number on myself (paired with the supply issues we had, where for a long time I worried about having letdown during orgasm because I was afraid I'd "waste" some of my precious breastmilk) --- anyway, breast touching just has not been comfortable for me since Ina ws born. We've tried, and every time, it just makes me uncomfortable - especially nipple touching. Let's not even talk about mouths involved!! DH apparently has a good latch from his bf days -- it was eerie and uncomfortable for me. Instant damper. When we worked on me becoming more comfortable with dh touching my breasts - then I'd find myself having similar feelings while Ina nursed and I was NOT comfortable with that (especially early in this second pregnancy).

We bf'd 'til about halfway into this pregnancy, so I haven't had a "break" really from breast/pregnancy/nursing issues ... we were hoping things would improve after a couple months of bf-free but so far, no dice. I'm in the "my breasts are tender!" phase with pregnancy I guess.

I wouldn't trade bf for the world, but I'd love to get rid of my reaction to dh touching my breasts .... He understands, but it's definitely changed things for us sexually and I wish (for both our sakes) that the "go buttons" still worked like they used to. I actually think a counselor might help but how the HECK do you find a counselor who's going to be bf supportive in a CLW sort of way and also counsels on sexual issues?

(Any suggestions from BTDT moms would be great here ).

In terms of the sexuality of breasts in general - I do think that the female form (breasts included) is sexual and has a sexuality to it which attracts men (and women ) -- and like other areas of the body, breasts can be and sometimes are erogenous (ears, ankles, stomachs, necks, mouths). They are, like those other areas, a dual-purpose organ ... our society has obsessed so much about them sexually that some really struggle to see them as dual-purpose, though, and so try to divide the two (meh, maybe me? - I grew up in a bf family though so I don't think breasts were terribly sexualized within my family, although the media impacts things too)..... So, yes, they're sexual. But they're also for feeding babies. Just like legs are sexy, but are also for walking/hauling/running. KWIM?

I just need to work on the sexy part. I'm totally comfortable with the bf part, but with a breast man for a husband, and my own recollections of how NICE it was when my breasts were more responsive sexually -- I'd like to have that, too. Not sure how to get back to that though, except at the end of all bfing for us ... which is years away.

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Old 08-17-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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there not sexual if you vaued a life a cellabacy.
there not sexual if your prepubecent
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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But
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
Nothing in and of itself is sexual its all how you look at it and how you imagen it being used

I still really like the analogy that breasts are sexual in the same way mouths are - and we don't worry about whether we should eat or speak in public with the same mouth we may also enjoy using for erotic purposes.

This site has some really great pages on this very topic.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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Elanor, I've always been very sensitive to and enjoyed stimulation of my breasts, too, and when I was nursing I really didn't like it for a while or want them to be touched. Mostly, they were getting touched SO MUCH by the baby, they were kind of tender and touched-out and I wanted them left alone. A little frustrating for DH, but on the other hand they looked fabulous so he got to enjoy that. :-)

Anyway, after my daughter weaned, things did return to normal and I'm back to enjoying breastplay in bed. Just a little bit of anecdata -- it will come back!

I guess it's pretty obvious that yeah, I think they're sexual in addition to being a great way to feed babies. They're nice to look at, they feel good when they're touched, they're loaded with nerve endings so they offer loads of sensation, and they reinforce my femaleness to my partner and me. And every man I've been with has LOVED having his own nipples touched and licked.

There aren't very many human body parts that AREN'T sexual or potentially sexual, really. Except maybe the nasal septum or something. ;-)
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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This article really got me steamed. Clearly the Rabbi thinks breasts are solely to be used as sexual objects. http://www.beliefnet.com/story/194/story_19451_1.html
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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Well that man is obviously an extremist! It IS possible to BF for two or more years, and have DH watch the baby come out, and still be a sexy woman! I have birthed 3 babies in front of DH and BF and gained weight and a host of other things that maybe both of us wish he hadn't seen, but I can't bend over in his presence without causing his temp to climb . It is totally possible to marry someone mature enough to handle real life. Just because he counsels idiot men doesn't mean all men are idiots. I agree on one point, marriages should be tended to. But why he thinks that can't be done while APing, I've no idea. Someone should smack that man in the back of the head
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