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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent controversy over the cover picture of the nursing baby and the public's disapproval got me thinking....

I touched on this a bit on another birth board that I use, but I was wanting more opinions as I have not researched this issue on my own.

I asked if remote Tribespeople find breasts sexual and someone (hi!) said that she saw/read something where a tribeslady found it strange that American men suck on a breast like a baby.

Many of my female friends argue that breasts are sexual because they are an errogenous zone. But that just made me wonder even more. I know that both women and men find women's breasts sexual, I just can't think of any biological reason that breasts would need to be sexually stimulated. I mean, aren't the neck, ears, and even feet errogenous zones for some people?

That got me wondering if it isn't just hundreds of years of mental conditioning that the breasts are sexual which makes them "feel" more sexual to us. Almost like it's a turn-on because it's "naughty" for them to stimulated.

I mean, men's breasts aren't typically thought of as sexual. Most men I know don't really get anything out of them being stimulated. Do women's nipples have more nerve endings and maybe that's why? If that's the case, our fingertips should be sexual, too. Is there a distinction between feeling good and feeling sexual when it comes to breasts? Sort of like a foot rub feels good to me, but it certainly doesn't feel sexual.

I'm not trying to be perverse or sexually explicit, 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.
 

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i think the western society has definatly sexualized the breast, i mean, we dont get mad when someone shows their tummy (another erogonous zone) or their feet, but breasts are taboo.

im not saying that we should all run around topless either
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by laneylue
I asked if remote Tribespeople find breasts sexual and someone (hi!) said that she saw/read something where a tribeslady found it strange that American men suck on a breast like a baby.
In my Tribe, that is true. Breasts are just a way of seeing a female without looking up her skirt.


Quote:

Originally Posted by laneylue
I mean, men's breasts aren't typically thought of as sexual. Most men I know don't really get anything out of them being stimulated.
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.
 

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this might be TMI but on the male stimulation at the nipples..........dh is sensitive to it, and if you tickle ds in that area.......you get mucho giggles. I think MITB is right that they are taught not to feel it.
 

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My DH and I were just having a conversation about this the other day. I hadn't seen the magazine cover that has gotten every one in such a tizzy. DH found an article on cnn.com about it, and I got to see it. ( here is link, if anyone'e interested :http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/27/nur....ap/index.html)

So anyways, I guess I just don't get it, in a society that is pretty sexual in every other way--- why is seeing a baby do something so natural deemed so weird??? I mean, biologically that is why women have breasts, not just non-functioning (meaning non-lactating) nipples like men do.
 

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Quote:
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.
Human breasts are different from every other animal's in that they are large even when we are not breastfeeding. When humans began walking upright, the typical area males were attracted to, the butt, was no longer a predominant as before. The breasts developed to attract males, and not leave this large torso area on a woman to be unsexual.

There is also the fact that the shape of the breasts often reflect the fertility of the woman. Progesterone causes the breasts to become rounded, and progesterone is something some infertile women lack.

The problem today is the failure to see that everything on the human body is functional. Breasts are sexual, but that doesn't mean that breastfeeding is. The vagina is sexual, but that doesn't mean giving birth is. The penis is sexual, but that doesn't mean peeing is.

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i think the western society has definatly sexualized the breast, i mean, we dont get mad when someone shows their tummy (another erogonous zone) or their feet, but breasts are taboo.
In some western societies you have breasts everywherel; communal fitting rooms, topless beaches, postcards, t.v. A while back in the Netherlands, there was a brief fashion in which a small handfull of girls walked around with shirts open in front.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lara vanÆsir

The problem today is the failure to see that everything on the human body is functional. Breasts are sexual, but that doesn't mean that breastfeeding is. The vagina is sexual, but that doesn't mean giving birth is. The penis is sexual, but that doesn't mean peeing is.
Good points.
 

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Breasts can feel good in a sexual way. So can your thigh, your neck, your back, etc. All of those parts have a primary purpose, but touched in the right way in the right circumstances, feel sexual too. Same goes for breasts IMO. They're just a functional body part that can have a sexual response in certain situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lara vanÆsir
Human breasts are different from every other animal's in that they are large even when we are not breastfeeding. When humans began walking upright, the typical area males were attracted to, the butt, was no longer a predominant as before. The breasts developed to attract males, and not leave this large torso area on a woman to be unsexual.

There is also the fact that the shape of the breasts often reflect the fertility of the woman. Progesterone causes the breasts to become rounded, and progesterone is something some infertile women lack.

Ah! This is one of my male friend's theories on why men find women's breast sexual although he paraphrased "because two breasts look like a behind." He told me The Naked Ape written by Desmond Morris was very enlightening in this regard.

So, DH just got home from work and I talked to him a bit about this. He said that, yes, men's nipples do feel good when stimulated. So I asked him that if that's the case, why are women's breasts viewed as sexual but men's aren't. He said because it's not really the man's breast that is sexual, but the act act of stimulating it. I guess that's what I'm wondering is the case with the female breast. I talked a bit more with him about it, but after a while it became a circular discussion and he started getting silly so I gave up.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lara vanÆsir
The penis is sexual, but that doesn't mean peeing is.
Exactly what I was thinking! Yes I think my breasts are sexual. No I do not find nursing or NIP sexual. Same as a penis being sexual in some situations and functional in others.
 

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I personally don't like the fact that breasts are seen as something sexual. I feel that breasts are made for the sole purpose of feeding your children.

I just remembered something that made me think..

My old friend from my hometown had a baby about 4 yrs ago. When her dd was about 2 yrs old I got to visit them. I asked her if she breastfed her and she got this squimish look on her face and said no. She basically said she saw it as something "gross."

She obviously sees breasts as sexual and therefore, it would be gross for a little baby/child to suck on them. Yet, that's exactly what Jah (God) made breasts for. It made me really sad to hear her talk about it. And sad at what society makes people believe and at how many women are so ill-informed about bfing...so ignorant.
 

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I wont go totally into it, but my dh doesnt find breasts sexual and interestingly, 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.
Anyway, I really do think that it is purely conditioning that has made western people think of breasts as sexual. The same thing happened with circumcision and, although its changing now, many people still think of circumcised penises as the normal penis, when it really isnt, you know? Its the same thing, they were conditioned. I am pretty sure people have concidered breasts sexual for hundreds of years, so it would make sense that it would take longer to undo the association.
I know that a lot of european countries dont seem to hold this same association though. I mean, they might still concider breasts sexual, but they also seem to understand what they are really for better than many in our society. People dont freak when you NIP there-even when you are showing a lot of skin.
 

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I don't know if we need to come up with such complicated explanations for why breasts are considered sexual, like Desmond Morris' "breasts are the new butt", etc. Breasts are secondary sexual characteristics, and any features that one sex has and the other doesn't, are going to be considered sexually attractive in most cultures.

There's an idea that tribal societies, in which women as well as men go topless and BF is done openly and everywhere, will see breasts as non-sexual. My husband got his degree in anthropology, and heard many accounts that indicate otherwise. For example, one of his professors spent 2 years in Africa. Sometimes at night, outdoor movies would be shown. Every time the lights went out or they lost power and it became completely dark, you could (he said) hear the young women scream as young men took advantage of the momentary darkness to grab their breasts. Similar situations have been observed in other places as well. Even in a society where breasts are seen as functional, they are also considered sexual and attractive.

I doubt traditional societies have nearly such a fetish about breasts as we do here, but I don't think getting BF totally accepted will make breasts become completely neutral and devoid of sexual attractiveness in people's minds.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SurfDaddy
just plain sexy...and wonderful, and magical, and beautiful
:

My DH would agree with you
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lara vanÆsir
The problem today is the failure to see that everything on the human body is functional. Breasts are sexual, but that doesn't mean that breastfeeding is.

Breastfeeding has really messed up my own sexuality.
[Though I think it would be more fair to say that my sexuality evolved and changed after having, and bfing babies. But my dh would say it is messed up!]

The big problem for me is that I can no longer "go back" to the sexual breast. And I don't want to. I can't really remember if I was ever into "breasty stuff" (in a sexual way), but now I just cannot STAND having them stimulated. Any touch brings on memories/feelings about my baby boys. And it makes me uncomfortable to the MAX to have thoughts of my boys come crashing into my brain during sex. It ruins it for me. (Though it isn't all merely a mental problem for me. Nipple stimulation now feels increduble gross to me.) It makes me never want to be intimate b/c I'm so tired of the breast battle. (He's tried to compromise. For example, "hands only."
: ) Why does he even WANT to suck on them after seeing his sons nursing. If I were him, it would make me feel very creepy to want to "simulate" something I saw my children doing, and turn it into something sexual. So I start to view my dh as creepy.

This is a constant source of marital discord for us. My dh has always been a breast man. He just won't let it go (or let them go). And it makes me very angry.

How do so many of you dedicated bfers handle this? Is it like flipping a switch? You let the baby nurse, and it isn't sexual. Then you roll over and your fully grown, big, hairy dh starts sucking on them in a way that is sexual. And both are fine? Your brain just switches back and forth? I feel icky just typing that!

I can't make the switch. And I don't see why I should have to!!
How do women all around the world do it (given that breasts do seem to be "sexual" for most humans)???????
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Francy
How do so many of you dedicated bfers handle this? Is it like flipping a switch? You let the baby nurse, and it isn't sexual. Then you roll over and your fully grown, big, hairy dh starts sucking on them in a way that is sexual. And both are fine? Your brain just switches back and forth? I feel icky just typing that!
It isn't an immediate switch, but yes, my brain does switch back and forth. Not completely -- there's some bleedthrough either way -- but that's ok. Our love created these babies and that's a natural, joyous thing to me. Or look at it this way: You kiss your husband with your mouth. You also eat with your mouth, and breathe with your mouth. There's very little of our bodies, if anything, that only has one purpose.

nak~
 

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i agree with the pp, its a switch but still a bleedthrough on both sides.

I was into alot of breast stimulation before having ds, so in the early days of bf i would have arousal feelings (not that uncommon btw) as time has gone on, i dont get aroused, but it do feel the same calm that comes over me after an orgasam.

now, granted my sex life is pretty non exsistant since ds's birth, not because I don't want it, we just can't find the time, and ds has sex radar and will wake up out of a deep sleep the second dh touches my breast
 

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Here are some interesting bits from an article I found titled "Sex in a Conservative Society
nis Beag, Ireland"

"How do people deal with sex in a very conservative society? Anthropologists went to Inis Beag in the 1960s to find out. Inis Beag is a remote island off the coast of Ireland. At the time of the study, Inis Beag was a stable Irish peasant community with a population of 350. In 1966 the village still lacked electricity and running water."

"Infant nudity was abhorred by the islanders. The bodies of infants were always covered when in view of siblings and outsiders. Infants had their bodies sponged once a week, and from early childhood onwards their parents washed only their faces, necks, lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet. Breast feeding was uncommon because of the sexual connotations. By late infancy verbal affection replaced the affection of physical touching. Children were never allowed to see anyone naked. People slept in their underwear and clothes were changed only in secrecy, often under the bedcovers. Even nudity of pets in heat caused anxiety and dogs were whipped for licking their genitals."

What I can't figure out, is if this was such an isolated society, and they didn't breastfeed, how did they feed their babies? Cow milk? What did they use? Some type of homemade bottle?
 
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