Sunday, March 21, 2010

Breastfeeding Mothers, Sexual Deviants

I was recently part of a "discussion" in a horrific group that claims to be all about "Peaceful Parenting" (after copying the name from a TRULY wonderful page).  The subject of breastfeeding came up, and quickly dissolved into some really sick ideas...

(this photo is not from the discussion, but hilariously appropriate for the topic...)

M: "I know someone who is still nursiing a six year old child. That creeps me out, I gotta say it. I nursed G__ til she was two and I really felt that was pushing it, but when the child can say that is mommy's breast enough is enough." 


K: "... it is creepy after a certain age. Actually seeings we're talking about sexual predators. When a woman nurses her child her uterus contracts. Once that Uterus is done shrinking her genitals still pulsate which I'm sorry is creepy. She is being stimulated which is wrong. This child would be school aged"

First of all, correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe the genitals pulsate while breastfeeding, and yes the uterus does but I, for one, stopped feeling it a couple days after birth (and it was PAINFUL anyway!).  And anyway... how does that make breastfeeding "creepy"?  If these physical reactions in the mother brought her sexual gratification, then that would happen despite the age of the child, and not just because they turn a certain age.  Therefore ALL breastfeeding is "creepy"?

Several people jumped in trying to correct their odd views, but they went on:

M: "So your saying your partner never stimulates your breasts when you make love? Are you from Utah? K__ I agree with you completely. uterine contractions are a big part of an orgasm. There are lots of ways to comfort a child. Sexual gratification should be your partners responsibility not your childs."


These people are TWISTED to even be capable of this sort of thinking!  Yes, my partner does sometimes touch my breasts and nipples in a sexual way.  What does that have to do with breastfeeding?  I also happen to use my mouth and hands in sexual ways... does that make me a "sexual predator" if I use those same lips and hands to kiss and hold my children in a normal motherly way?  I even... *GASP*... use my vagina for sexual purposes!  Should I have scheduled c-sections?  Heaven forbid my babies come in contact with something that is my "partner's responsibility". If breastfeeding is sexual just because it involves what they believe to be sexual body parts, then by their logic, eating is sexual because it involves my mouth, a sometimes sexual part of my body.  But no... I happen to have the mental capacity to separate a normal every day act from a sexual one.  I can kiss my husband and get turned on.  I can kiss my children and NOT get turned on.  Wow, I'm magic!  My husband can touch my breasts and turn me on.  My children can touch my breasts and NOT turn me on.  AMAZING.  How is this a hard concept to grasp?  Breastfeeding is FAR from sexual, and the fact that these people can connect a normal mothering function to sex and perversion scares the crap out of me and suggests the very pedophilic mind-set they are accusing myself and others of. There were more horrified responses to these women and their strange ideas, but they did not relent of course. 

 M: "All I am saying is that I have taught my child to feel secure without needing oral gratification to relieve stress, fear or a cut on the knee."

Wow... so now mothers that nurse their children are bad parents because we're not teaching them to feel secure in other ways?  This group keeps preaching about "respect for all", yet is so obviously lacking it for mothers who breastfeed past a certain arbitrary age line.

Breasts are only sexual to people who are conditioned to believe they are.  Babies/children wouldn't find breastfeeding any more sexual than eating an apple or getting a hug.  There are cultures that go topless or even completely naked, and they aren't perpetually aroused because of it.

I like how this article addresses the issue:


Certainly people in the US, UK, Australia, and other countries think of breasts as being a sexual organ.  However, the obvious biological function of breast is to make milk for the baby.  Human reproduction can certainly be carried on without ever touching the breasts, so breasts are NOT inherently a sexual organ.


But are they somehow both a feeding machine and secondarily a sexual organ, as many think?  Consider the fact that about 100 years ago woman's ankles were very sexual in men's minds.  And tiny feet were a fetish for Chinese men in times past.  All kinds of parts of female body have been inspiring to men during history and in various cultures, so we ask you to consider that breasts simply have been turned into a similar fetish in US society and others influenced by it.


Breasts are a part of the "whole package of a woman", and men can easily respond sexually to seeing a woman — but the difference is that breasts in themselves are not any special "arousal" machines or obsession points UNLESS the influences from around you have wired your brain to think so. In other words, if a man grows up without this "breasts = sex" influence from media, TV, magazines, and peers, then to him, female breasts will not be any more special than a woman's face, feminine hair, wide hips, narrow waist, or other such feminine characteristics.


Also, please read our article Are breasts and nipples sexual organs?. Nipples are a sensitive body part (though the sensitivity depends on hormones), and rubbing or stimulating them releases oxytocin, but it is for this purpose: nipple stimulation (as by baby's suckling) causes the brain to release hormone oxytocin, which then "opens up" the doors of the milk-making cells so the milk will flow in the lactating breast. That is all scientifically well documented.
Many women have "learned" that touching nipples is supposed to excite them sexually - so then it does, but it is the brain that is responsible for their sexual feelings. Our mind is very powerful; after all, some people get sexually aroused by thinking about certain fruits. But this connection "nipple rubbing = sexual arousal" in the mind does not make nipples by nature an erogenous body part.


"Well, we do have a peculiar obsession with breasts in this culture. A lot of people think it's just the human nature to be fascinated with breasts but in many cultures, breasts aren't sexual at all. I interviewed a young anthropologist working with women in Mali, in a country in Africa where women go around with bare breasts. They're always feeding their babies. And when she told them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts there was an instant of shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the floor. They said, "You mean, men act like babies?

If you think breastfeeding is perverted, YOU'RE the pervert, The End.

(YES, I know the image at the beginning is from a SPOOF SITE, for crying out loud.  It just happens to be hilarious and relevant to this topic of freaks who believe this crap)





42 comments:

Lorna said...

Perhaps, these women are actually paedophiles? I mean if they are insinuating that it's creepy to BF after a certain age because of the contractions, perhaps THEY found it sexual and had to stop because they were getting aroused by it? I'm sort of joking, but sort of not. Because the whole uterine contraction thing would never occur to me...Well, it will NOW. But even then, I will still be just completely happy knowing that I am doing what's best for my child and not giving him/her formula. :) Awesome.

Linda said...

For the record, when I could feel the uterine contractions (and it stopped for me too after about 2 days) they were PAINFUL.

Our bodies are wonderfully made - including the ability to use the same body part to satisfy a partner and a baby, without getting confused between the two.

Nikki said...

Lol good post, woman uncensored. I was reading that discussion and I had to stop at one point because it was making my brain hurt....

Søren's Mommy said...

i agree with Lorna. I think they are jaded because they had to stop because of the feelings they felt. Unfortunately all you can do is try to educate the ignorant, but you can't force them to be intelligent.

Brittney said...

Well, I had no idea I was such a pervert! I just though I was feeding my child! Really, people who really believe that BF is a sexual thing have a SERIOUS problem. Granted, I don't know if I agree with feeding your child by the breast until they are ten, but a lot of cultures BF their children for at least the first 3 years or longer.

Hate to break it to ya'll: breasts were made for breastfeeding! That's their physiological function. They can be fun in other ways, sure, but the reason we have 'em is to BF.

Oh, and I found the comment "So your saying your partner never stimulates your breasts...? Are you from Utah?" to be pretty funny. I'm from Utah and that doesn't effect my sex life whatsoever! Ha, ha! ^_^

Amanda said...

ITA, Lorna. That's what I was thinking the entire time while reading the discussion topic. Perhaps, that was what THEY felt while breastfeeding. Which, while sick and disturbing, is very possible. If we REALLY want to break it down to the ridiculous... Women should NEVER have breast exams, as she may get turned on by her doctor 'massaging' her breast. Forget paps, we'd be wet and wild and ready to go! Divacup? Oh yeah, when I'm wearing that baby I'm feeling such pleasure... The quote that really comes to mind is 'If my breasts are sexual, your bottle is a dildo.' -- I'd HATE too think of what they did with bottles.... *shudder* Some people are sick, these women - sick. They have said WE condition our children to think nursing past a certain age is ok. NO! THEY are conditioned to think it ISN'T ok! One of them was talking about how great of a 'latch' her husband had, how it reminded her of her nursing... Since I'm pregnant, with sore, tender nipples, my husband knows better than to come near my breasts as we also have a nursing toddler. But, When he DID touch my nipples with his mouth - I wasn't thinking of my son!

Dou-la-la said...

It's hard to even know where to begin. Orgasm causes uterine contractions, therefore . . . anything that causes uterine contractions must cause orgasm! Boy, my whole labor was one massive porno-orgy, then!

What?

I can't even be bothered with the rest of the affronts to basic logic, not to mention ignorance of information of the benefits of long-term breastfeeding & research on natural ages of weaning for primates.

The stupid, how it burns.

Janel and Rich said...

I think the woman is likely speaking of her own experience, but projecting it. I think what the woman is probably talking about is her own feelings and sensations when breastfeeding, and for some reason sensation or arousal must always mean sexual.

Tiny Footprints said...

I agree I never felt the uterine contractions after the first couple of days... well maybe weeks. AND I will say this the uterine contractions that I felt HURT. Not as bad as labor but still not comfortable, and they certainly didn't put me in the mind for sex. As a matter of fact with my second I had trouble with sex in the first couple of months because of hormones. It evened out when she was around six months but still it was there. ( sorry if TMI) When I first started nursing I was terribly self conscious because of mind sets just like this! But after nursing with out stop since October of 2007, two different babies, I could really care less what others think. I KNOW that I have and still am offering the best for my baby both physically and emotionally!

Danielle said...

Exactly, Lorna! I have always said if someone finds breastfeeding sexual, they are the one with the problem....A BIG problem.

Anonymous said...

WTF does being from Utah have to do with anything?! No, I know what it has do do with anything, it's an assumption about Mormons. Being a Mormon from Utah, I found this whole thing to be a bit odd! I have learned to separate the sexuality of my breasts from the functionality of my breasts, and I think it's really sad that some woman cannot, and do not breast feed because of it.

Abra said...

I can't even believe that website exists. Do some people really read that and think, "yup, this sounds like a good idea". We've got one f'd up generation after another. Those people must be totally broken.

Abra said...

Okay, that website is a joke. You might want to make a disclaimer about that. It took me a couple of minutes of being totally puzzled to figure it out..

Leigh said...

Just want to comment on the pic. Landover is known to be a satirical site making fun of religious extremism. I used to go there all the time when I needed a good laugh. This seems like just the sort of graphic they would make to show how silly the anti-breastfeeders are.

mommy2monster said...

americans have a twisted view on everything. everything is sexual. i was in no way turned on nursing my daughter and will breastfeed any children i have in the future. i believe that the mind can turn on and off the sexual nerves as it sees necessary. if sexual organs and sexually related organs were stimulated at anyone's touch at any time, wouldn't rape not exist? it would just be SEX because clearly the woman would find it just as stimulating and gratifying as the man or vice versa.

Anonymous said...

I like the African woman's comment. but on a serious note, breastfeeding is not just about nutrients, but it is about the health of the mother and bub. If doesn't happen a mother would have to be injected with hormones to do the same job of contracting the uterus back to its normal function size. this reduces the chances of hemorrhage after the birth.

sharon said...

very eloquantly put!! love "indiginous thinking", so pure and basic...unlike us "educated" snobs ;-P

winterdeep said...

Landover Baptist is a spoof site. It's not real.

Woman Uncensored said...

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

I KNOW that landover is a spoof site, thank you for insulting my intelligence. Did you READ THE BLOG POST? It has nothing to do with the image from Landover, the pic just happens to be funny and suit the topic.

*facepalm*

Jennifer said...

I have to wonder if these idiots think bfing beyond some arbitrary age is ridiculous, is it really any less ridiculous to them to bf at all?

Chappell3 said...

Why is it such a hard concept to grasp that things can have multiple purposes? My breasts nourish and comfort my child, help me be intimate with my husband, AND help hold up and fill out my shirts! Imagine that!!!!!!!!
These are women who were probably never exposed to beastfeeding as children, teenagers, or adults so it's a fear of the unknown. Do I have to brush my husband off when he wants to touch my breasts when I first come out from nursing my 18 month old to sleep? Yes. That doesn't mean that I can't switch over from my Mommy Brain to my Wife Brain, and right back again! Women are amazing and it saddens me to think that something so natural and so BEAUTIFUL is hidden away and over the years has become so taboo that people think that way. :(

Tiffany said...

The funny thing is that they didn't seem to get the point about age very well. If nursing a 6 year old makes someone a pedophile, then so does nursing a newborn or 3 month old. Children do eventually develop in such a way that they are no longer able to nurse successfully, in which it would actually cause them pain to do so.

You know, I went to a moderately conservative Christian high school, which allowed me to observe up close some even more conservative Christian denominations (when we would compete against them in fine arts and a variety of other events). They truly believed that it was wrong to show your shoulders and any part of your leg above the calf. I personally don't think my husband would have been very turned on by seeing a shoulder or a knee, but maybe? It seems to me that these women who are purporting extended breastfeeding as sexual probably believe similar things about other non-sexual parts of the body.

Angie said...

Really? What the hell? Other countries breast feed their children to the ages of 8 and 10 years old! Only in this society where everything that has to do with the human body is now sexual can a breast (which was made for the simple task of nourishing our children, no matter what age) be completely sexual. Really, people need to grow up and if their minds weren't completely disgusting, they'd realize it's good for our children. And no matter what age, it always has health benefits. My son is almost two years old and I am going to breast feed him until he doesn't want it anymore. I don't care what age he is. I'm not a pervert, I just think I'd rather feed my child something natural than feed him the processed foods that are out there. Let's face it. Breast feeding is bad for our older children? No. McDonald's is bad for them. Fried chicken is bad for them. Breast feeding isn't going to clog their arteries and make them obese. I think there's worse concerns out there than what age children are breast fed at. This shouldn't even be an issue. It's disappointing to think that humans who are supposed to be one of the most intelligent species on the planet can be so ignorant.

Tupy said...

I didn't read all the comments so I apologize if someone already brought this point up but do we not, as women, grow children in our bodies? Are our bodies, therefore, not used for sex? Of course they are. They are used for both.

Liev said...

OMG mommy2monster, this is one of the best arguments yet. Dou-la-la, too. Thank you!

I, for one, closed the landover page quickly in disgust, after a quick scan of the article, so I'm glad someone pointed out that it was a spoof! Gotta admit, I fell for it. LOL

BTW yeah, some women do have some enjoyment, but it's not like it's their fault, or that it means they start to abuse their children. Even La Leche League acknowledges this, and it's just considered a part of the reward you get for breastfeeding. It's just there for some women; some, more, some, less, and it's not like it's their fault. (They just have to not *tell* anyone lest it get reported to CPS and their children are taken away :( I think that it's better that mothers accept the mix of feelings, let their children nurse and understand that it's just nerves, then to end the nursing relationship and destroy it for everyone else by saying it's sick.

Jeannine said...

Thank you, thank you. I participated in a debate on this topic with the administrator of the Peaceful Parenting copycat page on her personal Facebook page (she posted a breastfeeding poll there to try to garner the results she wanted: breastfeeding older children is child abuse). What a waste of time that was. She and her thug of a best friend called me ... See morea child abuser for breastfeeding my 2 going on 3 year old and eventually told me to "get [my] bony a$$ off [her] page." What a piece of work. She claimed to have found a group of women nursing their children into teenagehood - when I pressed her for a link, it was to SpicyTalk.com - an intimate adult conversation Web site! She clearly google dumpster dived to even find it.

Onewithwings said...

I always liken their comparison of breasts to sex organs to comparing a bottle to a dildo. After all, the latter pair are made to replicate the former, and should therefore be considered sexual and not done in public, right? Oy.

Lacey said...

LOL!!!! Loved that last comment is priceless! And so true!!!!

Anonymous said...

WEll, I must admit I do sometimes have sexual feelings or feel a bit uncomfortable. And I have boundaries. i can separate them. It is uncomfortable to think about these things and sexuality is a continuum. Cuddling with our children can be sexual. to me it is about having boundaries and knowing what is safe in my mind and for my child. The whole subject is taboo. Thank you for your thoughts!

CurlyMonkey said...

Great Great post!!!

September Love said...

Breasts are only sexual to people who are conditioned to believe they are.

I was JUST talking about this to someone the other day. About how breasts are for breastfeeding...that is their primary purpose, and that the fact that they are also sexually appealing and/or stimulating is only a secondary "freebie" that comes along with the whole package.

ITA with your comment "If you think breastfeeding is perverted, YOU'RE the pervert" That totally sums it up. Great perspective. Thanks for the post on this topic.

It's a SHAME that ppl view breastfeeding this way. It's one of the best things you can do for your baby and child. Thank God for the people like us who know that and are willing to teach others about the TRUE purpose of breasts!

Anonymous said...

I stopped feeling my uterus contract after like...a couple days..and honestly it HURT....my daughter is 16 mo old and im STILL breastfeeding her...my genitals have not contracted ONCE lol and if they have....i certainly have not felt it...maybe they get off on breastfeeding. And regardless of present or absent sexual feelings...the breasts are MEANT to nourish babies

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with the thoughts most everyone has put forward, and intend to breastfeed and tandem breastfeed all of my children as long as the relationship remains mutually beneficial.

I work as a birth doula, and I must also put forward, that as one person commented, some women do feel some sensation of being sexually aroused during breastfeeding. And I want to stress, that this should be okay too, as it too is a natural body response. It does not mean you are ill or a pervert. When this happens to an unsuspecting mom, it can feel scary, painful, confusing and shameful, and it shouldn't. She often has no where to turn for advice, or a kind ear to listen as she feels too much shame. I can often be this non-judgmental ear, as a doula. This issue is talked about with kindness and honesty in the book "adventures in tandem nursing" which is a book published by La Leche League international. The author makes some good suggestions as to how you might work through this.

We should realize that sex is also a taboo in our society, as is breastfeeding. Yes, sex seems to be everywhere.... but a lot about sex is still taboo, which I would rather it was not (both sex and breastfeeding). I wish people could all around feel less shame and feel more proud of the many ways they use their body. yes, arousal can happen during breastfeeding, and you can still be a loving and healthy breastfeeding mom who acts appropriately with her children.

Kari said...

Many men who have sexualized breasts have done so because they had breastfed as children, men associate breasts closely to sex, because sex makes you feel safe loved and it feels good, as does breastfeeding, and over the years the lines between the 2 blur.

Maegan said...

My husband is a boob man...so I know plenty about boobs & nipples being used for sexual arousal. BUT I also breastfed...two kids for a total of about 2.5 years. And for my husband...just b/c the baby ate from them...didn't mean they were no longer sexual for him. I NEVER felt that arousal when nursing that I felt when my husband touched me. We even stopped sex so that I could nurse, and even just having been interrupted from a state of arousal...I didn't feel aroused by my baby's sucking.

It was like my body very clearly knew when it should be aroused by touch, and when it should not be.

One thing I wonder about...b/c I never had a period while I nursed (and it was even slow to start once my babies weaned) is maybe if some women are ovulating and in that fertile moment when their bodies are sending out signals that it's time for sex...MAYBE that might trigger an arousal response during nursing. Maybe some women who started to breastfeed experienced this and it was disturbing. I dunno...Not that many women I know have shared that kind of information with me...so maybe I'm just reaching for some kind of explanation. Cuz seriously...how else do you explain this line of thinking, lol??!

newincs said...

It is infuriating to me that breastfeeding can be turned into such an ugly thing! During a divorce that was heavily mediated one of the mediators announced that she was recommending to the court that I NOT be allowed to breastfeed my infant that I was at the time pregnant with because my ex had confided to her that I got a sexual stimulation from nursing! He did it to be spiteful and cause a problem. I have NEVER felt a sexual gratification from nursing. I guess other mother's may be able to but I never have. He was basing his "view" on the fact that I had "Let down" during sex on several occasions while nursing. This is of course a perfectly natural reaction for whatever reason and I was certainly NOT thinking of my son while we were having our adult time. Nor were my breasts in any way touched or brushed during that particular night. The moderator completely embarrassed me in an entire room full of people who were involved in the divorce (Casa, lawyers, three moderators, stenographer, etc).
I don't get where nursing is sexual. WE as a society have made breasts into sexual devices. I refer to the wonderful website WU had with the nursing momma pictures to prove that point! :) Women were nursing with their breast completely exposed for years with no problems until we suddenly made the breasts into a sexual product used to sell items. Then suddenly you aren't allowed to breastfeed or show your breasts while nursing because you are all of a sudden vulgar... I simply don't get it!

Jessica said...

After reading this, the conversation on FaceBook and a few other articles not to mention my personal experience I just had to write a satire on this. It has been brewing in my head for a while now, had to get it out!

http://everydayrebel.blogspot.com/2010/03/measure-of-indecency.html

Linda said...

"Granted, I don't know if I agree with feeding your child by the breast until they are ten,"

This disclaimer never sits will with me because it's kind of a straw man. Children aren't just going to continue breastfeeding until we decide to put a stop to it, there is a natural developmental threshold. If that's true, "agreeing" or "not agreeing" with it isn't rational, regardless of what age that natural developmental threshold happens to come at.

Mandi said...

I'm a Finn married to American. I have lived all my life in a culture where nudity has nothing to do with sex. Kids swim and hang out outside in the summer naked (not anymore due to more awareness of pedophiles tho). Families and people of same sex bathe together naked (sauna is a Finnish invention and you do it NAKED). There isn't any individual changing rooms, everyone (of the same sex + little boys with their mommies on women's side) changes and literally hangs out naked and half naked in the changing rooms at the pool.
And we feel completely fine and at ease, actually more relaxed and less shy when we're naked.

And this is so hard to understand for my American relatives and friends. That we DON'T think about sex when we see another person naked. Nudity isn't about sex. Sauna has nothing to do with sex!! It is all culture related!

I've been blessed to be able to grow up in this "nudity is normal" culture. I have seen all kinds of bodies, old, young, skinny, women with breast cancer... I know what a normal body looks like and have no pressure from media's image.

Still, sadly, the first question I get about going to sauna with my family is: What if you get turned on? / What if the parents get turned on? Why would I get turned on?! Why would they?
BF in public is also more accepted here, everyone freaked out in the US when I just started nursing at the mall, etc...

PegHead said...

I LOVE your take on things. I thought maybe you would have posted about this new sling recall bunch of bologne. Since you haven't I thought maybe you'd be interested in reading my opinion: http://craftycrofts.blogspot.com/2010/03/would-you-put-your-baby-in-duffel-bag.html

Nichole_Bruff said...

Wow are those people IGNORANT. I had uterine cx for about a week and HATED every second of it.

My husband was terrified of breast feeding after baby was born. It was due to how America has demonized women for doing it.

6 months later and he is kosher.

I think after squirting him every time we shower, and let downs during sexy time, he is over his phobia. :)

Aradia R.M. Paganus said...

Just out of curiosity but was the forum from "Landover Baptist Church" ?

If so, its a spoof website, from the folks who brought us Whitehouse.org and Landoverbaptist.org.

They're making fun of people who actually believe that letting boys eat phallic shaped veggies will make them gay, etc. When viewed in this light they (site creators) are actually supportive of breastfeeding and insulting the horrendous idiots who are offended by women who breastfeed (in public or otherwise).

However, it can be distrubing to realize that they're people who actually have those beliefs.

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