NPFP Guest Post: My Breasts, My Children, My Self

Welcome to RMB’s Naked Pictures of Faceless People, a series of guest posts from diverse anonymous writers. (Read more about NPFP’s origins.) These are the posts that are jumping to get out of us, but for whatever reason — safety, embarrassment, conflict of interest, protection of loved ones’ reputations or feelings, or so on — we don’t or won’t or can’t post at our own blogs. Anyone, whether blogger or reader only, is welcome to submit or discuss a potential post by emailing me at arwyn at raisingmyboychick dot com.

My Breasts, My Children, My Self

Boobs. Hooters. Knockers. Ta tas. Bazongas. Melons. Tits. Jugs.

Breasts have a lot of nicknames. It’s how you know they’re naughty, right? I can also think of a lot of nicknames for penises, vulvas and vaginas. But I can’t think of any for elbows or ankles. It tells you something about what were afraid to name. It probably also tells you something about why our society is so intensely uncomfortable with breastfeeding. Breasts are naughty, therefore breastfeeding must be naughty, right?

But that’s not my point. Not exactly.

No matter what you call them, I’ve always been rather proud of my breasts. Since I’m anonymous here I feel free to say that I have great breasts. I have enjoyed them immensely — both out of vanity, and as part of my sexuality. My breasts always play a large part when I express myself sexually.

Then I had babies. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed. It wasn’t easy at first, but I did it. The exclusively breastfed-for-six-months-and-continued-well-into-toddlerhood kind of did it. Breastfeeding plays a large part in my mothering. I would have been a mother whether I breastfed or not, of course, but the fact that I did has been incorporated into most every part of my mother-identity.

In sex and breastfeeding my breasts serve two very different functions, and I keep them separate. I don’t feel aroused when I breastfeed. And I don’t think of my babies when my partner licks my nipples. My frame of mind is not the same. The sensations are not the same. The people I’m with are not the same.

And yet, my body isn’t always so clear on the separation. If I watch a suggestive TV show while I’m breastfeeding, I find the intermingling of nursing my baby and sexuality to be uncomfortable. The scene on the TV (which may only be PG-rated petting) plus the stimulation of breastfeeding leaves me feeling slightly aroused, and I don’t want to feel aroused while breastfeeding. So I steer clear of TV shows that are likely to feature anything more than chaste kissing while I breastfeed, and I’m fine.

When I’m sleeping, though, it’s not so easy. At least three times over during my years of breastfeeding I have woken up from a suggestive dream that happened to occur while my baby was latched on and nursing. My babies nursed at night a lot — eventually I was bound to have a sexy dream while they were doing it. But on these occasions, the telltale clenching in my vagina told me that I’d just had an orgasm.

This is not a good orgasm. It’s intensely emotionally disturbing. Breastfeeding my baby caused me to have an orgasm. What kind of mother am I? What kind of person am I? Children and sexuality should not intermingle. I don’t want them to intermingle. I am concerned about what other people would think of me, and my mothering, if they knew that they had intermingled in this way.

After waking up to an orgasm while breastfeeding, I feel reluctant to breastfeed for some time. For days, I try to put my baby off when he or she asks to nurse. To this day I haven’t told anyone that I orgasmed while breastfeeding, not even my husband. I am too afraid. I have faced a lot of internal turmoil, and decided that it’s something best kept to myself.

I do realize that I haven’t done anything wrong. I in no way asked for this to happen, or caused it to happen. If I were conscious, I would do everything in my power to keep myself from feeling aroused while breastfeeding. And to put it in perspective, we are talking about three occasions over the course of many years of accumulated breastfeeding. I believe that my own emotional discomfort over these incidents is outweighed by the benefit that my children gained through breastfeeding into toddlerhood. But I still wish it hadn’t happened.

I love my breasts. My breasts have provided some lovely window dressing. They have provided immense pleasure. They have nourished my children. They are a part of me, even though I haven’t always gotten along with them. I suppose this is why we’ve given breasts so many names – they can be enigmatic and fill us with conflict. They can sustain life and create pleasure, but they can also cause intense discomfort as we just try to get a decent night’s rest. By calling them boobies, or jugs, or melons, we’re just trying to lighten the blow.

——————————

From Arwyn: Though our stories are different, this naked and faceless writer is not the only one to feel sexual sensations while breastfeeding. If you have as well, and thought you were alone, I promise you are not: On breastfeeding and things we don’t talk about, and Nursing and nuance: breastfeeding isn’t creepy, except when it is. Please share links in the comments or email me if you are aware of other stories of how parents who breastfeed have struggled with — or embraced, or ignored, or done away with — arousal during breastfeeding.

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Please support the Naked Pictures of Faceless People project by commenting on the posts. Comments which attack or attempt to guess the identity or any aspect of the identity of the blogger will be deleted, however. Protect and respect this space as though it were your own work on display here, naked and faceless.

Anonymous comments are welcome on NPFP posts. Simply put “Anonymous” or any pseudonym in Name, and either your own or a fake email addresses (ex me@me.com) as the email. NOTE: If you have a Gravatar associated with your email address, it will show up even with an anonymous name, in which case please use a different or a fake email address.

Boobs. Hooters. Knockers. Ta tas. Bazongas. Melons. Tits. Jugs.

Breasts have a lot of nicknames. It�s how you know they�re naughty, right? I can also think of a lot of nicknames for penises, vulvas and vaginas. But I can�t think of any for elbows or ankles. It tells you something about what we�re afraid to name. It probably also tells you something about why our society is so intensely uncomfortable with breastfeeding. Breasts are naughty, therefore breastfeeding must be naughty, right?

But that�s not my point. Not exactly.

No matter what you call them, I�ve always been rather proud of my breasts. Since I�m anonymous here I feel free to say that I have great breasts. I have enjoyed them immensely - both out of vanity, and as part of my sexuality. My breasts always play a large part when I express myself sexually.

Then I had babies. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed. It wasn�t easy at first, but I did it. The exclusively breastfed-for-six-months-and-continued-well-into-toddlerhood kind of did it. Breastfeeding plays a large part in my mothering. I would have been a mother whether I breastfed or not, of course, but the fact that I did has been incorporated into most every part of my mother-identity.

In sex and breastfeeding my breasts serve two very different functions, and I keep them separate. I don�t feel aroused when I breastfeed. And I don�t think of my babies when my partner licks my nipples. My frame of mind is not the same.The sensations are not the same. The people I�m with are not the same.

And yet, my body isn�t always so clear on the separation. If I watch a suggestive TV show while I�m breastfeeding, I find the intermingling of nursing my baby and sexuality to be uncomfortable. The scene on the TV (which may only be PG-rated petting) plus the stimulation of breastfeeding leaves me feeling slightly aroused, and I don't want to feel aroused while breastfeeding. So I steer clear of TV shows that are likely to feature anything more than chaste kissing while I breastfeed, and I'm fine.

When I�m sleeping, though, it�s not so easy. At least three times over during my years of breastfeeding I have woken up from a suggestive dream that happened to occur while my baby was latched on and nursing. My babies nursed at night a lot - eventually I was bound to have a sexy dream while they were doing it. But on these occasions, the telltale clenching in my vagina told me that I�d just had an orgasm.

This is not a good orgasm. It�s intensely emotionally disturbing. Breastfeeding my baby caused me to have an orgasm. What kind of mother am I? What kind of <em>person</em> am I? Children and sexuality should not intermingle. I don�t want them to intermingle. I am concerned about what other people would think of me, and my mothering, if they knew that they had intermingled in this way.

After waking up to an orgasm while breastfeeding, I feel reluctant to breastfeed for some time. For days, I try to put my baby off when he or she asks to nurse. To this day I haven�t told anyone that I orgasmed while breastfeeding, not even my husband. I am too afraid. I have faced a lot of internal turmoil, and decided that it's something best kept to myself.

I do realize that I haven't done anything wrong. I in no way asked for this to happen, or caused it to happen. If I were conscious, I would do everything in my power to keep myself from feeling aroused while breastfeeding. And to put it in perspective, we are talking about three occasions over the course of many years of accumulated breastfeeding. I believe that my own emotional discomfort over these incidents is outweighed by the benefit that my children gained through breastfeeding into toddlerhood. But I still wish it hadn't happened.

I love my breasts. My breasts have provided some lovely window dressing. They have provided immense pleasure. They have nourished my children. They are a part of me, even though I haven't always gotten along with them. I suppose this is why we've given breasts so many names - they can be enigmatic and fill us with conflict. They can sustain life and create pleasure, but they can also cause intense discomfort as we just try to get a decent night's rest. By calling them boobies, or jugs, or melons, we're just trying to lighten the blow.
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17 Responses to NPFP Guest Post: My Breasts, My Children, My Self

  1. I’m sorry you feel you have to hide your experience. I’m as appalled by child molestation as anyone; however, I think that we’ve gone too far in glorifying the purity of children when people like my husband are afraid to help our friends’ kids in the bathroom and women can’t admit that their bodies sometimes respond sexually during breastfeeding. It doesn’t make us bad or dirty or harm our children in any way, as you know. If people would be less quick to judge others, and stop trying to see bad/evil/danger in any interaction with children, I think we’d all be better off and more able to spot the truly untoward actions and address those.

  2. I have had inappropriate sexual responses to all sorts of things. Breastfeeding was one. Rape scenes in TV shows and movies is another. Those experiences have made me realize that arousal and desire are two very separate things. I do not feel like I sexually desire my babies because I was aroused during breastfeeding. I don’t feel like I would like to be raped or that rape is good because a rape scene turned me on. I don’t actively seek to be aroused by those things (don’t use breastfeeding as foreplay or seek out rape scenes to get in the mood), but I also try not to beat myself up over it and try not to feel creepy because of it.

    I occasionally have orgasms while dreaming. I can’t remember if I had any with my children latched on or not, but I have had them recently with my daughter lying right next to me. We are sexual beings before our children end up at our breasts and in our beds and I think there are going to be times when we feel aroused while they are around. As long as we don’t act inappropriately in those moments, by having sex in front of our children or by molesting them, then I don’t think it is something we should have to worry about.

    That said, I can and do understand why people find it disconcerting and I have felt that way before too. But I think I’ve moved past it now.

  3. I’m so sorry that you have felt ashamed about what happened to you. Feeling aroused during breastfeeding is completely normal and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. Your body does it to you on purpose! Your body releases the same chemicals/enzymes during breastfeeding that are released during organism. I think it is Mother Nature’s way of making sure that breastfeeding is enjoyable – so that we survive as a species. <> you are in good company.

  4. Thank you for sharing this – it must have taken a great deal of courage to sit down and write about something that has so troubled you. I hope what you’ll find in these response is that it’s not so uncommon – makes sense since sex, birthing and nurturing our babies is all a continuum.

  5. Echoing those above – I can definitely understand how this would be a discomfiting experience, and why you’ve chosen to not share it with anyone. *And*, bodies respond and get aroused in a variety of situations, and what you’ve dealt with is completely normal.

  6. Anonymous Faceless Author

    I want to thank all of you for your kind comments. They really mean a lot to me. :)

    I have mostly moved past my negative feelings – and writing this post helped a lot, too. Although I still do not enjoy the intersection of sexuality and breastfeeding, I understand that it’s normal and I don’t beat myself up. And if there were a situation where I felt that someone I know in real life could benefit, I would discuss this in person.

    I decided to share this, even anonymously, because I realize I’m not alone. I hope that someone else who’s reading it will realize that she is not alone, if she has had the same experience.

  7. I think it is perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of. You know when my mom commented on my desire to breastfeed she mentioned “little orgasms” while breastfeeding and I was all, um, no that is gross.

    Our culture and society still makes us feel that our bodily functions and tendencies are bad. It is a cultural hurdle we all struggle with in many situations.

    In labor my midwife advised my partner to mess with my nipples to get my uterus to contract and push the rest of my baby out. That just shows it is a natural/ biological response and not just something we can control mentally.

    I am not saying “lets all masturbate or have sex while breastfeeding” you are right to mention keeping those things separate but I think it is also okay to recognize that some things we can’t always totally control.

  8. I’m so glad to read this. I wish I had known I wasn’t a creep 6 years ago, when nursing my first and having an orgasm during sleep, while my child was nursing. I was scared to nurse while sleeping again after that.
    Thank you for being brave.

  9. Thank you for posting this…I haven’t experienced the original post’s experiences…but I also have only been nursing for 5 months, so who knows what may happen in the future.
    The comment about being turned on by a rape scene actually helped me immensely! I feel myself getting turned on every single time I watch a rape scene, maybe 5 times in Tv shows or movies, and it seriously concerned me. Knowing that I am not alone has just lifted a great weight off of my shoulders.

  10. Thanks for sharing your experience! After nearly three years of nursing my daughter, I have had a handful of orgasms while sleeping. It never really bothered me, but I also never told anyone about it (mainly because these things don’t just come up in everyday conversations). I knew that my body and it’s crazy hormones are solely responsible for the sleeping breastfeeding excitement that occurred, right along with my migraines and adorable teenage acne at almost 30 years old. I knew it wasn’t an attraction to my daughter, but a very normal biological reaction to hormones. I can even recall that my daughter wasn’t even in the dream, her father was. Good for you for writing about it, and hooray for RMB for allowing a safe place to discuss it!

  11. Having a sexual dream while you’re breastfeeding is no different than having one while laying next to your child, across the room from them, or sleeping in the next room over from them. My point is, it’s not connected to the child. You’re unconscious. You could have been dreaming about an actor, and that doesn’t mean you were cheating on your husband, right? And if someone were aroused because of thinking of something sexual they just saw on tv or something, and you happen to be breastfeeding, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like women holding their child and giving them a bottle doesn’t have these exact situations.

    I think the main problem here is we were raised to believe sex is a sin, and body parts covered by a bathing suit are dirty. Hormones are normal. This is not related or comparable in any way to being a pedophile, which is a mental sickness and obvious attraction to children. A pedophile would be daydreaming about children in a sexual light probably from puberty!

  12. Great article, I have been reading all over FB groups that women are very happy you wrote this, because now they don’t feel like they were the only ones.
    I won’t echo everyone sentiments, but I just wanted to say the same thing, it is normal, not your fault, nothing to feel badly about, etc etc.
    Think about this, men get erections all the time, in non sexual situations, and a lot of the time they are not aroused by the scenario at hand what so ever, it is just a physical response they cannot control.
    We like to think we are so different from them, but we are more similar than we think :)
    It happened, and you wish it hadn’t, but it really is not something to be ashamed of.
    Once again, good article and thanks for writing about a topic many women do not talk about.

  13. Leaving it Anonymous

    I’m not a regular reader of this blog or this series, but I stumbled over this post by accident and had to comment. You AREN’T alone and more, you aren’t abnormal at all. We do have sexual sensation in our breasts and nipples, and when sleeping sexual contact or sexual dreams will cause sexual responses. Our sleeping brains don’t know that we have a cultural barrier that we like to keep up, and with that in mind this is neither your fault nor does it indicate something is wrong. If anything, it says your body is working perfectly.

    I am also a breastfeeding mother (not currently, but will be again soon) and have enjoyed the sensations of breastfeeding. I haven’t had any waking orgasms from it, but I can readily admit it’s a good feeling sometimes.
    This was a source of a lot of weird reactions for me due to sexual abuse that happened surrounding my breasts. For years I could not have my partner touch or fondle my breasts during sexual play, though through breastfeeding I was able to recognize and nurture some positivity. Once I finally addressed the abuse in therapy, I felt freed: my breasts could finally feel real sexual pleasure. What’s more, I found I actually enjoyed simulating breastfeeding in sexual play. In a weird way, it was kind of healing as much as it was stimulating. I’ve also had friends who have admitted to having sex, being interrupted by a sleeping baby, and nursing them in a state of arousal is enough to cause a waking orgasm. Many have said that it was breastfeeding that opened them to the possibility of more breast/milk play during sex. It happens more than you’d think, I think most people are just very hesitant to talk about it.

    As another noter up there stated, arousal and desire are very separate things. A perfect example of that is in the incidence of men being raped by women; while rare, it happens and until relatively recently these cases were thrown out on the basis that if the man achieved erection and ejaculation than clearly he wanted it… right? Many survivors of sexual abuse also experienced sexual arousal, or release, during their abuse. It’s a source of horrible shame, and unfortunately we don’t talk about the reality of arousal and desire more often so most victims have no idea what they felt was normal and uncontrollable.

    I’m really saddened to hear of how ashamed you feel, and it makes me want to (admittedly, inappropriately) give you a hug or something. I hope that writing this has given you some peace, and I hope that as the notes and stories trickle in from more women, that maybe it helps a little more to realize you aren’t alone, you aren’t abnormal, and your reactions aren’t wrong or bad.

  14. Thank you for posting this. The others have reinforced it, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

    I’m “lucky” that my breasts have never been very sexual for me, so this particular issue doesn’t occur to me. (I put lucky in quotes because my partner very much wants them to be, and they’re just not.)

    But my toddler? Is now exactly the right length that he sometimes sprawls, mouth on my breast, foot in my crotch. If he’s still and sprawled it is fine but if he is restless and fidgets it back and forth…ugh. I move it, but oh, the awkward discomfort of that moment. *shudders*

    • I just wanted to comment on that last note — my toddler sometimes accidentally stretches like that too, and I hate it. It doesn’t happen often, but in his sleep he’ll sometimes stretch his hands by my underwear or misplace a foot, and it makes me intensely uncomfortable. I always move him and that’s that, but I’m just intensely squicked when it happens.

  15. Anotheranonymous

    I’m A breastfeeding mother who has never experienced arousal from breastfeeding though I know it can and does happen to other breastfeeding mothers. However, and this has been on my mind for a while; every time I recall this post or discuss the breastfeeding and sexuality intersection- I wonder at the readiness of women (mostly, I presume) to say it’s a normal reaction as long as it’s accidental. Why does it become shameful if it’s enjoyed/ sought/ embraced? Is that seen as a form of emotional or physical abuse? I personally do not see why it has to be exclusively sexual or nurturing: is a mother masturbating and breastfeeding her young child somehow harming them, preying on them, or ‘sick’?
    I ask honestly because I’ve never heard these things discussed anywhere but on RMB and yet here thereis also much language of shame and disgust. I won’t quote the comments that outlined the offenses but I’m hoping to hear why breastfeeding+arousal is acceptable as long as it’s ‘accidental’ and why enjoying ones arousal then would be taboo. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of mothers find themselves aroused while thinking of a baby (which is the closest I can come to understanding&accepting the taboo) or if it’s because they’re touching their baby while aroused (which to me is not much different than being aroused&pregnant).

  16. Pingback: The fever-plus-school-plus-pregnant quick hit series: on sexual arousal and shame in breastfeeding | Raising My Boychick

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