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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