What is it about breasts?

(272 Posts)

I was responding to a post on the recent breastfeeding thread, and a thought occurred to me. Hands. Hands are frequently used in sex. They can do sexy things related to sex. And yet, men and women are allowed to display our hands in public and do things with them that aren't related to sex.

Why are hands different to breasts? Breasts are often thought of as sexy and being part of sex but they don't have an actual, functional part in PIV sex (which is the sort of sex that most of society defines as sex IYSWIM?). What's special about breasts? Why have they become sexy things that are used for sexiness in public but to use them for, say, feeding a baby is something that should probably be done in private? Is it because only women have them?

poopooheadwillyfatface Fri 03-Jan-14 10:22:27

well it's a bit of a mystery to me I'll admit.
on one hand they are secondary sexual organs to flag up a woman who has been through puberty. But they are also just blobs of fatty tissue with a nipple on.
I've always had a medium to biggish bust and never understood why they are such a novelty to some peoplegrin

poopooheadwillyfatface Fri 03-Jan-14 10:24:21

I breastfed til self weaning with my youngest child and they never felt very sexy to me whole I was using them for their intended purpose. now we no longer feed they are definitely back as part of my sexual identity IYKWIM

poopooheadwillyfatface Fri 03-Jan-14 10:25:16

That was meant to say the whole time while I was feeding...

scallopsrgreat Fri 03-Jan-14 10:25:17

"Is it because only women have them?" I think that this is something to do with it. There is a property thing going on too - they are the property of men. Where that comes from though, I don't know.

Maybe it's a property thing. Maybe a Madonna / Whore thing? Or that they allow absolutely anyone to breastfeed. Even women who aren't very slim and toned with long swishy hair and full makeup shock.

It's very strange. That the same person can see a M&S underwear add and think "mmmmmmm, breasts" and then see a woman breastfeeding and think "ugh, breasts!"

scallopsrgreat Fri 03-Jan-14 10:38:28

Yes its mad.

Thining about it a bit more is it all about control? Men controlling women's bodies?

JinglingRexManningDay Fri 03-Jan-14 13:48:48

I think the bigger the breasts the more comments are made. Big breasts are seen on page 3, porn and gratuitous nudity so therefore a certain type is attached to big breasts.

CaptChaos Fri 03-Jan-14 14:06:28

I am attached to big breasts, please, tell me what type I am?

TheDoctrineOf2014 Fri 03-Jan-14 14:07:29

Yes, it's because only women have them, I think.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 14:13:11

'Is it because only women have them?'

Mostly just that, I think. 'Otherness'.

The 'property' comment reminded me of
this recent Doonesbury (there's a few more in the arc before and one after)

UriGeller Fri 03-Jan-14 14:21:31

Maybe a lack of control? On the males part? When breasts are being used to feed a baby, the male adult doesn't feel he can ogle them, he feels like he has lost control over this portion of her body.

The woman is giving herself to her child, invariably there is adoration between them both, often a locked eye contact. Its a sensual experience that doesn't include the man, therefore its ugh.

grin Chaos

ErrolTheDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 14:25:55

I've read comments in the past suggesting that some people (not sure if necessarily men) see bfing as analogous to excreting - so that its more like them weeing which we expect them to do in private or at least into a hedge, even though there's nothing sexy about seeing a weeing willy.

Not my view obviously!!!

JinglingRexManningDay Fri 03-Jan-14 15:23:54

I have big breasts too and was making the point that some men think it equates to the dolly bird type. Breasts are seen as primarily for men's titillation (excuse the pun) rather than just being a body part. Look at the range of bust increasing,maximising,padded bras.
They are just breasts,nothing exceptional really.

I've always wondered this.

NoComet Fri 03-Jan-14 15:31:50

I agree, if men had breasts they wouldn't be in the least interesting, we'd all be allowed to walk around topless and no one would care.

I guess BFing spoils men's 'fun', No point in imagining what she looks like without her top on, because you can see. No point in wondering what she's like in bed because she's clearly going to tell you to fuck off.

whereisshe Fri 03-Jan-14 15:38:49

Maybe it's related to biology - in other apes the breasts enlarge to show fertility. Human bodies essentially look fertile all the time, it's part of our sexual strategy (babies that take a lot of effort to raise, benefit in concealing the real father in order to increase the male incentive to contribute to child-rearing etc).

CaptChaos Fri 03-Jan-14 17:45:31

Jingling lol! I get what you're saying, people men do have some very odd ideas about women with large breasts.

Personally I found them to be very good at feeding my boys, but other than that, they just get in the way of fun stuff. They are just lumps of fatty tissue which, for a short period, produce milk, move along please, nothing to see.

And Errol BFing is thought to be akin to weeing? Bleah sad

JanetAndRoy Fri 03-Jan-14 17:53:51

I was in a bar on Sunday night, it was hot in there so I was wearing a vest top (fairly substantial, not a skimpy one, if that matters). I have large breasts so it's hard to hide them, but I wasn't flaunting them.
I lost count of the "great chest", "cracking tits", "your boobs are massive" comments from men.

Do these men think they are telling me something I don't know? I have to carry the fuckers around with me all day, every day. I know they are massive. But why do they feel it's their place to comment on my breasts?
Maybe I should have said they were so big because I was lactating

I can sort of see that breastfeeding might be thought of as an intimate thing that's best done in private. Like having sex?

Not that I agree, but I can appreciate the argument.

Which reminded me of that girl who was photographed giving someone who may or may not have been famous a BJ at a festival. All the Internet bile was for here, he received very little censure.

Similar happens (I think) with having a wee in public. While I think it's a bit gross, nobody is really that bothered from a modesty / shock point of view if a man pops behind a tree for a semi-public wee… Imagine the difference in DM outrage of a man vs. a woman having a drunken wee in a doorway?

So maybe it's less of a breasts are sexual and belong to men issue and more of a women should always be modest thing?

Janet I've had similar comments. I can't remember where I saw it, may have been on everyday sexism or hollaback or similar where a man shouted to a woman that she had large breasts and she looked down and screamed, as if she'd never noticed them before grin.

JanetAndRoy Fri 03-Jan-14 18:00:58

I'm going to try that next time, Buffy!

MooncupGoddess Fri 03-Jan-14 18:05:15

I think it's partly that breasts are used in popular culture to represent 'women as sexual objects' so acquire an aura of taboo and titillation. So people can't get their heads around breasts being used for an entirely different non-sexual purpose.

Also, hands are on show all the time, whereas breasts aren't at all. I'm sure I'm not the only women to get a bit twitchy the first time I saw a friend breastfeeding - not in a 'this is disgusting' way, more 'where do I look... I have been friends with this person for 12 years but previously seeing their tits would have been absolutely unimaginable'.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 18:08:18

Oh, I've got the solution - BFing women should construct a screen to hide behind out of a copy of the Sun....

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