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Breastfeeding Is Not Sexual… At All

We have dedicated an entire episode of The Badass Breastfeeding Podcast to this topic! Click here!

We’ve been talking sex and breasts lately and it has become apparent that we need some education on the issue.

Sex organs are defined as organs involved in sexual reproduction. The testes in the male and the ovaries in the female are the primary sex organs. The genitals and the internal sex organs are the secondary sex organs.

To clarify further, the definition of sex organ does not include: 1. using that body part during sex 2. being aroused when that part is touched or 3. you or someone else being sexually attracted to that part. If that were the definition then any body part could be a sex organ.

Breasts are not sex organs.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding advocacy

Some people like to call breasts secondary sex organs, but they’re actually secondary sex characteristics. Secondary sex characteristics are features that develop during puberty. This is pubic hair, enlarged breasts and widened hips (for females), and facial hair and Adam’s apple (for males).

Am I taking the fun out of your breasts? Well, just wait for the rest.

Your breasts might be sexual to you and that’s cool. They are to me too. Very much so. I use my breasts during sex and my partner is sexually attracted to my breasts. I will never tell you that breasts cannot be sexual, be used during sex, be sexually attractive, etc. That’s simply not true and is not what this is about.

But make no mistake. This does not make them sex organs. There are a few reasons we (not everyone though) feel this way about our breasts.

These sexual feelings that we have about our breasts have some biological basis. It is said by some that breasts function as a way to attract a mate. Which makes sense when you think about a male selecting a partner to reproduce with. They are selecting someone to birth and breastfeed their child.

Breasts in both males and females develop the same. They are essentially the same body part. They are both an erogenous zone with heightened sensitivity.

Sexual arousal around breasts is also largely cultural. There are cultures where breasts do not evoke a sexual response. Our culture has sexualized many parts of the body, not just breasts. The sexual feelings that we have about breasts is the same as the sexual feelings we have about legs, shoulders and eyes. It is mostly culturally formed and personal preference.

I use many body parts during sex. I use my hands and mouth during sex but you would not suggest that my hands and mouth are sex organs. I feel it in my clitoris when my husband kisses my neck but surely you would not consider my neck a sex organ.

Am I splitting hairs? Am I making something out of nothing?

I wish we could say that this conversation isn’t worth it, but it’s actually vitally important that we understand this. When we continue to place female breasts in the category of sex organs like the penis and vagina we are perpetuating the belief that female breasts should be hidden, covered and regulated by law. The fact that we do not do this with male breasts should be enough to end this discussion, but we continue to place female breasts in a category separate from male breasts and alongside sex organs.