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Posted June 23, Reviewed by Matt Huston. A couple of weeks ago, the UK's top-selling newspaper The Sun featured a story ' I breastfeed my boyfriend ', about Jennifer Mulford, who "took time off from her job as a bartender to establish breastfeeding because she wants to start an Adult Breastfeeding Relationship ABR with [boyfriend] Brad Leeson".
But what do we know about this sexual behavior? Lactophilia i. Sometimes, the sexual arousal is enhanced by the woman also being pregnantalthough many men prefer lactating women post- pregnancy. The paraphilic aspect may also be part of other sexual paraphilias such as infantilism where sexual arousal is derived from being an adult baby. For many infantilists, the practice is often referred to as adult nursing, suckling, and adult breastfeeding.
In fact, some lactophiles describe themselves as being in an adult nursing nursing fetish. There are a of different methods by which erotic lactation can take place. The activity is thought to be widespread but can be unintentional post-pregnancy as many women who have just had babies release milk as a reflex action when sexually aroused.
Over the last decade there appears to have been an increased demand for lactation pornography. It is evidently a specialty market, although the internet has increased the opportunity to see such pornography—even if the person is not a lactophile. Such niche pornography may also be considered taboo—even by those who have no objections to pornography—particularly because of its association with children and incest. It is only considered to be an adult nursing relationship ANR when the practice is regular.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that successful ANRs are reliant on trusting and stable long-term relationships. It is thought that in some cases, the suckling can be a replacement for sex and that the mutual and intimate tenderness involved between consenting couples has a stabilizing influence on such relationships. It has also been noted that some women are capable of achieving orgasm during the suckling process. There may also be a of inherently non-sexual reasons as to why such behavior is found within loving couples.
For instance, couples who may want to adopt may use the context of an ANR to stimulate the production of breast milk pre- adoption. The feelings produced may depend on the context for instance, some women may only get sexual pleasure if their partner is present during the pumping process. In a blog on fetishismI wrote at length about a study led by Dr. Scorolli University of Bologna, Italy on the relative prevalence of different fetishes using online fetish form data. They reported that some of the sites featured references to lactophiles.
The rise in interest surrounding lactophilic activity has led to lactation prostitution, in which grown adults—including women—pay for the opportunity to be breastfed. This can either be part of other activities, such as infantilism where other activities such as having a diaper changed may play a more primary role or may be an activity done in isolation. A paper in the journal Australian Feminist Studies again by Dr. Fiona Giles made reference to a New Zealand brothel that offered lactation services to its clients.
Nursing fetish can also feature in other types of sexual activity, such as sadism and nursing fetish as part of wider set of dominance and submission sexual practices. For instance, submissive women may nursing fetish commanded by their male or female dominant partner to be milked or to produce milk. Alternatively, breastfeeding can be used as a surrogate pleasure reward or surrogate pleasure for male or female submissive partners who have done exactly as they have been told by the dominant partner.
Lactophilia may also be associated with other specialist types of paraphilia. One such sexual fetish is maieusiophilia i. There is also a very small minority of people who develop a sexual fascination with the idea of themselves being pregnant i. This would appear to be psychologically similar to those people who get sexually excited by the thought of being an amputee i.
There has been very little empirical research on lactophilia or associated behaviors.
A recent study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine and led by Dr. Magnus Enquist. Their data were collected via an online questionnaire advertised in newsgroups e. The research team collected usable data from 2, participants. Some of the main findings were that:. Because of this final finding, the authors suggested their were consistent with the hypothesis that specific sexual preferences may be acquired through exposure to particular stimuli during a specific period early in life similar to 'sexual imprinting' in birds and mammals. In fact, there have been a of studies offering empirical support for the idea that human partner choice is at least in part determined by parental characteristics.
The authors concluded that their study offered new insights to the growing issue of the correlation between pregnancy, lactation, and nursing fetish. Bereczkei, T. Sexual imprinting in human mate choice. Proceedings of Biological Science, Enquist, M. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8, — Giles, F. New York: Simon and Schuster. Relational, and strange: A preliminary foray into a project to queer breastfeeding. Australian Feminist Studies, 19, The well-tempered breast: Fostering fluidity in breastly meaning and function.
Women's Studies: An Inter-disciplinary Journal. Perrett, D. Facial attractiveness judgments reflect learning of parental age characteristics. Proceedings of Biological Science, — Scorolli, C. Relative prevalence of different fetishes.
International Journal of Impotence Research19, Wilson, G. Parental characteristics and partner choice: Some evidence for oedipal imprinting. Journal of Biosocial Science19, Zei, G. Homogamy, genetic similarity, and imprinting: Parental influence on mate choice preferences.
Personality and Individual Differences, 33, Mark Griffiths, Ph. Mark D. Griffiths Ph. In Excess. References Bereczkei, T. About the Author. Online: Personal BlogFacebook. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness.
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'My Husband Wants to Breastfeed:' The Phenomenon Nobody Talks About But Everyone Googles