Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing for mother and for child. It provides nutrition for infants (and beyond), provides health benefits for the mom, and is generally considered the best possible way to feed a child. It's also a very intimate act between mother and child. Unfortunately, that can often be a turn-off to the man who helped make it all happen -- daddy dearest.
A post on the Motherlode by James Braly is picking up some steam as he talks about the effect on his libido of his wife's extended nursing of their 5-year-old. While extended nursing is a whole different issue, the reality is that nursing itself is a turn-off for many men. And they aren't alone.
I nursed my babies for one year (my daughter) and three years (my son), and in that time, for me at least, my breasts ceased to be sexual.
My husband might say something else. I know for him, it didn't make a difference whether I was lactating or not. But for me, my boobs did go off the sexual menu when there was milk in them.
Maybe it was what I needed to be able to successfully nurse. Maybe it was just a natural defense mechanism. But whatever the reason, it happened. I sort of forgot boobs were even desirable. I would walk around the house topless, sometimes coming dangerously close to opening the door for the UPS man. This wasn't because I am a show-off. Not even close. It was more because I no longer saw the scintillating appeal of two body parts that were so ... FUNCTIONAL.
It's a problem I know for a lot of breastfeeding moms. But most dads kind of get it. Breastfeeding isn't a forever kind of thing. So why confuse the issue? Why can't the boobs just be off the plate for a few months or a couple years? Why the big fuss?
Obviously, extended breastfeeding is a whole other thing for men, and while Braly found it to be a turn-off, I am sure there are men in the world who find nursing a turn-on. Just look at the guy on Strange Sex last week who breastfed from his wife.
I will try not to judge that (OH YUCK) if they try not to judge me for having to divorce my breasts from sex the second a baby was latched on.
The world is full of shades of gray and there is a season for everything. In other words: if your wife isn't feeling like her boobs are sexual or if you're finding her nursing to be a turn-off, just be patient.
All will return to normal once the faucet is turned off. I promise!
Did your breasts feel sexual when you were nursing?
Image via Caitlinator/Flickr