Dad Admits Seeing His Wife Breastfeed Killed Their Sex Life

Say What!? 90

breastfeeding toddlerSometimes men say ridiculous things. I'm not saying women aren't guilty of this as well, but I'm just talking about men here. I've shared many breastfeeding articles, images, and rants on Facebook and have had some of my guy friends comment things that made me wonder if they were really being supportive about the real meaning behind breastfeeding or does a man's life just get exponentially better any time boobs are mentioned. Could be either, or both. Still great to have supporters, I suppose.

But writer James Braly isn't a breastfeeding supporter even though his wife is still nursing their 5 1/2 year old son. He wrote in the New York Times that breastfeeding caused him to no longer be attracted to his wife. He boldly wrote about the impact breastfeeding is having on his sex life and how he feels left out.

First, I ask you to put aside your feelings on breastfeeding a 5 1/2 year old. If you would never do it, that's fine. But this woman has, and at that age, it's more like a treat, most often not an every 3 hour feeding. Now let's talk about what this dad had to say.

Braly wrote: "We are in this together, women and children, men — and breasts." And he's right. A family should be a family. But where I don't agree with him is how he says too much closeness with your little ones for too long (often in the form of extended breastfeeding) could lead to infidelity on the dad's part. He even cited Amy Sohn's diatribe about how this is a huge deal in Brooklyn, where moms are getting real wild on the side doing drugs and having unprotected sex with strangers. Sohn called them "regressive moms" for sort of re-living the carefree days of youth while their significant others and kids aren't around. Braly is essentially saying this is what will happen when women are too close with their kids -- the men will stray, the men will regress.

I lived in the very neighborhood Sohn says this is going on -- Cobble Hill -- up until last month. I was in Brooklyn for over 10 years and the last 2 1/2 I was a mom, hanging out with other parents at all the local playgrounds. I never once was asked to party with this wild crowd. I'm not sure if I'm offended that I was left out or really just having a hard time believing this is a widespread thing beyond a select in-crisis few. 

Braly, however, didn't partake in schtupping another mommy. Instead he says he is doing something even worse -- "sexless fidelity." He shared, rather candidly, that after seeing his wife nurse his 5 1/2 year old son under a tree in Central Park, he lost his appetite ... for a lot of things. He clarifies how he completely supported his wife's choice to breastfeed, but he was repulsed by it, which directly affected their sex life.

There's a part of me that wants to tell Braly to get over it. The breastfeeding isn't going to last much longer -- in fact, they all made it this far and maybe it should be something to celebrate. I also wonder how much he's talked to his wife about it, and how much he's tried to regain that sexual spark in their relationship. Our libidos can be finicky little bitches sometimes and need a whole lot of coaxing to come back around again -- even his, which seems extremely bitchy. Why dwell so much on his wife's breastfeeding and make it about sex? What can he do to separate the two? I had to ask my own husband, who supported me breastfeeding our twins until they were 16 months. Granted, that's not over 5 years, but I was curious. My husband very honestly told me:

"I was very proud of you for breastfeeding the kids, seeing how great a mother you are. I knew how great it was for them. It was also awesome to have big boobs to look at. It didn't affect our sex life, except to turn me on more because your boobs were bigger."

He totally wants to get laid tonight, which is fine, and he probably will. Unlike Braly, whose wife was most likely extremely annoyed that he shared these details with the world. And now when his son gets older, he'll know dad resented him for nursing on mom's "boobalies" as he calls them.

Still, I agree with Braly when he says: "A man’s loss of appetite for his companion can undermine his partnership, his family and ultimately the society of families. ... the foundation of the parent-child bond is the parent-parent bond." Which I why I think he and his wife really need to talk. Maybe he even needs to talk to a professional about why this is repulsing him so much. His wife's breasts aren't his, they aren't even his son's -- they are his wife's. Breasts nourish, look great in low cut tops, and are fun sex toys. They can be all those things at once. That's something men like Braly need to realize, too.

Did your husband get repulsed by you breastfeeding? What do you think of Braly's statements?


Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting, fathers, sex


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Heath... HeatherMazzone

I'll be the bitch here, because I totally see his point. Nursing when they are babies and NEED the breast is one thing, I totally support that. But 5 and a half?! I don't think he is the one who needs counseling.

nikol... nikolita87

The sight of a woman breastfeeding a child that old would make me kinda sick too, so I can't blame Braly for saying that. My husband had no problem with me breastfeeding, and we discussed that if my son had problems latching on, that I would still pump at least so that our son could have breastmilk. But I also stopped breastfeeding before my son turned one. So it never got into the "creepy" stage.

jalaz77 jalaz77

My hubby wasn't turned off at all. It was easy fur him, I was turned off if my breasts were full, he would say pump pump!! Haha. Now breast feeding at 5.5 is no longer beneficial to the kid, this is more of a mom problem, she can't let go. My hubby would probably be turned off if I were BFing this far too.

nonmember avatar Shelly

Yeah, I would be sick too. In fact, I think the wife IS. She needs help.

zandh... zandhmom2

I would guess that he probably didn't have any issues with his wife breastfeeding their baby but once the baby became a kid is where it started to get disgusting to him.  A 5 1/2 yr old child unless living in a very undeveloped country does not need to still be breastfed.  I think if a child is still bfing at that point, the mother needs some serious mental help.

Elise48 Elise48

Hey, breastfeeding proponents seem to like to point out the faults of sexualizing boobs instead of using them as intended. I've heard many times that they shouldn't be seen as sex objects. Maybe this just says we should be careful what we ask for. This man is basically saying that seeing his wife breastfeed their 5 1/2 year old officially wiped out his sexualized view of her breasts which killed his sexual desire for her. I don't blame the guy or think he's a bad man for admitting this. It's sad but honest - and you really can't force yourself to be sexually attracted to someone or something if you're just not.


amazz... amazzonia

I'm all For extended breastfeeding.... But 5 1/2 years old?!? I'm sorry but that's wrong, not even in Africa, where breastmilk is the only kind of food they can get, they breastfeed for so long! That just sick... I can imagine why he's not attracted to his wife

LKRachel LKRachel

to me it sounds like they have bigger issues here than just extended breastfeeding- communication for one - and possibly him being turned off is a symptom of other things going on.  You have to make your partner a priority and it's easy to get so wrapped up in your child that your relationship with your SO goes by the wayside, maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg for them.  

Wendy Bowers

I love (sarcastic) how amazzonia says that they dont BF this long in Africa and yet she has absolutely ZERO idea what she is talking about at all.  

He's got problems.   He is trying to find a way to blame his wife for his feelings, when in reality a lot of couples go through this kind of thing, and they either grow up, man the fuck up, and DEAL with it (as in talk to each other about it, or seek counseling)  Or they MOVE ON.  they don't write articles in NYtime about how it's his wifes fault that BFing turned him off.  I'd actually leave HIM for such bullshit. 

right... rightside

Well, let's be honest - most people find nursing a 5 year old repulsive, and since the kid's age is central to the issue, I'm not sure why we'd be asked to set that feeling aside.  The only reason I'd find his comments to be 'wrong' is if he hadn't already advised his wife of both the problem, and his intent to put it in the newspaper.

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