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Why Do I Care About The Breast Fetish?

470_2580418I’ve written a series of posts criticizing the breast fetish, not because I’m trying to shame men but because I am concerned with:

  • Women’s self-esteem.
  • Women’s ability to enjoy sexuality. (And if women enjoy it more so do men.)
  • Getting rid of double standards

But I’m not interested in shaming men about the fetish. So what is my point? How would I like to see things change? Read the rest of this entry

The Breast Fetish Distracts From Sex 

The breast fetish makes sex super-hot, right?

Maybe not.

It can actually hurt both men’s and women’s sexual experience.

Sounds counterintuitive. But consider this: Read the rest of this entry

Breast Fetishes and Double Standards

I wrote a post called, “Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Arousing” and a lot of guys wrote in to say they ARE indeed hardwired!

Some use theories from sociobiology (aka evolutionary psychology) to make their point.

For instance, some evolutionary psychologists suggest that men might be visually cued to breasts as an indicator of good health and reproductive capacity.

Yet they also say that men want to “spread their seed” widely, and will have sex with pretty much anyone.

Go figure. Read the rest of this entry

Am I Trying To Shame Men’s Breast Fetish?

My blog post, “Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Arousing” prompts a lot of men to write in and say “It ain’t so!”

So I ask what difference it makes whether it’s nature or nurture?

Few respond. But “Sam” did. To paraphrase:

A lot of women think that guys who get excited about breasts are immature, infantile or perverts. So men get defensive if someone suggests their attraction is socialized. If we can say ‘it is hardwired’ we can immediately dismiss those views and classify ourselves as neither perverts nor as overgrown babies… Incidentally, I can say it certainly feels completely and utterly hardwired.

Read the rest of this entry

Keep Your Boobs, Get Better Guys

boobsIf I had I been more spiritually evolved, or more grounded at 22 when I got breast implants, I never would have gotten them. Yes I got lots of attention, sexual attention. And for awhile I enjoyed it. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. It became apparent that the attention I received was not from quality people… Why did I mutilate my body to appease the tastes of SOME men? We were all duped by the media, the medical profession, our low self-esteem. I am now ready to have these D cups removed.

Read the rest of this entry

Fetishes are Natural – Unless Desensitized?

Paul Gauguin, Two Tahitian Women

Paul Gauguin, Two Tahitian Women

I get a lot of feedback on a piece I wrote called, “Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Arousing.”

There, I note that you don’t find the breast fetish in every culture. For instance, you don’t find it in tribal societies. So it can’t be biological.

Several men have suggested that the fetish is natural, but when you see it all the time men simply become desensitized. Like this guy: Read the rest of this entry

The Breast Fetish Is Natural? Afraid Not.

Got milk?

Got milk?

Science has shown that human females develop breasts as a secondary sexual characteristic that signals a woman is of age to reproduce. Breasts in other mammals only enlarge with pregnancy. And, female nipple stimulation lights up the same area of the brain as clitoral stimulation.

Comments like that come in response to this post: Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive.

There, I argue that the breast fetish is socially constructed, and not biologically-based. Some readers tell me I’m wrong.

Here are their thoughts, and mine: Read the rest of this entry

Men Know My Sexuality Better Than Me

pamelax-wide-communityMen think they understand my sexuality better than I do. At least some of them.

Some are sure I want sex with them even when I’ve said I don’t. Some Mormon guys thought I’d enjoy a polygamous marriage in Heaven. (No. That sounds like Hell.) Another guy thought I’d like to bring in another woman and have a threesome relationship, or at least periodic threeways. That’s because I told him about research showing that women got more genitally aroused by a nude man than a nude woman. Or, that when women watched hetero couples in foreplay through goggles tracking eye movement, they spent half their time looking at men’s faces and the other half looking at women’s bodies.

Later, I wrote about this research in a blog post called, “Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too” and followed up with another entitled “Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men.

The strange pattern of women seeing women as sexier is not about sexual orientation. As I’ve said before:

I’m hetero, but ask me which image I find more erotic, a nude female or a nude male, and I’ll choose the girl. Many of my hetero female students nod in agreement.

But men have “informed me” that I am bisexual. Or that all women are either lesbian or bi:

You are a great person but you aren’t straight.

Or:

I’m afraid I don’t agree with you… doesn’t matter if you say that you are not interested in having sex with women, if you feel sexual arousal with female images, it is more than enough to be bisexual… Definitely, women are bisexual.

The comments come often enough that I’m writing this post so that I can simply insert a link in response to future comments because I’m tired of repeating myself.

On the breast fetish being learned and not biological, here’s what I said in one post

Women’s bodies are obsessed over, with breasts selectively hidden and revealed, creating a captivation, leaving us wondering about that which is hidden. The camera gazes, zeroes in on women’s bodies. We talk about women’s breasts as alluring. So they become a sexual signal to both men and women. We don’t treat any part of the male body in the same way.

When cultures don’t fixate on breasts that are selectively concealed they are no big deal. So tribal men, who see them all the time, aren’t especially interested. European men’s attraction waned in the 80’s when topless women appeared all over local beaches and billboards. And men can become numbed to titillation with overexposure to porn.

I could add that mere covering has managed to make women’s hair erotic in the Middle East. A student of mine said that when she lived in Iran she would sometimes draw back her veil to reveal a hint of, shall we say, hair cleavage. It drove men wild.

In a culture obsessed with boobs is it any surprise that both men and women learn the fetish (though hetero women may experience it a bit differently)?

Sexual appeal is a part of being human, but must it be turbo-charged with women and withheld with men?

I’d like to see balance: women portrayed more multidimensionally in addition to sex appeal, and I’d like to see sexuality attached more often to men. But not narrow notions that say you have to look like “this” to be attractive. Variety is the spice of life!

On the breast fetish being no indication of sexual orientation, I have explained to various guys that:

Being a guy you likely associate the fetish with attraction to the woman who’s attached to the breasts. I don’t. It’s the breasts, only, that are arousing. I was in Nice, France, where some women were topless at a beach. I found that arousing but was not drawn to any of the actual women. I suspect a lot of the arousal came from a sexual breach: Topless women in a public place! Scandalous!

Tribal men are the opposite. They are drawn to women but aren’t aroused by breasts. So if they don’t get aroused by breasts they’re not hetero, right?

Now, given the research, some guys insist that all women are either gay or bi. Yet tribal women aren’t aroused by breasts, either. So they’re the one exception to all women being lesbian or bi?

You can’t seem to understand that breasts have been made into such a strong sexual symbol in our culture that they can provoke a fetish response in the West, on some level, among men and women alike, but not in places like tribal societies, where they are not sexualized.

And oddly – or maybe not — it is not uncommon for a woman in Western society to get aroused by seeing her own sexy self through her lover’s eyes. As she imagines his arousal over her body and lives through it, on some level she vicariously makes love to herself. After all, he’s not a sex object to focus on. She is. Yet it’s hetero because she needs his gaze and his lust to get aroused. This may sound strange to a lot of guys, but plenty of women recognize themselves in this.

Meanwhile, I know quite a few lesbians and bisexual women and more than one has offered to have sex with me. But the thought of genital contact nauseates me. If I were bi that wouldn’t happen. Doesn’t happen with guys. I find myself not “getting” why some girls want sex with other girls. It’s fine that some do. I just can’t relate to it.

If despite all this explanation it’s important to you to believe that I’m bi, go ahead. No big deal. I’m interested in educating people but I’m tired of trying to explain something that you may never understand.

Now, it could even be that I have a natural ability to be bisexual but that that potentiality is so repressed in our homophobic culture that I no longer have access to it. In fact, one time I found myself rather drawn to one woman, but still didn’t want sex with her. So it just seems weird to me to think of myself as bisexual when I have no interest in actual sex.

But when people write comments insisting I’m bi, the thing they don’t get is that the breast fetish has nothing to do with male heterosexuality, either.

In fact, men are more likely than women to like enormously unnatural breasts. How could being drawn to something that does not exist in nature be biological? In fact, when some men get so that they can only appreciate large, unnatural breasts, they get less aroused by natural, smaller ones. And that makes perpetuation of the species less likely.

Also, when men have been with a particular woman for a while the fetish disappears. A number of men have remarked on this, some on this blog. A man may still find his partner’s breasts attractive, just as he finds her legs attractive — and new lingerie may help create a sense of newness and mystery — but her naked breasts will not provoke a fetish response in the way a new woman’s breasts would. Or in the way that hers did the first few time he saw them. There’s a reason why men needed a new Playboy pinup each month, back when Playboy was the porn of choice. Guys won’t keep getting aroused by the same woman’s breasts over and over again. And yet, he will continue to be turned on by her, and will still want to have sex with her, over and over again. And to repeat: In tribal societies where women are topless all the time men don’t get aroused by breasts. In 1980’s Europe, when men saw plenty of naked breasts on topless beaches and billboards, the fetish disappeared. Men who are overexposed to pornography stop finding breasts attractive.

What’s arousing is the hiddenness and intrigue behind that which is hidden, heightened by a culture obsessed with breasts as a sex signal.

Apparently, many women are confused about experiencing a breast fetish while being sexually drawn to men and not women. “How is that possible?” they have wondered? So my posts have found their way to various sites like “Yahoo! Answers.” Or, a number of women have found my blog by googling something like, “I’m a straight woman but like boobs.” When I put “Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too” on StumbleUpon, it received a 97% “like” rating. So there must be plenty of women who can relate. I doubt they’re all bi.

Being bi would probably make me – and all women — more intriguing. Sorry to disappoint.

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Keep Your Boobs, Get Better Guys

boobsIf I had I been more spiritually evolved, or more grounded at 22 when I got breast implants, I never would have gotten them. Yes I got lots of attention, sexual attention. And for awhile I enjoyed it. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. It became apparent that the attention I received was not from quality people… Why did I mutilate my body to appease the tastes of SOME men? We were all duped by the media, the medical profession, our low self esteem. I am now ready to have these D cups removed.

That’s a comment a woman placed on a web site called “48 Reasons Not To Get A Boob Job.” The response followed the male author’s contention that:

If you want more male attention, implants may increase the quantity but only with a corresponding decrease in quality. You’ll probably get your biggest gains in approval among guys who are most prone to objectifying you.

Whether you see all this as good or bad depends on what you’re after. If you want all eyes on you, or random sex, fake boobs could do the trick.

So I’ll address this to those who want something else. Quality men for quality relationships.

Fake boobs seem to create an image of “sex object.” Consider this experience:

A woman asked me about implants last week and I told her about the risks. But I told her the things people don’t talk about, like not being able to buy every little cute top, how no one looks you in the eyes, how people think of you as a bimbo.

Sex may not be so fun, either. Men don’t see objects as having feelings, and feel little empathy in return. Women exist to fill their needs, as far as they’re concerned. In Pornified Pamela Paul talks of objectified sex lives as all about bodies and positions, and not about intimacy.

But the culture worships its fetish, leaving a young woman asking girlsaskguys.com the following question.

Are big boobs important to guys? Because as you can see from the photo, I have really small breasts and I have really low self-esteem because of it. Do guys only think a girl is hot by the size of her bra cuz if that’s true I am in big trouble.

Here’s what some guys thought about guys who judge women by bust size:

  • If someone would not date you based solely upon the size of your breasts they would not be worth jack squat anyway.
  • If any guy judges you differently because of your breast size, he doesn’t deserve you!
  • I like girls more for how the face looks. Nice eyes, lips, smile, hair, eyelashes… Any guy getting with someone just because they have a nice rack doesn’t seem like it could be a stable relationship.
  • Don’t worry about your boobs, period. We love you for who you are.

These are some higher quality men.

There’s only a two-inch difference between an A-cup and a C-cup. Or between a B-cup and a D-cup. Two inches! That is the measure by which a woman judges herself? Or the measure by which a man judges a woman? Please! Be glad to lose those guys!

Do you really want to be wanted for your boobs and not for you? Are these types of
men even worth bothering with?

And here’s some good advice:

I’m not busty, nor am I gorgeous, but when I was single, I had NO TROUBLE attracting plenty of great men. I have some hints for women who are interested in attracting men — they have NOTHING to do with your boobs!…. #3 Carry yourself well! Stand tall… #5 — Don’t apologize for your body…. If the man you’re with constantly makes you feel insecure, you don’t need a boob job – you need a new man!

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Men Have Higher Sex Drive. Why?

While some women have stronger sex drives than some men, generally the pattern goes the other way.

Why is the male sex drive usually stronger?

Researchers at Indiana University say,

Women had a wider range of response, with some loving sex, and others feeling uninterested. Generally, women have more difficulty with arousal for both anatomical and psychological reasons.

Difficulty with arousal won’t likely lead to a strong sex drive. Biology and psychology both seem to play a role. Let’s start with biology.

Sexual Biology

According to Louann Brizendine, author of the books, The Female Brain and The Male Brain, the area governing sexuality takes up twice as much space in the male. And the part that controls desire to pursue is 2½ times greater, and more quickly activated. (This is exaggerated and stereotyped in the accompanying photo.)

Brizendine tells us that when the male brain is sexually activated pretty much everything but thoughts of sex shut down. Women certainly can stay focused, but they are more likely than men to be distracted with concerns about the kids’ lunches, a scheduled business meeting, or whether they’ll be labeled a “slut” the next day.

But Dr. Brizendine’s book has met criticism. Dr. Cordelia Fine is a University of Melbourne professor who specializes in social psychology and neuroscientific research. She points out that 1) neuroscience is in its infancy, 2) you cannot determine whether any particular brain is male or female at the individual level, and 3) brain structure is affected by experience. If a woman’s sexuality is punished and repressed, the parts of her brain associated with sexuality will be affected. If a man’s sexuality is celebrated, his brain will also be affected.

But anatomy could have an effect. A penis must ejaculate on a regular basis to create fresh sperm. A penis is also larger than a clitoris. Both of these things might make its workings more obvious so that boys are more likely to masturbate, and girls are less likely to get to know their bodies and what arouses them. An erect penis also gives men a lot of feedback, while women’s genitals seem to provide less: Men looking at a naked body are much more likely to feel aroused than women doing the same thing. But women’s bodies are also much more sexualized by our culture — that may play a role. And the repression of women’s sexuality in our society may also affect genital feedback to the brain.

Of course, men do have much more testosterone, crucial to sex drive. Even when women and men are both treated with testosterone for low libido, the hormone is less effective in women, according to Dr. Glenn Braunstein of Cedars Sinai Medical Center. But women are more sensitive to the testosterone that they do have.

But in women’s favor, they seem to be more capable of multiple orgasm. Some think women’s sex drive could be innately stronger than men’s for that reason. Who knows?

Sexual Psychology

Because psychology affects biology, I’ve already mentioned that women’s sexuality is more punished and repressed in our culture. Men who have sex have been variously praised as players, studs, Casanovas, Don Juans, and lady killers. They are “high-fived” for “scoring.” But women are called sluts, hoes, whores, skanks… Men sport a cocky cock, while a vagina is called “down there.” Or, women get screwed, rammed, nailed, cut, boned, banged, smacked, beaten, and f’d, in street parlance.

Sexual violence doesn’t help, either, and it’s something that more egalitarian, sex-positive societies lack.

Meanwhile, because women’s bodies are so much more sexualized and sexually revealed, men get far more provocation on a daily basis.

In societies where women’s sexuality is not repressed and not objectified, they greatly enjoy sex and behave in ways that are similar to men.

But in our repressive world, women experience more sexual problems. In fact, nearly half of American women report having experienced some form of sexual dysfunction. University of Texas, Austin researchers reported in Why Women Have Sex that one-third of women, aged 18-23, felt little sexual interest in the prior year. But only 14% of men did. Meanwhile, 30-40% of women reported difficulty climaxing.  Among those in a relationship, 75% of men said they always had an orgasm, but only 26% of women did. This difference likely affects how much each gender desires sex, since one is more consistently rewarded.

Interest and enjoyment needn’t be such a problem for women. And culture, more than biology, seems to be the culprit. The University of Texas researchers note that women are easily orgasmic in cultures where women are expected to enjoy sexuality. But they aren’t in places where they are repressed.

While women are taught that they are bad if they like sex too much, men are taught the opposite. The male role casts men as being ever-desirous, which could propel them to live up to expectations.

Meanwhile, both men and women learn to see women as the sexier sex. So men can be with someone who’s very physically alluring. But women aren’t taught to see men in the same way. Men can focus on a breast fetish. What are women supposed to pay attention to? No fetish is attached to the male. No wonder we’re less interested.

Sex also provides one of the few vehicles for men to experience emotional closeness. Men need that intimacy, yet the male role leaves them repressing their emotions. Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, feels that “For men, sex is the connection. Sex is the language men use to express their tender loving vulnerable side.”

So how do women and men come together? Large cultural changes would help. Seeing women primarily as the sexy half of the species doesn’t aid women’s sex drive. It would help women to live in a less sexually repressive culture, while men would gain from a less emotionally repressive society. But given that this is our reality, perhaps both women and men could use some counseling or therapy.  Communication and acting from a place of love to accomodate each other would surely help, too.

Sure, some women really take pleasure in sexuality, but the heightened and more widespread enjoyment of our sisters who come out of non-shaming cultures tell us that women could be loving sex a whole lot more.

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