Breasts and Intimacy

Breasts are a part of sexual anatomy that is unrelated to reproduction, but, in American society, have a great deal of erotic allure and sexual symbolism. It is not at all unusual to see a large-breasted woman used in advertisements to sell everything from beer to cars to cologne (notably, these are primarily male markets).

As a result of the almost universal association of a woman's breasts with femininity, sexuality, and attractiveness, women and men have developed burdensome misconceptions about the meaning of breast size. We are bombarded on an almost daily basis with the not so subtle suggestion that a woman with large breasts has a definite sexual advantage; thus, conversely, a woman with small breasts must be less sexually interested and skilled.

Breast Size Unrelated to Sexual Desire

The fact is that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that breast size is related to a woman's level of sexual desire, or to her sexual response. Actually, many women experience very little sexual pleasure from having their breasts fondled or caressed, and this is true for women with large and small breasts. Often it is the woman's male partner who derives more pleasure out of fondling her breasts, and she may participate mainly because she knows her lover enjoys it. Furthermore, the women who do become sexually aroused when their breasts are touched do so regardless of their breast size.

Because of the enormous importance that American culture attaches to breasts, their size and shape, many women worry that their breasts are too small, too large, or just the wrong shape. Not only may this negatively affect their self-image and self-acceptance, it leads some women to try ineffective and even dangerous methods of breast augmentation or reduction.

Men's breasts can give erotic pleasure (in some males), but they have little influence on self-image, and they do not produce milk. Men's breasts do not increase in size under stimulation but some men will have noticeable nipple erection.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute

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