View Full Version : a question about sexuality and breasts

06-04-2008, 11:33 AM
short version: breast play during sex--how much is normal?

okay, this is a delicate issue. But I'm posting here because this site has amazed me --it's a pretty classy place, and maybe unique in the whole internet.

( First, a disclaimer: I think I'm following the rules of this site, because:
1. I am not a jerk (honest!)
2. the FAQ says that for sexual issues "the medical approach is okay, the Penthouse approach is not". My question isn't quite medical science, but it is related to behavioral science.)

I am a 24 year old female. I live with my boyfriend and we are getting serious.So yes, we have 'serious' sex. :) And that's where a little problem lies: The guy has an obsession about my breasts.
I'm not just talking about fondling and the usual foreplay. He closes his lips around my nipple, and,well,... imitates a vacuum cleaner. He'll stay there for half an hour, if I would let him. Other times he opens his mouth wide and encompasses as much of my breast tissue in his mouth as he can, making a sort of chewing motion with his lips.
This happens not only during the height of sexual excitement; after climaxing he is calmer, but he still wants to hold them tightly, and latch onto my breasts with his mouth, and not just for a minute or two. He only stops when I get angry (and sore).

When we discuss it, he claims that what he does gives him some kind of deeper psychological satisfaction (not just sexual excitement). He thinks it's a Freudian thing: feelings of being nurtured, motherly love etc. He likes to use the word suckle; thinking that by adding the "le", he is making a more sophisticated excuse.
( I don't quite get it--after all, male babies are only half the population who breastfeed and feel motherly love. We girl babies got the same nurturing, but don't remain obsessed by breasts.)

Now,I know that most guys love boobies; it's natural. But it seems to me his behavior is beyond the range of normal sexual activity.
I think he is unhealthily over-focused on one part of my anatomy, and it is an obsession, not just simple sexual attraction.

So my question for all you couples out there is:how much is normal?
For a typical bout of love making, how much of the time is spent devouring the woman's breasts? How much emphasis do you place on breast play? Obviously there are no rules, and I don't want to start measuring performance clinically, which defeats the whole point of making love.
But I can't help wondering if other guys have such difficulty controlling themselves, and expend so much energy, grabbing handfuls and mouthfuls of breast, and ....not letting go.
I'd like to hear comments from both genders.

(additional data: Other than his breast-fixation, we have a totally normal love life. We enjoy the usual positions,both of us enjoy oral sex. On a typical night, we both reach emotionally and physically satisfying climax(es).
(and another nice bit of data: His parents and my parents, who only recently met, are becoming good friends :) The future looks good! *)

(*and it will be even better if he doesn't keep giving me sore nipples and breasts :) )

Cat Fight
06-04-2008, 11:50 AM
short version: breast play during sex--how much is normal?

However much you'd like. He should pull back, at least a little, if it's getting annoying/painful and doing nothing for you. Obviously there's a little give and take during sex and plenty of accommodation (like, say, if you like to play with his nipples a bit and it does nothing for him, or one-way oral sex that brings you vicarious pleasure)... but only to a point. He sounds a bit greedy.

One question is he under the impression that you find this pleasurable, to a degree? And do you? Even women I know who like their breasts fondled (and definitely not all do. I've noticed it seems to 'kick in' in their 20s) tend to like nipple tweaking/licking/whatever and are pretty blase about the surrounding tissue.

06-04-2008, 11:51 AM
Well, my hubby is not overly-focused on my breasts, maybe because they're really small. . .
But it's "typical" for him to fondle them, either as a prelude to sex, or just because we're snuggling, and they're, well, there. In the missionary position (or any position where he's on top of me), he will pretty frequently suck/nibble/bite the nipples, and I just have to give him a little word of warning if he gets too rough. If we're in a position where I'm facing away from him, he will reach around and hold them/fondle them during sex. When we "play rough" (I'm always the sub in this scenario), he will pay attention to them by lightly flogging them, or pinching/twisting the nipples. But again, if he gets too rough, I just have to let him know (I usually say, with a smile on my face, "Hey, watch it; I like them to stay attached!")

OTOH, I'll be having breast augmentation surgery in the next couple of years, and we have a running disagreement on what size I should get. I say a C is plenty, he wants me to get a D. So apparently, even when he's not "using" them, he enjoys looking at them.

I sounds to me like you mainly have problems with how rough your SO gets. If that's your main objection, you have to "teach" him how rough is too rough. This can be hard to learn, as your tolerance may change at points during your cycle. (Back when I used to get my period, a sure sign it was just about due was when his "normal" level of pressure would make me squeak with pain; they were also super-sensitive during pregnancy).

As for why women don't get obsessed though they were just as likely to be breast fed as their boyfriends/husbands, I dunno.

06-04-2008, 01:08 PM
He closes his lips around my nipple, and,well,... imitates a vacuum cleaner. He'll stay there for half an hour, if I would let him. Other times he opens his mouth wide and encompasses as much of my breast tissue in his mouth as he can, making a sort of chewing motion with his lips.
This was sorta my technique too, when I was 15 and young, firm, naked boobies were a novelty. I think by the 3rd time that willing lass and I fooled around, I developed a bit more finesse.

My point is, it sounds pretty strange to me, and my wife and I enjoy quite a bit of breast/nipple play. In the right situation, she can climax from breastplay alone. Nipples should not be sucked like they're a straw and your breast is a thick milkshake.

If his obsession results in you getting angry and/or sore, I think you need to have a serious sit-down with him.

06-04-2008, 01:16 PM
Perhaps he, like my cat, was weaned too young. (Eddles sucks and nibbles my fingers when I let him.)

06-04-2008, 01:41 PM
If I might suggest....

It's really irrelevant what's "normal." Seriously -- if you discovered somehow that this was "normal," would you enjoy it more? If it turns out it's not normla, will he like it less?

Sex acts ought to be done because they're in both partners' repetoire of comfort. If you feel like doing this, either because you get off or because you like letting him get off, then great. If you don't, then you need to commnicate that and reach an agreement about the extent of the suck(l)ing.

06-04-2008, 01:59 PM
When talking about human sexuality from a behavioral standpoint, it's generally best to erase the word "normal" from your vocabulary. There is such a range of not-infrequently-practiced acts that the median is about three miles wide. And, really, if it was something you liked, it wouldn't matter if it was normal or not, right? If you liked your man wearing purple bunny slippers to bed, you wouldn't be worrying about his fondness for purple bunny slippers.

And that's really what's worrisome here: the fact that you don't like it, you've told him that, and he continues anyway. It's not normal acceptable (or it shouldn't be) for him to be the decider in bed. Or you, for that matter - you both need to enjoy and respect one another that coming to an agreement isn't a hardship for either of you.

On a practical level, maybe offer to go topless and let him gently touch your breasts and/or rest his head on them and/or nuzzle them with his nose while, say, you're watching a movie, but ask that he chew a stick of gum at the same time to keep his oral fixation fixated elsewhere. I've had success with that before.

It might also help him (and other men!) to know that nipples change when you lactate - the vigorous sucking and chomping that babies do doesn't hurt (after a couple of weeks) because the hormones that make milk also make the areolas and nipples more stretchy. Once your milk dries up, that same baby sucking on your breast with the same vigor will hurt quite a bit because the tissue is no longer so flexible. So while he may be convinced that it shouldn't hurt you because babies do it all the time, he needs to know that nursing mama boobs are not the same as non-nursing boobs.

(And, as a mostly hetero woman, I can report that touching/nosing/sucking on boobies rocks. I think women aren't so obsessed with it because we're not generally given the opportunity to find out how awesome it is. But it's by far my favorite sensual activity with women.)

06-04-2008, 03:31 PM
He closes his lips around my nipple, and,well,... imitates a vacuum cleaner.Is your boyfriend named Jack Dean Tyler?

06-04-2008, 03:32 PM
When we started together, Pepper Mill's breasts got REALLY sore. I was paying a LOT of attention to them.

justaguest's description of her boyfriend would fit me pretty well, too. I do have an obsession with her breasts. Since it's me, I don't think it's abnormal, of course. I think different people have different levels of interest.

And it's not my sole interest, not even my sole body part interest. I certainly pay attention to her elsewhere, and I listen to her when she says it's getting to be too much.

But if you try to stop him from lavishing attention on your breasts simply because you think he's too interested (and not because you're starting to get sore, or something), he's going to feel a bit rebuffed, and wonder why you're taking away his toys.

HMS Irruncible
06-04-2008, 03:35 PM
You could try putting a squirt of bitter apple spray on them. Sometimes that works.

06-04-2008, 03:48 PM
I agree that when it comes to something like that, there is no such thing as "normal." If you both enjoy it, then go for it. If one of you doesn't, then set some boundaries.

HMS Irruncible
06-04-2008, 04:10 PM
Now,I know that most guys love boobies; it's natural. But it seems to me his behavior is beyond the range of normal sexual activity.
I think he is unhealthily over-focused on one part of my anatomy, and it is an obsession, not just simple sexual attraction.

So my question for all you couples out there is:how much is normal?
Hokay... seriously, if it hurts you and you don't like it, then you have to tell him, and he has to stop doing it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not banter back and forth about what constitutes "normal" sexuality. The question of normalcy here only applies to the question of who in their right mind responds to the statement "you're hurting me" with "but I need to because my freudian wah wah boobie whatever". That's just being an immature, self-absorbed jerk (if that's what really happened).

I think you need to draw a line, stand firm, and see if this causes him to fly any more red flags. This does hinge on the supposition that you've said clearly and directly that he's hurting you and you want it to stop... not just dropping oblique girly-style hints about "ooh, I'm sore from all that wild lovemaking, you lusty beast". Unless you're being direct, he's not going to get it.

B. Serum
06-04-2008, 04:37 PM
<trying my best to channel Dan Savage>

Forget about notions of "normal" or "healthy/unhealthy." The reasons "why" are equally unimportant. What matters is what works for you two.

He has a boob kink and it turns him on. You aren't going to be able to change this. You can only ask him to surpress it or repress it and that ain't healthy either. On the other hand, it is clearly exessive for your tastes and want something different.

It's recommeded to be good, giving and game. This means caring about what turns your partner's crank and indulging him/her and asking for the same. It sounds like you have been very indulgent and have mainly stopped things when they get uncomfortable or painful. That's completely reasonable.

I suggest you define (and tell him) where your boundaries lie, and indulge him to that point. If he persists doing things that you dislike or are painful, that speaks to a selfishness that is likely indicative of his personality. In which case, you need to reevaluate the relationship.

06-04-2008, 04:55 PM
I don't know what's normal, but when it comes to women's breasts, too much play is never enough. Never let their size deter me, I just always want to play. Of course, self control and desire for mutual pleasure does limit me; on the other hand, the same desire for mutual pleasure may allow me more play time than Mrs. D_Odds might otherwise desire. As with most things in a relationship, it is a compromise.

06-04-2008, 05:39 PM
I think he is unhealthily over-focused on one part of my anatomy, and it is an obsession, not just simple sexual attraction. It does sound like there is more going on here than just sore breasts for you. As others have pointed out, even if you had a nice clean histogram of the distribution of breast attitudes and practices, that data would be irrelevant when it comes to you and your boyfriend.

He's feeling comfortable enough with you to expose his desires. He's young and probably inexperienced, and will benefit enormously from your assertiveness about what you do and do not enjoy. Those things will change, and you need to develop a habit of intimate, detailed communication with him. He in turn needs to listen to and respect your feelings.

As a massage therapist I have been astonished by the immense breadth of physical experience women have of their breasts, and how plastic those experiences are from day to day and in different contexts. Some women like to have their breasts mashed and squeezed vigorously, for extended periods. Others can only tolerate the gentlest pressure. Some women have no erotic associations with their breasts, others treat them as exclusively erotic toys, and everything in between. Normal just isn't a useful concept here.

I had a girlfriend once who enjoyed the attention I gave to her breasts, until I said something similar to your boyfriend about feeling strong emotional associations with the experience. That bothered her. She didn't want to think of herself as a maternal presence for me, she wanted only to be an erotic partner. But she didn't get to determine my experience any more than I got to determine hers, we had to accomodate each other with kindness and trust.

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