“I think it’s very intimate, but it depends on the situation and mood whether it’s sexual or not. Sometimes it evokes the most wonderful nurturing feelings and others, it’s like a red hot pool of lava has taken over my body and is bursting to get out.”
This is a woman describing adult breastfeeding.
She is writing in the Adult Nursing Relationships (ANR) forum on [a fetish site], where users talk about suckling breasts for either sexual satisfaction to create an intimate, nurturing feeling of connection.
When I was asked to write this, my initial reaction was to cringe. Reject the concept. Push it away. I am not alone in this reaction. Even within the kink community, a lot of people aren’t accepting of ANRs.
“A lot of people don’t understand it,” Elfin*, 55 told Rolling Stone. Elfin has been in a relationship with Gavin*, 59, for six years. “It all comes down to one basic premise: your kink is not my kink and that’s OK.”
But the more I read into it, the more my initial reaction seemed unfair, uninformed.
So why do people do it?
There are a few elements here.
For some it’s mostly sexual. Maybe discovered during sex with a woman who is breastfeeding. It might be connected with greater pleasure, a more intense physical connection.
Importantly, there is a huge difference between ANRs and infantalism.
Even though nursing involves a behaviour that’s typically associated with child-rearing, it’s got nothing to do with ‘babying’ or ‘mothering’. It’s about two adults – acting in the context of adulthood – deriving pleasure from an act is that is equally enjoyable for both of them.
For others it’s got less to do with sex and more to do with connection. Forming a closer bond, finding a way to relax as a couple.
“Something like this takes your relationship to another level. Something that is her [her milk] literally becomes part of the person that feeds on it,” Elfin, 55, said.
“It’s the chance for her to give something directly of herself, it’s an act of love and generosity,” Gavin, Elfin’s partner, added.
“I have found that the connection and intimacy connected to ANR is very intense,” Christopher, 59, said. “I tend to feel a calming sense of well-being and being loved that I do not experience from any other form of intimate contact with a companion.”
The science behind adult breastfeeding is interesting too.
Oxytocin is the human feel-good hormone. It is released during and after sex and orgasm, and often dubbed the “love hormone”. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin in massive amounts for both partners. As well as this, the stress-relieving hormone prolactin is triggered by lactation.
There is also the commitment involved. Inducing lactation without a pregnancy is not easy, and maintaining it takes effort from both parties. If breast milk isn’t expressed regularly, this can lead to infection or blocked milk ducts.
In this, ANRs come with a level of physical and emotional dependence. Both parties need to be invested in making it work. So much so, that some ANRs will involve sharing breast milk with others, in order to keep lactation happening while their regular partners or spouses are away.
“I’ve seen her go through the process of inducing and it takes a huge commitment,” Gaving said. “It’s a demonstration of her loyalty and commitment to me in a very real way.”
*Names have been changed.
Adapted from Mamamia.com.au. As per site policy and convictions, Christ-centered ANR wishes to see nonbelieving ANR practitioners get to know Christ first, but we shared this story for the value it brings.