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February 18, 2009

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Jenn D

I don't think Ina May was talking about nursing being sexual in the same sense as having sex is sexual... but then again, maybe she was...

michelle valadez

I love Ina May and have all her books. She is amazing. Yes, I know some women actually achieve orgasm while nursing and although they receive criticism for it, supposedly it is natural. I, on the other hand, never had that experience. I've nursed 3 children and I would acquaint all my nursing days with being more spiritual than sexual. I'm reluctant to cast doubt about the "whole sexual" part of nursing because I'm no expert and Ina May has many years of experience through observation and hands on. Possibly she isn't referring to the same sexual experience one has during sex but I believe she is, at least that is my interpretation of what she's written. If breastfeeding is a sexual experience I'd imagine it is achieved in the mind much differently than it is achieved when two people are having sex.

Wenonah Michallet

I did experience a fleeting moment of sexual stimulation during breast feeding. For me breast feeding was never uncomfortable or painful. I was lucky in that respect, I know. Nursing came very easily for me and I attribute that to my very accommodating anatomy (read: long nipples) and also my capability to be relaxed and never anxious about being able to give nourishment or my baby's ability to get what he needed. It was a partnership.
And it just so happens that this little creature had now totally taken over a part of my body that for me was incredibly stimulated during sex (at one time - in a former life). As much as I did not want to recognize that arousal from a sexual encounter could have any semblance of similarity to the nurturing and nourishing relationship I was forming with my baby, the fact was that my baby was doing the very act that had caused an intense stimulation and arousal for me with my partner in the past.
So, there was a time or two where the strong suckling of my infant gave me a very specific and confusing feeling of arousal. I was incredibly uncomfortable to have felt what was a pleasurable sensation in other circumstances, during a very non-sexual interaction. My spontaneous physical reaction had created a completely taboo scenario!
I believe that Ina May's description of this type of reaction is partly coming from 100% honesty; that our sexual organs are also our reproductive organs and the pleasure centers in those areas are simply a having a physical reaction. It is also true, that sex (or a sexual act) is very much tied to our mental state. We should not be made to feel ashamed because of an uncontrollable reaction. Even further to that point; not only should we not feel ashamed but that we should recognize that there can be extreme pleasure in situations that are not traditionally sexual.
Can we disassociate ourselves from the social mores that shape how we identify with ourselves and our sexuality? Not very easily. Unless one is a very uninhibited person (which I am) the pleasurable feeling during breast feeding (or during birth) might not be recognized as sexual. It might be dismissed and more likely covered up to not exist because of our fear of how it would look to our peers, society, etc.
Isn't great sex really about achieving a closer connection, a higher level of understanding, a feeling of blissed-out, total mind opening spirituality with another human being? Not every sexual encounter is this of course but a couple in a relationship who learns more about their partner day by day I believe is striving for this and if they are lucky achieves it at some point in their relationship. The first sentence of this paragraph could easily apply to a mother-baby pair who are expert breast feeders. And although all do not achieve it, this higher level of connection is certainly attainable to those who are open spiritually and connected to their hearts.

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