The female breasts - All the titillating things you need to know!
Those lovely boobs are uniquely yours, and they don’t have to measure up to society’s standards to be called beautiful.
Everyone is born with them. But when it comes to women, they suddenly turn very controversial. People want them to be hidden from view, yet we see them sexualized in popular media at every turn.
Of course, these are none other than your breasts— the source of both sexuality and nourishment.
People have very different perspectives on what it should look like. Are they too big or too small? Are you revealing too much or too little? Sadly, these questions have been taking a toll on women’s mental health, self-esteem, and confidence.
One thing’s for sure: No matter what yours look like, we’re going to show you why they’re worthy of appreciation all the same.
The bare essentials
Before anything else, let’s look into what makes our bosom special. What role do our breasts play in our own bodies?
Generally speaking, breasts refer to tissue found over any person’s chest muscles. But when it comes to women, they’re actually specialized glands with more fat, fibers, and connective tissue. This makes them capable of producing milk, thanks to the 15-20 ducts found underneath each nipple.
Do you know that for lactating mothers, one breast can produce as much as 450 mL of milk daily? That's almost one liter of milk for a whole day!
That’s barely all there is to know about our boobs, though. How society views them today has also been shaped by changes throughout history. In fact, they’ve been a hot topic as early as 98 BCE. That’s when the Roman chronicler Tacitus wrote that nobody in Germania bothered wearing a shirt unless it was time for battle, not even their female warriors.
Since when did we start fussing over breasts as a symbol of femininity? Historians say it must have been at the turn of the 10th century in Iceland. Ironically, The Saga of the People of Laxardal showed how it was an exclusively female practice to display one’s nipples. But married men weren’t allowed to lessen their masculinity this way, or else it would be enough grounds for their wives to divorce them.
By the 17th century, it became fashionable for court ladies and nobles to wear boned underbust corsets to draw attention to their bosom. They dared to bare their breasts to the public eye as a status symbol, all the way from the queens to the ordinary maidens and prostitutes.
During the Renaissance period, affluent women often exposed their right breast in painted portraits as a symbol of vitality and fertility.
However, what was previously stood as abundance was eventually frowned upon as carnal excess around the Victorian era. Only the lower class revealed their breasts at all. The rest of society became so conservative that even aristocratic mothers refused to breastfeed their own babies, choosing instead to hire wet nurses.
The female breasts have since been treated as taboo in many most modern cultures where they have been hypersexualized. Everywhere we go, we’re told that it’s something that must be concealed, something to be ashamed of.
But that’s beginning to change. We’re now gradually being open about the breasts— nipples and all— as we start to celebrate the female body.
Unfortunately, just because the female breasts are coming into view doesn’t mean all is well. Even as they’re slowly gaining public acceptance, these parts of us are also subjected to unrealistic standards.
Popular media nowadays place an overwhelming burden on women to have a round, perky pair of boobs. This idealized vision of our breasts is the supposedly the source of female sexuality on one hand and life-giving nourishment on the other. No wonder many women feel that their femininity is attached to these lumps of fat on their chests.
Did you know that according to one survey, 7 out of 10 women reported being unhappy with their breast size? They thought their boobs are too small, too big, or too asymmetrical— never quite measuring up to the perfect pair. Sadly, this dissatisfaction has been the main driving force of negative self-image and lack of self-confidence among women.
A recent study shows that large and uneven breasts can make teen girls more susceptible to low self-esteem and even eating disorders.
All these statistics have led to some troubling effects. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons stresses that there’s been a whopping 70% jump in breast lifts and a 37% increase in breast augmentation since 2000. And when these surgeries go wrong, they lead to serious complications such as pain, bleeding, and infection.
This is why we have to work towards busting (pun intended) those age-old myths. What do you need to know about your breasts to fully appreciate them?
- Female breasts are a source of both pleasure and nourishment. But just because these parts of us can be sexualized doesn’t mean we should be objectified. We have to take control of our own satisfaction.
- Most women don't have the ideal, perky breasts commonly portrayed in popular media. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. That’s why it's perfectly fine to celebrate the uniqueness of your own!
- Your femininity doesn't have to rise and fall with the size of your breasts. As a woman, you get to define what femininity is for you. Even women who lose a breast to cancer are no less attractive than women with intact breasts.
Off your chest
Now that we know a lot more about your breasts, it's time for us to get all the harmful prejudice off our chest and start appreciating the natural pair we were born with.
How can you best show your breasts a little more love? Here are some fun ideas:
- Stroke of genius. Revel in the sensation of your own gentle hands! Let your fingers circle around your nipple gently to build up the tension.
- Full of wanderlust. In feeling yourself up, don't just stick to your own breasts. Roam around your other erogenous zones too, like your belly or coochie.
- Be on edge. Want to keep things steamy? Bring yourself to the edge, but pause right before the climax. Then pull back and let things heat up again. You'll have an earth-shattering orgasm at the end!
- Twice the spice. If you have a partner that's willing to explore these hills with you, then that’s great! Your partner can try licking, sucking, nibbling, and all those delicious things you can't do on your own.
- Get a toyfriend. To pick up the pace, you might like to add sex toys to the mix. Think vibrators and clamps. Even massage oils and ice would make things more exciting than your run-of-the-mill sex sesh.
Regardless of what other people say about your breasts, boobs, titties, or whatever you prefer to call them, the most important thing is how you see them. After all, they’re erogenous zones with hundreds of nerve endings. They’re not made to pleasure men. They’re designed to pleasure you.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Should we treat the female breasts as sexual or life-giving?
They’re honestly both. Female breasts are a source of nourishment for babies, as well as a source of pleasure for women. We’re not doing our bosom any favor by denying either of these truths! But just because these parts of us can be sexualized doesn’t mean we should be objectified.
Are differently sized breasts normal?
It’s definitely normal to have differently sized breasts, just as our limbs aren’t symmetrical either. Some women’s boobs even have different cup sizes! The most important thing is that you’re able to accept the way they look as they are. Do consult your OB-GYN when your breasts change drastically though!
Is it normal to have inverted nipples?
Breasts vary in shapes, sizes, and other distinctive features. Having inverted or retracted nipples may be just one of your quirks. Don’t worry about it though— it’s usually not something to be worried about when they’ve always appeared this way. But get them checked if your nipples retract or invert out of the blue.
Does breast size really matter?
Around 7 out of 10 women feel unhappy about their breasts because they’re told that theirs are too big or too small. But our femininity doesn't have to rise and fall with the size of our breasts. As women, we get to define for ourselves what femininity is.
Why do my breasts hurt before my period?
Sometimes, when women are on their period, the hormones that are released by your brain can overstimulate your breast tissue, causing them to swell and feel sore. Painkillers can help make your boobs less tender to the touch, just as it helps with other menstrual symptoms.
Should I be worried about lumps on my breasts?
Most of the lumps that develop on the breasts, especially around your period, are benign. That’s especially true for younger women like you. Then again, there’s no harm in having it checked by your OB-GYN for your peace of mind.
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