Milkbone

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
Do you think lactation is sexy? My sister just had a baby, and her husband finds the breast-feeding all very erotic, and I told her there was something wrong with him. I said she should tell him to see a shrink, but she told me it didn't really bother her. I'm worried he is brainwashing her. Do you know of any books I can give her? What should I say to keep her safe? Should I call child services if she doesn't snap out of it?
Love,
Fretting Sis
Dear Sis:
Yikes! Are you serious? If anyone's going to do any snapping out of anything, it had better be you. I did mention recently that I don't find lactation or its accompanying equipment at all sexy, but my opinion here matters barely more than yours does; if it isn't a problem for your sister, it isn't a problem, period. I see that you want some drama and to get to be the hero and all, but too bad. Go find a stray kitten to rescue and leave your sister's family alone.
It's no surprise to me that the husband, incidental beneficiary of nature's bounty, should appreciate his good fortune. Men like boobs! News at 11. Nor does it shock me that the occasional woman quite innocently experiences some sexual sensation while breast-feeding. We only have so many body parts and so many physiological responses: breast-feeding, orgasm, and emotional bonding, for instance, all release or respond to the same hormone, oxytocin, which also induces labor. For most people the pleasurable (orgasm) and the nearly unbearable (labor) could not be further apart, but individuals are not "most people." Susie Bright, for instance, wrote about using a vibrator during labor and (I think) claimed to have had an orgasm while delivering her daughter. Pretty unusual, granted, but hell, it's got to be better for you than an epidural.
We'll never know how many women have felt a harmless little buzz while breast-feeding, and considering the attitudes out there (yours, for instance) we never will. It's not just disapproval, either. Every once in a while there's a story about a woman who's admitted feeling something vaguely sexual while breast-feeding actually losing her kids. (OK, in the most famous of these the kid was three, which does change things, but still.)
It may be difficult to establish the requisite distance when there's a baby involved, but it would behoove you to learn the difference between "I think that's weird" and "I think that's wrong and dangerous and I have the responsibility to do something about it." Or try it this way: if you hear that your brother-in-law is turned on by the baby, then by all means freak out and panic and leap into action. If, on the other hand, you hear that he's turned on by his own wife's breasts, well, shut up and go home.
Love,
Andrea
Dear Andrea:
I told my husband that I got hit on at the grocery store. I told the guy I was married and I walked away. Well, my husband apparently felt the need to prove to me he's desirable too. So he tells me how he was "joking" with this cashier, asking, "Do you want to go for a ride?" "In your truck?" she asked. He replied, "I didn't say anything about my truck." She wanted to take him up on it, but she wasn't getting off work for a few hours. He shrugged and said that he had to go, never once telling her that he was married.
We don't wear rings; I know I'm married and I make sure any guy who tries to hit on me knows too. I'm kinda upset with my husband now. He doesn't understand why. What do you think?
Love,
Check Me Out
Dear Check:
I think he's kind of a tool or was at any rate behaving in a tool-like manner. It isn't merely that he was playing a nasty little game with you, although I'd think that would be bad enough, but what about the cashier, whom he was using as a cheap prop or pawn? He behaved caddishly toward her as well.

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