What is Lactation Kink and Adult Nursing, and Why Are People Into It?
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The specific kinks, fetishes, and modes of erotic expression that people are into, and the reasons for those interests, are infinitely varied, unique, and personal. They’re also always fascinating to delve into and learn more about.
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This week, I took a deep dive into a kinky subculture I wasn’t previously very familiar with. You might hear it called lactation kink, adult nursing (or Adult Nursing Relationship – ANR,) or adult breastfeeding. They’re all variations of a fetish around the idea – or reality – of breast milk.
There’s been a growing trend in recent years of women selling their breast milk on the internet. This is often purchased by parents who cannot produce their own milk to feed their baby, of course. But many people selling their milk online are well aware that at least some of the people purchasing it are lactation fetishists looking to get their rocks off.
One young woman who regularly sells her milk online was reported as saying that she doesn’t care what people do with it once they’ve bought it, as long as it doesn’t involve her. The legal status of buying and selling breast milk varies depending on where you live, but it’s widely regarded as a bad idea from a health and safety perspective (we’ll get onto that shortly.)
Fun fact: the technical term for having breast milk or breastfeeding kink is lactophilia. This comes from the Latin lacto (milk) and the Greek philia (love.)
So what do these terms mean and what’s the difference?
They’re all somewhat interchangeable and can refer to broadly the same kinks, but they might manifest slightly differently.
Lactation kink is simply being aroused by the thought or reality of either yourself or your partner lactating. It may simply involve watching someone express breast milk. It might also involve spraying someone else or being sprayed with breast milk, helping someone else to pump milk, or even consuming it either straight from your partner’s breast or indirectly after it’s been expressed.
Adult nursing or breastfeeding kink specifically refers to getting aroused from breastfeeding your partner or being breastfed. This might involve actually ingesting breast milk, or simply sucking a partner’s breast as a sort of simulation of breastfeeding.
People are into that!?
In fact, these kinds are tremendously popular. So if you’re curious about them, you’re not alone. Two “Adult Breastfeeding” groups on kinky social networking site Fetlife have over 18,000 members between them. Another, titled “Adult Nursing Relationships,” has over 8,000. An astounding 49,000 kinksters list themselves as being either “into” or “curious about” adult breastfeeding as a fetish.
Porn clip site ManyVids even has two whole categories devoted to these fetishes. The tag “Breast Milk Pumping” reveals 42 pages of clip results, and the tag “Lactating” reveals 72 pages. That’s hundreds of clips for each tag! This kink is clearly not as niche or rare as some might think. For some performers, this kink has become something of a specialty. There are also sex workers who engage in these types of scenes with clients.
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Anecdotal evidence shows that most people who enjoy being on the receiving end of adult breastfeeding (i.e. the person being fed) are men, but there are exceptions and there’s no hard evidence on the demographics of this particular kink. As with any fetish, it appeals to people all over the gender and sexuality spectrum and anyone can be into it.
Why are people into adult nursing?
As with any other fetish, everyone’s reasons will be different and sometimes there’s not an easy answer to this question. The research on how and why our kinks and fetishes form is still extremely limited (though, seriously, if anyone has a lot of money and wants to fund research into why we’re into the kinky shit we’re into, please commission that study!)
There’s also a certain school of thought that it doesn’t actually matter all that much. We’re into what we’re into, and most likely we can’t easily change it (though we can, of course, decide how we act upon our interests.)
With that said, here are some of the common themes that were cited when I started investigating why people are into lactation kink, adult breastfeeding, and adult nursing.
- Taboo. Bodily fluids in general are considered quite taboo, and people may be interested in breast milk for much the same reason that others might be into urine, spitting, or bukkake (being ejaculated on by lots of different people.) According to a 2016 article by psychology professor, Mark D Griffiths, PhD, an estimated 9% of fetish content on the internet relates to these bodily fluids, though there was no data on how that was split.
- Intimacy. Many people who enjoy this kink talk about what an intimate and personal experience it is to share with their partner. Some feel that it fosters a greater closeness and connection, and in some relationships, it becomes a stand-in for activities that might more traditionally be considered sex (or becomes at least as important as sex, if not more so.)
- As part of an adult baby dynamic. For some people, this kink might go alongside other activities associated with “adult baby” dynamics such as diaper wearing. However, this connection seems to be surprisingly rare. In one piece I read, a female Dom who specializes in this kink said that the crossover of adult baby dynamics and breastfeeding kink was a lot smaller than people might think.
- As part of a caregiving dynamic. Many submissives like to feel small and taken care of when they’re in their submissive role. For many adult breastfeeding fans, the act carries a sense of being cared for and nurturered which is very powerful.
- As part of a humiliation kink. The humiliated party in this case might be either person in the dynamic. Many people find humiliation and embarrassment very erotic, and some people enjoy this kink because it plays into that.
- As part of a “hucow” kink. Hucow, a portmanteau of the world’s “human” and “cown,” is a niche kink within a niche kink. It involves one person – usually a submissive partner – pretending to be a cow. Being “milked” might be part of this fetish.
These aren’t the only possible reasons and yours might be entirely different! You might also not know why you’re into it, only that it appeals to you. That’s fine too.
Is it safe to induce lactation? What about ingesting breast milk?
The information I’ve managed to find here comes with the enormous disclaimer that I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. So take everything I say here as based on the best information I could find and, as with any kink activity, do your research before you get started.
It is possible for some people to induce lactation without having ever been pregnant. It’s beyond the scope of this piece to tell you in detail how to do it, though a quick Google search informed me that certain medications, along with regularly massaging the breasts in a particular way, are the most often recommended techniques. But should you? Is it safe?
I’m going to give you a very reserved “maybe” here. It’s certainly something people do, for a wide variety of reasons. I couldn’t find any specific medical evidence proving it’s not safe, but Ideally you should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before you think about trying it, though I appreciate talking to a doctor about your kinks might be a conversation you want to avoid. I hope it goes without saying that you should never take any drugs or medications without seeking medical advice first.
So is breast milk safe for adults to drink?
I’m really sorry to burst your bubble here, lactation kinksters, but the medical establishment says… not really. Human breast milk is, well, for babies. Drinking it as an adult poses health risks. Research has found that dangerous impurities can occur in breast milk. It can also transmit a host of diseases including HIV and Syphilis if taken from an infected person. Consuming it directly from the body of a partner whose health status you know is far less likely to carry risks than indulging this kink with a stranger or buying breast milk online, but there’s still a non-zero risk.
Despite some dubious claims you’ll find on the internet, there is no evidence that consuming breast milk has any health benefits to adults.
The safest way to indulge this kink, then, is to do it without actually ingesting breast milk. This could mean sucking at your partner’s breasts when they’re not actually lactating, talking through your fantasies or roleplaying a scene together, or even simulating lactation using cow’s milk or plant milk. (Some porn performers do this for the sake of making breast milk themed clips when they’re not actually lactating.)
Ultimately, though, you must decide on your own acceptable risk levels and make your own decisions. All kink carries a degree of risk to a greater or lesser extent, and one of the great things about being adults is we get to decide how much risk we’re comfortable taking on in order to satisfy our kinky desires.
How do I even begin to talk to my partner about this kink?
As with any fetish, if you want to indulge it with your partner you need to open up and use your words. I don’t want to downplay how difficult this can be to do, though. Talking about any kink can be a scary and vulnerable thing, and that’s especially true when we’re talking about a kink that is as misunderstood and taboo as this one.
The best thing to do is be matter of fact and honest. Don’t wrap it in lots of shame, or language like “please don’t think this is weird and gross, but…”. If you act like disclosing a part of your sexuality is a normal and matter-of-fact thing, your partner is more likely to take their cues from you.
Best case scenario, they’ll be totally into it and you can begin exploring together. If they’re curious or tentatively interested but not sure, you can start slowly by sharing some fantasies or watching some porn together.
If your partner says no or isn’t interested in trying it at all, you must respect their decision. You might be able to have a conversation about whether there’s a possibility of you getting your desires met elsewhere, such as through opening up your relationship in some capacity or allowing for you to see a professional Dominant (pro-Domme.) If your partner is adamant that there’s no way to indulge this kink, you have a few choices: cheat (please don’t!), end the relationship, or indulge your kink purely through fantasy and consuming porn.
Where can I meet other people who are into this fetish?
“Where do I meet other people who share my fetish?” is probably the single most common question I get asked as a kink educator.
First, get yourself on Fetlife! Join some groups related to your kinks and start joining in with discussions in the forums. Some of the groups on Fetlife have “personals” sections where you can post an ad describing who you are and what you’re looking for. I recommend doing this after you’ve lurked and commented for a while, as people tend to trust people online more when they’ve built a connection and established that they’re genuine.
You should also look at the events tab on Fetlife, as you might even find events related to specific kinks or subsections of the community. Right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, we’re not even bound by geography as most events have moved online. Have a look if there’s a digital class or seminar you could join.
And when we can go to physical events again, get out into your local community. Go to a munch or play party, not with the intention of meeting someone to play with right off the bat, but to learn more and make kinky friends.
A word of warning, though: some kink scenes can be less than acceptable than certain kinks. Despite the axiom of “your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay” (YKINMKBYKIOK,) kinky people are still human and can be judgy even without meaning to be. More taboo kinks such as adult nursing and lactation are more likely to draw that judgment than more mainstream kinks.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out on your local scene – you absolutely should. But be prepared to take some time to find the group that works for you if the first one you find isn’t as accepting as it should be.
Is there something wrong with me if I’m into this kink?
Anyone who has a more taboo or unusual kink has, at some point, worried what it says about them or if it means there’s something wrong with them. But I promise it doesn’t. As we’ve established, this kink is actually fairly common. And even if it wasn’t, it’s still fine to be into what you’re into. As long as you indulge your kinks with other enthusiastically consenting adults, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.
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