Me, My Husband And My Baby: Who Owns My Breasts?


A new mother questions her breasts' dual functionality, as both sexual objects and food source.

A friend of mine recently described the state of her boobs as "balled-up wet socks." She, like I, had donated her breasts to her daughter, nursing her for the better part of a year.

But this isn't another story about the state of a mother's breasts, the kind that—if you've never had kids—makes you decide right there and then that you will not be nursing any future children because you can't imagine ever describing your own breasts as "saggy," "lifeless," or "uneven." Read: Loving A Post-Baby Body


Instead, this is a story of ownership. From one relationship stage to the next, my breasts seem have become someone's else's domain—anyone's except my own.

They were all mine, of course, when I was single. When I first moved to New York, I spent many nights exploring the city as a single woman. Or more specifically, the city's nightlife. But, I'm a serial monogamist. I've been in long-term relationships for the better part of my adult life.

Dating—and being single—was really just a route to get back into my comfort zone: taken. I'm not very good at casually dating, and I only made one disastrous attempt at dating two men at once.

The thing about being single is that your body is no one's but your own. The boobs were mine. They served their purpose as part of the package deal, the deal that landed me my last boyfriend (and current husband).

As soon as we became serious (oh, about three dates in), ownership shifted. We're not talking indentured servant ownership, but that kind of possession that seeps into any committed relationship. They were all his for sexual interludes, and he wasn't required to ask permission to cop a feel. And just as in any equal partnership, his body was all-access to me, too. It was an unspoken covenant of the relationship—of any romance, really. Read: Which Body Part Is Most Popular?

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