When Breastfeeding Isn’t for the Child’s Benefit

bra on bedFor much of my life I idealized breastfeeding, perhaps because I admired my mother for her courage to feed me this way in the early 1950s, when bottle feeding was, as she put it, “much more fashionable.” As a young woman, I assumed she must have felt tenderly connected to me as she held me to her bosom, creating a “bonding experience.”

One friend happily confided that, for her, breastfeeding was an erotic experience, “a genuine turn-on.” My ever-pragmatic mother, however, was quick to disabuse me of this notion: “Hell no; formula was expensive, and breastfeeding gave me an opportunity to read all the Agatha Christie novels!” (Perhaps this is why I’ve always enjoyed murder mysteries?)

Some women enjoy nursing—and the mouth doesn’t have to belong to an infant or toddler. Enter the fascinating subject of erotic lactation, aka adult nursing. I became acquainted with grown-up breastfeeding many years ago when I first became licensed as a marriage therapist. A young couple came to talk to me about a disagreement they were having about this topic. She was nursing their first child, and he “wanted in on the fun.” She was not amused, telling him over and over that her milk was for their child, not him.

What a difference 33 years makes! Today, Googling adult nursing relationships (ANRs) brings up over five million results, many of them NSFW, with blogs and tips from those who enjoy “lactation play,” or at least the intimate and private experience offered when one adult romantic partner lactates for another.

The prospect of an ANR can be overwhelming. Recently a friend confided that her sweetheart wanted her to lactate for him. She was both baffled and concerned because she had never been pregnant and had no desire to bear a child with a person she had been dating for only a few months. “I don’t have any idea how to lactate,” she told me. “What should I do?”

I suggested that first she would need to determine if she was ready for the profound and intense commitment required for an ANR. Was she ready to adjust her daily life to enable her boyfriend to nurse on her breasts several times a day, seven days per week? “Yikes,” she mused. “We don’t live together. Do I want this much intimacy this soon?”

They broke up amicably, and he placed a personal ad online.

I learned about jump-starting non-nursing breasts years ago from an adoptive mom who wanted to breastfeed her adoptive infant. Her husband sucked intensely and frequently on her nipples for two weeks, while her obstetrician provided hormonal drugs that tricked her body into a sense of having given birth. It worked! Others have used fenugreek and mother’s milk tea.

For some folks, lactation play is linked to enjoying BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadomasochism) as an erotic turn-on. A woman who is lactating may experience breastfeeding her partner as a form of submission since she’s dependent on him or her to relieve her swollen breasts. Alternatively, the ability to give or withhold milk may be viewed as dominance. One woman confided that her milk would let down at the sight of her boyfriend, just as nursing moms lactate when they hear their infant cry.

Adult nursing relationships typically begin after the woman has given birth. Dad may begin nursing alongside the infant, and perhaps the mom encourages him to continue once the baby is weaned. Their teenager could be graduating from high school, and the dad might still be nursing.

As you can imagine, erotic lactation is not for everyone. As with any kind of erotic play, it is important that both partners are equally committed and able to communicate carefully and lovingly about how it’s going. When they are, it can provide a profound intimacy for couples.

© Copyright 2014 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Jill Denton, LMFT, CSAT, CSE, CCS, Sexuality / Sex Therapy Topic Expert Contributor

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Kate

    June 3rd, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    I am sorry but this has to be one of strangest things I have ever read! No judgement, no judgement I swear. But when I was breastfeeding my kids there was nothing erotic to me about it at all. It was a way to bond with my kids, and sneak a nap occasionally I will admit. But erotic? No way.

  • Layla

    June 4th, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Well I think that now I have heard it all. I would never in my life have imagined that there would be adults who would wish to incorporate this into their sex lives. I understand how an adoptive mother may want to stimulate milk flow so that she could have that breastfeeding experience with her new child, I get that and understand. But adults? This is certainly something new for me, not something new in the way that I am now going to go home and say hey honey let’s try this, just conversation I guess. They say that there is someone out there for everyone, and i hope that that’s true!

  • don

    June 4th, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Please don’t think ill of me but this has always been a fantasy of mine but I have never had the nerve to try to find anyone else with the same interests. Any thoughts on how I might go about that in a private way that wouldn’t scare a woman away?

  • Lorraine

    September 28th, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    I’m 50, & in menopause, but I’d love to try if you live anywhere by Mobile, Alabama & my age is close to yours.

  • Robert

    December 29th, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    Hello Lorraine, I’d love to explore this with you.

  • Sonika

    September 15th, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    There are sites that cater to people looking for an ANR. Just Google ANR dating sites. Predictably, the number of men who are interested vastly outweighs the number of women. Your best bet is to find a sensual, earthy woman who breastfeeding that is in touch with her body. Tactfully and respectfully introducing the subject will place you miles ahead of the louts who are interested only in drive-bys with no commitment.

  • Julianna

    June 5th, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    If my husband asked em to do this I would have to ask him if he had lost his ever loving mind!

    This is something that is to be between a mother and a child, for nourishment, nothing sexual or erotic. I have never ever thought of breastfeeding like that and I am not amused to say that now that I have it is not pleasant thoughts that I am having.

    So nope, not for me

  • Zena

    June 8th, 2014 at 5:05 AM

    Is anyone even asking if this is good for the woman’s body to put it into this unnatural state of lactation? Will there be any future health complications that we don’t know about or understand?

  • xmarisolx

    November 10th, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    The body doesn’t even know it’s not a baby. Actually extended breastfeeding lowers your chances of developing breast cancer.

  • Recovering

    October 15th, 2016 at 5:45 PM

    I had a breast removed due to cancer. When told the cancer cells were in the milk ducts, I asked the doctor if lactating would help, you know, to flush the cancer cells out? He misunderstood and told me not to get pregnant . I still wonder if it would have been a much more enjoyable “cure” than surgery. Now I’m alone, and interested in this for health reasons, wondering if its possible to lactate after menopause. I nursed my children for almost 3 years each, nothing sexual, but it was closeness, and bonding, and nurturing and relaxing for both of us. I fantasize about a man suckling on me as I have always enjoyed breast and nipple play and it seems most men barely spend any time there before heading south. I know if I started lactating again, my breast would get bigger, so the reconstructed side would be even smaller in comparison. Problems all around, but I can’t stop thinking about it, and play with my nipple throughout the day.

  • Jennifer

    June 20th, 2018 at 7:39 AM

    I breastfed my children in my 20’s non stop for 6 years and then they weaned and I dried up. 25 years later I induced for my husband. I’ve lactated for my husband and other now for over 10 more years. I’m 59! No health issues from it.

  • Dee

    July 17th, 2018 at 11:48 AM

    I’m so proud of you. I just started yesterday and I am very excited! I just remarried at age 52 and my husband is 60. He is very interested in this adventure and I just hope my breast size will not become too large, I am already a DD.

  • Charlene

    August 9th, 2018 at 7:36 PM

    I too breastfed my kids (last was 24yrs ago). I started the process, seriously, a few weeks ago.
    About a year ago my husband and I both noticed I was “leaking” a few drops during sex. It REALLY turned him on and it REALLY REALLY turned me on knowing it turned him on. So he ordered me a pump and we bought fenugreek. I’ve been taking it regular for about a week. My boobs are so swollen and sore and I pump SEVERAL times a day…but I still only get a drop! I DO get VERY turned on while pumping, and even more so if he is sucking on my nipples. I actually have orgasms. My question is if I’m this sore and swollen, shouldn’t I see more results? It FEELS like I’m FULL and need to Express, but NOTHING really comes down but a drop. I use my pump, I hand massage (quite frequently actually after I realized how turned on I get), I take the fenugreek, and warm compresses. I too, get more achy and sore at the site of my husband (like I’m gonna spill over) and just want so badly for him to latch on the moment he walks in the door. What should I do to curb that for myself compromising any progress?

  • Roseanne

    June 9th, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Not sure that the actual act could bring the couple closer together although I guess that it could; but instead I would think that it is the conversation surrounding this and them opening up about what they enjoy with each other sexually and the things that they would like to try, that’s what I think would tend to bring them together. No matter what the conversation is about, if it is a way for the couple to open up and be honest with each other then this is always going to be a bonus for them.

  • Anonymous

    August 30th, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    When mothers use breastmilk to feed their child instead of formula, the chemicals in the milk cause the drinker to bond with the producer. Whether infant or adult, it is a great way to bond. If you know anyone who was considered a “momma’s boy” (or girl) chances are they were fed breast milked.

  • Anonymous

    August 31st, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    At the end it should be milk not milked my bad

  • TatesGirly

    July 10th, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I love love love reading comments about anr. My bf and I have shared this bond for 3 amazing years. Each couple is different. Everyone has there own way.

  • Ron

    January 8th, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Just to say it: My wife and me enjoy it since about 12 years. Not with a big theory behind, rather … man like female breasts, for woman it’s an erogenous zone of high importance … so why refusing the consequences ;-)
    OK, it’s just a bit more of course. Mainly a deep bonding and intimacy, which one can have much more often and more uncomplicated than intercourse. Probably an interstage between plain tenderness and sex, but non-stressful, non-exhausting and therefull enjoyable at any time in bed.

    One of the points of importance: It influences the partner-bonding strongly. Some scientists have an explanation for this, but in addition we can really confirm it personally.

  • Bob

    February 25th, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone who took part in this. I tried it myself with my wife and have to say that it was pretty intimate, for me, just as much as sex. I also have to say that the milk itself was absolutely delicious and at the perfect temperature.

  • Leah

    March 22nd, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    I just wanted to add it is nice to see a forum openly talking about this lifestyle. I spend my life educating and growing the ANR community. I agree there is no other bond like it and find it one of the most intimate things a couple can share together.


  • Lisa

    April 17th, 2015 at 2:28 AM

    Can you educate me on ANR

  • Brian

    May 17th, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    What would you like to know about ANR?

  • Love2milk

    April 14th, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    We stumbled upon ANR by accident When I was nursing our youngest. At the time we both really enjoyed it but were both kind of disturbed that we enjoyed it so much. When my daughter weaned herself a couple months later my milk dried up. This is something we have both regretted for years. We fantasize about it often. I have just recently decided to try relactating to give this more erotic aspect of breastfeeding a go. It is such a massive turn on. My husband travels a lot so I am hoping to sell the milk I collect while he is gone. Maybe this would help someone else out.

  • Lisa

    April 17th, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    I just stumbled across this , me and my husband are wanting to try ANR. He works away a lot too. He will be home soon and I want my body ready to produce milk . I starts taking Goats Rue to help the process. Do you have and other suggestions that can help me with this process !

  • Lisa

    April 17th, 2015 at 2:27 AM

    I have only been taking Goats Rue one day and I can sense a change

  • Andrew

    June 11th, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    I wish breastfeeding men was more common. I really want to be with a woman who would enjoy breastfeeding me. If you search it on line, you cannot find a legitimate web site. I believe some woman are interested, but most to shy to research it, and even then, they would be turned off by the sex trade involvement. Really, why can’t I find any woman interested in this? Frustrated in Upstate NY.

  • Ann

    July 5th, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    Andrew, I’m in Syracuse. I’ve been curious/interested in doing this for years but haven’t seriously pursued it. I’m a SWF, early 40s, no kids.

  • Fallen

    August 28th, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    Are you still interested?


  • Ms McKay

    August 25th, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    My partner and i started before we know it was even a thing. Sucking or playing with my nipples were a big part of my orgasm during sex. Then one time after orgasm he sucked on me while we fell asleep. It felt good to both of us, and soon we started just going to sleep with him suckling. It’s calming, and I rub his head, side burns, chin, and back while he does it. It kinda makes us feel as one. We aren’t committed to a breastfeeding schedule, and I don’t produce much milk, probably just a few drops. It’s just more about intimacy for us..

  • cas

    September 4th, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    I have started to inducing by pumping my boyfriend travels a lot. With pumping alone I have felt a differnce. But I am looking into herbs that could help and have looked up pumping schedules but everything says something different. Any one have information on how often and for how long I do pump at work (I am very committed to doing this) but can’t spend more then 10 mins pumping at work. Any help would be nice. I find it very very pleasing my breast have swelled some and ache.

  • its super exciting

    October 12th, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    I love anr. My ex would do it with me , and it was soooo gooood. It feels so good . I miss it it though, bcz we r divorced now . I crave that so bad . but I’m single .

  • Robert

    November 26th, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Where are you located l am looking for a female partner

  • Kat

    November 25th, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    I’ve done all of my research, hand expressed for weeks, several times a day. And I finally got some “Milk flow upspring” herbal supplements to help kick start the milk. Does it work? And is there anything I should be concerned about?

  • Mike

    December 4th, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    first time tasting breast milk i was baby sitting. I found it to be so sweet by accident. i had warmed bottle expressed by sisteriinlaw for my niece. I tested temp on my wrist. Not able to grab towel i licked it off my wrist before it dripped on floor as reaction not thinking.
    second time about fourteen years later my wife was attempting to breastfeed our son but was not producing enough. Son nearly died from dehydration first week. I tried to stimulate her breasts but my efforts yielded one sweet drop. Son had to be fed formula… hoPefully pre GMO….. NOW formula is death sentence with life of allergies and weakened immune systems. Feed your children what you eat. Organic!

  • scott

    December 10th, 2015 at 3:37 AM

    my wife and I just got into this we feel so much more closer. she pumps during the day and I nurse during the night. do you have any suggestions to help us

  • kate

    January 4th, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    personally I try to breastfeed my daughter but was unable to and had to pump this was also several years ago.
    hey I had an ex boyfriend a couple years ago that had discussed and ANR with me and we were actually considering it I did a lot of research and it actually really interested me.
    I am now single and pumping and producing just a bit but when you’re single does not anyone to share it with lol.
    pretty single female 30 years old Michigan area

  • Lynn

    January 23rd, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    I really enjoyed breastfeeding 20 + years ago, and have always very much enjoyed all types of nipple/breast fondling, sucking and stimulation. After being single for many years, I am now in a new relationship with a man who has expressed interest in ANR. Although in our current situation ANR would not be feasible, if our relationship progressed to the point of cohabitation, I would be very eager to attempt lactation. As a person with the desire/tendency to nurture, I would imagine an Adult Nursing Relationship to be very fulfilling, intimate and beyond erotic.

  • Jenn

    June 20th, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    I started to lactate again as a form of submission to my husband. Foe us it’s very intimate and stress relieving. But it also has a sexual side for both of us. I’ve been breastfeeding my husband over 10 years now and we love it. About 3 years ago we added some friends to suckle me. Now I have 4 other close lady friends that have induced their milk also and we have a larger group of males who suckle. We wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Jennifer

    July 17th, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    @ Dee thank you! If you need encouragement or help or questions or just wish to share feel free to contact me. Good luck on your journey. I’ve never regretted mine.

  • Jennifer/Jenn

    July 18th, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    Having this intimate relationship for 10 years other couples are envious at our close bond and marriage. It’s close stress reliving intimate bonding and also can have a passionate sexual side to it. We are so much in love and it’s not that my husband has a juvenile or mother complex or because he was breastfed as a baby. He wasn’t! He’s just a typical breast man. He’s a retired firefighter from the military and a combat veteran. A man’s man! Many try to apply a stereotype to men who enjoy cuddling up to their woman and suckling them. Those stereotypes aren’t true!

  • AnrabfBond

    April 9th, 2021 at 8:20 PM

    I first learned of the term anr/abf when a woman replied to an classifieds ad that I posted on the old yahoo personals in 1999. She stated that she was seeking a male partner to replace her regular partner who relocated for his job in Houston. She wanted me to come to her home and office to nurse from her breasts twice a day.
    She stated that she induced lactation even though she was never pregnant nor ever had children as a means of not getting pregnant. Her reason for doing so was that she frequented swingers clubs and she could not get on the pill due to a medical heart problem. She stated that she did not use protection to prevent pregnancy because it detracted from the pleasures of the sex act itself. In the course of the converstaion she confided that her partners of choice were African American males for their size, stamina and girth. I declined her offer as AIDS and STD’s run rampant where 50% Afro-American male’s have AIDS or STD’s. The opportunity chatting with her spawned my desire to find a woman that shares the same interests and desires in adult nursing relationship as I.

  • Suzy

    June 30th, 2021 at 6:29 AM

    I’m a 71 yr woman dating a 74 yr man. He enjoys breast play and nursing me. I’m getting some milk. He loves it and wants more and more. Is this normal? We are both very oral in our sexual desires. It seems to enhance our intimacy. I had no idea I could produce milk after all these year?

  • Mark

    December 11th, 2022 at 1:04 PM

    There are people who are looking for this type of relationship. 2 quick suggestions. If you’re in the Houston area, I suggest vising ANRHouston and checking out their events calendar. That’s the easy way to meet others in person. The other idea is to look at the super list of online groups on the Lactation Wiki and find someone nearby. Best of luck!

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