By Dr. Jessica O’Reilly
We hear a lot about breast health and the importance of checking them regularly as part of the breast cancer screening process and this message is of paramount importance, so please do be sure to check your breasts.
There is, however, a lot more to our mammary glands than health and cancer prevention alone. Here are a few fun breast facts:
• Size doesn’t matter when it comes to sexual pleasure. Breasts come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colours and even textures and while women’s breasts seem to be growing (likely due to body weight increases), breast size does not impact a woman’s experience of physical pleasure. One factor that does seem to influence sensitivity and pleasure is the menstrual cycle and fluctuating
hormone levels with many women reporting greater sensitivity during ovulation and less sensitivity during the first two weeks of their cycle.
• Breasts get bigger when touched — sometimes. While size may not matter, it is good to know that breast size can fluctuate with hormonal changes, weight loss/gain and arousal. During the sexual response cycle, women’s breasts can increase in size due to swelling and the response of erectile tissue, but this size increase is only temporary.
• The nipples aren’t the only sensitive part of the breast. Yes. I’ve heard many-a-man proclaim that the nipple is the breast, but it really only is one small (or not-so-small) part of the very erogenous breast. Research actually suggests that women describe the area directly above the areola as the most sensitive to sexual touch. Check it out!
• No two breasts are the same. That’s right. There are always differences between the right and left breast and for some reason, the left breast tends to be slightly bigger than the right.
• Both men and women stare at breasts. Yup! Nearly half of men admit that the first thing they notice about a woman is her breasts and a UK-based study found that a whopping 90 percent of women check out other women’s chests several times daily!
• Breast play can lead to orgasms. Touching and kissing the breasts can result in the release of oxytocin, the pleasure hormone associated with bonding, arousal, orgasm and uterine contractions.
Like all things sexual, breast orgasms are not a circus trick and while orgasmic response ultimately originates in the brain, getting creative with breast play may have some potentially climactic results.
Bear in mind that since no two breasts are alike, every woman will enjoy different degrees of pressure and touch. Some may love a powerful grab while others may not enjoy skin-to-skin contact and since there really is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to sex, the only way to know what your partner likes is to ask. From hard biting to gentle teasing through a thick sweater and everything in between, the breasts are just one region of your full-body canvas, so love them, enjoy them and be sure to take care of them for both your health and pleasure.
Until next time, have fun, experiment and always practice safer sex.
Dr. Jessica O’Reilly is a board-certified sexologist committed to helping clients enjoy healthy, pleasurable sex lives. She has completed her PhD in human sexuality with a focus on training teachers to deliver effective sex education. She loves her work (obviously!) and splits her time between public speaking engagements, freelance writing, program development and consulting in the field of sexual health. Learn more at www.jessicaoreilly.comPrint This Post Email this Post