Low libido? Sniff a used breast pad

// 18 October 2007

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Breastfeeding continues to unfairly be a controversial subject. Some people couldn’t be happier at the thought of us exposing our baps on a train to nourish our young, with others believing that the nursing mother should be neither seen nor heard. Her babe can suckle at her breast, yes, but only in a darkened cupboard with no spectators, and we never speak of it again.

But perhaps recent findings will bolster the argument that breastfeeding is only a good thing, natural, with a report by The Guardian today claming that the odours secreted by breastfeeding mothers and new babies boost the sexual desires of other women!

According to a group of American fertility specialists, the scent contains a strong aphrodisiac. They are hoping that they can identify the specific chemical responsible, and so be able to develop treatment for women who would like to increase their sexual appetites.

Researchers believe that this may be linked to evolution of social groups, when it made sense for women to give birth at about the same time. Martha McClintock, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, said at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that:

“We knew there are other species in which the females use social signals from other females to help time when they become pregnant and have offspring at optimal times, and so we wanted to find out if that was the case in humans.”

It is worth drawing attention to how the research was conducted:

“The survey revealed that those who sniffed pads worn by breastfeeding women reported a 24% increase in sexual desire if they had a partner, and a 17% increase if they were single.

Women who were given fresh pads to sniff showed no significant change in their sexual desires.”

Firstly, what this research demonstrates is that just about anything can be recycled these days, from tin cans to used nipple pads. Perhaps next we’ll start using used tampons to block the hole in the o-zone layer? With legions of astronauts wind-surfing and skate-boarding up into the stratosphere to make the deposits. One woman’s waste and all that…but I cannot help but wonder how they went about this. Did they round-up a group of women, place them in a room with boxes of nipple pads and tell them to get a-sniffing? And following said sniffing, were they then rushed back home to their partners to determine whether or not they were really “in the mood?” And did the women involved in this survey know what they were sniffing and why? Also, can one get turned on by the odour of one’s own breast milk? It’s really interesting research though, and it’s good to see that there is an organic way of getting those juices flowing.

It wasn’t until I wrote this post that I realised that I had never been in the presence of a breastfeeding mother, and friends who have given birth were possibly wearing their shirts buttoned so high that I was denied the benefits. But should I find in future that my libido is wanning I shall rub my face in the breasts of the first lactating woman I can find, and I would suggest that everyone else should do the same. It’s amazing the ways in which the female body can function in synch with other women, and I think this was a fascinating report.

Photo by d70dug No Censorship!, shared under a Creative Commons License.

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