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Related: body - breast fetishism

The Breast (1972) - Philip Roth
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The Breast (1972) is a novel by Philip Roth, in which the main character, David Kepesh, becomes a 155-pound breast. Throughout the book we see Kepesh fighting with himself. Part of him wishes to give into bodily wishes, while the other part of him wants to be reasonable. In many ways this book has a lot in common with Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Breast [Sept 2006]

Blonde Woman with Bare Breasts (1878) - Edouard Manet


The term breast can refer to the upper ventral region of the human torso. Alternatively the term is used for each of two parts of that, especially for women: the breasts are parts of the female human body that contain the organs that secrete milk used to feed infants. Males also have breasts and are born with the main milk ducts intact, but while the gland that produces milk is present in the male, it normally remains undeveloped. In some situations male breast development does occur, a condition called gynecomastia. Milk production can also occur in both men and women as a rare side-effect of some medicinal drugs (such as some antipsychotic medication). Both sexes have a large concentration of blood vessels and nerves in their nipples. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast [Jul 2004]

Cultural status

Historically, breasts were regarded as fertility symbols, due to the belief that milk is life-giving. Ancient statues of goddesses—so-called Venus figurines—often emphasised the breasts, as in the example of the Venus of Willendorf. In historic times, goddesses such as Ishtar were shown with multiple breasts, alluding to their role as goddesses of childbirth.

Breasts are considered as secondary sex characteristics, and are sexually sensitive in many cases. Bare female breasts can elicit heightened sexual desires from men and women. Since they are associated with sex, in many cultures bare breasts are considered indecent, and they are not commonly displayed in public, in contrast to male chests. Other cultures accept the baring of breasts as acceptable, and in some countries women have never been forbidden to bare their chests. Opinions on the exposure of breasts is often dependent on the place and context, and in some Western societies, exposure of breasts on a beach may be considered acceptable, although in town centres, for example, it is usually considered indecent.

In some cases, their display may be interpreted as indecent or sexual, even when they are being used for their primary purpose of nursing offspring. This has led, in several cases, to women being arrested for indecent exposure for breastfeeding their children in public.

Women in some areas and cultures are approaching the issue of breast exposure as one of sexual equality, since men (and pre-pubescent children) may bare their chests, but women and teenage girls are forbidden. In the United States, the Topfree equality movement seeks to redress this imbalance; this movement has won a decision in 1992 in a New York Court of Appeals which seems to substantially support their assertions. A similar movement succeeded in most parts of Canada in the 1990s. In Australia it is generally acceptable for women and teenage girls to sunbathe topless on most public beaches but these are the only public areas where exposing breasts is acceptable.

In some cultures, breasts must always remain covered for religious reasons, for example, some Islamic cultures forbid exposure of any part of the female body.

In addition to the above references, see also modesty, nudism and exhibitionism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast [Jan 2006]

Saint Agatha [...]

Saint Agatha (died c. AD 250) is a Christian saint. Her memorial day is February 5th. More recently she is venerated as patron saint of breast cancer patients. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha [Sept 2004]

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