Urine, semen and saliva all have their place in the realm of body fluid fetishes, but today we are going to discuss lactophilia, an attraction to a lactating breast and breast milk. As far as fetishes go, this one is pretty easy to understand, even if it's far from your thing. Breasts, historically and throughout evolution, have been viewed as a symbol of fertility, sexuality and nourishment. Here we'll take a deeper look into what this fetish is about and what it involves.

Breast Milk Isn't Just For Babies

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Justin Lehmiller, one-third of 4,000 American men surveyed were found to have fantasized about breast milk at least once. Moreover, breast lactation is becoming a hot commodity. Women selling excess breast milk online to other women often report receiving numerous requests from men.

In Japan, lactation fetishism is even more out in the open. Breast milk bars enable customers to order fresh breast milk. At the popular Bonyu Bar, three nursing women under the age of 30 provide the real deal. The bar menu includes fresh breast milk for 2,000 yen (about US$18) and if you're interested in drinking milk straight from the source, it will cost you 5,000 yen ($45).

What is erotic lactation, or an adult nursing relationship (ANR)?

Dr. Harmony, a kink positive clinical sexologist, explained to me that erotic lactation is "sexual arousal by the idea of, viewing, or participating in breastfeeding." Adult nursing relationships occur when there is a "coupling dynamic between a receiver of the milk and the giver of the milk."

For some people who are attracted to lactation, the idea of drinking the milk is where the fetish lies, while for others, watching a woman lactating is arousing.

For some couples, the relationship can be symbolic or more direct in a "mother/little relationship." However, this is not to say that erotic lactation falls under the umbrella of incest play. Dr. Harmony states that, "It is not considered incest play, it is called age play." Since milk from the breast is essentially just another form of fluid, Dr. Harmony believes that the fluid itself is not typically stigmatized, but rather the association to age play.

OK, so what's age play?

The interest in age play is also growing. Dr. Harmony believes this is because the power exchange creates a dynamic that includes, "more nurturing and guiding versus controlling."

In Dr. Harmony's book, "A Clinician’s Manual for Working with Kinky Clients," she defines age play as a "consensual, fantasy, role-play power exchange relationship where one companion takes on a greater age or mentor role and the other takes on a younger, more childlike role."

Age play roles can be "sexual and non-sexual" as well. Dr. Harmony says that some of her clients find that "by establishing a role-play fantasy, they no longer feel shame associated with getting in touch with their inner child."

Read: Help! My Partner Is Into Age Play

There Is a Difference Between Breast Worship & Lactation Fetish

While many people may be sexually attracted to breasts, erotic lactation is a very specific fetish. "Think of it as the difference between being attracted to someone’s buttocks and loving anal sex versus being aroused by someone pooping and the idea of pooping," explains Dr. Harmony.

Why are some people into erotic lactation?

There are several factors that can explain an erotic interest in breast milk. The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people who observed their mothers breastfeeding before the age of five were more likely to be aroused by breastfeeding later on in life.

Of course, this doesn't all stem from Freudian mommy/daddy issues. For some people, erotic lactation is popular in BDSM scenes. For the general person participating in erotic lactation, the person receiving the milk is the submissive, however in some cases of forced feminization, "the giver of the milk would be the submissive," explains Dr. Harmony.

Dr. Lehmiller says that an erotic attraction to breast milk isn't all that surprising since the nipples and breasts are common erogenous zones for both men and women.

People who participate in erotic lactation are often outliers, even in the kinky world of fetishes. What is someone else's kink may not be your own, but eroticizing breast milk is no different from any other form of body fluid fetish. The interest in breast milk occurs between consenting adults who can participate in platonic, romantic or BDSM relationships.