Have you ever tasted your wife/girlfriend's breast milk when she was lactating?
December 1, 2007 1:36 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever tasted your wife/girlfriend's breast milk when she was lactating?

1. Guys, have you ever tasted your wife/girlfriend's breast milk when she was lactating? (if so, how and why)

2. Girls, have you ever had a boyfriend/husband taste yours? (if so, what did it make you feel)

I think it's more common than most people would like to admit, and it's a potentially embarrassing question but this is virtually anonymous so why not. I've never done it (besides when I was an infant), but for some reason I'd like to try it (not sexually though, honestly). Call me weird. There is no shame though. I don't think it's that unusual and most couples probably have tried it (I bet most expectant/new mothers have tried their own, for instance... curiosity is a strong thing, after all).

I asked a friend who has had children if he had, and he said he had. He mentioned that it's a bit more bitter (and obviously warm) than the milk you get at the store.

I have a morbid curiosity, but I am honestly wanting feedback on this issue.
posted by MrTangent to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The idea is totally hot and somewhat disgusting at the same time. I'd try it, but I don't think I'd like it. My wife will never be lactating though, so the point is moot.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:48 AM on December 1, 2007

I was on vacation with my ex, shortly after we had our daughter. We left our daughter in my mother's care so we could get a little time to ourselves. We brought all of the pumping equipment, but apparently forgot to pack the valve that actually creates suction. Needless to say, she became engorged and couldn't do anything about it, so I volunteered to help take the pressure off, as it were.

It was sweet, and quite filling. Strangely, it was sort of thin. Very different from what we buy at the stores or even the raw milk I've purchased on occasion from a local dairy.

This certainly wasn't a sexual thing for us, but I could see how it could be for others.
posted by phredgreen at 1:56 AM on December 1, 2007

Best answer: I think it's the most natural thing in the world (both to be curious about it and to taste it) - any "nipple action" in the course of lovemaking in the months after your partner has given birth is bound to give a taste ... in fact I tend to think that not to be curious about it (or not to allow yourself to think about it) is perhaps more unnatural?

Compared to cow's milk (I'm not totally sure about goat soy and other products), human breast milk is generally sweeter (I know this both from personal experience and from obstetrics & paediatric textbooks). The colostrum - which is what comes out first before the milk proper - is quite fatty (it serves mainly as a biological lubricant for the nipple) and tastes different. Colostrum can still be secreted in small amounts even years after lactating has stopped - I can still sometimes taste it on my wife's breast during lovemaking, and she hasn't breastfed for nearly ten years. It is well recognised though that people (women) vary enormously in their milk secretion - both between individuals, and also sometimes within the same individual, i.e. the milk and the breastfeeding experience can differ from one child to the next.
Also, men are capable of secreting a small amount of colostrum, and this can be enough to be detectable by taste, generally after hard sucking (I don't have any personal experience of this, but it is affirmed by many men and women).
posted by kairab at 2:02 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also, men are capable of secreting a small amount of colostrum,

Milkmen: Males who breastfeed.

I concur that it is thin, sweet and warm -- but I didn't notice any particular eroticism or regression-type fulfillment.
posted by Rumple at 2:09 AM on December 1, 2007

any "nipple action" in the course of lovemaking in the months [or years] after your partner has given birth is bound to give a taste

Ditto. I've also tasted my own milk quite a bit as I had an issue with excess lipase in my milk. Baby Cocoa put up a fuss with thawed breastmilk and I did a lot of taste tests to diagnose the issue before identifying the issue. So (my) breastmilk hot off the breast was a little like a less-sweet horchata or less-sweet sweetened vanilla soy milk. That bitter aspect others mention was there - a nice bitter like the almond in horchata. After being frozen and thawed, it tasted like soap water. As a reference point for either deliciousness or comfort, the only thing that Baby Cocoa will put up with as a substitute is banana smoothie or ice cream. He weaned himself about six months ago but even now he'll sidle up to me with a sweet look and a smile and say, "Uh, mama?" and I know what he wants.

As for the psychological aspect of why you're interested, the breast as sexual object doesn't occur out of nowhere. Motherlove is pretty powerful - I think it informs our concept of love for life, at the level of muscle memory. So there's a reason adults suck nipples to begin with and it's only one very small and related step beyond that for there to be milk involved.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:50 AM on December 1, 2007

I've tasted my own breast milk (after expressing - I'm not that limber) and the overwhelming memory is the fattiness of it in comparison to the reduced fat cow's milk I normally drink.

I offered some to my husband, he drank it but didn't like it. I was interested to see what he thought, and not offended at all by his dislike of it.

I'm about as embarassed by this question as by questions about other bodily fluids (blood, saliva, urine etc) which is to say, not at all.

I wonder whether you're asking about adults who formed a habit of drinking breast milk, (rather than just tasting when the opportunity arose) because of the use of the terms "morbid curiousity", "embarassing", "weird", "shame" which seem to be unusual terms to connect to breast feeding.
posted by b33j at 3:35 AM on December 1, 2007

Look, when you've got a small baby your opportunities for sleep are limited in any case. So obviously sometimes you're going to run out of milk for coffee in the morning because sleep is more important for dashing out to the shops. If you wake up in the morning next to a lactating human female and there's no cow juice in the fridge, you know where the most convenient milk source is.

So human milk in coffee is ok. In order of preference here's what I think the best thing to have in your coffee is:

soy milk | sugar (1/4 tsb) | human milk | cow or goat milk

Human milk seems to have a very short shelf life, but I suppose that it's because it's not normally produced under industrial circumstances. Mind you slightly off human milk doesn't taste nearly as bad as slightly off cow milk.

Human milk doesn't really come in quantities that make it suitable for use on breakfast cereal though.

Wife had a big leaking issue (30 ml at every feed) into one of those breast cup thingys. She drank it straight up.

Lactating females sometimes get very leaky during sex. This is fun if messy (and tasty), but not worth developing a fetish over.

posted by singingfish at 3:43 AM on December 1, 2007 [4 favorites]

I offered some to my husband, he drank it but didn't like it.

I think this about sums up the typical exchange. My wife offered some to me too, and I drank it but didn't like it. I know several other couples who tell the same story.
posted by ubiquity at 4:21 AM on December 1, 2007

Isn't it funny that someone would find the milk from their own species distasteful, but drink something from expressed from cow teats without thinking twice about it?

I tasted my own a couple of times when I had little ones. Not being a fan of dairy of any kind (I personally think milk is for babies, not for grown-ups), I was meh about it. I do find soy milk pretty delicious, although of course that isn't expressed from mammals. My husband declined to try it.
posted by iconomy at 6:36 AM on December 1, 2007

A friend of mine that just gave birth mentioned, very casually, that her breast milk is very sweet. A few of us were in the kitchen together cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and I believe it came up while discussing desserts. So, just adding another data point to those saying that it's not a big deal and curiosity is natural. Give it a try!
posted by sa3z at 7:02 AM on December 1, 2007

I tasted a little of my wife's after our first child was born. It was a bit sweet and a very rich. I tried it cold first, from some that had been pumped and refrigerated, and that tasted OK, but the warm milk I tried wasn't very good, possibly because I'm just not used to warm milk in general.

I really have never understood why it's a big deal. If you're OK with your child drinking it, why wouldn't you be OK with you drinking it?
posted by cerebus19 at 7:13 AM on December 1, 2007

One additional data point to consider: does the reaction to breast milk change depending on whether the person was breast fed as a baby? I'd be interested in that correlation.

I've never been pregnant, but I had a hormonal imbalance that led to lactation. Before the doc identified it, I did the "what the hell is this liquid" smell test, followed by googling and "fine, faceless internet advice, I'll taste it." It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't go back for more.

Yes, I am still akin to a small child in my investigative repertoire. A small child with Google.
posted by subbes at 7:31 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think tasting it is totally normal -- I've tasted it a couple of times, and I don't even have a kid. Just don't be creepy and fetishistic about it. I can't imagine any reason for guilt, embarrassment, or morbid curiosity -- breast milk is amazing stuff.

Like others have said, it is fatty, sweet, and doesn't taste very good. I like cocoagirl's comparison to horchata, except that horchata has a nice taste. I was breast-fed as an infant, too, if that matters -- but sometime between then and now it stopped tasting good to me.
posted by Forktine at 7:39 AM on December 1, 2007

My partner and I have talked about this - about whether or not we would taste each other's breast milk if the opportunity came, and I think what we agreed upon was that we would taste - not drink, just taste a drop from off of a finger or something, but that it would probably be weird. I can't see not tasting it at all, though, the curiosity would kill me.

A friend tasted her own breast milk and said what others above have - sweet, thin, and fatty.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:42 AM on December 1, 2007

I tasted mine and didn't like it much. My kids have two different fathers; they were both interested, both tried it, and while it wasn't unpleasant, nobody ever went so far as using it in coffee or anything. Anyway, you can't really avoid tasting it - I, at least, leaked like a sieve the first few months and it was all over the place. Especially during certain, um, non baby centric activities as mentioned above.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:54 AM on December 1, 2007

I've never been pregnant, but I had a hormonal imbalance that led to lactation.

Ditto. Sort of fascinating really, the reactions you get to an admission like this with an SO. While a few were somewhat fascinated, a few were very Not Into It, enough so it was a low-level problem. I had exactly one boyfriend who was like "that's hot" and frankly that was a bit too into it for my tastes, had some sort of infantilization overtones that were off-putting. I think for most women in this situation there's the whole mommy aspect which also colors the interaction somewhat. In my case, and probably subbes' as well, the non-mommy aspect I think is odd for people in a different direction.

I think the weirdest thing for me about breast milk (which I have tasted from time to time) is just that it's warm as you mentioned which is outside the range of what milk is to me. Otherwise, sweet, thin, fatty pretty much sums it up. I never got that bitterness part. There's also the ejaculatory aspect of expressing milk (not something you see a lot with nursing moms, "leaking" tends to sum that up more aptly) which I think is the main thing that men in my past had issue with, which I found amusing in a sort of "lol irony" sort of way.
posted by jessamyn at 7:54 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh and I forgot to add - the taste changes depending on what you've been eating. I sometimes make pa am'boli - it's a Mallorcan thing, bread & tomato & olive oil and garlic. I use a lot of garlic. Anyway, I noticed that after I ate it and then nursed, my daughter's breath stunk of garlic a couple hours later. That was really cool.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:57 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've drank fresh breast milk from a cup. It's fatty feeling and sweet tasting. Not what I was expecting.

It was really weird because it was from my friends wife who was sitting there feeding and put some in a cup for me because of a stupid request I made.
posted by whoda at 8:25 AM on December 1, 2007

Chiming in it is pretty normal to taste it, I have been lactating for the past nine years and my husband has had it lots of times. My milk is sweet and watery, no bitterness (the flavour is influenced by what I have been eating). I've given him some when he was sick to help build his immune system. When he was at his stag he told his group of friends (who had seen plenty of deviant sexual behaviour from him) that he liked my milk and he said the room became silent. My friends don't seem to have an issue with it and if a friend wanted to try it I would have no problem sharing (warm, not cold, cold it is pretty gross with the fat solidifying).

As jessamyn pointed out, the shooting contests that lacating women can have is pretty cool. My friend that can shoot over ten feet is my hero (sadly, I think my nipple piercings reduced my ability to aim and fire).
posted by saucysault at 8:46 AM on December 1, 2007

I've never done either, but Steve, of "Steve, Don't Eat It!" fame did. He even added some chocolate syrup. Hmm.
posted by agenais at 8:54 AM on December 1, 2007

I tasted my own, my husband was a big fan.

I miss being able to lactate, actually. It was a very powerful feeling.
posted by padraigin at 8:56 AM on December 1, 2007

I tasted it mostly in the process of warming up frozen breast milk. It was the easiest way to check if it was the correct temperature. For me at least, it was too little to say much about except that it was (as other have said) sweeter than the same amount of cow's milk.

I never quite got to putting it in coffee though.
posted by GuyZero at 9:08 AM on December 1, 2007

I tried some of my girlfriends while she was breastfeeding. It left no impression whatsoever.
posted by lekvar at 9:32 AM on December 1, 2007

Mmmm-mmmm. Like when you finish all the cereal, but there's still milk on the bottom.
posted by John of Michigan at 9:55 AM on December 1, 2007

I have heard it's sweet. If I were a lactating woman, I would get a kick out of sneaking it into food for family and friends. Custard, quiche, ice cream, hot cocoa. Kids are having a bake sale? Why not make some tasty chocolate chip muffins?

"Mrs. HotPatatta, these are delicious--so sweet and rich! You must give me your recipe."

"My dear, the recipe is a breeze. Flour, sugar, eggs, a little breast milk, vanilla, and milk chocolate chips"

posted by HotPatatta at 10:11 AM on December 1, 2007

HotPattata, I've been threatening to make "woman-cheese" and serve it at a party, but apparently breastmilk has too much protein and not enough fat to curdle properly. (And it takes a LOT of milk.)
posted by pomegranate at 2:47 PM on December 1, 2007

I've never been pregnant, but I once had a friend with 2 kids who told me she'd tasted hers, and she said "you would too, everyone does."
posted by IndigoRain at 3:15 PM on December 1, 2007

Yep, I asked and tasted a little, basically just to satisfy my curiosity. It wasn't a big deal.

If it matters, I'm lactose intolerant (lessening over time, but used to be severe), so I don't drink milk anyway.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:30 PM on December 1, 2007

any "nipple action" in the course of lovemaking in the months [or years] after your partner has given birth is bound to give a taste

Another Taster here. I was actually very adverse to the idea at first. My wife tried to convince me to try it.

Fast Forward a few months, and one day during some foreplay, I got a taste and actually enjoyed it! Very sweet and warm.
posted by stew560 at 4:29 PM on December 1, 2007

I've never been pregnant, but was expressing a few drops of milk at random intervals for a few months because of birth control shots. My husband wanted to try it, and I thought I would find it erotic so I agreed. He was fine with it, but it so completely grossed me out that it could not be repeated. Even thinking of it now is grossing me out. I have no idea why. Ever since then, it's slightly nauseated me to see women breastfeeding, when it never bothered me before.

Probably a good thing that we don't want children...
posted by happyturtle at 11:31 PM on December 1, 2007

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