The function of women’s nipples in lactation makes sense. But why do men have nipples?
It’s a great question. And there are many who have given their two cents: science, religion, ancient myth…
But I prefer a different question:
Why do we all (almost all) have nipples?
To show that the sexes exist on a continuum, not as a male/female flip of the coin. At different points along life’s journey, males may have swollen breasts or they may have flat chests, females may have flat chests or they may have swollen breasts. And anywhere in between.
I remember that when I was fourteen, I went through an excruciating summer in which one of my nipples had puffed out but the other remained flat. This can happen to anyone, female or male, especially during adolescence. I’m male, so I was expected to uncover my chest for swimming at camp. The body shame that most of us learn to feel, left me desperate to spend as much time as possible submerged or lying on my abdomen.
There is a big but welcome challenge here for naturism and for those of us who consider ourselves naturists or nude-positive: to more effectively broadcast naturism’s corollary to body acceptance. Nipples, breasts, chests – just like any other body part, they come in different sizes and shapes and colors and are not even always symmetrical. Just like any other body part of either sex, they can and will be eroticized by some people. But any kind of law, regulation, or censorship guideline that attempts to prohibit some nipples and not others in the perverted name of decency, or prohibit some particular parts of breasts defined with bizarre specificity, is inhumane, psychologically damaging, prurient, and ultimately, ridiculous.
Not just our twin nipples like two coins, but the entire wealth of our bodies should be able to be freely displayed in more, not fewer, contexts, whether in cyberspace or in real space and time. But freedom cannot be forced, or it’s not freedom. Mandating top-free in public may sound ridiculous, and it is, but it is no more ridiculous than mandating that women, and not men, always cover their chests or their nipples in public.
Free the Nipple! That’s my two cents.
4 thoughts on “A Nipple For Your Thoughts”
We're alienated from our biological selves. Nudism is an attempt to heal that alienation, as are figure art, and porn. (this is not to say that all such attempts are successful, truthful, competent, or proper.)I've heard that men have nursed orphans; male lactation is a rare side effect of some anti-psychotics; nipple stimulation can be arousing for women and men.But those probably aren't the reason for nipples on men. It's probably easier to make males and females of the same species with homologous parts. Glans=clitoris, testes=ovaries, etc., just as femur=humerus and horse femur=human femur.We're alienated from our sexuality and embryology-evolution, as well as from how we look with our clothes off, but kudos to people who take their clothes off together. It's a beginning.
Thanks for your comment, Tom! Here is an interesting development:http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5537767
Bless her frozen little face. There's something afoot among the non-nudist population these days. My 33-year old son made a Facebook comment that referenced \”body acceptance,\” to support something else. A middle-aged lesbian friend moved back to town, following her partner's career, and one of her own career brainstorms is that she should become a fitness instructor with the mission of body acceptance.
Good for her! We need more fitness instructors, coaches, and physical education teachers who understand body acceptance.