Why are nipples sexy?

I play frisbee on a regular basis with my older brother and some of his friends. I’m usually one of two or three girls out of approximately 14 people who show up to play. It’s summer. It’s hot. I understand that a few of the guys want to take off their shirts. It’s a different story when they joke about one team being  ‘skins’ because then automatically myself and whoever else happens to have been born with female anatomy are excluded from said team. Our ability to play is no longer a factor.

Which leads me to question why do nipples exude sexuality? A woman could walk around in pasties and although she wouldn’t be considered ‘decent’, it’s a whole different story when her bare breast is entirely exposed. It’s one inch of a person’s body that is only sexy because it on the end of a woman’s breast.

If nipples are only around to serve as a feminine attribute that justifies the notion of the nurturing mother breast feeding her child, then the cartoons have it right. Cartoon men do not have nipples.

But I didn’t know that when I was a child. I would draw women with no eyebrows and men with no eyelashes.

As a child what did I know of nipples? But I knew (though I couldn’t tell you where I learned it) that certain features were masculine and certain features were feminine. If you messed that up your drawing was worthless because who would be able to tell if you had drawn a lovely woman or a handsome man?

Based on this cartooning logic there is only one solution to the nipple problem: nipples should be exclusive to the female just like eyelashes so no one can ever be confused again.

But in all seriousness, it’s one thing to pick me last when playing frisbee because, as a woman, I’m not as strong or fast a a man. It’s something else entirely when the sexism goes from being unintentional unconscious perceptions to blatant ostracism based on anatomy men and women both share. I’m not asking women to run around topless to prove a point, but I am asking men and women to question why it is acceptable for a man to bare his nipples to the world and for a woman to need to cover up.

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6 thoughts on “Why are nipples sexy?

  1. I was so angry when I realized that the males in my family were allowed to go around shirtless, but I had to stay in my clothes no matter how hot it was. It’s not like their top halves were that attractive to look at! It’s never made any sense to me, and I’m glad someone else feels the same way.

  2. Nipples are a very strong sexual stimulant for men. I mean VERY strong. It’s not just an “oh I’m attracted to that” kinda feeling like you get from a smile or something, I mean like hard-as-diamonds I-want-to-make-babies-with-that kind of attraction. Even in “progressive” countries where women are allowed to be topless, men are still gonna feel that way, and more power to them I guess.

    • My point though is that nipples on men are never sexy. It’s just women’s nipples and that is where the double standard sets in. There’s no reason women shouldn’t be allowed to go topless and feel just as safe as men.

      • As far as I know (being a man) requiring women to cover up is actually for women’s protection. Unfortunately, the sexes ARE (in fact) different. We are *not* equal in this regard; equal in intelligence & worth (yes), but not in anatomy, biology, sexual signals, or sexual impulse.

        Generally speaking, (hetero) women – at the sight of an exposed male nipple – don’t begin to lose their inhibitions and sense of self-control (to the point of being reckless & impulsive), even if they ARE made equally as aroused as males. Testosterone is the sexual hormone, and men have 10 times more than women circulating in their blood stream; arousal 10 times magnified.

        Also, the male nipple isn’t as strong a sexual signal to women as the female nipple is to men. Babies don’t form intimate bonds by sucking on men’s nipples, but they do with women. And a significant percentage of society is (still) breast fed; a percentage that gets higher the farther back in time you go. This association doesn’t fade away: a woman’s nipples = intimacy through sucking.

        [btw – I believe this is also why many women are equally as attracted to women’s nipples and breasts, but because they’re females with less testosterone, they don’t becomes as sexually impulsive.]

        Additionally, women in general can and do hide/subdue any evidence of their arousal in public, hesitating to even express it among other females if in a group. And of course, any woman who’s an exception to this rule still wouldn’t be as reckless as to approach an unknown exposed male in an attempt to grope or suck his nipple impulsively…and even if she did, generally a male would either accept her advances or have the physical capability to defend himself against her sexual assault (possibly hurting her).

        This is generally not the case with an exposed woman against a sexually aroused man. Generally, a woman couldn’t defend herself against a man in this state (to your points about our physical differences in your article’s last paragraph)…and against several men in public who’ve entered into the state of arousal at the sight of her exposed breasts (again with 10x more Testosterone than women)? It’s gonna be a problem.

        Women can’t expose their nipples in public for protection from men.

      • You’re operating from the assumption that women are less sexually aroused than men. And for the longest time this was a medical assumption: women did not experience sexual pleasure and they only engaged in sex to produce babies. This has never been the case. Men are encouraged to act upon their sex drives where women are not and that is where this misconception arises. If we look at the world and see sexually aggressive men and sexually passive women it is easy to assume that this is the natural state. However, if we look into the causes of what we see, it becomes apparent that women have been taught to be sexually repressed and told to be both sexually available and completely chaste, while men are encouraged to “sow their wild oats”.

        Also, we can give men more credit. Men are completely in control of their actions and it is not their enormous sex drives which tell them to attack a woman. No matter what she is wearing or not wearing it is not a woman’s job to prevent being attacked. Men have more self control than we give them credit for. Women should be allowed to go topless and if they choose to do so, men have absolutely no right to sexually harass or assault them for their choice. Men should be told not to rape or attack women. Women should not be told to cover up so as not to arouse men.

  3. Personally, I’d rather men keep their shirts on too. And the long post is correct, no matter how interested women are in sex, it does not even come close to what men experience. However, it would be great if more women (when appropriate) removed their tops whenever they felt like it.

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