Is Vigorous Breast Stimulation OK?

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QUESTION: My husband tends to be aggressive with my breast during intimacy; should I be concerned?

ANSWER: My first question is, what do you mean by aggressive? Do you enjoy his expressions of intimacy? It is very important that you know what you like and enjoy and what brings you pleasure. If you do not like or enjoy a certain type of touch, it's important to be aware of this and to communicate your likes and dislikes to your partner. You may want to show him how you like your breast to be stroked and what type of touch you enjoy.

If you do not enjoy his type of touch, please let him know in a nonjudgmental way. Open communication between partners is extremely important to increase and enhance intimacy in a relationship. And please do not participate in any behavior that is not pleasurable to you.

Vigorous stimulation of the breast is NOT associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Very rough stimulation, which produces a bruise and a black and blue mark, is probably too rough. It would be considered an injury, and may heal with scar tissue that shows up on a mammogram. Only rarely does scar tissue "act out" and develop cancer-like changes; more commonly, scar tissue looks like scar tissue on a mammogram. Occasionally scar tissue can be confused with cancer, requiring biopsy just to make sure it is, in fact, OK. Everything in moderation: Have fun without getting hurt.

—Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

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