Posted on Fri, 7 March 2014
Some while ago, I re-posted an article for peer review and discussion. The thrust of it was that breast bondage could pose a cancer risk. As you might imagine, this stimulated some debate. The verdict seems to be "Not proven" as it is not clear enough for an unanimous "Not guilty". However, it seems reasonable to conclude that, like all things, moderation is advisable as there is little that in excess is not damaging in some way; even drinking too much water can be lethal.
Here are the cases for both sides of the argument. Make up your own mind but it is worth saying that little research has been done into prior trauma and none into bondage related damage. We simply don't know. My gut feeling is that extreme abuse or repeated injury cannot be a good idea. Although, that doesn't mean we need to treat them with kid gloves as the human body is pretty resilient. As with all things in rope: Balance. As GreenGorilla put it: "It's absolutely not good for the breasts to be seriously abused. Their shape is held by strips of connective tissue that can be stretched, and the fatty tissue that fills them can scar quite ugly if there is a hematoma. And the bigger the breast, the easier it is to deform it by prolonged abuse. On the other hand, I have been known to, um, play with small A-cups for hours. Other than making sure you don't damage the gland itself, you can really explore the possibilities there. Scarring the gland is not a good idea if your model wants to breast feed ever."
There is additional information on breast problems here. I make no claims about the accuracy or usefulness of the information of the links and reproduce them as a starting point for your research.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS; it could save your life, or the life of someone you love.
What i wanted to say about breast bondage deals with medical implications. People can accept this or not, it is up to them; but this information is based on cancer research and breast cancer.
There is significant research to indicate that constricting breast tissue leads to vascular compression. This means a shutting down of blood flow to tissues. Breast tissue is different from many tissues in the human body in that it contains a high degree of endocrine tissue, both in males and females. Endocrine tissue carries lymphatic fluid. This is a part of the natural immune system in the body.
When the immune system is endangered or compromised in any way, the body's ability to fight pathogens and disease is compromised. This means it is easier to get sick. As people get older, the body naturally does not have the healing and repair abilities it had when it was younger. Breast cancer is one of the top 5 killers of women in America, so it is a serious consideration.
The Japanese and Orientals know this fact. That is why most of the pictures of breast bondage show young models. A woman over the age of 30 increases her chances for breast cancer by 200 percent just by being alive, so it makes sense that if a woman is 30 or older, she needs to be VERY careful on the issue of binding or restricting blood flow to her breast tissues. No one knows how much constriction is safe.
From my own point of view, no Dom or Domme would EVER subject a sub to the risk of a deadly disease intentionally. I have talked to several Doms and Dommes who have told me they do not allow breast bondage in any form to a sub 30 or older, for any reason; and i have talked to some who allow VERY LIMITED breast bondage for short periods of time. Master Regan is well known in the Dallas area for real life Domination, and has been a practicing Dominant for over 25 years. He told me that He will ONLY allow 10 minutes of modified breast bondage in females between the ages of 30 and 40, and NONE for females over age 40. This 10 minutes is in a 24 hour period.
This does not include nipple clamps. We are talking about ropes and such that actually intersect over breast tissue. Nipples are erectile tissue but do not contain endocrine tissue, so this makes sense to me.
ALSO, people think breast tissue issues are only for women, which is NOT true. The first mastectomy i saw as a student nurse was done on a 29 year old hetrosexual male. Breast cancer is a real threat for men, too; it is just not as common.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, which means parents, grandparents, aunts or siblings, then there is NO SUCH THING as SAFE breast bondage. You are already at risk. When I see pictures of older women (over 30ish) with their breasts actually purplish from bondage techniques, it makes me feel ill. I think that if we are to use a lifestyle approach to things, then educating our people to the real and potential risks involved is a High Priority.
It's like safe sex, in a way. No one in this day and age would be thought very smart if they had full sexual penetration by a total stranger voluntarily. Well, breast bondage falls in a similar category. Do it if you like, but know what you are risking and be willing to accept the consequences. And breast cancer is a horrible, long and painful death.
Well, that's about it. vashti smiles i can get down off of my soap box now. i think that we as women can experience all of the bondage out little hearts crave without doing things dangerous to our bodies.
RattleGoddess recommends that if you have concerns or want more information, you use the excellent search engines available to you on the internet. Questions may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The theory is not without some evidence. Although, it does appear to be very contentious and there are many claims that trauma is not a factor.
"Models of epithelial cell generation indicate that a causal link between physical trauma and cancer is plausible... The most likely explanation of the findings is that physical trauma can cause breast cancer." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12131664
GreenGorilla's summary was:
-No conclusive positive evidence for the "trauma causes breast cancer" theory.
-Proposed mechanism theoretically possible, but with absolutely no in vivo evidence.
-Matter not extensively covered in the literature, only one relevant study with insufficient numbers and questionable methodology.
The following exchange between GreenGorilla and AijinNawa expands a little:
One of my previous jobs was being a junior medic on the breast surgery team which oddly enough meant I saw a lot of tumours, lumps and bumps. Asking for a history of physical trauma isn't really a standard question so I found the article above interesting in that they decided to ask and got a statistically significant difference in the samples. Now, remember this doesn't say injury leads to cancer. This says cancer is more prevalent in people who have had breast injury as compared to controls. The sample isn't huge and would bear repeating to confirm the finding.
Let's forget cancer for a second. Here's some clinical cases I was involved in for you which indicate why I feel that extreme breast bondage and breast suspensions are not something I will do. I cannot elaborate much more as technically people can be identified by details.
32y woman who was in a car crash where the seatbelt compressed her right breast with sudden force. A small haematoma was noted initially and thought to be of little concern. Seen 3 weeks later with breast pain and massive haematoma occupying an apple sized region. On surgical exploration dead tissues removed caused by compression by the haematoma. 1 month later following repeated bleeding, infection and further tissue death this lady had an area of tissue removed (lumpectomy) which left her with breast scarring, misshapen breasts and severely damaged self image.
29y woman recurrent self harm by slapping her breasts with a wooden ruler since teens although now stopped doing so. Developed multiple areas of abscess, healed tissue that was poorly elastic, misshapen, scarred and causing her to have sexual difficulties due to worrying about the appearance. Ended up having double mastectomy and reconstruction.
34y FtM trans man awaiting surgical reduction who practiced breast binding daily to make his appearance more masculine. During surgery tissue noted to be excessively fibrotic with poor surface blood flow.
Now, 3 cases don't make a trend. What it taught me though is that breast tissue is complex stuff and an inherent part of self image, identity, sexuality and well being. It's more fragile than muscles and difficult stuff to repair if the body doesn't sort it out itself. A silicone boob is not the same as having your own. I have personally decided not to do any activity that involves excessive damage to the breast area but fully accept others will. So long as they are happy to accept the possible consequences, relay this to the female involved if required and don't stick their head in the sand and say "nothing will ever go wrong because nobody has proven this is dangerous" then it is their kink, their thing and I hope nothing ever goes wrong for them.
We are allowed to hold personal likes and dislikes.
@AijinNawa: Thank you for making some points I should had addressed myself; I admit it was an oversight.
I don't think that anyone really disagrees with the idea that heavy abuse of the breasts can harm them permanently; it's kind of obvious. Same goes with the fact that slapping a breast is not the same as beating it blue with a wooden spoon or, even worse, nailing it to a board (all of which are things that people do in real life). And tying a breast (or a nipple) is not the same as suspending someone fully from the breasts (again, it happens- but I think we all know of a specific example).
But I believe that most if not all people in the thread didn't have that kind of punishment in mind... Okay, maybe they did have suspension in mind because of, um, a certain master's influence. Honestly, I'm with you on that- I wouldn't dare doing it.
@GreenGorilla I went with the above examples as most people wouldn't have particularly labelled them as extreme or extensive injury. The seatbelt example could easily be an accidental drop during a breast suspension, the wooden ruler similar to repeated minor injury over time and the breast binding similar (but probably even less in intensity) to the kind of compression forces used in rope play. Again I caveat that a few examples is not statistically significant by any means and of course I have many many more examples of conditions that had nothing to do with injury.
I suppose a good parallel is that people know logically that strapping ones feet to long pieces of wood in order to traverse down a snow covered mountain can result in life changing injury and death. There are thousands of incredibly happy people trotting off to their regular ski holidays.