Regular readers migggght be feeling some deja vu (deja… büb?) with today’s strip, as we made one all on the practicaities of becoming familiar with your own breasts in a Breast Self Exam comic a few months back.
But, as next year’s Drawn to Sex book will be all about health, we needed to get a little breast anatomy comic done in addition! It also doesn’t hurt to talk about breasts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – seriously, drop a charity or two a dollar and get familiar with your own breasts! I, personally, didn’t really know what the inside structure looked like until we worked on this! (For the record: my first impression was that it looked a lot like the inside of a grapefruit).
Tit for Tat: Some Breast Resources
► Abreast: The Basics of Boobies via Scarleteen
► Picture of the Breasts via WebMD
► Breast via Wikipedia
► Yes, Trans Women Can Breastfeed — Here’s How via Them
► Transgender Woman Breast-Feeds Baby After Hospital Induces Lactation via The New York Times
► Gynecomastia via Wikipedia
► Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia) via Mayo Clinic
Erika and I have been pushing on our work projects amid some health troubles. But regardless, we’re getting excited for the Drawn To Sex: The Basics book release (a signing at SheBop in Portland and hopefully Seattle’s Babeland to be announced soon!). Can’t wait for this boooook, you can pick up a preorder on Amazon!
“Sweater puppies! Mosquito bites! Dirty pillows! Bee stings!”
Erika has a pair of hooting owls perched on her arm as she lists out these euphemisms.
A friendly stranger puts their hands on their hips as they ask, “What on earth are you talking about?”
Erika answers, “Breasts! Big or small, they’re a gift to us all (except in the case where they’re not) and this comic is all about getting to know The Twins.”
“Everyone of us is born with breast tissue but it takes the right dosage of estrogen to plump ‘em up. Usually breast development happens around puberty, when our bodies are being doused in hormones.”
Erika pours out a watering can full of estrogen over an anatomical diagram of a breast.
Breast Diagram (of a person who was assigned female at birth)
Part of the diagram shows the anatomy of the nipple. The raised projection in the centre is labelled as the nipple, with the rest of the coloured circular area labelled as the areola. The little bumps around the areola are labelled as the Montgomery glands. The note around the Montgomery glands say, “They’re normal! Not zits!”
The other part of the diagram shows the anatomy inside of the breast. The lobules, holding milk-producing cells called lobules, surround the nipple and are connected to it through thin tubes called the milk ducts. All of this is embedded within lumpy fat tissue.
Erika continues her explanation. “Though the underlying milk-producing structure will differ from the diagram above, people who were assigned male at birth can also develop plumped up breasts if their body naturally produces enough estrogen on its own (gynecomastia) or if they manually inject it.”
The comic shows two shirtless people. One looks down at their breasts and honks one, while the other holds up a syringe full of estrogen.
“Breasts are just fancy bags of fat that come in all sorts of genetically-decided shapes and sizes and are rarely symmetrical. There’s no tips or tricks that’ll make you grow smaller or larger pairs naturally, though weight, hormones, and the body’s menstrual cycle do affect them.”
A variety of breasts with different sizes, shapes, colours, and nipples are shown. A tiny Erika reclines on one breast and says, “Over the course of the month, my boobs will naturally get bigger, tender-er, hang-ier, smaller, pointier, rounder all depending on how my body is cycling through its hormones. It’s nuts! Over a lifetime, a person’s breasts will change, especially from pregnancy and later in life as their natural hormone supply ages. With the right mix of estrogen and progesterone, breasts start to make milk. This typically begins during pregnancy, and is the primary reason we have them: to feed our wee youngins!”
A drawing shows an infant being fed from a breast.
“While most mammals don’t get developed breasts until pregnant, we make ‘em early on, even if there’s never a baby to feed.”
A pig is shown lying on its side, feeding several piglets.
The person Erika is talking to scratches their chin. They ask, “Humm, but if that’s their purpose… What’s the point in growing ‘em before they’re needed?”
Erika says, “Aside from being a potential food source, our breasts can also be super sexual feed-good-zones and (for better or worse) be an important part of our gender identity and body image.” She uses a pointer to gesture at simple illustrations representing the different reasons she listed (a crying infant for “Baby Food”, a pair of breasts with heart-shaped nipples for “Erogenous zone”, and a bra and binder to represent “Presentation & Identity”.)
Erika shrugs as she finishes the comic. “What can I say, humans just like to make everything more complicated! It’s part of our charm.”
To repost or license this comic, visit Ohjoysextoy.com/license.
Brought to you by our awesome patrons at Patreon.com/erikamoen.
This comic was posted on October 23, 2018 and transcribed March 10, 2023, by Dennie Park, who can be found at linktr.ee/DeepBeeps