Human Body

Strange Things You Didn't Know About Male Lactation 

Jacob Shelton
Updated November 6, 2017 25.9k views 17 items

As the human race inches closer to the singularity and the idea of gender fluidity saturates our culture, male breastfeeding has become an increasingly interesting concept. While the notion that breastfeeding wouldn’t be an issue if men were doing it, the question remains, can men breastfeed? As you’ll see on this list of male lactation facts – yes and no. While some men can lactate with some simple nipple stimulation, it’s impossible for other guys to get their milk motors running. Confused? You won't be after reading these facts about male lactation.

If you’re asking, “What is male lactation?” you’re not in the minority. Nipple discharge is a scientifically hazy area, and there are many reasons why men may experience discharge from their nipples. After you read this list of man nipples facts, you’ll be so pumped that you just might try to make yourself lactate, and we applaud you for that. Can men lactate as well as women? Keep reading to find out.

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Male Lactation May Have Been Conditioned Out of Humans
Male Lactation May Have ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Strange Things You Didn't Know About Male Lactation
Photo:  gpalmisanoadm/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

In the book Sex Is Fun? by Jared Diamond, the author hypothesizes about the possibility that men don't naturally lactate because the desire to nurture their young has been conditioned out of their genetic code. "Lactation lies within the physical condition of men. As we shall see, lactation would make more sense for modern men than for males of most other mammal species."

Nipple Stimulation Can Make You Squirt
Nipple Stimulation Can M... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Strange Things You Didn't Know About Male Lactation
Photo: svintus2010/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

If you're dying to see what the other half lives like and you don't want to wait around for a pituitary tumor, it turns out that all you have to do is play with your nipples a lot. Intense nipple stimulation naturally releases prolactin, the hormone that produces milk, and once there's enough of it in your system you never have to worry about whether or not you have half and half again. 

Charles Darwin Noted the Lactation Habits of Many Male Mammals
Charles Darwin Noted the... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Strange Things You Didn't Know About Male Lactation
Photo:  WikiImages/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

Leave it to Darwin to blow the lid off this whole male lactation thing while he was also discovering evolution. In The Descent of Man, Darwin stated, "It is well known that in the males of all mammals, including man, rudimentary mammae exist. These in several instances have become well developed, and have yielded a copious supply of milk. Their essential identity in the two sexes is likewise shown by their occasional sympathetic enlargement in both during an attack of the measles." He further speculated that both sexes nursed their young in early stages of the Earth's development. 

Male Galactorrhea Sounds Rough
Male Galactorrhea Sounds... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Strange Things You Didn't Know About Male Lactation
Photo: dMadPhoto/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Galactorrhea is the smarty-pants name for when milk uncontrollably flows from someone's nipples. Galactorrhea rarely occurs in men, it's usually benign, and if you can stop touching your nipples for one day the milk production will probably stop.