A market for mom-juice?

Tell Capitalist Mom GFE (Google fucking exists).

I hit Google myself after reading your article, and got a plethora of articles on milk banks, moms looking to sell and various shopping sites apparently pimping it. With a better-defined search I’m sure she can find something along her line.

Alternatively, she could try asking at her hospital or La Leche League — although I wouldn’t recommend mentioning that she’s looking to sell to fetishists. There are plenty of women out there who can’t breastfeed or don’t produce enough milk, and La Leche League has people convinced that feeding your baby formula is child abuse. As a result, there are a number of gullible mammary-impaired women out there plopping down huge bucks for a stranger’s milk. As selling breast milk is technically a black-market affair (there are milk banks that require prescriptions and collect something like $3.25 an ounce), she might want to be discreet about it. —Would Totally Sell If She Were Lactating

I’ve had people offer to buy my breast milk, so I know there’s a market for it. However, it’s easier — and legally, I’m guessing, more advisable — for Capitalist Mom to do photo shoots squirting milk. I did it for Juggs magazine, and they paid me quite well. She could probably continue to sell photos to magazines and Web sites, or even start her own site, the whole time she’s lactating. If she doesn’t have her own photographer, the mags or sites could hook her up with one. In fact, if she’s in the L.A. area I could refer her to the woman who did my shoot! —Sexy Momma

I’m writing in response to Capitalist Mom, who was wondering about selling her breast milk to fetishists. While it may be the case that some people get off on drinking, having, playing with, making popsicles, etc., out of breast milk, it is also the case that people with cancer appear to be able to derive benefits from drinking it.

It seems to be the case that breast milk, which carries antibodies and all sorts of other good things (which is why, of course, it’s good for babies), can similarly be of genuine benefit to folks who have compromised immune systems. The caveat being that breast milk, insomuch as it is extremely fatty, does tend to carry a rather unfortunate amount of the environmental toxins that we pick up and store in our fat cells, from things like eating mercury-heavy tuna, inhaling all day in office environments where lots of plastics are off-gassing, or, I don’t know, smoking or some such.

So, my overlong point is, Capitalist Mom might want to think about investigating the possibility of selling her breast milk to folks trying to fight off cancer. I believe there is a market opportunity. —Nick In Charlottesville

First, I just want to warn readers that breast milk is a major source of vertical transmission of HIV — that is, from mother to infant. So there would also exist a concern for breast milk giving an adult drinker HIV. —Safety First

There was a story about selling human breast milk from the San Francisco Chronicle that focused on adoptive parents and others who purchase breast milk for their children because of the potential health benefits. But the story points out that many sellers are creeped out by contact from "… men who don’t seem to have babies," so I’m sure that Capitalist Mom would do just fine on one of the sites the reporter mentions. —I Google Instead of Working

To the capitalist cow who wants to sell her milk: If she had any sense of decency she would donate her milk to a breast-milk bank. There is one in Vancouver, British Columbia, and I bet there are some in American cities as well. It is one of the few ways that premature or sick babies, or babies of sick mothers, can get proper nutrition early in life. As it is now, we have to feed babies lots of artificially prepared ‘formulas’ so that they can survive. They have calories, but not all of the other benefits of breast milk.

Screw the fetishists, feed a sick baby. —Do Something Good

The breastfeeding moms I know, their nipples cracked and sore, feel like their breasts are eating their bodies. They cannot fucking believe how long it takes to squeeze out a half-bottle of milk — granting them a whole new respect for the gallons on sale at the supermarket. Extracurricular milk production isn’t high on their to-do lists. —D.C. Cynic

First, I’m not a lawyer, just a law student with an interest in sexual rights, gay and straight. I just wanted to alert you that there is at least some concern regarding criminal liability for people interested in the sorts of businesses about which Capitalist Mom inquired. Not too long ago, a female college student was convicted under a federal statute for sending dirty panties, used vibrators, "menstrual themed" products, etc., to paying customers who located her on the Web.

With the Bush administration declaring a war on porn, and following through, the next few years will likely produce some landmark events for sexual rights. It’s especially unclear how the Lawrence decision will figure into this; not just pornography, but sexual rights generally. —Concerned About Concerned Americans

Regarding Capitalist Mom and her search for a breast-milk market, I doubt her claim that she "looked online," since typing in "sell breast milk" returns lots of good results. Regardless of her competence, you might check out a blog post I did on this very subject last month: www.tothepeople.com/2006/04/peak-breast-milk.html. It includes links to a Web site where she might get in touch with people who want to buy her milk for up to about $3 per ounce. —Tothepeople.com Is The Shit

There was an underground bank set up to sell human milk to cancer sufferers — if Capitalist Mom would like to cash in on the desperation and suffering of others. Or she could share her good fortune and donate breast milk. I donated to a milk bank for months that provided for premature babies. The reason there is no payment for milk is the same reason blood donations aren’t paid for — they want to rely on the goodwill and altruism of donors.

Incidentally, breastfeeding saves quite a bit of money, but if you ever hope to recoup the costs of having a child, perhaps CM should start planning to get the nipper into law school or medical school. Or perhaps she could sell the child on the Internet. —Socialist Mom Send letters to [email protected]

Dan Savage

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, podcaster, and author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. His sex advice column “Savage Love” first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. He has published six books...
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