Why do men like breasts? (And what it means for you)

Thousands of women ask Google each month, "Why do guys like breasts?" For most, of course, the question is more than curiosity. The real question is, "What do I need to do to attract and keep a man?"

Why are you asking?

If it's just curiosity, the answer immediately follows.

If you are contemplating breast augmentation, we have included a section on options below. The big thing to remember, is that the male attraction to body features is impersonal. There are certainly benefits with strangers. But if you are looking to attract a man for a personal relationship, once he approaches and gets to know you, you need to back up the physical attractiveness with personality traits.

Why do guys like breasts?

There are two parts to the answer to the explicit question, "Why do men like breasts?"
  1. We keep them covered.

  2. We give boys entering puberty ample opportunity to imprint on them. (Imprint? Men's sexual attraction is primarily visual, and entering puberty, boys latch onto certain visual cues that mean Woman to them.)

If we didn't keep breasts covered, they couldn't become the objects of desire. Since they are covered, uncovering them becomes an act of intimacy. Every glimpse beneath the external clothing gives a feeling of intimacy, of closeness. Don't underestimate the importance of such intimacy: A man craves a feeling of closeness, but physical intimacy is all he is really allowed. Every boy learns not to risk emotional intimacy. If he lets his vulnerability show, he is ridiculed by other kids and by adults. "Big boys don't do that, cry baby."

When I was a student at the University of Ghana, I was surprised to find the boys weren't interested in breasts. The reason is simple: breast feeding in public is common in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, a woman of my acquaintance reported a strange experience in South Africa: They were scandalized by her bathing suit; it exposed her hips. 

When a (heterosexual) boy enters puberty, he imprints on some physical attributes that come to mean Woman to him. It is somewhat a matter of chance what those attributes will be, but because we do celebrate breasts so much, the boys are given opportunity and encouragement to imprint on them.

Boys can imprint on other things. A friend reported that when cleaning out his grandfather's effects, they discovered some erotic pictures hidden in the back of a drawer. They showed women pulling up their skirts just high enough to reveal their ankles. 

The question of why a man fixates on the physical is not particularly useful, since it is simply the way male sexuality works, and men are not able to change it. You can probably get a male to pretend otherwise, but demanding he live a lie about something as fundamental as his sexuality puts a strain on him and on your relationship. Men crave being valued as themselves, which includes being male.

It is worth understanding that a man gets pleasure merely seeing the outlines through clothing of what he has imprinted on. If he is gazing on a woman, he is not necessarily "undressing her with his eyes." He does not need fantasies of anything. He need not fantasize about having sex or a relationship with her. He is not always even aware he's looking. The touch of pleasure he began to feel in puberty conditioned him like a Pavlov dog. That, in brief, is the answer to "Why do men look at other women?"

Why, of all the parts covered, are breasts chosen? They of course aren't in all societies, but they do offer some advantages:

Breasts clearly mean Woman, which make them good symbols of The Feminine. 

A woman friend of mine remarked that it's not that guys aren't attracted to girls with brains, but their brains don't jiggle when they walk. Certainly motion attracts the eye, and his imprinted response to the shape of the breasts gives a reward for looking.

Here's an evolutionary explanation of why breasts are such good candidates for imprinting (and I find women pretty universally dislike this explanation): In all the other mammals, the males approach from the rear. Evolution has made buttocks the target that attracts males. When we began to approach from front, the breasts began to take on that function. In general, any hemispheres of smooth flesh can perform that function.

If the eroticizing of breasts annoys you, and you would like to change it, support La Leche. If breast feeding becomes common, breasts will no longer be the objects of men's attraction, but of course, that will merely shift their fascination elsewhere. 

Should you try breast augmentation? 

Should you try breast augmentation? Certainly you should consider it if there's a professional reason to do so, for example if you are an actress. 

Before you go ahead with breast augmentation, you need to consider how you intend to benefit from it. Think of your breast size as advertising.

A common formula for advertising is AIDA: get their Attention, hold their Interest, arouse their Desire, get them to take Action.

Large breasts will get men's attention. They can certainly help build a desire to have sex. If that is your goal, you're well on your way.

But while large breasts can turn men on, they can't get men to tune in to you.

Do you want to get a man to fall madly in love with you — or back in love with you? Do you want a man to cherish and adore you? Do you want a man to be romantic and attentive? If that is what you want, then you must immediately get him interested in that. Breasts are not your "unique selling proposition." They are certainly not unique, and they do not make a sale.

Since fulfilling relationships are built on admiration and respect, from the moment you have his attention, he must see you as someone he can admire and respect and who can admire and respect him.

The best person to learn from how to achieve this mutual esteem is Kara Oh who used her training in anthropology and psychology to study men in relationships. She has discovered the quality in women that men most admire and respect, indeed that men are in awe of. She calls this quality Feminine Grace, and she can teach it to you. That's why we promote her Men Made Easy ebook and workbook throughout this site. It is probably the best source of help for finding long-term fulfillment. 

But more than that, for you to respect and admire men, you must understand how they differ from women and you must appreciate their differences. Viewing a man as simply a defective woman will hurt him and can drive him away. Kara can also teach you the twelve secrets about men that most women don't know.

Armed with feminine grace and the twelve secrets, you can melt a man's heart and achieve his lasting love and devotion.

We have put an introduction to Kara Oh's discoveries in our mini-course. Sign up for it now.

What are your options?

Before you commit to anything, discuss your options with other women. An online forum that looks good is http://www.breastnexus.com/. We also highly recommend you look at Livia's website, www.living-with-small-a-cup-breasts.com/.

You had better first try out padded bras and see how you feel about the effect. If you really hate men staring at your chest, let that warn you. On the other hand, if you like the result, consider whether the padded bras are sufficient. They can't harm you the way the other techniques can.

If you think that breast augmentation is right for you, here are some options to try in consultation with your physician:

What about getting breast augmentation surgery? It can give you whatever cup size you specify. The down sides are: 1) it is expensive and 2) it is invasive, putting you at risk of  infection. It is costly to get a highly skilled surgeon and the rest of the surgical team, and the hospital costs are piled on top of that. Don't try to do it on the cheap. Given the seriousness of surgery, you had better pay to have it done well.

What about using herbal products to grow your breasts? Some women report success, but it is usually limited to 1/2 to 1 cup size. The herbs contain phytoestrogens (estrogen-like substances). Combined with prolactin, they could stimulate the growth of milk ducts, increasing the size and firmness of your breasts. Nevertheless, herbs and phytoestrogens have some potential problems:

  • Herbs are not regulated as drugs, so they haven't been tested for safety and effectiveness. 

  • If herbs work, it is because they act like drugs. You can get allergic reactions to them. You can get bad drug interactions. They can diminish the effectiveness of drugs you are taking. You need professional advice about using them.

  • They are a lot less potent than real estrogen, and they can displace it, thereby reducing the growth of breasts. Do not use these herbs during adolescence — they are likely to leave you with smaller breasts than otherwise.

  • They can give you a hormone-imbalance illness unless balanced with progesterone. (Some products advertise wild yam extract to provide the progesterone. Wild yam contains a substance, diosgenin, that can be processed in the lab into a form of  progesterone, but unprocessed wild yam does not itself supply progesterone.)

  • Don't try herbs while pregnant or breast feeding. They can put your fetus or baby at risk.

  • Don't try herbs for breast enlargement if your family has a history of cancer related to estrogen levels, except on consultation with your doctor. 

I would love to be able to give you a link to some herbal cream or suppliment that works. I can't. I can't find any; Paulette, my assistant, can't find any—not that's proven to work. Our best advice is: Don't waste your money on this.

Another natural method is exercise to increase the size of your chest muscles. It can make your breasts appear larger and firmer, but it is limited in how large it can make them appear. Of course, it is by far the least expensive option, and it has health benefits. Breast enhancement exercise is just one type of strength training, and more general strength training can help you control your weight and improve your health. Muscle cells consume 5 to 7 times as many calories as fat cells, even when you are relaxing. If you replace some fat by muscle, it will make it easier to control your weight and size and still eat what you want.

What about breast pumps? Brava breast enlargement pumps have been tested and (the company claims) proven to be safe and effective. They consist of two silicon domes that cover your breasts, a pump, and a tiny computer to control the process. It applies a gentle suction to your breasts, stretching them in every direction, and stimulating the growth of more breast tissue. The downside? You have to wear it continuously for 10-12 hours per day for  16-20 weeks. Initially, the breasts will enlarge and then shrink back to their previous size, but over time, they will retain some of the increase—again, this is a claim that we've had some difficulty verifying. Also, Brava breast enlargement pumps are not cheap. Cheap knock-offs of Brava pumps may also advertise that you do not have to devote as much time and discomfort. They have not been proven to work. 

A new technique, not yet widely available, uses your own stem cells to grow more fat cells in your breasts. Human fat tissue contains a large number of adult stem cells that can produce more fat cells and other needed tissue such as blood vessels. The technique extracts fat cells from your body and concentrates the stem cells. The doctors carefully inject the stem cells into your breasts sculpting the shape. The result is larger breasts, aesthetically shaped. 

If your goal is to attract a man, before opting for breast augmentation, you would do well to find out what men want in a woman.  In particular, learn how to act with a strong, powerful femininity, which is much more attractive to men than any physical feature can ever be. Sign up for our mini course on Understanding Men and learn important secrets about men and how to emphasize you feminine strength.


If you want men's attention, advertise your femininity visually. Show enough of your shape to get their attention. Since most North American males have imprinted on breasts, the outlines of your breasts are most effective.

How much cleavage should you show? It's a balance: Uncovering the breasts is an act of intimacy, and thus some modesty is required. You need to reserve something to offer. Occasional glances past the outermost layer of clothing give him an enticing tingle of intimacy, so some looseness of clothing can be very effective.  And of course, it's socially safest to stick reasonably close to current fashions and  the formality of the occasion.

If you want to attract attention quickly, you can try bra padding. (I heard one woman who tried padding remark in wonder on her first experience of having a man talk to her chest.) Won't a man be disappointed if things progress to the point where he finds out the truth? Probably not — intimacy is extremely rewarding. As the verse says:

They are yours, you are mine,
I've got no cause to grouse.
An A in the hand's
Worth a D in the blouse.

Make use of the insight about "hemispheres of smooth flesh": 

  • Off-the-shoulder is attractive.

  • Your cheek on your bare shoulder or your chin on your bare knees is attractive.

  • Showing cleavage is effective to the extent it shows roundness. 

  • Thong panties or swim-suit bottoms are very powerful — in some parts of the world, too powerful to be seen in public.

Remember that breasts are like the titles on advertising. They only get attention. They don't keep interest once you start building a personal relationship. They don't cinch the sale. As in advertising, you need an irresistible offer, and the best offer you can make is twofold: you display a strong, powerful femininity, and you understand and appreciate men.You can learn many of the things you need to know about men in our mini course on Understanding Men. You can start doing those things that will make you irresistible to men. It is a lot more effective, a lot faster, a lot less dangerous, and a lot less expensive than breast augmentation.

Even if you decide on breast augmentation, you still need so display a powerful, graceful femininity and an understanding of men so you can convert a man's attention into commitment. 

More information on our mini course, Understanding Men, is available through the link.