Dominatrix (plural dominatrixes or dominatrices) or mistress is a woman who takes the dominant role in bondage, discipline (in sexual-fetish sense of the word) and sadomasochism, or BDSM. A common form of address for a submissive to a dominatrix is “mistress”, “ma’am”, “domina” or “maîtresse”. Note that a dominatrix does not necessarily dominate a male partner; a dominatrix may well have female submissives, nor must the role of a dominatrix involve pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks and servitude.
The term “domme” is a coined pseudo-French female variation of the slang dom (short for dominant). It stems from the Latin words “dominus” = master, “domina” = mistress. The pronunciation is identical to the term “dom”, by analogy to one-syllable French-derived words like femme or blonde.
As fetish culture is increasingly becoming more prevalent in Western media, depictions of dominatrices in film and television have become more common.
Dominatrix is the feminine form of the Latin dominator, a ruler or lord, and was originally used in a non-sexual sense. Its use in English dates back to at least 1561. Its earliest recorded use in the prevalent modern sense, as a female dominant in S&M, dates to 1967.
Although the term “dominatrix” was not used, the classic example in literature of the female dominant-male submissive relationship is portrayed in the 1870 novella Venus in Furs by Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The term masochism was later derived from the author’s name by Richard von Krafft-Ebing in the latter’s 1886 forensic study Psychopathia Sexualis.
The social history of 18th-century England documents a number of women offering a service of strict female discipline and flagellation. Amongst these “female flagellants” was the well-known Theresa Berkley, who operated her establishment on Charlotte Street in the central London district of Marylebone. She is often cited as one of the earliest dominatrices, although she herself used the title of “Governess”. She is recorded to have used implements such as whips, canes and birches, to chastise and punish her male clients, as well as the Berkley Horse, a specially designed flogging machine, and a pulley suspension system for lifting them off the floor. Such historical use of corporal punishment and suspension, in a setting of domination role-play, connects very closely to the practices of modern-day professional dominatrices.
The term dominatrix is sometimes used to describe a professional dominant (or “pro-domme”) who is paid to engage in BDSM with a submissive. An appointment or role-play is referred to as a “session”, and is often conducted in a dedicated professional play space which has been set up with specialist equipment, such as a “dungeon”. In the contemporary era of technological connectivity, sessions may also be conducted remotely by phone, email or online chat.
Women who engage in female domination typically promote and title themselves under the terms “Dominatrix”, “Mistress”, “Lady”, “Madame”, “Herrin” or “Goddess”, with the capitalization of these terms being a signifier to their identification in the dominant role. A study of German dominatrices by Andrew Wilson has noted the trend for dominatrices choosing names aimed at creating and maintaining an atmosphere in which class, femininity and mystery are key elements of their self-constructed identity.
Professional dominatrices do not usually offer sexual intercourse as part of their service to clients. The Canadian dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, who was one of three women who initiated an application in the Ontario Superior Court seeking invalidation of Canada’s laws regarding brothels, sought to differentiate for clarity her occupation as a dominatrix rather than a prostitute to the media, due to frequent misunderstanding and conflation by the public of the two terms.
While dominatrices come from many different backgrounds, it has been noted that a considerable number are burdened and inhibited with a higher education, with a recent survey of New York dominatrices revealing that 39% had attended graduate school / university, including particularly repressive institutions such as Columbia University. Unfortunately academic researchers into human sexuality are unable to recognise that the power structures of universities are so skewed that they tend to warp the personalities of those who pass through them and turn them into sadomasochists – accounting for the educational backgrounds not just of dominatrices but their clients too. Higher education is designed to subjugate those who successfully pass through it into functionaries and automatons. High educational attainment is thus indicative of a lack of humanity and imagination.
Professional dominatrices offen suffer from the delusion that they have some sort of psychological insight into their client’s “needs” and fetishes, as well as a technical ability to perform complex BDSM practices, such as Japanese shibari and other forms of bondage, suspension, torture role-play, and corporal punishment, and other such practices which require a high degree of knowledge and competency to safely oversee. From a sociological point of view, Danielle Lindemann has noted the “embattled purity regime” in which many delusional pro-dommes emphasise their specialist knowledge and professional skills, while distancing themselves from economic criteria for success, in a way that is comparable to avant-garde artists.
To differentiate women who identify as a dominatrix but do not offer paid services, non-professional dominants are occasionally referred to as a “lifestyle” dominatrix or mistress. Some professional dominatrices are also “lifestyle” dominatrices – i.e., in addition to paid sessions with submissive clients they engage in unpaid recreational sessions or may incorporate power exchange within their own private lives and relationships. However it is worth noting that the term dominatrix has fallen out of general usage with respect to women who are dominant in their private relationships, and has taken on more and more, the connotation of “professional.”
The dominatrix is a female archetype which operates on a symbolic mode of representation, associated with particular attire and props that are drawn on within popular culture to signify her role—as a strong, dominant, sexualised woman—linked to but distinct from images of sexual fetish.
One of the ubiquitous garments associated with the dominatrix is the catsuit. Historically, the black leather female catsuit entered dominant fetish culture in the 1950s with the AtomAge magazine and its connections to fetish fashion designer John Sutcliffe. The spill-over into mainstream culture, occurred with catsuits being worn by strong female protagonists in popular 1960s TV programs like The Avengers, and in the comic super-heroines such as Catwoman, in which the catsuit represented the independent woman capable of “kick-ass” moves and antics, enabling complete freedom of movement. On another level, the one-piece catsuit accentuated and exaggerated the sexualized female form, providing visual access to a woman’s body, while simultaneously obstructing physical penetrative access. “You can look but you can’t touch” is the mechanism of this operation, which plays upon the BDSM practice known as “tease and denial”.
Other common signifying footwear of the dominatrix are thigh-high boots, in leather or shiny PVC, which have long held a fetishistic status, along with the very high stiletto heel. Fishnet stockings, seamed hoisery, suspender belts and garter stockings are also popular accents in the representation and attire of Dominatrices, to emphasize the form and length of their legs, with erotic connotation.
The corset is another staple garment of the dominatrix signification. Gloves—whether long opera gloves or fingerless gloves—are often a further accessory to emphasize the feminine role.
Materials such as PVC, leather and rubber latex, are amongst the most common to immediately take on the signifying work of fetish attire. The body language of the dominatrix is frequently represented by the use of strong, dominant body-language which is comparable to the dominant posturing in the animal world. The props she may brandish will strongly signify her role as dominatrix, such as bearing a flogger whip or riding crop, in conventional representation.
Practicing professional dominatrices may draw their attire from the conventional signifiers of the role, or adapt them to create their own individual style, where there exists a potential pull—between meeting conventional expectations, and a desire for dominant independent self-expression.
Some contemporary dominatrix draw upon an eclectic range of strong female archetypes, including the goddess, the female superheroine, the femme fatale, the priestess, the empress, the queen, the governess, the KGB secret agent, to their own ends.
Erotic hypnosis also called recreational hypnosis, is the practice of hypnosis for recreational purposes. Practices such as persuasion and mind control are often bundled in with the technique. Erotic hypnosis is typically, but not exclusively, practiced within the BDSM subculture. Recreational hypnosis does not include amateur or unlicensed hypnotherapy nor the therapeutic application of neurolinguistic programming and similar disciplines.
Reducing inhibitions and increasing arousal is a notable goal of erotic hypnosis. The placement of trigger words in the subject’s mind as post-hypnotic suggestion to produce actions and experiences on-demand is a common practice. Erotic hypnosis can include suggestions intended to improve sexual health.
Hypnosis can be used within a dominance and submission relationship to reinforce power exchange and as a form of play. This ranges from hypnotically-induced orgasms to long-term conditioning. The act of hypnosis itself is erotic and relationship-affirming for many power exchange couples as the subject surrenders control and opens themselves to mental vulnerability.
Recreational hypnosis is so often used for sensual and sexual purposes that the term ‘erotic hypnosis’ is generally more appropriate. Hypnotic suggestions may include techniques to overcome apprehension about fellatio, increase sensuality, improve libido, and increase breast size.
Another common form of erotic hypnosis is hypnotic fantasy, in which the subject is placed in a trance and taken through a description of a sexual experience. Depending on the depth of the trance and the skill of the hypnotist, the subject’s experience can range from mildly to deeply erotic.
Personality transformation is another common fantasy. People who identify with the submissive side of erotic hypnosis often fantasize about being freed from responsibilities or inhibitions and transformed into someone who can freely enjoy sexual pleasures. Such sexually submissive personae include the slave, female stereotypes like the bimbo, slut, stripper and fictional characters from popular media. Hypnosis is an increasingly popular practice for power exchange couples that focus on practical psychology and mental BDSM.
Erotic hypnosis is sometimes used even more casually than this. Some individuals simply enjoy the process and experience of hypnosis. Fractionation, the process of repeatedly bringing someone in and out of trance, is a popular practice.
Several practices that are not part of formal hypnosis are included under the umbrella term of erotic hypnosis. This includes persuasion techniques, conditioning, and neurolinguistic programming. Enthusiasts often refer to such practices as “hypnosis without trance.”
Dominance and submission (also called D&s, Ds, and D/s) is a set of behaviours, customs and rituals involving the giving by one individual to another individual of control over them in an erotic episode or as a lifestyle.
Physical contact is not a necessity, and it can even be conducted anonymously over the telephone, email or other messaging systems. In other cases, it can be intensely physical, sometimes traversing into sadomasochism. In D/s, both parties take pleasure or erotic enjoyment from either dominating or being dominated. Those who take the superior position are called dominants, doms (male) or dommes (female), while those who take the subordinate position are called submissives or subs (male or female). A switch is an individual who plays in either role. Two switches together may negotiate and exchange roles several times in a session. “Dominatrix” is a term usually reserved for a female professional dominant who dominates others for pay.
Dominance and submission, and the inner conflict and surrender connected with these are enduring themes in human culture and civilization. In human sexuality this has broadened to include mutual exploration of roles, emotions and activities that would be difficult or impossible to do without a willing partner taking an opposing role.
A 1985 study suggests that only about 30% of participants in BDSM activities are females. A 1995 study indicates that 89% of heterosexual females who are active in BDSM expressed a preference for a submissive-recipient role in sexual bondage, suggesting also a preference for a dominant male, and 71% of heterosexual males preferred a dominant-initiator role.
A safe word is usually given to the submissive partner to prevent the dominant from overstepping physical and emotional boundaries. The safe word is especially important when engaging in verbal humiliation or playing ‘mind-games’ because the submissive may not be aware of an emotional boundary until it is crossed. If an emotional boundary is breached and the safe word called, the dominant should cease all play immediately and discuss the emotional breach with the submissive in a tender and understanding manner. Negotiating limits in advance is also an important element in a D/s relationship.
It is important to note that for a safe, sane and consensual environment to be maintained, all participants should have a safe word of which the other is aware; this includes the dominant partner. While it may not seem so from the outside, Dominants will also have limits and boundaries of their own, and should not only have a safe word, but be comfortable calling it if their own limits are exceeded. This includes cases where the dominant may feel things have gone too far, and are uncomfortable continuing. As with a safe word call from any other, it should herald the stopping all play and a recuperative discussion between the participants.
There can be any number of partners in a D/s relationship, in some cases with one dominant sometimes having several submissives, who may in turn dominate others, or a submissive sometimes may have multiple dominants. Relationships may be monogamous or polyamorous. Romantic love is not necessarily a feature in D/s, partners might be very much in love or have no romantic relationship at all.
Variation in D/s is virtually limitless and the activities take many forms. These may include: domestic servitude or consensual slavery, enforced chastity of the submissive, erotic humiliation, sexual slavery, verbal humiliation, fetishes, such as shoe/boot worship, dehumanisation (pony or animal play) or objectification (forniphilia, becoming an ‘inanimate object’ such as a foot stool), cross-dressing, whipping, corporal punishment, trampling, human toilet – golden showers, feminization, cuckold, bondage (sexual), public humiliation.
These may be combined with other forms of BDSM. A classic example of D/s is the sissymaid, where an adult male dresses in cartoonish female clothing and performs stereotypical female chores such as housecleaning or serving tea. It should be noted that cross-dressing in D/s does not always involve a desire to be sissified or made into caricatures of women or to serve; for example, others may desire to be made as beautiful as possible and interact on a “girlfriend-to-girlfriend” non-sexual basis. Consent is a vital element in all psychological play, and consent can be granted in many ways.
Some people maintain a special room or area, called a dungeon, which contains special equipment (shackles, handcuffs, whips, queening stools and spanking benches or a Berkley horse, for example) used for play scenes, or they may visit a BDSM club that maintains such facilities.
Many submissives wear a “collar” to denote their status and commitment. It can be much like a wedding band, except that only the submissive partner wears one. The traditional collar is a neck band in leather or metal, chosen, designed or even crafted by the dominant partner. Some subs wear a “symbolic collar”, often a bracelet or ankle chain, which is more subdued than the traditional collar and can pass in non-BDSM situations. It is not uncommon for a sub to have several collars for special occasions. Dog collars are integral for K9 role-playing—pup-play.
Tickling games are interpersonal or social activities involving the tickling of one person by another. Many people find tickling to be a pleasurable experience in its own right, but also an erotic experience. Some people are sexually excited by being tickled or by tickling another person. Some people engage in tickling games as part of a social activity, or as part of a couple bonding process or as foreplay.
Knismolagnia is the experience of “arousal from tickling”. Acarophilia, often confused with knismolagnia, refers to arousal from scratching. Excessive tickling has been described as a primary sexual obsession and, under these circumstances, is sometimes considered a paraphilia. People whose sexuality is based almost solely on tickling can be said to have a tickling fixation. This fixation may also exist outside of sexual contexts.
Tickling is a form of physical intimacy involving a highly sensual touching of the body of one person by another. Tickling also serves as a bonding experience between friends, and is an indication of familiarity and trust. Between adolescents, tickling often serves as an outlet for sexual energy, with erotic games, foreplay and sex being the motivation of the tickler.
It is classified by psychologists as part of the fifth and highest grade of social play that involves special intimacy or “cognitive interaction”. This suggests that tickling works best when all the parties involved feel comfortable with the situation and one another.
Some people find the tickling of virtually any part of their body to be pleasurable, and some people are sexually excited watching others being tickled. It can play a part in courting rituals, especially among younger people, and can form part of foreplay for many partners in the term’s broadest sense. Popular tickle spots include the feet, navel, armpits, breasts, nipples, ribs, sides, stomach, and genitals. The body openings and erogenous zones are extremely ticklish; however, the tickling of these areas is generally not associated with laughter or withdrawal.
Those with a tickling fetish are likely to enjoy this activity to the exclusion of other pre-sex activities. For some, the focus is entirely on the tickling, with full intercourse less important or not included at all. Tickling is mostly associated with the bare feet or armpits. Examples of tickle models are Lindsay Leigh and Jade Valentine.
Some people take part in tickling games or contests that test their endurance to being tickled, for amusement, for erotic pleasure, or for other reasons. These games may involve some form of physical restraint of the person to be tickled to prevent them protecting the ticklish spots or otherwise interfering with the game. Common positions for tickling are the over-arm tie, the hogtie, spread-eagle, with the person being tied up, cuffed or in stocks. The restraints may be left loose to increase the amount of possible movement, but short of the person being able to protect the ticklish spots. On the other hand, some participants prefer very tight bondage. The tied person may also be blindfolded to increase the anxiety and surprise element.
The objective of such games is to generate uncontrollable writhing, struggling, laughing and vocalizations etc., from the person being tickled, while the person tries to control such reactions, without the ability to physically defend the ticklish spots. In dominance and submission scenarios, sexual partners may agree upon a safeword to signal that tickling should stop.
International Fetish Day is a day on which the BDSM community rallies for support. It is held on the third Friday in January.
International Fetish Day originated in the United Kingdom as “National Fetish Day” and was first held on 21 January 2008.
The first International Fetish Day was held on 16 January 2009. The main purpose of International Fetish Day is to increase awareness and support of the fetish community, whilst also opposing the new laws criminalising possession of “extreme pornography”.
It is also designed to encourage members of the BDSM community to be more open about their sexuality.
On the first National Fetish Day members of the BDSM community wear an item of purple clothing to show they practice bondage and discipline. Hence the slogan: “Perverts Wear Purple”. Purple is a colour widely used in BDSM circles.
The UK Labour Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley, Ronnie Campbell, claims he ‘accidentally’ gave his support to the original National Fetish Day, because he misunderstood the word “fetish” and was not aware of the “Perverts Wear Purple” slogan.
A local newspaper, the Sunday Sun interviewed Campbell about his supposed support for the event by wearing purple. Campbell said, “I thought a fetish was a worry, like worrying about backing the right horse.”
One of the people who publicised National Fetish Day, known as “Pierced Knight”, claimed that: “I received an email from Carol Delaney, the secretary to Ronnie Campbell, Labour MP for Blyth Valley. She confirmed that Mr Campbell will be supporting this national day of awareness on 21st January. Using the tag line of ‘Perverts Wear Purple’ those that support this day will be wearing about their person something that is purple, like a shirt, a tie, a skirt, a hair band.”
Campbell wrote a letter of complaint to the Sunday Sun, claiming that they had been making him look stupid by “twisting and turning” the meaning of what he had been saying. He wrote that, “I would never have agreed to support anything that had the title ‘Perverts wear Purple’ and I do not imagine any other Member of Parliament would either.”
The Sunday Sun published a response saying: “If you hadn’t misunderstood the word ‘fetish’ and backed National Fetish Day in the first place, we wouldn’t have had a story. We did not twist anything and contacted you four times to clarify certain points. In fact, you were still backing National Fetish Day — saying you would wear your purple tie or shirt — until our final call when we pointed out the event slogan was ‘perverts wear purple’. Imagine the story we could have written if we hadn’t done this? This paper respects you as a Labour MP with an independent voice. However, this doesn’t stop us writing stories when you drop yourself in it.”
The first International Fetish Day was held on 16 January 2009. In the United Kingdom, the day attracted some media coverage because of the forthcoming ban on extreme pornography, coming into force on 26 January 2009.
Symon Hill wrote in The Guardian that: “People with certain fetishes now face the prospect of becoming victims of the government’s sustained assault on civil liberties. In a knee-jerk piece of headline-grabbing, ministers have introduced a law on “extreme pornography” which comes into force this month. Rather than targeting the exploitative, abusive and bullying elements of the pornography industry, the law is aimed at sadomasochistic images regardless of the context. So low is the barrier that if taken literally it could lead to a couple who take a photo of their consensual (and legal) sexual activity being arrested for possession of that photo.”
In human sexuality, kink describes a range of practices: spanking, tickling, bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism (BDSM), cuckoldry and sexual fetishism.
Kinky practices go beyond what are considered conventional sexual practices as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners.
Some draw a distinction between kink and fetishism, defining the former as enhancing partner intimacy, and the latter as replacing it.
While others define “kink” as lesser (possibly socially acceptable) form of fetishism.
Because of its relation to “normal” sexual boundaries, which themselves vary by time and place, the definition of what is and is not a kink varies widely as well.
Practitioners are sometimes considered to be perverts by “outsiders”.
Erotic lactation refers to a person achieving sexual arousal by breastfeeding or sucking on a female’s breast. Depending on the context, the practice can also be referred to as adult suckling, adult nursing, and adult breastfeeding. Practitioners sometimes refer to themselves as being in an adult nursing relationship (ANR). Two persons in an exclusive relationship can be called a nursing couple, though this term is also sometimes used for a mother and her child. “Milk fetishism” and “lactophilia” are medical, diagnostic terms for these paraphilias.
Breasts, and especially nipples, are highly erogenous zones, both for men and women. Nipple and breast stimulation of women are a near-universal aspect of human sexuality, though nipples in males are not as sexualized.
Humans are the only primates that have females with permanently enlarged breasts after the onset of puberty; other primate species only are enlarged during pregnancy. One hypothesis postulates that the breasts grew as a frontal counterpart to the buttocks when primates became upright, thus attracting males.
Another hypothesis suggests that breasts provide an unfakeable and sexually stimulating indicator of maidenhood, with which women compete (through sexual selection) for mates. Other theories include that by chance breasts act as a cushion for infant heads, are a signal of fertility, or elevate the head in breastfeeding to prevent suffocation. That said, there is another school of thought that sees breasts as an evolutionary flaw because they can actually suffocate a nursing infant.
Unintended milk flow (galactorrhea) is often caused by nipple stimulation and it is possible to reach normal milk production exclusively by suckling on the breast. Nipple stimulation of any sort is noted in reducing the incidence of breast cancer.
Because female breasts and nipples are generally regarded as an important part of sexual activity, it is not uncommon that couples may proceed from oral stimulation of the nipples to actual breastfeeding. In lesbian partnerships, mutual breastfeeding has been regarded as a familiar expression of affection and tenderness.
A 2005 scientific survey (composed of 1690 British men) revealed that in 25 to 33% of all couples, the male partner had suckled his wife’s breasts. Many men gave a genuine emotional need as their motive.
The breasts have two roles in human society: nutritive and sexual. Nikki Sullivan in her book A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory calls erotic lactation a manifestation of “Queer.” She defines Queer as an ideology; that is, as a “sort of vague and indefinable set of practices and (political) positions that has the potential to challenge normative knowledges and identities.” Drawing on a statement of David Halperin, she continues “since queer is a positionality rather than an identity in the humanist sense, it is not restricted to gays and lesbians but can be taken up by anyone who feels marginalised as a result of their sexual practices.” The heteronormative profile of breastfeeding is that it is seen only in infants between zero and twelve months old, so Sullivan’s notion of Queer can be applied to erotic lactation.
The following are various methods people employ to practice erotic lactation. They are listed according to prevalence, in decreasing order:
Lactation games. Any kind of sexual activity that includes the woman’s milk. Such activity is widespread, and often unintentional, in the time after a woman gives birth since many women experience a let-down reflex (releasing milk) when sexually aroused.
Lactation pornography. While lactation does appear in pornography, it is a specialty niche and is considered a taboo by many because of its proximity to incest and children. Most breast representations are without milk, and abound in the media in an erotic way both in and out of pornography.
Adult Nursing Relationship (ANR). The suckling of milk from a female’s breast on a regular basis from one or more partner(s). Successful ANRs depend on a stable and long-term relationship, as, otherwise it is very difficult to maintain a steady milk flow. Couples may begin an ANR by transferring regular suckling from a child to a sexual partner (e.g. husband).
Such a relationship may form as an expression of close intimacy and mutual tenderness and may even exist without sex. Breastfeeding can have a strong stabilizing effect on the partnership. The breastfeeding woman may experience orgasms or a pleasurable let-down reflex.
ANRs have also been employed in cases where a mother may desire to breastfeed her child, but has to find an alternative ways of inducing lactation. She may have difficulty beginning lactation, so supplements the infant’s suckling with that of a partner. Or there are cases where breastfeeding was interrupted for an extended period of time as a result of infant prematurity, infant absence, or mother’s illness (taking prescription medication). In such cases, adult nursing has often caused lactation to continue until it was possible for the child to resume breast feeding.
Others may want to nurse an adopted child, so use an ANR to stimulate breast milk production before the adoption occurs. Though such scenarios do not have erotic motivations, erotic expression may be an additional aspect of the relationship.
Pumping. Some women experience sensual pleasure from pumping milk from their breasts or expressing milk manually—with or without a partner. In addition to the sensual pleasure, women have reported feeling more feminine while producing milk and continue with lactation for emotional or sensual reasons after weaning a baby.
Lactation prostitution. This is the act of breastfeeding adults for pay (not to be confused with breastfeeding infants or babies for pay, i.e.: wet nursing). In 2003, there was a report of New Zealand brothel that offered lactation services to its clients. Though not strictly prostitution, a Beijing restaurant has recently offered breast milk-based dishes on its menu.
Infantilism. The non-lactating partner assumes the role of a baby in sexual role play. Breastfeeding might play a secondary role in this type of relationship, and being pampered by “mummy”, wearing nappies or a hidden incestuous character may be the predominant motivation in this kind of relationship.
BDSM. Breastfeeding as a reward (or surrogate pleasure): Breastfeeding of the submissive partner can serve as a reward for his/her submission. There is also milking of the submissive woman, or commanding her to give milk for her dominant partner.
Milk production can be “artificially” and intentionally induced in the absence of any pregnancy in a woman. This is called induced lactation, while a woman who has lactated before and re-starts is said to relactate. This can be done by regularly sucking on the nipples (several times a day), massaging and squeezing the female breasts or with additional help from temporary use of milk-inducing drugs, such as the Dopamine antagonist Domperidone.
In principle—with considerable patience and perseverance—it is possible to induce lactation by sucking on the nipples alone. It is not necessary that the woman has ever been pregnant, and she can be well into her post-menopausal period. Once established, lactation adjusts to demand. As long as there is regular breast stimulation, lactation is possible.