We are thrilled to welcome the Red Tent Sisters to our discussion of #boobyluv. If you’ve been following along, we’ve had some pretty amazing guests so far (take a look below at our list of interviews). Our discussion continues with these two wonderful ladies.


#BoobyLuv: An Interview Series by Dr. Maureen BorghoffKim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters and ecosex.ca, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for women seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood.

It seems like everyone is aware of the pink ribbon campaign and breast cancer awareness activities that take place in October. The messages that proliferate are about coping with a diagnosis, finding a cure. We share a common interest in shifting that conversation to “prevention.” What does prevention mean to you?

To us, prevention means minimizing our exposure to the cancer-causing agents we have control over by changing our lifestyles and our environments, and then promoting our bodies’ ability to detoxify cancer-promoting chemicals by supporting the body’s natural elimination systems. At Red Tent Sisters we have a particular passion for helping women get off hormonal birth control, which has been listed as a class I carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and also to minimize exposure to BPA and phthalates in porous zones such as the vagina by choosing body-safe lubricants and sex toys.

And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?

Our mother was diagnosed with estrogen-dependent breast cancer in 2005. This was also the year Amy’s daughter Mattea was born. Amy was starting to question the safety of plastic toys and baby bottles. When Mattea was a few months old, Amy tried to return to hormonal contraception with rather devastating effects. The pill increased her milk supply to such an extent that Mattea started choking whenever she tried to breast feed. We started connecting the dots between Mattea’s health, our health, and our mother’s health. We both experienced profound improvements in our mood and sense of vitality after ditching the pill. Since then we’ve become passionate about educating women about the risks associated with hormonal contraception – including increased risk of breast cancer – as well as about choosing natural birth control, adopting better eating habits and how eliminating toxins from our homes and our body products can help us to feel so much healthier and full of vitality.

Too often we talk about breasts only in two (maybe three) contexts: female sexuality, usually as it is contained by male sexuality; and when something goes wrong with breast health – namely breast cancer (maybe we talk about breastfeeding, usually when it has been shunned publicly). Why do you think there is a silence around talking about breasts outside of these topics/angles?

We think breasts are usually perceived as something for someone else. Usually either for babies’ nourishment, or as a sexual object for men (the latter much more than the former). In this way women are often perceived in relation to someone else, and her breasts are a symbol of that dynamic – which is perhaps why having them cut open or cut off is so highly charged, both for women and for the people in her life. It would be nice to start opening up a discussion about what breasts mean to women themselves, apart from their partners or their children. Many women experience intense sexual pleasure from stimulation of the breasts and nipples, yet this is rarely talked about. We frequently come up against this issue in our work: that with regards to sex, it is usually defined as “finished” when the man has ejaculated. Where is the discussion of women’s pleasure? In this same way, we need to open up the discussion about breasts to go beyond their role in pleasing “the other” (man, child, society, etc.).

We believe that women are unsure of their breasts, and that for many women, their breasts are a source of fear. Perhaps pink ribbon campaigns are in part responsible for this fear, perhaps there is a fear of the sexuality of breasts, or of the power women can hold. Many women are not used to touching their breasts even. What is your opinion of our culture of breast fear?

Well, as you said, breasts are usually associated with two things: sexuality and motherhood. Both are connected with the creative power and potency of womanhood. We have already been stripped of much of the power of femininity in our culture – women’s knowledge and wisdom is shamed and suppressed, so the idea of “losing” our breasts is symbolic not only of what we have already lost, but of the scraps of power that we still hold as women in our society.
Imagine yourself talking with a young girl about body image, body health and growing into a conscientious woman. What would you impart to the conversation of breasts?
That they are all different. And that this is beautiful. Going to nude women’s spas and baths can be really helpful in teaching girls this concept. We are generally exposed to airbrushed breasts in magazines that have been chosen for their particular size and shape. It’s important that girls are exposed to the diversity of the human breast in an effort to help them understand that there is no one shape, colour, or size that is best. They are all beautiful and worth celebrating.
How has breast health, or breast health  touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
We regularly support and attend the events of ReThink Breast Cancer. And we have served on the board of the Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN) where we explored issues related to breast cancer prevention and combating the hypocrisy of many of the pink ribbon campaigns.
Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:


Read our past #boobyluv interviews:

Jackie Bell

Dr. Shaelyn Osborn

Josh Gitalis

Dr. Karen Beal

Dr. Véronique Desaulniers

Nadine Artemis

Meghan Telpner

Dr. Maureen Borghoff

Join us here in the coming weeks for more #boobyluv interviews.

I’m learning how to release the fear and love my breasts with the #boobyluv interview series.


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