I hope she decides not to.
Outline the utility and mechanisms for capturing the utility of breast implants. Then remove breast implants from the equation and see if you can still capture some of the utility of breast implants by doing other things with a lower cost.

The wife of the ex-mayor of San Diego recently tripped and fell on a sidewalk which burst her breast implants. We call those "California airbags."

She and her husband are suing the city, of course.
Also, LW, you don't say how old you are. Our bodies change a LOT over our lives. Childbearing, weight gain, medicine changes, etc etc can all lead to small breasts turning larger on their own.
Objection to the links to that "article" in the Huffington Post, which is an obvious "I hate breast implants" rant. You can tell because the author uses phrases like "All implants will eventually break" (not true) and alleges things like having breast implants almost certainly prevents breast feeding (also not true). Also, article 6 years old.

A key part of risk is likelihood the event happens, and while the risks listed are actual risks, the ODDS someone encounters those effects are small to nearly non-existent. Are there risks? Yes, but let's keep them in perspective instead of helping someone totally blow them out of proportion because they're bent on controlling what other women do with their bodies.

Republican ex-mayor?
There was an article in the NY Times not long ago about women getting reconstructive surgery after having mastectomies: one of the things they were not always warned about was the fact that the claim "they will feel just like the real thing" meant they will feel like the real thing to other people. Often the women had no sensation in their new boobs, which occasionally led to things like burns and getting slammed in car doors (I hope I'm exaggerating). I know implants are not the same as reconstruction, but maybe LW should find out what the risk is and factor it into her decision.
I think the biggest question in love and sex is probably, 'who do I want to be with?' Or, if I don't know the person(s) yet, 'what kind of a person do I want to be with'? But sometimes the question, 'who do I want to be?', comes up as well.

If the LW wants to be a person with bigger breasts, I think she should investigate, sure, but feel able to go ahead and do so. To 'be that person'. But it may be like transitioning. That is, she may get the rack, but not feel like she's the person with the rack. She may still feel herself; her breasts could psychologically feel alien or artificial, and of course their sensation (auto-sensation) could be nothing like that of natural breasts.

As to the politics of conforming to a norm of many (or most) straight guys liking big tits ... well, it's hard to separate that and questions of self-esteem; and the LW's already said that she wants a chest to feel better in herself. As a mostly gay, heavily female-identified or genderqueer (AMAB) guy, almost the only physical attraction I have to women turns on breasts. Deplorable? Scopically objectifying? Kind-of femme-y in itself? I've quit thinking about this. I have an interest or investment in breasts beyond the politics.
Thought I'd see a link to Bill Pulman talking Bridget Fonda out of implants from Singles by now.
To add another perspective, I got one implant (to balance asymmetric development) almost ten years ago. I would never have considered myself "someone who got was ok with cosmetic surgery" before that, but I don't regret it at all. My gyno at the time said something that helped me make the decision-- she had gotten a nose job and said that before she got it, she thought about her nose all the time, so she changed it, and then she could just stop thinking about it. That's how I ended up feeling about it too.

As far as other concerns go, saline may not "feel as real" as silicone, but it's been my experience that men don't actually notice the difference in the moment, even when there's a bio-boob literally next to it for comparison. And it means that leaks aren't dangerous. Safety concerns will depend a lot on what you get done, and by who. This isn't something you want to bargain-hunt on. Good luck with the decision, and if you decide to go through with it!
Just keep them small. B cups, max.
Yesterday's letters were from two women, one who identifies as straight although she enjoys same-sex D/s play, and the other who identifies as lesbian although she had a new found desire for cock. In both cases, these women expressed concerns about identifying as bisexual. The straight-identified woman worried that identifying as bisexual would somehow dilute that label for "real" bisexuals, while lesbian-identified women worried about letting down people who knew her as a lesbian.

Today's letter writer seems to want breast augmentation surgery, but is worried about letting same breast women down or other feminists with whom she shares a certain outlook about cosmetic surgery.

I think the commonality in these cases is that all these women seemed to know what they wanted, but felt that by doing what they knew they wanted they would be letting other people down. When it comes to such personal things, you want what you want, and you really can't be guided by the sense that someone else is counting on you to be something that you don't want to be.
Unfortunately LW didn’t tell us if her small breasts are proportional to her body.
Regardless, she can try using different size breast forms on occasion and see how she feels about the whole thing.

Breasts are an important issue for me while en femme. As a wanna be I have different sizes myself and was recently told by couple thoughtful women that the larger one doesn’t match my relatively small frame.
The smaller pair I used the next time got a much better review.

Contradicting myself, or not, I’m not in favor of real ones being augmented. I very much rather the natural look on those who are lucky enough to own a legit set, whatever size they may be. The one augmented pair I got to handle didn’t feel very appealing.
Dear Friend
The MAIN concern you should check out is whether breast surgery will render you unable to actually feel sexual pleasure (or any other sensation) from your breasts, like #7 said. What a shame if they made him feel great but made you feel... nothing.
CMD @13, I agree with everything you said. I hope LW takes your perspective to heart.

LW, I have known natural B-cups and even a few C-cups who also "disappear" when they lie on their backs. It's visually charming, and it doesn't detract at all from your partner's enjoyment of either your breasts, or the rest of your bodacious self. Same deal when you are on top, dangling your droopy (positive spin: cute, lively) little triangles in their face. Do you seriously believe that your partner will have a diminished overall sexual experience because of your small breasts?

Dan's right that some men are totally fixated on huge, smother-worthy boobs. But I think you are likely to turn off more men by sporting artificial watermelons, than you will with your natural tangerines. Save your cosmetic surgery money for something more worthwhile, like a luxury getaway with a guy who loves you just the way you are.
One thing I hope she explores while making her decision is whether she is looking for this change to "fix" her.

This is something that happens sometimes to people who have lost a lot of weight - for so long, they've been blaming everything they dislike about their lives on their weight. It's why they haven't got true love, a better job, etc etc. Then they lose the weight, and discover that they're still the person they were before, just skinnier.

I didn't really see this in the letter, but I'd think it would be something worth thinking about, or talking through with a friend or therapist. It's OK to want big boobs, and to get them if you want them, but unrealistic to think they will actually change anything fundamental about you.
Gotta say, it's interesting to me to see this from the other side than I'm usually talking about.

Personally, I had average sized breasts when I was a young woman (now I'm old and fat, with big saggy fat-old-lady boobs) but I come from a family of busty women, and married into such a family, too. Most of the boob conversations I've had in my life centre on how uncomfortable it is to have big boobs, how hard to find good bras, how hard to do vigorous exercise, and whether a reduction is a good idea. A little bit of "I'm so sexy" and a whole lot of backache and sore shoulders.
@13. CMD. Likewise with me and breasts when en femme. Actually I want full breasts to the extent I'm willing to appear as something of a travesty or intermediate form. (This is when I'm appearing as a woman in a particular / safe space, not at work or in ordinary mixed company). But I'm tall enough to be able to carry off a number of female body-shapes. It's not just breasts, or can't be in isolation--the whole shape of top, waist, hips and ass, all easily sculpted, must make sense.
Oh honey. My life. I'm a AA-cup, and while I made the conscious decision to accept myself as is (for many of the same reasons you did), I still resent the universe for depriving me of "normal" sized boobs. You don't say how old you are, but I'm in my mid 40s and SO happy I decided not to get a boob job, even with the inconvenience of being unable to find bras/bathing suits/etc in my size, and my envy of nice cleavage. What I realised was that what I want is (slightly, as in B cup) larger breasts -- but implants are not breasts. What I want is not possible for me to have. Just like buying 6" heels will not make me actually six feet tall. I concluded -- and many agree -- that real breasts, whatever the size, are better than fake breasts. Work out and get fit and get an (otherwise) amazing body, and trust me, you'll be less and less self-conscious as you get older. Especially if your breasts are at all sensitive. It's not worth the trade-off. Hugs from the itty bitty titty committee!
People who have emotional/self-esteem problems often choose to "root" them all in what they see as a physical flaw as a defense mechanism (mostly seen with some men's obsession with their penises, but women and their breasts are obviously not immune). It is easier to say "my small bits make me feel sad" than say "I am suffering through depression" for example.

I found myself thinking this throughout the letter, but when she mentioned the "prefer to have sex drunk part" the alarm bells started ringing. That is classic addict/depression behavior.

Just as an observation, I would suggest that the breasts are not the problem, and there is something deeper here. As such, surgery is not likely to make a difference.
It's hard for me to boost someone's self-esteem via an anonymous comment but for what it's worth, I've slept with women who were well endowed and women who were completely flat-chested. Breast size made zero difference. The most attractive ladies, and the best sex was universally with the ones who were totally in to it, enjoying themselves and letting me know how much they loved fucking. As I've said before, I prefer small breasts, and I can't be the only guy who does. So, SMALL, be enthusiastic and you and your "little droopy triangles" would be exactly the kind of woman I would desire. You'd turn me on regardless of what's under your blouse. So, do whatever you have to do to get comfortable with your body as it is. Read my letter a hundred times. Seek counseling if it will help. Having surgery that would decrease the sensation in your nipples would not only rob you of pleasure, but any understanding partner as well.
Does she plan to have a child someday? Pre-baby my tits were like mosquito bites. Once pregnant and then nursing they were like torpedos. They eventually shrank but not back to their original tiny size.
I love small boobs (I'm a straight guy), don't do it!
I too love small boobs. And find artificial ones creepy.
If you want bigger tits, go for it. They look great!
Here's a thing that is total BS:

"Authentic" is better than "Plastic". C'mon, we're Americans. We can't even talk to each other on the phone, let alone face-to-face. Obsession with authenticity is a Gen-X holdover and was basically just a tool to bully poor people in the late 80s who still ate TV dinners when the organic craze started (which of course was priced to appeal to middle and upper class white people with the knowledge the poor people couldn't join them - side note: this line of thinking is going strong today)

There's also a line of thinking that having fake boobs is succumbing to the patriarchy; basically doing anything that men like is viewed this way nowadays (read the infamous "Cool Girl" piece). Reality: The antidote to the patriarchy is making decisions without considering how people will react.

There's a reason not to get a boob job, of course - they're expensive, they might not solve the problem you'd like them to solve, and surgery is never 0-risk. But don't let anyone shame you out of it. Bullies are everywhere.
Sportlandia @26: Not everyone reading/writing to SL is an American.

And as for anti-boob job advice being "shaming": In fact, "shaming" is the reason she wants a boob job in the first place. Constant societal messages that small is inadequate. We're advising her to not give into the shaming, to prioritise her own pleasure over others' preferences. Which, as these comments show, are far from universal anyway.
Sportlandia @26: "...Obsession with authenticity is a Gen-X holdover...

What?! That's the kind of thinking that has stuck us with a baldfaced, sociopathic liar in the White House. "Yes, fuck truth and authenticity!" The desire for real over artificial runs across any generational lines, (although the hippies have a patent on it). I think it's a sad commentary on the general state of things that there actually are people out there who prefer Astroturf to real grass, beverages loaded with artificial sweeteners to fruit juice, mass-produced to hand-crafted, flourescent to candlelight and any kind of cancer-causing, (…) unnaturally globular, desensitized tits to the real deal, no matter what their size or shape.
DonnyK @28 for the win!
Theodore @20: And some women really do like themselves just fine, except for their tiny breasts. It's called a "hang-up." This is different from depression.
SMALL: I'm guessing you have sex with men, based on your description of what your breasts do during sex, right?
Has it occurred to you that maybe the men don't notice because they're worried what you think of their hairy butts or lack of a six-pack? (And you don't care, because you like them, and it feels good, right?)
Enjoy sex. Bodies are fun. They don't have to be "perfect." The less self-conscious you are about yours, the better a lover you'll be. Fact.
"They disappear when I’m underneath someone"

That's what breasts are supposed to do regardless of natural size, not stick upright like a hoverboard, jabbing someone in the nose :(

And to "beauty", well beyond authenticity is in the eye of the beholder. There will certainly be trade-offs if she's doing this to appeal to others.

@18: I mean, there's certainly nothing wrong with the LW using a good set of chicken cutlets outside of coitus. I still don't get the anti-gravity boobs as a feature-not-bug during though.
I read LW as wanting to be fawned over, to feel desired. The way she writes about wanting her partners to turn speechless after she takes her top off makes me think she might be putting all the weight on the size of her boobs and could potentially be disappointed if she gets them done and doesn't get the response she wants to see.
@27 i'd probably posit that being shamed twice (both for your lack of boobs and for wanting a boob job) is generally worse than being shamed once :P. And yes, of course people like breasts of all sizes (i'm a small-chest fan myself). I generally think that one should only get a boob job as an investment (ie, you're an entertainer of some kind)

@28 fair, that it being a boomer thing. As a gen-x'er myself i'm more familiar with the "american culture is artificial, i can only experience authentic culture by traveling to third world countries" and such. But I stand by my point that it's primary function is as a class signalling device. And generally speaking, we ended up with Trump because exurban white people felt so completely disrespected by the urban left that they'd vote in Hitler just to spite them even if it were bad for them. I'm an urban lefty person who still enjoys some Burger King and people the Bay Area give me all types of shit for it, like it isn't tasty, inexpensive food that's only marginally worse than their fucking ramen burger or whatever it is they're eating these days. But middle/upper class white people always have to stay one step ahead.
Sportlandia @34: I think that breast enlargements should be reserved for trans women and breast cancer survivors. I think we know what kind of entertainer you mean by "of some kind." ;) Burlesque performers, for instance, need breasts that move.
BDF @35, unfortunately breast augmentation has become a modern-day necessity for much wider range of "entertainers" than the relatively small number of burlesque performers out there. Actresses, models, TV reporters and weather forecasters, basically anyone with female parts who relies on visual favorability ratings to maintain their livelihood, all get caught up in the same net. Most size 0-4 women (the vast mass market preference) are not natural C-D cups, and since Barbie still represents the ideal female body to most visual consumers of all genders, surgery must often provide what nature does not. IF you want to stay competitive or maybe even gain an edge within your chosen career field, that is. But of course it's entirely "optional."
@30: I am obviously not saying that not liking a part of your body is depression, which is made very clear by my comment, which is not even trying to claim this is even a strictly female issue.

As I said originally, centering the emotional as something physical is a common defense mechanism for people who are struggling with deeper issues.

Besides, this is beyond not being happy with part of your body. She said she prefers being drunk just to be naked in front of someone. That signals to me that the issue is bigger than "I don't like my breasts."

Many people dislike parts of their bodies, but most do not feel the need to get surgery, write a sex columnist for permission to do so, and require drugs to be comfortable with sexual contact.
Ah dear LW the grass is always greener isn't it? I just want to mention some of the pitfalls of large breasts so you can perhaps appreciate your smaller ones:

1. No matter how glorious you think big tits appear in clothes - they generally sag quite a bit even in your youth. And sitting there topless w/ large sagging breasts exposed has never made me feel particularly sexy. I usually hold them up with my hands or arms. Also, when bouncing on top of someone topless, the gravitational pull and jostling is annoying AF. They must be held by me or the other person.
2. Large breasts don't age well. If I thought they were saggy in my 20-30s, I'm gonna really be screwed in the next ten years when gravity sets in further. Whereas small breasts tend to age quite well.
3. Women with large natural breasts cannot wear backless anything or anything with a plunging back and that sucks just as much as not filling out a top.
4. When large breasts hang down, they look ridiculous as well. Droopy triangles? How about sock filled with pudding? Is that better? Methinks not.
5. When a large breasted woman is supine, her tits fall to either side and there is a vast space of flatness in between - gravity again, consarn it.
6. Big tits are fetishized to the point where partners barely touch other parts of my body -- please for the love of god won't you touch my back, legs, neck, or arms!! please!

Just some things to consider from the other side. If you do get them done, vet your plastic surgeon well. Scarring and nipple placement can certainly mar an augmentation.
@33: I also wonder about her response to the persons she's self-selecting for.

I don't know, I have a few friends with "upgrades" but why she's getting them, who for, and what she hopes to achieve is definitely the important bit.

@34: We didn't end up with Trump because of the "urban left". We ended up with Trump because rural whites are racist shitheads, less people voted than Obama, and Comey moved to shut Hillary's campaign down.

This Berniebro shit is ungrounded in fact.
A comedian (I can't remember her name) made a comment to the effect that breasts are for boys while men prefer a nice ass. I tend to agree with her. Regularly doing squats has to be cheaper, healthier, and simpler than elective surgery. I can think of several women who's posteriors have inspired great admiration from me (silently, without staring). I can't name a single woman I know whose breasts are amazing. I'm sure there are several, it just doesn't stick in my mind.

That said, my gf has a bit of a flat ass and large breasts and the sex is amazing, but that's more to do with us being very into each other and being open about what we want than it has to do with our particular bodies. For my part, I get these bizarre lumps called lipomas that I personally hate but she seems fine with and I refuse to get them surgically removed because I'm terrified to find out what about myself I'll start disliking instead. Do what you want, but don't believe for a second that your insecurities begin and end with your breasts.
File this one squarely in the Shoulda Known Better Dept: I made the mistake of clicking on the "worse" link in Dan's response to LW: " a tattoo, a gigantic ear gauge, a cock piercing or WORSE..." If you are into or curious about body art and modification, you may find it interesting and possibly even worth considering for yourself. But if you are medically squeamish, take my hard-earned advice and do not go there.
Well, my boobs are fairly big, and nobody's ever been speechless with admiration.
Another point for SMALL: If she's self-conscious about small boobs, how does she know she won't be as, or even more, self-conscious about fake boobs? That's another reason I decided against getting implants. At least currently, no one will be unpleasantly surprised by "the reveal."
I have small breasts and I am fine with them- though I wasn't when I was younger because I felt, overall, too masculine. Because along with small breasts I have a lot of thick black body hair. I spent my 20's not shaving (patriarchy!) and hiding the hair away because I didn't want anyone to judge me for it. Then I hit 30, got even hairier, and too lazy to shave I got extensive laser hair treatment. I still have body hair (I actually like body hair) but am hairy like one of those smug naturally hairless women who prance around being all enlightened by their small tufts of underarm hair instead of one of those women who have to constantly check the mirror to see if she managed to pluck the four thick black hairs between her breasts and oh my god will my shirt ride up when I lift my arms and show everyone my exuberant happy trail? Which is to say, the older and more comfortable I get in myself the more I feel able to look like I want to look. I wear makeup when I feel like it, shave when I feel like it, go out with unwashed hair in my pajamas to the store when i feel like it and it feels so much more radical than being a good hippy ever felt. I would never get breast enlargement because the benefits don't outweigh the risks to me and I like not having to wear a bra. I agree that the letter writer should be aware that her fixation on her breast size could be a proxy for other problems but at some point it is your body. Do your homework, like Dan suggested, talk it out with therapists, big breasted women, and women who have had it done themselves. But then, be free!
Boggle @44 wins the thread!
Another letter that I completely identify with! Just two days ago I was talking to somebody about why I haven't gotten implants. I'm in my mid-30s and still sad and self conscious about my AAA breasts. I deal with it and interact with the world confidently because there's not another option, since I've ruled out implants. Everybody talking about the downsides of large breasts is kinda missing the point, unless she's being loose with her definitions of "really small" and "miniscule". She didn't say anything about wanting large breasts, just less small. My fantasy implants would bring me to a nice full A.
Oh hey look, an online order of bras just arrived at my door, good timing! Also, thinking back to the micropenis letter a couple weeks ago: I wonder if anybody ever thought that I was *unaware* that I have microbreasts because I did not apologize or act embarrassed or do whatever it is that letter writer expected him to do.
If it's what YOU want, go for it. After sitting with it for while, and discussing it with whoever would be insightful - that might be a partner, best friend or professional counselor.

Like @21, @23 and @24, my slight preference is for small to medium-sized breasts on my partner. In our culture, men who prefer large breasts are much more public about that so it's easy to think it's a majority view. My much stronger preference is that her breasts are responsive to my touch, kisses, licks, etc.

Would there be value in doing a trial run? Akin to transpeople who transition to a new public persona before undergoing surgery? Get a really good padded bra and some more form-fitting clothing. You'll likely get more attention on the street but will it be a net positive for you? If you get augmentation, everyone in your family, at work, and your neighbors is going to notice eventually. But a trial run could be done in another city and you could even test drive different sizes.
If you want boobs, get boobs! I say this as a busty women that has always felt like a freak for the size of my chest. Lots of people buy clothes and other things to accentuate their body. Some of them even buy $70k cars to feel nice about themselves. If it helps you feel better then it helps you feel better, and you don't need other people in your business approving or disapproving you more than they already are.

While Dan's response was... somewhat encouraging...? it also seemed more discouraging through the "RISKS SO MANY RISKS" section.
I feel sad for the LW when she reveals that she really prefers to have sex only when she's drunk. If that's the case, then how can she even ascertain what men think of her body. And they're still having sex with her when she's taken her clothes off. So her lack of boobs isn't turning them off.

Even though it's her body and she's free to do with it what she wants, risks and all, I'd hope she would get to the point where she can have sex without being drunk - probably with the help of therapy. I'm also in the camp of being wary of implants that might interfere with sensitivity and sexual responsiveness.

I do have one suggestion that nobody else has mentioned. Has LW ever visited a sex store selling kinky apparel? She might find some bras with cut-out nipples and wild straps that will offer her extra support of the breasts no matter what position she's in. There is NO hard rule that she must be naked when having sex and she might just find men reacting to her in a more visceral fashion. And I'd hope she'd be able to enjoy sex for its own sake rather than feeling deprived.
You have a fan club, no matter what size breasts you have. No matter what other characteristics you have, in fact. And if you change the size of your breasts, the fan club will change too, as men or women who like your new look join and men or women who liked your old look leave.

I've known a number of men and women who didn't like their looks for one reason or another and who blocked out the people who found them attractive, because they thought it wasn't possible. Or they assumed unpleasant motivations in their fans, because they couldn't believe that the fans could actually desire them. This was not a fulfilling life strategy.

You will eventually have to accept that you are attractive to a lot of people, whoever you are. Quite surprising people, in fact, have enthusiastic admirers. The best response to admirers is not to say "Oh, no, you can't mean that", but to say "why, thank you.".
I'm in the tiny boob club, too. Over my 20s I gained a bunch of weight and one of the only things I liked it about it was that my boobs were actually a solid full A-B cup. I'm now 31 and have lost the weight, and now my boobs are tiny again but with more stretch marks. I'm mostly ok with my boobs, but finding bras is frustrating. I've pretty much given up on finding a "normal" bra that fits me, because anything that actually fits my boobs is too small in the ribcage and digs in. Been thinking about trying that thirdlove site. I mostly wear sports bras and recently bought a couple of "bralettes" from VS that are cute and have all the support I need (though I'm actually a medium, which makes me think these were made for preteens or something).
@52 Calico Cat: ThirdLove has a few AA options, but just 34 band size. Aerie and Victoria's secret have a couple band size options with AA, but they're still small too. There are specialty sites out there with AAA cups and/or AA-A and larger band sizes, but I haven't yet brought myself to pay $85+ for a bra.
@53 Ankylosaurus I seem to need at least a 36, 34s are just too tight. But since the cup size increases proportionally and I don't meet their magic ratio, the smallest cup size I've found in a 36 has been consistently much too large. A 32 AA or A cup on a 36 band might work. A few years ago VS had some sports bras in their "Pink Yoga" line that they don't make anymore, and I still wear some even though they're really old and ratty because I haven't found anything I like as much.
ECarpenter @51
The best response to admirers is not to say "Oh, no, you can't mean that", but to say "why, thank you.".

Ankylosaurus @46: Right on. Talk about the problems with big boobs doesn't reassure me because I don't want BIG boobs, I just want boobs in the normal size range. Also, women who complain about their big-boobs problems only make me angrier at the fundamental injustice of breast tissue distribution. My larger friends only get larger, and hate it, when WTF universe, couldn't you have given that extra boobage to me if there was extra boobage available!?

Ankylosaurus @47 / Calico @52: I normally order from They carry up to size 38 band sizes, and they are pretty cheap! (One bonus: less material = cheaper bras.)
Thank the gods for the internet. Before online ordering I'd have to spend days trawling the department stores, searching for A-cup demi bras that ran small. There is no equivalent word in the English language for "emasculating," but there should be.

Watchers @49: Of course Dan's response talked about the risks! It would have been irresponsible not to have done. You grew big breasts naturally, no risks involved. Not the LW's situation.

ECarpenter @51: Yup, that was me. Anyone who said they liked my boobs must have been lying to make me feel better. (I still suspect them of lying until I see evidence that they find other small-busted women attractive.)
Correction! Little Women carry band sizes up to 40.
Helenka @50: Sorry, but sex stores selling kinky apparel do not cater for very small bra sizes.
@32. Undead Ayn. You're raising another question: Why hasn't the LW spoken about wearing fake tits / bodyforms / enhancements in her ordinary life? One possibility is that she's tried and found them, for whatever reason, uncomfortable. Or she does already and feels too embarrassed to say, or is tired of all the faff. But it may also be that she holds implicitly to an ideal of the 'natural' body: natural is better than post-surgery is better than falsies.

I don't think she has to feel this way. 'Natural' is better' can be a punitive ideology, pretty much as Sportlandia describes; and it needn't compromise her feminism to bulk up with cutlets.

Whether I'd sport airbags during sex would depend on the preference of the person fucking me. In some way, I'd feel, in an offpiste encounter, that someone wanting breasts and an asshole (and presumably a penis) was after something I wasn't--and actually, to my mind, wanted someone surer of their sexual and gender identity than me. There's some loss of sensation but this isn't consistent. As someone having straight sex with women (let's put that kink last), yes, there's a difference in pressure, resistance and elasticity in a full, fatty boob and a smaller breast. This affects my oral and tactile, not just visual pleasure.
I've had the same thoughts, exactly, as LWs about my own 36 "barely B" cups. What ultimately prevented me from getting implants a few years ago (after having gotten a consultation with a surgeon) was a conversation with friend of mine who is an Ob/Gyn. She has to do breast exams daily as part of her job, and she says that every single person who has implants says to her "I have implants" and she thinks to herself "no shit!" She has seen thousands of implants and NONE have EVER "fooled" her. They ALL look fake, and 90% of them look terrible (can see the ridges in the implant, etc.). She literally begged me not to do it. If you get them, they will probably look terrible (at least bare), lessen your sensation, and most importantly make you the kind of woman who appears to be so insecure that she needed to have breast implants to feel better about herself (whether that is true or not). I'm SO GLAD I never got them, and while my breasts aren't great, its never prevented me from anything (or, if it has, no one has said that was the reason and if it was, good riddance). If you could have big real ones that would be one thing, but fake ones are a poor substitute that may make people assume things about you that aren't true (insecure, low self-esteem, etc.).
Harriet @59: My guess as to why SMALL hasn't worn falsies is that cis women are not given licence to "false advertise" the way that people in AMAB bodies are. When I take off my top, the last thing I want my partner to feel is disappointment. SMALL already believes her partners are disappointed by her small breasts; at least now, she's not going to bed with men who expect larger ones.

Why do they call it a Wonderbra? Because when I take it off, you Wonder where my tits went. Boom!
@61: It is interesting all those options fit into the "natural" and "artificial" dichotomy.

A docuhenozzle who gets angry that they were "deceived" by a bra and inserts feels no such disgust from obvious body mods, the faker the better to many (as the boosted income from sex workers would attest.)
It's funny to see all the commenters sharing their boob size preferences here. No one else's preference really seems relevant to the LW's issue. She wants bigger boobs but feels like a traitor to her kind -- and a "shallow" lady -- for seriously considering implants. I think she's being too hard on herself. Whether or not we resort to surgery, we all alter our appearances in a number of ways both to better suit ourselves and to enhance our sex appeal. What makes someone who gets breast implants more superficial than someone who wears full makeup every day or habitually dyes their hair? Is all the plucking and waxing and shaving women are expected to do over the course of our lives a less shallow endeavor than cosmetic surgery? It's definitely a fine line. LW should do what makes her feel best in her own body. Sound familiar?
Would a better analogy would be other surgical body modifications, nosejob etc?

Agreed that tone is a touchy thing here, complaints about "artificial" or fake arent the best way to describe any concern over the degree of invasiveness.
@ BiDan. On a roll with the BOOMs!

Surely--there are days when the LW knows that she's not going to come home with some strange catch for sex? That she'll be working quite hard, popping to the supermarket if she can fit it in and getting back shattered? Or she is somewhere where people don't know her--on a work trip or taking time out, on what the Brits call a 'city break'? These are plausibly times to experiment.

I used to wear a false dong to dates in dark bars. This is with men. Maybe this was only a confidence trick I was playing on myself.
BDF @56: Thanks for pointing me to Little Women! I hadn't heard of it before, probably because it's UK based and I'm in the US. Their 36AA might fit me. I'd prefer not to have to deal with international shipping/returns if it doesn't fit but it's definitely worth looking into because I haven't seen a company in the US with that range of sizes (especially ones that are actually cute and not too expensive).
The letter writer should look into breast fat transfer. I had it done about four months ago and while results definite vary, the thing I love is I'm still all me - no foreign matter at all. It's not for women looking to go from AA to DD but it's very very worth researching.
RE: conversation about proportion...

It's true that people sometimes go top heavy and it doesn't look natural. But nature gives a lot of women this situation in reverse: butt/hips bigger than boobs. We call it pear shaped, and as the owner of that frame myself, I can attest that it's not one of the more attractive proportions to have. Even though my frame is petite and athletic, all it takes is an ill-fitting or baggy outfit for folks to assume that I've put on tons of weight. Now, no one ever says "hey you look fat" of course, but plenty of people will tell me (when I'm dressed in clothes that fit nicely), "oh you've lost so much weight since I last saw you" which is untrue. I've been the same size for a couple of decades, and I've never been overweight. What they are responding to is the way that smallish breasts combined with largish hips will make a gal look bigger than she really is if she wears any clothing or style not designed for her pear shape. It's a drag, and my response has been to generally not think about it as much as possible. But sure, I wish my boobs were bigger- there would be a wider array of clothing for me and the top to balance out the bottom. I can't do anything about the width of my hips, so some bigger boobs would certainly help. On the other hand, I hate pain, I hate doctors, I hate insurance paperwork, and I love to spend money on vacations, so I've certainly never considered plastic surgery for even a second, but I have no judgement on women who do. The scrutiny is real, and the confidence from rocking a really sexy look (no matter how problematic it is if you overthink it) is a sort of high. I prefer to get that when I need it by having a few outfits that flatter my body, and the rest of the time, I just try my best to not think too much about appearances.
Guess who has more thoughts on this subject: that's right it's me!

LW feeling like she would be letting down other small-breasters by getting implants is understandable and it seems like some commenters are dismissing it as ridiculous. I was really sad when Kate Hudson got implants -- she was the only person I could think of with a chest in the same general ballpark as me at all, and also she was hot! And then she changed and I felt bad. But that was my problem, not Kate Hudson's, and she owed me/us nothing.

@BiDanFan @Calico Cat: I'm really excited about the options on that site, AAA and AA in sexy styles! Insert Bender "shut up and take my money" gif!

@64 undead: I disagree that a nosejob is good analogy because breasts provide enjoyment in touching for the breast-owner and the breast-toucher, and I imagine it's a small minority of people who get a lot of sexual pleasure from nose touching. Maybe something like liposuction or lip injections or butt implants would be more similar? Even then, those lack the same degree of gendered and sexual connotations.
Emma @68: That's funny; evo psych tells us that pear shaped is the most attractive shape, because it showcases your ability to bear children. And I beg to differ on one point: If your boobs were as wide as your hips, you'd appear even fatter than you currently do in your unflattering guise. I'm also pear shaped, in that my hips are wider than my chest; for me, that just means my hips are indeed in the normal size range. And I'm seen as much slimmer than I actually am, due to the lack of fatty deposits on my chest. (This is another advantage I'd point out to SMALL: flat chests give the illusion of thinness.)

Ankyl @69 and Calico: You're welcome for the bra recommendation! Warning, the Anny range runs large, as I recently discovered to my dismay.

I agree with Undead that a nose job is a better analogy for a boob job than Amanda's examples, because wearing makeup and dyeing one's hair are superficial modifications with zero risk to one's health, unlike surgery.

I would recommend Keira Knightley as your new flat-chested sexy icon. No boobs, but she's had Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom fighting over her for several feature-length films now. And there's the ever gorgeous Kate Moss, whose Calvin Klein adverts in the early 90s singlehandedly trebled my self-esteem.

And congrats on the magic number!
Another idea I didn't see mentioned. If OP is considering altering her body anyway, she can go on hormones to start lactating. Every lactating woman I know has had her breasts temporarily grow, and several of them kept a larger breast size when they stopped. Way less risky than surgery. Some women enjoy sex play and seek relationships with grown men who will feed from them. Obviously that's not for everybody, but you can find posts about it on craigslist in big cities sometimes.
@69: "disagree that a nosejob is good analogy because breasts provide enjoyment in touching for the breast-owner and the breast-toucher"

Sure the latter, but to the former, I don't really have that conversation with friends who have had that done but I commonly hear of it drastically reducing sensitivity in the region, still for the visual benefit in others (and I suppose any psychological benefits based on that perception.)

And back to the touch of others, isn't that also potentially affected by the surgery?

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs.
I think the tone would be different here if she was more convinced and less conflicted about her decision.
@72: I agree with you. I was thinking of effects on touch and physical sensation as being *negatives* of breast implants rather than positive, which isn't the case for most people choosing rhinoplasty. I must not have read how the analogy was being used. I meant that cosmetic plastic surgery on a nose seems like a different type of thing to me than cosmetic plastic surgery on breasts, and I have different responses to which one seems more invasive. Also, I realized I typically don't say "fake breasts" in general, I wonder if that's because I unconsciously think artificial is inherently worse than natural and want to avoid it, or if it's only because I believe a person's body is real whether or not there are implants inside
EmmaLiz @68: I'm pear-shaped too, and I think that's probably my biggest issue with my body overall... not the tiny boobs themselves but that they don't look "balanced" with my bottom half. That, and how clothes tend to be cut, even in the petite section. Recently I had a job interview so I dressed up more than I usually do (my current job is casual). I had to buy some new clothes since I hadn't kept any of the pre-weight gain and loss stuff, and while I found a white blouse and jacket that mostly fit/are flattering, anything that fits in the shoulders and arms tends to have a lot of empty, baggy space that it assumes will be filled by boobs. I don't think anyone noticed but it made me more self-conscious than I normally am.
@74: Always important to keep opinions of the procedure separate from value judgements of the person separate as well.
BDF I think there was a time when that was true (and since there is still a huge variety in what people find attractive) but I don't think people necessarily equate for physical childbearing abilities with sexiness anymore or else thinness wouldn't be in. In any case, if my disproportionate shape did not cause me to look bigger than I am when I'm wearing certain styles, then people wouldn't fairly regularly tell me how much weight I've lost when I'm wearing better fitting styles. I must've looked heavier to them to appear now that I'm thinner when my weight has not fluctuated at all. Maybe pear shaped is the wrong description here, but I feel like my body is of two different women. Like you took a bigger lady and a smaller lady and cut them both in half at the waist. Then glued the small lady's top half to the bigger lady's bottom half, ha ha. Somewhere, there's probably a large breasted gal walking around on very small hips and thighs and butt looking like she's about to topple over. Maybe one day we'll meet.

Calico Cat Yes I have that problem with dresses. If they make my butt look good, they usually leave a lot of space for where a full bosom would be. Back when I used to dress up more, I had a padded push up bra for this reason- not because I wanted to give the impression that my boobs were bigger than they are, but just because it was the only way to get certain clothes to fit. With most of these things, probably no one else notices. It's our own self-consciousness for sure.
I too experience baggy-up-top shirts and dresses, and I too sometimes wear slightly padded bras to fill the gaps. Anything cut for a woman shape is the wrong shape for me.
I've felt resentful of padded bras ever since my mom made me wear one to a wedding as a teenager because I couldn't fill out a single dress. Maybe she was right....
It was those water inserts she made me wear, not a padded bra specifically. At least they had sparkles! But I felt like she was saying my boobs were inadequate. I thought the dress I wore looked okay on me without them.
Calico @79: Ugh, body shaming by your own mother. You didn't need bigger boobs, just a different dress. And maybe a different mother. *hugs*
My younger sister, who's a similar shape to me, was determined to wear her mother-in-law's wedding dress, despite needing a farm's worth of chicken fillets to fill it. Maybe there's just something about boobs and weddings. (My lie-of-choice with formal wear was ruffles, not that they fooled anybody.)
The LW's boobs sound hot.

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