Anni Puolakka @ No Moon, New York
In suckling, the nipple is the apparatus.
Consider the nipple as a literal and metaphorical interface between beings; a sensitive joint.
When my nipple has been petted, licked, sucked or bitten by another being I have experienced and observed it as an interface that produces different sensations for both parties. It is an intimate junction and a charged connecting-point. It can function as an opening out onto the other, an offering that has potential to lead into a joint satisfaction when desires meet. What seems crucial for an ethics of suckling, however, is that attention is paid to the singular experiences of the fleshy beings that the nipple connects. This is violently missing in the animal-industrial complex where bio-productivity, not the ability to experience the complex pleasures of having a body, is the core reason for the bovine wet nurses to exist.
Stretching it even further: is it not possible to consider any situation of exchange in our lives as a situation of suckling?
In these situations one’s mission would be to not to suck the other – the cow, the lover, the text, the earth, the painting – dry or too hard. Or, if the roles change, not to allow oneself to be exhausted. The name of the game would be to stay alert to the responses, whether pleasurable or painful, of the other and oneself as nourishing energy flows in between beings and things.