In China, breast milk is considered to be a luxury with healing properties. While some may find the idea of drinking breast milk disgusting as adults, the milk trade is booming in China and 15 were arrested on Monday in connection to a prostitution ring that provided customers both milk and sex.

Vice reports that a "TaskRabbit-like" service was putting interested customers who could imbibe milk either directly from the source or through a pump if "embarrassed" in touch with women who were willing to part with their milk as well as their sexual services. The sexual services, which not all women were willing to provide, were the most likely guarantee of regular work.

Advertisement

Women who were on the site—similar versions of which exist in the U.S.—were said to be feeding their babies less or not feeding them breast milk at all (although there's no specification whether the babies were given formula or starved) and also possibly raising the risk of disease to their infants by allowing strange men to suckle at their breasts, something that, according to Vice, adults just aren't good at because it's not just sucking, it's suckling. (Will take their word for it as this has never been something I've been interested in trying)

[Wendy] Haldeman pointed out that there's a slight disease risk if the circumstances are just right: "If these men were breastfeeding, the mother had an open wound on her nipple, [and] the man carried blood-born pathogens, I guess it is conceivable the mom could contract a disease and then transfer to her baby." She also mentioned that "if the man had active hepatic lesions in his mouth, [that] could be a concern."

It's not clear whether the arrests were made due to the fact that prostitution is illegal or because, as The International Business Times points out, it's a symbol of "the moral degradation of China's rich." The problem is likely not even that of the fetishization, Mike Pearl writes for Vice — it's the fact that there are people so "desperate for money" that they're willing to sell everything to the highest bidder.

Image via Shutterstock