In May 2020, a group of researchers coaxed genetically modified cows into pumping out human antibodies that could counter the COVID-19 virus. As soon as the news of clinical trials hit the internet, users embarked on a quest to dig up old meme formats and make parody skits about a possible human-cow hybrid takeover. What they left out in the loop is a niche fetish—already imagining half the population as the popular livestock. Introducing HuCow, a sexual fetish that combines various kinks including lactation, objectification and domination to literally milk enthusiasts into submission.
With enough evidence to trace its origin back to 2011, HuCow (acronym for ‘Human Cow’) is a fetish that involves participants role-playing as cows and farmers (with or without costume) for sexual pleasure. Now, the ‘costume’ here is not necessarily cosplayed. Although some enthusiasts wear onesies and headgear, others generally prefer cow-printed garments and accessories—think cow-eared headbands, detachable tails, belled collars, thigh-high stockings, lacey garters, ruffled maid aprons and skimpy bikinis.
What does the fetish entail activity-wise, you ask? A quick scroll through the adult entertainment site Pornhub would land you in a farm full of milking devices. To put it in human context, intricate breast-pumping gear that will make you sh-udder from miles away. Set against a wooden barn with stacks of hay, typical tropes of HuCow cams include women (and occasionally men) being stretched taut on all fours over the torture-yet-pleasurable pumping devices. They are then “milked” to produce “quality cream and milk products” for their master’s “human cow farms.”
“One person is usually the animal and the other is the ‘owner’, ‘master’ or ‘trainer’,” said Hunny, an active user in the biggest subreddit dedicated to the fetish. Joining the community as part of their broader interest in petplay, they credited anime as one of the factors backing the popularity of animal hybrid enthusiasts. Linking HuCow to the Japanese animation style, Hunny acknowledged the presence of similar roleplay for cats, dogs and foxes. “Just Google ‘anime cowgirl hybrid’,” the enthusiast added, “it’s a thing.”
When it comes to all the tactical gear and equipment needed, Hunny highlighted the surge in population (and therefore demand) for cow costumes on Amazon. “There are cow play websites too,” they said. “In HuCow’s subreddit, they post new websites for more gear.” The enthusiast also added how some ‘pets’ have full-fledged collar collections and other accessories.
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Although HuCow is considered to be a niche fetish, it has overlaps with some of the most popular communities. HuCow combines objectification, domination and submission to truly raise the steaks for its participants. According to Hunny, maiesiophilia (pregnancy fetishism) is also among the mix. This kink is essentially looped into the insemination or ‘breeding’ aspect of the fetish. According to an entry in Urban Dictionary, HuCows prefer unprotected or bareback sex to reinforce this kink. The entry also mentioned how “breeders” or “superior males” are often referred to as “bulls” within the community.
Before we break down the psychological appeal backing the fetish, it is essential to note that not every kinkster who enjoys other fetishes would be into HuCow. The preferences of the members within the HuCow community itself vary wildly. Be it maiesiophilia or BDSM, however, HuCow enthusiasts profess their love for one specific kink: lactation.
“I’ve heard some men prefer sucking on boobs or squeezing them as milking,” Hunny said when I asked them about the lactation kink. According to the enthusiast, a good portion of the community is into the usage of breast pumps and other milking gear. “Some men also want to drink [the discharge] from what I’ve seen,” they added. This begs the question, don’t HuCows have to be pregnant in order to lactate? Or do they have some sort of gear for lactation? Maybe something that sprays liquid in a consistent stream?
“Some people can lactate without being pregnant,” Hunny explained, in contrast to the specific need for breastfeeding mothers in the community. In terms of the innovative gear in question, the enthusiast admitted to not having come across one. “Some of the dairy royalty pour milk on themselves,” Hunny continued when asked about the alternatives. Creative, right? “I think it’s cute but I get embarrassed constantly while filming though,” the enthusiast admitted.
So what is it about lactation that makes “crying over spilt milk” sexually pleasing? “Lactation leads to increased breast size, which explains its appeal to some,” said Rebecca Kukla, an ethicist who has previously written on the cultural perceptions of breastfeeding. This also explains why HuCow fanarts usually feature women with large mammary glands who have the ability to lactate constantly. Search results for the keyword on DeviantArt would revert back tons of 2D and 3D illustrations of well-endowed women spilling out of their bikinis. This imagery is rampant to the extent that some members have previously banned “size 0” HuCows from the community altogether.
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In an interview with VICE, Kukla outlined how the fetish is more about the “reciprocal pleasure” than many others—with women majorly enjoying the stimulation of milking. Consuming breast milk also plays into paraphilic infantilism (age-regression fetish) gripping participants. One of the most important factor behind its appeal, however, is the sexual reappropriation of something that is considered culturally asexual in the society. “Many kinksters get erotic pleasure from playing at what they fear most or find most violating of the proper order,” Kukla added.
Now, if you are someone who watches role reversal videos on YouTube for ‘education’ like me, you would have come across the human-cow reversal scenarios—where women are bred and milked in barns while men end up…well, on plates. Although these videos on ‘MooTube’ aim to spread awareness about the cruelty animals are subjected to, there are occasional comments along the lines of “wish I was the breeder” and “who read my Wattpad fanfiction.” According to Kukla, this is because cows are “the ultimate animals produced specifically for consumption—bred into highly artificial-looking consumer products.”
“In HuCow, the cow-woman is simulating an object produced specifically to be consumed by her partner,” the ethicist added. This is the factor that makes HuCow appealing to both the dominant and submissive communities.
No fetish escapes the callous hands of erotic writers. Be it dinosaurs or male pregnancies, they’ve been there, done that. In terms of HuCow, common erotica tropes surround human farms, dairy spas and nanotechnology experiments. Farmers are seen engaging in a scientific-but-sexual dialogue with their pets before milking, breeding and ultimately punishing them for misbehaviour. When I mentioned some of the plot lines and dialogues to Hunny, they exclaimed, “Ohhhh men write that shit to me daily.”
“You are a sexy cow. I want to hear you moo all night,” reads a comment under one of Hunny’s pictures in the subreddit. “All cows are fun to play with. Big, small, heavy and ready to pop,” reads another. Be it in the chat or comments section under their pictures on the subreddit, the enthusiast admitted how users often express how much they want to breed them. “They tell me I look like a good breeding cow. That I’m cute and that they want to milk me,” she said. “I use some of it with my own farmers,” she added jokingly.
Just like most submissive fetishes out there, HuCow may sound terrifying to the uninitiated. For most of its part, the objectification aspect of the fetish does not sit well with some. “Women are posting [in the subreddit] on their terms,” Hunny said, disagreeing with all the objectification claims. “Some are advertising like myself. For others, it might just be a hobby.” In the interview with VICE, adult sexuality educator and pleasure advocate Sunny Megatron explained, “Remember this is just fantasy role play where turning humans into fantasy cattle is fetishised. And just like any other kind of BDSM or fetish play, this is carefully negotiated by all participants and done consensually.”
“Treating a woman, or anybody, as just a mere object is very wrong—if it’s done without their consent,” Megatron continued. “But if objectification is mutually desired by both partners, they’ve thoroughly and clearly talked about it ahead of time and then they play it out in a healthy fun fantasy sense, then that’s different.” The educator then proceeded to explain how the submissive ultimately calls the shots in a roleplay instead of the dominant. “When BDSM scenes are negotiated they are done so according to the desires and limits of the submissive,” she added. Hunny further agreed to HuCow being a well-negotiated fantasy, rooted in both respect and consent.
In the coming years, Hunny braces themselves for HuCow’s mainstream attention. “Cow prints were big in 2020,” the enthusiast said when asked about the factors pumping HuCow’s surge in popularity. “Doja Cat came out with the song ‘Mooo!’ and then it was everywhere.” Hunny further highlighted how cow fetishes were already a thing in the hentai (a subgenre of Japanese anime featuring sexual or pornographic art) community since time immemorial.
Be it for the fashion or popular culture references, HuCow is out there and breeding as we speak. And given its curdled appeal, the fetish is definitely not for the lactose intolerant. As for those whose interests are piqued by this article, lower your shields and surrender your ships, because resistance is moo-tile.
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