Do you or your partner(s) like nipple play? Then you might loooove nipple clamps. And if the nipple clamp device itself feels a little intimidating, don’t worry — we got you. As sex therapist Rachel Wright put it, “While the sexcessory might seem a bit intimidating to beginners, nipple clamps can be a great tool to enhance sensation and pleasure, wherever you happen to fall on the kink spectrum.”
So: Nipple clamps actually have a wide range when it comes to varieties, pinch severities, and use difficulties, making getting into the clampin’ lifestyle all that much easier.
One of the best things about nipple clamps is that they allow you to play hands-free. In other words, if you’re seeking some nipple sensation but want to keep your hands free from any pinching requirements, nipple clamps are for you. Having nipple clamps activated could, for example, allow you to transition your focus to something else equally as stimulating, such as inserting or removing anal sex toys. Your trusty pal the Nipple Clamp will keep those nipples good and engaged while lots of other fun things happen.
In terms of bang for your buck, nipple clamps are also pretty cheap sex toys (in a good way). If you’re looking to get things revved up, this could be just the thing. In the words of one sexpert, “Sometimes a consensual twinge of pain is exactly what’s needed to take things from good to great. The endorphins released in response to pain can feel downright drug-like, especially in combination with the already-heady exhilaration of pleasure and intimacy.”
Types of nipple clamps
Depending on what you want, nipple clamps can offer a whole host of sensations. The best sex toys for beginners, nipple clamps included, are the ones that fit comfortably into your lifestyle, are easy to use, and easy to remove! Here are the two most popular types of nipple clamps:
The first and most recognizable version of nipple clamps is the alligator clamp. These adjustable nipple clamps usually have a screw on them, allowing the pressure of the squeeze to be ramped up or down. This is very important if you’re new to the squeeze and release that nipple clamps provide.
Alligator nipple clamps are widely available, offer a good squeeze without the harshness of direct metal contact, and the bite of the clamp can be loosened or increased with a quick twist of the fingers. Ready to release that bite and let blood rush back into those constricted nipples? These clamps open easily, much like a clothespin, allowing for quick application and release.
Tweezer nipple clamps
The next most accessible nipple joy/pain devices are tweezer nipple clamps. Don’t let the name freak you out! They’re a lot more pleasurable than the tweezers you use to pluck your eyebrows.
These adjustable clamps apply tension through a ring or clasp around two metal bars that can also be silicone- or rubber-tipped. Slide the ring up the tweezer clamps to force the bars closer together and increase that delightful and tantalizing squeeze, bit by bit. These clips are easily removed by loosening the ring, as well, though unlike the alligator clamps, they don’t stay at the same squeeze level the next time they’re put on.
One of the nice things about tweezer clamps is that they can easily double as a clit clamp (clitoral clamp), offering up the ability to provide intense sensation to the clit or the nipples. Depending on what you or your partner are feeling at the time, you can mix and match!
Best nipple clamps for beginners
First off, should you do this at all?! Uhhh, yeah. You should. Or in the words of sexpert Zach Zane, “If you’re looking for a sex toy that elicits a powerful reaction throughout your entire body, then you should totally consider nipple clamps. When your nipples are pinched, the sensation isn’t just localized to your nips—you get a rush of adrenaline and endorphins that sends a powerful, pleasurable sensation coursing through your veins.” In other words, he adds, “Nipple clamps make you feel alive, dammit.”
So where to start? Basically you want to start out slow and then work your way up. Gynecologist Dr. Monica Grover “always suggests newbies opt for adjustable clamps so they can slowly increase the intensity and be in charge of the sensation.”
And don’t forget to protect the nips! Also according to Dr. Grover, “nipple clamps can cause scarring if used too frequently or with extreme intensity, so again, go slow and make sure to give your nipples plenty of time to recover post play.”
Here’s what you wanna get:
Adjustable nipple clamps
The best nipple toys for beginners are the looser clamps, which generate a bite that's on the gentler side of the spectrum, or clamps with the ability to adjust the intensity up or down. Clamps that aren’t solely hard metal are also more inviting, allowing you to ease yourself into the sensation of constant pinch on the nipples.
If pain isn’t your jam, there are other nipple play options available that offer sensation without inflicting a pain response, such as nipple suckers. These nipple stimulation toys are also adjustable, with a plunger or squeeze bulb that ramps up the pressure on the nipples little by little, until you hit that exact spot of nipple euphoria. You can always start with nipple suckers and then work your way up to full-on nipple clamps.
Combined sensation nipple clamps
Nipple clamps that offer a bit more engagement can help ease you or them into the feeling of constant pinch on the nipples. Toys like Nipplettes Vibrating Nipple Clamps offer bliss-inducing vibrations alongside the ability to adjust pinch intensity. These types of nipple toys can be used to pinch the nipples, or directly vibrate them without the pinch involved, offering a contrast in sensation that will make your toes curl!
If you’re traveling beyond the beginner's spectrum of nipple clips and are looking for something more devious, nipple toys like Japanese clover clamps (also called butterfly clamps) or magnetic nipple clamps are a fun way to create a bit more intensity in your sensation play. Clover clamps have the added joy of increasing in intensity if the clamps are tugged or twisted.
Important tips for first-timers
First, how long should you leave ‘em on? Basically you want to let your body do the talking here, but a good idea is to start with a few minutes and then work your way up. Cutting off circulation entirely to the nipples for a long period of time can result in permanent damage, so if you’re planning on using extremely constricting nipple clamps, limit them to 15-30 minutes at a time before giving those naughty nips a rest. If either you or your partner has circulation issues, it would be wise to lessen that time to ensure that all the body tissues stay good and healthy.
Second, while pain and control are fun aspects of BDSM play, the actual euphoria and sexual pleasure of nipple play tends to come from the release of the clamps, when you let blood rush back into the nipples. If you time this experience of removal along with some other kind of stimulation, you might just send yourself or your lover to a whole new level, maybe even achieving a surprise nipple orgasm!
Third, nipples aren’t inherently more or less sensitive for nipple-havers that were born male or female at birth. Nipples are just as sensitive in everyone, with a lot of intense and delicious nerve endings available at a brief touch, nudge, bite, caress, or clamp. So let the nipple clampin’ be an equal-opportunity activity in your relationships and encounters.
Fourth, nipple play on or over nipple piercings is just fine as long as everything has healed up nicely. If the piercings are new, wait a few weeks before applying that pleasure/painful pinch to the piercings. Good news, though: there are also nipple toys designed just for piercings, or toys that can clip or clamp directly onto the piercings, creating a bit of pressure and movement with every step.
Finally, the squeeze and release aspect of nipple clamps aren’t the only things that can make them fun. Maybe you like the visuals of a bit of artful nipple constriction, and get joy from gazing at your clamped masterpiece. If that’s the case for you, adding a bit of cute or pretty directly to the clamps might be in your wheelhouse.
For example, there are clamps that have attached heart charms, or nipple constriction toys that clasp around the base of the nipple in a cute star or butterfly pattern made by crafty, kinky sellers (here’s looking at you, Etsy). By the way, provided you’re discreet about it, nipple clamps can be worn under baggy clothing to get a bit of that sneaky exhibitionist feeling you might be craving in your sex life.
Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and clamp it up!