Are you curious about having your nipples pinched or squeezed while keeping your or your partner's hands free for other sexy things? Welcome to the wonderful world of nipple clamps! These nipple play tools free up your hands and attention to explore other regions of the body, while you enjoy that ever-so-scintillating feeling of nip action.
Or in the words of sex therapist Rachel Wright, “If you're intrigued by BDSM or just want to make your sex life feel a little less vanilla, then it might be time for you to become acquainted with nipple clamps.”
Yes, nipple clamps are safe, provided they’re used within a few responsible guidelines. The basic rule of thumb is to start slow and then work your way up to a tighter pinch. You also want to already be aroused when you put them on — no going in cold, people! And if you ever feel a lot of pain or overwhelming numbness, take them off immediately. The goal is never to bruise or damage the nips.
Also, please don’t be embarrassed if you like a little bit of hurt alongside your gratification. Not everyone gets it, and that’s fine. Or in the words of Mistress Kay, “Nipple clamps mystify a lot of people. They can be painful and pleasurable.” For many of us, pain and pleasure are much closer together than they first appear.
Why do nipple clamps work?
Basically, nipple clamps enhance sensation in two ways: First, since they’re clipped onto you in a pinching fashion, they prompt ongoing pressure signals to your brain. In other words, there’s that feeling of your nips being pinched in a continuous way (which is hot).
Second, they constrict the blood supply. The tip of your nipple in particular is affected by a clamp, and the lack of blood circulating actually sensitizes the nipple’s nerve endings. The result? Your or their nipples are even more receptive to touch, licks, nibbles - even good vibrations.
It’s also good to keep in mind that for some folks, the most intense sensation actually happens when the clamps are removed, not when they’re applied. It’s kinda like taking off your bra at the end of the day — that “ahhhh” sensation just can’t be mimicked. It’s delicious.
How tight should nipple clamps be?
Essentially, you want to clamp your nips enough so the clamps stay in place, but not to the point where you’re bruising or cutting into the tender skin of your nipples. Again, you really want to start slow and work up to more.
Depending on which type of nipple clamp you’re using and whether it’s non-adjustable or adjustable, there may be a bit more wiggle room in terms of how intense the pinch will feel. Toys like nipple suckers, alligator clamps, tweezer clamps, and abacus clamps have the ability to ramp up the pressure with a bit more ease and finesse, compared to something like clothespins, or some types of magnetic nipple clamps.
If you’ve got sensitive nipples or you're a complete newbie to nipple compression, wearing looser clamps is a good place to start, after thoroughly massaging, engorging, and attending to your nipples (or those of your partner). Sexual arousal is a funny thing; when the brain and body is activated and aroused, nipple stimulation and discomfort can be transmuted into extremely erotic and expansive activities. You can mix and morph pain into pleasure, and allow a rush of sensation to boost an already intense orgasm, even for beginners.
The best nipple clamps for beginners and experts are those that are comfortable, versatile, and familiar. While using nipple clips, clamps, or nipple sex toys like suckers, the nipples shouldn't lose sensation, so if they go completely numb, you want to remove the clamp. The same goes if the color of a nipple is changing; if that’s the case, remove the clamp and allow blood to flow back into the tissue. That’s not to say the clamps can’t be used again, just that you want to let them rest and get back to their normal level of sensation and blood flow.
How long should you keep nipple clamps on?
According to the sexual health resource center A Woman’s Touch, “The general rule is: if all circulation is cut off, you should keep the clamps on for no more than 30 minutes at a time.” Some nipple clamp connoisseurs like to play with nipple clamps for shorter spans, maybe five or ten minutes at a time, and never even approach the full 30-minute time limit.
Also, if you already know you have poor circulation, you should also limit the time you have the clamps on. And as with anything sexuality and BDSM-play-related, the use of nipple clamps fall into the game of constant check-in and consent. An easy way you can discuss the level of sensation is a scale of 1-10. You may be at a 4 out of 10 and want to get to a 6 or a 7. As you tighten, you can let your partner know (or just track it yourself) as to where you are. And the more turned on you get, the more you may want a li’l extra squeeze.
The other thing to note is that it’s a great idea to rub or massage both the nipples and breasts before applying the clamps as well as after they’re taken off. You kinda wanna get all the blood flow going again. Just remember they’ll be oh so deliciously tender!
How to apply nipple clamps
Wondering how to use nipple clamps? We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again — foreplay is fundamental! In this case, before applying a nipple play device, be sure to massage, touch, and arouse the tissue as much as possible. You want the nipples to start from a sensitive and high blood-flow state. Once there, open the clamp all the way. This might differ based on the type of device — for example, if you’re using an abacus clamp, that would mean moving the tightening beads to the ends of the sex toy so that the bars can be separated.
Next, slide the clamping part of the nipple toy to the base of the nipple. There should be a distinct feeling of difference between the tip of the nipple and the flesh at the base. The clamp, clip, or any other device should squeeze at the base of the nipple, creating the constriction there rather than directly at the tip.
Once the device is properly placed, slowly (slowly!!!) tighten the sex toy if it’s adjustable. This could be by tightening the screw adjacent to the rubber tip of an alligator clamp, or by sliding a tension bead closer to the nipple in the case of an abacus clip.
Leave the clips at their current pressure for a little while (about a minute or two). After that, check back in to see if they need to be tightened or loosened to adjust the intensity. Repeat this process as needed, making sure to give the nipple breaks in between intense clamping sessions.
Other fun things to do with nipple clamps
“Nipple clamps can be enjoyed by all people with nipples, regardless of gender, sexuality, amount of breast tissue, or size of nipples,” says sex educator Lisa Finn. A big advantage is that they’re hands-free. As Finn puts it, “You (or your partner) may not want to or be able to grip or manually stimulate your nipples as long as you’d like.”
And here’s a fun fact: these nipple toys aren’t limited to the nipples! A tweezer clamp, for example, can double as a clit clamp if that’s what you’re into. Yes, clampin’ the clitoris can actually feel good! (Especially if you’re aroused since that’s when increased sensation can feel amazing.)
If you’re already familiar with adult sex toys like anal beads, you also know that often it’s not the insertion process that’s the hottest, but taking something off, or out. Removing anal beads can intensify your orgasm like whoa! Nipple clamps are similar, says Finn. “Having the adjustable clamps removed right as you’re about to, or as you are, orgasming can make the orgasm even more intense.”
Clothespin clamps can also be attached to the sides of your body, ears, etc to deepen or heighten a BDSM scene between Dom(me) and Sub(missive). Depending on the adjustable nipple clamp, weight can also be added to each side individually, or together with something like a chain or a collar. This can turn a simple activity such as walking around into a small jaunt full of nipple pull sensation.
It is important to note that cutting off circulation to any body part (nipples included) can cause lasting damage. Blood is needed in all parts of the body to deliver oxygen and allow tissues to heal. If you cut off blood supply to any part of the body for too long, you can cause necrosis (tissue death). That’s really unsexy, so be sure to allow for adequate blood to get to those naughty nipples every so often.
After all, you want them to enjoy being pinched forevermore.