If you’re a fan of pinching and pressure, nipple clamps can be a delightfully intense kink toy. These baby-shaped metal clamps tighten around the nipples and areola to increase the sensitivity of the area. The tightening sensation can feel pleasurable to some, but others might find it painful. Nipple clamps come in a variety of sizes, styles and intensities, including adjustable options. Newbies should start with a light squeeze or a slight pinch, and then gradually build up the tension. “If you’re a first-timer, it might be good to use a clothespin instead of a pair of nipple clamps,” suggests psychotherapist Amanda Luterman, MA, OPQ. Then, once you’ve built up a comfort level, you can switch to the real deal.
Many people might think of nipple clamps as a toy for BDSM and kink enthusiasts, but they’re also popular amongst the lesbian community. They’re a fun tool for building sexual excitement, and can be used alone or in partnered play. “Nipple clamps are a great way to get your partner’s attention and to stimulate the breasts and areola,” says Luterman. “They can also be a powerful way to build intimacy between partners and can be used as a pre-climax ritual.”
Nipple clamps aren’t only for the nipples, but can be applied on the nipple line and areola. They can also be attached to a chain and used in creative ways. “You can pull the chain on your body and move it around your chest, or you can hang it from a motor and let the machine vibrate and pulsate with you,” says Sparks.
Some people like the feeling of a gentle touch on their nipples and areola, while others are aroused by having their nips pinched, sucked or bitten by their partner or friends. The nipple-pinching sensation can be intense or a little bit painful, depending on the type of nipple clamp. And for those who can’t bear the pain, a cold chain or a soft velvet-like nipple wrap might make it less painful and more pleasurable.
When wearing nipple clamps, it’s important to take note of the sensation and the color of your skin. If your nipple is turning a blue-ish shade, it’s a sign that you need to take the clamps off and let your nipples breathe for a bit. Nipple clamps can also cause bruising and soreness, especially if they’re left on too long. So, be sure to take them off when you can feel your skin rippling and stretching. And remember, if you have sensitive skin, it’s always a good idea to wear nipple clamps that are nickel-free. This will help prevent a possible reaction to the metal.