Everything you ever wanted to know about how to use nipple clamps! Just a pinch will do!
Whether you're flat-chested or toting E cups, most people (though not all!) have nipples. Those same nipples happen to be filled with nerve endings - whether you wear a daily bra or not. They're erogenous zones that work amazingly for all genders - and can help people explore an often left-out part of their anatomies.
Out of all of the BDSM implements out there, nipple clamps are one of the easiest to use and hide. They can be used solo, with a partner, or even in the middle of an orgy! They can be worn out under clothing - or used while you're lying flat on the bed during sex. Their small profile makes them portable and travel-friendly, and since they're essentially the size of a pendant necklace, they can easily hide inside of a sock as well.
It's no wonder that nipple clamps are so popular!
Let's Start with Safety
Nipple clamps work by "clamping" off blood flow to the nipple. All of your body needs blood eventually - including your nipples.
This means that the biggest danger in using nipple clamps is leaving them on too long. This can damage the tissue by depriving it of all of its blood-brought nutrients that it needs.
So you should err on the side of caution - and remove the clamps sooner rather than later. As you use nipple clamps, you'll generally learn how long is comfortable and safe for you and your body, but when you start, set a timer for 15 minutes.
As a further note: since nipple clamps disrupt blood flow, consult your doctor before using them if you have any blood flow disorders or conditions.
Read: A Beginner's Guide to Nipple Play
How to Use Nipple Clamps
1. Be aroused. Whatever works for you is perfectly fine. Nipple clamps can feel more painful than pleasurable if your body isn't already aroused, and for a lot of people, that may not be fun. (If that's fun for you, though, have at it!)
2. Play with the nipples to get the skin to stiffen. While you can skip this step if you'd like, it feels good for the nipple-owner and makes it easier to put on clamps. Win-win, really!
3. Pinch the skin of the nipple in one hand (especially for smaller nipples) while you hold the nipple clamp open in the other hand.
4. With the skin still pinched, attach the nipple clamp to the nipple and/or surrounding skin. Depending on your preferences and nipple size, you can put the nipple clamp onto "just" the nipple - or you can fasten it to the areola and the surrounding tissue around it too. If you plan on being active, nipple clamps that include the surrounding flesh tend to stay on better with movement.
5. Leave it on for a few seconds and see how the wearer feels about it. At least a bit of discomfort is expected with nipple clamps - even when fully aroused. It is still "clamping" onto skin. However, the level of discomfort can vary drastically depending on the tightness of the nipple clamp, how much skin is in the clamp, how much surface area the clamp has, and the person's pain tolerance.
6. Adjust as necessary. If the wearer finds the sensation too intense, make the clamp looser. If the wearer finds the sensation too gentle, tighten up the clamp. (How to tighten and loosen your clamp will vary by the type of nipple clamp you have)
7. Once you've found a comfortable level, leave the nipple clamps on the body for no longer than 15 minutes and continue play elsewhere. Flicking the clamped nipples can feel pleasurable. You can also grip the skin around the nipple clamp or lightly toy with the nipple clamps, if the clamps have a chain you can yank on it a bit. Alternatively, you can ignore the nipples completely to let the nipple clamps do their job while you use your hands elsewhere.
8. Set a timer for 15 minutes. I know it sounds stupid, but you'll likely get involved with your pleasure and forget as time flies by, so make sure you know when 15 minutes have passed in order to remove the clamps.
9. After 15 minutes pass, remove the clamps. As mentioned below, your partner might need a few seconds of processing time as the blood starts to flow back into the nipples. After that processing time, though...
10. Enjoy the super-sensitive nipples. Now that the blood is back in the nipples, the area will be extremely sensitive. Start gently and increase intensity to find new touches, sensations, and movements that feel amazing. What feels fantastic before the clamps may not feel amazing during this super-sensitive period, so make sure to communicate and experiment to find what makes everything feel best.
What Do Nipple Clamps Feel Like?
I'm still awaiting the day where manufacturers find a way to make sex toys that feel like fingers flicking or thrumming the nipples. (Air suction vibrators is the closest thing I've found). But I'll be upfront: nipple clamps are not that toy.
Instead, nipple clamps feel a lot more like two fingers gripping the nipple then holding it firm between the pads of the fingers. It can have a light discomfort associated with it, but when you're turned on, this sensation can feel more arousing than painful.
While wearing nipple clamps, for most people, it can be impossible to forget that they're there. The clamps provide a low-level tingling sensation the entire time they're on. Depending on how tight the clamps are, this sensation can border on painful the entire time - or it can be that delightful gentle discomfort that makes you shiver.
When the nipple clamps are removed, the fun begins! At first, as soon as the nipple clamps are removed, the blood will rush back into the nipples - for a very, very intense sensation. It's similar to when your foot falls asleep - only it's in a place that's full of erotic nerve endings, so it's a very different sensation!
Once the blood is back in the area, the tissue will be extremely sensitive for the next half-hour or so. This extreme sensitivity can make standard pleasures (like sucking, flicking, or touching the nipples) feel even more pleasurable. This super-sensitivity is definitely part of what a lot of nipple clamp enthusiasts love.
Be careful with the nipples while they're in this super-sensitive state. It can be easy to go harder than you generally would - and leave you with soreness. (See below). It isn't a problem if that happens, but it's just a general warning: the nipples are more sensitive than you think they are during this time.
Selecting Nipple Clamps
Just like a spatula isn't the best choice to whisk something in the kitchen, various types of nipple clamps provide different types of sensations - and those sensations may or may not be what you're looking for!
Getting the right "tool" for the "job" can take a little bit of experience, though, and learning things about your body and your nipple size (in relation to the clamps). In general, for a beginner set of nipple clamps, you'll want to look for:
- Rubber or silicone capped tips. This helps prevent any metal from digging into skin.
- Adjustable designs. You'll want to be able to set how tightly the nipple clamps "grip". This can be especially important if you have particularly large or small nipples. "One size fits all" is a bit more frustrating to use.
- Avoid "hefty" clamps with tons of "features". I know it can seem like the best first purchase (clamps AND vibrations?!?), but these clamps tend to get heavier - which means they fall off easier - especially without proper placement. Nipple clamps that keep falling off = a poor experience.
Read: 5 Steps for Choosing Nipple Clamps
Some of the beginner-friendly nipple clamps I'd recommend on Kinkly Shop:
- Sportsheets Chained Nipple Clamps: Beautiful, simple, and straight to the point. These alligator-style nipple clamps feature that soft, padded clamp bed I was talking about, and they're fully adjustable. They also have a neat chain that drapes between the nipples for a cute visual effect too. Especially if you have a flatter chest or smaller nipples, I recommend these; they can pinch smaller nipples easier.
- Sportsheets Collar with Nipple Clamps: If you like a bit of kinky restraint with your nipple clamps, this is a great mix. Essentially, this set features the same clamps as the Chained Nipple Clamps above - but they attach to a BDSM collar instead of draping between the nipples. Great to add in a bit of kink!
- Sportsheets Ruby Black Nipple Clamps: I really recommend these if you have a lot of nipple to grip on to. Tweezer clamps can be really beautiful and drape-y, but they tend to function best with thicker, protruding nipples. These even feature a few additional beads to really up the visual appeal.
- Mag-Points Magnetic Clamps: ONLY if you know you love pain. These clamps stay on the nipples - no questions asked. They do that by powerful magnets on each "side" of the clamp. This means there is no adjustment at all - just a whole lot of powerful pinching. If that's your jam, these are very beginner-friendly. Beginner doesn't always mean "soft".
Can I Orgasm from Nipple Clamps?
Realistically, probably not. Nipple clamps can feel amazing - and add a lot to your sexual experience - but most people don't usually orgasm from nipple play alone.
However, some rare (and lucky, I think!) people do orgasm from nipple play alone - sometimes called "nipple-gasms". A long bout of orgasm denial and a really aroused, amped-up state might help you get there, but it's all dependent on your body; it's totally okay if it isn't a thing for you.