Nipple clamps aren’t everyone’s go-to sex toy, but if you think they’re only reserved for dingy sex dungeons then you’re in for a surprise.
Once you think of nipple clamps as capable of producing intense rather than painful sensations, you may realize that they are exactly the sex toy addition you’ve been looking for.
I think it’s high time nipple clamps got a PR makeover, so I’ve created this comprehensive guide to exactly how to use nipple clamps, what they do, the different types you can choose from, and what safety precautions to take if you decide to take the plunge.
If you’re in a rush, scroll right on down to the ‘Different Ways to Play’ section to find eight ways to use nipple clamps creatively. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride.
What are Nipple Clamps?
In short, nipple clamps are a kind of clamp, clip or pincher that you can place on your nipples to squeeze them in a pleasurable, and sometimes pleasurably painful way.
They aren’t necessarily clamps in the traditional sense – they’re not the same as the ones you would use to keep wood in place on a workbench – but instead grip and squeeze your nipples to varying degrees.
You may well associate nipple clamps with the BDSM scene, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Nipple clamps have been used for all kinds of sadomasochist and sub/dom play, but that’s certainly not the only way to get a kick out of them!
There are lots of ways to play when it comes to nipple clamps (and their gentler cousins, nipple suckers), and many of them are much more accessible than it would first appear.
There are also lots of types of nipple clamps out there to choose from, depending on which kinds of sensations you’re looking for, as well as your experience level. Here are some of the most common, and why they might be right for you…
Different Types of Nipple Clamps
Despite the perhaps slightly intimidating name, tweezer clamps are actually a favorite amongst nipple clamp novices.
They feature long arms, just like tweezers, with covered tips that go on your nipples. They’re also adjustable, thanks to the metal rings that can be moved up and down the arms to make them tighter or looser.
Tweezer clamps are super easy and quick to start using, making them an ideal option if you’re just learning how to use nipple clamps for the first time.
The other most common and popular type of nipple clamp is alligator, or crocodile clamps.
They’re pretty similar to tweezer clamps in a couple of ways: they have two covered pads that squeeze the nipples without being sharp or painful, and are adjustable thanks to the screws on the sides. These clamps from Spartacus also have beads attached that double as weights, gently tugging on the nipples for a more intense feeling, but you can also find them with bells, feathers, vibrators, chains or no attachments at all.
Though not seen quite as often, string, loop or cinch nipple clamps can be both fantastic looking and fantastic feeling.
They feature a loop that can be made bigger or smaller to change the pressure as you like it, and may be a little less intimidating than other clamps given their pretty, understated design. However, they’re not quite as secure as other designs, so watch out that they don’t fall off in the middle of the action!
For the person who’s looking for a more advanced nipple clamp, there’s clover nipple clamps, also known as butterfly clamps. Originally from Japan, they have a stronger grip and are most suited for someone looking for a more intense, and perhaps painful experience.
Clover clamps are almost always attached to a chain, which functions to tighten the clamps when pulled on. You could also add weights to the chain for an even more extreme sensation.
Magnetic nipple clamps are certainly easy to use – just pop them on and let them do their thing – but they aren’t adjustable like their peers. They can also exert some pretty strong pressure on your nips, too.
For these reasons, they probably aren’t the best choice for nipple clamp newbies, but can be great for those looking to up their game.
There’s something appealing about simplicity, and you can’t get much simpler than using clothespins as nipple clamps.
Of course, you can use some that you already have lying around (many of which also have softer rubber or silicone tips), find some smaller-sized ones in craft stores, or opt for a purpose-made pair like the ones above from The Stockroom.
If the idea of clamping something onto your nipples just seems like a no-go for you, but you still love when they get played with in a gentle way, then don’t fret!
Nipple suckers are designed to increase the sensitivity of your nipples without pulling or tugging. They work by creating a gentle vacuum that draws blood to the nipple area, making them super sensitive. All pleasure, no pain.
If you crave even more sensations from your nipple clamps, why not try out a vibrating pair? As well as squeezing your nipples and encouraging that rush of blood afterwards, vibrating nipple clamps add an extra dimension of rumbly goodness to the mix.
These Nipplettes are a crocodile clamp-style, but you can also get vibrating nipple clamps with tweezers, cinches, pumps and more.
What do Nipple Clamps do?
In short, nipple clamps pinch the tissue in your nipples and reduce blood flow to the area. That might sound scary, but it isn’t dangerous if you follow the correct guidelines and learn how to use nipple clamps safely (more on that below).
This pressure, and sometimes pain if the clamps are tight, can be incredibly erotic and arousing in itself, but it isn’t the only reason to use nipple clamps.
Once you remove the clamps, the blood rushes back into the area and makes them extremely sensitive. Every touch, lick and blow of air becomes heightened and thrilling!
The release also causes your brain to release oxytocin, which is the same chemical that’s released when you orgasm! In fact, according to one study, nipple stimulation is thought to activate the same area of your brain that’s activated when you stimulate your clitoris or vagina. That may explain why, for some, nipple stimulation can even go as far as inducing the coveted nipplegasm!
How to Use Nipple Clamps
Here we are, finally, about to actually learn how to use nipple clamps!
The first step is, of course, to place them on your nipples – the way you do this will depend on the type of nipple clamps that you have. If they’re adjustable, you can then tighten or loosen them until the feeling is as intense as you desire. Remember, it doesn’t have to be painful if you don’t want it to be!
Tight nipple clamps should be taken off after 15 minutes, or the delicate tissue of your nipples could get damaged. Looser ones, on the other hand, can stay on for 30 minutes or more, but you should still be aware of how comfortable they are feeling and how the skin of your nipples is looking.
When it’s time to take them off, don’t just tug them straight off! Your nipples are at their most sensitive at this point, and need to be handled with care. For that reason, always make sure to release your nipple clamps to their loosest point before removing them from your nipples.
If you opting for nipple suckers rather than nipple clamps, your job of putting them on is a little easier. Just squeeze the bulb of the sucker, then place it over the nipple, making sure you have good contact with the skin all the way around. When you release the bulb, the vacuum created should keep them securely in place.
Nipple pumps are similar, but the order is a bit different. Place the pump on your nipple first, and then adjust the suction to your liking.
Different Ways to Play
Of course, there isn’t just one answer to how to use nipple clamps. Here are eight ways to use them for any and every occasion…
If nipple play is a mainstay during foreplay for you, why not take things to the next level and add nipple clamps to the party?
Try using them for a short period to really up your nipple sensitivity, and then enjoy greatly heightened sensations once you take them off as your partner touches, licks and blows on your nipples.
During Solo Play
Nipple play is for life, not just for partnered sex!
Nipple clamps or suckers can be a serious upgrade to your masturbation sessions, allowing you to please your nipples and all your other sweet spots at the same time.
Remove at the Point of Orgasm
Another way to use nipple clamps is to think of them kind of like anal beads – which I know sounds weird, but hear me out.
One fabulous-feeling way to use anal beads is to remove them just as you’re climaxing, which triggers a ton of sensations and all kinds of other good stuff that sends your orgasm soaring to new heights – and this can be true of nipple clamps too!
The release of the pressure, as well as the rush of blood back to your nipples, feels great on its own, but when blended with an orgasm can feel totally heavenly.
If you’re ready to up your nipple clamp game then why not bring them downwards by adding a weight or two to your clamps?
This will cause the clamps to pull more on your nipples and increase the intensity of the clamping sensations, so it’s probably best to do this when you have some nipple clamp experience under your belt.
There are several ways to go about it – many nipple clamps come already attached to chains, beads, gems, or even bullet vibrators that weigh them down. If you don’t have a ready-made weighty pair, you can try adding weights like beads, pendants, fasten-able earrings or other things lying around the house to your existing clamps if they have a loop, ring or other way to hook something to them.
Just remember to start out light and work your way to heavier weights if you feel like it, or you might end up doing more harm than good.
Multiply the Sensations
Another option for how to use nipple clamps is to combine them with what we in the ‘biz’ call sensation play. This can look like a variety of things, but more generally it’s the idea of experimenting with different kinds of sensations on the skin in a sensual way. Seems like a perfect addition to nipple play, right?
There are almost unlimited ways you can give sensation play a go. For beginners who don’t yet have any purpose-made equipment, it’s simple and easy to tease and tantalize your partner with your finger tips or even your tongue. Just trace lightly along their skin and watch as all the sensations build up in their body.
Go even further and add some mystery by putting your partner in a blindfold so that they can’t see where the next touch will be!
If wearing nipple clamps is more about the pleasurable pain and submission for you, then why not combine them with some restraints?
If you’re a newbie, start off with some handcuffs, or if you’re feeling more adventurous then you might want to try something more restricting like a set of headboard or under-the-mattress restraints.
Given that nipple clamps often go hand-in-hand with BDSM practices, it’s no wonder that many manufacturers have caught on and started making nipple clamps with restraints built in! Try out, for instance, a leather collar with nipple clamps attached, or even a ball gag with clamps!
Pair with a Clit Clamp
Your nipples aren’t the only thing that can be clamped! If you or your partner happen to have a clitoris, then you could be in for a world of deliciously increased sensitivity.
Clit clamps work in the exact same way as nipple clamps, but they do it to the most sensitive part of the body. Therefore, the sensations you can achieve can be even more intense!
Just like nipple clamps, they aren’t designed to be painful, but simply enhance your pleasure, especially if you already love some good old clitoral stimulation. However, if you know that you’re very sensitive down there, why not try out a clitoral suction toy instead for a similar effect?
Combine with Orgasm Gels/Balms
One last subtle, yet very tingly way to further enhance your nipple clamp experience is to use a dab of an ‘orgasm’ or ‘arousal’ gel or balm.
Usually found in the ‘better sex’ sections of sex toy stores, these usually contain small amounts of mint, menthol and/or essential oils to create tingly sensations on the skin. You can apply them to your clitoris to help enhance orgasms, but they can also work amazingly on your nipples!
Just make sure to stick with those that have been approved for use on your intimate areas, and stay far, far away from ‘homemade’ alternatives like toothpaste!
How to Use Nipple Clamps Safely
Finding out how to use nipple clamps in fun ways is one thing, but just as important is learning how to use nipple clamps safely. Your nipples are incredibly sensitive, delicate parts of your body and they deserve both to be treated and taken care of.
I already touched on it briefly earlier, but knowing the right amount of time to wear your nipple clamps for can prevent you from causing any damage to the fragile tissue. The tighter you have them, the less time you should keep them on.
After 15 minutes, you should check in with your nipples to see if they’ve changed color – clamps may make them a bit pinker but any other colors like red or purple are a sign to remove your clamps right away.
When removing your clamps, make sure to make them as loose as possible before taking them off – no tugging! If your nipple clamps aren’t adjustable and can’t be made looser, try to remove them as slowly and carefully as possible.
After wearing nipple clamps, you may find that you’re a little sore. This can be because you wore them a little too tight and didn’t notice in the heat of the moment. Our tolerance for pain actually goes up when we’re aroused, and sometimes we overdo things without realising, but consider using a cold compress for the soreness and going a bit looser next time.
And finally, as you may have guessed, a lot finding out how to use nipple clamps is choosing the right nipple clamps for you. That means not opting for a pair suited for someone with much more clamping experience than you, as well as only buying high-quality, body-safe nipple clamps. Clamps made from low quality materials can potentially cause skin reactions, and poorly made ones can fall apart or even cause damage to your skin if too sharp or tight.
There you have it, our guide to choosing your perfect match and learning how to use nipple clamps.
I sincerely hope that these tips have demystified and de-scarified nipple clamps at least somewhat – they can be such a fantastic addition to all kinds of sex, from solo to partnered, and from vanilla to uber-kinky!
And of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are almost endless ways to use nipple clamps, the only limit is your imagination!