Updated: Aug 22, 2022
There are many styles of nipple clips out there? How do you find the one’s which are right for you?
Nipples are erogenous zones for all genders. While most cis-women have had their’s played with and know what works and does not work for them, in terms of stimulation, fewer cis-men and trans folks have had their nipples played with as a key aspect of sex.
Nipple play often enhances arousal. In fact, some people can reach climax through nipple stimulation alone! Adding nipple clamps to your toy bag provides an option for nipple stinumation while freeing up your hands and mouth for other action.
Nipples need blood flow. Nipple clamps and vices restrict or cut off blood flow to the nipple when compressed. This means people will experience a period of increasing pain when the clamps are applied. At some point, the blood flow is so reduced, the nipple becomes numb. When the clamp is released, blood comes pouring back into the nipple causing a lot of pain.
As a general rule of thumb, do not restrict blood flow for more than 10 minutes.
Keep in mind how long you have had clamps on yourself or a partner. While there is no set advice for the amount of time which is safe to keep a clamp on, there are guidelines. Nipple color is key to figure out how they are responding. Nipples will be pink/brown while the blood is properly circulating in them. They will become bluish/deep purple as the blood flow is restricted. They will become white/very pale when there is no blood flow. As a general rule of thumb, do not restrict blood flow for more than 10 minutes. Any longer and you risk damage to the nipple.
Nipple clamp options: vice style, pinchers, tweezer, clothspin (right to left)
Nipples are not a one-size-fits-all body part. They can range from itty-bitty ones to one’s that resemble a piece of Hubba Bubba! Additionally, for those of us with estrogen cycles, our nipples can swell a bit and becomre more and less sensitive throughout the month. This means different clamps fit different people!
The vice style clamps offer a range for sizing and often fit bigger nipples well. The one’s pictured above are from CalExotics. They open to almost an inch wide at the widest and clamp down to just over 2 mm. For people with larger nipples or ones that differ in sensitvity throughout the month, these are a great option.
The pincher and tweezer clamps work for smaller nipples. The second type above are good for very small nippled folks but won’t fit those of us with larger nips. Tweezer styles (number 3 above) can be stretched to fit larger nipples but to hold on, must be cinched tightly. This is great if you are into heavy nipple play/stimulation, but not so good if you like a lighter touch.
Clothspins work for medium and small nipples. They provide an intesne pinching sensation, which is great for people who like that type of nipple torture.
Most mass-produced nipple clamps are made of metal alloys. This means they are (mostly) body-safe and easy to clean. For people who like to drop a little extra cash on toys, there are a few gold-plated versions. Be sure to check with a partner to see if they have a gold allergy before using plated clamps.
Many nipple toys also come with the little rubber tips (seen on the pincher and tweezer clamps above). These provide a small bit of padding between the metal and the nipple, making it more comfortable for many users. The only drawback to these little rubber ends is that they can be lost in your toy bag and there are not any replacements. Using some metal clamps without these little rubber tips is an option for many people, but not all.
Clothspins come in wood (pictured) and plastic options. Neither option are able to be fully sterilized, making them a less body-safe option than metal choices. However, they are inexpensive, easy to get, and provide a big bang for the buck. For those of you into extreme nipple play, I highly suggest picking up a bag of these at the grocery store.
Many nipple clamps come with accessorized options. The second set (above) come with little bells which tinkle when moved. The tweezer clamps come with a weight to add increased sensation. Other options available include colors, various attachements (bells, feathers, etc.), and electrodes. This means you can customize to your heart’s content!
It is worth picking up two or three different options for nipple clamps. Experiment to see which ones work for you and your partner(s). Try them during different types of play, different times of the month, and different levels of compression. Nipples are a key erogenous zone for all genders! Have fun.