Is there anything shrouded in more fake news than nipples?
For starters, there’s that BS myth that nipple stimulation only feels good for cis-women (not true!). Then there’s the fact that nipples are blatantly left out of the orgasm conversation when it is indeed very possible to orgasm from nipple stimulation alone!
Intrigued about nipple play? Read on.
WHAT IS A NIPPLE ORGASM & HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
The tissue that makes up your rosebud is the same tissue that makes up your bits: erectile tissue.
According to sexuality, body confidence, and kink educator, Luna Matatas, it shouldn’t surprise you that an erogenous zone made of something with “erectile” in its name is packed with nerve-endings galore. 800 nerve-endings each, to be exact!
When your nerve-dense buds are stimulated, it ignites the part of your noggin that triggers banging Os (the genital sensory cortex), she explains.
As a culture, we tend to eroticize nipples and breasts. Contact with nipples typically creates an aura of sexuality, which can add to how good the touches feel, explains Good Vibrations sexologist and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum Carol Queen Ph.D.
Matatas adds: As far as sex acts go, nipple play is on the safer side. “Unless someone is lactating, nipple play generally has a very low-risk of sexually transmitted infections.” So, for folks whose orgasms are typically thwarted by anxiety around pregnancy or STI risk, nipple play may actually lend itself to orgasms more easily than other types of Os!
WHAT DO NIPPLE ORGASMS FEEL LIKE?
“Generally, nipple orgasms feel like a build-up of sensation and pleasurable release of tension,” says Caitlin V., M.P.H., clinical sexologist for Royal, a vegan-friendly condom and lubricant company. Some people experience that sensation in their chests, others experience it primarily in their pelvic region, and some even feel it from head-to-toe. For example, Sophie P., 32, a cisgender woman, says, “It felt like I had three clits.” Tara R., 40, had a similar experience, “It felt like I was having four clitoral orgasms at once.”
Carolyn T., 25, a cisgender lesbian says, “It felt like a vaginal orgasm but 12 inches higher: throbby, warm, and like a burst of energy.”
Chanelle H., 28, a self-described non-binary AFAB king, however, experienced it as more full-body. “It was a magical sensation that I literally felt from my head to my toes.” They note that for them, a nipple orgasm is far more similar in sensation to a sleep orgasm than a vaginal or clitoral orgasm.
Meanwhile Zane B., 30, a cisgender gay man says, “It felt like when you first get a case of the goosebumps… in a pleasurable way.”
The bottom line: If you asked 1,000 nipple-orgasms havers what a nipple orgasm feels like, you’d get 1,000 different experiences. But orgasm or not, so long as you’re feeling good you’re doing it right!
HOW TO HAVE A NIPPLE ORGASM
There’s no one-technique-pleasures-all recipe for nipple orgasms. But these tips can help you figure out what works best for you and your love buds.
Chit-chat about boundaries
Matatas notes that, while there may not be any risk of STI transmission or pregnancy in nipple play, safe sex still means discussing emotional safety.
“If you’re playing with a partner, before you begin ask your partner if anything is a turn-off or a boundary when exploring sex that includes nipple play,” she says. “Some words may feel offensive or can trigger gender dysphoria while some fantasies might be off-limits.”
Get to know how your partner likes their body referred to and what acts they want to experience before getting down.
Explore, explore, explore
“Exploration is the name of the game when it comes to nipple orgasms,” says Matatas.
So, whether you’re single, partnered, or multi-partnered, she recommends exploring all sorts of sensations including pinching, pulling, flicking, and massaging the nipples.
And, if you’ve got a partner with a ready and willing mouth, she suggests giving nibbling, biting, and sucking a try.
Start slow… very slow
“You want to give your nipples a chance to warm up to being stimulated,” says Matatas. Rather than going from zero to TUG AS HARD AS YOU (or your boo) CAN, ease into it just as you would with genital stimulation.
If you’re exploring with a bullet vibrator, use the lowest sensation to start. If your partner is pleasuring you with their mouth, ask them to start with light licks.
Don’t limit it to mouths and hands
Sure, lips, tongues, fingers, and hands can deliver some serious pleasure; but why stop there?
According to Caitlin V, items like feathers, ice, vibrators, suction toys, electro-stimulations, Wartenberg wheels, stainless steel toys, and more can all deliver potentially pleasing sensations.
“You can even find objects around the house and in your sex toy drawer to experiment so long as you communicate clearly with your partner what feels good and what doesn’t,” she says. (You might try tape, coconut oil, moisturizer, or hand-held fans, for instance).
Don’t *just* touch your nipples
“Rather than focusing on just your nipples, try stimulating your nipples and another erogenous zone or two at the same time,” says certified sex coach and sex educator Davia Frost.
You might wear a butt plug like the b-Vibe rimming plug or b-Vibe snug plug while pinching your nipples. Or, you might pop the Le Wand Point in your harness and stroke your dildo with one hand while flicking your nipples with another.
“By combining sensations you could even have a blended orgasm,” says Frost. Meaning a nipple orgasm and anal, clitoral, or vaginal orgasm at the same time. Fun!
Try different positions
“Most positions allow for nipple stimulation,” says Frost, who recommends experimenting with all of them.
Masturbating? Flip onto your belly and rub your nipples against the sheets. Suction a dildo to the bath ledge or a chair and ride it while using your hands to play with your nipples. Lay on your back and hold one vibrator below the waist and another above.
GET INSPIRED: 8 Positions and Sex Tips from TheKama Sutra
With a partner? “Start with missionary because it really is one of the best,” says Frost. “But don’t shy away from trying doggy, spooning, or rider on top.”
If you have enough chest tissue, she says that chest fucking (sometimes called titty fucking) can also be fun. “You can press your chest together while your partner thrusts with their penis or dildo.” As they do so, she says, they can dip their shaft to the side, stimulating your nipples as they do. Hot right?
(Note: If you go this route, lube is non-negotiable!)
Bring in The Cowgirl
One way to bring in other erogenous zones *and* experiment with positions at the exact same time is to add The Cowgirl to your nipple exploration journey.
New here? The Cowgirl is a high as hell quality premium sex machine. Saddle shaped and sheathed in (vegan) leather, the rideable vibrator allows you to experience hands-free genital stimulation.
Thanks to a wide variety of attachments like the non-penetrative Rawhide Attachment, double-penetrative Buckwild Attachment, and G-spot and P-spot Lone Ranger Attachment you can you penetrative or non-penetrative anal, vaginal, or vaginal AND anal stimulation of any kind.
If you’re solo, why not let The Cowgirl please you between your legs while you use your hands (or clamps or suckers!) to tease your nipples?
If you’ve got a boo, why not put on one hell of a show for them? Straddle The Cowgirl and let it tease your clit, perineum, balls, or vagina while your partner penetrates you from behind? “From behind positions are wonderful for nipple stimulation because your partner can simply reach around and rub,” says Frost.
Really, opportunities for pleasure and orgasm—nipple or otherwise—are endless.
WHAT IF MY NIPPLES AREN'T SENSITIVE?
No sweat—that’s a very real, common, and normal possibility! Just as different folks enjoy different pressures, strokes, and intensities on their other erogenous zones, the same can be said about nips. Plus, things like genetics, surgical and medical history, medications, trauma, shame, and more all affect their sensitivity.
But even if you’re not typically sensitive, you can still get off from nipple play with the help of the following tips.
Time your play with your period
Really! “Hormonal changes during menstruation can make your nipples more or less enjoyable,” says Matatas.
So, assuming toying with your teats isn’t (unpleasurably) painful during that time of the month, she suggests using it as a time to explore.
Consider getting a nipple piercing
Whether punching rods through your rosebuds make them more or less sensitive is kinda luck of the draw.
“It’s really fifty-fifty whether or not the piercing will increase or decrease sensitivity,” says Frost. But if your nips are already on the not-so-sensitive side, it may be worth a whirl.
Try nipple pumps or suckers
Ever heard of penis or pussy pumps? Well, nipple pumps function similarly. “They temporarily draw blood into the nipple (and sometimes the surrounding tissue), which increases engorgement and sensation… by a LOT,” explains Frost.
In fact, because of how sensating pumps can be, she recommends starting with suckers which are essentially nipple pumps lite.
“Nipple suckers can make a great addition to masturbation or whatever else you’re already doing,” adds Dr. Queen.
Repurpose your clit suction toy
Does your Drawer already have a clit suction toy like the Womanizer or Satisfyer in it? Dr. Queen recommends adding a little bit of lube to the lip of the toy and bringing it to your nips.
“The beauty is that many of those toys have lots of options for strength and patterns, so more to explore and enjoy,” she says.
Dabble in nipple clamps
A hands-free way to apply pressure to your nipples, Caitlin V says, “Nipple clamps are not for the faint of heart, but certainly a great option for folks whose nipples are not very sensitive.”
There are a few different types of nipple clamps on the market, but Frost recommends starting adjustable clamps so you pick your pleasure pressure.
Lather on warming or cooling lubes, oils, or lotions
Ever have your nipples press against your shirt in response to a chill in the air? Matatas recommends using that response to your advantage.
“Playing with contrasts of hot and cold sensations can sometimes delight the nerve endings and bring more arousal to the nipples,” she says.
Try cooling the nipple down with an ice cube or warming it up with a massage candle or wax candles, she says. “You can also try cannabis-infused lubes or cooling or warming lubes to heighten sensation.” fun!
Try temperature play
Pro tip: Place your toy against your wrist to check that it’s a comfortable temperature for you or your partner. You don’t want to stick a piping hot or Arctic chilly sex toy inside of your body!
Get kinky with it
Nips super insensitive? Enjoy a dose of pain with your pleasure? Matatas recommends exploring nipple impact play like nipple spanking or nipple bondage.
Obvi, both these things require some skill. So before you give them a whirl, consider consulting online tutorial videos to show you how to do so safely. Or, hit up your local sex shop’s workshop on impact play and bondage.
Engage your nipples last
Rather than starting your sex sesh by focusing on your nipples, Caitlin V recommends, turning yourself and your body on and then bringing your nipples into focus. “This can help your body begin to associate nipples with pleasure,” she says.
WHAT IF I CAN’T HAVE NIPPLE ORGASMS?
“It’s not a big deal or sign of failure if you can’t nipple orgasm,” says Caitlin V. “Make pleasure and enjoyable stimulation your goal at first, then if orgasm happens, great! And if not, enjoy the pleasure!.”