For those of you interested in venturing into light BDSM play, allow me to introduce you to a plaything that can seamlessly bridge the gap from vanilla sex: nipple clamps.
The name is pretty self-explanatory—as in, its main use is for pinching or clamping your nips, but “Clamps are also very useful for hands-free nipple play,” says Carol Queen, PhD, sexologist at Good Vibrations.
But before you dive right into nipple clamps, make sure you like nipple play in general (i.e. sucking, pulling, maybe even light biting), as the nipple clamp could be painful for some who aren’t used to the BDSM-esque sensations. And albeit a bit painful, there are some super sexy benefits to using it, like: “Blood gets trapped into that tissue making it super sensitive to the touch,” says Lisa Finn, brand manager at Babeland. This = a crazy, erotic experience for some.
Now, here’s how to choose a clamp:
Start by identifying two things: How big are your nipples? And how much pressure do you enjoy? “Some clamps cover a wider surface area and might be preferred by people with bigger nipples,” Queen explains. The size of the clamps also affect sensitivity. “Thin or small tips on clamps focus the pressure down to one small spot instead of spreading it out.”
What to know if you’re using clamps with a partner:
Make sure to establish a safe word (like pineapple or red) before you start playing. Since clamps can cause a bit of pain, so extra care and attention to your partner’s needs are especially important. You can do this by checking in regularly with them to make sure they’re still enjoying the sensations.
How to begin:
Place the “jaws” of the clamp on the nipple or on the areola for different sensations. Finn recommends starting with the clamps at the back of the nipple (against the areola) since pinching the tip of your nipple right out the gate may be too painful at first. And despite the name, you never want to suddenly clamp the jaws shut.
“Determine where you want the pressure to be, then slowly close the clamp,” Queen explains. Once it’s on, you can always adjust the tension accordingly. You can also try adding stimulation like kissing or sucking on your partner’s nipples while the clamps are attached, too.
For the newbie:
These bestselling tweezer clamps are a hit at Good Vibrations. The “tweezer” on each end is tipped in rubber for comfort (you can find pain to be pleasurable but open scratches and cuts usually are best avoided) and there’s a slider on each clamp that allows you to adjust the tightness of each clamp.
Shop Now Tweezer Clamps, GOOD VIBRATIONS, $18
A no-frills alligator clamp:
These rubber-lined alligator clamps have an adjustable screw to change the amount of pressure on the nipple. The chain is also weighted so you feel extra sensitive with every move you make.
Shop Now Alligator Clamps, FETISH FANTASY (Available on Amazon), $6
For a nipple clamp and clit clamp chain combo:
This rose-gold chain is part of the Fifty Shades Freed line, and includes delicate weighted balls on each of the nipple and clit clamps for extra weight. The nipple clamps are tipped in soft purple silicone for extra comfort too.
Shop Now Fifty Shades Freed Nipple and Clitoral Chain, LOVEHONEY, $30
For a non-metal nipple clamp:
This nipple “clamp” is actually made up of an adjustable string that hooks onto each nipple. There’s a weighted chain in between each loop so you’ll still get the sensation of weight and tension, but for those who don’t want a metal clip, this is a good option. This particular set also comes with a separate clit clamp with weighted balls for extra sensation.
Shop Now Clit and Nipple Clamp, FETISH FANTASY (Available at Lovehoney), $15
For something similar in sensation that’s not a “clamp”:
These nipple suckers are not exactly “clamps” but as Queen explains, they do employ similar sensations. The twist mechanism creates a suction on your nipple (or anywhere else you’d like suction) for hands-free sensation. No batteries required!
Shop Now Vacuum Twist Suckers, CAL EXOTICS (Available at Good Vibrations), $16
For nipple clamps that vibrate:
These silicone coated clamps feature a pinchless toggle so you’re held in place while each tiny-but-powerful vibrator does its magic.
Shop Now Fifty Shades of Grey Vibrating Nipple Clamps, LOVEHONEY, $25
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