If you’ve heard of nipple clamps but aren’t totally sure how they work, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn all about what nipple clamps are, why people like them, the different types of nipple clamps, and how to use them.

What are nipple clamps?

Nipple clamps are unisex kinky sex toys designed for use on the nipples. They tighten around the nipple to restrict blood flow. When clamps press against the skin of the raised buds, it may feel slightly painful and/or warm, which many users find to be arousing sensations. Most nipple toys allow the user to adjust the pressure. They are generally made of metal, with rubber or another soft coating protecting the nipple. Nipple clamps fall under the broader category of BDSM (bondage, discipline or dominance, submission or sadism, and masochism).

Why do people enjoy nipple clamps and other nipple sex toys?

People wear nipple clamps to increase the sensation and arousal in their nipples. Some people are aroused by the act of wearing nipple clamps, while others enjoy the feeling of the blood rushing back to their nipples once they are removed. According to the Milwaukee Record, there’s a physiological reason people enjoy nipple clamps: “[I]ntimate contact with the nipples and areolas causes an immediate spike in oxytocin production. Since oxytocin is the hormone responsible for orgasm (and a million other things related to sex and reproduction), this boost can be both very helpful and a lot of fun.”

Using nipple clamps is a form of nipple play, meaning sexual stimulation of the nipples. People of any gender can use nipple clamps.

Some people’s nipples are more sensitive than others. Some enjoy light licks, while others want stronger sensations. There are even people who can have orgasms from having their nipples played with. Using nipple sex toys can help you explore these sensations.

If you like nipple stimulation of any kind (pinching, biting, etc.), you’ll probably enjoy nipple clamps.

What kind of nipple clamps are available?

All nipple clamps perform the same function of clamping down on the nipples, but how they achieve this differs by the various designs. One of the most basic types of nipple clamps are tweezer clamps, in which two thin metal bars are joined by a small lever that pushes them together.

Other forms of nipple clamps include alligator clamps, chain nipple clamps, and dangle nipple clamps. Alligator clamps get their name because they are shaped somewhat like an alligator, with the “mouth” being the part that attaches to the nipples. Chain nipple clamps are two separate clamps, one for each nipple, attached by a single chain. When the chain nipple clamps are secured to the nipple, the chain dangles between them and can be tugged on for extra sensation.

If this is your first time playing with dangle or chain nipple clamps, start with a gentle tug and see how the wearer feels. Even small movements by the wearer can cause the chain to sway, adding further impact to the nipple clamps. Dangle nipple clamps feature a design such as a butterfly dangling from the end of the nipple clamps. The dangling adds a little weight to the clamps, which can further amplify the feeling of wearing them.

Magnetic clamps are made of magnets that are drawn to each other on either side of the nipple, tightening around it for a similar sensation as other clamps.

How to put on nipple clamps

Each type of nipple clamp will operate slightly differently (see above), but there are guidelines for putting on nipple clamps that apply to most types of clamps. Start by positioning the nipple clamp around the nipple. Then gradually tighten it, taking care to gauge how it feels for the wearer. If they’re wearing nipple clamps for the first time, start on one of the lightest settings where the clamp is affixed firmly to the nipple. You can always tighten the clamps more if that’s what they desire.

What to do while wearing nipple clamps

While wearing nipple clamps, you can engage in any other sexual activity you desire, from intercourse to oral sex or anal play. Depending on the wearers’ preferences, you can add additional stimulation to the nipples by touching, tugging, or flicking the nipple clamps.

How long can you wear nipple clamps?

While wearing nipple clamps, you can engage in any other sexual activity you desire, from intercourse to oral sex or anal play. Depending on the wearers’ preferences, you can Generally, beginners will want to stick to a ten-minute time limit with nipple toys. You can get a feel for the sensation by wearing them for as little as five minutes, then removing them before deciding whether you want to wear them again. Those with more experience can go 20-30 minutes wearing them. After that time, you should remove them and let the blood circulate. You can resume toy use once the nipples are back to their normal state. Your nipples will be extra sensitive for a short time after using these toys. Those who especially appreciate the time period after the nipple clamps come off when the blood rushes back into the nipples may want to wear them, remove them, and then repeat the process.

How do nipple clamps compare to clothespins?

The biggest difference between nipple clamps and clothespins is that clamps can be adjusted, but clothespins cannot. Since nipple clamps are sex toys designed for erotic pleasure, they have your comfort in mind. You can use them safely and efficiently. Clothespins are household objects. They will apply much more pressure to the nipples. If they’re made of wood, they could leave small splinters. Most people prefer adjustable nipple clamps. Depending on your preference, these can be tightened or loosened.

How to remove nipple clamps

Removing nipple clamps is easy; simply reverse whatever you did to put them on. So if you’re using tweezer clamps, slide the lever down. If your nipple clamps screw in, unscrew them. Be gentle when removing them and dealing with your nipples immediately afterward. The nipples will be highly sensitive to the touch when the blood reenters. Some people may find that they don’t want to be touched while this happens, or some may prefer a gentler than usual touch. You can also experiment with licking, sucking, or gently biting the nipples after the clamps are removed, always deferring to the preferences of the person who wore them. Before proceeding, it’s best to see how the wearer feels after the clamps have been removed.

Cleaning and storage tips for nipple clamps

Always follow the instructions that come with your nipple clamps regarding cleaning and storage. Like all sex toys, it’s important to clean and store your nipple clamps or other nipple toys properly to prevent wear and tear. Nipple clamps can be wiped down with an antibacterial sex toy cleaner and should be wrapped in a cloth or storage bag.

There you have it: Everything you need to know about nipple clamps and how to use them! Want to learn more about the wide world of sex toys? See our complete sex toy guide and our detailed instructions on how to use sex toys.