Most of us think of nipple clamps as painful tools for kinky couples, but while that may be true some of the time, it isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Because we usually don’t think past their BDSM association, nipple clamps are an often overlooked upsell on the sales floor. They are highly adaptable to suit various people, situations, body parts, and play styles and can range from soft and sensual to extreme and hardcore. With a little imagination and education, most couples can discover exciting ways to incorporate nipple clamps into their playtime.
Why Nipple Clamps?
Clamping nipples, genitals or other parts of the body offers a unique sensation not often felt during lovemaking. Although actively wearing clamps can feel wonderful, it’s the act of removing them that usually delivers the most intensity. When blood flushes back into the previously clamped area, sensitivity is magnified. Simply blowing on or lightly brushing freshly unclamped skin can bring about unusually intense erotic feelings.
Actively wearing the clamps also feels good. Some enjoy the pain that tighter clamps provide while others prefer gentle, sensual pressure, which is why selecting the right clamp is essential. Nipple clamps are not a one-style-suits-all product and using the wrong clamp can be a miserable experience.
Adjustability Is Key
Nipple sensitivity can vary based on personal preference, how turned on the person is, the temperature in the room, or even physiological aspects, such as where they are in their menstrual cycle. Finding a style that offers the most adjustability, especially for beginners, is important and clamps with adjustable thumbscrews are a best bet for those new to body clamps, because they can be set to provide gentle or intense pressure.
People who already know they prefer very intense clamps may enjoy non-adjustable styles like our Japanese clover-style Deviant Monarch Weighted Nipple Clamps or Twisted Magnetic Nipple Clamps from Master Series. Many non-adjustable styles can be too intense for even those who think they can withstand quite a bite. To make sure what they select aligns with their preferences and expectations, encourage customers to consider and sample a number of styles. To get an idea how each set feels, have customers try out the clamps on the flesh between their thumb and pointer finger.
Think Beyond Women’s Breasts
Nipple clamps aren’t only for women nor are they just used on breasts — no matter their gender, any person with nipples can derive enjoyment from playing with this erogenous zone. Men’s nipples are jam-packed with pleasure receptors and, fascinatingly enough, tend to be especially sensitive. For this reason, adjustable or softer styles are often their preferred style.
Nipple clamps also can be used on other parts of the body, like the labia or scrotum, as an effective way to ramp up foreplay in a non-traditional way. Labia use is especially erotic because gently pulling on this area engages the erectile tissue of the internal clitoral complex. Some men find the same kind of tugging pressure on the scrotum equally arousing.
The Game of Chains Extreme Clamp Bondage System from Master Series is perfect for clamping different parts of the body at the same time. With five adjustment points, users can clamp the nipples, genitals and other areas (try the nose!). Because each clamp is interconnected with a chain, yanking on them simultaneously can provide the ultimate in sensation play.
It’s important for shoppers to understand correct clamp use before heading home to experiment. Make sure to remind them that when using a new style of clamp, do not leave it clamped in one place for more than approximately 10 minutes. Make sure to check the area every so often; if it looks purple or blue or is cold to the touch, remove the clamp immediately. As a general rule, thicker, more meaty tissue (like the outer labia or nipple) can withstand greater pressure while thinner areas (like inner labia or scrotum) are more delicate. It’s best to avoid clamping densely nerve-packed areas like the clitoris all together.
For nipples, make sure they are erect before clamping and never clamp right at the tip of the nipple. This can be uncomfortable and may cause the clamp to snap off, which can be incredibly painful. Instead, grab the erect nipple firmly, pull it out and place the clamp as far back as comfortably possible. A recommended rule of thumb: the further back you clamp, the more secure and comfortable it will feel, and if the wearer has a nipple piercing, be sure to place the clamp behind it.
Advanced and Creative Play Ideas
Kinky couples get the most out of nipple play by combining it with other acts, like bondage or sensory deprivation. Our Silicone Ball Gag with Nipple Clamps from Strict offers chained clamps connected to a breathable ball gag, which can add a sensational element to a BDSM scene. Dominant partners may opt to use predicament play by adding weights or pulling more heavily on connected chains when the submissive does not perform assigned tasks correctly.
Devices like the Fusion Triple Suckers from Master Series are a creative spin on clamping. Rather than pinching, these devices use suction to pull and swell the nipples or other parts of the body, which elicits a similar sensation to clamping by increasing blood flow and sensitivity. They operate by twist mechanism, so they have a degree of adjustability as well.
Make sure to stock a well-rounded variety of nipple clamps and are well versed in their various uses. This way, you can educate customers and break the stereotype that they are only for hard-core kinksters and women’s nipples, which will increase sales while helping people discover a new sexual play tool that they may not have otherwise considered.
Putting a Creative Spin on Nipple Clamps by Rebecca Weinberg originally appeared in XBIZ