We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Enjoy nipple stimulation? Meet your new BFF: nipple clamps.
“Nipple clamps can be enjoyed by all people with nipples, regardless of gender, sexuality, amount of breast tissue, or size of nipples,” says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at Babeland, a sex toy boutique that ships worldwide.
Are they actually clamps?
HGTV-enthusiasts and carpenters might be wondering if nipple clamps are the same kind of clamps used to fasten wood to the woodworking table while you saw. No! They’re not.
Nipple clamps look more like clothespins, lil baby tweezers, or kinky keychains.
Why on earth would you put clamps on your nipples?
So! Many! Reasons!
Hands-free nipple stimulation
Oh, nipples! The body part you can do some many wondrous things to:
Well, nipple clamps give you a way to achieve that sensation completely hands-free. Woo!
As Finn puts it, “You (or your partner) may not want to or be able to grip or manually stimulate your nipples as long as you’d like.”
To intensify orgasm
Generally speaking, the more erogenous zones you stimulate, the more intense the pleasure.
Because nipple clamps provide hands-free stimulation, they allow you to receive nipple pleasure while also being manually stimulated by your partner during partnered play.
Or, while you use your hands to hold a vibrator where you want it.
If you’ve explored the wonderful world of anal toys, you’ve likely heard the pulling a string of anal beads out of your bum can make that orgasm way more intense. (It’s true!).
Well, nipple clamps can work similarly, says Finn. “Having the clamps removed right as you’re about to, or as you are, orgasming can make the orgasm even more intense.”
Because they look hot
“Aesthetically, nipple clamps can be really hot,” says Finn.
The type of nipple clamps that are hottest comes down to personal preference. Some people like the #lewk of clamps with chains like Tweezer Clamps.
Others prefer chain-free clamps like the Metal Worx Magnetic Crystal Tip Nipple Clamps or these No Pierced Gold Nipple Rings because they resemble nipple piercings.
To please a Dom(me)
In a BDSM relationship or scene, a submissive might wear them to prove or show devotion and submission to their Dom(me).
“A Dominant partner might have the submissive wear them because even walking around the house with them on can be stimulating — with every step the weight of the clamp tugs the nipple down,” explains Sarah Sloane, a sex educator who’s been coaching sex toy classes at Good Vibrations and Pleasure Chest since 2001.
For this, check out the Black Bomber Nipple Clamp with Weights or Alligator Nipple Clamps With Chain.
Other nipple clamps to explore for BDSM play:
- Penitentiary Nipple Clamp and Cock Ring
- Silicone Bit Gag with Nipple Clamps
- Detained Restraint with Nipple Clamps
- Chrome Collar with Nipple Clamps
Because they can be used in a predicament bondage scene
“Predicament bondage is a type of bondage where a person is restrained with the options to either place themselves in one of two (or a few) equally uncomfortable positions,” says Vala Syn, a professional Dominatrix and BDSM and kink educator. Basically, it’s Russian Roulette.
Because nipple clamps can easily be attached to rope, they’re a great way to consensually “force” a bottom to choose between an intense nipple sensation (usually pain), and some other sensation, she says.
For this, Syn actually recommends classic clothespins (which you can find online here) because you can clip them to each other for increased length.
FYI: Nipple clamps can also be used on other parts of the body
“Nipple clamps can be used on many other parts of the body, including the clit, and, for penis owners who are into cock-and-ball-torture (CBT), the scrotal skin,” says Finn.
She calls out that Y-Style Tweezer Clamps are an especially good option for people who are seeing an increase of clitoral tissue thanks to the testosterone injections, she says.
The nipple clamps on this pair are also thin enough that can be used by folks with less chest tissue (for instance, those who have had top surgery).
Is that even safe?
Congrats! By asking this Q you’re demonstrating that you’re committed to risk-aware consensual kink (RACK), which is the philosophy that Finn says should govern all sexual activity.
The answer: Yes! So long as you use them correctly.
In addition to putting them on and taking them off correctly (we’ll explain how to do that below), that means:
- knowing the difference between pleasurable pain and pain
- communicating with your partner, if you’re using them during partnered play
If you’re using the clamps with a partner, the 1 to 10 pain scale comes in clutch. Think:
- “Right now, these are a 6/10 and I’d like to get to an 8/10.”
- “How do these feel on a scale of 1 to 10? What level of pain are you hoping to achieve today?”
Are all clamps created equal?
From how they attach to what they look like, there’s a surprising amount of variety between nipple clamps. Below, 5 questions to answer before purchasing your cha-cha clips.
Are they adjustable?
Beginners want adjustable clamps. That means butterfly, tweezer, or alligator style.
Note: Alligator-style clamps (which latch on with little screws) generally have smaller “mouths” and are better for smaller nippled folks.
For advanced clampers, non-adjustable clover, magnet, and clothespin style clamps may be preferred.
Do they vibrate?
Some nipple clamps, like the Fifty Shade of Grey Sweet Teasing Vibrating Nipple Clamps and Nipplettes Vibrating Nipple Clamp, have built-in vibrators — a win for nipple owners who enjoy buzz against their buds.
Because the vibrators on these babes are teensy tiny, the vibration quality tends to be on the buzzy side.
If you prefer more rumbly vibrations, Sloane recommends getting metal clamps with a chain. “Metal transfers vibration really well, so wrapping the chain around a rumbly wand vibrator [think: the Le Wand] can be great.”
How will I be using them?
Some clamps are sold as a pair of separate, individual clamps that don’t attach to each other, like these for example.
Others, like these, are attached by a chain.
The chain is best if:
- You plan to use them during masturbation. “That way you can put the chain in your mouth and increase the stimulation just by nodding your head up and down,” says Sloane.
- You enjoy more intense stimulation. The chain gives your partner something to tug, pull, or twist.
- You like the look. No doubt, they’re hot.
- You have a tendency to lose things. Self-explanatory.
Do I want a genital clamp attachment?
Some like the Unbound Nipple & Clit Clamp and Nipple To Clit Tweezer Clamp Set have a third “arm” that attaches to your nether bits.
What turns me on?
Even if you buy a set of clamps that functionally hit everything on your checklist, if you don’t think they’re hot you’re not going to want to use them.
Whether it’s these Black Feather Nipple Clamp or these Bondage Boutique Tease Nipple Clamps the pair that makes you tingle.
How do you use them?
On your mark, get set, play… keeping these tips in mind.
First time? Use an adjustable pair
“When you’re squeezing or pinching your own nipples, as soon as the sensation gets too intense, you automatically relieve pressure,” says Finn.
Clamps aren’t able to read your mind and automatically release in the same way.
But adjustable clamps allow you to easily, well, adjust the intensity.
“That way you’re able to avoid crossing the line between pleasure or pleasurable pain and straight up pain,” she says.
“Get your nipples hard before you put them on,” says Finn.
Dealer’s choice as to how you go about that. Wink.
Put them on correctly
- Open the clamp all the way up.
- Slide it to the base of areola.
- Slowly (!) tighten.
- Leave on for a minute or two, then adjust as needed.
- Continue re-adjusting as needed.
Note: If your nips are sensitive, this location may not ~do it~ for you. Experiment with sliding the clamp closer to the tip.
Build up in time
“The very first time you use them, just use them for 5 minutes to see how they feel,” suggests Finn.
After that, gradually increase the time interval based on:
- your personal pain tolerance
- how tight the clamps are
“If they’re not tight, you can work up to 30 minutes. If they’re super tight, keep it under 15.”
Add in other erogenous zones
It’s simple: “Adding an additional layer of sensation on top of the clamps can make it even better,” says Sloane.
Keep at it
“Nipplegasms are a totally real thing,” says Finn. “Some people can have an orgasm from nipple stimulation alone, while others can have one by combining nipples stimulation with other stimulation.”
Traveling to the O-zone is never the point of play (pleasure is!).
But if something feels good, don’t stop!
When you want to take them off, don’t yank!
Ideally, you’ll be taking off the clamps before you want them off, like, NOW.
Even then, do not tug, tank, or rip them off.
S-l-o-w-l-y ease back on whatever is holding the clamps down, then remove them from one nipple at a time.
“It’s easier for the body to process pain when we’re exhaling,” says Sloane.
Your move: Exhale as you (or your S.O.) opens the clamps.
Don’t be surprised if you can still feel them after they’re off
When you take the clamps off all the blood rushes back into the nipples, which can be INTENSE.
“[This] increases sensitivity for a while after they were taken off,” says Finn.
After your nipples might feel:
“It’s good practice to communicate with a partner after any sexual experience, but especially after a sexual activity where you tried something new,” says Finn.
So, even if you or your partner only had them on for 30 seconds before taking them off, she recommends checking in with a partner about how they’re feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Check in with your partner again the next day
“Maybe you’re less into nipple clamps than you thought you would be because your nipples are still tender two days after and it’s not worth it for you,” says Finn.
Maybe your nipples are sore, but the soreness serves as a sexy reminder of the hot moments you and your boo shared.
Regardless, she recommends touching base with your partner after to share this info. Claps for communication!
Are there any precautions you should take?
Again, putting them on and taking them off correctly is key.
“If the nipple starts to turn a blue-ish color it’s time to take them off,” says Finn, adding that this is a sign the nipples aren’t getting enough blood.
Note: There shouldn’t be any blood. But if you’re a person who lactates, you may notice some residue.
And don’t be toooo surprised if the next day there’s some bruising —especially if you bruise like a peach. If the marks bother you, go looser next time.
The bottom line
Some nip owners are heart eyes for nipple clamps. Others, less so.
Don’t get discouraged if the first time you use them is *shrug emoji* —sometimes cranking them looser or tighter makes all the difference.
If you’re still not Team Nipple Clamps? No big. Nipple suckers toys may be more your speed…
Different strokes nipple toys for different folks!
Gabrielle Kassel is a New York–based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.