Nipple Play 101

Boobies, tatas, knockers, badonkadonks, titties – whatever you want to call them, breasts are magical. Part of that (under appreciated) magic that I want to talk about is their power as erogenous zones. For men, women, and everyone in between, breasts, chests, and nipples can play a huge part in your sexual experiences, whether they’re with yourself or with a partner (or partners!). 

nipple play
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Nipples are actually made of erectile tissue, which is exactly what it sounds like! That’s right – the same stuff that your genitals are made of, is also on your chest! There’s a reason that your little buds are so sensitive – they can have over 800 nerve endings EACH! That makes them capable of packing a powerful punch of added pleasure to to your sexual repertoire. 

They can be so powerful, in fact, that many people can orgasm just through nipple play! Like any kind of orgasm, it can be different from the sensation you might have climaxing via clitoral, vaginal, or anal stimulation.

Curious to learn more? Here are some interesting stories about women and their nipple orgasm experiences!

Getting Started

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If you’re new to the nipple game, jumping right into heavy petting is probably not the best way to explore this super intense stimulation. A great way to start is by playing with, or having your partner play with your breasts. Gentle and slow massaging can acclimate you to the sensations, and warm you up for more direct caresses. Gradually increase the forcefulness of your ministrations until you feel ready to ramp it up! 

Once you’re feeling it, direct the attention to your nipples. Brush fingers over them, roll them around, pinch them, squeeze them, pull them – whatever feels good! Play around with oral sensations, too, if you’ve got extra hands at your disposal – I personally can’t recommend this enough! Have them slowly lick, and gently suck or bite, your breast, chest, and nipples as you direct them to what kinds of stimulation feel the best! 

Nipple Play To-Do List

There are so many awesome things that you can try with this super-sensitive spot. While hands and mouths can certainly get the job done, experimenting with diverse and new sensations can be wildly TIT-illating. Below are a few tricks I recommend trying out if you want to experiment with some intense new stuff!

nipple play
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Use a vibrating toy on your nips! Since they’re made of erectile tissue like your genitals (and you know how ahh-mazing it feels down there), try it out! You might find that the vibrations feel a little different on your chest; but, with consistent stimulation, you’ll definitely elicit a tingly response! 


Clit suctions toys and nipple pumps are a classic for a reason. Just like vibrators, they can also provide a unique sensation when applied to your nipples. If you’re a fan of oral suction, toys can be a good semblance of that if you’re on your own. They’re also great for more concentrated, acute suction if that’s what you need!

Nipple Clamps:

If direct, forceful stimulation is what you crave, nipple clamps might be right up your alley. Use them for all kinds of sex play, including your masturbation experience, especially if you love to have your nipples pinched. Clamp them on for prolonged sensation, and enjoy!

Fun Flavors and Lubes:

Because your chest is not a delicate ecosystem like a vagina, there are lots of interesting things to try with flavors – classics like whipped cream and chocolate, or something a little different like that flavored lube you’ve always been curious about (but never wanted anywhere near your genitals). Awesome tasting-lubes exist for a reason! While not always the best choice for oral-genital stimulation (read this so you don’t risk a yeast infection!), they can be safely used on your nipples for some fun-flavored, slippery, sticky fun! In addition to flavors, different kinds of lube formulas can achieve different results. There are lubes that moisturize, that change temperature, that create a numbing sensation, and even ones that contain cbd!

Temperature Play:

Ever walked into a cold room and had your nips immediately jump to attention? Yeah, not always the response you want, but in bed, temperature can drive you wild when used as a stimulant on your erogenous zones, including your nipples! Try sucking on an ice cube before using your mouth on your partner’s nips; or better yet, latch onto their chest with your mouth and use your tongue to gently roll the ice cube against them! Use heat the same way – take a sip of warm water and let it heat your mouth up before applying oral stimulation. Alternate with both for some icy-hot action! 

nipple play
via Giphy

The Bottom Line

The sky really is the limit when it comes to applying things to your nipples, breasts, and chest area. If you’ve never experimented before, definitely start slowly and build your way up. But no matter what, I believe that nipple play has a place in everyone’s boudoir! Because there’s just such a diversity of sensations you can experience, there’s something out there for everyone. Let’s stop sleeping on this incredible erogenous zone and start giving it the attention it deserves, amiright?!


A graduate of UC Berkeley, Elizabeth Mason earned her degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. Currently, she is looking towards graduate school, and hopes to continue to focus her studies on womxn’s health and sexual wellness. Her main interests include identity politics and their relation to issues surrounding womxn’s healthcare and sexual liberation. She looks forward to the day when all womxn are empowered socially, politically, and – most importantly – sexually. She can be found on Instagram @elizabeth.mason.

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