Tips for Nips: An Introduction to Nipple Play

A man with a pierced nipple tugs gently at his piercing
Nipple piercings can make your nipples more sensitive to nipple play – just ask consent before touching someone else’s and be gentle! A piercing is not an invitation to grab and twist.

My first experience with nipple play was a happy accident, a slight brush against my nipples sending a jolt of pleasure through me. It felt great, a satisfying tease that made me long for more. I wanted to know every possible way I could intensify that delightful feeling. And trust me, there are many.

But why the nipples?

Nipples are erogenous zones, essentially meaning they are more sensitive than other areas of the body. The nerves that connect to your nipples link up with sensory cortex of the brain, same as the genitals. Sexual stimulation to the nipples builds arousal and gets the blood flowing, so why not play with those little nubs of pleasure.

What is nipple play?

Nipple play is stimulating the nipples for pleasure. This can be anything from gentle teasing to pinching and licking. Many people find it pleasurable, great for foreplay and a wonderful addition to sex.

Contrary to popular belief, nipple play isn’t limited to cisgender women – if you have nipples, you can enjoy nipple play! Everybody’s nipples have varying sensitivity. I discovered early on that mine were incredibly sensitive and reactive to touch. So if something is too intense for you, that’s okay. The aim of any sex play isn’t to push yourself into being uncomfortable – it’s to give you and your partner an intimate, enjoyable experience. Ask your partner what they like, or what they want to try. And listen to each other. Open and honest communication is always key.

Nipple play is also an amazing practice of sexual wellness and  self-pleasure – a chance to explore and know your own body. Allow yourself time to discover what makes you excited, and what makes you squirm, squeal, and gasp. Do you like a bit more pressure? Less? Whatever it is, go slow and explore the sensations. I definitely found it hard to slow down and focus on my body at first. There’s an intense intimacy to self-pleasure that is sometimes difficult to confront, especially if you are taught that pleasure can only be one thing. I suggest you lie down and take the time to touch and play with your nipples. Feel how sensitive they are. Focus on your breathing, move your fingers ins slow, gentle circles, and listen to your body’s reaction.

Just remember that orgasm doesn’t have to be the goal to pleasure. You can take things as fast or slow as you like.

Nip Tips

An asian woman in a white tube top points towards her nipples
There are many ways to play with nipples, but every body is different. Explore what you like, and if you’re playing with a partner go gently and listen to what they like and dislike.

If you’re new to nipple play, or are looking for some ideas on how to do it better, you’ve come to the right place! Below are my top tips for amazing nipple stimulation.


Enjoy your entire chest! Just because this is nipple play doesn’t mean you have to go straight for the nips. The area around the nipple is sensitive too, and it’s perfect for teasing with gentle, delicate touches. Teasing is a tantalising part of foreplay. It creates anticipation for direct touch, making it all the more satisfying when you finally reach the nipples. And don’t stop there, teasing touches on the nipples prepares them for what’s to come.


Done with teasing? Why not pinch those little nubs? Grip and twist or pinch and pull. It’ll give you (or your partner) a jolt of pain and pleasure. Remember to pay attention to both nipples, and start gently. If it feels good you can always go a bit harder next time.

Use your mouth

Lick and suck those little nubs. Bite them if you have consent, but don’t bite too hard! Remember, they’re sensitive.

Play with temperature

Temperature play is exactly what it sounds like – using different temperatures for sexy results. Ice is a classic and great for nipple play. Grab an ice cube, place it in your hands or between your lips and tease the nips with it. They will harden and perk up, making them more sensitive. For heat, cup your hands around a hot drink, let your fingers absorb the warmth then brush those fingers against the nipples. Working with a combination of hot and cold sensations creates delightful pleasure.

Nipple clamps

A set of silicone padded nipple clamps with a rhinestone decorated chain can be great for nipple play
Much superior to clothes pegs (ouch), nipple clamps are designed for nipple play and stimulation. Many feature silicone grips for comfort, adjustable pressure, and a connecting chain to tug on.

Nipple clamps are lovely little toys designed to pinch onto the nipples, providing constant pressure and stimulation. After discovering that my nipples were sensitive, I got curious and used some clothes pegs as makeshift nipple clamps. They work, but they are not the best choice for nipple play. Pegs have a sharp pinch that’s not adjustable and borderline painful. Just warning you if you want to try that. Nipple clamps have the advantage of coming in different shapes, and most clamps have adjustable pressure to intensify sensations. You can also get some with rubber or silicone padding to soften the pinch, and pretty beads or other accessories hanging on them to adorn the nips. My personal favourite are clamps that have a chain connecting them, it’s extra satisfying to pull – making nipple clamps a perfect addition to bondage.

A word of advice: don’t leave nipple clamps on for extended periods of time. They’ll make your nips numb instead of sensitive. Make sure you give your nipples a break and they’ll be back to their normal sensitivity in no time. And ready to play.

Use vibration or suction toys for nipple play

A Greek Goddess lies on the sand, her hair wet, cradling a Lelo Dot clitoral vibrator to her cheek
The pinpoint precision and gentle figure 8 motion of the Lelo Dot makes it a great toy for nipple play.

Sex toys aren’t just for your bits; they are great for nipple play. There are specific nipple vibrators – and vibrating clamps – that provide delightful sensations but honestly, any vibrator works. Toys like the Lelo Dot are a treat to use as they have offer pinpoint control over where you apply the vibrations. Try brushing the toy over your nipples, then hold it there. Feel the vibrations as they run through your body as you play with different settings and intensities, and find what works for both yourself and your partner.

If vibrators aren’t your thing or if you want to try something different, suction toys are amazing on the nipples. There are pumps that draw blood to the area, making the nips perk up, and some female pumps that are designed for clitoral engorgement also work great on your nipples. Suction toys like the Pro 2 have similar effects as nipple pumps, so if you own a clitoral stimulator, maybe try it on your nipples too! I really enjoy the subtle, pulsing feeling, and it can get really intense at higher settings if that’s your thing.

Impact play

For those who don’t know, impact play is the act of striking someone for pain and pleasure. It’s a specific kink that involves smacking, whipping, and tapping with your hands or with instruments like paddles and crops. The point of impact play is to increase blood flow to the skin and heighten sensitivity for the pleasures that follow.

Impact play is usually used for the softer fleshy parts of the body, like the butt and thighs, but you can can use impact play on the nipples if that’s something you’re into, it just has its limits. As I said earlier, nipples are a very sensitive area of the body so don’t hit them hard, especially if you are just trying it out. Start off with light taps or flicks with just a fingertip, or a very soft flogger or tickler. If you’re doing impact nipple play with a partner – ask them what they’d like to try and establish a safe word. Keep it safe, sane and consensual. Painful pleasure is great if you like it, but we don’t want to hurt anyone.

Piqued your interest in nipple play?

That’s great! Experiment with one or all of these nipple play tips, and find out what you enjoy. Don’t be shy, you can stimulate more than one part of your body at once. And if you find nipple play isn’t for you, that’s absolutely fine too! There’s plenty of other things to try, from new sex toys to pegging, or even anal if you haven’t already tried it. Just remember to clean yourself out first. Above all, remember to play safe and have fun!