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What are Nipple Clamps?

Nipple clamps are a tiny toy designed to squeeze, grip, and pinch a bit of skin. They're specifically crafted to squeeze and grip the average size of a nipple, but most nipple clamps can be used anywhere on the body!

Because these toys are so small and lightweight, manufacturers like to use all of that extra space to get creative. Some nipple clamps may include decorative elements, and others may include chains or weights to offer extra sensation during use.

You'll also find that many nipple clamps are adjustable in width – though the exact mechanism will vary by clamp. In tweezer-style clamps, for example, the slider fastener can be pushed higher or lower along the frame to tighten or loosen the clamp. In alligator-style clamps, a small adjustable screw can be extended to prevent the nipple clamps from fully closing to easily widen the clamp for wider nipples or a looser fit.

If you’re the type of person who loves to do more research, our sex dictionary has a full nipple clamp definition.

What are Nipple Clamps for?

What's the point of any sex toy? It's to provide a delicious sensation! The same can be said of nipple clamps. While every person's preferences are different, people commonly love nipple clamps for a few reasons:

  • They'are hands-free. Once you clamp them onto the nipples, there's no further need to use your hands. This means they can be used alongside pretty much any other type of play!
  • They provide an intoxicating mix of pain and pleasure. Nipple clamps can hurt - but they can also be that orgasmic type of hurt. This mix is what causes a lot of people to love them.
  • They leave the nipples super-sensitive. Once the nipple clamps are removed and the blood starts to rush back in, this can make the nipples extremely sensitive to any further stimulation.
  • They can make the nipples look larger. Especially for people who enjoy body modifications, nipple clamps can leave the nipples looking temporarily enlarged. Not only does this make them easier to touch, but it provides a different visual, too!

  • If any of those appeal to you, nipple clamps might be a good fit for you, too!

How to Use Nipple Clamps?

Learning how to use nipple clamps is a lot easier than you'd assume at first glance! There are just a few simple steps to add clamping to your sex life:

  1. Be aroused to make the clamps feel as pleasurable as possible.
  2. Play with the nipples to get the skin to stiffen.
  3. Pinch the skin of the nipple in one hand (especially for smaller nipples) while you hold the nipple clamp open in the other hand.
  4. With the skin still pinched, attach the nipple clamp to the nipple and/or surrounding skin. Depending on your preferences and nipple size, you can put the nipple clamp onto "just" the nipple - or you can fasten it to the areola and the surrounding tissue around it too.
  5. Leave it on for a few seconds and see how the wearer feels about it.
  6. Adjust as necessary. If the wearer finds the sensation too intense, make the clamp looser or grip less skin. If the wearer finds the sensation too gentle, tighten up the clamp or grip more skin.
  7. Once you've found a comfortable level, leave the nipple clamps on the body for no longer than 15 minutes and continue play elsewhere. Flicking the clamped nipples can feel pleasurable. You can also grip the skin around the nipple clamp or lightly tug on the nipple clamps.
  8. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  9. After 15 minutes pass, remove the clamps.

For people who love to delve into the details, though, we have an entire article about how to use nipple clamps.

Do Nipple Clamps Hurt?

Yes...and no.

The exact sensation a nipple clamp provides depends on the type of clamp and how you choose to wear it.

For example, if you use a clover-style clamp and pull on the chain, the clamp will squeeze to its tightest setting. In comparison, if you loosely wrap a nipple halo around the nipple, it's not likely to place much pressure on the nipple at all.

Remember: nipple clamps work by clamping onto the nipples. In order to stay on the nipples, hands-free, something has to hold the clamps there. In most cases, that missing piece of the puzzle is a firm grip that causes friction.

Getting a firm grip on the nipple, however, can feel painful for some people. Just like in spanking, though, when aroused, some people's brains find themselves turned on by those painful sensations.

You can always lessen how painful a nipple clamp feels by experimenting with a new style (we recommend alligator clamps as one of the least painful options!) and by wearing the nipple clamps on a looser setting. This will make it easier for the nipple clamps to accidentally slip off, but it will reduce how much squeezing the clamps place on the nipples as well.

How Long Can You Wear Nipple Clamps?

Since nipple clamps, effectively, reduce circulation to the nipple, they can only be worn for a limited time.

The exact time will vary from person-to-person - and can even vary depending on whether your blood is pumping or you've been sitting still for 30 minutes.

We recommend that beginners limit their nipple clamp wear to 10-15 minutes at most.

Experienced users who know the sensations of the warning signs may play with nipple clamps for up to a half an hour.

Anyone with circulation issues should consult their doctor before trying nipple clamps. If given the green light, we recommend gradually ramping up your nipple clamp use. Your first try, simply wear the clamps for a few minutes before removing them. See how your body reacts. Increase the duration on subsequent wears to find how long your body will enjoy nipple clamps.

Of course, you can have a lot of fun with the nipples without using clamps! Nipple halos offer beautiful, clamp-like visuals with a lowered blood restriction level. For people who want to avoid restriction entirely, we'd recommend pasties which use the magic of adhesive to fasten anything you'd like on the nipples (like a giant sticker!). This can let you explore the beautiful visuals of nipple play without circulation restrictions.

How to Wear Nipple Clamps?

The fun thing about nipple clamps is how versatile they are! They can be worn as lingerie, or they can be used as a sex toy. They can be worn while watching TV as an easy way to arouse yourself, or they can be used while masturbating to add even more sensations to your play.

Depending on the sex position, you can even wear nipple clamps during intercourse! We recommend selecting positions that leave space around the wearer's nipples (like the Over the Top position) to reduce the likelihood of friction sliding the clamps off.

No matter how you want to use them, simply decide when you want to wear them - and then do! Unlike other types of kink toys or sex toys, nipple clamps can be worn almost anytime you'd like with virtually no prep work required.

For detailed, step-by-step instructions about how to wear nipple clamps, we recommend the "How to Use Nipple Clamps" question above.

Are Nipple Clamps Safe?

Yes...but a bit no as well.

See, nipple clamps are safe if you're free of circulation-related health conditions and use them properly.

However, nipple clamps function by reducing blood circulation. Blood circulation reduction, at light levels, isn't dangerous for most. We've all felt our limbs fall asleep when we stay in place for too long.

The danger with nipple clamps comes in when they're worn for too long or used by someone who has blood circulation concerns to begin with. Especially when you're brand new to nipple clamps and exploring how your body reacts to them, we recommend wearing your clamps for 5-10 minutes at a time.

As you get more experienced with the sensations of nipple clamps, you might be able to wear them for 15-30 minutes at a time. Before you reach that point, you need to understand your body's reactions to the clamps - and your reaction to having the clamps removed. You need to understand - and play within - that sweet spot where you temporarily reduce blood circulation - but not to a dangerous level.

If you have any blood circulation issues, we recommend consulting with your doctor before trying nipple clamps. If they give you the go-ahead, we recommend starting slowly, gradually ramping up your nipple clamp use. Try them for a few minutes the first time before removing them to see how your body reacts. If they go well, gradually increase the duration (like 2 minutes and 30 seconds next time!) on future wears to find the sweet, safe spot for your clamped play.

If you'd like to stay as risk-averse as possible, we'd recommend swapping to nipple jewelry instead.

Are Electric Nipple Clamps a Thing?

Yes, actually!

The magic of electrosex toys has allowed e-stim nipple clamps to exist. We carry the Mystim Barry Bite and powerboxes (to power them!) that can make electric nipple clamp fantasies a reality!

Just remember to read all of the important electrosex safety information before playing with e-stim toys like these nipple clamps. Especially if you're new to using nipple clamps in general, there can be a lot of important safety information to learn at once.

How to Make Nipple Clamps at Home?

Anything that "pinches" can be used as a DIY nipple clamp option. Clothespins are a common option, but chip clips, binder clips, clothes pins, folded paperclips, and chopsticks are all common ways to DIY your own clamps at home.

As nipple clamps are one of the most affordable kink toys out there, we recommend purchasing a set of nipple clamps instead. This because homemade nipple clamps offer quite a few problems:

  • Household objects were not designed for clamping onto human skin. This means they may pierce the skin and draw blood - or they may be too loose or too tight for comfortable wear.
  • Your household object may not be designed for easy after-use clean-up. Especially if your homemade nipple clamp draws blood, it should be thoroughly cleaned (and even sanitized before your next use).
  • It's likely not adjustable. Making homemade nipple clamps is already an impressive feat in itself! Figuring out a way to adjust their tension is next level. Toys made for clamping will likely already have a tension adjustment system built in.
  • They're more likely to slide off. It's going to be hard to move around without accidentally bumping giant chip clips hanging off your chest!

Instead, we recommend picking up a pair of nipple clamps made to be pleasurable and safe for nipple play. Don’t worry; we have a whole range of budget-friendly options here at Kinkly Shop! Just scroll up on this page to shop our full selection.

If you choose to look into homemade nipple clamps, make sure you test them on less-sensitive skin before jumping straight to the nipples. Most people usually have enough skin under their upper arm ("bat wings”) or in the webbing between the fingers to clamp onto. This can help you figure out how your DIY nipple clamps will work before placing them on the nipples.