Let’s Talk About Nipples!

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Nipple Piercings, that is.

I have been noticing sooo many questions about nipple piercings.  They’re great piercings, but fussy healers.  Here are some pointers for the curious or sore:

Nipple piercings are great all-around piercings.

Almost anyone can get their nipples pierced, whether you are a man or a woman; whether you have tiny man nipples, large breasts with heavy nipples, or small breasts; even inverted nipples can usually be pierced.  Nipple piercings look great and FEEL great! Many piercees report increased sensitivity and pleasure with their pierced nipples.  I certainly enjoy mine!

You must,  of course, be 18 years old (in the US) to get a nipple piercing, and visit a professional piercer.

A Word about Pain

Are you concerned about the pain of piercings? Nipple piercings are widely reported to be one of the most painful piercings around; and it’s true, they can be quite painful.  But keep in mind 1) that perception of pain differs from person to person,  so that one person may report such-and-such a piercing as the most painful eva! and the next person could say, meh–pain? what pain?; 2) The actual push of the needle only lasts a few seconds, and is completely bearable.

A good piercer who is experienced and deft makes all the difference, too, so spend some time searching for and vetting your piercer for a less painful experience. The second nipple piercing is likely to hurt more if you are getting both done at the same time, so some piercing studios offer simultaneous nipple piercings with two piercers.  The idea here is to get through all the pain at once, so if you are very concerned about the pain, this might be an option for you.

If you’re still concerned about the pain–maybe piercing isn’t for you.  Pain is part of the point!

One or two? Up, down, or all around?

People question whether they should get nipples pierced one at a time, or both at the same time.  Or even if they should get both done at all.   This is really a matter of personal preference; some people like to be symmetrical and feel they would be “lopsided” with only one; others like the quirkiness of just one.

The other big consideration is that freshly pierced nipples shouldn’t be played with, or contaminated with mouth or hand contact during the initial healing period.   This  means leaving them alone for at least a few months, and limited play for many more months.  Some people are really “boob” people and therefore want to get one at a time; one to heal; and one for play.  Or, you can get them both done at one time and get it over with.  The choice is yours.

A piercee also faces another choice:  vertical, horizontal, or somewhere in between.  If you want to wear ring style jewelry, go with the traditional horizontal placement.  However, vertical or diagonal piercings are also perfectly fine.  I myself have one vertical and one horizontal nipple piercing, which worked for the size and shape of my breasts.  Discuss your options with your piercer.

Choice of jewelry

Rings: CBRs, or ring-style jewelry, used to be the jewelry of choice for nipples.  There are two problems with rings, however, which should be taken into consideration and discussed with your piercer when deciding on jewelry.

First, the diameter of the ring must be big enough so that the part that goes through the flesh is fairly straight.  This makes for a diameter much larger than you might expect, especially for large nipples, and unfortunately, many people have been pierced with rings that are too small, causing them to “salute” and not heal well.

The second problem with rings as initial jewelry is that they are big, and they move.  In other words, they get twisted around, flip up and down, get bumped by things–all to the detriment of the healing flesh tunnel inside.  Most piercees have found through experience that during healing, the less the jewelry moves, the better.

This is not to say that you can’t heal nipple piercings with rings; many people have, but personally, I would go with . . .

Barbells: A well-fitting barbell is a great choice for initial jewelry.  They are low-profile and don’t move around much.  Properly sized, they allow for a little space at either end to allow oxygen to get to the wound.  You don’t want the balls smashed up against the nipples and they must be big enough so they are not sucked into the flesh tunnel.  Good measurements, and sometimes further adjustments are necessary. (Avoid piercers who use a “one size fits all” approach.)  Some piercers like to use curved barbells, which they feel conform to the shape of the breast well (especially larger female breasts).

Material: As always, quality jewelry is a must!  Look for good quality, internally threaded highly polished steel or titanium. (ETA:  Bioplast is also an option for new piercings.  See comment below.)

A straight titanium barbell is a fine choice for initial piercing, and for long-term wear.  Highly recommended!

What gauge to get?

A “standard” nipple piercing is usually 14 gauge.  You can get a bigger initial gauge if you have large nipples, and your piercer agrees.   Male nipples are usually pretty small and therefore pierced a bit through the areola, and so could support slightly larger, perhaps a 12 gauge.

Both my nipples were pierced at 8 gauge, which is unusually big.  But I like large gauges and sturdy piercings.

But wait! There’s more!

In my next post, I’ll discuss healing,  long-term wear, and I’ll give you my top tip for successful nipple piercings!

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This fine pic is from Bobster855’s photostream at Flickr. He says they both rejected on him, “I guess you need to leave them alone in order for them to heal properly.”  Yup.

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2 Responses to Let’s Talk About Nipples!

  1. piercedconsumer says:

    Edit: Freaky Ferret wanted me to add bioplast to the initial jewelry materials. Here’s her comment:

    “I just wanted to make one comment here, on the jewelry section. Autoclaved BioPlast has been proven to be a VERY acceptable initial jewelry material. In fact, that post you made about the AAP initial jewelry regulations will show you that BioPlast has been accepted as an initial jewelry material under certain grades which TRUE BioPlast follows. I know you aren’t really one for plastics, but I do feel that it would be appropriate to mention since now even the AAP recognizes it’s use for initial piercings. My nipples were pierced with BioPlast, and compared to what I’ve read about healing nipples and all that, they healed REALLY fast (and I’m not a fast healer).”

    Thanks, FF. All comments are highly appreciated, as I always seem to forget something!

  2. […] you’re interested in the subject of nipple piercings, I highly suggest you take a look at this post called “Let’s Talk about Nipples” on The Pierced Consumer, and this one called “Nipple Piercings and the Long Haul”, […]

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