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Guide to Nipple Toys

The nipples are one of the most erogenous zones on the body. Something about them is enticing, and their perkiness when aroused is sexy. It’s common for nipple play to be introduced during sex, whether it is sucking, licking, biting or twisting them. Of course, using nipple clamps and nipple toys allows for more of these sensations to be explored and for hands to be free to do other things while pressure is still being applied to the nipples.

In this titillating guide, we will go over what nipple clamps are, what types are available, how to use them and our recommendations for best nipple clamps available.

Guide to Nipple Toys

The nipples are one of the most erogenous zones on the body. Something about them is enticing, and their perkiness when aroused is sexy. It’s common for nipple play to be introduced during sex, whether it is sucking, licking, biting or twisting them. Of course, using nipple clamps and nipple toys allows for more of these sensations to be explored and for hands to be free to do other things while pressure is still being applied to the nipples.

In this titillating guide, we will go over what nipple clamps are, what types are available, how to use them and our recommendations for best nipple clamps available.

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Table of Contents

What are Nipple Clamps?

Nipple clamps are used in breast torture and include any device that pinches the nipples and restricts bloodflow and then increases bloodflow when released. This can be very painful, erotic and pleasurable to different people. While most people use these clamps on nipples so often they’ve gotten the name nipple clamps, they are great tools to use on various erogenous zones. These zones include the labia and near the clitoris, perineum, scrotum, foreskin, earlobes, lips, tongue and anywhere else that has a fold of a skin small and stretchy enough for clamps to bite down on them without slipping off.

The most common types of clamps are clothespin style clamps, also known as alligator clamps that simply open and then clamp down on the nipples. Today, most alligator clamps are metal in design but they originated from simple wooden clothes-pins. People still use clothes-pins today, especially for the painful and sadistic practice of making a submissive endure a zipper (placing multiple clamps along the skin in a row, with each clamp connected by rope or string, then removing them all at once like a zipper). Some of the metal clothespin style clamps have a tiny screw that allows the Dominant to adjust the pressure little by little until the desired amount of pain is reached.

The second most common clamps are the tweezer style clamps. These are clamps with two long pieces of metal that have flat ends and an adjustable ring. These are great for beginners because the ring makes pressure easy to adjust and the design is simple and straightforward. Nipple suckers are easy to use and great for beginners and advanced users. Suction causes the blood to be pulled into the suction cup design. When used on nipples, this causes them to engorge with blood and perk up, rosy and full. This both increases sensation as well as looks sexy to many people. These suckers can be used anywhere on the body to create tiny, circular bruises on fair skin, or to increase sensation on other erogenous zones such as the clitoris or the head of the penis.

Adding vibrators to any of these options simply adds another level of sensation. However, the most extreme clamps are either the ElectroSex Clamps or Japanese Clover Clamps, also called butterfly clamps. For those who enjoy intense pressure, magnetic nipple orbs use little magnetic balls placed on opposite sides of the erogenous zones that continuously pinch the nipples as the magnets try to reach each other. Nipple screws are a little more old-fashioned in that they use screws and bars to clamp down on the nipples. They’re similar to medieval torture devices or something found in a carpentry workshop, but a much smaller version.

Clover clamps were originally used as sewing tools and can be found in sewing stores to this day. However, they lack the protective rubber tips that keep the nipple and skin from damage. These clamps have a spring tension and if a cord or chain is tied to the end of the clamps, the more the wearer pulls away, the tighter they clamp down.

There is little history on nipple clamps, however the concept of pinching skin with implements is not new. The Marquis de Sade publicly introduced their sadistic uses in his book Justine. And at some point, someone made doing the laundry more erotic, grabbed some wooden clothespins, and starting experimenting. As with most BDSM items, it was just a common, household item until a creative and sadistic individual turned it into a tool for pleasure and pain.

Today, nipple clamps are one of the most common BDSM implements available, and are staple for beginning and advanced users to have in their bag of kink toys.

Why You Need Nipple Clamps

There are so many creative and fun ways to use clamps, there’s really no reason to leave them out of the mix. Not only are they easy tools to use, they come in a variety of pressures and styles so there’s something for everyone. For those who don’t like their nipples being played with, clamps can be used on almost any part of the body to enhance sensitivity and arousal. Below are some ways people enjoy using these simple yet elegant devices.

  • Experience a Nipplegasm For those who are turned on by nipple play, some people can experience orgasms from intense nipple play alone using clamps or suckers.
  • Attach Chains and Lead Them Around Visually, this is a highly erotic aesthetic. Psychologically, it represents submission from the one being led around, and control from the one who holds the chains or lead. Power dynamics are a huge part of BDSM and are also an important part of the erotic play.
  • Enhance Sensitivity on Erogenous Zones Anytime blood circulation is limited due to pinching or pressure and then suddenly increases due to a release of pressure, the nerves in that area get a little shock and the body pays attention. Using suction or clamping can achieve these results and make the desired area far more sensitive than it normally is so that any touch or caress is temporarily enhanced from then on.
  • Masochism For those who truly enjoy pain, clamps can be a great way to play with new edges. Pain causes an increase in adrenaline and endorphins and stimulates a natural high. For Dominants, this is a lazy way to introduce pain into a scene. Clamps provide a steady, consistent amount of pain for the duration they are used. Any tap, pull or jostle of the clamps can increase pain. Most clamps have attachment points for chains or weights that can add even more sensation and pain. Even removing them can be painful.
  • Sadistic Games For masochistic bratty subs, using nipple clamps during a portion of the session (no longer than 30 minutes to an hour at a time) can be useful in adding creativity to nipple torture. For example, a Dom can place weights on ends of the clamps, and then attach the ends to a chain. The submissive holds the chain in their mouth, lifting the weights up off the nipples. As the Dom begins to tickle them, they struggle not to writhe or drop the chain and weights. (Only do this with experienced submissives who have a high pain tolerance).
  • Nipple Stretching or Elongating A unique type of nipple torture is stretching or elongating the nipples. This can work with pierced nipples by using devices that pull against the barbells. For unaltered nipples, suction devices pull the nipple and enlarge it.
  • Nipple Enlarging Many people find the look and feel of larger nipples sexy. Nipple Suckers help swell the nipples in a similar manner that a penis pump causes the cock to swell up with blood and become engorged.
  • Increase Sensitivity After removing the clamps, the skin will be highly sensitive. Every touch will be intensified. For those with erogenous zones that aren’t that sensitive to begin with, this can create an opportunity for heightened sensation. Try blowing on the nipples, licking them, or using a tickler!

There are numerous ways to use nipple clamps, and these are only a few. Get a pair and try it out. The only limit is creativity!

Types of Nipple Toys

While all nipple clamps have a similar purpose (to pinch the nipples or skin), there are a variety of differences in design. Some are more heavy and others pinch, while even newer designs include vibrations or decorative accessories!

  • Classic Nipple Clamps These include clamps and tweezers that pinch the nipple.
  • Nipple Chains & Accessories These items adorn, accessorize or enhance the nipple clamps. This includes chains that can be connected to other body parts, restraints or toys, weights and decorative accessories.
  • Nipple Pumps & Suckers These items include a variety of motorless suction devices that use a vacuum seal to suck on the clit and stay in place. A few items, such as O-rings, are used to enhance and enlarge the nipples. Check out our Guide to Clit, Breast & Ass Pumps for more information and suction play with breasts and nipples.
  • Vibrating Nipple Toys These toys combine nipple suckers, clamps or tweezers with vibration on the nipples for intense sensation!
  • Unique Nipple Toys This category includes a variety of devices to torture, tease and please the nipples. Unique toys such as ElectroSex nipple clamps, forceps, nipple extenders and nipple screws all add an interesting variety of nipple play options.

How to Apply & Remove Clamps

Putting Them On

  • Begin with the submissive face up on a bed or facing the Dominant and standing up to easily access the nipples. Their nipples should be easily accessed.
  • Hold the end of the clamp or clothespin near it’s free end with one hand.
  • With the other hand, pinch a fold of skin and pull it away from the submissive’s body tenting the skin.
    *If clamping on the nipple area, pinch above the nipple to clamp on the areola, not the nipple end.
  • Guide the clamp over the tented skin. Make sure the clamp is above the nipple, not on it.
  • Communicate that this will be painful for approximately 30 seconds and that the pain will subside soon after. Keep holding the clamp in place and don’t release pressure completely.
  • Gradually let go of the clamp, releasing pressure over a period of 10-15 seconds until you are no longer touching the clamp. Spread your fingers across their skin without bumping the clamp at all.
  • Allow the submissive to experience the new sensation quietly. They need this time to process the pain. If they are aroused and enjoying it, you’ll see them breathing calmly, their body relaxed. If they are having trouble relaxing, their face will be in a grimace and their body will remain tight and tense.
    *If they are not able to relax, they will not be able to experience the pleasure/pain dynamic clamps can offer. Take them off and try them another time when they are more relaxed/aroused, or try them on another body part or location that may be more enjoyable.

Taking It Off

  • Note: Clamps hurt to take off. This is a slow and intentional practice.
  • Place your hand gently on the submissive to keep them and the clamped area still and to calm them. With the free hand, gently grasp the end of the clamp.
    *Make sure that there is no lubricant on your fingers that would interfere with a firm grip on the clamps.
  • Communicate that this will hurt for about 30 seconds or more and remind them to breathe. Place the thumb and forefinger of the free hand on either side of the clamped skin to keep it taught and still and then begin slowly relieving pressure as you remove one clamp at a time.
  • Once you start to remove the clamp, do not stop! It will hurt even more if the clamp is placed immediately back on. Even if the technique is not perfect, continue steadily and remove it.
  • The area that has just been clamped will now be hyper sensitive and painful. Do not rub the area (it will only result in more pain) and instead give the submissive a moment to catch their breath and calm down before removing the next clamp.
  • Repeat all steps for each remaining clamp.

Materials & Cleaning


  • One of the best materials for sex toys
  • Long shelf life
  • Easy to clean
  • Hypoallergenic and non-porous
  • Can retain heat and cold for long periods of time so it can warm to your body temperature
    *Do not use with silicone lube!

To Clean: Wash with warm water and mild soap or, for more serious cleaning, boil the toy in water for 5-10 minutes and then wash with an antibacterial soap.

Metal (Chrome, Steel, Aluminum)

  • Non-Porous, easy to clean, compatible with all lube types
  • Temperature sensitive
  • Non-adjustable; can be difficult to get off an erect penis

To Clean: Soak or boil in a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water for 10 minutes, place in the dishwasher, or use warm water and soap.


  • More affordable than silicone, great for beginners
  • More porous than silicone, so harder to keep clean and has a shorter shelf-life
  • Can’t easily be disinfected
    *Do not use with oil based lube!

To Clean: Rubber is very porous and the chemical composition of each brand varies. Some rubber products contain phthalates which can be harmful to your health. Wash with mild soap and warm water. Store in a cool, dark place.


  • Intense and exciting stimulation
  • Requires an electrical power unit

To Clean: Please refer to our Guide to ElectroSex for instructions on proper care, use and cleaning of ElectroStim toys.

Vibrating Nipple Clamps

  • Weighted slightly due to the vibrators attached
  • Intensifies stimulation in the clamped area

To Clean: Take out batteries. Hand wash and wipe down with a cloth using soap and water. Allow to air dry completely before putting batteries back in. Leave batteries out while not in use.

Buyer’s Guide to Nipple Clamps

If nipple clamps sound exciting, choose from the below items to get started! There are many ways to enjoy clamps and they are the perfect accessory to add to any kink bag.


Black Tweezer Nipple Clamps Easy to adjust and great for beginners, these tweezer clamps come in metallic black and have rubber tips.

Deluxe Adjustable Nipple Clamps Classic metal nipple clamps with rubber ends. These clamps are adjustable so they’re perfect for beginners or for anyone who wants the freedom to experiment with variable pressure.


Rings of Fire Nipple Press Kit This press kit has four small screws that adjust to the perfect size and pressure. Four points of pressure press mercilessly against the nipple for the feel of a true ring of fire!

Magnus Mighty Magnetic Orbs Small magnetic balls that can be placed anywhere and cause continuous pressure for their pleasure or pain.

Silicone O-Ring Gag with Nipple Clamps Combine masochism with submission with this gag that connects to the nipple clamps. The gag leaves their mouth open and ready for insertion and every thrust will cause slight pulling on the chains!


Zeus ElectroSex Clamps These clamps are paired with a Zeus powerbox to direct electric shocks into the clamps for even more sensation!

Japanese Clover Clamps Fashioned after the original clover clamps but made to be body-safe with rubber tips.

Firecracker Clothespin Body Zipper For experienced submissives, this intensely painful zipper will have them crying out in pain!

Safety & Cleaning

Check in on the submissive every 15 minutes to see if they need the clamps taken off.
Some submissives have pride about proving how much pain they can take. However, clamps are not sudden and short-lived pain like the kind they experience from spanking and whipping; they are continuous, unrelenting pain. Check in on them to make sure they are remembering to breathe, relax and that they are still enjoying themselves.

Don’t leave clamps on for more than one hour to avoid damage from loss of blood circulation or pressure.
While it’s uncommon to have long-term damage from wearing clamps, it’s not impossible. It’s important to allow adequate blood circulation into any area that has been pinched from clamps. Blood flow keeps tissues healthy and alive; the lack of blood flow can cause tissue or nerve damage if users are not careful. Take clamps off after an hour and take a break before putting them back on, or take them off as soon as the submissive begins to find them too painful to endure.

Be cautious with clamps with teeth; they can damage the skin.
Many people try the DIY (do it yourself) homemade clamps that can be bought from hardware or sewing stores. While these are where many clamps came from originally, they aren’t meant for long-term wear and use. For one, many of them have exposed teeth that are meant for cloth, not skin. These teeth bite into the skin with every pull and yank, tearing the flesh. There are a few safety concerns with this. First, breaking the skin can introduce bacteria into the blood or skin tissue and potentially cause infection. Second, the primary use of clamps is to restrict blood flow and increase sensation, not to cut or tear the flesh. If this is a desired experience, have a direct and clear conversation about the type of wounds desired, consider edge play with knives or piercing, and thoroughly clean the implements before and after with antiseptic cleaners.

Expert Tips & Advice

Test the clamps on the piece of skin between forefinger and thumb.
This is an easy place to put a clamp if out in public and trying out clamps. Clamping on this area allows you to pull on it to test its grip, pressure and functionality. Get used to different pressures and learn to gauge how much pain each clamp can deliver.

Wider clamps disperse pressure and are less painful, while narrow clamps distribute more concentrated pain.
The more dispersed the pain, the easier it will be for a submissive to endure it longer. For beginners, start with wider clamps or choose a clamp that has adjustable rings or screws.

Place the clamp behind the nipple, not on the tip.
Nipple clamps aren’t actually meant to go on the nipple but instead behind it on the areola. Read the above section on How to Apply and Remove Clamps.

When placing clamps on a man’s scrotum, avoid the vas deferens.
Placing clamps on this area is painful and can cause injury.

Make sure the skin being clamped and your hands are dry (not oily or lubed) while applying or removing the clamps.
The clamps need to stay in place or they can cause unintended pain. It’s okay to be a sadist as long as someone is an intentional, aware, and consenting sadist. You don’t want to accidentally hurt the submissive. When playing, lube is often used for other activities so hands and erogenous zones might be slippery. The lubricant will make putting on the clamps very difficult since they won’t grip to the skin. When taking them off, having slippery hands may result in clamps accidentally slipping out of the Dominant's fingers, which will rapidly reapply pressure to the pinched skin and cause the submissive to scream in pain. While this may be amusing to some sadists, it is not a careful or caring thing to let happen and may result in that submissive refusing to play again.

The longer the clamp is left on, the more painful it is when taken off.
Be aware of this when removing the clamps and be mindful of the time.

After removing a clamp, do not rub the skin! (Unless you want to cause more pain).
All the blood is rushing to the area and causing it to be even more sensitive. Allow the tissue to get recirculated before irritating it with abrasive rubbing.

Remove clamps right after orgasm.
When the submissive is experiencing pleasure, their pain tolerance is higher. This means that as soon as they orgasm, it is possible that their tolerance for pain will start to plummet. Additionally, if they are experiencing stress from being out of control or anxious about a first-time experience, their pain tolerance will go down as well.

Pain tolerance in women changes based on their menstrual cycle.
Nipple clamps they found very painful during their cycle may be less painful or even pleasurable after their cycle is over. Be sure to have either clamps that are adjustable in pressure or different kinds for each part of the month.

Avoid pulling on Clover Clamps or any clamps that have spring tension.
Pulling these types of clamps will cause the pressure to increase which, if done too forcefully, can damage the skin or increase pain to an extreme.


Are nipple clamps painful?
For most people, yes, and that is their appeal. These clamps are used to blend pleasure with pain. However, if it is too painful, get an adjustable clamp to variate how much pressure is being used per session.

Will my nipples become more sensitive if I use nipple clamps?
After slowly removing clamps that have been placed on the body for a while, the sensitivity and pain after removal is even more intense than what the submissive feels while wearing them. This can increase sensitivity to the area for hours after, or for only a few minutes, depending on how long they were left on. It is not, however, something that permanently changes the sensitivity level of the area.

Will I lose sensitivity in my nipples if I use clamps?
Generally, no. However, if the lack of blood circulation causes the tissues to fall asleep (like our limbs sometimes do) it will feel temporarily numb and then tingle as the blood flows back in.

Will nipple clamps cause my nipples to go numb?
The recommended amount of time to wear nipple clamps on the nipples without a break is 30 minutes to an hour. If used for longer than that without being taken off to let blood flow recirculate the tissue, it is possible to feel some numbness. Usually, the more prominent sensation is pain.

Can I use clamps anywhere on the body?
No. Don’t use clamps on the backs of the knees, tendons, groin or anywhere the submissive has indicated having inflammation or injury. It’s also best to avoid any skin tags, moles, zits or unhealed tattoos.

Can I use alligator clamps from a hardware store?
Yes, but these clamps do not have protective rubber or silicone covers over the tips and can cause punctures, tearing and abrasion to the skin which can be unsanitary and damaging.

Are nipple clamps for men or for women?
Nipple clamps are for everyone! In fact, they aren’t even limited to nipples. Use them on earlobes, tongues, lips, labia, scrotum, frenulum, foreskin and perineum!

Will nipple clamps fall off?
If they are placed too close to the end of the nipple, and not behind it on the areola, there is a chance they can fall off if the surrounding tissue is jostled. Additionally, if the nipples are slippery from oil or lubricant, the clamps are more likely to slip off. Apply clamps on clean, dry skin.

Can I have an orgasm using nipple clamps?
Not everyone has nipple related orgasms, but increasing an association between pleasure, clamps, orgasms and nipple play increases the likelihood of it. So, the best way to find out is simply to try using them more and more!

If I have nipple piercings, can I wear nipple clamps?
This depends entirely on the person. Some people have very sensitive nipples and the combination of the barbell or ring and the clamp is too much. Some people enjoy playing with their piercings. The only safety recommendation we suggest is to wait a minimum of 6 months after piercing nipples to allow them to fully heal, and sanitize those nipple clamps! (Piercings are technically open-wounds and can more easily get infected).

Can I wear nipple clamps if I’m pregnant?
This is a personal choice. However, if it isn’t too painful, using nipple clamps should be fine during the first trimester. After that, check in with your body. Hormones will cause the nipples to swell and become more sensitive and you may no longer want clamps applied to them for a while.

Can nipple stimulation help with inducing labor? Surprisingly, medical experts have come out with new data that suggests it does! Twisting, pinching or stimulating the nipples help with delivery and even reduce labor pain. Read about it here.

Are clamps for partner play and couples only?
Clamps are sex toys and can be used with a partner or solo. Adding them to masturbation can have surprisingly erotic results!

When is it unsafe to wear nipple clamps?
Any time that a part of the body is injured, it is already inflamed. It’s best to allow injured, bruised, inflamed tissue or any skin that is already cut or that has abrasions to heal before further play.

Will using nipple clamps affect my ability to produce breast milk?
Absolutely not! Nipple clamps should not inhibit milk production, but they may cause lactation. Be sure to thoroughly clean the clamps before and after use to ensure no bacteria gets introduced to the nipple that goes in your baby’s mouth.

Disclaimer: XR LLC sells these products as novelty toys only and is not responsible for damages due to use or misuse.