Practical Nipple Torture

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Figure 1. Heavy-duty nipple torture depicted in The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha, by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519

Figure 2. Nipple tweezers

Figure 3. Close-up of an alligator-style nipple clamp in place. This style of clamp has a spring in the hinge (out of sight) to close the jaws and an adjustable screw to limit the strength of the bite

Figure 3a. Another type of alligator nipple clamp. Note the protective plastic covers on the "business ends" of the clamps. These covers prevent the metal biting into the flesh

Figure 4. Wooden clothes pegs on nipples

Figure 5. A Wartenberg wheel being rolled across to a nipple

Figure 6. Nipple tweaking when someone with a camera is watching

Figure 7. Predicament bondage involving nipple torture

Figure 8. Breast cross section showing nipple and milk ducts

Figure 9. Nipple clamps with weights in the form of bells

Nipple torture is a form of BDSM pain play which involves inflicting pain on poor, helpless nipples. It is quite different to breast torture because: a) nipples are generally far more sensitive and responsive to stimulation than breasts and, b) the sorts of things you can do with nipples is different to what you can do to breasts. For example, because of their small size nipples can't be slapped or flogged except as an incidental part of breast torture. On the other hand, you can quite effectively pinch or tweak them.

Nipples on both men and women are erogenous zones. In addition, in women the nipples contain a number of milk ducts used when breast feeding. It's important, therefore, that any nipple torture not cause permanent damage to nerves, or through scarring or other injury damage the milk ducts.

Pinching and squeezing

Probably the most common nipple torture technique is pinching or squeezing. Figure 2 shows a pair of nipple tweezers. These have two rubber-tipped metal fingers which are placed on either side of an erect nipple. The fingers are then pressed together and a locking ring is slid into place to hold the tweezers closed. The closer the locking ring is to the rubber tips, the tighter the squeeze.

As is common with the many different types of nipple clamping or squeezing devices, there is a short chain between the two tweezers which can be used to pull or stretch out a nipple to add to the pain or sensation. The chain also helps to keep the pair of clamps together when stored away.

Figures 3 and 3a show alligator-type clamps attached to a nipples. These have a spring to close the jaws. The clamps in figure 3 also have an adjusting screw to control the squeezing on the nipple. These types of clamps are less fiddly to apply than nipple tweezers.

A popular improvised form of nipple clamp can be made with chopsticks. This involves placing two chopsticks against each other and putting rubber bands around both ends to hold them together. You then spread them apart and place a nipple between them. See further down in this article for a diagram and explanation about this technique.

Another popular form of clamp is the common wooden or plastic spring-loaded clothes peg (see figure 4). These aren't adjustable and so aren't quite so flexible as real nipple clamps, but they're cheap. You can also apply additional pressure to these with your fingers.

Figure 6 shows nipple pinching done by hand. This can be more fun, as we can by the faces of the two women involved, but is often not suitable for long-term torture because your fingers get tired. This type of pinching can be made more painful by angling your fingertips so that your fingernails bite in or nip.

Nipple clamping often dramatically changes the sensitivity of the nipple. This can be particularly noticeable as a nipple clamp is being removed.

It's important to note that any sort of clamping greatly decreases blood circulation in the nipple. The clamps can't be left on too long or else nerve or tissue damage can occur. As noted at the beginning of this article, nipples are erogenous zones and any nerve damage decreases their sensitivity and effectiveness in this regard. The actual amount of time you can leave clamps in place varies depending on the person and on how tight the clamps are. Most practitioners will talk about maximum times being in the range of 10 to 20 minutes.


To add to the pain or discomfort of the bottom or submissive being tortured, some tops and dominants will hang small weights from the clamps (see figure 9). This is mostly done when using alligator clamps because they tend to have the tightest and most secure grip. Hanging weights from nipple clamps tends to be most effective when the submissive is tied more or less vertically, or when they're positioned leaning forward so that the weights hang in the air.

When the weights hang in the air, additional interesting sensations or pain can be caused by allowing the weights to swing backwards and forwards.


As well as squeezing or clamping, nipples can also be twisted. This involves firmly gripping a nipple between your thumb and forefinger and then twisting and pulling it. Nipples are usually quite well attached and won't come off when you do this. It can, however, deliver a lot of pain and the pain is much easier to control (and perhaps more satisfying to deliver) than using mechanical devices such as clamps.

Hot and cold

Fire and ice are two very good tools for torturing nipples. This would be fire in the form of a small candle flame, and ice in the form of, well... ice. This is a type of temperature play.


Be careful when using a candle to heat a nipple. Never apply the flame directly to the nipple, and avoid placing the flame directly underneath the breast or nipple because the hot air rising from the candle can be just as hot as the flame itself. The best and most controllable way of using a candle is to hold it next to the nipple so that it is radiant heat, rather than contact with the flame, which heats the nipple. The closer the flame, the hotter the nipple. The further away, the cooler. Of course, this works best when the owner of the nipple is seated or standing such as when they're bound to a chair or a frame.

Another way of using a candle is to drip hot wax on the nipple. A big advantage of this is that you can do it to someone who is seated, standing or lying down. See hot wax below for more on this technique.

Using a candle flame to heat a nipple is more risky than using hot wax, but can be very effective in creating additional psychological reactions such as apprehension or fear (see also mind fucks).


The easiest way to apply ice is to take an ice cube out of the refrigerator, hold it between your fingers, and then rub it on the nipple. Ice cubes are slippery little creatures and it can be tempting to wrap them in a tea towel or cloth to make them more manageable. Doing this will decrease how much the nipple gets chilled and diminishes the effect.

Instead of using an ice cube you can also use a freezer or cooler block. These are the blocks or bricks which you keep in the freezer and then pack in with your food and drink to keep them cold when you go on a long drive or picnic. These come in a range of sizes and the smaller, lunchbox-sized ones can be quickly slipped into a bra cup while the owner is wearing it. Be careful of these because they stay cold a lot longer than an ice cube and you shouldn't leave them pressing against skin or nipples for too long.


Alternating between hot (flame) and cold (ice) increases the intensity of the feelings.


Using electricity, or electro play, to torture nipples can be done with two main devices. These are the T.E.N.S. unit and the violet wand.

The T.E.N.S. unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) can be used to deliver muscle-jarring pulses of electricity to a nipple. These units are adjustable and the rate of the electric pulses and their intensity can be controlled.

Violet wands generate high-voltage, but low-current electric sparks to the skin (or nipple). They are also adjustable. The sparks can feel like pin pricks.


Nipples are popular targets for needle play. This is where a hypodermic needle tip is thrust through the nipple. Often there's not a lot of pain associated with this, and even then it's only as the needle is being inserted, but there is usually a strong psychological reaction such as fear or even fainting.

Although putting the needle in doesn't cause much pain, once it's in it can also be pulled on and twisted to cause pain. It's important not to pull too much as this can cause the needle to tear out through the nipple.

The needles used are made of medical-grade stainless steel and because they're metal it means they conduct electricity. This can affect electricity-based torture if done at the same time as piercing. It can decrease the effectiveness of spark-based torture, such as with a violet wand and especially when the spark jumps to the metal needle instead of the nipple, but can increase the effect of a T.E.N.S. unit.

Figure 8 is a cross section of a woman's breast showing the nipple, the milk ducts running to it, and the areola. Note that the ducts in the nipple itself are quite small and very vulnerable. As noted at the beginning of this article, the nipples are erogenous zones and also the source of milk for breastfeeding babies. Piercing and needle play involving the nipples, particularly when using larger diameter needles, risks nerve or milk duct damage.

An effective alternative to nipple piercing can be piercing the areola just above the nipple instead. The psychological effect can be the same and, of course, there's little or no risk to the nipple itself. Indeed, rather than pierce the nipple with a single needle, some practitioners will pierce the areola all around the nipple with a number of needles instead.

See also: safety.


While not common, some people who do cutting or knife play will also use a sharp knife on a nipple. These are usually quite shallow cuts.

When deeper cuts are made in a nipple there is serious risk of damage or scarring to the milk ducts.

See also: safety.

Nipple stretching (also called nipple training)

Figure 10. A nipple stretching frame

Another form of nipple torture, which can lead to changes or lengthening of the nipple, is stretching. This is where the nipple is deliberately pulled outwards from the chest, elongating it. There are a few ways this can be done.

One way, as noted in the article where I talked about nipple bondage, is to use nipple piercings such as barbells. By winding string or cord between the areola and the piercing, the piercing is pushed outward and stretches the nipple. The more cord you wind the more the nipple is stretched. This is a fairly mild form of torture but you do need to be careful that you don't stretch so much that the piercing tears out. One advantage of this technique is that because the nipple isn't being clamped, and so long as you don't wind the cord tightly, there won't be a blood circulation problem and the cord can be left in place for extended periods. As the nipple stretches over time you can keep winding on more cord, stretching it even further.

A more painful form of nipple stretching can be performed using the device shown in figure 10. This is a nipple stretching frame and it is most easily used on a submissive who is lying on her back. The base of the frame is placed on the submissive's upper chest, just above her breasts. The clamps are then attached to each nipple (represented by the dotted lines) and the crossbar is lifted up until the nipples are stretched sufficiently. The crossbar is then locked in place.

Another way to stretch nipples is to use weights. This was also mentioned earlier. By tying a submissive so that she is leaning forward, attaching clamps to her nipples, and then attaching weights to the clamps, her nipples can be tightly stretched downwards.

Wartenberg wheel

A popular tool for inflicting controllable amounts of pain is the Wartenberg wheel as shown in figure 5 where it is bring rolled across a nipple. It is actually a medical device intended for neurological testing but it has been subverted for use in BDSM.

It consists of a small wheel attached to a handle. Around the edge of the wheel a number of short and very sharp spikes protrude. You can control the amount of pain it inflicts by varying how hard you press as you roll it .


Biting is a very effective technique for torturing nipples. This can be nipping with the front teeth, prolonged biting, or gnawing. Of course, it can be combined with sucking, and can create a very wide variety of sensations, discomfort and, of course, pain ranging from mild to very intense.

Hot wax

Figure 11. Wax being dripped on a nipple

Wax play is where molten wax from a candle is dripped onto the skin of a bottom or submissive. It can, of course, also be dripped on to their nipple (see figure 11) and two of the good things about this are that: a) it can be a quick burst of heat and, b) the temperature can be easily adjusted by varying the height of the candle above the nipple.

Candle wax melts at a fairly low, but still painful, temperature and so it's generally quite safe to use for nipple torture.

In addition to single drops of wax, you can allow the molten wax to build up on the candle and then release it as a stream onto the defenceless nipple.


Some tops and dominants will take advantage of the increased sensitivity of their partner's nipples caused by earlier squeezing, twisting or abrading, or other play and will add to the discomfort by the applying alcohol to the nipples.

Predicament bondage

Nipple torture can play a part in some predicament bondage scenarios. Predicament bondage allows a submissive some range of movement, but the predicament is that regardless of what position they adopt it is always uncomfortable or painful in one way or another. Figure 7 (above) shows an example of a woman whose nipples are attached to an anchor above her head, perhaps using nipple clamps and a short length of chain. The chain between her nipples and the anchor is too short for her to stand with her feet flat on the ground without pulling upwards painfully on her nipples. Her predicament then is to either stand on her toes, which is very fatiguing, or to rest her feet and have her nipples painfully pulled. In practice she'll probably alternate between the two positions.

Muscle unguents

Many of the creams, ointments or salves used to treat muscle strain cause a hot sensation as they're rubbed in... which is, of course, why they're called heat rubs. Some of these, like Tiger Balm, can get very hot. They can be applied to nipples as part of torture.

Keep in mind that once applied they can't be "turned off" easily. As each person's sensitivity and reaction will be different (and can even change from day to day, particularly when comparing breast and nipple sensitivity during menstruation to other times), it pays to start out with only a very small amount of cream or balm and see what reaction you get, and then build up from there.

Increased sensitivity during breast bondage

During breast bondage it's quite common that the breasts and nipples become far more sensitive than usual. This means that sensation play can become quite effective as a torture technique. For example, lightly rubbing the nipples with sandpaper, scratching them with fingernails, tickling, scraping with a knife blade, or even lightly squeezing them or pulling them without using clamps can all become excruciating.

Changes in sensitivity during menstruation and at other times

As noted above, the sensitivity of a woman's nipples changes during menstruation, in the latter stages of pregnancy, and during breast feeding. Don't expect the same nipple torture techniques to always get the same reactions at these times. Most commonly nipples will become more sensitive, often very much so, and so you'll need to use less current on your T.E.N.S. unit, make your nipple clamps less tight, use cooler wax, and use smaller needles.

Inverted nipples

Figure 12. Pair of breasts, one with an inverted nipple

Figure 13. A close up view of an inverted nipple

Inverted nipples is a condition where, instead of protruding outwards, the nipples appear to be drawn in to the breast, almost as if they were being sucked into the breasts. In some cases the nipples will temporarily protrude normally such as when the woman is sexually aroused, during pregnancy, when it's cold, when manually pulled out with the fingers, and at other times. For some women the nipples will remain inverted all the time. As we can see in figure 12, only one nipple may be affected.

Where the nipple tends to remain inverted there is a risk of infection, irritation and rashes occurring in the small folds of skin. In these cases, any form of nipple torture which causes abrasion or which breaks the skin on or around the nipple should be strenuously avoided. This includes cutting and any form of piercing.

Doing it yourself with chopsticks

Figure 14. Setting up chopsticks as nipple clamps

Figure 15. Adjusting nipple-clamp chopsticks

  1. Take two chopsticks, hold them against each other and then wrap elastic bands around each end as shown in figure 14.
  2. Pull the chopsticks away from each other in the direction of the arrows until there is enough space between them for a nipple.
  3. Insert nipple where shown.
  4. Gently release the chopsticks and allow them to squeeze the nipple.

Figure 15 shows the end result. Note how the chopsticks don't stay completely straight and instead spring outwards a little to accommodate the nipple.

The pressure on the nipple can also be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of turns of the elastic bands around the ends of the chopsticks, or by moving the elastic bands closer to or further from the nipple.


  • You can lead someone around by firmly grabbing their nipple and dragging. When you do this the person whose nipple you hold will tend to follow. The harder you squeeze the more enthusiastically they do so.
  • Alligator clamps can be bought in hardware, electrical, and electronics stores. These alligator clips are intended for use in electronic or electrical work and have teeth which assist in making a good electrical contact. When adapted for BDSM these clips can have rubber tips over the teeth to prevent the sharp teeth biting into the nipples. Some tops and dominants don't use the rubber tips and allow the teeth to bite into, and possibly cause bleeding of their submissive's nipples. Additional squeezing provided by the top/dominant increases the "pleasure".
  • A dominant or master might tweak or squeeze one of his submissive's nipples as he is underlining a point of discipline. In other words, when he is drawing his submissive's attention to some aspect of their behaviour which displeases him he might grab and squeeze her nipple so as to emphasise his point and make sure she is paying attention.
  • As noted above, some forms of nipple torture increase the sensitivity of the nipple. This can be useful in either subsequent sexual activities, or in subsequent torture such as clamping first and then rolling a Wartenberg wheel over the now more sensitive nipples (see figure 5).
  • Many bottoms and submissives enjoy and respond to feeling helpless at the hands of their partner. Once tied up, for example, their partner might torture their nipples to bring home the fact that there's nothing the bottom or submissive can do to stop it.


See also