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Most of us think that orgasms can only come from – or need to at least involve – genital stimulation. Lucky for us, our bodies have several erogenous zones capable of producing orgasms with the right stimulation – such as nipplegasms.

A study by the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that nipple stimulation can activate the same parts of the brain as the vagina, cervix, and clitoris. Scientific proof that, indeed, nipple stimulation feels good! Yes, nipple orgasms – or nipplegasms, if you will -are possible. Let’s look at the why’s and how’s.

Why Are Nipples so Sensitive? 

For most people, regardless of gender, nipple stimulation feels good and sexy. One study found that for 82% of women and 52% of men, nipple stimulation increases their arousal. Less than 10% said that nipple play decreased their arousal. Still, it is a good idea to communicate with your partner – and especially new ones – about their preferences regarding nipple play.

So, why are nipples so sensitive? Nipples carry about 800 nerve endings each. They tend to be more spread out in women’s nipples than in men’s, but both are very sensitive to touch. They are actually made of the same tissue as the clitoris and penis – so they become erect when stimulated!

How Does a Nipple Orgasm Compare to a Genital Orgasm?

Nipplegasms can feel amazing, and they usually feel different than genital orgasms.

Some experience them as less intense and more subtle. Many report that they feel more like a full body orgasm than a genital orgasm. They also usually take a lot more stimulation to achieve. With practice, though, many people can learn to have nipplegasms more regularly, and more quickly.

Some women describe nipplegasms sneaking up on them out of nowhere, sending pleasurable waves through the body. Others report them as being “longer” and “deeper” but “less intense” than genital orgasms, yet more satisfying. For others, they are short and direct. 

Woman laying on back, holding her sensitive nipples with her hands

Can I Make My Nipples More Sensitive?

The short answer is yes, you can make your nipples more sensitive. And possibly achieve nipplegasms, even if you haven’t had one before. It may take some time and practice, but here are some considerations.

Women are more sensitive in their nipples at different times in their cycle and the experience of pleasure might change a lot with that. You can try nipple stimulation at different times of the month and have different results. In fact, some women’s nipples can be at their most sensitive and you might be more likely to achieve nipplegasms while they are menstruating.

Outside of that, here are some ways you can increase your nipple sensitivity. Start by incorporating it into an activity that you already really enjoy and makes you orgasmic. For example, rub your clit or stroke your penis while also stimulating your nipples. Or have your partner play with your nipples while you self-pleasure. With this practice, you’ll forge a link in your nervous system between the pleasure you are used to, and the new sensations in your nipples. This association will increase your nipple sensitivity over time and create a connection between nipple play and orgasm in your body.

You can also try combining multiple forms of stimulation and then, right before orgasm, stop all stimulation except on your nipples. This might be enough to create a nipplegasm!

Getting your nipples pierced might also increase their sensitivity and could make it easier for you to nipplegasms. However this isn’t a guaranteed effect. 

A Note on Nipple Play for Women

The breasts are highly sexualized parts of the body, but are also associated with feeding babies and breastfeeding. Women might have a variety of relationships to their own breasts and nipples.

For example, after giving birth, some women like to reserve their nipples for their newborns. They might not want their sexual partners to engage with them. It is important to check in with your partner about their desires, and if they know what kinds of stimulation they like, or don’t like. 

Can Men Have Nipple Orgasm or Nipplegasms Too?

Anyone with nipples can have a nipplegasm! Alas, most men haven’t had their nipples stimulated a lot.

This could mean that they are extra sensitive, or not sensitized at all. For many men, nipple play can enhance their pleasure, but it is important to ask first and check in often!

Playing with nipples on men is similar to playing with women’s nipples and breasts.

However, male socialization may inhibit their bodily exploration and pleasure, so they may be less aware of or in touch with the pleasures available to them. Ask him if he’s interested in nipple play and if he knows what kinds of touch he likes. 

How to Play With Breasts the Right Way for Nipplegasms 

For people of all genders, there’s a right and a wrong way to approach nipple play. Even if you don’t feel a lot when you first start playing with your nipples, it’s essential to take is slowly and build up to more intense stimulation.

The nipples need to be “warmed up” and might turn out to be very sensitive with the right attention! You can also use heat to increase blood flow and sensitivity in the moment, or ice for a different sensory experience. Toys like nipple pumps or clamps might also help increase your nipple sensitivity. Experimentation is key! Try a lot of kinds of touch and forms of stimulation and see what you like!

Woman in lingerie wanting to try out nipple play techniques

Nipple Play Techniques

While you might be excited about having or giving a nipplegasm, enjoy the ride no matter the result. Sometimes the effort to make an orgasm happen can actually get in the way.

Breathe, stay present with your experience, and encourage your partner to do the same. The receiver can let their mind fantasize as they are being stimulated, which can help them become more aroused.

Here then are some nipple play techniques for you to try:

  1. Avoid the nipple at first. Approach the breast lovingly and with desire. Caress, lightly squeeze, and massage the whole breast, bringing energy to the breasts and preparing the nipples for more intense stimulation.
  2. Ease into nipple play with your hands to begin. Unless your partner asks for something different, your movements should usually start slow and soft and build in intensity. Start with broad strokes with the whole palm before moving into more focused touch. Allow the nipple to slip between the fingers as you stroke, increasing the pressure gradually.
  3. Take your time and only go to pinching, rolling, or twisting the nipple after warming up the whole area. When the body is ready, try squeezing the nipples between your fingers, rolling it gently back and forth, and finally giving it a more sustained twist. 
  4. Explore with your mouth. As the energy builds and your partner is ready for more intense stimulation, you can experiment with your lips, tongue, and teeth. Flick the nipple with your tongue, lick it like a popsicle, or suck at it softly. Then increase the pressure, graze it with your teeth or softly bite it. Check in regularly to see how they are feeling and what is working for them. 
  5. Lube can help for some people, especially if you are doing a lot of intense, friction-producing stimulation that can cause chaffing or soreness. CBD lube can be particularly enjoyable as CBD increases blood flow to the area and therefore increases sensitivity.
  6. Get out your toys! Vibrators, nipple clamps, and pumps might be just what you or your partner need to have a nipplegasm.
  7. Experiment with temperature. Alternate between hot and cold to produce intense and variable sensations and really take yourself or your partner on a ride!
  8. Squeeze and release your PC muscles – also called Kegels – or encourage your partner to pump them while receiving stimulation. This can increase your pleasure and sensation, and will make it more likely that you can have an orgasm.

How Are Nipplegasms Different for Men and Women?

Finally, if you are curious about how are nipplegasms different for men and women, the answer is probably that they are not.

Most research shows that men and women experience orgasms very similarly and this is likely true for nipplegasms as well!

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Danielle Harel is the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute.

She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching, and has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives.

She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of three books: Cockfidence, Making Love Real, and Coming Together.

Danielle has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel, and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is also a Clinical Sexologist, Certified Sexological Bodyworker and a Certified Body Positive Facilitator.