Like many of today's popular piercings, the nipple piercing originated in pre-historical cultures around the Mediterranean, where they were used as a ritualistic introduction into adulthood. The practice of piercing nipples also spread into the Roman Empire where it was used to signify status on the battlefield! Nowadays, however, the nipple piercing has been adapted by Western culture as one of the most daring and popular piercings available!
A nipple piercing is a great option for both men and women who are looking for a body mod that they can easily disguise; there are many different reasons why people choose to get this piercing ranging from being able to have a secretive piercing to enhancing their confidence in the bedroom!
There are several myths surrounding nipple piercings which may put you off, however provided you have your piercing done at a reputable studio and you follow the aftercare detailed below, it is a safe piercing that looks great. The two main concerns we hear regarding nipple piercings are:
- Will it reduce nipple sensitivity? The simple answer is no! As long as your piercing is performed and cared for correctly, there should be no reduction in nipple sensitivity whatsoever and in fact, some people have reported it actually increased the feeling in that area.
- Can I still breastfeed with pierced nipples? Having a nipple piercing will not stop you from being able to breastfeed safely in the future, however you must always remove any jewellery and clean the area before nursing. It is also important to remember that nipple piercings can take up to a year to heal, so it is not advisable to have one done if you are intending to breastfeed within that time.
Due to the sensitive nature of the area, there are certain factors to take into account before you go ahead and decide to have a nipple piercing, which are:
The age of consent for male nipple piercings is 16 years old, however the age of consent for female nipple piercings is 18 years old. This is due to the rates of development and the anatomical functions of the female nipple versus the male nipple.
Nipple piercings are not for everyone. Unfortunately, as with many piercings, this piercing is based on the anatomy of the individual and not all nipples will be suitable. It is advised to see a piercer in advance so that they can confirm whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the piercing.
Surprisingly, nipple piercings
are actually one of the least painful piercings that you can receive.
Though the nipples are a sensitive part of the body, it would seem that the piercing is actually very tolerable, with the majority of people reporting it to feel like 'a sharp pain and stinging sensation' that lasts just a few seconds whilst the piercing is performed.
You will also experience soreness whilst the piercing is healing which can be improved by wearing loose fitting clothing and sports bras whilst also ensuring you do not knock or catch the new piercing.
It is assumed that the rush of adrenaline and endorphins are what helps customers cope with pain from piercings plus the fact that they are very quickly over. However, each individual experiences pain differently, so it is impossible to say with certainty just how much your piercing may or may not hurt.
The amount of time it takes for your nipple piercing to heal depends on your gender. Female nipple piercings take, on average, between 6-12 months
to heal completely to the point where you can remove jewellery and put it back in. Whereas male nipple piercings take roughly 3 - 4 months
to heal completely. This difference in healing periods is directly related to the anatomical structure of a female and male nipple.
However, the initial healing process is around 4-6 weeks, during which there are certain steps you can take to aid healing and avoid discomfort, they are as follows:
- Wear comfortable sports bras and loose clothing
- Soak the piercing with salt water solution twice a day
- Keep the piercing clean
- Avoid swimming pools, hot tubs & saunas
- Be careful not to catch/knock the piercing
- Do not let anybody suck/lick the area as germs from the mouth could cause an infection
In addition to this, the most important thing you need to do is to always follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your piercer. A small amount of soreness, redness or swelling is usually normal in the early stages of healing, but if you have any concerns about your piercing, do not delay in visiting your piercer again and getting them to take a look.
The best types of jewellery for a nipple piercing
Depending on how elaborate you want your nipple piercing to look, we sell a range of nipple piercing jewellery from understated straight barbells to decorative gem nipple shields. An important thing to bear in mind when choosing nipple jewellery is that if it is large and decorative there is a small risk that it may be visible through clothing.
Whatever style of jewellery you're after, we are sure to have the perfect style and colour for you in our selection of nipple piercing jewellery
The information contained here within is based on our experience as one of the UK’s largest piercing chains. Please note that each individual’s experiences will be subjective and therefore each person will have a different experience of pain, healing and maintenance. For more information, please view our article guides terms and conditions page