Ask Emily: How Do I Make Nipple Play More Fun?

Dear Emily, 

I’ve heard of people getting pleasure (and even having orgasms) from nipple play. My partner loves my nipples and I think nipple play would be so much fun for us! Are there certain techniques we can try? I feel like we’re covering the basics but would love to have more fun with this. 



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Hi Coral, 

I’m so excited for you and your partner! And I admire the curiosity—adding some new things into your sex life is a great way to keep your relationship going strong. 

Nipple play is great because it A) can appeal to all genders, and B) is easily implemented into any of your regularly scheduled sex activities. Also, nipples have erectile tissue similar to the clitoris, which explains why nipple stimulation feels so erotic—it’s responsive to stimulation! For vulva-owners, nipple play can sometimes even lead to orgasm. (And while I don’t believe that orgasms are the GOAL of sex, they’re still pretty fun to have.) 

Here are my tips for dialing up your nipple game: 

Practice on yourself first.

One of the best ways to learn what you like is to begin by practicing on yourself. Start by incorporating some nipple stimulation into your masturbation routine. Run a finger or two over your nipples before you travel down to your vulva or penis. If you’re a fan of using a vibrator during masturbation, turn it on in a low setting and let the vibrations massage your nipples.

If you like the sensation, you can start getting a bit creative with your technique. More on that below…

Vary your technique.

Nipples come in all varying levels of sensitivity, so they’ll respond to different techniques. If you or your partner are using your hands, you can play with gentle flicking or rubbing. Oral stimulation is also great here; your partner can use their mouth to lightly blow, lick, or kiss your nipples. The more you practice, the more likely you’ll discover what you like. Heck, you can even use lube on your nipples!  System Jo has great options.

Start gently, and then maybe you can progress to biting, pinching, and even (omg) twisting. 

Try out some toys.

Vibrators feel good on nipples! Just because a sex toy is designed for one part of your body doesn’t mean you can’t explore other zones with that same toy.  If you found you liked using a vibe when masturbating, get your partner in on the fun. Try Good Vibrations for an amazing lineup of toys. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can start to explore clamp territory. Some people even start with bobby pins as starter clamps, but there are also tons of more professional options to consider.

Experiment with temperature.

Nipple play is all about experimenting with various sensations, making it an excellent candidate for temperature play. Start with having your partner hold an ice cube in their mouth and have them run it over your body. Pause over your nipples and take a sec to enjoy the cool feelings.

Note that the ice doesn’t have to be applied directly on your skin—your partner might hold the ice cube in their mouth long enough to make their tongue cold and then use that to explore nipples. 

You can also experiment with warmth by having your partner lick your nipples and slowly exhale hot air, or use warming oils and lotions. 

Finally, remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. So much of sex is about play and exploration. As you start to experiment with these new techniques, notice what makes you feel similar to the buildup of an orgasm, and replicate it! The more you play, the more you learn.