What You Need To Know Before Getting Your Nipples Pierced

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woman in a bra holding up peace signs shirt over face

Whether it’s a hint of teenage rebellion, some form of masochism, a desire to feel more attractive, or simply an obsession with Kendall Jenner, nipple piercings are the ultimate cool-girl must have right now.

Slightly more risqué than your one-too-many-holes-in-the-ear type chick, a woman with a nipple piercing possesses an edge that screams sexual attraction.

With hardware pierced through one of the most sensitive parts of your body, it comes as no surprise that many women are initially put off by the idea... until they find out that it increases sensitivity!

That’s right. If you thought your nipples were sensitive now, just head down to your local piercer and experience sensitivity in your nipples like never before.

After a long time contemplating the body modification, I decided to go for it. Three minutes later and with a lollipop in hand — it was like a nostalgic trip to the doctor, but the doctor was sexy and had tattoos — I had a chunk of metal horizontally placed into my left nipple.

I’m not sure whether it was my masochistic side talking or the hot tattooed guy distracting me, but the pain wasn’t so bad. I mean, this was rebellion, right? I had undergone extreme masochism, I felt sexier than ever before, and, yes, I did feel a bit like Kendall.

If you've never gotten a nipple piercing before, let alone a piercing in such a sensitive area, there are a few things to consider before piercing your flesh.

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Common Questions, Pros And Cons Of Getting A Nipple Piercing:

1. How painful is a nipple piercing?

While getting anything pierced hurts, the initial piercing only hurts for about three seconds. That's the norm for almost any piercing. But as they all say, "pain is relative."

Over the next few days, it feels like your nipple has a constant heartbeat with a lot of throbbing. This makes sense because you have intentionally put a hole in your body, and this is just your body's natural response to a foreign object; it is trying to heal itself.

2. Do people think it is attractive? 

Yes, people think that nipple piercings are attractive.

A survey by the Huffington Post and AskMen.com asked over 1,300 guys about their thoughts on tattoos and piercings on women. Out of those men surveyed, only 14 percent said the nipple was the most attractive piercing, but 55 percent said they liked piercings on women. These piercings may even spruce up your sex life.

On the downside, it's not as attractive as you would think it'd be, and you shouldn't let the attractiveness level make your decision.

3. Can you show your nipple piercing on social media?

You can live by the "free the nipple" lifestyle, but with censorship rules in place across social media platforms, you may get a "we removed your post" email due to nudity.

4. Does having a piercing affect the sensitivity of your nipple?

Yes, your nipple sensitivity may increase with a piercing. That is, if they heal nicely. 

For some women, however, the sensitivity had no change. Also, if you are into nipple play during sex, you'll have to live without it while your piercing heals. 

5. Do nipple piercings improve self-esteem?

Well, they can and they can't. Self-esteem is really up to you liking who you are. If the piercings help you be more yourself, then yes, it can help with self-esteem. You may also feel more adventurous or sexy, which can increase your confidence as well.

But nipple piercings are a high-risk piercing for infections when not cared for properly. This can include yellow pus coming out of the nipple. 

6. What kind of bras should I wear (or do I have to wear one)?

The good news is that you can walk around bra-less while your piercing is healing. But you need to be careful about what kind of bra you wear.

Wear a comfy moisture-wicking bra during the healing process. Your bra size shouldn't change, and a snug bra is much better for healing anyway. You could also walk around bra-less without a nipple piercing, so don't get it for that reason alone.

7. Do you have to remove the hardware?

You never have to take the nipple piercing out. But if you fiddle with it during the healing process, it can easily fall out and close up.

8. Can you play with them?

Many women have said they are ridiculously fun to play with when healed. But keep in mind that if you play with them, whether during or after healing, it can increase the risk of infection. 

Also be aware that these piercings don't make your nipples hard forever, but they may be more pronounced and sensitive.

9. Are they gender neutral?

Nipple piercings are great for all genders, including individuals who identify as non-binary or gender fluid. But there is an age requirement of 18, so you may have to wait a bit to get yours.

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What are the side effects of nipple piercings?

Nipple piercing can be dangerous. They can lead to infections, nerve damage, bleeding, hematoma, allergic reactions, nipple cysts, and keloid scar tissue.

Unfortunately, nipple piercings are also associated with hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection, and even HIV. But the usual side effects are body aches (especially around the nipple) and sensitivity while healing.

How long does it take for a nipple piercing to heal?

The average healing period for nipple piercings to heal completely is between a few months to a year! The most typical heal time is around six months. Some, however, cannot tolerate the piercing and it will never heal.

Look out for signs your body is rejecting the piercing, like noticing a red streak across your nipple. If you see this, take the pricing out immediately. Also, avoid partner play or oral contact for at least six months.

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Important Things To Know Before Getting A Nipple Piercing:

1. These piercings can be expensive.

Nipple piercings can be expensive, so you really need to think it through before you go to the studio.

Prices can range between $40-$100 per nipple (including the jewelry). You can always try negotiating if you're piercing both nipples, but it really depends on the studio's policy.

2. You're limited with jewelry.

The starter nipple jewelry is usually either a bar or a hoop. Depending on your nipple size, you may have to get a bar. Barbells also typically work better than hoops because they help the piercing remain as straight as possible.

Contemplate what metal to use before getting your piercing. Implant-grade titanium is a great option since it's hypoallergenic and can save you money. There's also gold, rose, and silver. But this is something you should talk to your body piercer about.

3. Don't breastfeed until it's completely healed.

You can still breastfeed with a nipple piercing; however, it needs to be fully healed for there to be no pain while breastfeeding.

If you found out you were pregnant right after getting them pierced, it's advised that you take them out and redo them after you're done breastfeeding as a preventative measure against irritation, infection, and pain. 

4. Choose the right bra.

Bring a bra to your appointment. Many women show up thinking it'll be more comfortable if they go braless, but, in fact, having a little pressure on the fresh piercing helps it heal, like a sports bra.

You really don't want much movement in the area, so bring a comfy cotton bra to the appointment to wear after. No lace and no fancy-schmancy material of any kind. Break out the granny bra for this one, ladies.

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5. Strictly follow aftercare instructions.

During aftercare, try not to twist, turn, or rotate the piercing in any way. Just leave the piercing alone. 

To clean it, use a saline solution, which most studios provide you with. If they don't send you home with it, you can find a saline solution in the first aid section at your local drug store.

There's also a spray you can apply and use twice daily. Let it air dry and don't use Q-tips since the fibers can get caught inside the piercing, which can cause serious damage.

6. Avoid loofahs.

A lot of body piercing artists tell their clients to throw their loofahs out because the piercing can easily get caught in it, leading to painful tearing. Ouch!

The world is your enemy after getting your nipples pierced because everything and anything will try to snag on them. So be wary and careful even after the piercings have completely healed.

7. Do your research beforehand.

It's always a good idea to do research before you get a piercing done. Before getting the piercing, check out different studios to see which one is more welcoming and comfortable. Also, check out cleanliness.

You want to have the intimate piercing done in a comfortable and safe space. It's the staff's job, along with your piercer, to ensure both of these, helping you feel less vulnerable in the space.

8. Be aware of bleeding during the healing process.

Your nipple piercings may bleed for the first week. Don't freak out, just clean them.

If the bleeding continues further than a week or is bleeding more than a small cut would, call your piercing artist and explain what's going on. Note that piercings don't bleed for everyone.

9. Don't change the jewelry yourself. 

Here's something many people won't tell you: you shouldn't change the nipple ring yourself. You actually need someone else to do it. 

After you get a nipple piercing and you feel like changing the rings, go back to the same parlor and have it done.

10. It's normal to be afraid.

It's okay to chicken out. Everyone's done it before, whether it be from a tattoo or a piercing or doing a talent show in fifth grade. We've all done it.

However, some piercing studios make you pay upfront as a way to make you go through with it. So before you hand over the money, make sure this is something you want to get done.

Is a nipple piercing worth it? For aesthetic purposes, the nipple piercing is a great addition for those who want to waltz around in the nude or something sheer. For those with a significant other, it can intensify your experience in the bedroom.

Overall, getting a nipple piercing is well worth it if it's something you truly want to do.

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Slutty Girl Problems believes in the ability to feel confident, take control, and discuss your sex life openly without shame, judgment, or double standards. We give you a daily stream of funny yet thought-provoking posts about sex, dating, relationships, feminism, and many more topics. We’re honest, sex-positive, and unapologetic, all the time. 

This article was originally published at Slutty Girl Problems. Reprinted with permission from the author.