There’s more to nipple piercing than fun with airport metal detectors! And we’re not just talking about the glorified sexual benefits. While many mean and women have their nipples pierced for sexual enhancement, there are also cultural and spiritual motives for having body piercings, as well as simply for fashion. Here we explore the subject in a little more depth and give you some things to consider when getting pierced.
Body piercing has been around since ancient times. Some say the Roman centurions had pierced nipples as a badge of honor and brotherhood. And while it is known that ancient Romans may have been aware of foreskin piercing (which was practiced on slaves as a means of sexual control), there is no hard evidence that the soldier class adopted it in any widespread way. We do know that women of the mid 14th century took an interest in displaying their nipples this way, wearing dresses with plunging necklines that left little or nothing to the imagination. Diamond studded rings, nipple caps and chains, and make-up all seem to have made an appearance. After that time nipple rings disappeared for a time, making their next appearance for a short time in the late 1800s, and then again in the 1970’s, which extended until today, when they have again become fashionable.
Methods and technology
The classic piercing method has been with a needle, but in the past few decades this old process has been dramatically improved. Modern medical science has greatly reduced complications, and with the help of a professional, there is little that can go wrong any more.
Firstly, it must be said that although British punk rockers popularized the DIY method (do it yourself), this really isn’t the best available, or the safest. Piercing professionals have the equipment and the sterile environment, plus the experience of hundreds or thousands of repetitions to know how to get it right the first time. Why risk it; go with a pro!
The basic procedure is straightforward. The entry and exit locations are marked with a pen. Then the whole area is sterilized with antiseptic, and either frozen with a local anesthetic or clamped tightly. After this the hole is made using a thin, sharp tube called a canula, followed immediately from behind by the first piece of jewelry before the hole closes around the back of the needle.
The whole thing can be done without excessive pain, but considering the sensitivity of nipples, you can expect at least some strong discomfort. But fans say it’s worth it. One final thought: dermal punching or other ‘clamp’ methods are not generally a good idea. This equipment was not designed for nipples, and cannot be sterilized in an autoclave, leading to risk of infection.Care of a fresh piercing
Once the deed is done, and you have some new holes in your body, take care of them! Given about 10 weeks, you should be good as new. Here are some helpful tips to assist with fast healing:
- Wash your hands before touching the piercing, and touch it as little as possible.
- Don’t let others play with it yet (be patient!).
- Avoid using fingernails to remove jewelry (they harbor a LOT of bacteria).
- Avoid sharing jewelry, and leave the initial jewelry in until fully healed.
- Leave the scabs, as they protect from infection.
- Use antibacterial soap for that area of your body (avoid alcohol based, as they may dry the skin, prolonging healing).
- Keep your piercing(s) DRY until healed, which means no swimming and careful showering (pat the piercing dry with cotton balls, not a cloth towel).
There is the conversation element to be considered. Pierced nipples can be a great conversation starter. They’re sexy, at least a bit risqué, and given that they introduce the topic of sex, are often a welcome oddity. Given the sexual nature of the subject, these conversations can lead to some interesting places. Some people claim that pierced nipples are responsible for them getting more sex!
Many people get their nipples pierced to alter, if not improve, their sex lives. Does it work? Many say it does. The purely physical benefits of nipple piercings include increased nipple sensitivity, increased nipple size, and the constant gentle nipple stimulation that happens with brushing against clothes in daily life. Piercings also give your partner something additional to play with during sex, and one man was quoted as having called piercings “a light switch to an erection.” The limits are bounded only by your imagination.
There are also more subtle benefits to having pierced nipples. As a right-of-passage, or a commitment to a given lifestyle, piercings can gain you access to certain exclusive cultural groups.
With all this good news, why hasn’t everyone got AT LEAST one pierced nipple already? In truth there are some things you may want to look out for. Here are some quick points to think about before jumping in:
Jewelry rejection - there are several reasons the body may reject a piercing, but most of these can be avoided with a little planning. The nipple has enough tissue thickness to prevent the body from rejecting it, but the piercing must be deep enough and the initial jewelry must be of a think enough gauge. If the piercing is shallow or the jewelry too thin, the body may reject it.
Metal allergies are also a consideration. Some folks are allergic to nickel, and other metals found in cheaper alloy jewelry can also be toxic. The way to avoid this is by buying only good quality jewelry made of surgical steel.
Too much physical irritation (tugging and pulling) can cause a new piercing to reject. As tempting as it may be, leave playtime to a minimum until the piercing has completely healed.
Scarring. An improper pierce can lead to misshapen nipples. Scar tissue can alter its shape and size in ways that were NOT intended.
Nipple splitting. This can occasionally happen when using the wrong jewelry, a good reason to seek out a professional and avoid the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach.
Numb nipples. Every so often a nerve gets damaged and sensation is lost altogether from the piercing to the tip of the nipple.
Nipple cysts and infections. Always see a doctor immediately if you develop any pain, swelling, inflammation, or pus (yellow fluid) at any point. An infected nipple is typically treated using antibiotics.
Improperly sized jewelry. Jewelry that is too small can prolong the healing process. If you suspect this is the case, seek out another piercing professional to do an assessment. If you have other symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
Lifestyle choices. Sometimes sports or an outdoors lifestyle can put you at some risk. If you practice martial arts or other contact sports remove your ring, or at least cover it with a plaster to prevent it from catching and potentially being torn out.
If you have young children, look out for unexpected grabs and tugs. This could turn an ordinary moment (like putting your child to bed) into something painful that you’d really rather forget.
For breastfeeding women, the piercing must be completely healed before breast feeding starts, but shouldn’t be a problem after that. Many piercing professionals refuse service to pregnant women. Better to wait a few months and just do it right. There is the question of how piercings affect breast feeding. While clinical evidence is not yet widely available (at the time of this writing), clearly the risk of infection is a factor.
Actual breast feeding is fairly straightforward. While breast milk may leak out the holes, this shouldn’t matter. As long as the jewelry is removed before feeding, the baby should still be able to ‘latch’ and feed without spillage. Jewelry must not be left in during a feeding; it is a serious health risk to the child.
Long term health issues
A pierced nipple isn’t going to give you cancer, but other things can crop up later on. A nipple piercing can occasionally block a milk duct, leading to mastitis (an infection trapped inside the breast). Cases are rare, but it is a serious condition. Watch out for lumps; if you find one, get to a doctor right away. It may not be cancer, but an internal infection can still make you extremely ill you if you leave it to spread.
Some people should avoid nipple piercing
People should avoid nipple piercing if they are taking anticoagulant drugs, immunosuppressive medications, and certain corticosteroids. Chemotherapy reduces immune function and makes a body more prone to infection. Breast implants can cause complications. Finally, those people with heart valve disease, skin infections, or rheumatic fever should also avoid piercing.
However, remember also that cases of complications are rare. Modern techniques make nipple piercing much safer than it ever has been in the past. But it is important to recognize the risks, because everybody wants to remain healthy and happy to enjoy their newly installed sex toy!
Piercing is a personal choice and can be fun, but be aware of whether it fits your lifestyle. Make sure you are a good fit. Think it through carefully beforehand, as it is better to make the right decision in the first place, than to regret it later.
Other Types of Alteration
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