Did we mention that nipple orgasms are a thing?!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that breasts are incredibly awesome. Whether they’re big or small, perky or slightly saggy, or real or surgically enhanced, boobs are a lot of fun to look at—not to mention touch. So you probably want to know how to play with them in a way that’s pleasurable for both you and your partner.
Luckily, there’s a very simple answer to this question: just ask your partner what they like! Lots of people really, really enjoy breast play. There’s even some evidence to suggest that a few lucky folks can have an orgasm from nipple stimulation alone. The nipples have a ton of nerve endings, and studies have shown that the nerve endings in the nipples stimulate the same part of the brain as the clitoris does: the genital-cortex. The nipples, brain, and genitals actually end up “talking to each other” during nipple play, using the spinal cord as a messenger system.
Here is an example of how that conversation definitely goes. This is 100% science here, folks:
Stimulated nipple to the brain: DAMN, GURL, THAT IS NICE!
Brain to nipple: Oh, yeah, gurl, you like that?
Nipple to brain: Yeah, gurl. This is AMAZIN’!!!
Brain to nipple: That’s rad, gurl! That’s sexual. We are here for that!
Brain to genitals: Hey, gurl. You are experiencing positive sexual touch, mk?
Genitals to brain: Oh, ok, gurl. I’ll start that sexual response cycle.
Brain to genitals: Awesome, gurl. I am having a great time, too. Let’s party.
And thus, the clitoris becomes engorged, the labia swell, and the vagina becomes lubricated. In some instances, vulva-owners can get that indirect genital stimulation so fired up that they climax from nip-play alone. I’m really glad the brain has a phone line, aren’t you?
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine—kinda old, we know, but there hasn’t been that much boob research conducted in the past 14 years—81.5% of women reported that breast and nipple stimulation causes or enhances sexual arousal. That being said, 7.2% of women said breast and nipple stimulation decreased their arousal, so once again, you should probably check in with your partner to find out what they like.
And even if your partner does want you to play with their breasts, you should handle them with care: While one person might like to be lightly bitten, another may find that kinda painful. And please, don’t smack them or squeeze them with all your might, like you see in porn—unless your partner specifically tells you they’re into rougher boob play and want you to do those things.
Here are a few general tips for mastering your partner’s pleasure zones, as well as some moves you’d probably be better off avoiding.
1) Talk dirty.
According to a UCLA study, women who are unhappy with their breast size are 16 times more likely to hide their breasts during sex. Which is a bummer, because you don’t just want to see your partner’s breasts—you also want them to feel safe and secure and turned-on.
It might help to compliment your partner’s breasts early in foreplay. “Comment on her high responsiveness to stimulation,” says Patti Britton, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist (i.e., “your nipples are so hard right now.”) Alternatively, something as simple as “Oh, wow, you have amazing boobs” could be just the confidence boost your mate needs.
2) Don’t head for the nipple right away.
As Debby Herbenick, PhD, previously explained to Men’s Health, nipples vary widely in terms of sensitivity, so if you’re not quite sure what your partner likes, you need to work your way up to nipple stimulation. Start off by gently stroking or massaging the tops, bottoms, and sides of their breasts. Alternate with lightly kissing their neck, earlobes, and collarbone. That’ll help build anticipation and leave them wanting more.