Choosing the Right Nipple Clamp

collared-nipple-clampsNipple clamps are supposed to provide both pleasure and pain but for some beginners, they are turned by simply by the look of them — like nipple jewelry.  There are a bunch of different nipple clamps out there so how do you choose the right kind of nipple clamp?  How do you select the nipple clamp that is best for you? Purchasing nipple clamps can be confusing as there are a lot of different styles and options.  An important thing to remember is that clamps get more intense the  longer they are on and even a mild pain can become intense over time. (Speaking of time, 15 minutes is about the max you should ever leave clamps on and 10 minutes is usually more appropriate.)

Also, if you want to read more, here’s a post I did on nipple torture.

And check out these bargain, high quality clover clamps here ($7.25).


When buying nipple clamps, the most important factor I consider is intensity or ‘how much do they hurt’.  The


Medical style clamps

best way to tell how powerful the spring squeezes, simply clamp it to the skin on the side of your finger — the index finger on the section closest to the hand is best (or fingertip if you can get a good grip of that.) Leave the clamp on for a minute or so to get an idea of what your sub may be feeling — keeping in mind that nipples are often more sensitive than the side of your finger.  If you can’t stand the pain because it is too intense…it is definitely too hard to be a good nipple clamp. Often clamps I try this way are WAY too intense immediately and I sigh and start looking for a better clamp. Others, like clothes peg are pretty lame for intensity and I personally don’t think they are intense enough in most cases —so they may be a good place to start for beginners. Clover clamps are usually the most intense and therefore my favorite.

Contact Surface

I look at the type of contact surface that will be


Clamps with rubberized tips: Alligator and tweezer styles.

squeezing the nipple: ideally it is rubberized or coated with a layer of plastic.  This diffuses the contact surfaces over the entire nipple instead of localizing it in one spot.  Alligator clips often have metal teeth meant to bite into the object they are gripping and I generally think these are too intense and have the potential for causing nerve damage so I avoid them. It is also possible to get some ‘tool grip drip’ to apply a coating of rubberized plastic yourself if you are inclined to DIY bondage.   But if the surface is not rubberized, then a wide flat contact surface is best (again, think of a clothes peg)…as a thin, shape surface can over pinch a nerve.


When you look at buying some nipple clamps, often there are small screws in them that allow you to adjust the amount of pressure by determining where the clamp stops pressing together. These are great as you can train your sub to take more over time…or the sadist in me says, ‘make them more intense over time by making the clamp tighter while they are wearing it.’  Adjustable clamp often come in alligator, tweezer or butterfly styles with an adjusting screw that resists a spring. Or there is the screw clamping type that simply screws in and gets tighter with no spring.

Chains and Attachments

Another factor to consider with nipple clamps is…is there a chain or any way to attach things like weights

? Chains are handy because they can be tied to things, used as a leash or just appreciated for their aesthetic appeal.  Additionally, chains are great because it keeps pairs of clamps together and makes the pair of clamps much easier to find.

Weight attachments

Some clamps have a way to attach weights to them.  These come in two styles,


Weighted clover clamps:
they get tighter with more weight

deadweight and tightening.  Deadweights are weights that simply add weight and pull the clamp down.  Tightening style clamps like clover clamps, not only add weight and pull down, but also cause the clamp to squeeze tighter and harder on the nipple. Both are good methods of increasing the intensity of the clamp over time and in my opinion, should be used about 5 minutes in make your slave suffer more after she has gotten used to the pain of the clamp and it has slowly started to increase in intensity due to time.  Another good variation on the weighted nipple clamp is the medical style clamp which clamps on with a weighted ‘scissor-like’ handle that dangles down below.

Special Features on Clamps

Some clamps come with special features


Vibrating nipple clamps with controller

like bells, lights or vibrators.  Bells can be employed as a fun way to know where your slave is and can be humiliating for her as it’s used as a form of cow bell. Lighted nipple clamps are, in my opinion, by far the best for dark bdsm parties so your subbie can put on a light show while on the dance floor.  It is best to have multicolored, changing lights rather than a boring red LED on the end of the clamps. But the best special feature is the vibrator. Because vibrators can add some sensual pleasure on the clamp (especially for lighter clamps)…but they also increase blood flow to the nipple so if you turn on a vibrator part way through — and you are using heavy clamps…it makes them hurt more. *evil grins as she thinks it is going to be more pleasurable*

NOTE: I have seen vibrating clamps go for as much as $80 in stores…which is a rip off as you can get a pair of vibrating nipple clamps here for $15 😉


Nipple clamps cut of the blood flow to the area and therefore should never be left on for longer than 15 minutes to avoid damaging the tissue (and 10 minutes is a safer maximum time to use.)  If the skin begins to turn purple or blue, that’s a bad sign and the clamp should be removed. Cutting off circulation of blood flow is a significant risk if left on for too long and should definitely be avoided. You should ALWAYS check the tightness of a nipple clamp on yourself before using it on somebody else. Also, any form of ‘vice grip’ style clamp that suddenly snaps shut should definitely be avoided.


There is also electric nipple clamps: but that’s another post with its own safety concerns

The biggest danger for nipple clamps for more experienced users is nerve damage to the nipple caused by compression. Two types of nerve damage can result from nipple clamp use: acute damage and cumulative damage.  Acute damage is from basically crushing the shit out of a nerve and killing the nerve cells.  This results from using a clamp that is way too strong. Remember, nipple clamps hurt primarily by cutting off the blood flow and so they hurt more the longer they are on…so it is not necessary to use a super strong clamp as a weaker clamp left on longer will hurt more without shooting through the sub’s pain threshold and rushing to get the clamp off.

Nerve damage can be cumulative so nipple clamps used daily on the exact same spot are much more
likely to cause nerve damage than a one time use or occasional use with recovery times in between. Nipple nerves that are frequently compressed become slightly damaged over time and this damage adds up so clamps that you used exactly the same way for the previous 7 days may suddenly become much more intense or kill the nerve/pain sensation entirely on the 8th day. (This could take 2 months…it’s very hard to say how long) so it is best to vary the use of the clamps to different body parts and use them in different ways (aka different parts of the nipple) to allow areas some recovery time.)

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