Two or three years ago, I considered my nipples to be extremely sensitive, and didn’t particularly like having them played with. Yesterday, I planned to celebrate my last day of work at the most boring job I’ve ever had by getting them pierced.

But then, a few hours before I was supposed to meet up with my partner and head over to the shop, I began to have second thoughts. Part of it was the cold feet that I get before piercings (except the ones I’ve done on myself — something to do with a stranger doing something to me I consider relatively intimate), but most of it was realizing that I hadn’t really thought through the short and long-term effects this would be bringing to my life.

In the short term, as far as I know from teh interwebs, it would mean that I would have to be extremely careful with them, both from getting pulled on and from infection. Obviously, it would mean that my partner couldn’t pinch, twist, or suck on them (and forget about the clamps), and it would also mean that sex in general would have to be a lot less rough-and-tumble. That alone is a major bummer, considering that the average healing time is 4-6 months. (I have very sensitive skin, and have had longer-than-average healing times for earlobe piercings and stretchings, so I suspect it could be a year or longer before nipple piercings would be fully healed on me.) In a more mundane sense, it would mean being a lot more careful in general about physical activity and cleanliness, making sure to wash my shirts and towels frequently, avoid hot tubs (again, major bummer), and possibly curtail my involvement with a self-defense / martial arts collective I’ve been wanting to increase my activity in.

In the long term, if everything goes right and I don’t get an infection and I don’t reject the jewelry, I’ll have two piercings that are personally very aesthetically pleasing, and something fun to play with and tug on. Theoretically, my nipples will be more sensitive, and may stick out more — which could be good or bad. I worry a bit that the increased sensitivity will make it too uncomfortable to go bra-less (as I generally do), or that the jewelry will be obnoxious and irritating, especially when it’s cold. I also wonder about what kind of abuse they’ll be able to take even after they’ve healed, and if it’s the sort of thing I’ll have to be constantly vigilant about, lest they get infected, the jewelry migrates, etc.

[Exhales.] So them’s all my worries. I still have a strong desire to get them done, for a lot of positive reasons. Symbolically, they’re definitely appealing, as a signifier of just how far I’ve opened up, sexually, in the past few years — and I don’t just mean as a submissive or bottom or masochist, but as a person comfortable with her sexuality, who finally sees her body as sexy and desirable, including the breasts I always thought were too small to be attractive. I also like the idea of having a constant physical reminder of that, something to focus on or turn my mind to when I’m feeling depressed or anxious.

At any rate, I would love to hear from anyone who is more knowledgeable or experienced in this area than I am…are my concerns here valid? (And yes, I know — ask the damn piercer. I plan to. But it’s always a lot easier for me to get everything out in writing, first.)

3 comments so far

  1. Calico on

    Do it! I got mine done about three years ago now, and it was worthwhile. Small breasts + body image issues + sexual reclamation + piercings = AWESOME.

    My nipples were, and are, very sensitive. They may be a bit bigger now and are obvious through any non-padded bra and clingy shirt. I just skip the bra entirely and wear buttondowns over tank tops.

    The piercings caused more friction with my partners than my bras. You never realize how entitled someone feels about your body until you inconvenience them for the first time. It was a lesson for me called “It’s OK to have changing preferences and want them respected”.

    Rough nipple play with the rings in feels alternately good and weird, so I mostly take them out for clamps and breast whipping and such. Though rings make good attachment points!

    I got pierced at 14g, which was way too thin for comfortable play. Do 10g if they’ll let you. Barbells, not rings. They weep during healing (the “crusties”) and you’ll want to soak those away with warm saline, for comfort more than anything else; but that’s all the aftercare I did.

    Um, what else? Don’t plan to be able to leave them out for long periods of time. Not soon, if ever.

    They’re still my favorite-est piercings of all my 10.

  2. subversive_sub on

    Thanks, that’s all really helpful! Also: “rings make good attachment points” definitely sways me in the “omigod I want them right now!” direction. 🙂

  3. maymay on

    I’m just under 2 years in and mine are still “healing”/sore on more occasions than I’d like. They have been tugged/pulled inadvertently in more situations than I’d like to recall.

    They also certainly curtail rough play but more because they are SO fucking sensitive now, way more so than before. This is good and bad because it means that to get me to the OHMIGODTHATFEELSAMAZING part you don’t have to do very much at all, which is great, but this also means that the OHMIGODTHATFUCKINGHURTSSTOPRIGHTNOW is a lot easier to get to than it used to be.

    Overall, I like them, mostly because, as Calico mentioned, it’s a personal reminder that what I thought was once a very unattractive part of me can be, in fact, quite sexy, and that feels good.

    That said, I do wish they’d heal already.

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