Nipple clamps are a great way to explore the nipples, but they can also be used on other sensitive erogenous areas like the lips or clitoris. Many nipple clamps are adjustable, so you can increase or decrease the pressure on your nipples depending on how it turns you on. Some have covers that make them feel extra soft and smooth, while others are made of metal with a more rough texture to feel kinkier. A couple even have magnetic cylinders that provide an added sensory element.

Unlike regular clothespins, which are household objects and don’t allow for adjustment, nipple clamps are sex toys designed with pleasure in mind. A nipple clamp can be tightened or loosened by sliding a ring along the clamp shaft toward your nipple. The closer the ring gets to the nipple, the tighter it will be. Some nipple clamps come with a chain to connect the two nipples together. This allows both nipples to be tugged simultaneously, and some have a second chain attached midway between the first nipple clamp and the clitoral clamp, allowing for more complex nipple play or masturbation.

While nipple clamps can be a great addition to a masturbation routine, they’re also perfect for power play and for giving a partner more control over your body. Many nipple clamps also have a small, removable weight that can be added to increase the sensation. This can intensify the pinching or squeezing sensation, making it hot and thrilling to suck and bite as you play.

Nipple clamps can be enjoyed by both men and women of any age, but it’s important to understand how much pain or discomfort you’re willing to endure. You can start by playing with them on your finger or on your skin around the nipple to get a feel for how it will pinch, says clinical sexologist and co-founder of The Swann Center Valerie Poppel. “Playing with your nipples is the best way to figure out how you want to use nipple clamps,” she says.

As with all sex tools, everyone has different pain-to-pleasure preferences and comfort levels. So don’t be discouraged if the first time you try them isn’t your thing—you can always crank them a little looser or tighter to find what works for you.

If you’re interested in trying nipple clamps, consider pairing them with a vibrator to create a whole new level of sexual pleasure. Motorbunny, for example, has four stainless steel eyelets that let you tether clamps or other restraints to the machine itself. This can lead to creative experiences like nipple piercings, movement limitation, and power transfer play—all while generating that signature Motorbunny vibration.

If you’re ready to take it up a notch, nipple clamps with covered tips are a good option to consider. They can help protect your nipples from getting grazed by the sharp metal and broaden the tips to add more surface area, which may lessen the pinching. The tip of a nipple clamp is also usually coated in soft silicone or rubber, which can further reduce the irritation and make it more comfortable.

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