If you’re reading this, then you probably want to pierce your nipples and you’re wondering what to expect when you get them done… or you’re just someone who wants to read about what it’s like to get your nipples pierced. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
Some pierce their own nips with a safety pin and an empty Snack Pack pudding container. Most get their nipples pierced in a shop. A few say it’s the most painful feeling ever. (The rest are lying.)
So what can you anticipate to happen when you go to get your nipples pierced? We asked six people with pierced nipples very specific questions about their experience to give you the most in-depth answer possible. Get ready, because these answers are crazy, funny, cringy, nasty, empowering, and surprisingly all different. Here’s what it’s like to get your nipples pierced according to 11 people who did it.
How old are you? And at what age did you get your nipples pierced?
CHRISTINE*, FEMALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m 24 now but I got my nipples done the second I turned 18. No tats and no other body piercings — not even my belly button.
BRIAN, MALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: Currently I’m 28 years old. I had my nipples pierced at 17.
MORGAN, FEMALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m 26. I got them done when I was 25.
ANTHONY, MALE, ONE NIPPLE PIERCED: Don’t want to admit it but I’ll be 29 this month. I pierced my nipple at 19 or 20? That’s 10 years ago, ouch.
KATIE, FEMALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m 20, and I just got them done five days ago!
JONANTHONY, MALE, ONE NIPPLE PIERCED: I’m 26, and I got it pierced when I was 22.
OLIVIA, FEMALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m currently 25. I was 16 when I got them done the first time. I think I was 18 when I got them done the second time.
TOM, MALE, ONE NIPPLE PIERCED: I’m 26 now, but at the time I got it pierced I was 20.
SAM, FEMALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m 27 and got them pierced around 19.
SHANE, MALE, BOTH NIPPLES PIERCED: I’m 26, but I got them done when I was 25.
EMILY, FEMALE, ONE NIPPLE PIERCED: 28. Got it done at 22, I think.
Why did you want to get your nipples pierced? How long did it take you to finally do it? What made you do it?
CHRISTINE: My aunt had them done when she was a kid, so it was never stigmatized in my life. I thought of her as a badass and clearly needed to follow suit. I was so stoked, but my partner was so concerned. He was adorable and researched if it was safe to breastfeed with them.
BRIAN: I wanted to get them done just because it was the cool thing to do at the time. You’re at that age when you can start getting piercings and tattoos which was always the “forbidden fruit” before then — something you want but can’t have. I think the main driving factor was my girlfriend at the time telling me how great it would look, so I got in my car about an hour after having the idea to go get it done… because getting your nipple pierced made you cool and I was 17 and thought I was the coolest MF there was (still do actually).
MORGAN: I always wanted them but I was afraid of the pain so I waited forever. Then one day I texted my girl who worked as a piercer in a local tattoo shop and asked her to do them for me. She said hell yeah and told me to come down. After weeks of procrastinating, I finally said “fuck it,” went in, and got them done.
ANTHONY: I’ve always been into piercings. I have bailed on a few but still have enough to get looks of disapproval from loved ones and peers alike. I got my first piercing at 18 when I was legally allowed and it was all downhill from there — a year later and I was stabbing holes in my own nipple. Let’s say I was adventurous with piercings so it was only right to check nipples off the list.
KATIE: I always thought I had perfect boobs and wanted to get them done, but I didn’t want to be slut shamed for it. I spontaneously got it done one day because my friends made me feel comfortable with it and I wanted to have some fun for my last year of college while I still have this body.
JONANTHONY: I don’t think I ever wanted to or didn’t want to get it done. I basically never really thought about it until a couple hours before I got it when I was away at college during something called “Chill-A-Bration” where they shut down Main Street and all the bars make chili and you pretty much walk around all day eating chili and drinking beers then vote for which bar has the best chili. So that was the day I did it, which also happened to be the one year anniversary of me and all my 14 college housemates getting ass tattoos. As the day started to wind down, we walked past the tattoo shop where we got those amazing tattoos the year before, and I made an offhanded comment like “dude, I’ll get my belly button pierced if you pay for it.” Everyone got riled up and was like “yoooo, do it!” We eventually settled on the left nipple. We went back to the house, collected $4 from all the housemates, chugged a glass of Barton’s ($14.25 for a handle), then went back to the shop to get it done.
OLIVIA: My coworkers were getting them done so I thought “why not?” I wanted to get them done because my breasts are rather big and I’ve been teased about the size of my nipples in the past.
TOM: I was in Mallorca, Spain with a bunch of my sailor buddies. I never always wanted to do it but I was never against it, but once I saw a friend come by showing his off, a few of us decided to immediately go do it. So we walked down the street to the piercing place and all got it. We later found out like 20 other guys on the ship did the same thing that day.
SAM: I got them pierced on the way to a party because my friend Katie was getting hers done. I said “sure, I’ll join you.” I honestly didn’t think about it because it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
SHANE: The piercings were an early birthday present to myself over the summer. I actually always thought they were trashy when I was younger, so for the longest time I DIDN’T want to get them done. It wasn’t up until I was 23 did I ever really seriously consider it. I think seeing it become much more common around the world was the reason I pulled the trigger.
EMILY: I never personally had a desire to get it done. One night while drunk on vacation with a bunch of my girlfriends, we decided we were getting tattoos or piercings the next day. They told me I should get it done, and my best friend agreed to get something done with me. Being young, drunk, and invincible, in the wise words of Hilary Duff, I said “why not?”
What were your thoughts throughout the actual nipple piercing process (before, during, after)?
CHRISTINE: Before: Ohhh, fuck… that’s a weird-looking hook to pierce them with. Oh no, we can’t do them both at once? What if I can’t handle it and chicken out on the second one? Can I handle being asymmetrical?! During: Oh, wow. Okay, that wasn’t bad. Barely felt it. Next one.. OMG I’M SO GLAD THAT WASN’T THE FIRST. After: Wow, these are hottt as fuckkk and the world needs to see.
BRIAN: Beforehand I was nervous. I already had my ears and eyebrow pierced but I felt like the nipple area was more tender. When I arrived at the shop, I was told they had a new girl doing the piercings. I was okay with that because I convinced myself she had to be trained and she was a “professional” so she had to know what she was doing. The process was exactly what I feared it would be. She got the needle about halfway through but couldn’t puncture the skin on the other side. She used all her strength and leaned in with her body weight to get the needle through. I remember feeling every push and pull of the needle trying to break the skin, and I remember her telling me “you have very tough nipples.” I couldn’t wait for her to just be finished already. I could feel the anxiety building inside me. When we were done, I was convinced I didn’t have a nipple at all anymore, but shockingly it was still there.
MORGAN: Before: I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. Do I really want to do this? I can walk out now and not go through with it. I’m so nervous. Standing here waiting isn’t helping. I’m SO nervous. Fuck, it’s time. During: HOLY SHIT, THIS IS THE MOST PAINFUL THING EVER AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS TWICE!!!!! After: They literally don’t even hurt… and they’re SO SEXY. THANK GOD I WENT THROUGH WITH IT.
ANTHONY: I woke up on July 4th before my friend who had stayed over my house, so to keep myself busy I grabbed a Snack Pack (chocolate and vanilla, of course) and a safety pin, “sterilized it” (the pin, not the pudding), and pierced through my nipple which was awkwardly backed by this pudding pack. I cleaned the pin obviously — pudding doesn’t belong inside of a nipple. I struggled to get a bar through the slightly-too-small hole in my nipple. But hey, what an adventure!
KATIE: Before, I didn’t think it would hurt until the piercer told me it would, but it didn’t hurt much at all during or after.
JONANTHONY: Before, I was laughing and thought it was hilarious. We got back to the tattoo shop and there was this freshman girl there with her friends getting her belly button pierced. The dude put the needle through and the girl’s eyes literally rolled back and she passed out. Her friends were freaking out and the guy caught her before she hit the ground, but, yeah, I was like “oh, shit.” Then she woke up and laughed about it so I figured no harm no foul… then I go up and the guy looks at me and goes “dude, you good with blood? Because I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch that big body you got there.” I laughed and said, “yeah man, I’m good.” So some girl comes over and ices up my nip, grabs my teet with these sharp-ass claspers, and pulls, and the guy with this LONG ASS needle goes right through. During honestly hurt more than I assumed, I guess since there was more meat to go through. It wasn’t bad — just worse than I expected. Right after, I thought it was hilarious again.
OLIVIA: I was exhausted but excited because I got them done after work. I then had to get one redone because the piercer went through the skin around my nipple.
TOM: During, it was super short and way less painful and time-consuming than getting bloodwork. The only part that I definitely remember was when she pierced it she let the needle in to get the bar, and that felt weird as it moved a bit. Honestly how I describe it to everyone is just awkward bloodwork.
SAM: I was fine with it during and after.
SHANE: In the beginning, I was trying to talk myself down and mentally prepare myself. I figured “how bad could this be?” LOL. Oh boy, was I in for a surprise. The first one I ended up yelling at the piercer then immediately apologizing. After, it was a little sore and sensitive but I was relieved to have it done.
EMILY: Before: I was thinking, “okay, I can do this” but I was super nervous. The guy who was piercing me was older and funny but not in a creepy way. He told me NOT to look at the needle. During: Basically they clamp the shit out of your nipple then drive the needle through. It’s thicker than the needle they use for ears because the standard nipple ring is a thicker type of bar or circle. One of my best friends was supposed to film it but only managed to get a few snaps because she couldn’t watch. My face looked like I had seen a ghost when the needle went through. I don’t remember him ever telling me when he was going to do it which was good because I probably would have been more nervous. I just looked away and let him do his thang. After: Once the initial shock went down, it was a little sore but nothing that painful. I only got one pierced, which was the plan all along, but it hurt so bad that I probably wouldn’t have gotten the other done anyway. My friend had gotten one of hers pierced after me and named it Skylar, so my nipple ring is unofficially named Coco.
How long did your nipple piercings take to heal? What was the healing process like?
CHRISTINE: After a few months, I started to notice my left nipple piercing wasn’t healing and that it looked like my body was rejecting it. The piercing had been pushed so close to the surface. I remember trying on Halloween costumes and it ripped right out. I had to wait for it to heal and I was devastated (asymmetrical!! Ahh!!!!). It had finally healed so I went back to get it repierced, but, of course, it had to be done through scar tissue since it healed pretty nice. That SUCKED. It bled for a while and started to reject again after a few weeks. My whole boob was sore to the touch. So I finally decided to take it out and come to terms with my asymmetry. I have since come to love it.
BRIAN: It never healed right. After this piercer decided to mutilate my nipple, it instantly became infected. From small infection to large infection to multiple infections, it just never healed. Eventually the nipple started turning black and I needed to clean it and treat it multiple times a day so the infection didn’t seal inside my body.
MORGAN: They were totally fine from the minute I walked out of the shop. They were a little sore the first day but that’s about it. I cleaned them with natural antibacterial soap, a homemade saline spray, and water for a few months. The guy I was seeing at the time made fun of me so hard for the way I’d carefully lather them with soap in the shower. I still make sure to dab them dry after every shower to prevent any issues. I’m super grateful that they healed how they did. I’m also very careful to protect them when I train Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the help of layered cotton pads, athletic tape, and two padded sports bras.
ANTHONY: Healing sort of wasn’t a problem. My friend pierced his nipple later that day when he found out at a party we were at that mine was done by me that morning. I’m sure the girl was super impressed, but I then and there removed mine. I can’t condone that.
KATIE: I’m still healing but I clean it twice a day and it hasn’t given me any problems. I’m already back to working out in sports bras with no pain.
JONANTHONY: It took like a month to heal… maybe a bit longer. The healing process was fine. It’s not like you’re bleeding through shirts, but the part that absolutely sucked was showering. I use a loofah, and when I tell you the worst pain of my life was when I would get the ball of the piercing stuck in my loofah… ugh, that was fucking brutal. But once it healed, there’s no pain ever at all.
OLIVIA: It took a while to heal but I loved having them done.
TOM: I didn’t have any issues with the healing process. They say six weeks but I was good in like three. It would get itchy and be sensitive but that’s it. Washing with a loofah was THE WORST though, and until I got used to it I got it caught and pulled on it a couple of times.
SAM: It probably took like a month to heal. You just have to be on top of cleaning the piercing.
SHANE: Healing actually took a while, like half a year or so. At the risk of sounding gross, it was much gunkier than most piercings I’ve had but proper care got rid of that eventually.
EMILY: I’d say it didn’t really hurt anymore after about two weeks of taking good care of it (washing it with unscented soap and making sure to move it so it didn’t crust, which sounds gross but you need to like any other new piercing). It was tender for a while and I wore sports bras for a few weeks which is my usual look anyway.
Rate the pain level from 1-10 (1 being no pain at all to 10 being excruciating pain/you thought you were dying).
CHRISTINE: The first one I barely felt. The left side was a little more painful but felt more like a sunburn. Right nipple: 1. Left nipple: 5. When my left nipple piercing ripped out: 5. When I got it redone: probably an 8/9.
BRIAN: 10. I think she tried to kill me. I’m pretty sure my girlfriend set the whole thing up and she was the hitman.
MORGAN: 13. I literally felt the needle slowly rip through the tissue cell by cell. My right nipple is crazy sensitive for some reason so I was dreading that one the most. I honestly don’t know which one was worse — they were both so bad. As best as I tried to breathe through the pain, it was absolutely horrible. I’m cringing right now as I write this.
ANTHONY: Let’s say it’s a 4. I will say I think I have a rather high pain tolerance. I’ve yet to have a piercing feel anywhere near a 10, but I think the nipple may have been the worst.
KATIE: Pain was a 3 during and a 1 after, but my friend passed out.
JONANTHONY: I’d say pain was a 3.6. Compare it to stepping on a small piece of glass.
OLIVIA: They were probably a 5 or 6 because of scar tissue. Plus I’m a baby.
TOM: Pain level like a 3 at most.
SAM: 3-4 but I’m really good with tattoos and piercings.
SHANE: Pain, on a scale from one to ten — 10 being the worst pain of my life — I would put it at about a 7. Honestly, it was rough.
EMILY: 8. It wasn’t the worst pain but it happened pretty quick. It’s the initial shock of the clamp that makes you go “oh shit, this is happening. I’m really getting something pushed through my nipple” that I think made me feel like it was more painful. BUT the clamp helps. It put more pressure on it so when the needle went through it took some of the pain away, if that makes sense.
Did getting your nipples pierced affect your sex life or regular life in any way(s)? If so, how?
CHRISTINE: I can’t tell if they’ve helped make my nipples more sensitive or if they’ve gotten that way on their own over the years, but all good in my book. My confidence was through the roof. There was definitely a period of time where I just loved showing everyone my boobs. Like, I barely knew my sorority friends at the time and felt the burning desire to make them aware of my piercings. My left nipple healed very strangely for a while and looked like a pig snout, but it cracked me the fuck up and gave me another reason to show off my nips and have a fun drunk party story. It has since healed and doesn’t look like a pig snout anymore, but you can see the lines of the ring forcing itself out. Battle scars, baby. Still badass, and at the end of the day that’s all I really wanted.
BRIAN: For the short period of time I had it, I did like how it looked… before the infection, that is. I was cooler than cool for like three weeks, then I was a science project basically, like “what’s up with that dude’s black nip?” My partner of the time loved it but I noticed it being rather inconvenient. The chain I wore around my neck would constantly get tangled with it, and it would usually get caught and pull when putting on or taking off my undershirt as well. I’ve actually never stopped feeling sexy but I suppose the ring may have increased that for a short period of time. Every time I think about the piercing process I get ghost pain in my nipples (if I had any feeling in that one nipple, it would probably tingle).
MORGAN: I feel so much sexier with my nipples pierced, and my self-confidence has drastically increased since I got them done. As soon as I got home from the shop, I sent a Snapchat to a ton of people, including some friends who probably shouldn’t have seen my boobs. Guys love it, and it’s so fun hooking up with someone for the first time because they freak out when they don’t expect to see or feel barbells there. 10/10 would definitely recommend getting your nips pierced.
ANTHONY: My sex life was rather stagnant for those nine hours, but I guess that’d be a better question for the aforementioned “friend.” Go for it.
KATIE: I already felt very sexy with my boobs but it definitely added to this and my confidence. I think it shows that I’m a little wild, and I like that for me right now.
JONANTHONY: As far as sex life, I definitely think for me it made it better. I know guys aren’t usually on the receiving end of nipple sucking, but no lie it’s incredible. At first I never really thought to ask a girl to do it, but I guess since it’s pierced they assume I want it (they’re right). I also think it did slightly raise my confidence. I do feel sexier in a way. Kinda feels like it’s something unique, especially for a guy… especially for a big guy. IDK. I love it, and the girls who see it through a shirt or are lucky enough to see it without a shirt all love it too.
OLIVIA: I felt they looked much prettier once I got them pierced. All my partners have loved them, and if they didn’t reject from my skin after years of having them they would still be there.
TOM: It has zero effect for me sexually, but my nipples have always been like that. Any partner I’ve had since getting it pierced was more surprised with a “lol what?” kinda response. I’m not ashamed of my nips! I’m a proud nip boi.
SAM: Sex life wise, I didn’t enjoy them and they honestly annoyed me so I ended up taking them out, but if your partner likes it and you do too then I think it’s a win-win.
SHANE: My partners always seem to want to go for it during sex. It’s a big plus for them, and I actually like it. I didn’t ever like having my nipples played with before that but this actually made them more sensitive and got me into it.
EMILY: It is definitely a (welcomed??) surprise for my partners. For me, personally, I don’t feel that it increased sensitivity. Nipples are in general sensitive and this didn’t really “up” it, but I like it because it’s a funny story and ~unique~.
* Name has been changed for anonymity purposes.
Thanks for reading. Do you have your nipples pierced or know someone whose story needs to be heard? Tell us in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this post with a friend who’s debating on whether or not to get ‘em done.