I’m not a Nance when it comes to pain – I can take a lot. But even someone who’s had a natural childbirth can look at a piercing and just cringe, and that’s definitely what I do when I toy with the idea of getting my nipples pierced.

As much as I love the look of this piercing, I’ve never been able to bring myself to get it done, however fleeting the pain may be. Part of it is because my husband, my number one guy, had his done, and I’ve heard him talk with a shudder about the process.

For those of you eyeing the wild side of nipple piercings with some curiosity, here’s a firsthand account from a man, on just what you can expect from this type of piercing.

First off, I just have to know – you did this before we got together – what made you decide to get your nipples pierced?

I was at Panama City Beach in Florida on spring break my senior year. Not really sure why I chose to get my nipples pierced for my first piercing, probably because it would be easy to hide from my parents.

Ah yes, a man after my own heart. In hindsight, did you feel like you picked a reputable piercer?

There wasn’t much looking around for a good place to go. A few friends and I were feeling rather daring so we picked a nice looking shop – seemed to be a good place, very professional. I assume them got lots of crazy folks in there wanting something on a whim and handled it well.

Be honest – what was the pain like?

Worst pain i have ever felt, until they pierced the other one.

Eeeeyikes. Were you able to get them pierced at the same time?

I think they could have done them both at once if there were more piercers available.

Since you were at the beach, were you able to go in the ocean right after having them done?

I could go to the ocean right away, but it was a little chilly, and when my nips got hard the pain returned.

Oh man, I never would have thought of that, ouch. So how was the healing process?

They healed pretty well. I kept them clean with a salt water rinse and left the jewelry alone for awhile.

What jewelry did you find most comfortable? 

I personally liked the barbells with smooth round balls on the end. Make sure you get some that fit well – you don’t want to squeeze your nipple with a too-small piece of jewelry, and you don’t want a lot of extra hanging past the nipple.

So how long did you wait before you changed your jewelry?

I waited about a month. The shop put captive ball rings in when I got them done – those were hell trying to change with sensitive nipples.

Do you regret getting your nipples pierced at all?

No, it built character. If I could stand that pain, I figured other piercings and tattoos would be a breeze.

So with our little almost-two-year-old running around, I’m sure other parents want to know, any challenges with having nipple rings and a toddler?

I try to not bring attention to them, he would definitely grab and pull if he noticed them. He only gets curious if I’m running around without a shirt on, so I try not to do that too much.

So when it was all said and done, were there any complications from the piercing in general?

The summer after I got them done, I went to Warped Tour. It was hot as balls in Indiana in July, so I took off my shirt. There were lots of people running around, and I wanted to get close to the stage, so I took my nipple barbells out so I wouldn’t get them snagged slipping through the crowds. they were not easy to get back in, even only after being out for a few hours. Later on that year i noticed lots of crusty stuff on my left

They were not easy to get back in, even only after being out for a few hours. Later on that year I noticed lots of crusty stuff on my left nipple, and it looked like my nipple was getting smaller. I ended up taking my left one out and letting it close up, with no long term damage or pain. I still have my right one in, but I haven’t changed it in probably 5 years. For me, if i just leave it alone, everything is fine.

Any words of wisdom for people that might be considering getting their nipples pierced?

Always be careful about things catching on them. I learned the hard way to be careful when I’m wearing headphones at work. I usually run the cord under my shirt to keep it out of my way, but then found it snags on my nipple ring, so I make sure I’m wearing an undershirt now if I do that.

Nipple Piercings – Not for the Faint of Heart


Crazy beautiful nipple jewelry, courtesy of your homies at FreshTrends

There you have it – what I’m sure you already suspected. Nipple piercings are the mark of a body modification warrior in my book, someone who rose above the pain to do something culturally defining for themselves. Or in my husband’s case, did something on a whim on a wild high school spring break.

This is a piercing that requires some delicate aftercare, and a constant awareness that they are there, so you don’t risk catching them on something.

Next I’d like to interview a woman who’s had her nipples pierced, and as a nursing mother myself, particularly one who has breastfed after having their’s pierced. If you know someone, let us know in the comments below!

*Disclaimer: This is a first hand account of someone who went through the experience of piercing their nipples.  Pain and healing will vary person to person. 


  • agela

    November 9, 2016at6:12 pm

    I got my nipples pierced this past spring. I wanted to get barbells, but my piercer suggested rings because of the size of my nipples. Before I got my nipples pierced, I’d had 2 nose piercings, 8 ear piercings, and 6 tattoos. I thought I knew pain. I was wrong. He did the first nipple and I yelled out a few words, calmed down and then called him a few other words I hadn’t used before. He asked me if I still wanted to do the second one, I said yes, he pierced me, I cursed up a storm. With healing, I’m a big chested girl and did not take into consideration how much my boobs bump into things on a day to day basis. The first couple of days I held my breasts all day at work. My nipples were constantly at attention, which was an awesome sensation, and still is. My nipples are still healing and I get a little bit of discharge-which my piercer says is normal. My nipples are great, and it’s one of the best body modifications I’ve ever done.

  • MsSmith

    November 9, 2016at8:17 pm

    Well one thing I will say, is that getting your nips pierced HURTS!!! Like idk wat! Words cant even explain it but the result was great! It was worth it. You just got to really take care of them properly during the healing stages!

  • Becca

    November 9, 2016at11:13 pm

    As a female with both nipples pierced, it’s safe to say that I’m glad I got them done and I don’t regret it. I enjoyed reading this article because it’s relatable for the most part.

  • Megan

    November 10, 2016at4:59 am

    As a female, I got my nipples pierced about two months back. I can say as I have my nose, septum, ears, ear cartilage,tongue, and belly button pierced. It was my least painful piercing. I do have a high pain tolerance though. I highly suggest getting your nipples done if you want them. Dont let people scare you.

  • David

    November 10, 2016at8:02 am

    Got nipples belly dermals and ears Love them all
    Thinking of getting nipples done again

  • amy

    November 10, 2016at11:26 am

    I breastfed after having mine pierced!

  • Steph

    November 10, 2016at12:01 pm

    I got both nips done 2 years ago for me it didnt hurt more than my nose. I have more problems with my dermals than i do with my nipples. Im glad i got them done i love them. After i change them they still get sensitive but i clean them with salt water and they are fine in a day or two. Best piercings i got out of the 27 i have!!

  • Jax

    November 10, 2016at12:39 pm

    Ive had my nipples done twice the 1st time when i was 18 i was supper excited n then they tore so i took them out and then i got them done again a year later they tore a little and then i found out i was pregant so i waited as long as i could n then had to take them out. When i got them done both times it was like a quick pain with a lot of heat and if someone touched me they got punched 2nd time hurt a lil more to be honest but needless to say 12 years later im left with what i call mu harry potter scares on my nipples on both sides lol n i wont do it a 3rd time

  • Alyssa

    November 10, 2016at3:57 pm

    I have had both nipples pierced 3 times! First time I got captive hoops, I took them out when I became pregnant. Then a few years later I got both nipples pierced with barbells both horizontally AND vertically! They were a little tougher to clean, because of all the area I had to cover. The amount of discharge wasn’t that much more, compared to when I had only my horizontal ones. Though because my left nipple started rejecting both sets of barbels, I took them out for good. Same as my right vertical one. I still have my right horizontal piercing for now!

  • Chelsea

    November 11, 2016at11:24 pm

    It definitely depends on the person. I’m female and got my left nipple pierced a few months ago. I am normally a huge baby when it comes to pain, but I honestly thought getting my nipple pierced wasn’t that bad at all.

  • Allie

    October 8, 2017at7:15 am

    Just got mine done yesterday. I thought the pain was going to be so much worse than it was! I love them and can’t wait until they fully heal so I can play with them!

  • Janine

    November 21, 2017at9:31 pm

    I’ve had both my nipples pierced twice. You definitely want to go to a shop where the piercer knows what they are doing and will make you feel comfortable. The first time I had them done they were crooked and never healed completely. The second time I went to the piercer who now currently does all my piercings. They’re straight and healed very nicely. I also have snake bites septum nostril tongue and belly pierced. The pain of all of those didn’t really bother me but I see tattoos and piercings as needle therapy.

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