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Whether you prefer the look of an accent on just one side, or a bilateral pair, nipple piercings can enhance the aesthetics of pretty much any chest. Piercings can also add greatly to the sensitivity of male nipples. Many men report that their nipples are not erotically charged--until after piercing. 

Even very small male nipples can be pierced, if the tissue is pliable.

General Information

Male nipple piercings tend to be faster and easier to heal than female nipples, as they are not subject to the same types of monthly hormonal cycles. The nipple is an area where sensitivity and tenderness vary considerably from person to person. Some men have very sensitive nipples, and others not at all. But if you select a competent piercer, you should find the procedure tolerable, and the results worthwhile.

Post-Piercing Nipple Development

Certain piercings are subject to swelling after the procedure. Nipples, however, are prone to development (a semipermanent or lasting change in the shape, dimensions, and texture of the localized nipple and areola tissue). This is often mistaken for swelling, though it is actually quite different.

Development is most common in male nipples (and underdeveloped female nipples). The changes can be relatively dramatic: in essence, the nipple grows in response to the stimulus of the jewelry and the piercing. When the piercing is properly placed in the natural creases of the body, this development is usually attractive and well formed. If the piercing is not made in the proper spot, however, the tissue can develop a blobby, awkward appearance. These changes may not dissipate even if the jewelry is removed; think about whether this is acceptable before getting pierced. While common, this is not a universal response to nipple piercing. 

Healing Time
3-4 months or longer

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Placement

Virtually all male nipples—even tiny flat ones—are pierceable if they are pliable. Whether you prefer the angle of your piercing to be horizontal, vertical, or somewhere in between, it will work best if it is placed in the natural creases of your tissue. 

If you have well-developed nipples, the piercing should be placed in the grooves at the base of the nipple where it rises from the areola. If your nipple is defined with substantial height, the piercing can safely go in as little as 5/16" of tissue.

If you have flat nipples, the piercing should encompass a minimum of 3/8" of tissue when the area is relaxed. If your nipples are relatively featureless, without an elevated tip, the tissue in the visual center of the nipple should be pierced so that the jewelry will rest evenly within your areola.

The piercing routinely extends into the areola, especially on men, but this is still considered a nipple piercing. I'm not sure where the urban myth arose from that one must never pierce into the areola. That's simply not true, and many male nipples are just too small to safely support jewelry.

If you have elliptical or odd-shaped areolas, it may be best to cheat one side of the piercing a little further from the tip of your nipple in order to have the jewelry appear more centered in the pigmented area.

Suffice it to say that optimal placement varies greatly from person to person as anatomy is quite individual in this region. Further, symmetry is not common, so when working with pairs of nipple piercings, additional considerations come into play when selecting the best location on each side for a matched set.
 

Marked at the base of the nipple--only 1/4" width--too narrow for safety, so he is pierced in the next groove out
The other nipple, unpierced
A male nipple piercing with a barbell on a build that used to look like these flat nipples!
A male nipple marked for piercing placement
A poorly placed male nipple piercing marked where the piercing should have gone
A pair of male nipple piercings with barbells

Jewelry

I most commonly use 14 gauge as the initial jewelry for "average" sized male nipples, which are on the small side, especially when compared with female nipples. If your nipples are larger, then I might be willing to use 12 gauge for the piercing. On rare occasions, men have had nipples large enough for me to honor their requests for a 10 gauge initial piercings. 

The jewelry style I most commonly use for male nipple piercings is a straight barbell. A small amount of extra room on each side of the post is desirable for initial jewelry. A barbell in a fresh or healing nipple piercing should not pinch or sink into the nipple at all. You should be able to view each ball as a full sphere when round ends are worn.

The ball size on barbells must be moderated to suit the anatomy. On smaller and flatter nipples, it is critical to have smaller balls, in the range of 3-4mm or 5/32"-3/16". This helps to prevent the jewelry from being forced away from the body and lead to migration, which can happen with larger balls.

However, earlier in my career, nipples were almost always done with rings. When the correct diameter is selected, they heal just fine. The "trick" is in selecting a ring that is large enough to accommodate the tissue without pinching at all. The tissue on a ring should take up no more than 1/3 of the ring's surface--or even better, 1/4 of the ring. 

One aspect of choosing the jewelry size is cruicial: making sure it fits the tissue when it is at its widest resting state. It is common for the nipple to become erect (and therefore narrower) during cleaning and marking process. But if a piercer doesn't spread it back out to check how wide it can become, the barbells (or rings) often ends up too small. This can be very painful and result in serious complications including migration, scar tissue formation, and even embedded jewelry.

Barbell in a male nipple piercing with gold balls
A straight barbell is the most common initial jewelry style for male nipple piercings
A captive bead ring is an alternative initial jewelry style for male nipple piercings
A circular barbell is another alternative style option for initial jewelry in male nipple piercings

Procedure

You may be in a position anywhere from seated to reclining flat, depending on the preference of your piercer and the furniture in the piercing room. I prefer to pierce you when you're in a nearly upright seated posture, slightly reclining back. 

I use forceps to perform nipple piercings. For your comfort and to make the procedure easier, I do tissue manipulation prior to the application of the clamps, rolling and pinching the tissue (in the shape and direction of the piercing). If necessary, I'll do more of this than usual for tight skin or underdeveloped nipples. If the forceps are especially difficult to apply, then more manipulation is in order.

The piercing is made with a sterile, disposable piercing needle, and the jewelry follows right behind. I always finish up the procedure with a sterile saline pad, which feels wonderfully soothing and cooling.

Bleeding is possible with any piercing or break in the skin. However, heavy bleeding is seldom seen in nipple piercings.

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Healing and Troubleshooting

Tenderness can come and go due to the fit of clothing, sleep habits, physical activities, and other factors.

Nipple piercings can take some time to heal completely. They may regress for no apparent reason after months of stability. Should your piercing take an excessively long time to settle, try different jewelry or change care regimens until you figure out what works best. This experimentation can require patience, but adjust at least one aspect before giving up. If you endured the procedure and some of the healing period, it is worth preserving the piercing.

You will probably find that the support of an undershirt is helpful. Just a minute or two after settling into a tight garment, the piercing usually feels less tender. If you are not partial to sleeping in a shirt, you can wrap a length of clean Ace bandage across the chest and around your body. This type of elastic bandage protects the area while still allowing it to breathe, and it avoids adhesives that could irritate skin or pull hair upon removal.  

What My Happy Clients Say

I couldn't have asked for a better experience! I'm 5 days post double nipple piercing and I love them!!

Elayne you truly are an angel.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! 

T.

Going to Elayne was an incredible experience. She is wonderfully gifted & gracious expert.

There was NO pain from the extremely quick & perfectly placed piercings.  

My words of praise seem too menial when compared with the professionalism, passion and empathy she has for what she does.

There is no one like you! Thank you Elayne! You ROCK!

B.

I was lucky enough to have my nipples pierced by Elayne and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

The actual piercing was so fast that I barely had a chance to realize it happened! 

If you're debating whether or not it's worth the price and wait to be pierced by Elayne, it is. It's really as simple as that!

A.