If you ever feel bored and complacent with your life, there are always three things you can do to let loose and go wild: dye your hair, get a tattoo, or pierce a new part of your body. If you hair is already purple and you can’t think of an inspiring song lyric, try getting a piercing. More specifically, a nipple piercing.
There’s something so sexy about a secret ring through one of the most intimate parts of you body, even if you’re the only one who knows about it. But there there are a few things you should know before you go to second base with your piercer.
What Is a Nipple Piercing?
A nipple piercing is a piercing that goes directly and horizontally through your nipple. Any nipple, no matter the shape, size, or dimension can be pierced. It does however, have to be in this physical dimension. Sorry, mini bookshelf Matthew McConaughey.
Sometimes people choose to get a nipple ring to showcase pride in their bodies, or that they aren’t afraid to own their sexuality. Or just because they like it. Nothing says “I love myself” than having a piercing that people can’t see with the naked eye. And Hailee Steinfeld circa 2015.
How Much Does a Nipple Piercing Cost?
Nipple piercings typically run anywhere from $30-$70 for the piercing, plus the cost of the jewelry. This price can vary based on material and style, although most piercers will use a surgical steel bar as a placeholder while the piercing heals.
And even though you may be a pro at finding the cheapest deals for restaurants and plane tickets, you shouldn’t skimp on a nipple piercing. Make sure the studio and the piercer are safe, clean, and experienced. The last thing you want is for your new piercing to turn out like your latest budget sushi find: green and puffy.
How Painful is a Nipple Piercing?
You’re putting a needle through your skin, so there’s going to be at least a little pain involved. And although each person is different, the nipple tends to be extremely sensitive, so you can expect more pain than getting pierced in other parts if your body.
And for ladies, one thing that makes this different than an ear or nose piercing is that your nipples can be more sensitive during your time of month. Avoid getting your nipples pierced on your period to help reduce the amount of pain involved.
Plus, everyone knows we turn into werewolves during that time, anyway.
How Long Will My Nipple Piercing Take to Heal?
Nipple piercings typically take around 12 weeks to fully heal, according to board-certified dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose MD, FAAD. And the size of your chest can actually affect healing time, too.
Larger boobs are more likely to create friction, which can slow healing time. And no, that’s not just because you’re running in slow motion down a beach.
During that 12ish-week window, you’ll need to practice proper cleaning and aftercare And you definitely don’t want to change your jewelry out before the piercing completely heals. Make sure your piercing is fully healed before you begin to mess with it, no matter how bored you are.
Go back to paragraph #1 for more boredom cures, or try reading the first five pages of The Iliad again.
Are There Any Risks?
As with any body modification, there are some risks that come along with getting a nipple piercing.
One risk is infection. Avoid this is by going to a safe, clean, and reputable piercing studio that uses tools and needles that are sanitized and new tools. After the deed is done, be diligent with your aftercare. We know you’re dying to hear about this sexy part of the process, so don’t stop reading now!
What’s Good Nipple Piercing Aftercare?
The best way to care for your nipple piercing is to properly clean it and keep it away from tight materials it can snag.
Most piercing studios will sell you saline solution (a mixture of sodium chloride (salt) and water) to clean your piercing. If they try to give you Salt and Vinegar chips, you probably want to choose another studio.
To clean the piercing and the ring, fill a small cup with the saline solution (or warm water and sea salt for a DIY mix), put the top of the cup over your nipple piercing, and allow your nipple to submerge for two to three minutes. Clean your new piercing morning and night, just like how you brush your teeth. Don’t worry, we won’t bother asking about flossing.
You also want to avoid wearing anything that’s too tight on your nipple ring, as it’ll rub and irritate the new piercing.
And finally, avoid all nipple play in the bedroom until you’re totally healed—especially with mouths and tongues. A fresh piercing and remnants of spicy wings do not mix well. This is not how you want to heat up your sex life.
When Can I Change the Jewelry & What Jewelry is Best?
When you first get your nipple pierced, you’ll probably get a somewhat long surgical steel bar. It may not be the sexiest look, but it is a safe option for fresh piercings because there’s a lower chance of your nipple swelling over the piercing. And once your healing time is up, you get to spice that nipple up with something that speaks to you more.
The best way to care for a new nipple piercing is to make sure you wait the full healing process before changing out your jewelry. This will give you plenty of time to change your mind eight times about what piece you want! Or nine times. Or how about a nice round 10?
When you do pick out your jewelry, be mindful of what material it’s made of, especially if you’re allergic to anything. Professional piercers recommend sticking to titanium, surgical stainless steel, PTFE, niobium, and gold.
And one your nipple piercing is fully healed, you can switch out the regular bar for things with a bit more flavor, like dangling rings, nipple shields, or hoops and barbells. You already did the hard part, so let your personality shine! And by personality, we of course mean your new hardware. It has the best taste in movies!