How To Have A Nipplegasm

Photographed by Erika Bowes.
When we think about orgasms, most people probably jump right to thoughts about genitals. After all, that's how you make an orgasm happen, right? By touching either your own or someone else's genitals?
Sure, that's true most of the time. But there are elusive orgasms that come from non-genital touching, like the nipplegasm. A nipplegasm is just what it sounds like, an orgasm that happens from nipple and breast touching alone. It may sound like a thing of myth, because most people haven't experienced this kind of sexual pleasure. While it's common knowledge that playing with nipples — with your fingers, with your mouth, with nipple clamps or other sex toys — feels good (for most people), it can be hard to imagine how playing with someone's nipples can get them to orgasm. But it does happen, and science has some idea why.
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Scientists who study sexual pleasure have clearly also been curious about the nipplegasm; So curious, that they hooked people (mostly women, although people of all genders have nipples and can benefit from nipplegasms) up to fMRI machines while someone stimulated different parts of their body in a 2011 study. In their research, the scientists discovered that playing with someone's nipples activates the same area of the brain, the genital sensory cortex, as playing with their penis, vulva/vagina, or other genitals. The finding was totally unexpected for the scientists, but could easily explain why some women report having orgasms from nipple-touching, they said.
So, how do you have a nipplegasm? Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that you can. Everybody is different and something that might feel amazing during sex for one person (like nipple touching) might not turn another person on at all. If you're not already really into nipple play, then consider chasing another form of elusive orgasm instead, such as orgasms from sexual fantasy.
But, if you are into nipple play, then it's possible that you could have a nipplegasm. The old cliché applies here: practice, practice, practice. And at first, you may want to practice by yourself, because you'll want to be really in touch with your own body. Start by setting the scene, tantra expert Psalm Isadora wrote for Mind Body Green. Bringing yourself to nipple orgasm is going to be a sensual experience, so set a sensual scene with candles or light music or whatever else makes you feel sexy. Then, start to focus on your breath. Paying attention to your breath can help you focus on your body and how the touch feels.
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Then, start teasing yourself, slowly. "Begin at your belly. We hold a lot of stress here," Isadora wrote. "Start with strokes around the belly, rib cage, and in between the breasts to tease yourself. Don't touch your breasts yet." You'll want to work up to the breasts and nipples, instead of jumping right in, because you want to take time to arouse yourself.
The same goes for when you do start touching your breasts: start slowly. At first, use light touches (feel free to take out a feather or another tickler if you want). "Glide [your fingertips] over [your nipples] using saliva or a dab of lube, run them up and over nipples, and circle them on the areola," sexologist Sadie Allison previously told Refinery29. Gradually build up to more direct and harder touches, such as twisting your nipples or even using a nipple clamp.
If you spend time really connecting with how it feels to play with your nipples and, later, having a partner play with your nipples, you just might have a nipplegasm. But don't worry if it doesn't happen. Orgasms are great, but so is sex in general. So there's no losing here.
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