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the history of nipples

A Succinct History of Nipples

There were moments in history when showing off one’s nipples took pride and place in showing off one’s body, and could be variously adorned as a consequence.

There were also times when nipples had to be covered up, and even the belly button could not be shown at the beach. Even Marilyn Monroe could not show her belly button in her photo shoots on the beach.

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In the USA, men were legally banned from showing their nipples in public until the late 1930s.After Johnny Weissmuller. As Tarzan in the movies, showed his nipples on the big screen, more men dared to show their nipples on the beach even though they were flouting the law in the USA. It was not until a judge in New York in 1937 overturned the state’s ban on going shirtless in public, that it became an issue raised by the press

Homophobic concerns remained, however, and men not wearing shirts in public was still punishable by the the law if they were thought to be gay. Even after the second world war had ended in 1945, a group of bare-chested men were arrested for indecent exposure, because they were thought to be gay. Married men with their shirts off were not arrested.

Nipples have been adorned in various ways throughout history.In the 14th century Isabella of Bavaria, Queen of France. She wore necklines that plunged to her navel and she decorated her nipples with rouge.

The piercing of nipples for women has ebbed and flowed throughout the annals of history. It has been a much more difficult road for women to be able to expose their breasts in public than it has for men. In many states in the USA, for example, it is still illegal to expose a nipple when someone else is present, even when breast feeding. In the film “ Free The Nipple”, a comedy-drama independent production, a group of women initiate a movement to remove the censorship of showing women’s breasts in public all over America.



While women traffic wardens in Denmark were topless to draw attention to the safe movement of road traffic, this movie highlighted a true story of how a group of American women began a mass movement of topless women armed with the First Amendment lawyers, invading New York city. They protested the archaic censorship laws regarding female nipple exposure. This was part of the struggle for equality with men, as women’s bodies have always been subjected to different standards to those of men.

Even now, in many places, society frowns on breast feeding in public. Facebook once banned photos of a mother breast feeding her baby, even though women going topless in New York has been legal since 1992.

In the Encyclopaedia of Body Adornment, Margo De Mello writes, “The end of the 19th century also saw a brief fashion trend of nipple rings known as the bosom ring”. After the 1890s. However. The nipple piercing disappeared, emerging only since the 1960s with the body modification and in especially the gay and BDSM communities.

Victorian nipple piercings are briefly discussed in a comprehensive article on piercings in the British Medical Journal 199;319;1627, Henry Ferguson, editor, Body Art.” This article discusses how to have piercings done safely and how to look after them.


Nipples and Sex

Most people notice that nipples become erect during sexual activities and for those who have senstitive nipples this is where foreplay often begins.




The same sensation we get from nipple stimulation goes to the same part of the brain as do the sensations derived from the other sensitive parts of the body when stimulated.

To commence nipple foreplay the nipples could be gently pinched, or have a wetted finger lightly touch them repeatedly, followed by similar motions with a tongue. For those who have inverted nipples you could try a little nipple-stimulating gel. These are available in different flavours.

The key to pleasure is to keep communicating with your partner.



Some men don’t like their nipples played with while others just love it. Start slowly by licking and sucking a little and by rubbing the pail of the hand over them. Try to keep the tongue stiff when flicking it over the nipples in rapid succession.

If your partner likes their nipples stimulated start with a gentle pinching first and see how much they like it. They will tell you! Even a little nibble will do no permanent damage to the nipple, do it gradually as this is not activity to rush into. If your partner is into nipple stimulation in a big way, then there are many toys available to assist such as adjustable clamps so that your hands can be occupied elsewhere.

Take things easy with the stimulation of nipples rather than over-stimulating them too quickly. Have some breaks between nipple plays as this makes them more sensitive, or bring the play down to the most gentle touches for periods of time.

But for a surprising number or men do not find the stimulation of their nipples erotic.

A study by R Levin and C Meston, published in the Journal of Sex Medicine in 2006, aimed to find the effects of nipple/breast manipulation in young women and young men on their sexual arousal. Their conclusion was that “manipulation of the breast/nipples causes or enhances sexual arousal in approximately 82% of young women and 52% of young men, with 7 to 8% that it decreased their arousal”.

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