Ta-tas. Boobies. Chi-chis. Gazoongas. Sweater Puppies. So many words to describe such delightful parts of the body. For as many words as there are for breasts, there are opinions about them. It's the rare person who doesn't have some sort of feelings about their breasts. Even though they're considered secondary sex characteristics, many folks have a stronger emotional connection to their breasts than even their genitals. Likewise, when it comes to sexy time, everybody relates differently to breast stimulation. Some folks like it whisper gentle. Others don't get excited until you bust out the rope and riding crops.
Unfortunately, few folks ever get a crash course in how to touch breasts for maximum pleasure, which means we often might skip over the subtle, delicious sexiness in pursuit of more crotch-oriented activities. But integrating intentional, skillful breast play can help reassert sex as a full-body experience, and can add delicious variety to your make-out and sexy time sessions.
1. Know Your Anatomy
First things first — understand your anatomy. What we consider the nipple is actually made up of three parts: the Areola (the whole area of darker flesh), the Sulcus (the small division between the areola and nipple), and the Nipple (the raised part where milk comes out when lactating). As for the breast, it's a mix of fatty tissue, lymph nodes, and a bunch of nerves. Where the breast attaches to the torso is called the "root."
Fun Fact: all breasts, regardless of size, have the same number of nerve endings. This means, as a general rule, small breasts are more sensitive and large breasts can generally handle more intense stimulation. Of course, the person on the receiving end of touch has the ultimate say in what kind of touch they want.
2. Know That Breast Play May Be Off The Menu
Many trans guys and gender non conforming people have complicated feelings about their breasts and/or chests. If your partner identifies in one of these ways, it's best to ask before touching at all. Some trans guys love having their breasts stimulated, but only if you're touching them as you would touch pecs (think: more general palm squeezing, less nip-flicks). Others are totally down with nipple play, and get a lot of pleasure that way. Either way, be sure to ask so that you can be extra careful not to misgender or hurt anyone.
3. Check In Before You Dig In
Sensitivity varies dramatically from person to person. For some, rough is never enough. For others, merely blowing on a nipple will cause sensory overload. A nice way to check in is by integrating a tease: Kiss or lick the nipple gently before moving away. If your partner makes a clear noise, then you have the info you need. If not, ask "Did you like that?" or "Want more of that?"
4. Always Start Gentle
As you get to know your partner's sensitivity levels, it's good to start slow and gentle. Gentle stroking over the clothes, generalized touch on the breast with your palm, and gentle kissing on the clavicle and general breast area are all good ways to start. Slowly work your way toward the nipple and gauge your partner's excitement.
5. Think Clit
Often (though not always) the way a person likes their clit stimulated is similar to the way they like their nipples played with. If someone has a super-sensitive clit that doesn't like direct contact, try gentle, generalized touch around the areolae. On the other hand, if you're dealing with a clit only a Magic Wand can properly serve, nibbling and sucking the nipple may be very much on the menu.
6. Be A Tease
Try kissing, stroking, and licking your partners breast while pointedly avoiding the areola and nipple. If your partner wants direct nipple stimulation, this tease can be delightfully frustrating. (If your partner whimpers, that's a good clue they want you to latch on.) If your partner doesn't want nipple contact, touching the rest of the breast can feel wonderful on its own as well.
7. Turn Down The Temperature
Try getting the nipple wet with your saliva by licking and sucking them, then blow gently. The chilly sensation can create yummy tingles.
8. Always Communicate Before Nibbling
Nipple biting should start exceedingly gentle. To get a sense of what your partner likes, ask them to help you figure it out. Tell them you're going to bite super gently, then slooooowly increase the pressure. Ask your partner to tell you when you've reached their edge. This can give you a great range of what feels good so you know for the future how much is too much. (Chomping without asking is a big no-no.)
9. Don't Play Favorites
If you're spending a long time on one nip at the expense of the other one, take a trip to the other side. This will allow the first one to reset and be more in tune with a range of sensations.
10. Master The "Threesome For Two"
If your partner is really into nipple play, try using a free hand to mimic the motions your mouth is making, using your lips on one nipple and your hand on the other.
11. Know That For Some, Nipple Orgasms Are Possible
Yes, there is such a thing as nipple orgasms. Some people can and do come just from nipple stimulation. If this is you or your partner, the general rule is the same for most other orgasms: variety, then consistency. Try a bunch of different things until you land on something your partner really digs. Then keep doing that thing with a consistent, steady rhythm.
12. Keep Their Cycle In Mind
The tissue of the breast can feel different based on where your partner is on their cycle. For trans girls, this is usually a day or so after she's taken her hormones. For everyone else, it's usually a day or two before their menstrual cycle starts. Use extra care on these days because the tissue is often tender and ouchy.
13. Be Mostly Superficial
Remember, breasts are attached to the rest of the body. Don't move the root of the breast or knead deeply. While breasts are truly full of yummy nerve endings, most of the pleasurable sensation comes from the surface of the breasts. So lick, pinch, stroke away. But keep the breast where it is, and keep your mouth and hands focused on the surface.
14. ... But Don't Ignore The Best Of The Rest Of The Breast, Either
While nipples tend to get most of the attention, the whole breast can be a bounty of sensation. Explore the crease on the underside of her breast. Try kissing her ribcage on her sides. Give some love to her clavicle, cleavage, and even the top of her armpit.
Images: Bustle; kd diamond/Girl Sex 101; Giphy (12)