Choosing the Best Nipple Jewelry
Painful Pleasures carries more than 500 nipple rings in a wide variety of styles ranging from nipple shields to dangle nipple rings, bent barbells to captive rings, seamless rings to straight barbells, segment rings to pinchers, circular barbells to nipple piercing retainers, and more. With so much nipple piercing jewelry to choose from, how on earth do you narrow down your options and pick just one or two new pieces for your collection? Believe it or not, you can apply a little method to the madness that is our immense nipple ring collection!
When selecting new nipple jewelry, there are a few things you should keep in mind: material, threading, size, and style. Once you know what you want in each of those areas, choosing new nipple jewelry will be a piece of cake.
Nipple Ring Materials
The material your new nipple jewelry is made from is crucially important if you have any metal allergies or general skin sensitivities. The metal most people are likely to react to is nickel, which fortunately is a nearly non-existent ingredient in our jewelry metal options. Even so, to be safe, your top material choices should be titanium, surgical stainless steel, PTFE, niobium, and gold if you have any concerns about the material of your nipple rings irritating your skin or causing an outright allergic reaction.
PTFE, which is also called BioPlast or BioFlex, is a flexible, relatively soft material that's completely hypoallergenic. You're somewhat limited to the style of nipple rings you choose if you opt for this material, though. Straight barbells are really the only PTFE nipple ring option we offer. They do come in some fun colors and designs, though, like the cool blue glitter ball-topped PTFE straight barbell shown to the right.
Titanium is your next best option, because it's the absolute most inert metal. Surgical steel is a close second, and we have tons of gorgeous nipple rings made of both materials, as you'll see in our Nipple Rings section. Here are just 3 of the many designs you'll find there, if you opt for titanium, surgical stainless steel, niobium, or gold jewelry:
These fun candy-striped Pinchers are made from 316L surgical stainless steel, which is an ideal metal for those with metal sensitivities.
These awesome captive bead Orbs are handmade to order from hypoallergenic Niobium right here at Painful Pleasures.
This captive bead ring represents one of many styles of titanium jewelry we carry. It's the most inert metal and least likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
Internal vs. External Nipple Ring Threading
What is threading, and why does it matter? If you go with an option like a captive bead ring, a seamless ring, a segment ring, or a pincher, threading is a non-issue. But for things like straight barbells, circular barbells and bent barbells, threading is a factor.
Threading is the area where a ball or other decorative end screws onto a body jewelry shaft. External threading isn't ideal for nipple piercings, because the swirl of metal threading that the balls screw onto is on the end of the shaft that will pass through your tender fistulas when you insert your jewelry. The threading can scrape the delicate tissue inside, which can be mighty uncomfortable, to say the least. If you scrape yourself badly enough, you may have to ramp up your piercing aftercare regime again to calm down the irritation.
If you decide to get a bent barbell, straight barbell or other jewelry with threading, it's much better to opt for jewelry that has internal threading, like the bent barbells shown to the left. Internal threads are bored into the jewelry shafts, leaving the rough swirl of external threading on the balls or other ends that screw into the internally-threaded shafts. That means you have relatively smooth shafts to insert into your nipple piercings. Once a barbell's in, you screw on a ball with a little threaded post attached to it, and the threading never touches your sensitive nipples!
Sizing Up Your Starter Jewelry. When you first get pierced, your jewelry has to be extra long to account for swelling. If your straight or bent barbell nipple rings aren't long enough and your nipples swell, it could cause the balls to press into your skin or even get sucked into the fistulas--two terrible scenarios. Why? Because prolonged pressure on that delicate, healing tissue could cause it to die--a process known as necrosis.
As the dead skin rots, your piercings--which are open wounds--will be highly susceptible to bacterial infection. Additionally, the tissue could be permanently damaged. Next thing you know, you're oozing thick yellow pus instead of healthy clear lymph (i.e. that thin, clear discharge that dries to a whitish crust, better known as the harmless "crusties" that are so common with new piercings). The skin around your piercings may get streaky red, too, and you could even run a fever.
If you have any or all of these signs of infection, you have to do 2 things: (A) Get to a doctor ASAP and request an antibiotic, and (B) see your piercer and have him or her insert longer barbells. Sound like a fun situation? Nah! So how do you avoid this potential fiasco? Start out with extra-long barbells! Captive bead rings are good, too, in the sense that they won't put undue pressure on your healing fistulas even if your nipples swell. However, rings can put extra downward pressure on your healing fistulas, potentially delaying the healing process and making your sure-to-be-tender nipples extra sore..
What's the lesson here? Internally-threaded titanium or surgical steel bent barbells or straight barbells that are just a little longer than your nipples are ideal starter jewelry for nipple piercings. You want the barbells to be long enough to accommodate swelling but not so long that they catch on your clothes and get tugged in an uncomfortable way frequently.
Choosing the Best-Sized Post-Healing Jewelry. Now, what about size after your nipple piercings are fully healed? The diameter or length of the nipple piercing jewelry you choose will depend in large part on the size of your nipples. If you're wearing straight barbells, you need jewelry that's just long enough that the balls don't press on either side of your nipples to avoid necrosis. You don't want them to be so long that they're constantly catching on clothes and stuff, though. If you're wearing captive bead rings, keep the diameter reasonable so that the jewelry isn't in your way or showing through your clothing... unless you want it to! ;-)
Gauge is also important, because nipple piercings are surface piercings, and surface piercings are prone to migration and rejection. Typically nipple piercings are done at 14g or 12g, because larger gauges placed further back/more deeply will help minimize migration and rejection issues. Smaller gauges and/or piercings placed too far forward can trigger the "cheese cutter effect", where your skin sloughs off a layer at a time, bringing your jewelry closer and closer to the tip of your nipples until it eventually falls out, potentially leaving a nasty scar.
Rely on your piercer to help you choose the best size starter jewelry and to give you guidance on the sizes you should be considering one you're fully healed and ready to try new jewelry. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN, including the length or diameter and gauge of your current starter jewelry and your piercer's recommendations for post-healing sizes. Keep that info somewhere safe so it's handy when you're ready to start shopping for new jewelry!
If You're Stylin', You'll Be Smilin'
- Nipple Shields - These can be a fun addition to your nipple jewelry collection, but they're not really intended for everyday use. You'll need a straight barbell to wear with any nipple shield you buy, and you could just use that as your every day nipple jewelry.
- Dangle Nipple Rings - Again, these are fun things to have in your nipple jewelry collection, but not necessarily practical for everyday use unless you're a male lifeguard who has his shirt off half the year or you're a nudist, in which case, go crazy!
- Straight Barbell Nipple Jewelry - Straight barbells are the most practical nipple piercing jewelry for everyday wear. They don't have to be boring just because they're practical, though! You can anodize your straight barbell to practically any color or color combination you want. You could even get a few in different colors to add some variety to your jewelry collection. Don't forget about all the cool ends you can add to your straight barbells, too! Just make sure the threaded ends you pick have a thread pattern that matches the barbell(s) you're getting.
- Captive, Segment & Seamless Nipple Rings - Rings will sometimes be a little too visible under men's clothing, but women can hide them with padded bras. Even if you're a guy who works in a professional environment, you shouldn't pass up rings just because they might be too visible through your dress shirts. You can always wear an undershirt or save your captive, seamless or segment rings for the weekend. There are tons of fun styles, so at least take a look at what we have to offer!
- Bent Barbell Nipple Rings - Like straight barbells, bent barbells are a more practical option for everyday wear. You can dress them up with cool threaded ends and anodization, too!
- Pinchers & Circular Barbell Nipple Rings - Pinchers and horseshoe rings/circular barbells can present similar challenges to captive rings and seamless and segment rings. That doesn't mean you should pass them up, though! The pinchers in particular are wicked! It's totally worth having at least one in your nipple jewelry collection.
- Gold Nipple Rings - If you want to upgrade your look, gold. We have everything from simple, plain 14kt gold rings and barbells to fancy daith rings studded with gems that are totally customizable. Don't leave without at least giving this section a glance!