Dear Dr G, I know you get all sorts of questions about sexual health, but I bet my question may just be the first for you. I am a 26-year-old man and have been in a sexual relationship with my girlfriend for more than a year. We have a healthy intimacy, but I really find one thing rather strange about her. I often find my girlfriend gets very aroused when the nipples are stimulated and this is different compared with the other girls I have been with. I recently suggested to her that she should consider nipple piercing, as I find that attractive. Besides, I also believe it will enhance her (and of course our) sexual intimacy. Is it true women have more sensitive nipples? I am sorry to put Dr G on the spot, but I am wandering if the nipples are very sensitive and do they play a role in sexual stimulation? Will the body piercing enhance the sensation of the nipples? Look forward to your response. Regards Jack Nipple piercing is a common practice that is gaining popularity among the youth. The body piercing is targeted at the base of the nipple and can be performed in any direction. Some consider such piercing to be visually pleasing or sexually desirable. Anthropologically, nipple piercing has been documented throughout history. For men, nipple piercing is common among South American natives and this practice is noted in women in the Kabyle people from Algeria. Nipple piercing started as a fashion trend from the 14th century and the Victorian Era. Queen Isabella of Bavaria described the diamond studded piercing draped with gold chains as “Youth Resilience of Bosom” and the Vogue Magazine even displayed nipple piercing leading the fashion trends at the end of the 19th century. Body piercings including the nipple, undoubtedly gain popularity when revived by celebrities such as Pink and Nicole Richie, who apparently set off the alarm at an airport, as she passed a metal detector with the nipple jewellery. The motivation for nipple piercing may vary between individuals. Most women (and men) cite self-expressions and being unique, when making personal choices. However, some may consider it to be an enhancement for sexual pleasure. The male and female breast and nipple developed similarly during infancy. Although all breasts in both genders have the same number of nerve endings following puberty, the breast structure for men remained rudimentary. On the other hand, the female breasts develop further under the influence of estrogen and progesterone. However, the organs are recognised to be equally erogenous in both genders. A 2006 study on sexual health noted sexual arousal were achieved or enhanced in 82% of young women and 52% of young men by direct tactile stimulation of the nipples. The same study also demonstrated only 8% of the participants reported decrease in arousal. In fact, it is reported that some women may even achieve orgasm solely as a result of nipple stimulation. This is believed to be associated with the area of the sensory cortex in the brain in connection to both the nipples and the genitalia in women. Recent study by Kristen Chase had demonstrated the sensual arousal and areola stimulations were increased by the piercing of the nipple. Despite some reports of enhancement of sensations, other reports actually showed no difference or even decrease of stimulations, especially if the intervention is complicated by infections and scarring. Of course, the phenomenal media attention of the “accidental” exposure of Janet Jackson’s “nipple shield” during a performance with Justin Timberlake has excited many. However, all interventions carry some degree of risk and complications. Some people have reported up to 18 months for the wound to be healed completely. And others have reported complications such as metal allergy, infections, excessive tugging and pulling and even rejections. Instead of putting Dr G on the spot for the question of “to pierce or not to pierce”, I think Jack should put himself on the spot and ask whether he is willing to go through the pain and potential complications of getting his nipples pierced before persuading his girlfriend to do so! Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.