[Apologies for the clichéd title but my brain was lazy!]
Once upon a time, this was meant to be a blog about writing, and kinky sex, and writing about kinky sex, and sexing about kinky writing (Wait, is that right? Seems legit, I’ll go with it.) I am bad at compartmentalising so it also became about the politics of kink, gender, sex and writing (because all censorship affects writing in one way or another). And then more generally about politics, and life, and, well, anything, really. So yeah, I fail at staying on-brand with just about anything.
But today, I am able to get back to those roots! Hurrah!
My favourite kinky sextoy store in Cambridge closed a few years back (boo!) so the main ones seem to be the big brand names Private and Ann Summers (yes, I know). These aren’t great for kink stuff, although Private is better, and has a range of items that look like they might do the job. (I’ve also bought enema equipment there that hasn’t caused me any problems in the time I’ve had it). I should also add I’ve bought insertibles for my own use at Ann Summers and for that sort of thing, they do have some decent-quality items.
Anyway, I recently went to the Private store to have a browse in their media section (mainly hoping to find written-word, but they didn’t stock any print, only glossy photo magazines) and noticed an item called “Nipple Suckers” and these intrigued me, because (as I wrote for Girl On The Net a few years ago) when it comes to nipple play with clamps and clothes pegs and the like, my body has sadly disappointed me in its performance.
So these toys offering a “soft touch” caught my interest and, for £10, I bought a pair to try. Which I have been doing for the past 2 weeks or so.
What they are:
As the name implies, these are small suction cups that are designed to fit over your nipples. The model from Black Velvets is made of silicone, and comes with ring attachments that would make anchors for lightweight chains to clip to, or for slipping a finger through.
The instructions on the back imply they are primarily intended for the purpose of making the nipples more prominent and erect. You squeeze the cup, place the cup over the nipple to create a vacuum effect, then use the ring to pull the cup away – instant erect nipple! And I can confirm that when used for this purpose, it has that effect on a male (or male-typical) body such as the one I live in. (The artwork on the box implies it is intended for use on female-typical bodies – I’m still struggling for properly trans/NB inclusive language to express what I mean in a shorthand way. Basically, people with boobs rather than moobs?)
But I was more interested in them as an experience in their own right, a much softer version of the clamps and clothes pegs that my poor tits seem no longer able to cope with.
For this, I reasoned that I probably wanted to up the ante when it came to the vacuum effect. The first thing I thought of was what you did as a child to make a suction cap work better – which is, you licked it, so the fluid would provide a more complete seal around the lip.
So, I did that with these toys, licking around the base – which was its own form of sensual play. The relatively tight opening and the stiffness made it a bit like giving cunnilingus to a robot or something, which was a pleasing concept to me, anyway. So I used my tongue to get the suction cups nice and wet for me.
A bit of experimentation revealed that in order to get the cups to stay in place and hold their own weight, I needed to give the cups between 5 and 10 squeezes to create a powerful enough vacuum.
What does it feel like?
Well, as it turns out, when used in the way I described above, it feels quite a lot like a very very soft version of wearing a nipple clamp or clothes peg. Which is basically, what I was aiming for. Result! It has the added bonus that because there is no pressure on the nipple, presumably blood flow is not restricted in the same way. (Although I am not an expert on how these things work, so don’t take unnecessary risks!)
The pinching effect is felt less on the nipple itself, and more around the base and the areola – the points where the cup meets the skin and the air pressure from outside pushes in. The nipple feels more of a tugging sensation as the stuff inside your body tries to fill the space left by all the air you squeezed out of the cup.
The best bit, though, is that you have those metal rings to play with. Not having anyone else to experiment with, I had to do my own self-Domming here by pulling the cups this way and that, trying out a chain attachment, and so on.
The chain I used was possibly too heavy for the cups, but I found if I took most of the weight with the hand holding the other end then the cup would hold it fine, and the problem was the perpendicular force inducing uneven pressures around the base that caused the suction to fail. And when used with just a finger hold on the ring, the cups would take a decent amount of force tugged in various directions.
The upshot of this is that they make a great toy for “control” based play – with a Dominant attaching lightweight chains or using finger holds to direct the movement of the wearer and using the pull and pressure on the nipples and areolae to steer them and give instruction. It couldn’t be used to compel or “force” a Submissive to go in a certain direction, the way the harsher pain from nipple clamps can (because resisting the tug is too painful, so following is necessary – and bearing in mind all the usual caveats about informed consent, RACK, and the ability to withdraw consent at any time through safewords or other means). If a sub stood their ground, the suction cups would pretty quickly give way – far sooner than clamps would under the same conditions, and with far less pain. But in the right Submissive headspace, it would be a very direct, very sensual and sensuous, means of establishing and communicating that control. Even just playing with myself and trying out these angles and pressures, I felt how easily I could slip into that “controlled, obedient” headspace under that sort of stimuli.
”They’re suction cups – so what about cupping?”
After experimenting with the D/s and ultra-mild SM uses, I wondered about other ways to use them. “Cupping” in this context is, I believe, the term for using glass cups and heating the air inside them, placing them on the skin and letting the air cool, creating a suction or vacuum effect as the gas volume decreases. Obviously, I’m not going to muck about with heating stuff in these things – I don’t know how they’d behave under those conditions and not keen to try that experiment! But they are designed to produce a suction effect and I thought it might be worth seeing if I could get an effect that was anything similar to what I’d seen in pictures shown me by exes who’d experimented with cupping as the bottom.
And the answer is, yes I could!
Using the same principle established for using them as surrogate nipple clamps, I placed a suction cup on a bare patch of skin on my torso and gave it several squeezes. It stayed in place, just like when I used it over my nipple.
The sensation was curious, and to be able to report it accurately, I am wearing one in the same way right now so I can describe what I’m feeling to you, dear reader. It feels like dozens of pinpricks, but as if they’re coming from under the skin and pricking outwards. As time goes by, I get more used to it, or the effect becomes lesser, though I can revive it if I tug the cup this way or that and increase the pressure on the outside ring where the cup meets the skin. I can also make it more pronounced if I tug on the ring outwards, pulling on my flesh with the suction effect.
It is, again, a very sensuous form of discomfort that definitely appeals to my masochist senses without being a full-on pain stimulus.
Removing the cup with a squeeze and pull to break the seal, I find I am left with a mark that looks very similar to what I’ve seen in photos of cupping – a raised, reddened patch in the centre, surrounded with a whiter, almost bruised, ring where the cup (glass or silicone) pressed against the skin. The last time I experimented with this use for the “nipple suckers” the rings lasted for a couple of days.
I can imagine how, lying on my front with someone else using these on my back and buttocks, could be a really intense form of sensation play, especially with the mystery of where they would place them next – or being blindfolded and having them used on your front – or blindfolded and standing, so they could place one anywhere. (Being made to provide your own saliva as the suction wetness seal for any of these types of play would be awesome, too.)
So was it worth it?
I have no idea what the going rate for nipple suction toys like these would be, so I can’t say whether I was ripped off or not on that score. What I can say is that there aren’t many purpose-made sex toys for £10 and under that are worth the box they come in when you can explore the options that household objects present.
And the fact is, these particular “suckers” do the job they’re designed to do, and offer some really fun and creative opportunities for D/s, mild SM, and sensation play, that mean I would very happily use them on a partner or have a partner use them on me, to enhance and excite a session. So overall I’m pretty happy with the happenstance that led me to buy them.