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8 Tips for How to Play With Your Partner's Breasts

Because breast play is an art, not a science.

young sexy hot couple in love hugging and kissing
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It's a truth universally acknowledged: Most guys love breasts. Whether they're big or small, perky or slightly saggy, or real or surgically enhanced, boobs are incredibly awesome, and they're a lot of fun to play with. So you probably want to know how to play with them in a way that's pleasurable for both you and your partner.

Luckily, there's a very simple answer to this question: just ask your partner what they like! Lots of people really, really enjoy breast play (in fact, there's some evidence to suggest that a few lucky folks can have an orgasm from nipple stimulation alone). In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine—kinda old, we know, but there hasn’t been that much boob research conducted in the past 14 years—81.5% of women reported that breast and nipple stimulation causes or enhances sexual arousal. That being said, not all of them do. In the same study, 7.2% of women said breast and nipple stimulation decreased their arousal. That's why you should probably check in with your partner to find out what category they fall under.

Even if your partner does want you to play with their breasts, you should handle with care: While one person might like to be lightly bitten, another may find that kinda painful. And please, don’t smack them or squeeze them with all your might, like you see in porn—unless your partner specifically tells you they're into rougher boob play and want you to do those things.

Here are a few general tips for mastering your partner's pleasure zones, as well as some moves you'd probably be better off avoiding.

1) Talk dirty.

According to a UCLA study, women who are unhappy with their breast size are 16 times more likely to hide their breasts during sex. Which is a bummer, because you don't just want to see your partner's breasts—you also want them to feel safe and secure and turned-on.

It might help to compliment your partner's breasts early in foreplay. “Comment on her high responsiveness to stimulation,” says Patti Britton, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist (i.e., "your nipples are so hard right now.") Alternatively, something as simple as "Oh, wow, you have amazing boobs" could be just the confidence boost your mate needs.

2) Don't head for the nipple right away.

As Debby Herbenick, PhD, previously explained to Men's Health, nipples vary widely in terms of sensitivity, so if you're not quite sure what your partner likes, you need to work your way up to nipple stimulation. Start off by gently stroking or massaging the tops, bottoms, and sides of their breasts. Alternate with lightly kissing their neck, earlobes, and collarbone. That'll help build anticipation and leave them wanting more.

3) Focus on the areola.

When you feel like your partner is ready—and if they're making a lot of noise or writhing around with pleasure, they're probably ready—move onto the areola, the dark-colored circle that surrounds the nipple, which is actually more sensitive than the nipple itself. Focus especially on the upper quadrant of the breast, between 10 and 2 o’clock. It’s the most sensitive part of the bull’s-eye. Gently stroke the nipple and circle the areola with a finger, or circle the nipple with your thumb and forefinger.

4) Get your mouth involved—but be gentle.

If your partner seems to be enjoying things, use your tongue to very lightly draw circles around their nipple. If their nipple is erect, gently flick it with your tongue a few times before slowly and gently taking the nipple into your mouth. Alternate between licking and sucking on the nipple. (If your partner has inverted nipples, which approximately 10 to 20% of women do, you can lure the nipples out with touching, kissing, licking, and gentle sucking, but you might have to work a little harder.)

After a while, you can give your mouth a break and go back to gently circling and stroking their nipples—they might enjoy the varying pressure.

5) Don't bite—unless she asks you to.

Even if your partner is writhing and moaning with pleasure, you shouldn't get carried away and bite or pull their nipple without her consent. If you sense that your partner might like it rough, ask, "Do you want more?" or "Harder?" before nibbling on or pulling on their nipple. While some people really enjoy rough breast play, others do not, and you don't want to interrupt your good time or theirs by crossing that line without their consent.

6) Do not bounce, jiggle, honk, or slap.

While some folks may very well be into having their boobs honked during sex, they are likely few and far between. Because so much of breast sensitivity is concentrated in the nipple, groping or jiggling will do literally nothing for most people. (This is also why putting your penis in between your partner's breasts, while it may look cool and be fun for you, is probably not their favorite activity.) When it comes to breast play, it's usually best to be gentle and work your way up if it seems like they want it rougher. "Slow and steady wins the race" is a good rule of thumb.

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7) Different types of breasts enjoy different things.

In a study conducted at the University of Vienna, researchers found that large breasts were about 24% less sensitive than small ones. “This is probably because the nerve that transmits sensation from the nipple is stretched,” says Alan Matarasso, M.D., a plastic surgeon in New York City. So if your partner has larger breasts, you may want to spend more time stimulating the outer sides of their breasts, just below the armpits, with your tongue or fingertips.

Similarly, if your partner is pregnant, nursing, or on their period, their nipples will be tender. (And this is assuming that your partner wants you to play with their breasts at all—many people with boobs do not, particularly if they're breastfeeding.) Focus on your partner's underboob, which is a frequently neglected area, and gently cup and support their breasts.

8) Bring nipple clamps or suckers into the mix.

If you're into accessories, take your breast and nipple play to the next level by using nipple clamps or suction devices. These toys provide a different, more intense sensation than simply caressing or pinching your partner's nipples with your own hands. Nipple clamps also allow for consistent nipple stimulation. Your partner can wear them the entire time you’re having sex, freeing up your hands to touch other parts of their body.

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