Getting My Nipples Pierced Was One of the Best Decisions I Ever Made

Riley Black
4 min readJan 27, 2021
Photo by Maryna Yazbeck on Unsplash

“Deep breath in.”

I knew what was coming. I inhaled before a long, slow exhale, my focus on blowing air out, even as that breath became a bit of a yelp as the piercer’s needle slid through my left nipple. But my time the acute pain sizzled through my neurons, it was already over. My left nipple finally matched my right one, giving me a bit of balance despite my love of asymmetry.

I picked purple for both barbells, and I’ve loved my nipple piercings every day since.

People can get weird about piercings. Where piercings go and what they mean often comes with plenty of assumptions, especially when new jewelry starts showing up further afield from our ears. And to have your genitals pierced? Reactions seem to run from “Ahhh! Nooooo!” to “Hot.”

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you exactly why I got my right nipple pierced a few years ago. I didn’t write an oral report on it. I just wanted to. It seemed fun, a little extra bit of decoration. So I went to the same piercer who did my ears for new hole number three.

The actual stick didn’t hurt all that much. It was the soreness that came after, as if my body was waking up to what I’d just done, that made me go “Yowww.” But that stopped after about an hour and I admired the new set of bumps underneath my shirt.

I can’t say that there were any physical benefits as my piercing healed. I didn’t notice any difference in sensation. I didn’t play with it and my partner didn’t show much interest, either. The little tiger’s eye barbell was merely ornamental. And so it was until I after I started hormone replacement therapy, when estrogen began to awaken nerve connections that had mostly been dormant for years before.

Suddenly, the little piece of metal and glass felt good. Especially as my breasts started to grow in, the barbell was fun to fiddle with — a habit I had to watch given that I had a tendency to idly touch my boob while my mind was otherwise occupied. And the difference in feeling was fascinating. Sometimes, before falling to sleep at night, I’d touch my non-pierced side and then my pierced side to get some idea of what that little augmentation had done. Right — sparks. Left — nice but more subdued. My conclusion was…



Riley Black

Distant cousin of T. rex. Author of Skeleton Keys, My Beloved Brontosaurus, and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Laelaps.