A nipple clamp is a clamp used to stimulate the nipples by applying varying degrees of pressure. Its basic principle relies on restriction of blood flow to the erect nipple. They are often used in certain BDSM activities, on both men and women. The use of nipple clamps is often portrayed in the media as deviant or kinky sexual behavior.
The main types of nipple clamp are the clover clamp and the tweezer clamp. The common household clothes-pin is also popular. However, any device that can be used to apply direct pressure can be used. For self-use, successful application requires the user to find a personal balance between the amount of pain and pleasure by fine tuning the degree of pressure exerted by the clamp. The clamps are typically used in pairs and connected by a chain.
Weights may be hung from the clamps to increase the force on the nipples. This also discourages the clamped person from moving suddenly (for example, jumping when spanked or caned), since this would make the weights swing and increase the pain.
Another variation involves a separate chain attached to the chain connecting the nipple clamps. The other end of this chain is connected either to a clamp to be attached to the clitoris for female or a cock ring for male. This variation is known as the "Y clamps" for the shape of the chain linking all 3 connection points when attached to the body.
 Tweezer clamp
A tweezer clamp consists of two short lengths of metal, no more than 5–10 cm (2–4 in) in length. The ends are curved slightly to improve their ability to grip the nipple. Typically, they have a small 1 cm rubber sheath over this end to protect the nipple from damage. A small ring wraps around the two pieces of metal and is used to adjust the tension. The user places the two sides of the metal head either side of the nipple, then by sliding the ring along the clamp shaft towards the nipple, causes the two halves to close tighter together. Tension can thus be adjusted depending on the location of the ring — the closer the ring is along the shaft toward the nipple, the tighter the clamp.
 Clover clamp
Clover-style nipple clamps
The clover clamp, also referred to as a "butterfly clamp", is of Japanese design and has the ability to provide increasing tension if pulled on. The clamp itself is flat, but about 10 cm by 5 cm in size. Using spring tension, the clamp is applied to the nipple and the tension of its spring holds the clamp in place. This clamp usually provides a very high pain level, and is usually only used by more advanced users. To increase tension on the nipples, small weights such as fishing line sinkers can be attached to the ends of the clamp. As increased pulling tension is applied to the clamp, it will cause the jaws of the clamp to close tighter depending on the amount of pull pressure. Another method is to use the clamps to keep a person in one place. If cord is tied from the clamp to a fixed place, the wearer of the clamps cannot move away because the clamps will tighten as they try to move. Eventually the clamps would be pulled off the nipples but not before considerable pain and discomfort is felt.
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