Teat total

They are the focus of nibbling, twiddling, squeezing and clamping. They also act has barometers, provide food and can be very sexy. Aren’t nipples amazing?

The majority of men focus their attention on them after you have passed ‘second base’ in your affections and will at first tentatively slide their hands up your top or down your dress. This is followed by gentle stroking, frantic groping or misguided twisting, seemingly in an attempt to tune into BBC World Service. In The Man’s universe it’s a case of forcefully tugging down any clothing in the way, and diving straight in for a combination of nuzzling and nibbling which swiftly has a tingling impact on my lower regions.

So then the nipple changes from a pale pink velvety rose bud to a hard pointy button, surrounded by darker pink raisin-like skin, as it does when the temperature drops, making it a barometer for ‘ooh yes – please carry on’ and ‘ooh, it’s a bit nippy’.

I generally enjoy the things my nipples can do, but this relationship came under strain after the births of each of my children. I could handle them turning a darker brown colour during and after pregnancy and my boobs expanding, but when they went from being a portable sex toy to human udders, all the fun evaporated.

While the areola retained its browner hue for a while longer, the nipples became a deep pink nucleus of soreness, chapped skin, pointing upwards or forming an odd square shape when hard-gummed sucking time was due. And babies are not gentle little things that just give a tickling sensation as they drink from mother nature’s taps; they suck with the super-human strength of a vacuum cleaner, sometimes causing shooting, stinging pain.

I am not wading into the big debate on breastfeeding and the benefits or otherwise – I am not looking to write for a mums’ mag or website. But the experience, whether good or bad, made me see my nipples/boobs/the whole lot feel rather ugly and certainly not sexy. Particularly when baby sucked so hard that, on removing his/her mouth, milk sprayed out of my boob, hitting the wall on the other side of the room.

So it took a reunion and life drawing session with The Man (see my Oct 27, 2012 post) for me to learn to love my nipples again.

And what of men’s nipples? There is no obvious reason why men even have them. But some men’s nips seem to be just as sensitive as women’s. I recall one bedfellow who asked me to squeeze his nipples as hard as I could when we were in the throes of intercourse. So much so was this obsession that he would call out ‘nipples, nipples’ when we reached crucial moments.

Biologically, female nipples are more sensitive and are apparently connected to the ‘genital area’ of the brain, which explains why proper usage can lead us to feel tingly sensations and sometimes even orgasms.