Your sex ed classes might not have covered everything your body is capable of. From menstruation to pregnancy to orgasm, a woman’s body is impressive. Just why do nipples get hard? And when do erect nipples become an issue?
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Why Do Nipples Get Hard?
There are a lot of reasons why you might experience hard nipples, and few of them have anything to do with sex. Hard nipples aren’t exclusive to women, either. Men get them all the time, and their nipples don’t even serve the same functions as yours.
Below are some of the reasons why nipples get hard.
1. You’re Cold
One reason why nipples get hard is that you’re cold. The same nerves that cause the hair follicles on your arms to become bumpy and raised, goosebumps, cause erect nipples  when it’s a “tit bit nipply.” In fact, hair follicles on your areolas, which are absolutely normal, may also pucker when you’re cold. You may never notice them otherwise.
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Hard nipples from being cold may be quite uncomfortable, so make sure to bundle up before you step outside into cool air. A thicker bra may provide warmth as well as hiding hard nipples.
2. Friction from Clothing
If there’s room between your breasts and bra or top to rub against one another, you might wind up with hard nipples. You might not even notice this friction, but the results become pretty obvious. There’s nothing to worry about if this is why your nipples are hard, but friction can cause discomfort after a while.
Lotion can replenish the moisture you’ve lost due to friction while Band-aids or anti-chafing cream can prevent your problem from becoming too serious, to begin with.
3. You’re Frightened
This is a less-known reason why nipples get hard. But fear can have physical reactions from quickened breathing to the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach to, yes, erect nipples. This is because the amygdala is the controller for both fear and sexual arousal . So if you’re afraid, you might also have erect nipples, but the other symptoms may be more noticeable at the moment.
Why do nipples get hard when you’re a new mom? It’s all about feeding your baby. Not only does breastfeeding provide stimulation that can make your nipple erect, but hard nipples make it easier to feed your baby from your breast.
So you shouldn’t worry when breastfeeding causes hard nipples. It’s completely natural and has no negative sexual undertone.
Related: How to Breastfeed Your Man
And if you’re pregnant, you might experience nipple erections more than ever before as they get ready for your new child.
Did you know that you can still breastfeed even if you have pierced nipples? Your nipples are super capable!
5. Excess Estrogen
Thus far, we’ve discussed normal and natural reasons why you may get hard nipples. But nipples can become exceptionally sensitive, which results in more erections if you have an excess of the hormone estrogen in your system. Menopausal women who take estrogen to replenish moisture (discover more tips for senior sex) or transwoman who take estrogen might find that their nipples are often hard because of the hormone therapy.
Having high amounts of estrogen can sometimes be problematic. Excess estrogen can also lead to weight gain and more intense PMS symptoms. Your hypersensitive nipples may be accompanied by breast tenderness, too. High estrogen levels are also linked to high blood pressure and tumors. It can be the reason why you’re so horny.
If you’re worried that your hard nipples might be related to a health concern, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
6. You Have Your Period
Isn’t it interesting how so many symptoms of pregnancy are also the side effects of having your period? And sore nipples, which may also be hard, are one of those signs. If your nipples seem a little harder one week out of the month, it’s nothing to worry about.
You may want to keep breast stimulation during sex more gentle or keeps his – and your – hands off until your breasts are less tender. Not sure about having sex during your period? Discover how to make it hot and keep it clean.
7. Physical Stimulation
Even if you’re not aroused, nipple stimulation can lead to erect nipples. Try rubbing or pinching your nipple, and you’ll see. It will soon be hard, but it will return to normal in short order. Technically, friction is a type of stimulation, but we thought we’d differentiate between accidental and purposeful stimulation.
For some people, nipple stimulation can lead to sexual arousal, and you’ll even find special nipple arousal gels to help get things going. That’s because your nipples are one of your body’s many erogenous zones. More about this here.
8. Sexual Arousal
Of course, one of the reasons why nipples get hard is sexual arousal. It’s far from the only reason why you might have hard nipples as you’ve come to realize. However, arousal is the only thing many people associate with hard nipples.
Having erect nipples isn’t the only sign of arousal, though. Flushing of the skin on your face and chest, vaginal lubrication and clitoral erection are all other signs. But you can feel mentally aroused without many – or any – physical signs. This is more common with women than is it with men.
Learn more about the dissonance between physical and mental arousal that many women experience in this post on sexual desire.
Hard Nipples Aren’t Always Good
Just because your nipples are erect doesn’t mean that stimulation will feel good. For example, if you’re cold, then touching your nipples might even hurt. Your nipples might even hurt when cool temperatures make them hard even if no one or nothing is touching them. But if you’re aroused, you might love when your man pinches or sucks on them.
Arousal can increase our ability to tolerate or even enjoy otherwise painful or uncomfortable sensations. This is why we advise making sure you’re plenty randy before spanking or other forms of impact play. This is definitely the case with nipple clamps, which can increase sensation and give the impression of hard nipples. Put them on when you’re not aroused, and they might feel like the sort of torture that you don’t like (unless your man is trying to serve up a little punishment, of course).
Trying to acclimate to more severe activities? Check out our post on sensual domination, which can help you stand more pain over time.
Sometimes It’s Just One
While we’ve discussed hard nipples like a pair, it’s important to remember that you might just have one nipple that’s erect. Perhaps you’re not cold enough for fully erect nipples. One nip might be more sensitive than the other. This is completely normal. Humans aren’t symmetrical.
Even your vagina is asymmetrical. Read more.
Hide Your Hard Nips?
Now that you know why nipples get hard. It’s normal, natural and doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But it can make you feel self-conscious, especially if your erect nipples are visible through your bra and top.
If you’re not going for the risque look, your hard nipples might be giving away more information than you’d like to share. Many women take this into consideration when it comes to dressing. You might choose a bra with more padding or to wear a cami under your top. A swimsuit that is fully lined helps to prevent nipples from making an appearance as soon as you emerge from the water.
On the other hand, you might want to emphasize your nipples or let them “slip” when wearing lingerie. Some pieces even have cutouts for your nipples.
But think of it this way: men have nipples, too. And those nipples sometimes get hard, and what man is really worried that you’ll be able to see his nipples through his t-shirt? Besides, people are paying less attention to you than they are to themselves, so don’t sweat it. In fact, some celebs step out onto the red carpet in outfits specifically designed to show the pointed nipple.
We don’t always do a good job as a society informing people, and women especially, of how their bodies work and what’s normal. Hopefully, you now understand the myriad answers to your questions, “Why do nipples get hard?”. You can wow your friends and family with your new knowledge and remind people that arousal is but one of many factors into erect nipples!
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