Why Are Nipple Piercings Trending?

Often considered taboo and on the fringe of fashion, nipple piercings are becoming increasingly popular as the trend grows among many Americans. This trend has actually been around for centuries, but hasn’t become more of a “fashion statement” until more recent years.

History of the Nipple Piercing Trend

Nipple piercings have been around since the early 1800s. In the 20th century they became more popular for men to obtain as a symbol of masculinity. It is said that Julius Caesar had one of his nipples pierced, as the accessory was a sign of strength in ancient Rome; and sailors would celebrate crossing a significant longitude or latitude with a single ring, according to Margo DeMello’s Encyclopedia of Body Adornment. However, while masculinity has hung on, this ritualistic trend has for the most part died, with Texas’s Karankawa Native Americans boring cane into their nipples up until their extinction in the late 19th century.

By the late 19th century, women were just getting started with nipple piercings. In large Western European metropolises such as London and Paris, the piercing was having a definite moment, and for various reasons—the main being that it walked the line between fashionable and kinky. Many studies on the topic reference a magazine article, published in the 1890s in Victorian England, about individuals getting their nipples pierced, and connected those nipples with chains, including The Golden Age of Erotica and The Book of Kink: Sex Beyond the Missionary.

Today, the trend is seemingly out-of-nowhere rise in popularity. Our team here at Tattoo Consortium has seen a huge increase in the number of nipple piercing in the past few months.

So, Why Are Nipple Piercings a Trend?

‘Free The Nipple’ Movement

The ‘Free the Nipple’ movement only launched in 2012, but its political ties are decades-old and closely associated with the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that nipples first became wholly associated with fashion. This can possibly be attributed to design juggernauts that include Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana and Liza Bruce, and supermodels like Kate Moss.

Trend Among Celebrities

From Kendall and Kylie Jenner to Bella Hadid and Rihanna, it seems like many female celebrities have a nipple piercing. The trend appears to be driven by celebs, but a rise in sheer fabrics seems to further increase the upswing in body jewelry.

Nipple Piercings for Sexual Pleasure

According to research from The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 8, 2011, stimulating your nipples can increase sexual arousal, pleasure and even lead to orgasm. The researchers found that stimulation of the nipple activated an area of the brain known as the genital sensory cortex, the same brain region activated by genital stimulation. This means that women’s brains seem to process nipple and genital stimulation in the same way.


Are looking to get a nipple piercing? Don’t hesitate to contact Tattoo Consortium with the link below for more information or to schedule your appointment today!

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