- Tit torture
Tit torture refers to any of several erotic BDSM activities focusing solely on inflicting pain on the breast, nipples, and areola for sexual gratification. It is often used in conjunction with breast bondage, which focuses on the restraint of the area.
While it is well documented that non-consensual sexual torture has been common in both modern society and in the past, the term "tit torture" in this context applies to consensual sexual activity. In an erotic context, both the giver of breast punishment and the receiver receive some kind of pleasure from the experience.
Skin covering the breasts has the same healing ability as other skin and can take much of the activity involved in breast torture without long-term effects. The nipples and areola were designed for suckling and can also take a certain amount of harm. Because they have a more refined blood supply and nerve complex, as well as lactiferous ducts, they can be more sensitive and need more caution, however. The inside of the breast is composed of fatty, glandular and connective tissues and is at greater risk of rupturing or other damage if mishandled.
Erotic tit torture involves a combination of sexual activities that are considered paraphilias by many psychologists and sexologists. Paraphilia has many definitions, most of them with negative connotations that imply "perversion" or "deviancy." The paraphilias noted in many texts that most commonly apply to tit torture include:
- Algolagnia - sexual pleasure from pain
- Breast fetishism - sexual interest in the female breasts, their shape, movement, and size
- Sexual sadism and masochism - sexual arousal from giving pain or from wanting to be humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer
- Vincilagnia - sexual arousal by bondage
There are other paraphilias that, depending upon a person's fantasies, might also be added to the list. Because of recent understanding that consensual BDSM provides pleasure to each participant, there is a growing number of clinicians that believe that, unless a sexual activity is blatantly illegal (such as pedophilia or zoosadism), or involves a violation of consent, it is not a paraphilia. Under those circumstances, erotic tit torture would not be considered clinically paraphiliac behavior. The controversy continues, however, because other paraphilias are still seen by society as being so deviant, regardless of consent, that they are not acceptable. As a result, all paraphilias, including those involved in erotic tit torture, remain questionable by sexologists and clinicians. As long as parts of society view consensual BDSM as being deviant, while others see it as normal behavior—or at worst a harmless eccentricity—the controversy will continue.
Tit torture has been used throughout history, both as pure torture and in a more sexual context.
As early as 300 B.C. books such as the Kama Sutra discussed what would later be known as sadism and masochism acknowledging that pinching, biting, and flogging erotic body parts was encouraged as long as it was done with consent. The Kama Sutra went so far as to name all the different kinds of bites and scratches, including those focused on the breasts and nipples.
Torture focusing on the breasts is documented as having been used during the Spanish Inquisition. Particular attention was often paid to the breasts and nipples in order to extract confessions from alleged witches. Other historical references to breast-related BDSM include the fictional writings and alleged practices of the Marquis de Sade. In his book, The 120 Days of Sodom, there are dozens of references to tit torture, many of them extremely brutal.
Most of the methods of torturing breasts can also be applied to other parts of the anatomy, both male and female. Erotic punishment activities that can be applied to breasts and nipples include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Breast binding – compressing the breasts against the chest wall with tape, bandages, ropes, and so on. Hypoxemia can cause nerve and tissue damage if rubber bands, ropes or other bindings are left in place too long, even with the simplest breast or nipple binding. Any time a breast or nipple begins to darken or become cool to the touch blood circulation has been restricted and the risk of damage increases. Binding the nipples and areola, particularly with rubber bands or other deep-biting constrictions, will tend to deaden the area the longer the binding is left in place. If binding is combined with other BDSM activity, it is important that you consider this when gauging the potential for damage.
Breast bondage – wrapping rope, leather strips, or some other type of constricting material around the base of the breast, either in a manner that also includes wrapping the binding around the chest and back, or just solely around the breast. Breast bondage may range from light -– predominantly decorative, to more moderate—where the breast bulges to one extent or the other, to more severe—where the skin actually begins to darken, to extreme and arguably dangerous forms of binding such as breast suspension –- the lifting of a woman by her bound breasts.
Flagellation – Slapping, whipping, caning, paddling, and other forms of striking the breasts. Light flagellation can involve the hands, paddles, crops, or low-impact whips, and usually results in nothing more severe than stinging and redness. More extreme forms of flagellation involve canes, whips, cords, etc. and can result in bruises, scrapes, cuts, or other lacerations. Breasts should be struck with extreme care. breasts are very sensitive and vulnerable and hard strikes and squeezes can be debilitating. Blunt trauma is one of the primary causes of internal breast injury. Breast-oriented blows should not go deep, and any bouncing should fall within the normal range of motion for the recipient's breasts were she engaged in a normal strenuous activity. Even skin-deep spanking can cause broken capillaries and/or a loss of sensation in the nipples and areola if carried to an extreme. Hard whipping, flogging, or any other activity that breaks the skin could also cause scarring that may not disappear with time. If the choice is made to strike a bound breast, blows should be superficial. Binding a breast interferes with its natural ability to shift on impact and compacts the tissues so that any hard blow can intensify any damage that may occur.
Nipple clamping – the use of nipple clamps, clothespins, hardware clamps, household clamps, hair pins, and so on, or clamps designed specifically for use on the nipples or on other parts of the breast. Clamping can range from relatively mild to extreme forms that result in hypoxemia (the deprivation of oxygen) if left too long on a nipple. Clamping anything onto a nipple can be more painful than anticipated. Often, the pain spikes when the clamp is removed and full circulation is restored. Always consider applying clamps so that they are either completely behind the nipple where it connects with the areola, or at least partially so. Nipple sensitivity varies throughout any given month, and what may be acceptable one day may not work the next.
Electricity – the use of electricity, typically on the nipples. There are some devices, such as TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and the violet wand, that have been specifically designed for use on human flesh and are relatively safe if used by educated persons. Other types of electricity, such as household current, batteries, or devices such as stun guns and Electroshock weapons, carry greater risks of burning or far more dangerous effects. Using electricity on the breasts or nipples is highly debated due to the risk of cardiac arrest and other complications. At least one autoerotic fatality resulting from electrocution has been documented involving current travelling from nipple to nipple.2 If electricity is used, only devices designed for use on human flesh should be used, and current should not be allowed to travel from one breast or nipple to the other. Regardless of the cardiac risk, care should be used to avoid burning any time electricity play is attempted.
Piercing – temporary, play piercing involves the use of acupuncture and/or hypodermic needles, or other atypical piercing devices; or permanent piercing such as nipple bars or nipple rings. More extreme and dangerous piercings are metal skewers and suspension hooks through one or both breasts or nipples.
Suspension - While there are many references to women being hanged with their body weight supported only by their breasts, there is concern that it can result in damage ranging from stretch marks to internal rupturing and tearing.
Wax – Wax play involves hot wax being dripped or poured on the breasts and nipples, frequently after they have been chilled with ice. Hot wax, though considered one of the safer methods of breast torture, is not without risk. First degree burns happen. Hotter waxes risk second degree burns. Edible sauces should be no hotter than 120 degrees (49 degrees Celsius). Flames, or the use of heated devices (such as curling irons) increase the level of caution that should be exercised. Though it would take almost a deliberate act to cause third degree burns, lesser burns can happen quickly. Cigarettes are often considered in erotic tit torture, however, snuffing a hot ember out on flesh is dangerous, often resulting in second degree burns and scarring.
Temperature play – using flames, ice, or other things that can burn or freeze such as curling irons, dry ice, etc. The most extreme form of temperature play is human branding. Ice is also considered relatively safe, and is often combined with hot wax. Be careful to avoid frostbite, particularly on nipples. Other coolants, such as dry ice, the propellants in "canned air" and so on, are much colder than frozen water and can cause frostbite almost immediately on contact.
Biting, scratching and pinching – either lightly or taken to an extreme that may bruise or draw blood. Vampire and similar gothic types of role-play regularly involve biting. Breast-related gynophagia fantasies also fall under this category.
Suction - use of vacuum devices. Suction devices can be strictly for nipples, from snake bite cups to medical vacuum suction devices designed for use on inverted nipples. They can also be used on whole breasts using specialized breast cupping sets or penis pumps. They can also include breast pump milking devices and an assortment of specialty bulb pump devices. Excessive suction can cause breaks in capillary blood vessels, resulting in “hickey” type bruises. There has been some concern about using these in conjunction with nipple piercing. It is probably best not to use suction on unhealed piercings, regardless of whether they are permanent or temporary, or any other open wounds.
Chemical play – the use of balms and ointments such as Bengay, Icy Hot, Biofreeze, etc. Chemical balms and ointments that have been formulated for skin can be relatively safe. Read the hazard warnings for the particular product before applying it to nipples or areola.
Abrasion – rubbing the breasts or nipples with sandpaper, scrapers, or other abrasives.
Plants and animals - Enticing wild or domestic animals to lick or nip at the nipples, luring insects to bite or sting the breasts and nipples, or using stinging plants, such as nettles, on the breasts. Unlike humans, animals are not familiar with why we might be doing this. When hungry or excited, they may not bother to discern between the peanut butter that's coating a nipple and areola and the flesh beneath it, resulting in a mauled breast or worse. Insect stings can be very dangerous, with results ranging from swelling and rashes to severe allergic reactions to anaphylactic shock. While not as dangerous, the use of stinging nettles could also result in allergic reaction.
- The Visual Dictionary of Sex, Dr. Eric J Trimmer (editor), ISBN 0-89479-011-0; A & W Publishers, 1977
- 120 Days of Sodom, Marquise de Sade (author), ISBN 978-0099629603; Arena Books Publishers, (September 7, 1989)
- Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism, Philip Miller and Molly Devon (Authors), ISBN 978-0964596009; Mystic Rose Books, (July 1, 1988)
- SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, Jay Wiseman (author), ISBN 978-0963976383; Greenery Press, (December 1998)
- Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission, William Brame and Gloria Brame (Authors), ISBN 978-0679769569; Villard (January 13, 1996)
- The Complete Kama Sutra : The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text, Alain Daniélou (Translator), ISBN 978-0892814923; Park Street Press, (January 1, 1994)
- Sexuality.org's BDSM Archive - General information about BDSM practices, including tit torture.
- 1Healthy Breast Bondage - Written by Susan Wright, this article talks about breast trauma relating to tit torture and breast bondage.
- 2A.B.M.D.I. News, "An Unusual Low-voltage Electrocution" - Documented instance of electrocution due to auto-erotic nipple torture.
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