Oh, nipples. Babies want to suck them, men want to touch them, (some) women want to free them, and Rihanna just wants to show hers and break the Internet on the reg.
I have no desire to go topless in public, but I do want this bikini for the beach, pool, or Tuesday mornings over coffee.
I used to go braless a lot, then I read an article about sagging breasts that shook me to my core and I started layering 5 compression sports bras 24 hours a day. Ok, that’s a lie, but I did put my hippie ways aside and bra up more often. But last week I was in Whole Foods sans brassiere, and I knew my high beams were shining because there is no grocery store above 37 degrees in America. I don’t care what people think about my appearance whilst grocery shopping, but all of a sudden, I noticed I was getting more attention from men. An employee went out of his way to come ask me if I needed help (“Nah, I’m all set putting these apples in this plastic baggie, but thank you”), and two other strangers said, “Hey, how’s it going” in passing and definitely weren’t making eye contact. I mean, I’m not trying to brag here. I’m not a large-chested lady. Maybe it was just one of those weird coincidences where all the dudes shopping in Whole Foods that evening had never seen nipples before. Or maybe guys just really dig them all the time.
NBD, right? Although pretending I was taking a picture of this vegan scarf so I could snag a mirror selfie was a low moment. When an employee approached me mid-picture and told me how nice the scarf looked, I almost punched myself in the (red) face. Also, how can clothes be vegan, that is so stupid.
So I decided to poll some of my guy friends about the subject. Not because I think women should cater to what men want (articles about dressing or acting a certain way to land a man make me want to barf), but because I was genuinely curious. Six normal(ish), successful guys ages 30-40 were asked a few questions, and here’s what they had to say.
1. What’s your take on nipples? If you see a female with a tight top and nips on display, will you check her out/hit on her more than if there was no nipple in sight?
“Yay nipples! I don’t think protruding nips makes that much of a difference in public and trigger something in my mind that goes, “Proceed to hit on that broad.” Having a dick, moderate confidence, and a sexual drive is pretty much all any dude needs to hit on a girl.”
“Nipples increase curiosity because dudes are visual. Ergo, a nipple fills a dude’s small brain with images of the entire breast, which then fills his brain with images of the entire woman naked, which then fills his brain with the image of having sex with her. However, if she is a dirty hippie with National Geographic tube sock tits and pancake areolas that show through the shirt, it is a complete backfire on her part.”
“I think nipples are awesome. When a girl’s nipples are showing through a top it does draw my attention. I prefer them to not be inverted and to be smaller than a sand dollar but bigger than penny. Also, nipple sensation varies from one female to another. Some girls act like it’s their clitoris and others act like like your licking their elbow. Sorry, not sure if that was part of the question.”
“Simply put, YES! If a grizzly bear sees a flopping fish on the side of the river, you think he is going to check it out!?! Nip pokes are sexy and men like it. (Disclaimer: As with everything else, it depends on the lady though. No one wants to see Rosie O’Donnell in a wet wife-beater.)
2. If you see a girl with high beams on, just owning it, what do you think? She’s a cool hippie type? She’s easy? Or you don’t think anything because you’re staring at her nipples?
I think…”Thank you.” Sometimes girls give gifts and these are one of those gifts you should just appreciate. The look is sexy, but if she is owning it–even sexier. I wouldn’t necessarily think she was cooler or sluttier. I would take it like a no hitter in baseball; just shut up and don’t say anything about it.”
“If she is hot and wearing clothing from the mall, it is sexy. If she has dreads and rope sandals and abstains from soap to save oceanic fish populations, then she is not my type and would smell atrocious in bedroom activities. However, I do have a thing for hot strippers with dreads for some reason.”
“If a hot girl lets her nipples show, I am pretty sure I like it. The location she is going braless is also important. Casual places where there is little formality like the grocery store or Buckhead Church are good examples. I do think there is a 0% chance that a chick who’s braless is unaware her nipples are showing. So that shows a certain level of confidence in her body which is sexy in itself. I think it also shows a certain amount of social defiance.”
“That’s a hard question to narrow down to one type of girl/answer. I take in account what she is wearing, and if I know her personality before I lay my Judge Dredd* on her. But you better believe every time I’m hanging out in the freezer section of Publix, I’m hoping ol’ thin shirt big knockers will walk through! (*Judge Dredd is what I call my judging personality and not a nickname for my wiener.)”
3. Nipples or cleavage?
“That is neither here nor there. Breasts are breasts; if you are a boob guy, you will be happy with both scenarios. I don’t think seeing the nipple necessarily draws as much attention from a guy as massive cleavage. And it doesn’t necessarily level the playing the field against girls with massive cleavage.”
“I don’t need to see nipples. Most somewhat educated guys understand the notation that if a gal’s nipples are hard, she is turned on. Therefore, noticing some nips might be a good sign that she is all wound up about a fella who is not you.”
“I would prefer a girl with cleavage and a bra versus no bra and nips. Bras are awesome. They make boobs look great. The padding really helps boobless girls look like boobed girls. I had a girlfriend one time who literally had no boobs, but with the help of a heavily padded bra and a couple boxes of Kleenex looked quite stacked. She later got fake boobs and no one even knew.”
“Both! But if I was forced to pick one or have my balls chewed off with piranha teeth, I would choose the first. Cleavage is nice, but if a girl has nice boobs and some nip poke (in a low-cut shirt), then it’s nip action all day. Yup, that’s ideal. This is also why no matter the boob size, men love side boob. Same theory! It leaves a little to the imagination but still gives us some quick, cheap action! Now let me excuse myself…”
4. So, the Free the Nipple campaign. Do you agree women should be allowed to go topless in public?
“Besides the obvious male perspective (exposed female nipples = yay!), I 100% agree with this movement and have for a while. Not because I really care about nipples, but because I can’t fucking stand the American view on sexuality versus violence. We are a bunch of uptight prudes and repressed assholes; it’s that focus that has caused us to be a violence-focused culture. We are idiots. We freak out and rate movies R or higher when you see a female nipple, but are fine with PG-13 for movies with beheading. It’s silly. We fear boners and people being sexually attracted to [each other], but have no fear of extreme violence. So, yes, I 100% support this campaign. There needs to be a cultural shift. Blah blah blah.”
“I don’t care either way, but if I was a lady, I would hate wearing a bra. All those tribal gals in Africa go topless and they don’t have any problems. Victoria’s Secret would fight the ‘Free the Breasts’ campaign I am sure.”
“I don’t like topless or the nipple showing thing. I don’t want a chick who is comfortable being naked in front of strangers.”
“If I am allowed to pick which girls go topless, then YES! Girls most likely feel the same about guys. But if it takes all girls going topless to get the good with the bad, then sure, let those melons off the branches!”
“No I do not want women to start going topless. The best part of Christmas is opening the gifts on Christmas morning. How fun would it be if the tree was just filled with unwrapped gifts that have been sitting under the tree since Black Friday?”
Thank you to the guys who did this; I am #blessed to have some awesome (and hilarious) dudes in my life. Whether I’ll bra up for my next Whole Foods excursion: Debatable.