Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nipple Chafing or Why do men have nipples?

The other day, I went out to join my wife in a conversation with our neighbor.  I had been out on a run, and was still trying to cool down some, so I went out shirtless. The neighbor could not take his eyes off my chest, so I pridefully puffed up and strutted like a peacock, flexing my pecs with pride. You see, my neighbor is a body builder, so I figured I must be doing something right in my workouts and he was just admiring the results. Then, my wife reached over and yanked one of the bandaids off, saying "What's this?" The air we all heard rushing out at that point wasn't leaking out of my nipple, though. It was me gasping in pain.

So, why do men have nipples? Beats me, but I sure think I could live without them. If there was a laser removal procedure or something, I'd be happy to just draw some more creatively embellished nipples on with a sharpie should the need ever arise, and just be glad to be rid of the chafey little bastards.

Bandaids or tape over the nips seems to be the best option, unfortunately. There are some other metrosexual anti-chafing creams on the market, but I don't want to grease up my nipples with that stuff before a sweaty run. Now, band-aids... those are a real MAN's anti-chafing weapon. I highly recommend them.

Of course, they're not really good for chafing of the inner thighs or the nether regions... You might have to go metrosexual and/or work out your own solutions for those kinds of problems. I got nuthin.


  1. The reason men have nipples are pretty simple.. in the first 14 weeks in the mother's womb, we are all "female" (hence.. the need for nipples). ;)

    Wiki has the exact explanation. :)

    the "female template" is the default for humans

    From conception until sexual differentiation, all mammalian fetuses within the same species look the same, regardless of sex. In humans this lasts for around 14 weeks, after which genetically-male fetuses begin producing male hormones such as testosterone.


    About the band-aids, how about some "stickers" for nipples... work for women why not for men? Now this is nothing pervie here.. but you might find them in sex shops in all kind of forms.

    Like these for example http://www.emmagem.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/blacknude1-262x300.jpg

    they don't hurt when taking off :) Just a thought ;)

  2. Muus - :) Although my question was more an existential one, as a scientist, I appreciate the developmental biology explanation! :)

    Regarding your suggestion about stickers (pasties), I had a similar idea not long ago, and posted a scary picture on the dailymile website: http://www.dailymile.com/people/FoCoRunner/photos/49049

  3. I guess I have no pride... or rather a lot of pride... Whichever :)

  4. I swear by the bandaids too, specificaly Clear Spot ones. Though they've tended to fall off more quickly of late - must be the chest presses I've been doing.

  5. A couple of folks pointed out to me that compression shirts work well if you want to avoid chafing. I tried to run in one (UnderArmour HeatGear) and decided they are not for me on hot days, and the compression gave me at least a psychological impression that it might be just a little harder to breath. I'm funny that way, I guess. Been using the Clear Spot bandaids that Greg recommends above, and they are perfect.


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