Deciding what to do about your nipples may be just one more difficult task on a laundry-list of things you’ve got to do before your double mastectomy. You may be worried that even if you try a nipple-sparing mastectomy, you could lose your nipples anyway. Or you may have already accepted that you will be losing your nipples, but you’re wondering how you’re going to cope with the loss. Whatever the case may be, we think you should consider embracing the nipple-free life. And here’s why.
We’ve compiled a list of our 5 favorite reasons to love being nipple-free after your mastectomy. The experience is not one many women get the opportunity to enjoy, and you may find it’s one of the most freeing (and fun) things you’ve ever done!
Check out these benefits to nixing your nipples:
5. You can visit public places without a shirt.
Time to get your tan on…topless! Hit up the beach, the public pool, the ice cream stand, and anywhere else that a man can ordinarily go without a shirt. You can skip the top half of your wardrobe for a workout without the heat of that extra layer, or just lay out in the sun without fear of tan lines. Talk about freedom!
4. You can’t be flagged for showing off your top half online.
So many social media sites have rules about showing nipples on their pages, especially female nipples. But if you don’t have any, then the sky’s the limit for what you can share online! You can photo-journal your mastectomy experience from start to finish or just share photos of the new and free-er you without worrying about your account getting shut down. So be sure to snap some selfies while you’re out and about topless!
3. Your nipples won’t get in the way of your art.
Thinking about getting a mastectomy tattoo? If you don’t have nipples, you won’t have to worry about working around them. Same goes for a temporary tattoo, or if you decide to do something super-silly and fun for a special occasion, like put googly eyes on your breasts so that your mastectomy scars look like smiley faces.
2. You could regain sensation in the region.
There’s no way around it. If you get fake nipples, you’re not going to be able to feel anything with them. But if you don’t get them, it’s quite possible that you’ll regain the sensation in the skin of your breast again, and you might even feel pleasurable sensations from “phantom nipples” in much the same way that people have “phantom pain” in lost limbs. Not only will your own skin be more familiar than fake nipples, it’ll also feel a lot more pleasant when it’s time to get physical with your partner.
1. You can try on nipples…and take them off again.
If you get reconstructed nipples, you’re pretty much stuck with the same pair for life, unless you want to undergo another surgery. But if you don’t have nipples, you can try on as many pairs of nipple prosthetics as you like…and then take them off again if you don’t like them. Once you find a pair you like, you can change your mind day-to-day about when and where you want to wear them, or even change their placement if you find you don’t like your current look.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?