Free the nipple! Unless you’re a Japanese man. In which case you should be covering your nipple up, apparently.

This is the bizarre message given out by a new Japanese advert for nipple covers.

It shows a man on a date with a woman, who then becomes disgusted when she realises she can see his nipples through his T-shirt.

When the man is wearing the nipple covers, however, she seems to fall head over heels for her date. Although we need a sequel to find out what might happen if he were ever to remove his top.

Sales in Japan are soaring: the Japanese sports goods retailer Dot Store has reportedly sold 55,000 units this year so far, which is more than last year’s total sales already.

The nipple covers are applied like plasters and are water-resistant too.

Originally designed for joggers to stop their nipples chafing when they run, the patches have become popular with men who don’t want their nipples to protrude through their tops.

Apparently this is not a good look in the eyes of Japanese ladies.


A 2013 study found that 84 per cent of women didn’t want to see men’s nipples through their shirts at work.

These were the top ten reactions to male nipples, which, let’s remember, are totally normal, natural body parts:

  1. I can’t help but feel uneasy
  2. It’s gross
  3. It’s like they don’t care about those around them
  4. I instinctively can’t accept it
  5. It bums me out
  6. They seem oblivious, even at work
  7. I don’t want to associate with them
  8. They come across as unreliable
  9. They feel unhygienic
  10. I hope I never see them again

Which are bizarre to say the least.

Earlier this year, a Japanese company even started selling T-shirts specially designed to conceal nipples at 9,000 Yen (£63) a pop.

What next? Nipple removal surgery?