Jun 112011

Recent posts have been rather serious and depressing. So today it’s time for something completely different — genital piercings!

(By the way: All the links today are NSFW.)

Basic types

Genital piercings can be done for a variety of reasons. These include sexual pleasure, aesthetics, and individual expression. The types of piercing you can get depend on your anatomy. Not everyone can get every piercing type for their sex. Dydoes, foreskin piercings, triangles, and clitoris piercings are good examples of piercings that only certain people can have. In theory, people who have had genital surgery also may be able to get piercings, but should consult with a piercer and/or their physician. Additionally, people with certain medical conditions (like hemophilia), should not get these piercings.

For men, piercings can involve…

For women, piercings can involve…

There are, of course, other types of piercings, but I think this is a good generalization.

Healing, aftercare, and long-term care

Healing time varies depending on the type of piercing. Four to six weeks is the shortest healing time I’ve seen, and it’s generally for piercings that go through minimal tissue (e.g., inner labia, Prince Albert). The longest healing time can be six months or more! Generally, the more tissue the jewelry goes through, the longer the healing time.

The Association of Professional Piercers has very clear fliers with information on how to care for new piercings. It’s pretty simple: be hygienic and avoid trauma.

Potential problems include:

  • Infection. This is most likely during the early healing process. Good hygiene ought to help prevent infections. Viral infections, like hepatitis B, may be spread by the needles used in piercing… so please choose your piercer carefully!
  • Trauma. This can be caused by lots of tugging or jostling of the jewelry, Jewelry can even be torn out…Ow! The surrounding tissue can be torn, leaving an open wound vulnerable to infection. If that happens, head to the nearest urgent care center.
  • Migration and/or rejection. The jewelry can move around, and possibly even be pushed out of the body. This is most common with “surface” piercings (those that do not pass through. A belly button piercing is a surface piercing, as opposed to an earlobe piercing). Choosing surgical steel jewelry may help prevent rejection. Surgical steel should always been used for new piercings. Reducing trauma and pressure to the area may help prevent migration.

Genital piercings have a few special notes:

  • Barriers may be required for future sex, even for people who are fluid bonded. This is mostly relevant for penis piercings and vaginal or anal sex. The combination of the jewelry movement and contact with other fluids means potential infection. Barriers can help prevent that.
  • All urethral piercings (like the Prince Albert) may affect the way you pee. Some men, for example, may need to sit down to pee. For women, urethral piercings may increase the risk of urinary tract infections. Note that urine is sterile unless there is an active bladder infection, so it by itself usually doesn’t cause a problem.
  • Perineal piercings (like the Guiche) may need to be kept extra clean. They’re close to the anus and fecal matter, after all.

Got more questions? Ask! Or check out these resources:

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