Female and male genital piercings are really popular these days. Why? They’re sexy! Plus, many genital piercings provide sexual pleasure…but which ones? And who benefits more, men or women? How many types of genital piercings are there? What's the aftercare regime? How long do you have to wait to have sex again? There are so many questions when it comes to genital piercings! Fortunately we’re here to walk you through the basics.
Common Questions About Female & Male Genital Piercings
A. The truth is that a woman will almost always be more physically stimulated than a male partner by both her genital piercings and his. There are female genital piercings that are more aesthetic than stimulating, like Christina Piercings, but clitoral hood piercings and other piercings in the clitoral area can be very stimulating during foreplay and intercourse. Add a bit of magical friction against the G-spot from a male partner’s reverse PA piercing or an apadravya, and a woman can have some of the best sex of her life.
That said, it’s highly debatable as to whether men or women benefit more from genital piercings because of the strong mental element that contributes to arousal and orgasm. A man who gets turned on by a glimmer of silver between his partner’s thighs or the thought of stimulating his partner with his piercings may benefit just as much as a woman who’s having her clitoris and G-spot stimulated by her and her partner’s genital piercings.
A. The male piercings people look up online most frequently are listed below in order of popularity. Each piercing name is followed by an explanation of where/how it's placed on the genitals and other things you may want to know about that particular piercing. You can click any of the male genital piercing names to visit the related section of our photo gallery and see what that piercing looks like.
Prince Albert Piercings (A.K.A. PA Piercings) – This piercing goes through the underside of the head of the penis, into the urethra and out through the urethral opening. Some men like Prince Albert Wands, but most prefer wearing a captive bead ring, a circular barbell or a bent barbell during normal daily activities.
Partners’ reactions to PA piercings can be extreme; people either love or hate them, as you’ll find by reading the stories shared in the genital piercings section of our forum. Before you get this piercing, consider your preferred sexual positions to determine whether a traditional PA or a reverse PA piercing would be more pleasurable for your partner, or if s/he might prefer one of the other piercings listed below.
Frenum Piercings – These are side-to-side surface piercings placed along the underside of the penile shaft. (They’re called “dorsal frenum piercings” when placed along the top side.) Frenum piercings can be stimulating for partners during intercourse.
Straight barbells are the most common type of frenum jewelry, but D-rings may be fun for you and your partner if you get a frenum piercing near the head of your penis.
Jacob’s Ladder – When a column of frenum piercings lines the penile shaft, it’s called a frenum ladder or Jacob’s ladder. Typically ladders are done along the top or bottom of the penile shaft, but some men line the sides of their penises with straight barbells.
It may be tempting to start out with a ladder to minimize the time you’re out of commission sexually, but it’s not advisable if you’ve never had a frenum piercing before. A ladder could affect your ability to achieve orgasm—hopefully in a positive way, but potentially negatively. It’s better to add frenum piercings slowly over time, so you know if you and your partner both enjoy them and can figure out if you’d like to try different placements.
Apadravya Piercings – This piercing goes through the head of the penis from top to bottom. The placement can be stimulating during intercourse with either a male or female partner, but it’s ideal for a female partner during vaginal intercourse because of the likelihood that one of the balls will rub pleasantly against her G-spot. It can also be one of the more painful male genital piercings to get since it goes completely through the urethra, but that acute pain should be momentary.
Ampallang Piercings – This male piercing goes through the head of the penis from side to side. As with an apadravya, an ampallang piercing can be more painful than other male piercings. Your partner may find it stimulating in some positions, but uncomfortable in others. Start out with smaller-diameter balls on a straight barbell or a close-fitting captive ring or D-ring to help your partner adjust to this piercing once it’s healed.
Dydoe Piercings – These piercings go through the top edge of the head of the penis, so the jewelry lies on top of the penile shaft on one side and protrudes onto the head of the penis on the other side. Typical dydoe jewelry is a short straight barbell with smaller-diameter balls initially.
Guiche Piercings – Guiche piercings are perineum surface piercings (i.e. piercings of the area between the testicles and the anus). The perineum is an erogenous zone for many men, so this piercing has the potential to be more physically stimulating than others.
Hafada Piercings/Scrotum Piercings – These are surface piercings placed anywhere on the scrotum. They’re often done as a “ladder”, with several piercings in a column. Captive bead rings and circular barbells are the most common type of jewelry worn in this piercing.
After your hafada is well healed, you can try attaching a small weight to pull your scrotal sack down during sex, which can prolong orgasm.
Reverse PA Piercings – Some men prefer to have their PA piercings go through the urethra from the top of the penis head instead of the underside, either for their partner’s benefit or aesthetics. Sometimes men will convert an apadravya piercing to a reverse PA piercing or vice versa for the same reasons.
There are other male genital piercings that aren’t as well known, like kuno piercings (piercing of an uncircumcised man’s foreskin), lorum piercings (a low frenum piercing, placed at the base of the underside of the penile shaft where it meets the testicles), and pubic piercings (surface piercings placed anywhere in the pubic area, around the penis).
Visit our Male Genital Piercings gallery section to see more male body piercing pictures. You can also learn more about male genital piercings, ask questions, and share your experiences in our forum. (Note: You’ll need to create an account and log in to participate in the forum and view mature content in the gallery.)
A. The most popular female genital piercings are listed below, along with details about where/how they're placed and other helpful info. Clicking any of the piercing names will take you to the related categories in our photo gallery, where you can see examples of these piercings shared by our online community members after you create an account.
Clitoral Hood Piercings – There are 2 types of clitoral hood piercings: vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercings and horizontal clitoral hood (HCH) piercings. A vertical hood piercing goes through the top of the clitoral hood and out the bottom, so VCH jewelry rests against the clitoris. A horizontal hood piercing goes from side-to-side through the clitoral hood, over top of the clitoris.
VCH piercings are more popular because they tend to be more sexually stimulating than HCH piercings, but not every woman can choose to have one or the other. Your piercer will need to do a cotton swab test to see if your clitoral hood is deep enough to do a VCH piercing without risk of damage to your clitoris. If it isn’t, discuss getting an HCH piercing instead.
Common hood piercing jewelry depends on the piercing. Hoops like captive bead rings and segment rings or circular barbells work best for horizontal hood piercings. Bent barbells are usually preferred for vertical hood piercings, but some wear circular barbells or captive rings.
Christina Piercings – A Christina piercing (also known as a Venus piercing) is a surface piercing done vertically on the pubic mound above the clitoral hood. They’re purely aesthetic piercings that can take a long time to heal and that are more likely to reject than other female genital piercings. If you really want this piercing, ask your piercer to insert Christina piercing jewelry of a heavier gauge as deeply as s/he can reasonably pierce you. Also, try to wear loose clothing, let the piercing breathe as much as possible during the healing process, and practice good aftercare.
Clitoral Piercings – These are actually one of the least-commonly performed female genital piercings, but we’re mentioning them here because people often confuse clitoral hood piercings with clitoris piercings. The clitoris can be pierced, but it’s rarely done because the outcome can often be extreme: (a) nerves in the clitoris may be damaged, desensitizing a woman temporarily or permanently, or (b) it can cause such constant over-stimulation that it could drive a woman to distraction.
VCH piercings stimulate the clitoris at a more reasonable level than a clitoral piercing would. They’re also unlikely to damage the clitoris. If you aren’t a candidate for a VCH, try an HCH piercing instead.
Labia Piercings – There are 2 types of labia piercings: inner labia piercings and outer labia piercings. An outer labia piercing goes through one of the outer vaginal lips, and an inner labia piercing goes through one of the inner lips. Some women will get just 1 side pierced, but most get labia piercings in pairs, and others work towards 2 matching rows of 3-5 rings or tunnels.
Labia piercings are more a visual enhancement than they are physically stimulating, but they can be very mentally stimulating during sexual encounters. If you want to get back to business in the bedroom quickly, opt for inner labia piercings; they heal much more quickly than outer labia piercings do.
Other less common female genital piercings include…
- triangle piercings, where the jewelry (typically a horseshoe barbell) is placed behind the clitoris;
- fourchette piercings, which are piercings of the flap of skin at the rear rim of the vulva that only some women have; and,
- Princess Diana piercings, which are basically two VCH piercings done off to either side of the clitoral hood as an alternative for women who don’t have the right anatomy for a triangle piercing.
A. Whether you’re a man or a woman, aftercare is critically important if you want your genital piercing to heal properly. There are a few things you should and shouldn’t do as part of your piercing aftercare regime:
- Do follow any special instructions your piercer gives you.
- Do not have sexual intercourse or play with your jewelry before your piercing is fully healed! Don’t risk damaging the nerves in that area, tearing the tender skin, or introducing bacteria that could lead to an infection.
- Follow basic guidelines for a healthy lifestyle—e.g. be hygienic, eat well, get plenty of rest, don’t drink, and don’t smoke. Also, it’s best to avoid aspirin for a while.
- Clean your piercing 3-6 times per day or as directed by your piercer, but preferably not with soap. Sea salt solutions like H2Ocean or other all-natural solutions like Recovery Aftercare are the best things you can use to clean your piercings.
- During the healing process, it’s natural for your piercing to excrete lymph, which dries to a whitish crust. You can soften that crust by applying a cotton ball saturated with sea salt solution, and then gently wipe it away. Do not turn/slide your jewelry to loosen crusties!
- Don’t change your jewelry prematurely. It’s best to wait until your piercing is fully healed, and then have your piercer change your jewelry for you the first time.
- Talk to your piercer right away if you experience unusual swelling or signs of an allergic reaction, like itchiness and redness. You may need jewelry in a different length or material. If you have a fever or red streakiness around your piercing, or if it’s excreting thick, yellowish pus, you likely have an infection and should visit your doctor to see if you need an antibiotic.
Read our Body Piercing Aftercare article for additional tips to help your piercing heal well and stay with you for a long time.
A. It totally depends on the piercing. Many male and female genital piercings heal in 6-8 weeks, but some take 4 weeks and others take 6 months or more. Plus, everyone’s different. You may feel your piercing’s fully healed more quickly than expected or you might have problems that make it take longer than usual to heal.
Below is a list of average healing times for common genital piercings. You should wait until the maximum amount of time listed has passed to resume sexual activity, just to be safe. The most important thing is that you wait until your piercing feels sound and you’re comfortable taking it for a test drive in the bedroom.
Average Healing Times for Female Genital Piercings:
- Christina Piercings: 3-4 months
- Clitoris Piercings: 4-6 weeks
- Fourchette Piercings: 2-3 months
- Horizontal Clitoral Hood Piercings: 6-8 weeks
- Inner Labia Piercings: 4-6 weeks
- Outer Labia Piercings: 2-3 months
- Princess Diana Piercings: 4-8 weeks
- Triangle Piercings: 2-3 months
- Vertical Clitoral Hood Piercings: 4-8 weeks
Average Healing Times for Male Genital Piercings:
- Ampallang Piercings: 4-6 months or more
- Apadravya Piercings: 4-6 months or more
- Dolphin Piercings: 4-8 weeks
- Dydoe Piercings: 2-3 months or more
- Frenum Piercings: 4-6 months or more
- Guiche Piercings: 2-3 months
- Hafada/Scrotal Piercings: 2-3 months
- Lorum Piercings: 2-3 months
- PA & Reverse PA Piercings: 4-6 weeks
- Pubic Piercings: 2-3 months
A. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you should take it slow sexually after your genital piercing heals. You need to make sure you and your partner are comfortable and that you don’t damage your piercing.
Men with newer genital piercings should wear condoms initially during intercourse, even if in monogamous relationships. Women should ask male partners to wear condoms, too, and cover their piercings with dental dams during oral sex. It’s just best to keep any bacteria your partner’s carrying away from your piercing for as long as possible. Over time, the walls of the fistula will thicken and strengthen, and you won’t need to worry with condoms and dental dams as much when in a monogamous relationship.
If at any point some sexual act causes you discomfort, stop immediately. Don’t push through the pain because your partner’s “almost there” or whatever thought’s driving you to press on. If you want to keep your piercing then stop, figure out what’s wrong (friction, twisting of jewelry, etc.), and then try something different if you’re up for it.
A. You’ll find a number of helpful genital piercing resources throughout Painful Pleasures, including:
- Our Body Mod Forum, where you can ask questions, read about other people’s experiences, and share your own
- Our Body Mod Photo Gallery, where you can see pictures of different types of genital piercings and post your own photos
- Our Studio Blog, where you’ll find posts like Nipple Piercing FAQs and our Sensitive Subjects Series posts about female genital piercings and male genital piercings
- Our Help Center, where you’ll find the following articles that discuss male and female genital piercings: