Genital piercings have become increasingly popular among men and women alike in recent years, with Prince Albert piercings (also known as a PA piercings) topping the list of most desirable male genital piercings. This piercing is popular among men of all ages for aesthetic and sexual reasons alike, but is it the right male genital piercing for you?
If you're considering getting a Prince Albert piercing or just want to better understand how these piercings work, you first need to learn how PA piercings are placed and decide on the type of PA piercing and Prince Albert jewelry that will be best for you and your partner.
Prince Albert Piercing Placements
A Prince Albert piercing is traditionally placed through the underside of the penile shaft, towards the head of the penis. A piercing needle is passed up into the urethra, followed by Prince Albert piercing jewelry, which then protrudes out through the head of the penile shaft. Traditional PA piercings are most likely to stimulate a female partner during intercourse from behind ("doggy style"), because that position puts the bottom ball in direct contact with a woman's G-spot.
As an alternative to a traditional Prince Albert piercing, you can get a reverse PA piercing, if desired. With a reverse PA, the top of the penile shaft is pierced instead of the underside, but the opposite end of the jewelry still protrudes out through the urethral opening in the head of the penis. This placement can be more pleasurable for female partners during intercourse, particularly in the missionary position and any other position that would allow the top ball of a reverse PA piercing to rub against your partner's G-spot.
Prince Albert Jewelry
The placement of both traditional and reverse PA piercings makes circular barbells, bent barbells and captive bead rings the preferred style of starter jewelry, because their curved shapes perfectly suit the position of these piercings' entry and exit points. Men can also wear Prince Albert wands in their PA piercings, but this more advanced style of genital piercing jewelry is usually best suited to wear in healed PA piercings, because PA wands are more invasive than captive rings, bent barbells and circular barbells. PA wands are not ideal Prince Albert piercing jewelry for everyday wear, like bent barbells and rings are, because they can pinch the skin in uncomfortable ways when you're active, especially when you're flaccid. Prince Albert wands can be fun to wear during bedroom play, though.
A Prince Albert wand is comprised of a hollow tube placed down into the urethra. It may have a "leg" placed perpendicularly towards the front end of the wand that goes through the opening of the piercing on the underside of the penile shaft (as with the stainless steel PA wand with a doorknocker ring shown below and the blue Prince Albert wand shown above). There are also PA wands that have two posts protruding from the bottom of the wand for those with two holes in a row on the underside of their penile shafts. Some Prince Albert wands also have one or more rings that encompass the penile shaft. Visit our Prince Albert Wands page to see all of the many different styles available.
Note that sometimes sounding is required before you can comfortably insert a PA wand into your penile shaft. Sounding wands are effective dilators that can stretch the urethra to accommodate a wand shaft more comfortably, and they can be used for urethral play, too.
The PA Piercing Process
Since PA piercings are placed in a sensitive, private area, it's important to go to a piercer you trust and to whom you're most comfortable exposing your genitals. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to maintain an erection while having this piercing done. Just relax as best you can, and let your piercer get to work. If you're concerned about pain, you can ask your piercer to apply a topical anesthetic at least 15-20 minutes before piercing you. S/he will then clean the area to be pierced with an antiseptic skin cleanser, mark the area to be pierced, make sure you're happy with the placement, and begin the piercing process.
The most painful moment in the Prince Albert piercing process is when the piercing needle punctures the urethra. This is not a piercing for the faint of heart, because you may experience a moment of intense, eye-watering pain when the needle pushes into your urethra. It will pass quickly, though. Once your Prince Albert jewelry has been inserted, you may continue to experience a dull, throbbing discomfort for a period of time, but you shouldn't have more than a moment of acute, sharp pain. Using a topical anesthetic can make the puncturing of the urethra more bearable. To address residual discomfort and reduce inflammation in the days following getting a PA piercing, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like IBProfen, if you can tolerate it. Do not take aspirin as a pain reliever, though, particularly during the first week or so; it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding.
Your piercer will most likely encourage you to wear a bent barbell or a circular barbell as your starter jewelry. These styles of jewelry will make it slightly easier for you to urinate, which can become a messy proposition once there's a piece of jewelry protruding from your urethra. (Some men have to urinate sitting down until they get used to managing the spray caused by Prince Albert jewelry.) Bent barbells and circular barbells are also more comfortable to wear in a Prince Albert piercing regularly, during daily activities and sex alike.
You should keep your starter jewelry in for at least the first 6 weeks, and preferably for the first 6 months. Starter jewelry is always extra-long to accommodate any swelling that occurs, so you may be tempted to change to closer-fitting jewelry as soon as your piercing appears healed. However, it can take many months for the fistula (piercing hole) to thicken and become reinforced enough to make a jewelry change tolerable. If you need to change your jewelry sooner because it's too tight or made of a material that's irritating to your skin, have your piercer change your Prince Albert piercing jewelry for you.
Prince Albert Piercing Aftercare
After getting a Prince Albert piercing, it's very important to maintain proper piercing aftercare. You should not wash your PA piercing directly with soap, because it can be drying and delay healing. It's better to use saline washes like H2Ocean and Recovery Piercing Aftercare Spray to flush your new Prince Albert piercing. We suggest doing two full sea salt solution soaks per day and misting your piercing regularly (3-6x/day) with piercing aftercare spray in between soaks. You can do full soaks in one of two ways:
- Soak With Piercing Aftercare Spray - Fill a small glass with store-bought piercing aftercare spray/saline wash, and submerge your penis in the solution for 5 minutes. Do this first thing in the morning and again at night, or at whatever two times a day are most convenient based on your schedule. Alternatively, you can saturate cotton balls with piercing aftercare spray and apply them to your piercing one-at-a-time until you've saturated your piercing with soothing sea salt solution for at least 5 minutes.
- Soak With Homemade Sea Salt Solution - To make your own sea salt solution, you'll need a cup of sterile water (tap water boiled for 5 minutes is just as good as store-bought sterile water), a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (aquarium salt from a pet store works best), and, if desired, tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and moisturizer, so it's a great enhancement to homemade sea salt solution. It will minimize the chances of infection developing and soften up dry, cracked skin around your piercing.
To prepare the solution, stir the salt into the sterile water until it's dissolved, then add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to the mixture. (Tea tree oil shouldn't be applied directly to a piercing; it requires a carrier like sea salt solution.) Once your solution is prepared, you can apply it in one of the two ways detailed in #1--either by soaking your penis in the solution or by applying the solution with a series of clean cotton balls. Soaking is always the best option, though.
Other Aspects of PA Piercing Aftercare
Keeping your new Prince Albert piercing clean should be your top priority during the first 4-6 weeks after getting pierced, but it's not the only thing you can do to help your piercing heal well. Getting plenty of rest is also important, since our bodies heal best when we're sleeping. It's also critical to eat nutritiously to bolster your immune system, as well as to minimize your alcohol and nicotine intake during the healing process, since consuming alcohol and nicotine can slow down the healing process. Nicotine is particularly harmful, because it has a somewhat paralyzing systemic effect on the body's ability to heal.
Another aspect of taking care of your body while your Prince Albert piercing heals is avoiding sexual contact for as long as possible--particularly during the first critical 4-6 weeks of the healing process. Engaging in intercourse or self-stimulation prematurely can jostle your jewelry and cause minor tears or worse, and tears in the skin are a breeding ground for bacteria. Even oral sex is a bad idea, since other people's saliva contains foreign bacteria that could trigger an infection to develop.
When the time comes and you're ready to take your healed PA piercing for a test drive in the bedroom, wear a condom to minimize movement of your jewelry and block contact with your partner's bodily fluids. Also, take it slow. A Prince Albert piercing is an adjustment not only for a man with this piercing, but also for his partner. Partners' reactions to PA piercings tend to be extreme; people either love or hate how sex feels with a PA piercing in the mix. It's important to talk to your partner before getting this piercing to make sure s/he is comfortable with the idea. You should also think about the sexual positions you both prefer, and then decide if a traditional or reverse PA piercing would be most pleasurable for your partner in those positions.
Even if you wear protection during sex, it's important to clean your PA piercing with saline wash immediately after engaging in sexual activities. The sea salt solution will be soothing to your piercing, and it will flush away any debris or bodily fluids left behind.
Stretching a PA Piercing
Many men like to start with 8g-10g Prince Albert jewelry and then stretch up to larger sizes later, until they find the perfect size that gives them and their partner maximum stimulation during sex. If you want to stretch your PA piercing, it's important to wait until it's fully healed (preferably at least 3 months, even though most PA piercings are healed within 6 weeks). Each time you stretch up a size, you'll need to wait a minimum of one-and-a-half times as long as it took for your PA piercing to heal initially before considering going up another size. That means you should wait 6-9 weeks before attempting subsequent stretches. Doing so allows the fistula to reinforce and gives the body time to heal any minor tears caused by the last stretch.
There are a few things you can do to make stretching a Prince Albert piercing go more smoothly. First, never go up more than a single size at a time. In fact, stretching will be a smoother process if you increase the size of your jewelry even more gradually using the tape method. Just purchase a roll of stretching tape, and add a single layer around your jewelry every week or two until you can comfortably insert jewelry in the next full size up from what you've been wearing. Alternatively, you can use a piercing taper to go up a single full size at a time. If you get a threaded taper in the size to which you're stretching, you can screw your new jewelry onto one end, add a single drop of water-based lubricant to the end of the taper, and work it through your piercing slowly until you've pulled the new jewelry all the way through your piercing. Then, unscrew the taper from the jewelry, and replace it with the opposing ball or other end. Sometimes you can even screw your new jewelry directly onto your old jewelry and use it to push the old jewelry out, if the thread patterns are compatible. That can make it even easier to change jewelry than using a taper would, particularly for PA piercings since jewelry has to make an almost 90-degree turn after first being inserted into the top or bottom piercing hole.
It's also helpful to use emu oil regularly in the weeks leading up to a stretch. Emu oil enhances the skin's natural elasticity, which makes it more pliable and easier to insert jewelry in a full size up from what you've been wearing. Just massage a small amount of emu oil into the skin around your piercing a couple times a day for a week or two before a stretch for maximum benefit.
Learn More About Prince Albert Piercings
We offer additional Prince Albert piercing resources ranging from Prince Albert pictures to articles that discuss PA piercings in more detail to Prince Albert jewelry and beyond. Here are some of the PA piercing resources you may find most helpful if you're interested in learning more about Prince Albert piercings or looking to buy new PA jewelry:
- Prince Albert Pictures - Our gallery is filled with Prince Albert piercing pictures and reverse PA piercing pictures shared by our online community members. To see this mature content, you must be 18 or older and be logged into your Painful Pleasures account. Reference our How to Use the Gallery article for tips on signing up for an account, posting your own Prince Albert piercing photos, and more.
- Prince Albert Piercing History - Our History of Body Piercings article contains a section explaining the origin of Prince Albert piercings, how they've evolved over time, and the sexual effectiveness of PA piercings.
- The Basics of Male & Female Genital Piercings - This article provides a comprehensive explanation of each type of male and female genital piercing, including the ever-popular Prince Albert piercing. Jump right to the Q&A "What are the most popular types of male genital piercings and why?" to read about Prince Albert piercings specifically. This article also provides additional male genital piercing aftercare tips and answers to questions about healing times, when to resume sexual activity, and where to find other genital piercing resources within our extensive library of tattoo, piercing, body jewelry, and shop safety articles.
- Body Mod Forum - Our forum is filled with useful information about a wide variety of body mods, including PA piercings. You can read experiences shared by our online community members, post questions for other forum members and our knowledgeable moderators to answer, and find other useful Prince Albert piercing info there. Note that you'll need to log in to your Painful Pleasures account if you wish to post in the forum and/or reach out to community members through our message center. For helpful tips on using the forum, you can reference our How to Use the Forum article.
- Prince Albert Jewelry - There are several areas of our Body Jewelry section where you'll find the perfect Prince Albert jewelry, including:
Captive Rings (This section includes segment rings, captive bead rings, seamless rings & more.)
Prince Albert Wands (You'll find sounding wands here, too.)