Coming Your Way: 2009

I just wanted to take a moment to wish anyone who is out there lookin' in on this blog a very wonderful 2009. The changing year is a great opportunity to pause, take stock of ourselves, our actions, contributions, successes, and mistakes of the previous year, to experience gratitude for all the good stuff, and to make plans for the coming one. It is a great time for a fresh start and to establish resolutions that can lead to positive change. Don't just pop the cork on the champagne and chug it back; make the most of this time of transition by putting a little thought and effort into becoming the best YOU that you can be in 2009!

Book Update

I found out that the offices of my publisher, Ten Speed Press, will be closed until January 5, and that makes me a little nervous. I still haven't seen the final draft, and since the manuscript is supposed to head to the printer on January 20, that means there will only be 15 days for me to review the book and have changes made. Oh well, I'm sure it will work out--it always does. I also noticed that the The Piercing Bible is up in their online catalog. Here is a link to that. And I'm also under their listing of authors, too. I've been making a lot of advance sales through Amazon.com because they have my book on pre-sale at a discount: see (or order) it here. They list March 17 as the date the book becomes available. YAYY!!!

More VCH Questions

I received this question today:

Hi, I have a few questions about the Vertical Hood Piercing. How long is it recommended before having sex or exercising? I have heard that some people aren't able to run or walk upstairs without nearly having an orgasm. How common is this? Also I have heard from someone who had one that when they took it out, there were bumps that formed. Is this something that often happens upon removing the piercing? Thank you very much. Akilah

Hi Akilah, Thanks for your email. Whether you think of it as fortunate or unfortunate, most women do not have any problems climbing stairs or exercising as a result of enjoying their piercings "too much." There is often a period of heightened sensitivity or hypersensitivity for a short time after piercing, but this tends to normalize over a short period of time. There is more information about sensation, sensitivity, and related subjects in my book. There is no required period for abstaining from sexual activity or exercise, but there are some very important rules to which you must adhere. This passage is from The Piercing Bible:

Follow-up on the Previous Post

Liz wrote back with some additional questions:
Elayne - Thanks so much for responding so quickly!  I have your book on pre-order with Amazon, and look forward to devouring it! I really hesitate to try any kind of steel - I have had my ears pierced since I was 8, and to this day can't get near anything less than 14k (other than sterling) in my ears without major irritation and discharge, even bleeding.  My wedding ring is white gold, and even after wearing it for 14 years, I still sometimes get a rashy irritation under the band from the nickel in the alloy.  Can you tell me any more about the alloy used in 14k that makes it piercing compatible?  Even the gold earrings I wear turn red over time where they contact my skin - presumably from my body oxidizing the trace copper in the yellow gold alloy.  Who knows.  Obviously something I need to do more research on - I had no gold would pose its own complications. I hope the attached pics are ok - the q-tip was a bit tricky, and as it is a self-portrait, kind of blurry.  It's a standard generic q-tip.  If you need better detail or a different angle or something, I can try to re-do the photos later this weekend (if I can get my toddler to nap). Thanks again - Liz
Liz, I know my book will provide you with a great deal of information that will prove most helpful to you. There is a big chapter on jewelry and you will learn all about the different materials. For healing, you may decide to go with titanium or even bioplast or PTFE (inert plastics). Implant grade steel and titanium have alloys that meet certain standards, but gold does not have an implant designation. Gold alloys are proprietary mixes, so there are no assurances like the "mill certificates" provided by manufacturers of implant grade steel and titanium.

VCH Piercing, Jewelry Materials, and Jewelry Changes

Today I received this query in the comments section of one of my posts:
HI!  I am 44, and have been considering a VCH for a while now, and find that most of the research I have done has led me to you and Rings of Desire. I appreciate your expertise, and any time you could give to address my questions.  Hubby and I will be attempting the q-tip test today, and I hope to email you a pic of that for your expert advice (if that's ok).  I have no real local resources (small midwestern town). 1. How do I determine what size jewelry to buy?  I need to use 14k gold (metal allergy issues with anything else) and I assume not all shops carry 14k.  Maybe that's a bad assumption, but I'm guessing I'll buy in advance and take it to the shop with me -
2. Will I be able to change the jewelry myself (or can my hubby) if i want to increase size, or will I need to return to my piercer? 3. I've heard the phrase "growing out" - what exactly does that mean? Thank you so much for your time!  I look forward to hearing from you, and would love to know if you would look at my photos, if hubby can get any good ones! All best, Liz
Hi Liz, Sounds like you have LOTS of questions that will all be answered in detail by my book. You can pre-order it at a discount on Amazon.com. Below you will find some brief answers to your questions to tide you over: 1. I would not suggest buying jewelry in advance. A piercer with a quality studio will stock a wide range of suitable styles, sizes, and materials. You should not need to determine the size--your piercer should know EXACTLY what you need for your build and suggest the size for you.

Book Request

I received this very nice email from one of my colleagues from the Association of Professional Piercers:
Hey Elayne, I have spoken with you numerous times at the APP conventions and have been piercing for almost 13 years now. The reason for this email is to just give you congrats on the book. I had heard about it last year at the APP conference from you I am really looking forward to reading it. I have the utmost respect for you and your role in the industry. I give you credit for the duration of time you have been working and without people like you I wouldn't be doing what I do for a living. For that I am thankful. I don't really know how you are going to distribute your book but I would love to have it here at my studio. I think it would be great to have here for sale since we have a pretty good flow of traffic with piercings at the studio. At the very least I will definitely take a copy for myself. How long do I have to wait for my copy? I would like it as soon as possible so whatever I have to do to get it here as quickly as possible please let me know. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Sincerely, Bob Jones Insight Studios
I told Bob that he can get a signed copy of my book directly from me at the next APP conference at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, May 3-8, 2009. If he wants it as soon as possible, it can be pre-ordered (at a discount!) from Amazon.com. Their website lists March 17, 2009 as the date the book will become available.

VCH Question

Here is an email exchange that started as a comment to one of my other posts:

Hey, I wanted to know if I could ask a question about a VCH that was done MONTHS ago (at least 5) and might be rejecting.How do I know?  Would I be able to send a picture and you tell me.. or can I find a picture online?

My response: You are welcome to email me a photo or two to: angel@piercingbible.com and I'd be happy to take a look. What problems are you having that make you feel concerned about this? To see photos and a diagram of properly placed VCH piercings go here: http://ringsofdesire.com/femalegenital.html and http://ringsofdesire.com/q_tip.html. Or, you can watch me do the piercing here. Watch me perform genital piercings Marie wrote again:

How Long Can I Leave My Jewelry Out?

Piercees often want to know how long they can leave out their body jewelry before a hole closes. One man asked me just today:

I don't know if you can help or point me to someone who can, but I have a frenum with 3 (originally had 4) ten gauage 5/8" bars.  I have had them for over two years and want to be able to remove them for several hours when the mood hits my wife -- we are now getting into tantric activity. Here is the problem:  I removed them several months ago for about 1 1/2 hours and when I went to re-insert the bars, one piercing had closed so much I could not get the bar in one, so I lost it (I have a taper). My questions: 1.  Could I leave it out longer (say 2-3 hours) if I stretched to 8 guage? 2.  Would it help if I inserted a lubricant such as emu oil when I remove the jewelry? Any views would be most appreciated. L.

Hi L. Thank you for your email. Even though I literally "wrote the book" on piercing, I can't answer your question with certainty--nobody could, because human bodies vary so widely on this matter. In general, the suggestion is: if you like your piercing, leave something in it at all times. Some people's piercings shrink within minutes of removing the jewelry. A technique for large gauge piercings called "resting" involves removing jewelry and some of the principles apply to you. This is from my book:

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