Book Illustrations

Well, the illustrations for the book are done, and it was quite a journey. My illustrator/artiste extraordinaire is Jennifer Klapecki, and we had the good fortune to be introduced by a mutual friend. She did a sample illustration and the publishers and I were duly impressed and she got the job. There were 23 illustrations and we had just a few short weeks to get them all done. I really have to commend Jennifer on her dedication, because this job totally ate her life during the time we were working together. I'd send her photographs of piercings with written instructions about the angle for the image, jewelry styles and sizes, and other details. Sometimes I sent passages from the book that describe the piercing placements, too. She'd draw up a draft, scan it, and email it to me. I'd sometimes print it and use white out and pencils to show her the necessary edits, and then I'd scan and email the draft back to her. Sometimes I would write out instructions and other times I'd call her on the phone (from Mexico to the US via Skype--thank goodness for Skype!). Some of the illustrations went back and forth literally dozens of times! It was a very intense job for both of us, because the deadline was so tight. Jennifer was amazingly patient with me and so willing to do whatever it took to make the illustrations perfect. I think we made a great team and I'm thrilled with how they turned out.

Botched VCH Piercing

Yet another botched piercing causes pain and suffering:
Hi there. I am hoping you can help me. I had a what was supposed to be a vertical hood piercing in September. As I was browsing your website today I realized mine may have been done incorrectly, or I was not given the piercing I asked for. My piercing not only includes my hood but also the top skin where my inner labia meets. Is this correct? Also you say this piercing shouldn't cause much pain, but I've gotta say childbirth was more pleasurable!!!! Did this guy totally screw me up? I can send a pic if necessary. Thanks for your time and hopefully your help............ Julie
Hi Julie, Oh goodness! I'm so sorry to hear about your piercing. Yes, please do send me a photo--I'd like to evaluate it for you. It certainly sounds like you didn't get the piercing you wanted. What you describe sounds like maybe it is an Isabella piercing?  I don't actually do those, and if it isn't what you asked for they certainly shouldn't have given you one! A VCH should just pass through the very thin skin of the hood that covers the clitoris. Does it seem to be healing? Is it still very painful? Please send a photo at your earliest convenience and I'll let you know what I think. If you aren't happy with the placement, then you should take it out and let it heal. (Though I am curious to get a look at what was done to you.) Sincerely, Angel

VCH Jewelry Questions

I went ahead and got pierced last week (VCH), and it is doing pretty well. I just have a couple more questions for you. I am still researching stuff on the vch and there was one place that said 16 gauge is to small for a genital piercing, and that you aren't suppose to have a hoop in when you heal...  Well the ring I have is 16 gauge. Is that a problem? If so can you advise me on a gauge size and jewelry type? Thanks
I use 14 gauge as a minimum, because the 16 really is on the thin side. But, if it that is the size you have in, and the piercing is properly placed and heals well, you can easily have it stretched up later. You should wait until you have been healed for a month or two before stretching. If you begin to have healing problems such as irritation, tearing, or migration, then you should have your ring swapped out for a bar as soon as possible. Always have a professional do any jewelry change that becomes necessary during a healing period. I  use a ring only when a woman is built with a "valley"-- a recessed hood area, and outer labia that are large and cover the area. If you have a "hill" configuration with a prominent hood, then the ring is not a good jewelry style for healing because it will be subject to excessive trauma (though it could be fine for later).

I'm Blushing

This comment was posted on my Facebook wall:
Elayne is also an excellent lecturer on business and marketing trends. She was a regular lecturer for my MBA classes at the University of Phoenix and many students stated she was the most inspirational, knowledgeable and professional speaker they had ever heard (this is coming from mid-to upper level managers in corporations who are returning to school for a part-time program) and alumni often ask me about her.
That's right--I remember he would bring his MBA students by my piercing studio in the French Quarter for me to lecture them. They always looked a little confused at first, but they were good audiences once I got to speaking with them.

Horizontal Clitoral Hood Piercing Question

I just got an email with this question:
Hi.  I found your site while looking for info. and thought I'd see if you could answer a question.  I just had a horizontal hood piercing fall out for the second time.  (second piercing)  Niether time have I been able to locate my hole and put the ring back in.  This time I had a horseshoe barbell and the balls were still on it when it fell out.  Is it possible that this piecing grew out?  Should I not go for a third attempt?  I miss it already!
Hi there, Have you had a piercer or even a partner examine the area to determine whether it appears the jewelry he piercing grew out? It can be hard to see for yourself. Under the circumstances, it probably did grow out. It is much less likely that the hole stretched large enough for the jewelry to slip through. Did you talk to the piercer about what had happened when you went in for the second piercing? If you can take some clear, close-up photos, I'd be happy to evaluate the area for you myself. Many women aren't built for a horizontal hood piercing. If your hood area is very vertical or recessed, it won't matter what you do--the piercing will grow out. How about a vertical piercing instead? If you're built for it, it is a fantastic piercing and they are much easier to deal with and to heal since the go with the shape of female anatomy--instead of against it as a horizontal piercing does. You can check for suitability using the q-tip test pictured on my site: http://ringsofdesire.com/q_tip.html Thanks for writing,

Lost Jewelry

I got a question today that I hadn't been asked before:
Hi, I would be grateful if you could give me some advice regarding penis piercings. I have just realised that my boyfriends piercing has come off during sex.  i found the hoop part to it, but could not find the ball part. I would be grateful if you could offer me some advice as to what I should do next. Many thanks.
Hi, Is it possible that the ball was gone before you had sex and was never inside you? Even if the ball had been inside you at some point, it may have fallen out and gotten lost without your awareness. If a manual examination with your finger (or your boyfriend's finger) does reveal the missing jewelry and you have reason to believe it is inside you, or you feel stressed out over wondering, you may want to visit your gynecologist for a more thorough exam. It is extremely unlikely that the ball has gone far (for example into your cervix or uterus) as you would feel pain and cramping from a foreign object there. As they say, "What goes up, must come down" and that likely probably here as well. Let me know what happens! Angel

Yes It Can!

Here is an email I just received:
Hello Elayne, I am thinking about getting a VHC piercing. . . I read your article about genital piercing and I wanted to thank you for making that information available to everyone. I am hoping that this piercing will help me break free from the self imposed chains on my sexuality.  I'm not sure why or how it happened but, over the years I became extremely sensitive to the derogatory things men would say about a woman's body.  Even acts of innocent school boy humor would cripple me in my mind.  I felt shameful of my less-than-perfect breasts and weird looking vagina which caused me to be very guarded during sex, even in a committed relationship. In the past I have always shielded my body from others eyes, from embarrassment. However, I am now with someone who for some reason sparked me to work on my mental and emotional problems with my sexuality.  In just a few shorts months I have improved greatly.  I am starting to realize that everyone is different looking and that no one looks like a porn start with a perfect, hairless, tan and pink vagina with hardly any labia.  I am starting to adapt a new idea of "normal" which is that there is no such thing and that if you love someone you will love everything about them, even if it's different or strange. I feel as if this piercing could be very beneficial for my process of reclaiming pride in my body and sexuality. Thank you very much for your time and once again thank you for your website.
And she's absolutely right--it CAN! I've had many clients tell me of their improved self-confidence and more enjoyable sex lives following getting a genital piercing. How awesome is that!?

The Next Stage

I've completed the edits requested by my editor Lisa. They included turning chapter 1 into an introduction, combining the male and female genital piercings chapters into one big (whopping!) chapter, and so on. I combined some sections and changed them around to eliminate redundancy. It is hard to do because so much of the content is interrelated! She added cross references, and so on. We worked on it together, bouncing it back and forth several times over the course of a week. Now the manuscript has been sent to the copy editing department. Lisa said that the manuscript came in longer than expected. I offered to edit out more, but she didn't want me to. In fact, she even added one thing back in that I had edited out. So, while it is longer than they wanted, they seem to find the information important enough to leave in. So that's good! Now my awesome illustrator Jennifer and I are working together on the drawings of piercings that are going in the book. I send her photos of piercings with written instructions. She sends me back a draft. Sometimes we talk on the phone, sometimes I print the draft, and use white out and make suggestions for her. We bounce it back and forth (sometimes there are as many as 10 drafts of a body part!) and once it is done, she shades it in. That's when I can really see what an awesome job she's doing. She is fantastic with the shading. How lucky am I to find an artist to do this who has experience both tattooing and piercing, too! Yay Jennifer!
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