Piercing Questions

Educating About Genital Piercings

I was recently contacted by an interesting woman. She's a gynecologist (among other things) and she requested my help to answer questions about body piercing for a book she's writing:

Dear Angel- I am an OB/GYN physician, artist, and author, and I am interested in getting touch with Angel to discuss clitoral piercing for a book I am writing. My book (working title: Coochie Confidential- Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend) is a book of Q&A about all aspects of women's health. The book will be published by St. Martin's Press in Fall 2010.  Should you be interested in answering these questions, I would be happy to credit you, quote you, and reference The Piercing Bible. One question that was submitted relates to clitoral piercing. 

The Achille's Piercing

I got an email about this very unusual (and dangerous!) piercing:
Hi Elayne, My name is Chris. I just had a question for you and would like your input.  I just got my ankle pierced between the ankle bones and the achille's tendon. I've had it in for two weeks and its a 14 gauge PTFE. The piercing is great and everybody either thinks I'm crazy or they love it. It's healing just fine, a little sore but I was expecting that. My question is, do u see any long term damage or and problem with this piercing at all? If you could please email me back I would love your advice. Christopher
My response: Hi Christopher, I'll openly admit to you that this isn't a piercing I would do or recommend. As my book, The Piercing Bible, describes it in the "Risky Piercings" section:
Piercing behind bone, tendon, or other anatomical structure can cause excessive bleeding, nerve damage, and/or loss of function.
So, the risks are pretty serious and certainly should cause you to be very careful with it and to take it out if you experience any loss of function. I imagine you've seen this? http://news.bmezine.com/2008/02/09/unlikely-but-true-achilles-piercing/ and this? http://wiki.bmezine.com/index.php/Achilles_Piercing Be safe! Elayne Angel The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Piercing angel@piercingbible.com http://piercingbible.com/ http://piercingbible.com/blog http://www.facebook.com/elayneangel http://twitter.com/elayneangel

On Piercing Books

The Piercing Bible got a mention on this blog forum today. A poster asked:
"Growing an interest in body piercing, and looking for more information on it so i can practice it. Anyone know or recommend any books that can teach me?"
An excellent response was given that began:
"YOU CANNOT LEARN TO PIERCE SIMPLY BY READING A BOOK. There is so much to know, like bloodborne pathogen certifications, anatomy, cross-contamination, sterilization, etc. If you want to learn to be a piercer, you must apprentice under a knowledgeable, experienced professional."
And ended:
"....and a great book to read is The Piercing Bible by Elayne Angel."

What Massage Therapists Should Know About Body Piercings

I ran into an interesting article online: What Massage Therapists Should Know About Body Piercings. It was well written and factual with the exception that they reiterated the ubiquitous piercing myths: that Roman soldiers pierced their nipples and that Egyptian pharaohs pierced their navels. I also contend that the rate of complications would be a lot lower if consumers were better educated--and now they can be, thanks to The Piercing Bible!

Over-Reacting (and Over-Cleaning)

I got this message from a gal I pierced in NY:
I just wanted to thank you for my beautiful piercing, I'm so happy with it, but I am a bit concerned that it may be getting infected. Perhaps I'm just overreacting, but its really really tender and sore, and its been about three days and I also noticed a small dot of discharge that was a light yellow today for the first time. I've been following all of your directions and keeping everything clean and sanitary, so I'm not really sure what went wrong. I'm really afraid, but if you can tell me what steps I can take steps now to possibly reverse the infection and what else I can do besides the sea salt baths and antibacterial soap, I'd really appreciate it. I read the chapter in your book about Trouble and Trouble shooting but since my symptoms weren't as severe, it didn't seem to really pertain to me. Please help if you can! Sincerely,
I referred her to some relevant pages in my book (182-183 "What to Expect") because this portion explains that some secretion, redness, and tenderness are all perfectly normal in a new piercing! And they can last throughout the healing period...
I also advised her that one of the worst things she can do is over-clean. I told her to try to relax and follow the instructions I'd given her for aftercare and to review them in the book.
She wrote back:
Thanks Elayne, I guess I was just over reacting but I appreciate your help! I read all of the pages and a few other chapters in your book and everything reassured me that what I'm experiencing is normal. I think that the problem was that I was over cleaning my piercing, but now I feel much better and not so much pain and tenderness.

Piercing and Personal Boundaries

I received a private message on my Tribalectic account:
Hi Elayne! First off let me begin by telling you what an honor it is to be writing you this PM. I admire both your work and your outlook on life and I love The Piercing Bible!
I'm a 34-year-old nurse and single mom. My man is wonderful in every aspect with the exception that he is so opposed to piercing and any form of body mod. I currently have 10 tattoos and piercings in my navel and helix. I'm wanting my nipples done so badly and I'm afraid I'm going to push him over the edge if I do. (I love your off center navels BTW.) I've already told him it's my body, I'm not married to him so I refuse to ask for permission to do anything. Any insight? Any advice? I love him and this is really the only issue we butt heads on. Thank you so much in advance for your time in reading this. You're truly an inspiration to me and I'm so glad to be able to communicate with you through the Tribe. I hope to meet you one day. With that said, have a great night! Thanks, L.
Hi L., Thanks for your message. That's a tough one, but I'm glad to see that you so clear on your own boundaries about this subject. Goodness if you have 10 tattoos and other piercings, I can't imagine it should matter that much if you had another hole or two. Then again, I know some people simply don't understand piercing. I've received some feedback from people who have read my book--individuals that weren't personally interested in the subject. A number of them said that my book helped them to understand why people want to be pierced, and one even said she had never wanted to get one before, but after reading my book she felt inspired to get a body piercing!

I'm Stumped!

Today I was asked a piercing-related question that I didn't know the answer to:
My partner and I both have a PA, frenum ladder, and scrotum ladders. Our piercings are now at a stage were we have resumed a lot of our activities but when we were getting these piercings we did not think to ask this. Is it safe with these piercings for electric play or is the jewelry to much of a conductor? Any info you can give me on this would be appreciated. Thanks, Tony
My reply: Thanks for your email. To be honest, I'm really not sure. I think it might be best to contact the manufacturer or vendor of any toys or equipment you plan to use to get their recommendations. My guess would be that it shouldn't be a problem since the piercing (and the jewelry in it) has an entry and an exit. So, perhaps electricity might conduct through the jewelry, but not be sent deeper into the body? But I'm guessing here. Please let me know whatever you find out so the next time this question comes up, I'll have a more informed answer. If your supplier knows much about this and has any questions I might be able to answer (about body jewelry, for instance), feel free to put them in touch with me. Good luck and enjoy, Elayne
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