body piercing

Research on Male Genital Piercings

If you have male genital piercings and wish to participate in a research study about them, go to this URL and click on the text "Survey for men who have genital piercing." My esteemed colleague, Dr. Myrna Armstrong, a professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, has been participating in scientific research about piercings and the people who wear them for many years. It is wonderful that these subjects are being taken more seriously by the academic and medical communities. Dr. Armstrong completed a similar survey of women with genital piercings, and I recently reviewed the manuscript containing the findings of the study. It was very interesting indeed! It will be submitted for publication in a nursing journal. This is the introduction to the survey from the site referenced above:
People get pierced for many reasons. The purpose of this survey is to ask about experiences with your genital piercing (s). For this study, body piercing, such as a genital piercing is defined as the insertion of sharp implements to create an opening for decorative ornaments such as jewelry. There are no anticipated risks to answering the questions. This nursing study can assist health care providers in giving advice to other people who have or are considering genital piercing. Your completion of the survey indicates your consent to participate in this study. Note, some of these questions address some common myths about people with piercings. Please do not be offended. We are trying to obtain accurate information so these myths can be addressed. Please answer the questions honestly so we might have a good description of men with genital piercings.
If you qualify, please participate or send the information to someone who can!

Lip Sewing (not a service I offer...)

I got some more information from the gal who wanted info on sewing her lips together:
It would just be for a photoshoot. my boyfriend would be there for support and to make sure nothing goes wrong, but i am probably going to be doing it myself. he is very insistant that he doesn't want to "hurt me" even if i'm asking him to. it's for the lips on my face. i have been looking into suture kits. would that be best for the situation.
Hi again, It depends on how you want the image to look. One of the easiest ways is to use long hypodermic tips and spear both lips with the needles. Then use some type of cord or ribbon (that has been suitably prepped--certain types of cloth can be autoclaved) and lace it around the needles. I think that looks aesthetically pleasing--kind of corset-like. If you want actual "thread" through the piercings then you are best off with a thick gauge suture thread. Unfortunately, compared to hypo tips and piercing needles, most suture needles are TOUGH to push through the skin! That's all going to be quite a bit bloodier than the first suggestion I made. You could go with a larger size, like a 12 ga and put 14 gauge tygon through. But it doesn't tie well like thread or fabric. It depends on the affect you wish to achieve--but make sure you prep the area with a surgical scrub, wear gloves, and use sterile implements. That means autoclaved! Not dunked in alcohol or put over a flame!! Good luck and let me know how it goes. Elayne

Female Genital Piercings: The Blind Leading the Blind

I heard the "author" gets paid per view and she doesn't deserve a penny for what she wrote! I found this piece (of sh*t) online that was supposed to be an informative article about genital piercings. I can't believe just anybody can write an article about genital piercings and toss out so much off-base (absolutely dead-wrong) information. This one doesn't even come close! I'm so irritated! (I pulled the link from this article so I don't send it any traffic.)

Another Interview

Yesterday I received a phone call from Neil Steinberg, a columnist for the Chicago Sun Times. He is planning to do an article about the popularity of female genital piercings. Apparently, he'd been in touch with the woman from the media relations office of Loyola Health Systems (see my previous post). When I told him that I was not only the Medical Liaison for the Association of Professional Piercers, but also the woman who literally "wrote the book" on body piercing, he said maybe he'd hold the story until my formal book release in May. That would be great! I'll be keeping an eye on the Sun Times to see whether he does that or not. I always get a kick out of the way people respond when I tell them how many clients get genital piercings from the demographic of older, more "conservative" individuals who do not have any other body art!

Spreading the Information Around

Today I was contacted (as Medical Liaison to the Association of Professional Piercers) by the media relations department of the Loyola University Health System. They are planning to write a press release on "clitoral piercings" because their obstetricians have been seeing a rise in the popularity of genital piercings. I clarified to her that piercings of the clitoris itself are quite rare, but that female genital piercings--especially of the hood area--are extremely popular. She wanted to know if they were more painful than other areas, or more prone to infections. These are common questions, and the answers are sometimes surprising: no--they aren't necessarily more painful than other areas (when the piercer is skillful and well trained), and they tend to be easy and quick to heal. From my book, I also filled her in on the very important rules for having safer sex while you're healing a genital piercing:

Surface Piercing vs. Dermal Anchors

I struck up this conversation with a gal who made a comment on a post I made about surface piercings. She wrote:

… I'm getting a five point star surface piercing/s on my right hip in a few days :] gotta talk it over with my piercer but should be cool to go :] ...

I asked her:

Has your piercer been clear with you that the surface piercings are unlikely to stay long-term and that you will most probably end up with scarring instead of jewelry there?

Her reply:

Yeah I've been told that before. I knew it wasn't going to be long term/permanent anyways. Does a surface piercing count as one that goes under the skin, with two balls on each end? because I was thinking of doing that instead of where you can only see one ball. Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm confusing you but id like to get more background info before I get it done. thank you

I provided her with some additional information and I hope it will make her decide to take more time figuring out the best course of action:

Nape Piercings

I received this email from a piercer today:
Loved your article in PAIN magazine this month. It still surprises me how many clients will ask if its ok to heal their piercings with rubbing alcohol or peroxide!! I had one girl ask if it was ok to put liquid bandage over her freshly pierced nipples!! I don't offer surface percings in my studio because I have seen so many pictures of them rejecting but my friend is begging me to do the nape of his neck. Do you have any suggestions for the correct jewelry or tips for that piercing that would give me a better chance with not having it reject?
Hi Meghan, Thanks for your email. I'm not big on surface piercings myself, but there is one area that I will routinely do: the nape of the neck! Though if the tissue is not pliable, I decline. If the skin pinches up well, I make a wide piercing (usually over an inch; generally 1 1/4") and insert Tygon tubing. I most commonly use 12 or 10 gauge. There are some tricks to using it. Because the tubing is so flexible, it is kind of like trying to feed cooked spaghetti through a piercing, which obviously wouldn't be easy! So, I insert the tip of a small insertion taper (18 gauge) securely into the lumen of the tubing as far as it will go. This gives me a solid end that makes it easy to do the jewelry transfer. Important note: Tygon tubing is sold by gauge but may not be the exact measurement of your needle of the same size. If the Tygon is marginally larger, you won't get it through the piercing unless you use a needle of the next larger gauge (or half-gauge). To make the tubing into a barbell: depending on the size of the lumen, you can press-fit ornamental ends made for threadless body jewelry by Neometal. The 16 ga ends work great in the 14 gauge tubing.

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