Interesting Question about "Effectiveness" of Female Genital PIercings
March 13th, 2012
I recently got a very interesting question I hadn't been asked before:
Though you may not be able to answer this I'd like to ask if you know an estimated percentage of women who sexually benefit from VCH and HCH piercings. My main reason for doing it is enhancing orgasms, not anatomical "beauty". I've read that few women truly get more or easier orgasms through piercings. If its less likely I'd have some improvement its probably not worth it for me.
Would you have any idea?
Did you read this page of my site: http://piercingbible.com/female-genital-piercings ?
It explains that VCH and triangle piercings (both shown in image, right) are the two that are most commonly "functional" for women and those are the placements that are more likely to increase stimulation and sexual enjoyment. And that the HCH is primarily ornamental for most women.
I can also say that I do get a great deal of positive feedback from women who describe the genital piercings I do for them as "great" or "wonderful" and report, "I love it!" but they don't necessarily provide me with particulars in every case. From the feedback I receive, I'd have to say it seems "worth it"--as that is the overall sense I get from my clients. Here's a comment from a recent posting on my guestbook:
"I got the VCH piercing and let me say, it's been 8 days and I am in love!!!"
"It's been almost 2 weeks now and I'm 100% satisfied. My only regret is not choosing the jewlery with pink stones on both ends-but that is changeable. I have 0 pain. The piercings look adorable, my husband loves how they sparkle. It's fun to have a little secret that only the two of us know about. The new sensations as a result of the piercings make it exciting as it heals."
The good news is that if you try a piercing and decide you're not happy with it, it is very easy to get rid of…simply remove the jewelry. Under normal circumstances, there will be very little evidence remaining.
There's not a whole lot available in the way of statistics on these matters, but I do have one research study I'm aware of because I participated in it. The study was on Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercings, and the results were reported in the prestigious (and conservative!) American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG):
First Glimpse of the Functional Benefits of Clitoral Hood Piercings
Vaughn S. Millner, PhD, Bernard H. Eichold II, MD, DR PH, Thomasina H. Sharpe, MD, Sherwood C. Lynn Jr, MD University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
In this exploratory study, we identify a positive relationship between vertical clitoral hood piercing and desire, frequency of intercourse and arousal. There were no dramatic differences in orgasmic functioning. Clinicians can play key roles in educating patients about potential outcomes and risks of genital piercing.
Female genital piercing is an emerging form of body art in western culture.1 Vertical clitoral hood piercing, one of several genital piercing techniques, is apparently popular and functional. A review of the literature reveals little more than anecdotal information, including the belief that it is useful in the treatment of types of female sexual dysfunction such as anorgasmia.
Objective and study design
The investigators conducted an exploratory study to describe the population and determine whether vertical clitoral hood piercing had associations with female sexual functioning. In a University of South Alabama Institu- tion Review Board–approved study, 33 female participants were recruited from a piercing studio in New Orleans, LA, between September 2001 and July 2003. The participants were offered an opportunity to complete the Female Sexual Functioning Inventory2 both before piercing and 7 weeks after piercing. The instrument requested information about the domains of arousal, desire, lubrication, pain, orgasm, and overall sexual satisfaction.
The piercing materials were implant-grade surgical stainless steel, implant-grade titanium or 18-karat gold. The majority of piercings were steel. All participants kept the piercing.
We calculated 2-tailed bivariate analyses to test the degree of relationship between the before and after scores. For the individual items comprising the domains, we observed increased frequency of sexual desire (0.451, P = .008), level of desire (0.394, P = .023), and level of arousal (0.429, P = .013). We observed significance in only 1 of the domains, desire (0.414, P = .017).
Vertical clitoral hood piercing’s influence on desire can be understood by considering the physiology involved in the sexual response cycle established by Masters and Johnson as well as bearing in mind the more subjective element of desire that so often eludes sexuality researchers. Genital piercing may address both objective and subjective elements of desire.
The clitoral hood or prepuce serves a protective function and plays a critical role in sexual activity. During sexual arousal, the labia minora become engorged with blood pulling down on the clitoral hood and stimulating the clitoris. At the same time, the clitoris enlarges and becomes erect elevating the clitoral hood, which in turn acts as a direct stimulant to the clitoris via friction. Penetration causes movement and stretching of the labia minora that pull down on the prepuce and further stimulate the clitoris.
Piercing of the clitoral hood, either vertically or horizontally, acts to lift the clitoral hood. The intention is to enhance sexual sensitivity and stimulation of the clitoris, the only organ in the human body that serves the single purpose of providing pleasure. In addition to lifting and retracting the clitoral hood, piercings can be fitted with jewelry meant to directly stimulate or ornament the clitoris. Lesbians and heterosexual women experience both coital and noncoital sexual activity, including self masturbation and other types of genital stimulation, wherein clitoral hood piercing can perform a role.
This limited survey encourages further study on the desire enhancing benefits of vertical clitoral hood piercing and the role of medical practitioners in treating and counseling female patients seeking intimate piercing. We found no indications to counsel against clitoral hood piercing, but urge practitioners to inform patients of the obvious health risks association with body piercing such as infection and viral hepatitis as well as the possibility of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome associated with piercing mucosal surfaces. We caution against generalizing outcomes until other studies produce deeper understanding.
We thank Elayne Angel with Rings of Desire for her assistance with data collection as well as Beth Mitchell, CRNP, and Peggy Hamlin, CRNP.
Excerpted 2005 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.