April 3rd, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who had questions about earlobe stretching:
I was having a little bit of trouble with gauging my ear lobes. Generally, I would use your website or book to figure something out, but the browser on my phone's acting up and I do not have the internet at home. Anywho, I stretched from a 6ga. to a 4 last week and since have been noticing a crust build up. I used a taper with o-rings to wear initially. I doesn't hurt or stink and yesterday I switched the tapers out with silicone tunnel plugs. Is this advisable, and if not, is there a way to resolve my problem without moving back to the 6? Could it just be the o-rings bothering me? Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
I do not advocate wearing such a taper for any length of time, even if it is made of implant grade material. This is from my book and it applies to tapers as well as tapered jewelry:
Tapered Jewelry: Caution
Many graduated jewelry styles come in metal, glass, acrylic, and an array of natural materials. A popular type is called a stretching crescent or stretching ring, and these are basically curved or circular insertion tapers. Variations include talons that are hooked or bent, spirals, and straight pieces that look just like insertion tapers. These can be dangerous because piercees have a tendency to cause tissue damage by stretching too quickly with them. Also, when tapered jewelry is used for stretching, the O-rings that are required to keep the ornament in place can cause irritation from excessive pressure against the skin. Tapered jewelry is safest in holes that have already been stretched.
This is also from my book--not everyone can wear silicone, and it may be especially unsuited to it if you're experiencing crusting, which indicates unhealed/open tissue:
April 1st, 2013
I recently performed an anatomy consultation for a couple to help them discover which genital piercing the woman would be best suited for:
Hello Elayne! My wife, J, would like to get a VCH or other genital piercing. We have read your book and have paid for a consultation. We live in northern Michigan and are planning to go to southern Michigan this weekend for the piercing. Before we go, we'd like to get your input. Thank you so much for offering this service!!!
Please let us know if you have any thoughts about her suitability for the vch or horizontal piercings. Thank you so much for your help!!!
In these images, it appears that she is a good candidate for a VCH piercing.
One concern I have about her getting an HCH or triangle relates to a visible vessel that could conceivably be in the pathway of a piercing. See the attached image I marked with an arrow to point out the area of my concern.
March 30th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who had questions about exercise and sex after a VCH piercing:
I want to get a VCH but I have some questions and after reading some parts of this page I think you can solve them. I would like to know how many days do I need to stop working out so my piercing doesn't suffer (I'm a Crossfitter) and also how many days should I wait before having sex.
Thanks a lot!!!
First, you need to determine if you're anatomically suited for a VCH piercing. Try the q-tip test as shown and explained on this page of my website: http://piercingbible.com/q-tip-test
Do you have a trusted piercer or do you need a referral? Where are you located?
It all comes down to listening to your body, and being hygienic, of course. The following excerpts are from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
VCH Piercing: Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activities after getting a VCH piercing is fine, though a one- or two-week break from bicycling or horseback riding is surely advisable. With the exception of these activities, you will probably find that your new piercing doesn’t cause any discomfort while exercising; in fact, you may not even notice it. Then again, it may inspire you to work out. More than a few women have discovered that the stair-stepper or other gym equipment holds new interest for them after genital piercing!
• Physical Activity and Exercise
Generally, you can exercise during healing if you avoid extremes of motion and prevent impact to the pierced area. Still, your activities often need to be modified—at least for a while—if they cause problems with your piercing.
March 28th, 2013
I received a message from an apprentice piercer asking about jewelry for an ampallang piercing:
Hello Ms. Angel,
My name is F. I am an apprentice piercer and I have a married couple coming in and they both want to get pierced. The Husband (uncircumcised) is adamant on getting an Ampallang, but he wants a hoop for the initial Piercing. I can not find any information online or through other piercers if this is safe. I would really appreciate your advise.
What about your mentor? If you're an apprentice, there has to be an expert you're studying under, right? What does he or she have to say….? If you do not have anyone to guide you through such advanced piercings, you MUST refuse!
If someone came to me with that request, my response would be, "No, I'm sorry--I won't use a ring for initial jewelry in that area. My experience allows me to be certain that would not be safe or helpful for healing. I can start it using a bar, and after you are fully healed you can explore other jewelry options."
In any case when it comes to dealing with clients, you're in charge. Regardless of how "adamant" somebody is, it is up to you to always stand by your ethics and only do piercings for which you are qualified, and to refuse to participate in any piercings (or jewelry selections) that are a bad idea.
Just say "no." If they say they'll go elsewhere for it--that's fine. You can't be responsible for their bad decisions, but you can be responsible for avoiding making your own. I always tell people, "Any piercer who is wiling to do that does not care about your safety, wellbeing, or the success of your piercing--only your money. I DO care, which is the reason I'm going to refuse to do anything that is a bad idea."
March 26th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering a VCH piercing:
I am a 31 year old woman who was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 18. I recovered most of my feeling and function over the next six months, and can now feel my clitoris, gspot... although I do have some patchy feeling around my labia etc. I have never really orgasmed, I've had little rushes, but nothing like people describe. I was talking about this in a woman's circle I'm part of and one of the women said that I might look into a VCH.
Thanks for you message. I'm assuming you read this part of my site? http://piercingbible.com/female-genital-piercings#VCH
I'm obviously very passionate about piercing--especially of the female genitals. That said, I wonder if you've ever tried a Hitachi wand or other high-powered vibrator for clitoral stimulation?
Many women find it works for them, even when nothing else does the job.
On the other hand, if you're anatomically suited to a VCH and it appeals to you, then you should go for it! If you have clitoral sensation, then there is a pretty good chance that you will find it adds to your stimulation.
Obviously it is very important to find a qualified professional. Where are you located? Perhaps I can do the piercing for you?
I have done genital piercing for a woman who was paraplegic but who did not have localized sensation. She wanted it for herself, as a form of claiming her own body, and she was very happy with it.
March 24th, 2013
This message is from a woman who has an improperly placed (surface )Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing on top of a previously rejected site:
Hello again Elayne, here is an image of my botched VCH piercing AGAIN.
I emailed you a while ago referring the misplacement and worry about migration. I've had this worry since I emailed you the second time around and I've been watching my piercing like a hawk and cleaning it regularly!
Like last time it's still quite tender and sore and itchy like its still healing. I don't know whether the skin is too thin and it's pushing it out or that's normal or the light or what! I'm so worried because my last one grew out and has left two pieces of scarring and I really don't want this to do it again but I love my piercing and want to keep it :(
I've got a horrible feeling your going to tell me to take it out so is there any chance you could recommend any good pierces for this as I cannot afford another botched job as I would most definitely want to get this done again! I live in the south west of England.
Please help me!
I'm sorry, but it is likely that you will, in fact, have to remove the jewelry. It is a surface piercing and those often are unsuccessful. If it hasn't been settling in well since you last contacted me, then that is a bad sign for the future… Also the more scar tissue you generate through attempting to heal it, the harder it could be to get a properly placed one in the future--and to successfully heal it. I do suggest you remove it, especially if you have hopes of trying again with a better piercer.
March 22nd, 2013
I recieved a message from a woman who was concerned about the odor of her healed nipple piercings:
I am a female that has a nipple piercing from a reliable professional piercer who you recommend.
I have fairly large nipples and he used a large gage post for my piercing. I experienced many months of bloody leakage that finally healed. My piercing is over 2 years old, but now I have a daily discharge of white fluid that has an odor. I want to have an attractive piercing that isn’t stinky. Could I schedule a consultation to review my situation and possible options? Do I need to just remove my piercing? Can I exchange it for another gage? Can I change it out for a different piece of jewelry? I love having my nipple pierced and how it feels, but the drainage is really a bother. I hope you can advise me on my options.
Thanks for your message. If you've had your piercing for over 2 years and the discharge is smelly, I believe I know what you need. An appointment with me is not required. You're welcome to change your jewelry, but that is not required and is unlikely to have any effect on this particular situation.
The excerpt below is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing, and it explains the issue:
Sebum is a substance from your oil glands that collects in healed piercing channels. It is a naturally occurring product of the body, containing fat, keratin (a fibrous protein), and cellular material. The purpose of sebum is to protect your skin and hair, keep it moisturized, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin. People sometimes mistake it for pus, but it is more solid and cheeselike and has a distinctive rotten odor that reflects the dead cellular debris it contains.
March 20th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wondered if her water consumption could affect the healing process:
OMG! Let me start off by saying that I'm so excited that you have an advice column sort of thing. I have had your book for years, and I've always wanted to ask you questions. Anywho I've had my nipple piercing done for about 6 months. It still crusts up, and I know that it has not completely healed. It used to have previous issues until I had my piercer change the barbell to a longer one. I still use salt water soaks every time it gets irritated, but I've noticed that as I've been drinking a lot of water it has stopped crusting up as much. Is this because I'm in the final stages of healing or the amount of water I've been drinking?
Thanks for your message. I haven't ever heard of increased water consumption being responsible for a major healing effect. That said, being hydrated is important for overall health and well being, so it couldn't hurt to continue drinking a lot of water.
And, you may find (as described in my book) that you will have ups and downs over time. You may have stopped crusting now, and whether you drink a lot of water or not, you may have more secretion once again. Don't be surprised by that cycle.