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.
March 16th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering a VCH piercing but had questions about wearing jewelry during childbirth:
For the bridal shower of my wedding one of my best friends raised money for me to get my VCH done. I had been thinking about it for awhile. I have had one child and do not get the same sensation now as I did before having my child during sex. Well its almost a year after my wedding and still no piercing. I am one of those that needs extensive research before committing to anything. Anyways my question relates to childbirth. I want to know if I would have to take out my piercing for childbirth, and if I do have to would it close up? Would I have to get it pierced again? I want to have more children. And I really want to know before I commit to this piercing if having more children will mean getting this piercing more than once. Any feedback will be appreciated, as I have not found anything helpful from Google. Thank you in advance.
Thanks for your message. This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
March 14th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who had concerns about her new Vertical Clit Hood piercing:
I did my research and went ahead and got what I thought is a VCH piercing. Hardly hurt! Didn't bleed that much either! The lady I saw was lovely, appeared experienced, knowledgeable and professional in terms of procedure, after-care and placement. She used a needle receiving tube.
However I was comparing it to pictures on your blog and I think I am now one of those eight out of ten women with a surface piercing. =( My hood is quite shallow which I guess is why the area pierced (front view) looks quite small... (And my jewelry seems a bit long!) But... when I had a look underneath the exit pt for the piercing is not quite at the bottom of the hood! Can you enlighten? Am i being picky or do i need to take it out and try take two??
Because of the length of the jewelry, the bottom ball does rest on my clitoris, but I'm worried about the piercing growing out (migrating). I had this done two days ago so I haven't been able to test it out yet!
Thank you so much! Please tour Australia at some point! =)
You definitely have a VCH surface piercing--it is NOT properly placed. The jewelry does not come out from under your hood where a VCH piercing should be located. And, it is in a small amount of tissue (between the entry and exit holes), and very likely to migrate and reject and scar. Sorry….
My suggestion is that you try to get your money back and abandon the piercing.
March 12th, 2013
Here's a recent consultation I performed for a woman whose Vertical Clit Hood piercing was developing scar tissue:
I've had a VCH piercing for just over 9 weeks now and seem to be having some problems with it. This is my second attempt at a VCH because the first time I had it done, it was improperly placed too shallow (even though the piercer used a NRT) and it was only a 16g externally threaded curved barbell. I took that one out after two weeks, gave it a month to heal, then drove a little farther to a much more reputable piercing studio. Before settling on this particular studio, I purchased and read your book, educating myself as much as possible so I didn't get another botched job. The second piercing was so much better! I felt really comfortable with the piercer's knowledge and she did everything "by the book". This time, I was pierced with a 12g, 5/8" straight SS barbell internally threaded (anatometal brand). I asked her why she piercers with a straight barbell rather than curved and she said in her experience women tend to enjoy the straight barbell more (herself included). After scrutinizing the piercing from every angle when I got home, I was very happy with the placement and started the healing process.
I healed the piercing by doing sea salt soaks (1/4 tsp non-iodized sea salt to 1 cup of filtered water) twice a day for the first four weeks, then continued once a day until the piercing was no longer tender (about 6 weeks after being pierced). I will admit there was a 4 day period where I didn't do any soaks 2 weeks after getting pierced due to being away from home.
March 10th, 2013
Here's a recent consultation I performed for a woman who needed assistance with determining the best placement for a nostril piercing:
I have a placement dilemma. For years, I’ve secretly admired nose piercings but was too afraid to get a piercing of my own until about 4 months ago. I was initially apprehensive due to being employed in a white collar work setting and being over 40 years old. I did tons of research and decided to go for it-especially after learning that there is a variety of “discreet” jewelry, to avoid having to remove my piercing while at work.
Upon arriving at the tattoo/piercing studio, I had already envisioned where I wanted the placement on my left nostril to be. I assumed that by requesting that the placement be madenear the lower part of my nostril & back-it would be an ideal way for the placement to be discreet.
Well, after looking at my placement over and over again. I feel that I did not choose an ideal or flattering spot for the piercing. I have since taken out my nose jewelry to let the piercing close, so that I can have it re-pierced.
Elayne, I have enclosed some pictures for you to assess the “best” placement location.
I've indicated what I believe would be the best placement for your nostril piercing on the photos you provided. One shows just a small circle for the placement I would describe as an ideal aesthetic for your anatomy. Let me know if you have additional questions.
March 8th, 2013
I received a message from a man who had questions about the healing progress of his self-performed Prince Albert piercing:
First of all, thank you for maintaining such a wonderful and informative website. If only all interests had such a great resource online...
I'm writing today about a PA that I've had for about five weeks now that is still giving me some trouble. A little bit of background on the piercing. I have to start out by telling you that it IS self-done. I know I know... but to allay concerns as best as I can I took all precautions one can at home short of creating a sterile field, I used a sterilized needle and sterilized jewelry with clean hands and gloves. I also didn't go this route out of being cheap or anything either (I've payed for piercings in the past plenty of times), I had a real desire to do this one myself and accepted all the risks and consequences of my actions! That's actually not my question though, but may factor into your response.
Basically, my piercing is still just about as sore as the second or third week of having and has shown little change over the last two-three weeks. There is also still some discharge from it and what appears to be some scarring or swelling on the glans-side of hole. When I have an erection it is the most sore, and this is especially a problem when sleeping, where I have little to no control. My question is basically, is the piercing fundamentally flawed (poor placement, etc.) and needs to be removed and redone, or do I just need to be more careful with it and give it more time?
March 6th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wanted to try another navel piercing after two rejections:
Hello there, hope all is well. I am currently 27 years old and had my navel pierced when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Both times I kept the piercing in for over a year, cleaning and treating it, but it would not heal (and kept cycling between infected and not infected). I’m left with this horrid scar and I’m getting an itch to pierce it again. I’d only do it if I knew of a material that my body wouldn’t reject, but I don’t. Clearly “surgical steel” isn’t working. I’m assuming it’s the nickel in it.
I don't know if the piercers were members of the APP. However I can tell you that I first got pierced in May 2003, took it out (due to it not healing, keloids forming, and constantly having to treat it) in Jan 2004. When I went to get it re-pierced in June 2004, the piercer told me that the previous guy didn’t take enough skin when he pierced me, thus it was too far out and refused to heal. However, the same thing happened with this piercing, and thus I took it out about 8-10 months after that.
BOTH piercings were done with externally threaded surgical steel.
The area does not fold in when I sit, however I do remember the jewelry getting caught onto my jeans a lot when I sat/stood. Of course I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but sometimes I’d forget.