5 Nov 2010

Here's an exchange I had with a woman in New Zealand:

She wrote:

I know you are unlikely to travel to New Zealand so I went ahead and had a vch piercing performed locally. I thought I had asked the piercer all the right questions but I suspect he has got it wrong. I couldn't find anyone at all who uses a receiving tube but found someone who doesn't use clamps. Thought I was doing the right thing. At the moment I have a 12g ring with captive ball. It has healed well but there is now skin and flesh behind the ring. What should I do? I have a friend who is prepared to redo it for me - what are the risks? She has a copy of your book :) E

Hi E.,

Before doing anything else, I'd suggest you get her to lend you the book so that you can become well educated.

I'm not sure what you mean by "there is skin and flesh behind the ring"--can you send a clear, close-up photo or two so I can evaluate your current placement. What makes you think it is placed incorrectly?

If you think yours is improperly placed, that would be a reason to redo it. But if your friend is not a trained professional piercer, I HIGHLY advise against having her pierce you--even if she has a copy of my book (it is not a "how-to-pierce" book!).

Dear Elayne,

Thanks so much for your reply.  I've been borrowing your book and reading on line at every chance and I am pretty sure my ring is migrating. The photo isn't terribly clear but what I think is happening is that the lower back part of the ring is moving, as if it wants to come out through the front of the hood. I don't have enough hands to take a photo with a cotton bud but i think there is a lot of room higher than where the ring is placed. Right from the start, the ring has been slightly off center and now there is a lot more space within the ring and it isn't touching the clit in behind.
I have telephoned every piercer within a 100-mile radius and they want to use clamps. I found only one who had even heard of a needle receiving tube a nd they wont do female piercings. The guy I finally went to used a catheter method, no clamp. I had spoken with him a few times and he sounded good. The piercing was for a significant event and I was running out of time.
So now i have to decide between a professional piercer who wont do it your way, or a willing friend. You make it sound so easy!! Unless you are planning a South Pacific holiday???


Surface VCH with Q-tip Test

Hi. Yes, you definitely have a hood surface piercing. It was a good idea to use the swab, because it makes it abundantly clear how misplaced the piercing is.

It does appear that you have a natural fold where you were pierced, but it wasn't the correct one.... It also looks like the ring is small for the amount of tissue it encompasses. If you want to have a "real" VCH, then you should take the jewelry out, let is close, and then look into finding a more competent piercer. If you want to heal it, I'd suggest you get a curved bar that fits the amount of tissue that's been pierced.

Let me know if you have other questions. Sorry you got a botched job, but you're in good company, sad to say!

Hi Elayne,
I have plucked up my courage and am going to see the local tattoo guy today. Over here it seems that piercing is done as a sideline by the tattoo studios. His artwork looks amazing though.

His web site says he has a range of jewelery so I will go and look at that - Ask if he has heard of your work ;) - when we spoke on the phone he was put in the "uses clamps" pile... I'll see if I can change his mind.
wish me luck!!



Even if you could talk a piercer into using a tube instead of forceps, you're going to be having someone doing something they're not trained or experienced at. It is a bit of a recipe for disaster. I also discourage you from judging a piercer on the basis of their tattooing skills. One skill does NOT confer the other. 

I found my friends in New Zealand for you. They are very nice people and mature adults, Shane and Jane Johnston. I will ask them about whether they ever took my female genital piercing class at the APP (as I met them there several times), and if they use a receiving tube technique. I think they should as they trained at Gauntlet, the business I used to work for starting in the 1980s.

I do know they were originally a piercing studio that expanded into tattooing, rather than the other way around.

Here's the website: http://street-wise.co.nz/

Take a look at their qualifications. It would definitely be worth a trip if this is not local to you. PLEASE wait so you don't get another botched piercing.

Here's the studio email which is answered by the owner:
shane <[email protected]>

I wrote my latest article for print in Pain Magazine (for piercers) about bad female genital piercings and it is an appeal to piercers to stop doing them when they don't really know how to do. It is practically an epidemic.


Thanks for all your help on this Elayne. You have my permission to use the photo in any way you need if it will help your cause. I am thinking of sending it to my ex-piercer with your letter attached and tell him to just stop it!!

When I get it redone I will definitely go to Streetwise, your friends' studio in Auckland. I don't know that they work there very often now but the senior piercer sounds like she is very familiar with your work.

Do you think it might be possible to switch to a bar and use the ring in the right place? or is that just plain greedy??

I have to have a hip x-ray in a couple of weeks so will need to take the ring out for that. If I can't get it back in then the decision might be made for me anyway. I am going to Auckland this afternoon so will go to Streetwise and get a curved bar. Doesn't life get complicated! I am still very glad I got it done. it has major significance for me - a farewell gift from a special friend.....
Remember to get in touch when you head down this way!!



Thanks; I appreciate that--I would like to share your picture.

I'm afraid that where your current piercing is placed it would be in the way of a properly done one. I have seen some that worked to have both, but with your build, and your piercing placement, it won't work--sorry...

There's no medical need to take out the jewelry for an x-ray--it is nowhere near your hip! It will leave a density on the image, but since the jewelry is not in the precise area they're looking at, there's no reason it can't stay in.

Oh, if you would like to be notified when I make travel plans, please sign up for my newsletter in the box on the left lower portion of the page: http://piercingbible.com It is an "opt-in" list, so I can't add you myself. Then you'll automatically find out about my piercing visits.

Take care and let me know if you have other questions.

I did take the jewelry out  and am pleased I did. The x-ray was a full pelvis one and I suspect the ring would have taken center stage. Since I used to work at that hospital i can imagine the stir it would have caused over morning coffee!

Now I can let the hole heal and will book in for a proper VCH at the end of the month.

Will let you know how version two works out.



Thanks for the update. I'm glad you took it out too--mostly because it wasn't properly placed. Piercing is prevalent enough now that most medical personnel (especially in radiology) have seen plenty of "overlying rounded densities" from body jewelry. Still, I understand.

Please keep me posted!


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