The mellifluous anatomical term for the site of this piercing is the frenulum labiorum pudenda, also known as the fourchette (French for “little fork”). This piercing is located in the perineum, similar to the guiche piercing in a male. But this version is more practical and comfortable for a woman because, like female genitals, it is oriented vertically.
I openly take credit for pioneering the fourchette piercing because I got the first three of them, on as many different occasions. Each was in a slightly different spot as I worked to diligently to identify the optimal placement for the fourchette piercing.
My investigation, while pleasurable, revealed that the best place for a fourchette piercing is on a woman who has more tissue in that region than I do. But it sure was fun trying; and the research was worthwhile, because many of the women who wear them find that the fourchette piercing produces unique and enjoyable sensations. Mine did too, while they lasted.
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The fourchette piercing frames the lip of tissue at the back perimeter of the vagina. The lower portion of the piercing is positioned between the vagina and the anus, and it should be situated at least 1/2" north of there. If you have had a midline episiotomy (incision to facilitate childbirth), you are not a good candidate due to localized scarring.
If you don’t have a defined, sizeable natural lip of skin in this location, then you are not a candidate. Even if your tissue is highly pliable here, cheating the fourchette in deeper is not helpful; there is a universal tendency for the piercing to migrate if it is not seated at the base of a sufficiently large natural fold.
The fourchette must go at the very base of this lip, as close to the body as possible, to put as much distance between the edge of the tissue and the piercing. If you don't have about 3/8" of natural elevation, then you're not a good candidate.
Unfortunately, the majority of women simply don't have the required ridge or lip of skin in this spot for a safe and successful piercing, so I must frequently decline.
Note that I ALWAYS wear gloves for client contact! Images without gloves were sent to me for consultations, and are posted anonymously and with permission.
Because this tissue is so fine, the jewelry must be thick enough to prevent tearing or cutting. A 12 gauge is a safe minimum size. If the tissue is full, a 10 gauge might be suitable.
Jewelry styles include a curved bar or a ring, commonly in diameters of 3/8" or 7/16".
This spot is all but impossible to access yourself, so expect to require assistance for jewelry changes. Similar to the inner labia, this fine, elastic tissue easily accommodates larger sizes, but it does not withstand heavy jewelry well because of a propensity to stretch larger than desired. You may find it stretches so much with normal wear that an ordinary barbell ball (3/16", or 5 mm) will pass right through the piercing!
To avoid losing your jewelry, if the channel appears to be stretching too much on its own, avoid wearing balls that are small. If your fourchette piercing continues to stretch, you will need to switch to a ring to avoid losing jewelry—unless you wear balls that are significantly larger than average. The catch-22 is that large balls can cause further unintentional stretching, yet wearing a ring might make penetration difficult.
The procedure is often somewhat tricky because of the piercing’s almost internal placement. I generally use forceps, but have also performed it using a receiving tube, depending on the individual build.
Most women do not find this to be a particularly intense piercing, though the process can be a little awkward. The fourchette doesn’t tend to be a heavy bleeder, but some bleeding is always possible with any piercing.
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Healing and Troubleshooting
You basically sit on this piercing, so you must be cautious not to seat yourself on unclean surfaces during healing, unless you are wearing underwear and clothing. To increase your safety and comfort, sanitary pads or panty liners can provide extra padding and wick away moisture, which is very helpful while healing.
Due to the wound’s proximity to the anus, you must be careful to avoid contact with waste during healing and to shower once or twice a day. Following bowel movements, wipe away from the piercing to uphold good hygiene practices. If you use wet-wipe products after visiting the toilet, do not allow the towelettes to touch your piercing if they contain detergents, fragrances, chemicals, or preservatives. The ingredients may be suitable for feminine freshening or post-potty cleanup, but they aren’t meant for use on open wounds like piercings.
Migration is standard if the anatomy isn't well suited to this placement. If you have a fourchette piercing that has migrated (or was placed) closer than 5/16" from the edge of the ridge, it is best to remove it or you could end up with split tissue there.
The area is not subject to public view and the piercing is placed within natural creases, so it will not leave a visible mark. A divot or slight pit may be observable on the outside surface, but the inner portion will be invisible. Once this particular piercing is well established, it is fairly likely to remain open without jewelry in place.
What My Happy Clients Say
Thank you for being so knowledgable and professional. I researched piercings for years (literally) before working up the nerve to actually get it done. You were AMAZING. The process itself was not that bad and I am IN LOVE with my piercing.
I would highly recommend Elayne to anyone looking to get any type of piercing done!
I am so thankful to have had the pleasure of getting pierced by Elayne. She was so professional and comforting and I knew I was in the best hands (especially given all the tremendous research I had done).
Thank you for writing The Piercing Bible which I found to be packed with knowledge and constantly refer to. I will see you in a year for my next piercing.
This visit went smooth, was very pleasant and informative and I got to see a true professional in action.
What an inspiration she is! Wonderful woman with a beautiful personality and an absolutely comforting bedside manner.
Thank you Elayne!