Foreskin piercings are obviously reserved for those with a penis who are intact (uncircumcised). Therefore, this placement is not especially popular in the United States, where so many have been deprived of this opportunity. However, individuals who engage in successful foreskin restoration may be able to rebuild enough tissue to pierce. In turn, the piercing (once fully healed) can assist in the process by providing greater purchase on the area for further tissue expansion.
The foreskin is one of the genital piercings with significant historical precedent, mostly for infibulation (the enforcement of chastity through mechanical means). Some contemporary piercees engage in consensual infibulation using multiple foreskin piercings, but nowadays this piercing is mostly used to enhance sensation.
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When the foreskin is fully retracted, this piercing rests like a vertical frenum, generally near the mid-shaft region of the penis. This impressive tissue change must be carefully scrutinized during the marking process. Even though your foreskin will remain over the glans most of the time, jewelry must not pinch excessively when the foreskin is retracted.
Standard procedure is to mark a reference line at the edge of the foreskin as it rests naturally, and to pierce to either side of that border so that the jewelry frames the rim. Marking (or checking) the proposed placement when your foreskin is in the retracted position assures a piercing width that will fit with the size of your chosen jewelry. However, when your foreskin is in its flaccid position it may appear that the piercing will pass through only a small amount of tissue near the edge of the rim.
You can wear a single piercing, a pair, or multiples, depending on your personal preferences. Pairs of piercings positioned at three and nine o’clock, or at twelve and six o’clock, are common. Anywhere around the perimeter of your foreskin is acceptable as long as you have enough space between the piercings.
Depending on your anatomy and the jewelry size and style, you might be able to wear four or more piercings in your foreskin, though certainly no more than that should be performed in a single session.
Your piercer may need to retract and replace the foreskin multiple times to perfect the placement. This is a normal part of the procedure.
Because the tissue is fine, jewelry that is not thick enough can cause cutting or tearing. To withstand rougher friction and for durability, 12-gauge jewelry is a suitable minimum, and I use 10 gauge as the maximum thickness.
Jewelry with a length or diameter of 5/8" should safely encompass sufficient tissue for a successful piercing. Let your piercer know during marking if you plan to stretch up to a large gauge later, or use them for infibulation. If this is the case, the piercings should be placed a little farther back from the edge of your tissue. Circular jewelry is the most common style, and it includes captive or fixed bead rings and circular barbells. But even straight barbells, and curved bars are potentially safe to use in this area.
Later you may be able to wear a ring or bar smaller than the initial diameter, but jewelry must be large enough to allow you to comfortably retract your foreskin. Because of the membranous nature of the tissue, you might want assistance with jewelry changes. If you plan to swap it out yourself, use an insertion taper, at least initially. Changing jewelry will be easiest when your foreskin is down and the piercing is at its most compact.
I use forceps to clamp the foreskin, because this membranous tissue rolls and slides so much. Illumination with a penlight or other bright beam can easily demonstrate where veins are located so that they can be avoided. Therefore, bleeding in this region is usually minor.
For comfort and ease of healing, I perform the piercing when your tissue is in the flaccid position to straddle the fold naturally. This procedure is very similar to a frenum piercing, and most men describe the sensation as fairly minor. Bear in mind that this skin is routinely removed from infants without any anesthetic.
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Healing and Troubleshooting
Try to be gentle and to retract your foreskin as little as possible while maintaining sound hygiene during initial healing. Do a saline soak or other maintenance to remove any crusty matter beforehand.
Bodily fluids are apt to pass over the area, which is not a problem when they are your own. Urine is one of man’s first antiseptics and, if you are healthy, your own liquid waste will not harm your piercing. The regular passage of urine over your jewelry helps to minimize crusting, too.
But urine can sting during the first few days of healing, so drink lots of water to dilute it and lower the acidity to minimize discomfort. Avoid cranberry juice or large quantities of orange juice or vitamin C, which will make your urine acidic and may cause excess discomfort. Additionally, you can pour a clean cup of water—warm or cool, as you prefer—over the area as you urinate. This rinses off the urine so it doesn’t linger uncomfortably, and the water feels soothing.
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