May 20th, 2009
February 12th, 2009
Today I was contacted (as Medical Liaison to the Association of Professional Piercers) by the media relations department of the Loyola University Health System. They are planning to write a press release on "clitoral piercings" because their obstetricians have been seeing a rise in the popularity of genital piercings. I clarified to her that piercings of the clitoris itself are quite rare, but that female genital piercings--especially of the hood area--are extremely popular. She wanted to know if they were more painful than other areas, or more prone to infections. These are common questions, and the answers are sometimes surprising: no--they aren't necessarily more painful than other areas (when the piercer is skillful and well trained), and they tend to be easy and quick to heal. From my book, I also filled her in on the very important rules for having safer sex while you're healing a genital piercing:
January 10th, 2009
I received this email recently:
I am considering piercing my breasts. I have inverted nipples however and I am wondering if you feel this would prevent a successful piercing for me. Previously, I had a sternum piercing which rejected. I currently have a VCH, which is still healing. I assume I must be a slow healer since the VCH was done about four months ago, and I still am doing my salt water soaks to keep it from being sore. I would appreciate any advice or thoughts you might have. My piercing was done by a member of the APP. Thank you again for your time, Dawn
Dawn, My goodness! That is slow healing--the VCH usually heals in closer to 4 weeks, not months! Have you tried changing your VCH jewelry or the care product you're using on it? After that long a period of time, I think something should be changed. Have you considered trying emu oil? It can be very effective for healing problem piercings (and those that are doing well, too). Are you wearing a bar or a ring? What material? I wouldn't say a history of a rejected sternum piercing is indicative a tendency toward troubled healing--surface piercings such as these often have problems. The VCH is another matter. If it is determined that your jewelry is of good quality, the piercing properly placed and cared for, then you simply may not be a good candidate for piercings. Here is a brief section from my book about piercing inverted nipples:
December 16th, 2008
I received this question today:
Hi, I have a few questions about the Vertical Hood Piercing. How long is it recommended before having sex or exercising? I have heard that some people aren't able to run or walk upstairs without nearly having an orgasm. How common is this? Also I have heard from someone who had one that when they took it out, there were bumps that formed. Is this something that often happens upon removing the piercing? Thank you very much. Akilah
Hi Akilah, Thanks for your email. Whether you think of it as fortunate or unfortunate, most women do not have any problems climbing stairs or exercising as a result of enjoying their piercings "too much." There is often a period of heightened sensitivity or hypersensitivity for a short time after piercing, but this tends to normalize over a short period of time. There is more information about sensation, sensitivity, and related subjects in my book. There is no required period for abstaining from sexual activity or exercise, but there are some very important rules to which you must adhere. This passage is from The Piercing Bible:
December 13th, 2008
Liz wrote back with some additional questions:
Elayne - Thanks so much for responding so quickly! I have your book on pre-order with Amazon, and look forward to devouring it! I really hesitate to try any kind of steel - I have had my ears pierced since I was 8, and to this day can't get near anything less than 14k (other than sterling) in my ears without major irritation and discharge, even bleeding. My wedding ring is white gold, and even after wearing it for 14 years, I still sometimes get a rashy irritation under the band from the nickel in the alloy. Can you tell me any more about the alloy used in 14k that makes it piercing compatible? Even the gold earrings I wear turn red over time where they contact my skin - presumably from my body oxidizing the trace copper in the yellow gold alloy. Who knows. Obviously something I need to do more research on - I had no gold would pose its own complications. I hope the attached pics are ok - the q-tip was a bit tricky, and as it is a self-portrait, kind of blurry. It's a standard generic q-tip. If you need better detail or a different angle or something, I can try to re-do the photos later this weekend (if I can get my toddler to nap). Thanks again - LizLiz, I know my book will provide you with a great deal of information that will prove most helpful to you. There is a big chapter on jewelry and you will learn all about the different materials. For healing, you may decide to go with titanium or even bioplast or PTFE (inert plastics). Implant grade steel and titanium have alloys that meet certain standards, but gold does not have an implant designation. Gold alloys are proprietary mixes, so there are no assurances like the "mill certificates" provided by manufacturers of implant grade steel and titanium.
December 13th, 2008
Today I received this query in the comments section of one of my posts:
HI! I am 44, and have been considering a VCH for a while now, and find that most of the research I have done has led me to you and Rings of Desire. I appreciate your expertise, and any time you could give to address my questions. Hubby and I will be attempting the q-tip test today, and I hope to email you a pic of that for your expert advice (if that's ok). I have no real local resources (small midwestern town). 1. How do I determine what size jewelry to buy? I need to use 14k gold (metal allergy issues with anything else) and I assume not all shops carry 14k. Maybe that's a bad assumption, but I'm guessing I'll buy in advance and take it to the shop with me -
2. Will I be able to change the jewelry myself (or can my hubby) if i want to increase size, or will I need to return to my piercer? 3. I've heard the phrase "growing out" - what exactly does that mean? Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to hearing from you, and would love to know if you would look at my photos, if hubby can get any good ones! All best, LizHi Liz, Sounds like you have LOTS of questions that will all be answered in detail by my book. You can pre-order it at a discount on Amazon.com. Below you will find some brief answers to your questions to tide you over: 1. I would not suggest buying jewelry in advance. A piercer with a quality studio will stock a wide range of suitable styles, sizes, and materials. You should not need to determine the size--your piercer should know EXACTLY what you need for your build and suggest the size for you.
December 3rd, 2008
Here is an email exchange that started as a comment to one of my other posts:
Hey, I wanted to know if I could ask a question about a VCH that was done MONTHS ago (at least 5) and might be rejecting.How do I know? Would I be able to send a picture and you tell me.. or can I find a picture online?
My response: You are welcome to email me a photo or two to: [email protected] and I'd be happy to take a look. What problems are you having that make you feel concerned about this? To see photos and a diagram of properly placed VCH piercings go here: http://ringsofdesire.com/femalegenital.html and http://ringsofdesire.com/q_tip.html. Or, you can watch me do the piercing here. Marie wrote again:
November 12th, 2008
A woman asked a question about her VCH piercing in the comments section and emailed her a reply:
Hey I recently got a VCH done about 1 month ago. The other day I noticed that the bottom ball (where my hood is) has gone up inside there and is now inside at the top of my piercing... I think it has closed now and I dont want to go back to get it redone because I dont want to go through that pain again.... Shan.
Hi Shan, You really should return to your piercer right away to have it looked at. Are you sure the ball isn't just resting under the little "tunnel" of your hood? If the bottom ball got stuck in the piercing channel, a lot of the post portion would be sticking up above the top of your piercing--or your piercer put in a post that is too short. Please see your piercer as the resolution may be very simple--you might just need a longer bar and/or a larger ball on the bottom, to prevent the jewelry from slipping up under your hood. If the bottom ball really is stuck in the tissue, you should see your piercer immediately, as it still might be able to be liberated. But if the tissue has closed around it you may need medical intervention to remove it. Let me know what happens. To see video of me performing a VCH click here. It shows properly sized jewelry in the ideal placement.