Genital Beading in US Prisons

My friend Buddy Williams who pierces at Ancient Ink Tattoos & Piercings in Antelope, CA (you may remember him from the microdermals he’s been doing on an older woman) told me an interesting story about a client who came to him for help recently. A guy came in and asked if they removed genital beads, and Buddy said yes. When he was setting up and asked the client to show him the bead, he saw what looked like it must have been at least four beads collected in a single spot — genital beads can be especially prone to migration. Buddy asked him where he’d gotten it done, and got the simple answer, “prison”.

Two years earlier while incarcerated, his cellmate had used a sharpened toothbrush to penetrate and create a pocket in his penis (hey, it’s better than using it as a shiv to stab someone) and implant a large plastic bead. The bead, about 1/2″ in diameter, had been obtained by cutting open a spray paint can — I’m sure you’ve heard the ball rattling around when you shake the can. He wanted it removed because it was starting to become quite painful. It took Buddy about five minutes to get it out (that’s it in the autoclave bag) because of how much scar tissue was around the bead. The body seemed to be both trying to encapsulate the bead and push it out as well, as it must not have been entirely biocompatible — it’s unknown what type of plastic it was, but it had a very grainy surface (which may have been in part from starting to break down), to say nothing of paint residue that may have been on it at the time of implantation.

The bead was also surrounded by a large amount of pus, so it’s definitely a good thing that it was removed. Strange, who’d have thought that prison was not the most ideal place for genital mods… I guess those behind bars should stick to eyeball tattoos.


9 thoughts on “Genital Beading in US Prisons

  1. Last year I removed a genital bead under the exact same circumstances. I was told by the client that is it actually quite common among his peers to do this. Only difference was material used. In this instance they were filing down dominos into shapes including the heart shape I removed from him.

  2. Eww… I rarely get grossed out but it’s the idea of getting this done in prison that does it for me. Since it’s so private of an area, why would this be done? I can understand tattoos, but does this have some weird meaning in prison?

  3. Improvisation may work for quite a while… But low (none at all) grade hygienical conditions (I do not believe prisoners do have access to desinfective agents better than soap), AND improvised tools, AND improvised non-biocompetible implants is probably a bit too much…

  4. A friend of mine just got out and he used rosary beads in his he also split his tongue while in prison. I’ll ask him how they implanted the beads and comment again

  5. That would have made a great video. A sharpened toothbrush? Ugh… I can’t imagine you can get a toothbrudh very sharp, or sterile for that matter. 😐

  6. Man i got mine done and im scared to take it out. Any recomendations on how to go about this because i dont think a hospital will mess with it and im too scared

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