Body & Genital Piercing in Brief
By Doug Malloy

Piercing of the body, for a variety of reasons, is an ancient, if not always venerable, art. For many years an underground phenomenon, it is at last emerging into the light.

Piercing of the nipples is not really new. The proud Roman centurions, Caesar's bodyguard, wore nipple rings as a sign of their virility and courage, and as a dress accessory for holding their short capes. The practice was also quite common among society girls of the Victorian era to enhance the size and shape of the nipples. Today the lure of piercing is primarily a sexual one It provides a mechanical "tit"-ilation achieved by no-other means. For many, especially the men and women into the bondage and discipline, and S&M scenes, there is a tremendous psychological turn-on. Where possible, piercing should be professionally done as placement determines the nipple' development, shape, and aesthetic effect While difficult to obtain unless one knows a sympathetic doctor, anesthetics are available for the faint-of-heart. Healing normally takes 6 to 8 weeks and is quickest where a retainer with straight post is used.

Navel piercing, a sign of royalty to the ancient Egyptians, was something denied commoners. Hence, a deep navel was highly prized. But times change. Today this piercing is becoming increasingly popular, especially with young swingers of the "In" set, male and female. Possible only to those with a well shaped navel, the piercing is usually done through the little flap of skin above the opening and retained with a ring during healing, usually 4 to 6 weeks. Later the ring may be replaced by a decorative stud or bangle selected to suit the wearer's fancy. While not a sexually functional piercing, the visual effect is sensual and directs the viewers attention to the pelvic area.

The Prince Albert, called a "dressing ring" by Victorian haberdashers, was originally used to firmly secure the male genitals in either the left or right leg during that era's craze for extremely tight, crotch-binding trousers, thus minimizing a man's natural endowment. Legend has it that Prince Albert wore such a ring to retract his foreskin and thus keep his member sweet-smelling so as not to offend the Queen. Today its function is strictly erotic, providing the ultimate in sexual pleasure to men of both persuasions. Piercing is through the urethra at the base of the penis head The procedure is quick; the pain, minimal; the healing, rapid; and the pleasure, lifelong.

The use of dydoes seems to be of fairly recent origin. As they return much of the sensation lost with the foreskin, their emergence corresponds with the widespread practice of circumcision Nor does the man alone benefit During intercourse his dydoes provide delightful vaginal stimulation for his consort. The flagging sexual interest in many relationships has been revived with the use of these devices. Piercing is done through both sides of the upper edge of the glans. As proper placement is imperative, piercing should be done professionally. Small barbell studs, rings, or "D" rings may be inserted according to the wearers' preference. While healing usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, continence during this period is not necessary.

The ampallang, relatively unknown to the Western World but gaining foothold, is indigenous to the areas surrounding the Indian Ocean. Though sometimes done in childhood, the piercing is usually done as part of a puberty rite, the service being performed by an old woman who places the ampallang horizontally through the center of the head of the penis above the urethra. A metal bar retained with metal discs may be used or studs of bone, ivory, or even gold, if the man is well-to-do. As this sexual device greatly enhances the sensual pleasure of both partners, many women may deny intercourse to a man not so pierced, or specify the size ampallang he should wear if he is.

As described in the Kama Sutra, the ancient classic Hindu treatise on love and social conduct, the apadravya is any one of a number of devices ("antique French ticklers" and/or dildoes. if you will) used during intercourse to excite the woman. Among the Dravidian people of southern India, the word also refers to the device worn through the pierced male member. The piercing is generally vertical through the penis shaft behind the head, but sometimes in the head itself. It should be noted that this piercing is neither common or widespread.

Piercing of the frenum, the loose piece of flesh beneath the penis head, is of European origin, having served, strange to say, the extremes of both chastity and sexual stimulation. A padlock through the frenum will prevent copulation. A special chastity device called a Franey cage, secured at one end through the frenum and at the other through a second piercing at the base of the penis, prevents even masturbation, By contrast, a ring which passes through the piercing and encircles the head, fitting snuggly but comfortably in the groove around the glans when the penis is flacid, can be extremely erotic, acting to increase erection, much like a cock ring. Many men sleep with the ring flipped down over the middle finger. Ring size is important, measurement being readily obtained using a draftsman's circle template. Piercing is quick and simple, and healing rapid.

It is a proud day in the life of an Arab youth when he achieves manhood. A stag party "rite of passage" is arranged by his male relatives and friends, and one of his gifts will be a silver stud or perhaps a ring or clasp. At a ceremonial piercing this will be inserted through the left side of the scrotum between the testicle and the base of the penis. Believed to prevent the testes from ever returning to the groin from whence they descended in childhood, the hafada, as it is called, gives visual evidence that the youth is now and forever a man. Wealthy Arabs eventually install hafadas set with precious stones, the most highly prized (at least in the Persian Gulf area) being the Kuwait pearl. French Foreign Legionnaires have returned from North Africa wearing this genital adornment, usually only on the left side, but occasionally on both. Piercing is quick and not particularly painful, although the healing period is somewhat prolonged. While not the most erotic of piercings, it does provide some stimulation when stroked.

Even today the guiche (pronounced "geesh") is very common among the male natives of the South Pacific. The piercing is done, usually at puberty, through the raphe perinei, the ridge of skin between the scrotum and the anus, at what would be the inseam. A knife point is used to make the hole, more accurately a tiny slit, and a rawhide thong is place in it. Less primitive individuals who have adopted this highly sensual device use more conventional piercing tools with ring or stud retainers. Either way, when healing is complete (usually 6 to 8 weeks), a bangle is attached which enhances sensation and provides a convenient grip. The guiche is one of the more erotic piercings and Westerners can benefit from its adoption. Light pressure applied to the piercing greatly increases arousal and gentle tugging on the bangle at climax prolongs and intensifies orgasm. Anyone desiring this piercing is advised to consult an experienced piercer as placement is of great importance.

While piercing is primarily done for erotic reasons, it has often been used to prohibit sexual indulgence — though to those of the bondage and discipline persuasion, even such restraint is no doubt erotic. When used for purposes of chastity it is commonly called infibulation, and both men and women have been its victims. Ancient Roman male slaves were often subjected to the practice, some form of device being locked through the perforated foreskin. With women the device was inserted through the labia. Though both piercings are not uncommon today, they less often imply chastity. In Europe the genital ring is vying with the finger ring as the symbol of betrothal. The man has his fiancee's labia pierced and ringed; and she, his frenum, usually at the same appointment. Through their mutual pain a more intense commitment has been made. It should be mentioned in passing that piercing of the clitoris, while rarely seen, is also being done by some women who are very much into the scene. Though not particularly functional in a sexual sense, it is an eye catching place to display ornaments. As with most piercings, those considering any such "needlework" are advised to consult an experienced piercer.

Mr. Malloy is a piercing master with many years experience. He is the author of many articles and a book on the subject, and is currently working on a comprehensive study of this, his consuming passion.

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