Beyond the Prince Albert: penis piercing options and risks (NSFW)

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Penis Pierced costume

The story goes something like this. Before his marriage to Queen Victoria in 1825, Prince Albert pierced his penis as a way to help hide the unsightly bulge it made in his fashionably tight trousers. His member was then "dressed down" a pant leg and the "dressing ring" was fixed to a hook to hold it in place. Unfortunately, like so much of the information surrounding genital piercing, this story is little better than hearsay.

While genital piercings have become increasingly popular with the mainstream appeal of body modification such as tattooing, very little serious medical information exists on the risks, or even benefits, of genital jewelry. As a result, many people find out the problems associated with these piercings the hard way.

To help shed some light on the underworld of penis piercings, below is an illustrated list of the various types of piercings followed by some of the potential risks.

TYPES OF MALE GENITAL PIERCINGS

Ampallang/Apadravya: A straight barbell is pierced horizontally

(ampallang) or vertically (apadravya) through the head of the penis, passing either above, under, or through the urethra.

Ampallang model

Dydoe: One or more curved barbells or rings is pierced through the edge of the penis head.

dydoe

Foreskin: The foreskin of an uncircumcised penis is pierced with a bead ring or circular barbell one or multiple times.

foreskin

Frenum: Behind the Prince Albert, this is the second most popular male genital piercing.  A straight barbell, curved barbell, or captive bead ring is pierced through the flexible skin on the underside of the shaft.  Variations include: 1.) Lorum Piercing---the piercing is positioned at the base of the shaft, near the scrotum, and 2.) Frenum Ladder---a row of several frenum piercings.

Frenum

Guiche/Perineum: A captive bead ring is pierced under the scrotum, near the anus.

guiche

Hafada/Scrotum: A piercing on any part of the scrotum.

Hafada Scrotum piercing-2

Prince Albert: A barbell or captive bead ring is fed through the urethra and pierced through the bottom of the penis. A reverse Prince Albert involves the piercing exiting through the top of the penis.

Prince Albert Piercing

Pubic: A captive bead ring is centered atop the shaft at the base of the man's penis to stimulate a woman's clitoris during deep penetration.

pubic

RISKS

The most important thing you can do when getting a penis piercing is to find an experienced piercer who is licensed and reputable. Unfortunately the body modification industry isn't regulated as heavily as it should be. As with any  other piercing or tattoo, getting your body art from an unlicensed artist greatly increases your chances of catching a serious infection or communicable disease. An experienced piercer can also cause irreparable damage to one of the most sensitive, and important, parts of your body.

General care: Most all of these piercings come with a minimum of one week without sex as exchanging body fluids, sweat, and sex friction is a great way to develop a nasty infection. If untreated, a serious infection can result in permanent tissue damage or, in the worst case scenario, amputation or death. Even after this initial abstinence period, you should exercise extreme caution when having sex. You should wear a condom even with your monogamous partner for as long as the piercing is still healing: anywhere from 4 to 12 months.

Oral Sex: Until the piercing is fully healed, any body fluids such as saliva or sweat can cause infection. If engaging in oral sex, you should wear a condom and otherwise clean yourself regularly with antibacterial soap.

Difficulties with Safe Sex: Until the piercing is fully healed it will offer an open wound that leaves your penis more susceptible to infections and STDs. Even after the piercing is healed, any slight tear during sex will open up the problem anew. Also, some believe that shaft piercings, particularly barbells, increase the risk of the condom catching on the metal and tearing.

Urethra/Urination: The good thing about get a piercing that passes through your urethra is that your urine acts as a sterilizing agent, helping to clean the wound. However, even though the Prince Albert is the most popular penis piercing, these deep piercings come with a number of problems. Some men with a Prince Albert prefer to sit when they urinate to reduce the dribble and splatter effect the piercing has on their urine stream. This piercing also has the potential of angering your partner who has to deal with your urine splattering the toilet seat. Once the piercing is removed, it's common for the urine flow to be diverted through the hole left by the jewelry. Some men merely cover this flute hole with their finger until it heals. Others may have to seek a minor plastic surgery to permanently close the gap. These piercings can also cause a narrowing of the urethra due to scar tissue, making it more difficult to use the bathroom. Urethra piercings also come with an increased chance of urinary tract infections.

Ripping and tearing: The motivation behind many of these piercings is to increase sexual pleasure for you and your partner by increasing friction. Unfortunately this same friction can cause the piercing to tear the skin or be ripped out. Shallow piercings like the Frenum and the Dydoe are particularly susceptible to being ripped out during rough sex. However, even a piercing as deep as the Prince Albert can get caught and cause a tear. In addition to unsightly and pragmatic scar tissue, if the bead end of a barbell comes undone during sex, the barb can inflict serious puncture wounds on you or your partner.

Erectile tissue: If the piercing accidentally goes too deep, it can damage your erectile tissue. This may result in a curved erection or increased difficulty getting and sustaining an erection.

Scrotum piercings: Any male genital piercing that is not on the shaft of the penis is particularly prone to infection due to increased perspiration and a lack of ventilation. The Guiche, which is positioned between the anus and the scrotum, is especially at risk. Also, this type of piercing isn't recommended for anyone who sits for much of the day, as this may irritate the piercing. While the scrotum offers plenty of places for a piercing, it is extremely important that the piercing be shallow and not puncture the scrotum sac, as this will dramatically increase the chances of infection.

Photos from tribe.se

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