Genital piercings are some of the most empowering, magical, and affirming piercings we as piercers get to do. They also can be some of the most intimidating and overwhelming piercings for clients to get done. The vulnerability of someone seeing your genitals is already very hard to overcome, and then beyond that the discomfort of having them pierced- likely by a stranger? That’s very hard for many people to wrap their minds around. So today, I want to try to soothe your nerves by helping you prepare for a genital piercing by discussing genital piercing etiquette! What to do and what to expect from getting a genital piercing!
Before ever scheduling an appointment or setting foot in a studio- do some research! Google different genital piercings, learn what they are and what the pros and cons for them may be. Learn about what anatomy is needed for these piercings, what jewelry they wear. And come prepared with a backup piercing or two in case you don’t have the anatomy for the piercing you were planning on. Some clients even schedule an anatomy consult first, find out what they are suited for, and go from there to research and plan. I have a great genital faq here to help you get started on your research and deciding what, if any, genital piercings are right for you.
The Day Of
For the day of your piercing, there’s some things you can do to make this process easier and more comfortable for you. To start, get good rest the night before, and eat a good meal the morning of. I would ideally take the day of and after your piercing to rest and relax, as these can be physically taxing piercings, but also often can bring up a large mix of emotions and it’s nice to have some time to rest and process. Genital piercings can bring feelings of confidence, euphoria, gender affirmation, and bodily reclamation. But sometimes these can elicit feelings of shame, anxiety, and stress thanks to emotional baggage we have about our bodies, our sexuality, and negative connotations with sex and nudity. It is very normal to experience a complicated mix of emotions after these piercings, and having the rest of the day to process and hold space for that is ideal.
Many clients stress about hygiene before a genital piercing. Do I shave? Do I wax? Etc. You don’t have to remove any hair in the area if you don’t want to. However, bear in mind while things heal you’ll need to pause on hair removal. So if you prefer things trimmed, shaved, or waxed, you’ll be waiting a while to do that again. Many folks choose to trim or shave for piercing, just to make cleaning and healing easier for themselves, and knowing they won't be able to for a bit. It’s by no means a requirement however. If you have access to a shower or bath its polite to shower up before coming in. That said many clients travel for genital work, may be driving from far, or may have a limited schedule, so it’s not required, and there’s nothing wrong if you are unable to.
I would wear comfortable clothing the day of, bottoms and shoes that are easy to remove as you’ll want to be undressed from the waist down for piercing. Please note that genital piercings can bleed, so wear underwear you don’t mind getting blood on. Most clients find supportive underwear is the most comfortable. Full coverage cotton panties, briefs, or boxer briefs are all great choices. I also suggest going to the bathroom at the studio before piercing.
A Note on Arousal
There is never, ever, any need for any clients to be aroused or stimulated during a genital piercing. Ever. This means for penile piercings, there is no need to be erect. For vulva piercings, there is no need to be aroused or wet.
From a client perspective, this means your piercer should not ask you to become aroused. They should not stimulate any areas, penetrate you, or otherwise be inappropriate. As a part of piercing we may need to touch, press, and manipulate tissue, but a good piercer will often narrate what they are doing, and inform you the touch is clinical and technical, not sexual. If a piercer makes you uncomfortable, or is being sexual, please do not hesitate to leave. Trust your gut, trust your instinct, and stay safe.
The same goes in reverse. Clients do not need to be erect or aroused. Your piercer is a service technician providing you a non sexual service. This means you need to treat your piercer with respect. Making sexually suggestive comments or innuendos, flirting, touching yourself sexually, all of these are inappropriate behavior and grounds for a piercer to decline service. Most piercers who are experienced in genital piercings have a one strike rule and strong boundaries. This conduct is not acceptable and will quickly be shut down, and often may result in your services being refused and you being turned away from the studio.
That said, accidental erections and arousal can happen during piercing, and if it is accidental it’s no big deal. The piercer may mention that it will need to stop before you continue, and may give you a moment to relax. Some folks are concerned about accidentally orgasming during a piercing, and this is incredibly unlikely to happen. This is more like a pap smear than something fun or exciting, and usually your anatomy is scared not aroused.
Likewise, conversations about sex are a part of genital piercings. For clients, if you are getting this piercing for a specific function, goal, or kink, please tell us! If we know we can approach things differently and better help you with your goals. For piercers, this may mean mentioning masturbation, sex, toys, and other subjects as part of our conversations. All of these interactions should be informative and respectful. We can communicate important information that relates to sex and sexuality without it being a sexual conversation. Respect from both parties is key.
The Actual Piercing
When you come in, often a consultation is done first. You are brought to a private, enclosed room and a piercer takes a quick peek at your anatomy, makes sure you are able to get the piercing, and determines what jewelry will be appropriate. If you aren’t a good candidate for the piercing, the piercer will explain why not. The consultation is a great time to ask any questions you have. From there you will review jewelry, and fill out your consent form while your piercer preps the jewelry and room.
When its time for the actual piercing, your piercer will clean and mark the area. They will show you the marks and discuss placement, and then walk you through the piercing process. Most piercers instruct you on breathing through the piercing, and will tell you what each touch and sensation feels like to help eliminate any anxiety or concerns. The entire process usually takes 10-30 minutes from consultation to check out.
Genuinely the hardest part for most folks is removing their clothes in front of someone. Nudity is a taboo, vulnerable thing that many of us struggle with. As someone who has been piercing for over a decade however, I assure you that to us it is simply skin. We as piercers see these body parts day in and day out, and it becomes a normal part of our job not unlike a doctor or nurse. A good piercer is comfortable with any and all bodies, and is not judging you or looking at you with anything but a technical gaze.
After piercing your piercer will often go over healing care and instructions. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have forgotten earlier. Don’t stress forgetting something, as piercers are happy to answer any extra questions you think up and a great piercer is accessible to you during the healing process.
Don’t hesitate to contact your piercer with questions or concerns during the healing process. If you are ever unsure if something is normal, healing well, etc, we are here to help! A piercers job isn’t just doing the piercing, it’s also assisting with healing. And with genitals, it can also be assisting with function. Piercing not working with a certain toy? Having a hard time getting what you need from this piercing? Consider asking your piercer! Often we have encountered this before and can offer professional advice. So use us as a resource!
You’ll want to follow the aftercare instructions you’ve been given during the full length of the healing process, and you’ll be spending the first few days post piercing becoming well acquainted with your new piercing as you clean it. After a few months when things are fully healed you’ll be exploring a world of new and exciting sensation with your new piercing!
If you’v been considering a genital piercing I encourage you to do some research and then head in to see a piercer and find out if it’s right for you. These piercings can be incredibly empowering and impactful as well as functional for many clients, and they are some of the most rewarding piercings we as piercers get to do. Happy Healing!
Blog Image by Rob McConnel