Continuing our series on stretching piercings, we are talking about stretching Prince Albert AKA PA piercings today! If you are unfamiliar with this piercing, I have a great 101 guide on them here. PA’s are arguably one of the most popular penile genital piercings we do, and they are incredibly popular to stretch as well! That said, stretching can be a bit of a process with these, so let’s take a closer look. Before beginning a note that we are discussing a penile piercing and this article is 18+ and will have mentions of sex and kink subjects. Also I suggest reading my basic ear stretching guide before this. This guide explains the foundation of how stretching works, safe materials, and sizing. As such I won’t be reviewing this information here.
The How…and the How Long
When it comes to simple stretching like lobes, natural stretching is all that’s needed. But as we begin to look at other areas of the body, stretching can be a slightly more complicated process. With PA’s, natural stretching is often effective for many. In fact, PA’s have somewhat of a reputation of being a self stretching piercing. What I mean when I say that is the piercing naturally loosens very easily over time, to where the next size can fit easily with no tools or force needed. PA’s are great at this because the weight of jewelry worn here coupled with the movement and stretching of erection and intercourse allow these piercings to loosen up easily. Clients will often notice a visible gap around their jewelry when they gently tug it to one side, and also notice more urine leaking during urination, a sign their piercing channel has loosed up. If this is the case for you, you can often gently insert the next size with some lubrication and a gentle hand, no tools needed.
That being said, not everyone is so fortunate with this placement. Scarring from circumcision, scarring from previous piercings, tight foreskin, HRT, and different skin and medical conditions can all cause stretching to be a much much slower process in this area. If that is the case, you may need to use tools to assist you with these stretches. I have a great blog post here that discusses the use of tapers, and where they are and aren’t appropriate. It’s worth noting if you do end up needing a taper to assist with stretching your PA please find a well made one designed for this piercing. Most tapers sold for stretching are poorly made with harsh, sudden size graduations that can cause blowouts on ears, let alone a PA. And yes, you can blow out a PA stretching too fast or forcing something with tools. And this is not an area you want to deal with an unsightly or uncomfortable blowout.
PA’s can be variable and you may need no tools the first few stretches, and find a stubborn one you need a tool with. Likewise, you may start out needing tapers, and eventually find you can naturally stretch as time goes on. The biggest thing is to listen to your body, and also find a piercer experienced in stretching these piercings to assist if needed.
The next biggest factor is time between stretches. For lobes typically 2-3 months is enough time between sizes. The PA can be variable, and wile some clients can stretch every 2-3 months, many clients find that it can take longer. It is not uncommon for a client to need 4 or even 6 months between stretches. They key is to listen to your body. PA stretching can sometimes feel unpleasant and like a tight, stinging sensation. But it should not feel excruciatingly painful, you shouldn’t bleed, and the tissue should remain intact and healthy colored after a stretch. Intense pain or bleeding are both signs you stretched too soon or too much, and if they happens you should downsize asap and treat it like a fresh piercing.
For clients struggling to get their piercings to the next size, there are things that can help. The biggest is half sizes, and going by .5mm jumps as opposed to 1mm jumps. Many companies can custom make half sizes and other needed sizes for stretching. The other thing you'll see is using weight to help the stretching process. This was popular in the 90’s and remains popular for kink and stimulation purposes. Beyond the sexual function of weights, some find they do also assist with stretching for PAs. Wearing light to medium weight fishing weighs or jewelry weights like Guiche weights from your jewelry is fairly popular. That said, excess weight can cause thin spots so please monitor your piercing, go slowly, and listen to your body. In ears where tissue is slightly less durable to weight, weights should never be used for stretching. The tissue of a PA however is very different, more elastic, and many clients already use weights in a sexual fashion from this piercing. Any use of weights outside of play should be done with the advice of a professional piercer, careful monitoring, and an awareness of the risks weights can cause
Lubricant also makes stretching much easier. If possible asking your piercer for some packets of sterile surgical lubricant to keep at home for stretching is ideal. If that's not accessible to you, I suggest a body safe water based personal lubricant. Always patch test to ensure these products are safe, but if you have an unscented, unflavored water based lubricant you currently use, that’s likely perfect.
Uncircumcised and Circumcised
Circumcision does play a role in the stretching process. For uncircumcised clients, you want to ensure that as you stretch the jewelry and piercing doesn’t interfere with foreskin. For many, this means using curved barbells to stretch, and often wearing MNM ends rather than beads to minimize pinning the foreskin. You also often have to pay some extra care to keeping the jewelry and piercing channel clean. Some clients do wear and stretch with captives and circulars comfortably, but again pay attention to the fit of jewelry with the foreskin.
For circumcised clients, the scarring you have from circumcision can sometimes effect stretching. If scarring is minimal and healthy, it usually doesn’t impact much. But some folks have thick, dense, or ropy scarring from their circumcision that does not take well to stretching. If that is the case, you will often need to wait much longer between sizes and use tapers to assist in stretching. Half sizes can also be crucial.
Captive bead rings, circular barbells, and curved barbells are all very popular for stretching with, and with good reason. Curves and Circulars are threaded, and allow threaded tapers to screw right into them. This is often one of the easiest and most comfortable ways to stretch. Being threaded makes the pieces user friendly to change in and out yourself at home, and makes stretching at home easy. That being said large gauge threaded pieces do get expensive, and with rising costs of titanium and steel these pieces get pricy fast.
Captives are awesome as they are quite affordable pieces, even at larger gauges. They also have a gentle, rounded end which is great for natural stretching. That said, these rings can be difficult for even piercers to install, and at larger sizes they become almost impossible to take in and out without someone very experienced assisting with tools. For this reason past a 6g some clients go for screw on bead rings, which look like a captive but instead of the bead being held with tension, it threads down for ease of insertion and removal.
There are also segment and tribal dream rings. Segment rings suffer the same issues as large gauge captives, and while they are a very attractive and comfortable style, insertion and removal becomes complicated. Tribal dream rings were the style to wear in your PA in the 90’s and 00’s, and are a segment ring with a unique hex screw that allows the segment to be inserted and removed with hand tools. This style solved many of the issues with large gauge cptnces and segments. That said, it can be very difficult to find them from a quality maker, and low quality versions often have poorly aligned seams which can scratch and irritate the urethra, as well as collect bacteria, leading to UTIS or irritation for your partners. There is certainly a void in the industry for these produced in a quality material, although Tam Gannon (http://www.tamgannon.com/catalogue/body-modification/tools/round-and-oval#.YeX2dS-B1QI) has been known to make these upon request.
Another popular piece to wear in a stretched PA are long term chastity devices. For many clients, these devices are the goal behind healing and stretching a PA. Much like piercing jewelry, all devices are not created equal. I personally always refer clients to steelwerks, who has been making high quality implant grade chastity devices for the industry for many many years. His devices are made with implant grade materials, and the jewelry used with them meets standards. His devices are also thoughtfully designed with daily cleaning and piercing health in mind. Many cheaper devices you can find online are not easy to clean and maintain, and cause cause irritation, buildup issues, and even tearing and damage to your piercings. With devices like these its incredibly important to have them made and measured to your size and anatomy, I would never ever trust any one size fits all or fits most devices.
Risks With Stretching
It’s worth noting that all stretching should be considered permanent. There is never any guarantee of piercings shrinking up or returning back to size. So, if you decide to stretch your PA make sure you are committed to the process. One of the primary concerns with stretching for a PA is an accidental keratotomy. A keratotomy is the process of splitting the head of the penis along one side to expose the urethra. For some people, this is actually their goal. For most however, it isn’t. It’s important while stretching to keep an eye on the space between your piercing and your urethra, and the health of the tissue there. While many clients can safely stretch a few sizes, not everyone can go to very large sizes. I have met many clients whose dream was a 00g or 1/2 PA, but with their anatomy this was not practical or realistic.
It’s easy to get focused on your goal with stretching and forget to enjoy the journey. But the journey is just as important, and our goals may change as our bodies reach different limitations. It’s also worth noting that your stretching goal may not work with your partners bodies. Keep all these things in mind, and stay flexible with your stretching. There may be setbacks, delays, and difficulties. Sometimes your piercing takes 3 months to be ready for a stretch and sometimes it takes 9. Sometimes we think a stretch was fine, but we wake up the next day in blinding discomfort and need to downsize because something is not right. Don’t be afraid to downsize, to wait longer, to take it slow. If your body feels comfortable at a size smaller then what you originally envisioned, that’s totally ok! If you want to stop at a size for months or years before going larger, that’s fine too! Your journey is your own, and it looks totally different from everyone elses. Please be kind and gentle to your body through the journey of stretching.