Today let’s talk about the VCH piercing! A VCH or Vertical Clitoral Hood piercing is arguably the most popular vulva genital piercing in studios around the country. And with good reason- out of all vulva piercings we offer these are the easiest to get and heal, boast the largest selection of Jewelry choices, and are both fashionable and functional. A VCH passes vertically through the tissue of the hood, which rests over the clitoris. These piercings are also very common to have correct anatomy for, meaning many clients are able to get this piercing. These are great, functional piercings when done correctly. That said, like any piercing ensuring you are seeing an experienced piercer who will do these correctly is key, as the risks from piercings done incorrectly are high, and with genital piercings they are higher. This blog will have photos later down, please only read if you are 18+
Correct Anatomy is Key
For a VCH we need enough tissue to pierce, and have the piercing be stable. There also needs to be enough room under the tissue of the hood for jewelry to rest comfortably. For years, a Q-tip test has been a popular way for clients to check their anatomy at home- gently de fluffing a qtip, putting lubrication on it, and sliding it under the hood. If the majority of the head of the q-tip fits, you were suited, if it didn’t you weren’t. However, this test is a bit outdated, and for many anatomies doesn’t take into consideration natural variations. While this is a good guideline, there are other ways to assess anatomy and I wouldn’t take this as a hardline yes or no. There are other tools and factors that go into professional piercers assessing this tissue, and I’ve seen plenty of clients who thought they failed the qtip test at home still be able to get this piercing. That said, there are clients who can not get this piercing. If there is not enough hood for us to pierce, if it is too tightly bound to the tissue behind it and there is no room for jewelry, or a some other anatomical differences, we can’t do it. A good piercer will assess your anatomy before piercing, and discuss with you if you are or aren’t suitable for this piercing, and what Jewelry you may wear.
Jewelry for these to start is 12g and 10g curved and straight barbells. Hoops can be worn once healed, but generally aren’t ideal for healing. These should not be done thinner then a 12g for stability- thinner and they can tear if snagged or caught. Thicker allows for added stability particularly in such a high movement area. Plain beads are standard, but depending on your anatomy you can also wear cute gemstones, opals, and other decorative ends! I strongly suggest bezel settings for VCH piercings rather then prong settings- natural secretions can build up in open settings like prongs and cause irritation. Prongs can also be scratchy and irritating. Smooth settings with closed backs on more decorative pierces are the most hygienic. With a smooth setting you can easily wipe away any debris or buildup with some non woven gauze and keep your piece looking bright and beautiful. If you are to do a prong, a cab set crown setting with extra polishing for the crown is easier to keep clean as well.
Many clients who wear curves prefer wearing a larger bead on the bottom as they find that more functional. Some also enjoy wearing solid 14k gold Jewelry and larger beads, as gold is much heavier than implant grade titanium or steel, and can increase sensation.
Functional- Not Magical
There is this urban legend that floats around in the world about VCH piercings. “Once you get it pierced you’ll orgasm all the time! Just wearing jeans or walking will do it!” I’m going to disappoint some people right now- this is absolutely just a myth. A VCH doesn’t magically do anything. In fact, most clients say while they notice it sometimes in specific positions and activities, it’s mostly just kinda there. If your goal is magical orgasms, just buy a really good vibrator. That being said this piercing is functional- and in certain positions or for specific activities you’ll notice it’s there, and it can be enjoyable! But the converse is also true- it may feel uncomfortable or awkward in certain positions or activities, and depending on jewelry your partner may find it scratchy or uncomfortable as well. Like anything this piercing has Pro’s and Con’s, and it may not always have just pros for everyone. Please consider that before you decide to get this piercing done. I do see some clients disappointed because they were led to believe this piercing would be magical, and it in fact is not.
Another urban legend is loosing sensation from this piercing. As this piercing is not done through the clitoris it’s self, there’s no actual concern of loosing sensation in the clitoris. Most of this fear comes from people doing this piercing incorrectly, which can damage sensation. When this piercing is done correctly, many clients find they are more sensitive initially when the piercing is fresh, and they return to normal sensitivity as it heals. This often contributes to clients thinking they lost sensitivity, when really they returned to normal. That said, if this is done incorrectly it can cause permanent scarring and damage to the hood, or an inexperienced piercer could damage the clitoris. This could effect sensation, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure you are seeing an experienced piercer who is going to do this piercing for you correctly. Some clients who are very sensitive already find the constant touching of the bead can help normalize the feeling of sensation there, which can be interpreted as loosing sensation.
Considerations for the Day Of
I always get lots of questions about coming in to actually get this piercing so let’s review some. Do you need to shave? Nope! If you do’t normally shave or wax, you can come in as you naturally are. However, if you do typically shave or wax I would suggest getting that done before piercing, shaving can happen day of or before, waxing should happen about a week before. We are going to suggest waiting for about 1-2 months before waxing or shaving again so the piercing has time to heal initially.
If you are on your cycle it’s totally fine for you to still come in and get pierced! I suggest bringing fresh products with you so you aren’t wearing any used products against your new piercing. Tampons and Diva Cups are a bit easier to manage than pads with these piercings. If a piercer tells you it’s not ok to be pierced on your cycle, that’s a huge red flag and I would not return to that piercer. If your piercer makes you feel uncomfortable or shameful about it as well, I would also leave. There is nothing shameful about being on your cycle, it’s very normal.
Considerations for Healing
The biggest ask is when you can resume having sex. It really comes down to two things- comfort and hygene. If everything feels comfortable, great! If the piercing is sore or tender, or certain movements, touches, or toys hurt, burn, sting or pinch, I would stop, and wait a week or two before trying that again. For many clients, they feel comfortable resuming things with this piercing after 1-4 weeks. Hygene is the other big factor. You and your partners should be cleaning up well before and after, and you should clean your piercing. I also suggest protection for the first month- we are’t worried about STD’s but we are worried about other peoples unique bacteria and bodily fluids- yes, even your primary partner, even someone you’ve been with for years. I also suggest water based lubrication not silicone based while this heals!
Clothing wise avoid lacy underwear that may catch or snag- fishnets fall into this category as well. Stick with underwear that feels comfortable and doesn’t rub on the piercing.
General Advice for any Genital Piercing
When considering getting any kind of genital piercing, there are a few good considerations to have in mind. Are you looking for something functional? What kind of function are you desiring? What stimulation do you prefer? What kind of sex do you have? How do you masturbate? Would you prefer something that’s just decorative? Do you want to stretch your piercing in the future? Ideally, what would this piercing do for you? Take your time to think over these things, or discuss them with a partner. It’s also important to remember that every vulva and penis is very unique in shape and size, and not everyone has the right anatomy for every piercing. There are some that most anatomy can get, and some that few can. Take a look at photos on my site, and feel free to come in for a consult to assess your anatomy and let you know what piercings you can get. I always encourage clients to come in for a consult if they’d like- good piercers are happy to discuss anatomy, function, and lifestyle with you, and your partner, and work with you to find the best piercing for your needs.
VCH piercings are adorable, fun, and functional piercings which are easy to get and heal. If you are interested in getting this piercing please do some good research on your piercer and ensure you are seeing someone who will assess your anatomy correctly, place your piercing correctly, and help you through the healing process.
To view more examples check out my genital piercing portfolio. For further reading
Unpopular Opinion: Genital Piercings
Genital Aftercare: Myths and Misinformation