FAQ

Aftercare

General Piercing Aftercare
Tattoo Aftercare

Specific Aftercare:

Earlobe
Eyebrow
Female Genital
Lip and Labret
Male Genital
Navel
Nipple
Nose
Tongue

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Hints and Common Sense
Eyebrow Piercings
Nipple Piercings
Ear Piercings
Nostril Piercings
Tongue Piercings
Lips, Labrets and Madonna Piercings
Male Genital Piercings
Female Genital Piercings

Helpful Hints and Common Sense

Stay healthy

The healthier your lifestyle, the more quickly you can heal. This includes eating well, easing stress and getting enough sleep. A good multivitamin, especially one containing zinc and vitamin C, can help your body rebuild itself. Avoid getting pierced while you are sick, as your immune system is already strained and healing will be more difficult. Also, avoid getting pierced while pregnant; your body's energies are focused elsewhere. Reduce smoking and avoid recreational drug use.

Keep hands off

Dirty fingers are an excellent way to get a piercing infected. Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap before handling your piercing or jewellery. Contrary to popular rumour, dirty rings do not need to be turned through all day. This only pulls germs into the hole. Unless you are cleaning your piercing, keep your hands off!

Check jewellery

Any jewellery with screw-on balls, discs, etc. should be checked occasionally to make sure the ends are on tight (especially tongues, labrets and navels).

Do not constrict your piercings

Your piercing will not heal properly if the jewellery is held in an unnatural position. Therefore, avoid wearing tight clothing over a healing piercing. This is especially true of navel piercings. For these, the waistline of the clothing must be low enough that it will not hit the piercing when you stand, bend over or sit down. Beware of large belts, stockings and body suits, sit up straight, and do not sleep on your stomach.

Bras may be problematic for some women with healing nipple piercings. If your rings are being twisted under or are getting irritated, try cotton tank tops or sports bras instead. Otherwise, fold a clean piece of cotton gauze or paper towel into a pad and place it inside your bra, under the bottom part of the ring (so the ring is supported parallel to the body).

Avoid oral contact

Mouths harbor lots of bacteria and germs. Putting them on your piercing is one of the fastest ways to get an infection. Avoid unprotected oral sex while healing genital piercings, especially in the first two weeks. Keep others' mouths off tasty ear piercings, navels and nipples until healed, and avoid wet kissing with fresh oral piercings. Don’t share drinks, forks, etc.

Avoid other people’s bodily fluids

Remember, this is an open wound and should be treated accordingly. Even if you are monogamous, you and your partner have different bacteria and can give each other infections. If you aren't monogamous, you could be sharing more than just the moment. Pay especially close attention with new oral and genital piercings.

Keep make-up and hair products away

Dirty hair should be kept off fresh ear and facial piercings. Clean piercings after applying hair products and make-up, as they contain irritants and may harbor bacteria. Also consider that telephones and eyeglasses can come into contact facial and ear piercings. Wipe them down with antiseptic and keep them away from piercings.

Cut down on smoking

Not just for oral piercings, but also for facial piercings. Besides leaving smoke residue in your piercings, smoking can increase health risks and lengthen healing time. They don't call it a "dirty little habit" for nothing. Cut down or quit if possible.

Wear natural fibres

Natural fibres (cotton, silk, etc.) allow your piercing to breathe; synthetics do not. Piercings that are continually "sweaty" may be slower to heal. Be particularly aware of bras (padding!) on nipple piercings and undergarments over genital piercings.

Wear clean clothes

The clothes over a fresh piercing can harbor bacteria and other infectious matter. Make sure your sheets and bedding are clean as well.

Keep pets away from new piercings

Fluffy may be cute, but she also sheds and walks around in her litterbox, and who knows where Spot's mouth has been? This also means keeping pets out of your bed during healing.

Be careful when you swim

Sea salt and chlorine may accelerate healing, but the bacteria and pollution in water do not. If possible, avoid swimming for the first few weeks of a new piercing, and always clean your piercing when you get out of the water (EarCare or saline comes in handy here). Public pools, lakes and hot tubs are especially nasty germ breeding zones. If you must swim during healing, consider using a water-tight wound covering such as Tegaderm, available at your pharmacy, and also sold at our studio.

Use COMMON SENSE

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your healing. PAY ATTENTION to your body. It will tell you if you are doing something wrong. LISTEN to it. If you think you may have a problem, or need advice in any piercing matter, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Eyebrow Piercings

Can I still pluck/wax my eyebrows?

Absolutely. You'll just want to avoid the area right around the hole during healing, and be sure not to get any cosmetics in the actual piercing. Once it is healed, you can take the jewellery out to wax, then put it right back in. (Be sure to wash your hands and keep the jewellery clean. You might want to have some EarCare solution handy if you are in a salon.)

Do you have to shave off my eyebrow to pierce it?

Nope. We wouldn't be able to make the jewellery circle your brow line if we shaved it off. Besides, you'd look awfully silly for a week or two.

What happens if it "grows out?"

Your body replaces skin cells from the inside out, growing a new layer of skin underneath, and then sloughing off the outermost layer. If you put a piercing through flat skin, like an eyebrow, the jewellery may eventually migrate towards the surface as the layers it pierces grow out. This is not dangerous, but it does mean that eyebrow piercings are generally not 100% permanent. They may last many, many years with no sign of migration at all. It will depend on the person, how pronounced your eyebrows are, and how well you treat it. If you abuse your piercing, it will migrate faster. Many of the people that we pierced 6 or 7 years ago still have perfectly healed eyebrow piercings.

If the jewellery seems to have very little skin left in it, or the skin around it gets shiny, red, peels, or the hair stops growing, take it out. (If you leave the jewellery in until it grows all the way out, you may be left with a scar.) Keep cleaning it until the holes have sealed up. If you still want the piercing, hang on to your jewellery, and get it done again once the scar tissue is completely gone. You can soften up any scar tissue faster by massaging the area with cocoa butter a couple of times a day.

Will it scar?

If you take care of your piercing, scarring is unlikely and would usually be under the hair of your eyebrow. If, however, you play with the piercing, let it get infected, force it to lay flat, tear it, or abuse it with harsh chemicals like peroxide, your chances of scarring are greater. If your piercing begins growing out, remove it before it gets all the way to the surface to avoid scarring. If you are left with a lump of tougher tissue or other marks, massaging the area with pure cocoa butter a few times a day will minimize scarring.

Can I go blind?

No. Do you really think we would be doing these piercings if this were a possibility?

How do I know if it's infected?

If your piercing swells up later (i.e. days, weeks or months after getting it done), it may be infected. Infected eyebrow piercings often get very swollen and sore, and may have yellow, green or bloody discharge or no discharge at all. The whole area may get shiny or itch. If this happens to you, follow the recommendation on our aftercare page for problematic piercings. After doing several warm saltwater soaks you will probably get a lot of fluid out of the piercing. That is what you want; keep it up. Saltwater soaks several times a day will usually clear up a minor infection within a couple of days.

Usual causes of infection are touching it with dirty hands, getting cosmetics in the piercing, contact with hair products or dirty hair, and smoking. Try to eliminate these during healing (and afterwards!).

What if I need to hide it?

During the initial healing time, we recommend that you do not remove your jewellery at all. Once the piercing is healed, you can get a clear acrylic retainer which will keep the hole open but which is very difficult to see. We can supply these for as little as £2.00.

Some people find that after a year or so, their eyebrow piercing will stay open for a few hours or days without jewellery in it. If you try this option, wait at least a year, and then be very cautious about how long you leave it. Remember that irritated or infected piercings close faster than healthy, clean ones.

Can't you hit a nerve or blood vessel that will screw up my face?

This is why you want to get pierced by an experienced, informed professional. While there are some blood vessels and facial nerves in the area of the piercing, they are easily avoided by a piercer who knows his/her work. Your piercer will probably pinch or roll the skin in his/her fingers before beginning the piercing. This is to get a feel for the texture of your skin and to check for anything which needs to be avoided. If you didn't come in with a facial tic, you won't leave with one!

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Nipple Piercings

Does it hurt?

Yes, but not as much as you would think. Women are especially surprised that it is not half as bad as they expected (often less painful than a navel piercing!). It's kind of like being bitten really hard.

Is there any reason I shouldn't get them both done at the same time?

That depends. If you are healing and caring for one, it is just as easy to be dealing with both at the same time. Get it over with, so to speak. Also, at our shop you do save some money if you get both done in the same sitting, rather than coming in for separate visits. However, if you get them done separately you still have one to play with while the other one heals. You have to decide...

Will they show through clothing?

This depends on whether or not you want them to. Your choice of jewellery and of clothing will dictate this one. Barbells with small balls can be less noticeable (or invisible) under tight clothing. Rings may give you that 'double nipple' effect with skin-tight clothes. For women, padded bras (and miracle bras) hide most jewellery. But then again, it is a shame not to show them off! You can always get extra balls (smaller or larger) for your barbells, depending on your mood.

Which is better, a ring or a barbell?

For men, either will work, unless you play contact sports and need a barbell. For women, it depends on your nipple/breast shape. Feel free to stop in for a free consultation with a piercer if you¹re not sure what shape yours are.

Can small or inverted nipples be pierced?

In almost all cases, yes. If your nipple stands out when it is played with or cold, then it can be pierced. If it is very small, you may be limited on how thick the initial piercing will be. However, nipples often grow once pierced, so the piercing can usually be stretched after healing. If your nipples are so inverted or flat that they will not come up even when tweaked, your jewellery would most likely grow out, and we would not recommend piercing.

Will I lose sensation after the piercing?

Actually, the opposite. The nerves in your nipple are very spread out, not in a single bundle, waiting to be severed. (Frankly, we would not be doing this piercing if this were a likely possibility.) If the piercing is placed correctly and done with appropriate jewellery, you should gain sensitivity. After all, these piercings became popular, and have remained so, because not only do they look sexy; they feel great!

Can women still breastfeed after piercing their nipples?

Absolutely. Piercing your nipples will not affect your ability to breastfeed. Your body evolved with the intention of being able to reproduce and feed your offspring, no matter what. It has covered the angles. You have many many milk ducts in each nipple, not just one central channel which could be blocked. (Imagine a sponge, rather than a synthetic bottle nipple.) Your milk ducts can also reroute themselves if faced with an impediment, much the way capillaries or streams will divert around a blockage. Women who have had their nipples pierced may even have a lower incidence of infections, irritation or scar tissue from breastfeeding, probably from increased blood flow and hygiene, and simple toughening up.

If you do opt to both pierce and nurse, you can leave your jewellery in for feedings, take it out every time, or let them close and repierce after weaning. If you leave the jewellery in, you will want to wear barbells and make sure the balls are tight before each nursing session. A suckling baby can actually suck the bead out of a captive ring and choke. Of course you want to avoid getting pierced if you are currently nursing or think you may be pregnant. You want your piercings to be fully healed before the little one goes anywhere near them, and getting pierced while pregnant is never recommended.

Does piercing one side or the other mean I'm gay?

Don’t be daft! You’re not in the school playground now, you know!

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Ear Piercings

Do I need to turn my earrings several times a day?

No. The practice of turning rings is left over from times when people used straw or string as temporary jewellery during healing. With such porous pieces, turning was necessary to keep the body from trying to heal into the jewellery. With any commercially produced body jewellery, however, this is not a threat. All acceptable jewellery for fresh piercings should be of non-reactive, non-porous material with a mirror finish. Your skin will not grow into such smooth metal or glass jewellery, so turning it is not necessary.

In fact, turning your rings during the day is potentially hazardous to your healing. If you are using dirty hands to turn a dirty ring through your piercing, you are putting all those germs right inside your piercing. You could easily end up with an infection this way. Forcing those dried crusties through the piercing increases the risk, as it can tear the fresh tissue inside, and then infect it with bacteria clinging to the dried fluids.

Bottom line : never never never turn your jewellery through the piercing UNLESS you have just washed your hands, your piercing and the jewellery with antibacterial soap, and have washed all those crusties off the ring. If you are not cleaning your piercing, keep your hands off of it!

How soon can I change my jewellery?

Once the piercing is healed. For lobes, 6 - 8 weeks; for cartilage, 6 - 12 months, minimum.

How soon can I leave the piercing empty?

This depends on the person. Even though lobes often stay open, they will close when they are still fresh. Most piercings will close if left empty during the first year for lobes, two years for cartilage.

How long until I can start stretching?

Again, wait until your piercings are healed. Then take it slow - no more than one size a month.

Why can't I clean my piercings with alcohol or peroxide?

While both these chemicals may be great at killing germs on hard surfaces or on skinned knees, they can also kill skin cells. This may not be a problem if you are using them once or twice on a cut, but if you are using them several times a day for weeks or months you will end up killing the cells you are trying to grow, and sabotaging your own healing. They are meant for first aid, not healing piercings.

What is this red bump on my cartilage piercing? Is it an infection?

Usually not. If you are getting greenish or smelly discharge out of it, you may have an infection. However, if you get clear, white or slightly yellow discharge, or if the piercing appears otherwise normal, chances are you have an irritation.

Cartilage piercings are extremely sensitive to abuse. They do not like to be slept on, hit with the telephone, played with, yanked by hair, smashed by helmets, or otherwise subjected to pressure. If you do any of these things, you will probably get a red or purple (or skin colored) lump right on the piercing. This is a type of scar tissue which your body builds up to protect skin cells from tearing. As long as whatever caused the irritation continues, the scar tissue will not go away. However, if you catch it soon enough, getting rid of the cause of the problem will usually make it clear up. (If you are sleeping on that side, stop doing it, etc.) If it doesn't go away, or if you aren't sure what is going on, feel free to stop in so one of our piercers can take a look at it.

You can also get this scar tissue by getting your cartilage pierced with a piercing gun, or by wearing ear studs or very thin or tight jewellery in the piercing. If your jewellery is a problem, change it! If you were pierced with a gun, the scarring may be permanent.

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Nostril Piercings

How long until I can change my jewellery?

We would not recommend you change the jewellery for at least the first 6 months. Your piercing will take at least this long to be fully healed, and changing the jewellery before this time can result in irritating or tearing the piercing channel, thereby increasing the risk of infection and scarring which can lead to difficulty reinserting jewellery. You may have that one friend who did it, but trust us - we see lots of screwed up piercings from people who've tried. In the majority of cases it's bad news.

How long until I can leave the piercing empty?

Nostril piercings tend to close down very quickly. The inside of the piercing is a mucus membrane, which usually will not stay open without jewellery in it. We have seen fully healed (1+ years) nostril piercings shrink down within 10 minutes. For this reason, we suggest you always keep jewellery in your nostril piercing. If you need to hide it, try a clear acrylic retainer or small piece of clear thick fishing line (burn and flatten one end to melt into a disk). These are nearly impossible to see, and work great for sports and surgery too.

If you must leave the piercing empty, wait at least a year before trying. Then start with just a couple of minutes at a time and work your way up. Always be sure your hands, piercing and jewellery are clean when you attempt to reinsert jewellery. Using hot compresses on the inside and outside of your nostril can help relax tissue and ease reinsertion. Also, definitely lube up the jewellery (K-Y jelly or other water-based lube is best) before sliding it in. If you do annoy the piercing, soothe it afterwards with a warm saltwater soak.

Can I get the piercing wherever I want?

Traditional placement is in the crease of the nostril, which is the thinnest part of the cartilage and heals the fastest. To find the crease, look in the mirror and flare your nostrils. Almost anywhere in that bend will work, and most people have one spot in there that looks most flattering on them. You can pierce a little below the crease, although we would caution you not to pierce lower just to wear a smaller ring. If you put the piercing in an awkward spot to wear smaller jewellery, it will just look awkward, not discreet. It’s far better to get the piercing in a place that flatters your face and adjust the jewellery accordingly. You can always get a ring that "just hugs" once the piercing is healed.

Why can't I get a really tight-fitting ring?

Even if you never see it, the nostril tissue is going to swell slightly after the piercing and during healing. You need enough room on the jewellery to allow for this swelling, and to allow you to move the jewellery through the piercing during cleaning. If the jewellery is too tight, it will irritate the tissue, often resulting in pitting and scarring (which can be permanent). To have a perfectly healed piercing, allow your piercer to fit initial jewellery to you and switch to something that "just fits" only once your piercing is fully healed. Never wear jewellery that is too tight.

Why shouldn't I get my nose pierced with a gun? It's cheap!

It may be cheaper, but it can be more painful, and it tends to result in some nasty scarring and, very often, an infection.

Piercing guns cannot be sterilised, so there is often micro-spray of blood and body fluid in the gun from other people. This comes in contact with your jewellery and your piercing, and can result in everything from staph infections to hepatitis.

Furthermore, guns were not made for piercing cartilage. When they force an earring through your tissue with spring-loaded pressure, they can damage sensitive tissue and cause swelling and scarring. Since the jewellery they insert is too short for nostril tissue, it tends to become embedded in the skin, again resulting in more swelling and scarring. (You may have seen people with a large sunken hole that the stud sits in. Not pretty.) Scars may look like a pit or large hole, or may become red or purple raised lumps (like a keloid). These scars can be permanent.

In addition to these drawbacks, putting a regular earring stud in the nostril causes a hygiene problem. If you leave the back on the jewellery, you have a perfect situation for trapping mucus, dust and bacteria around the piercing hole - yuck. If you take the back off the stud, the earring can easily fall out, and nostrils tend to close very quickly, especially when new. Technically, this is what we call a no-win situation. Improve your odds - get pierced correctly.

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Tongue Piercings

Does it hurt?

Although it looks pretty scary, tongue piercing is one of the easiest for most people as far as pain goes. The first couple days of healing can be pretty uncomfortable until the swelling goes down, and speaking and eating normally can also be awkward while it is swollen, but the actual procedure is usually not too hard.

What happens if I pull my tongue back during the piercing?

This really doesn't happen. Even if you try to move, your piercer will be holding your tongue with a pair of forceps (clamps) which keep you from moving it. When you are working with an experienced piercer, there is very little you can do to mess up your piercing.

Will it affect my talking and eating?

Initially, yes. You will probably be swollen anywhere from 2 days to a week. During this time you may not be comfortable eating solid, crunchy or hot foods. Stick to softer things that you don't have to chew too much, or try tearing off bits and putting them back between your molars – it’s much easier to chew and swallow that way. This is a great excuse to eat ice cream and sport shakes.

Speech-wise, you will have some readjusting to do in the first week or so while you are swollen. If you speak a little more slowly and carefully, you should be fine. If you've ever tried talking in class with gum in your mouth, you know the drill. And don't stand too close to anybody – you may spit a lot at first!

Do I have to buy a whole new barbell in a week?

Nope, we change your first barbell for free! Your initial barbell will be a little long to allow for swelling. After 7 days we can generally change your bar to a slightly smaller one for comfort. Once all the swelling is gone and you are fully healed – usually about 4 weeks – you can get a barbell that fits closer. (That makes it easier to talk and to hide it. Also there is much less chance of accidentally biting on the barbell!)

With our barbells, both balls unscrew, so if you want a shorter one, you only have to buy a new middle (shaft). New shafts are only £2.00. You can also get balls of different colours or materials if you like – e.g. gemstones.

Can I damage my teeth or gums?

You can. The best way to minimize the risk is to get a shorter barbell after the first month. Most of the trouble comes from mis-sized jewellery (extra long barbells rubbing your gums, or you biting the barbell). And also, don’t play with the jewellery! The more you bite it or rub it on your teeth, the more chance of chipping them or eroding your gums. If you know you will play with it, try plastic balls. At least they will break before your teeth do.

Can I lose my sense of taste?

No. You have hundreds of taste buds, not one or two, and these are replaced every few days. (Ever had hot chocolate that was too hot, and made your tongue funny for a day or so?) Besides, if you remember school science, most of your tasting is done with the edges of the tongue. If you use Listerine to rinse, though, you may notice things taste different for a while. It's just very strong.

Can I change the jewellery myself?

Yup, easily. You just unscrew one end, pull it out, and slide the new one in. Simple. This piercing is also very easy to stretch, often by just inserting the next thicker size every couple of months. (Try drinking something hot first.) You just want to make sure not to leave the piercing empty. Even after just ten or twenty minutes, it can be tricky to get the post back in. (Again, try drinking something hot to loosen it up.)

Will I be able to hide it from work/school/family?

Once it is healed, no problem. We have clear plastic retainers which you can wear after the first month or so. However, during the first couple days, while it is difficult to talk normally, you may have some trouble. You can get your tongue pierced with a flesh-coloured disc (instead of a ball) on top, which does help. Your best bet is just not to laugh or shout in front of the person you’re hiding it from, and to cover your mouth when you yawn.

Could my tongue be too short?

There aren't very many people whose tongues are too short to pierce. Usually we just have to pierce them closer (but not too close!) to the tip. It is possible to have a normal length tongue with very tight webbing underneath, so you can't stick your tongue out at all. In this case, the webbing itself can be pierced with a thick, small diameter ring. That, or the webbing can be cut by a doctor, giving the tongue more movement and length.

What about kissing and oral sex?

You want to wait out the four weeks! We know you want to try out your new stuff, but remember you have an open wound in your mouth, so you could be exchanging blood in addition to saliva (and whatever else). If you are already sharing fluids with your partner, you could still pick up bacteria from them. If you are going to kiss them anyway, at least have them rinse their mouth beforehand, and rinse yours after. Make sure oral sex is fluid-safe, even if you don't normally use protection with your partner. Their body's normal bacteria are still foreign to your body and could cause an infection. Be sure to use condoms or dental dams (or non-porous plastic wrap). Once you are healed, you can go crazy again.

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Lip, Labret and Madonna Piercings

Does it hurt?

Yes, about the same as other piercings, although many folks say their lip piercings were some of their easiest. Oral tissue is very soft and easy to go through (compared to, say, navels or ear cartilage), so it tends to not be too bad.

Will it scar if / when I take it out?

More than anything, this depends on how your body scars and how you take care of it. Do large cuts disappear like a scratch, or do you get large, raised scars? In general, faces don't tend to scar too severely, so on most people any scarring doesn't look any worse than an old chicken pox or pimple scar. Of course, if you abuse a piercing (i.e. play with it excessively, rip it, etc.), it will be more likely to leave a mark.

Will the piercing affect eating?

It may be tender for a few days, but it shouldn't be difficult after that. We would suggest you avoid anything very spicy for a week or so as it can burn, and foods that are very hot in temperature may increase swelling during the first few days.

What about kissing and oral sex?

You'll really need to wait until you are healed to do anything involving fluids, even with your partner. You have an open wound in your mouth, so anything in your partner's saliva or body fluids (from normal bacteria to nasty viruses) can be exchanged. Your partner can also be exposed to your blood. Condoms, dental dams, non-porous plastic wrap and other barriers will come in very handy here (but bear in mind that spermicidal condoms may irritate fresh piercings). If you decide to kiss your partner anyway, at least have him/her rinse their mouth with antiseptic beforehand, and clean your mouth after. At the very least, you'll be kissing clean fresh breath, and you could be avoiding an unhappy infection.

One further note: If you open your mouth very wide with a fresh labret, you may find it stuck on your lower teeth. So be very careful performing any activities which require you to assume this position. At the very least, keep one hand free to unhook yourself, should the need arise!

Can I damage my teeth?

If you bite the post hard enough, yes, but gum damage is actually more of a risk than tooth damage. With labret and Madonna piercings, the disc back of a labret stud can irritate gums enough (even after healing) that another type of jewellery is desirable. Several other options do exist, including Bio-Plast labret studs (a special medical grade plastic), and of course there are a variety of rings too. The best way to eliminate the risk of tooth damage or gum erosion is to shorten the post as soon as it's comfortable to do so (about 8 weeks after piercing). If it doesn't stick out, it won't rub as much, and you won't be as tempted to play with it.

How about hiding it?

This one's already been taken care of. Once you are healed, you can get a clear acrylic labret retainer, which will keep your piercing open but is difficult to see. Unless someone is right up next to you, you should be fine.

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Male Genital Piercings

Do genital piercings hurt?

Yes, but not any more than other piercings do. They may look scarier, but they're just as easy to sit through. Most of the tissue you're having pierced is actually quite soft and thin, so it offers little resistance to a sharp needle. Of course the degree of intensity will vary depending on the person getting pierced, their state of mind, and which piercing they get.

Which piercings hurt less?

You never want to choose which piercing is right for you based on how much you think it's going to hurt. Granted, an ampallang or apadravya may not be the one to get if you’ve never been pierced before, but don't avoid the piercing you want because you think you can't sit through it. Others have, and you can.

Do I have to shave before my piercing?

No, but it can help. Piercings through the shaft aren't affected by shaving, but scrotum or guiche piercings can be a little easier to heal without hair becoming tangled in any scabbing. Shaving also makes marking the piercing a little easier (and therefore gets you done faster!). If you shave during healing, make sure to keep any shaving cream or hair clippings out of the fresh piercing.

What should I do to prepare myself?

As always, eat a good meal within 4 hours before getting pierced, and make sure there aren't any drugs or alcohol in your system. Make sure you've slept enough the night before and aren't under a lot of stress (or hungover). Give yourself a good bath or shower. This isn't necessarily for your piercer - although they will thank you! - but to help you feel more comfortable with your pants off in front of a (friendly!) stranger.

Do I have to be erect during the procedure?

No. Even during marking, the piercer should be able to determine how much extra space jewellery will need for erection and any normal swelling you may have during healing.

Which piercing will give me the most sensation?

That depends on the type of stimulation you're looking for. For urethral stimulation, the Prince Albert¹s the way to go. The frenum can give extra feeling to the sensitive underside of the shaft. The guiche gives external prostrate stimulation (and who doesn't like that?!). The ampallang and apadravya provide a different feeling altogether. Different strokes for different folks, so to speak.

Which piercing will my partner like most?

That depends on a lot of things. Which is better for oral sex? The PA and frenum can be yummy, while the ampallang and apadravya can sometimes get in the way (unless your partner has a very large mouth). For vaginal sex? The PA and apadravya are good for G-spot stimulation. Several women we know swear by the pubic for clitoral stimulation during face-to-face penetration. A large central scrotum ring can provide clitoral stimulation for 'doggy-style' sex. Other sex? You're going to have to experiment with your partner! (We can't give you all the answers!)

Is there a chance I could lose sensation?

No. Nerves in the penis are plentiful (obviously!). You have as much chance of losing sensation from a properly done piercing as you do developing hearing problems from an ear piercing.

Can this affect my ability to have children?

No. These piercings do not penetrate any part of the genitals involved in sperm production. Even scrotum piercings are only penetrating superficial layers of skin, not the actual sac.

Do I have to abstain from sex during the entire healing?

No, but you do have to be smart about it. You'll know when you¹re ready for sex and when you’re not quite there. You'll want to listen to your body and respect its limits. Sometimes this is several days, but more often several weeks. If you do have sex before healing is completed, use a condom and make sure you are fluid safe for everything - including oral sex! This is true even if you are monogamous with your partner. (Everyone has different bacteria natural to their body, so you can pick up an infection from your partner during healing even if you normally have unprotected sex.) This can force you to be more creative during sex, but that's the point, isn't it? Remember, sex isn’t just about putting your **** into something!

Will the Prince Albert , ampallang or apadravya affect urination? (i.e. Do I have to sit down to pee?)

Maybe. With initial jewellery, the effect is usually little more than an extra dribble, meaning you simply need to stand over the toilet instead of back from it. Stretching to larger jewellery can definitely redirect the stream a bit more. The bigger the jewellery, the more you'll have to practice.

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Female Genital FAQs

Does it hurt? Which piercings hurt less?

Contrary to what you might expect, most female genital piercings are among the easiest piercings to sit through and to heal. Because the tissue being pierced is so thin and soft, the needle slides right through. Due to the copious blood supply (note the darker color of the skin), the area heals very quickly too - often in just a couple weeks!

That said, some piercings will obviously be easier to handle than others. Inner labia and clitoral hood piercings tend to be extremely manageable.

Outer labia and Christina piercings tend to heal more slowly and feel more like a bruise during healing. None of these are beyond your ability to handle if you want them.

Which piercing will give me the most sensation?

For most people, some of these piercings are very stimulating, while others are mainly aesthetic. However, since we all like different types of play, the results will vary. But in general, inner and outer labia piercings are largely decorative, though lots of weight on inner labia piercings can feel good, and may also help pull your clit out from under your hood. Clitoral hood piercings are a great choice if you want lots of sensation with relatively little pain investment. But do remember that the horizontal hood piercing does not usually give nearly as much of a thrill as the vertical.

Do I have to shave before the piercing?

No. With the possible exception of the outer labia and Christina piercings, hair will not affect the piercings at all. Even with these two, you don't have to shave, but getting hair caught on the jewellery or in the discharge during healing may annoy you. If you prefer to shave, by all means go ahead. Just be sure to keep shaving creams and hair clippings out of the piercing during healing!

Does urine affect the piercing?

No, not really. It may sting a little the first couple of times you pee, but usually nothing drastic. If it bothers you, you could squirt warm water on the piercing while you urinate (grab a little plastic squirt bottle), or squirt the piercing off afterwards with sterile saline solution or Sensitive Ears. As far as germs from your urine, no worries. Your urine is actually sterile to your own body, so it has the same effect on your piercing as warm water would.

Do I have to abstain from sex for the entire healing period?

No, but giving yourself some time off will definitely make you heal faster. If you can avoid any kind of play for the first two weeks, you will be a long way towards healed on most of these piercings (excluding only the outer labia and Christina). If you abuse them from the get-go, they may take 6 weeks or longer to heal and feel good.

More than anything, you need to keep them fluid-safe. This means condoms and / or dental dams (or Saran Wrap, or another germ-proof barrier) for oral or penetrative sex, even if you are monogamous! (Since everyone's body has its own natural bacteria levels, your fresh piercing can pick up an infection from your partner even if you normally share fluids.)

You may wash your piercings afterwards, just to be on the safe side. (Plus, it feels really good!) And you may want to experiment with different positions - e.g. face-to-face penetration may pinch fresh inner labia piercings, but doggy-style may feel just fine! With fresh hood, or clitoral piercings, if you use a vibrator, turn it down the first time you use it!

How do I know which piercing is right for me anatomically?

Here's another spot where a good piercer can be of service. Even if you're not yet ready to get pierced, a consultation may be helpful. Your piercer can take a look at you and tell you which piercings might be compatible with your body. Everyone's body is different, and not all 'women's bits' are the same. All the pieces (labia, hood, clitoris, etc.) can vary dramatically in size and shape, and not all women have all the parts in any quantity. Some women have virtually no inner labia, or have very flat outer labia, or their clitoris may be large and visible, or petite and tucked away. All kinds of variations are possible, and not every woman can get every piercing. Your piercer can help you choose.

Before you consult your piercer, though, you may want to spend some time with a mirror. Get familiar with your own stuff. See what you’ve got. What kind of jewellery would you like to see there?

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