Adorning the D: Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Penis Piercing

By | August 31, 2022

Here are all the deets on the 13 different types of penis piercings and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.

We adorn our necks, ears, and sometimes even nips — so why not that extra special member of your bod, too?

If you feel like your joystick could use some jewelry, we got you.

A penis piercing might be done for sexual pleasure, aesthetics, or self-expression. It’s usually inserted into one of these places:

  • the glans, aka the head or tip of your penis
  • the foreskin (if you’re uncircumcised)
  • the shaft, aka the whole length of your penis
  • the scrotum, aka that handy sac that holds your testicles

Now, here are the tips you need to know for making your long john silver, mateys. (Sry not sry in advance for all the penis puns.)   

Pierced penis benefits: Why you might wanna get one

So, here’s what getting your pecker pierced might do for you and your boo: 

For you

Piercings in the shaft or glans get stimulated when you move while masturbating or during oral or penetrative sex, which some say can lead to increased sexual sensitivity and pleasure.

The famous “Prince Albert” piercing, which legend has it was donned by the man himself (but probably wasn’t), is known to be especially pleasing.

For your partner

Some penis piercings supposedly enhance your sex life by stimulating nerves in the vagina, clit, or anus.

Supposedly, the following types of piercings may make your partner say O in particular:

  • ampallang
  • apadravya
  • frenum
  • magic cross

(More on these below.👇)

Types of penis piercings

Who knew you could pierce a penis in so many places? If you want to put a hidden gem on your john, get a load of the possibilities:

  • Apadravya: Pierced through the glans vertically, from top to bottom or vice versa
  • Ampallang: Pierced through the glans horizontally, from left to right or vice versa
  • Deep shaft: Pierced down the shaft toward the penis’s base (a variation of the ampallang, apadravya, or Prince Albert)
  • Dydoe’s or King’s crown: Pierced through the ridge vertically at the penis’s head base
  • Foreskin: Pierced through uncircumcised foreskin (the jewelry may be where the foreskin covers the glans or toward the shaft)
  • Frenum: Pierced behind the glans, just beneath the shaft horizontally, or in many horizontal rows at the bottom of the shaft
  • Guiche (perineum): Pierced through your perineum horizontally (aka the skin underneath the scrotum)
  • Hafada (scrotal): Pierced anywhere on the scrotum (often in the middle aka along the scrotal raphe)
  • Lorum: Pierced on the underside of the penis where the base of the shaft meets the scrotum, horizontally or vertically
  • Magic cross: Pierced 2-3 times through the glans, typically with 2 barbells that cross each other with 4 beads that poke out from beneath the skin to make a cross
  • Prince Albert: Pierced through the opening of the urethra (aka where the pee comes from) and comes out of the bottom of the shaft just behind the glans
  • Pubic: Pierced through any part of the area by the penis base
  • Reverse PA: Prince Albert but reverse — the jewelry enters the urethra and exits the top of the shaft

Who can get a penis piercing?

First things first: You gotta have a penis. ✅ From there, you might wanna talk with a pro to find out if it’s right for you. Together, you and your piercer can discuss whether a piercing might be a blessing or a prob for you and your knob.

Keep in mind that some piercings — especially those bad boys on your shaft or glans — can make peeing or using condoms somewhat of a challenge. And reiterating that BC alert: Jewelry that’s on the urethra could pierce through a condom.

And naturally, you can’t get a foreskin piercing if you have a circumcised penis.

But bad news for aspiring Daddies/Zaddies: Though the data on this is murky, a 2012 research paper says that getting a genital piercing can possibly impact your fertility. If you’re concerned, you may want to skip this one or talk with a healthcare pro about this.

Are there any risks associated with penis piercings?

Def chat with your doc about the following possibilities or associations:

As dermatologist Cory Gaskins explains, “the most serious [risk] is that it’s much easier to transmit blood-borne STIs when you have a piercing. That’s because there’s an open wound present, which makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to enter your bloodstream.”

Another risk, unfortunately, is that your new jewelry could accidentally puncture a condom. “That’s because the condom could catch on the jewelry and tear,” Gaskins says. And if that happens, there’s the risk of unplanned pregnancy or spreading or contracting an STI.

Gaskins also notes that the risk of getting a parasitic infection from the piercing is “especially true if the piercer doesn’t use sterile equipment or practice good hygiene,” so be sure to go to a reputable place and be diligent about aftercare. (More on that below. 👇)

How piercing the D is done

Still prepared to put your pecker under needle pressure? (Try saying that 5x fast.)

Here’s how it’ll go down:

  1. Your piercer will put on sterile gloves and wash and sterilize the area.
  2. X marks the spot: They’ll then use a marker to mark where the needle will go through.
  3. Hole in one: They’ll push the needle through the entry hole and out the exit. They’ll prob ask you to take a deep breath while they insert the needle so that it goes as smoothly as possible.
  4. Your piercer will then use forceps to gently hold the skin while they insert the jewelry through the hole.
  5. They’ll clean and bandage the area.

Pain in the male membrane: does it hurt?  

Pain is subjective, and penis piercings are no exception. Some swear the ouch factor is 10/10, while others say it’s not bad.  

Where the piercing is placed makes a big diff. For example, the glans area is thought to be much more sensitive than the foreskin.  

What kind of jewelry should you use?

Time to accessorize your asset! The type of jewelry you can pick from will depend on where you get it pierced. Your piercer might recommend one of the following common options:

  • Circular barbell. Lucky you: A horseshoe-shaped ring with removable beads on either end.
  • Captive bead ring. A circular ring with a single (removable) bead where the ends intersect
  • Straight barbell. A straight, rod-shaped (ha) with a removable bead at either end

Material boy: Here are your options

Are you titanium (David Guetta ft. Sia style), or are you more of a gold guy? Here’s what materials you’ll get to pick from:

  • Surgical titanium: Hypoallergenic, aka perf for sensitive skin types
  • Stainless steel: Surgical stainless steel rarely causes an allergic reaction, but keep in mind that not all stainless steel jewelry is nickel-free (but it should be at any reputable piercing shop — double check with your piercer, just in case)
  • Plastic (biocompatible polymers): These are bendy, durable, and safe
  • Gold: 14-karat gold is spendy, but durable and ideal for sensitive skin (say no to gold-plated jewelry, though, which can cause infections and allergic reactions)
  • Platinum: Durable, sturdy, hypoallergenic, beautiful — aka basically perfect, but it’s also a *lot* more expensive and can be tricky to find
  • Niobium: A hypoallergenic metal that is pretty sturdy

How long does it take to heal? 

A penis piercing takes around 3 months to heal by some estimates. If you don’t take proper care of it, it may take longer. According to a 2005 report, it can take up to 9 months for the site to heal.  

You might experience a bit of bleeding in the days following the piercing. You’ll also prob have some mild pain and swelling in the first couple of weeks.

But if you have any of the following additional symptoms, Gaskins and other pros say to consult a healthcare pro ASAP:  

  • large areas of redness or swelling
  • burning or pain
  • discharge
  • skin that feels hot when you touch it
  • a fever

These are signs that your piercing may be infected.

Finding a trusted piercer

Naturally, you don’t want just anyone messing with your precious cargo. This is def a piercing you want to get at a shop with a great rep, solid reviews, and stellar hygiene.

You can also sched a consultation before you commit, which will help you get a feel for what to expect. Your piercer can give you tips on everything from where to get it as well as answer any of your aftercare Qs.

If you’re concerned at all about the piercing, it may be worth chatting with your doc or another healthcare pro about it beforehand.

Is the price right?

You can expect to shell out anywhere from $50 to well over $100 for your penis piercing, depending on the shop as well as what type of jewelry you pick. Here’s the rundown:

  • Piercing service charge. This could cost anywhere from $40 to $100+. This can vary based on the delicacy of the tissue and the complexity of the type of piercing.
  • Jewelry cost. Titanium can cost as little as $15, but gold, diamond, or platinum can cost hundreds.
  • Tip. Like your server, hairdresser, or tat artist, it’s customary to tip your piercer around 18-20% or more.

How to clean and care for your piercing

Proper hygiene down under is always vital, but you need to take extra special care when you first get your penis piercing.  

As your piercing heals, here’s what to do:

  • Cover the area with a bandage. Change it at least once a day, Gaskins says.
  • Wash your hands super well with soap and water before you touch the region.
  • Rinse the piercing at least 2x a day with a mix of saline solution and distilled water.
  • Gently wash and rinse away any crusties that form.
  • After any time you rinse your penis, pat the area completely dry with a clean paper towel. (A bath or hand towel carries a higher risk of spreading pesky germs.)
  • Avoid submerging your penis in water — so baths are def out of the question, but you also should also be keeping it dry in the shower. It’ll be a little tricky, but necessary!
  • Take your clothes on + off gently and carefully. Wear comfy, loose, breathable fabrics.

And what not to do:

  • Touch the piercing with dirty hands. Antibacterial soap is your BFF!
  • Have any kind of sex or masturbate until the pain and swelling subside, which can take several weeks. Gaskins advises avoiding sex for 4-6 weeks post-piercing.
  • Wear tight underwear or clothing. No spandex for a min, okay?!
  • Use alcohol-based or anti-septic rinses on the area.
  • Get in a pool, bath, or any body of water.
  • Play sports, hit the gym, or do any other intense physical exercise.
  • Mess with or take out the jewelry until the piercing’s fully healed.
  • Let your pubes get caught in the jewelry.

Signs something is wrong

Some mild swelling and irritation are pretty normal for at least the first few days after getting your piercing.

But unfortunately, sometimes rejection happens to the best of us — and piercings are no exception. According to Gaskins and current research, you should see your piercer or a healthcare pro if you notice any of these signs of infection or rejection:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • burning
  • redness
  • skin that feels hot to the touch
  • yellowish or greenish discharge
  • a bad odor coming from the area
  • red or itchy bumps
  • jewelry falling out of place or falling out

To avoid probs, Gaskins urges keeping the area clean, following aftercare instructions, and avoiding sexual activity for at least 4-6 weeks.

How to change the jewelry 

Time for a change? As long as your piercing’s fully healed and you pick a penis-approved piece of jewelry, you’re good to go. When in doubt, ask your piercer.

Here’s how to do it:  

  1. Wash your hands super well with water and antibacterial soap.
  2. Rinse the area with a saline solution.
  3. Gently take off any beads from the jewelry, if applicable.
  4. Slowly pull the jewelry out.
  5. Take any beads off the new jewelry.
  6. Firmly but with care, push it through the hole.
  7. Put the beads back on.
  8. Make sure it’s secure — it shouldn’t wiggle around when you move.
  9. Rinse the piercing area with saline solution and pat dry.

How long does a healed piercing last?

Ideally, your piercing would last as long as you want — but due to the delicate nature of the area, that’s often not the case.

Like with other body piercings (cartilage, belly button, etc.), the skin around the piercing can potentially grow back and push the jewelry out over time. But there’s really no timeline for when this might happen.

With proper care, your piercing may be able to last longer.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get a penis piercing if I’m uncircumcised? 

Yep, go for it. Keep in mind that there can be additional risk factors, though. Depending on where you get it, in rare cases, the foreskin can tear due to complications.

Does penis size affect whether you can get a penis piercing? 

It’s true what they say: Size doesn’t matter. Your penis size doesn’t affect your ability to get a piercing.

Do you need to avoid sex after getting a penis piercing? 

Yep, dermatologists like Gaskins recommend avoiding sex for at least 4-6 weeks after getting pierced. (Yes, really!)

What do I do if I don’t want my penis piercing anymore?

Wash your hands with soap and water, rinse the area with saline solution, and gently remove it. Depending on when you got the piercing, it’s possible the hole won’t close. If it does close, it may form a scar.

If you decide to remove it during the healing process, it has a better chance of closing up. Just be sure to continue taking care of it as usual until the hole closes.

The bottom line

Penis piercings are often done to enhance sexual pleasure or for aesthetic reasons. There are lots of piercing sites and jewelry varieties to choose from, so chat with a piercer about your options.

Heads up that getting one can increase your risk of spreading or getting an STI. The jewelry could also cause a condom to break. In some cases, it can lead to infection. In super rare cases, it could lead to serious complications like infertility or a torn foreskin.

Experts recommend avoiding sex for at least 4-6 weeks after piercing. Keep in mind that these piercings tend to require a lot of TLC to heal properly, and it can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months for them to fully do so.

To minimize probs, always go to a reputable piercer with hygienic practices and follow aftercare tips to a T.

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