Dear Dr. G,

It’s the season to be jolly and we are all enjoying the festivities.

Of course, it is also a time to think about getting those special gifts for one’s spouse.

My husband and I are newly married and we are blessed as we thoroughly enjoy our sex life and communicate openly about our likes and dislikes.

We recently went through a few ideas involving toys and was glad we experimented as it has added spice to our sex life.

We are getting even more adventurous lately and have considered genital piercing.

I understand such an idea was conceived in the Victorian Era and therefore named after the then-Prince Consort, Prince Albert.

Therefore, I am hoping to surprise my husband with Prince Albert for Christmas.

With the piercing ideas intended for my husband, I hope to put Dr. G on the spot for some penile piercing possibilities.

Can you tell me why people get their genitals pierced?

What are the origins of such a practice and how is it performed? Also, are such piercings purely cosmetic or do they have sexual benefits?

I’d also like to know if these piercings are just for men, and what are the options available?

Finally, are they uncomfortable and are there any risks involved?

The excitement and anxiety are equally piercing in my head. I hope you can help me to clear my mind.


Possible Piercing Penny

Genital piercing is a practice involving traversing part of genitalia with devices as a form of ornamentation or jewelry. Technically, genital piercing also includes other sexually-related organs, including nipples, the pubis, anus and perineum. Such piercings are carried out by both men and women as a form of beautification, and some also have these piercings as they believe it will enhance their sexual experience.

The practice of genital piercing is believed to exist as early as 2000 years as depicted in the writings of the Kama Sutra and it is also documented in many tribal communities in Southeast Asia, including what is now Malaysia

Dutch explorers were the first to describe traditional genital piercing in different tribes in Borneo, with the Ampallang Ring – which is passed horizontally through the glans of the penis – being common in different tribes in Sabah and Sarawak. Apparently, some believe that Dayak women have the right to insist upon the Ampallang and if the man does not consent, this can be grounds for separation. Such practices were believed to be introduced to Western societies in the 19th Century, following the discovery.

Historians generally believe that genital piercings have a primary purpose of securing the penis in a certain manner, rather than having a sexual or cultural purpose. In Victorian times, there were even suggestions that such rings are used to keep the foreskin retracted to ensure that there is no foul smell in uncircumcised men.

When it comes to the association of genital piercing with the Prince Consort of Queen Victoria, there are no historical documents to back this up. It has been suggested that such rumors were fabricated by some Hollywood piercing artists in the sixties.

The Prince Albert piercing refers to a ring that extends along the underside of the glans of the penis from the urethral opening to where the glans meets the shaft of the penis, while the reverse Prince Albert piercing traverses the urethra and exits through a hole in the top of the glans

Piercing in men are done differently for circumcised and uncircumcised men; the piercing is done through the frenulum in the midline for circumcised men, while an off-centre piercing is also common for uncircumcised men.

The piercing itself is initially done with a small diameter of 2.5mm and this is followed by a gradual stretching through the insertion of larger jewelry, with a diameter of up to 9mm.

Some piercers may choose to have the immediate stretch to accommodate wider rings in the first setting, but this carries a risk of delayed wound healing.

Generally, the healing time for genital piercing can range from one to six months, and mild complications such as bleeding, swelling and local inflammation may be expected.

There is no robust medical evidence to support the enhancement of sexual performance in men having the genital piercing. Some anecdotal reports suggest the placement of piercing such as apadravya and ampallang that pass through the head of the penis vertically or horizontally can heighten the sensations for female partners. Conversely, many reports also highlight discomfort for female partners when the piercing encounters the cervix.

Genital piercings are predominantly decorative and an expression of non- conformal uniqueness. Whether such decorative pieces are purely for aesthetic enhancement, or the enrichment of sexual pleasure is open for debate.

Dr. G is often put on the spot to weigh in on the risk and benefits of possible piercings. His advice is: “Piercing through the mundane can potentially open up penile possibilities for creativity and finding the marvelous!”

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