Genital piercings have become more common today with many young people embracing body beautification. The history of genital piercing dates back to more than 2,000 years ago. It purportedly originated from the Eastern part of South Asia in places like Borneo and India, where genitals were pierced for cultural and traditional purposes.
Different male genital piercings have their own history, and they include:
– Ampallang Piercing
The Sabah and Sarawak people of Borneo started the Ampallang piercing, where the piercing object is inserted through the glans of the penis in a horizontal position. An explorer of Dutch origin; Anton Williem Nieuwenhuis, who was there during the 18th century, wrote about the Ampallang piercing procedure in his documentary.
According to him, the males had to undergo this procedure to prove that they have attained manhood. They usually opened up the skin of the glans and rolled it backward, after which two small pieces of bamboo were placed on each side before it was wrapped in clothing which was dipped in cold water. After ten days, the piercer would pass a very sharp and thin piece of bamboo through the glans, then replace it with a thin feather with oiled tips until it heals.
When the wound healed, the ampallang would then be inserted, which was about five millimeters thick and five centimeters long. This piercing is said to give the males pleasure while stimulating the walls of the vagina during sex.
Today, the ampallang piercing is done in a less crude way. There are three different ways of doing this, and they are the pierce-and-clamp method, the scalpelling method, and the freehand method.
Using the pierce-and-clamp method, a clamp is applied to the head of the penis, and it is pierced through horizontally using a needle, after which a piece of jewelry is attached.
In the scalpelling method, a scalpel is used to pierce, but this is usually done for large sizes of ampallang. Only professional piercers with a license should use this method.
The freehand method is similar to the clamp-and-pierce method. The only difference is that the fingers are used in place of a clamp.
– Frenulum Piercing
This was first seen in Indonesia, done by the people of Timorese. The frenulum, a part of the penis that joins the foreskin to the glans, was pierced and a brass ring inserted. They did this to increase stimulation during sexual activity.
– Prince Albert Piercing
According to stories, Prince Albert who was the husband of the Queen of England, Victoria, was the first person to get this kind of piercing. He was said to have had it done before he married her.
The glans is pierced underneath, around the opening of the urethra to the point where the glans and the penis shaft meet. Then, jewelry which could be either a captive bead ring, a curved barbell, a segment ring or a Prince’s wand is inserted.
This kind of genital piercing is more popular among the males because due to where it is positioned, it stimulates both parties during sexual intercourse.
– Reverse Prince Albert Piercing
In this genital piercing, the needle goes through the urethra to the top of the glans of the penis.
– Foreskin Piercing
Also known as the ‘Kuno’ piercing, this is perhaps the oldest known form of genital piercing, dating back to the time before men were circumcised.
In Greece, when athletes performed nude during games, they used to use tiny pieces of clothing or leather to tie their foreskin to the base of the penis. This was to prevent the penis from dangling about. They called the piece of cloth or leather, ‘kynodesme’ which was coined from the two Greek words ‘kuon’ and ‘desmos’ which means foreskin and fastening band, respectively. So, kynodesme was a foreskin fastening band.
As time went on, the Roman lords decided to make this method permanent, mostly to stop their athletes and slaves especially, from getting erections or engaging in sexual activities. This they did use a method called infibulation. This could only be done on people who had foreskin; in other words, men who had not been circumcised. It was no problem then because circumcision was not common until years later. A lock known as the fibula was passed through two piercings made on the foreskin.
In Roman history, around the 12th century, when Agamemnon was going to fight during the war of the Trojans, he allegedly had his singer, Demodecus infibulated, before leaving his own wife, Clytemnestra for the singer to look after till he returned. He did this to make sure that Demodecus never has sex with his wife.
A Roman doctor of the first century, named Celsus, described the process of Kuno piercing, in his medical journal called, ‘De Medecina.’
– Hafada Piercing
This kind of piercing was first seen in Arabia, and from there, it got to the Middle East and the northern part of Africa, spreading to other parts of the world from these places. The sides of the scrotum are pierced, and a barbell or more recently, a captive bead ring is inserted.
It used to be done on the left side of the scrotum, to celebrate a male’s attainment to puberty, but today, it is done on both sides, or in the middle. Some people actually make ladder-like scrotal piercings; several rings in a vertical row.
Scrotum piercings are not as old as the others. An individual can have lots of scrotal piercings. Worthy of note is an individual; Sailor Sid, who had more than a hundred and twenty scrotum piercings at the time of his death. One of the pioneers of piercing, he was allegedly going to get more before his death.
– Guiche Piercing
The space between the testicles and the anus is pierced, and a captive bead ring or a barbell is inserted. Doug Malloy, one of the earliest body piercers, said that the first people perform the guiche piercing were the Tahitians. Before the second world war, he traveled to Tahiti, where he met a runaway sailor of Australian origin; Reggie Bush. Reggie told him tales of the guiche piercing and later gave Doug one.
According to Doug, teenagers between the ages of twelve to fourteen were pierced at this spot, and when the wound healed, a hole was made on both sides of a small piece of stone or a shell, then a piece of leather passed through it. This was then passed through the piercing and fastened, to dangle from the space.
It was only the ‘Mahu’ that were allowed to carry out this Tahitian ritual. They were crossdresser males who lived as women and were regarded as powerful people who possessed supernatural powers, by the Tahitians.
Another source says that guiche piercing originated from Polynesia. According to this source, the Polynesian sailors of old, before the advent of the compass, used the movement of waves to tell direction on the sea. They could do this when they squat and swing their testicles back and forth. The nerve bundles situated at the Raphe perineum where the guiche piercing is performed, are very large and as such, it is possible that the weight of an object at that location while swinging the testicles could help them tell directions. Nobody is sure, but that is what was assumed.
– Apadravya Piercing
This dates back to around the 7th century in the south of Asia. To them, sexual satisfaction could not be achieved if this piercing was not made. The tip of the penis was pierced vertically, from the top left of the glans to the bottom and jewelry is inserted. Today, the piece of jewelry used is the straight barbell.
The piercing of the female genitals was not very well-known until the 18th century, probably around the time when people discovered that piercing the nipples brought about increased sensitivity during sex. Women began experimenting with body piercings. They discovered that the clitoris was an erogenous part of the body and that piercing it increased sexual excitement during intercourse. Later on, it was observed that piercing the hood of the clitoris was safer, and produced the same results without ruining the skin of the clitoris.
Around the 21st century, more and more people began to embrace genital piercing, especially when public figures like Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson, Fantasia Burrino and a few others, came out in public to talk about getting their genitals pierced.
Today, female genital piercing is not limited to just the clitoral hood. Female genital piercings include;
– Female Guiche Piercing
This is a piercing done across the female perineum instead of front to back like in the males.
– Labia Piercing
This is done either on the outer or inner part of the labia. It’s not a difficult kind of female genital piercing, and as a result, it is more common than all the others.
– Clitoral Piercing
The clitoris is pierced in this method. It is usually preferable when the woman has a thick clitoris. It has been reported that some woman lost sensitivity on the clitoris after it had been pierced, but this does not happen often. To be on the safer side, piercing the clitoral hood is the next best option.
– Triangle Piercing
The area underneath the shaft of the clitoris is pierced. The first recorded incident of a triangle piercing was in 1991, carried out by Lou Duff of Gauntlet. It is called the triangle piercing because the area that is pierced, between the clitoral hood and the inner labia, takes the shape of a triangle when held.
– Layne Piercing
Named after Lady Layne D’Angelo, an artist and model who was the first person to get this type of piercing, the pubic mound is pierced horizontally and a curved barbell or surface bar is inserted.
– Fourchette Piercing
The area towards the anus is pierced and a straight barbell or a curved one is inserted.
Other types of female genital piercings are Christina piercing, Catherine piercing, horizontal hood piercing, Isabella piercing, Nefertiti piercing, Princess Albertina piercing, vertical hood piercing, scrumpy piercing, frenulum piercing, Princess Diana piercing, suitcase piercing among others.
Genital piercings are not for the faint of heart. Like every other piece of jewelry, genital jewelry as worn for aesthetic purposes, in addition to heightening sexual excitement in most people.
While female genital piercings are worn to stimulate women’s erogenous zones, in the males, both the man and his partner can be sexually stimulated if his genitals are pierced.
In fact, the Dayak women of Sarawak do not mind leaving their spouse if the latter refuses to get an ampallang piercing. According to them, having sex with a man without this piercing is like eating plain rice, but on the other hand, it is like eating rice with seasoning.
Extra care should be taken with every kind of genital piercing. It is advisable to avoid sex and wearing tight clothes or underpants till the wounds have healed, to prevent getting an infection or having your skin reject the jewelry. Also, proper hygiene should be observed, and bedding changed, especially for the females.
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