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personal: piercing
does it hurt? does it improve sex? - Elayne Angel, master piercer, responds
  Enhancement, Appreciation and Stimulation
Elayne Angel shares her experience as a master piercer

The concept behind female genital piercings (as with male genital piercings) is to enhance. Genital piercings do not prevent sexual activities, but are meant to stimulate, arouse, and to call attention to the beauty of the ornamented areas.

Unfortunately for us, our culture does not support genital pride! As a result, many of our female clients do not even know what the particulars of their private parts are called. Many women come in for genital piercings requesting “a clit piercing.” When they are shown a photograph of where that is located they shout, “Oh, NO! Not there!” Sometimes they mean inner or outer labia, other times they desire a clitoral hood piercing.

Rings of Desire
Rings of Desire, Inc.
New Orleans, Louisiana  
Does it Hurt?
Contrary to what most of the uninitiated would think, genital piercing is not particularly painful. The idea may be scary or strange to some, but the physical reality is brief and relatively or virtually painless. Many piercees often favorably compare genital placements to the ear lobe piercing. The notable exception would be the serious and very rare actual clitoris piercing.

This is not about pain and suppression; this is about pleasure, and stimulation, and celebrating the body. Though, naturally, during healing one must engage in safer sex and avoid sharing bodily fluids. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, latex barriers must be used, including for oral contact, during the entire initial healing. (For more complete information on healing see General Information at Rings of Desire).

As with any piercing, your new genital piercing may bleed off and on for minutes to a few days, though many of them don't bleed at all. Underwear is usually very comfortable, as a little support feels good on most fresh piercings. Panty liners may be advisable at first.

These are not debilitating procedures. I have pierced dancers who went right to work the same evening! It may not be the best time to don your tightest jeans, but you should expect to be mobile, and feeling fine afterwards.

A Preview of Common Placements
Vertical Clitoral Hood
The VCH is the most popular female genital piercing we do, for several reasons. As the name implies, the piercing is placed vertically, and women's genitals are built vertically. This means the jewelry situates comfortably between the legs and is not subject to much stress.

Further, most women are built with some amount of hood tissue in which the jewelry can be placed for a safe, comfortable, attractive, and stimulating piercing. The piercing goes through only a thin bit of tissue above the clitoris (not through it) but the jewelry itself touches the clitoris. That means when there is any action in the area , the clitoris will receive more direct stimulation. Most women like this a lot. In fact, we are participating in a research study with the University of South Alabama regarding VCH piercings and female sexual satisfaction! The data has not been finalized, but it does appear that this scientific study has shown the piercing to be effective in enhancing sexual pleasure. Rings of Desire will post the results once the report is complete.

This is a very quick healing piercing. I have had many women swear it heals in a week or even less. But to be on the safe side, you should care for it according to the instructions for four (4) weeks minimum.

Horizontal Clitoral Hood
The HCH is a piercing done primarily for aesthetic purposes. In order for it to be directly stimulating, it needs to be placed on a woman whose clitoris is somewhat exposed, and situated so that the bead falls directly on the clitoris. Also, if the woman is not built fairly symetrically, the ring will have a tendency to lean or twist to one side.

The majority of women are constructed in such a way that the hood covers the clitoris. Therefore, the jewelry in an HCH rests atop the hood, and isn't nearly as pleasurable as a piece of jewelry that comes into direct contact with the clitoris.

The Triangle
A triangle is a horizontal piercing behind the nerve bundle of the clitoris, at the base of the hood tissue where it forms from the body. In order for a triangle to be possible, your clitoral nerve bundle under your hood needs to be able to be lifted away from your body to some extent. If you are very small built in that area, or if you have a “valley” instead of a “hill” you are not suited to a triangle. A triangle and an HCH both essentially pierce through hood tissue. What is different about the triangle is where and how the forceps are placed during the piercing, and where the piercing goes, as a result.

The point of the Triangle (pardon the pun) is that it is placed so the jewelry rests right behind the nerve bundle of your clitoris. Therefore, when your are stimulated, you feel more sensation from the back of your clitoris! A triangle is far more stimulating than an HCH for most women. It is a pretty fantastic spot for jewelry if one is built for it.

This is a very rare piercing, and it is serious business. It should be attempted only by a highly experienced master. The vast majority of women who request them actually want a clitoral hood piercing. Of the women who request an actual clitoris piercing, and know what they are asking, approximately 90-95% are not suitably built. Absoulutely vital in clitoris piercing is to pierce only women with the ideal anatomy. This is not an area to take chances.

Most women posses a clitoris that is too small to withstand a piercing. Of those who are large enough, most women have hood tissue that fits too tightly or heavily over the clitoris. The clitoris in question must be large and easily exposed to be safe to pierce and to heal.

Elayne Angel, master piercer, shares her genital piercing experienceAt Rings of Desire, we pierce many professional women, housewives, mothers, and even grandmothers. This is not an endeavor reserved only for "alternative" type individuals. It is suited to any woman who desires to explore additional avenues of sensual and erotic sensation – assuming she is anatomically suited to the placement of the piercing...Whoever said, “Ya seen one, ya seen ‘em all” sure hadn’t seen many!” Every vulvais unique! For more on female genital piercing, check out the FAQs at Rings of Desire.com

  A note on selecting a piercer: Genital piercing is special because there is potential to directly affect your sexual pleasure. A poorly placed piercing can result in either a lost opportunity for enhancement, or a negative experience and a loss of sensation, either temporary or permanent. Unfortunately, many piercers who have insufficient skill or training to properly perform navel, tongue and eyebrow piercings also do genital piercings! Many have no specific training in genital piercings whatsoever! As a piercer who is renowned as an expert on the subject, I have bad news: I can honestly say that the majority of genital piercings I see (that were performed elsewhere) are not optimally, or are even poorly, placed. Yes, I said the majority. Its sad but true. That's what happens when piercers work without appropriate training. So, there are a few piercers around the country I can suggest in good conscience. But not many. See the Referrals page at Rings of Desire for more information.

  Elayne Angel is President and founder of Rings of Desire, Inc., in New Orleans. She is the former Manager and Vice President of Southern California Operations for Gauntlet, in West Hollywood. In prior years she worked as a Sign Language Interpreter, Peep Show Stripper, Script Supervisor, and in the Medical Field as well as in the Fashion Industry.

At last count Angel figures she has done close to 40,000 piercings!

Angel has been a tremendous contributor to the profession of body piercing and is personally credited with inventing, naming, and popularizing a number of specific piercing placements, (Fourchette and Lorum among others) and also techniques. She is the Medical Liaison for the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). Check out their web site, www.safepiercing.org: there is a checklist for choosing a piercer, member listings, aftercare guidelines and much more that can be helpful to those seeking genital (or other) piercings.

In addition to efforts in her own studio, and the community of piercing professionals, Angel has contributed to the state of Louisiana by assisting in the promulgation of the laws regarding Body Art for the state, and also by assisting in training the health inspectors who enforce the laws she helped to create.

Angel has also been participating with Doctors at the University of South Alabama in a fascinating new research study, specifically about the Vertical Clitoral Hood piercing (VCH) and female sexual satisfaction!!

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