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I was curious about genital piercings: how they work, how they heal, and what they mean for pleasure. This episode is a result of that curiosity.

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Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, Tommy Lee, Janet Jackson, Pauly D and Pete Wentz.

What do all of these famous musicians have in common? Their genitals have been pierced. [WHIP CRACKING, COUGH].

According to, 25-50% of us will have something pierced at some point in our lives, and 2-3% of those piercings will be genital. The reasons people get genital piercings are: for aesthetics, to express individuality or a sense of belonging, to affirm one's gender identity, complete a rite of passage, for sexual stimulation of their own body, and/or to stimulate partners. To get a genital piercing you'll need a few things:.

First, you need to be 18 or older with proof of identification. It's not legal at least in the States to get a piercing on your genitals if you're a minor. You'll also need money; the price varies depending on where you go and how fancy you want it.

Here it's $75 for the piercing and another $50 or more for the jewelry. Lastly, you need to know what you want and whether or not that's possible. For example, you might asked to have your clit pierced.

But many piercers won't do it. There's usually not enough surface area to pierce without the “cheese cutter effect” and/or risking serious nerve damage. The piercer can help you understand your anatomy's options for piercing and will probably explain that when people talk about “clit piercings” they're usually referring to clitoral hood piercings such as:.

HCH - horizontal across the clitoral hood. VCH - vertical into the clitoral hood. and the Princess Diana, a clit hood piercing at a slight angle, sometimes with multiple barbells to create the appearance of a crown. For transmen who want a more masculine look-- Elayne Angel designed Dukes larger barbells on either side of the clit.

Then there's a deep clitoral hood piercing (Isabella) which goes the length of the foreskin. A Nefertiti named after the Egyptian queen, that reaches the mons pubis. Or just the mons which is called a Christina or pubic piercing.

These are pretty superficial and less complex than say the triangle. The triangle (referring to the shape of the opening of the foreskin) goes through one of the inner lips or labia, behind or under the clit and then out the labia on the other side. It's complicated: you have to be able to lift the clit, but it's one of the few ways to stimulate the backside of it so...

If clitoral stimulation isn't the goal, there are other parts to please with piercings:. Princess Albertina is a piercing of the urethra, labia majora (piercing the outer lips) and/or labia minora -- piercing one or both inner lips.

Note: the labia for trans women who undergo affirmation surgery is typically made from scrotal tissue, and according to Piercing HQ in Victoria, Canada, it has a higher tendency to reject piercings than the labia of a cis woman or an actual scrotum. Alternatives or additional options might be the very rare fourchette, which pierces the frenulum labiorum pudendi IF there's enough pinchable skin, and the very, very rare suitcase piercing -- a fourchette that ends further down in the perineum. When it's just the perineum that's a guiche. A guiche in the gooch.

And the anus is just an anus piercing. Onto penises, pierced when they're flaccid:. One of the earliest penis piercings on record is the foreskin piercing.

There's a good deal of surface area to work with and the jewelry is well-placed so it massages the head of the penis and/or the inside of a partner's orifice. Kuno piercings, in particular are at the end of the foreskin and have a much faster healing time than most other genital piercings. They're also easily linked as chastity rings to restrict masturbation and intercourse.

When a barbell or ring goes horizontally across the actual glans or the shaft that's called an Ampallang, from the Iban word palang meaning crossbar. Vertically through the glans or shaft is an Apadravya, which is a Sanskrit term used in the Kama Sutra to describe anything that increases penis girth. An ampallang with an apadravya is called a magic cross.

A dydoe is when the corona is pierced. A Zephyr is a longer, deeper dydoe. And an apadydoe is a combination of an apradravya and a dydoe where you'd start with each then use rings to make a new formation.

All of these piercings can be irritating during sex, they can also be really pleasurable. The jewelry rubs the prostate, the jewelry rubs the g-spot, the jewelry rubs the inside of the vagina, the sides of the rectum, along the labia, the mouth during oral... That goes for a Prince Albert too, which pierces from the opening of the urethra to the bottom of the glans.

And a reverse Prince Albert which goes in the urethral opening up through the top of the glans. These two in particular can be decorated with a prince's wand or what I call a sword. The barbelled angle or hilt works just like a regular Prince Albert piercing and the longer end rests in the urethra as a sound.

A dolphin piercing would be your full on piercing sound that focuses on urethral stimulation while looking like the wave a dolphin makes. Like the two Prince Alberts it also tends to heal faster because of urine passing by the punctures so frequently. Someone more superficial, less deep, is frenum piercing, on the frenulum where the foreskin was or is attached to the underbelly of the penis.

A Jacob's Ladder refers to multiple bars or rings in sequence along the shaft. Then there's a Lorum -- lower frenulum where the penis meets the scrotum. and a Hafada, the Arabic word for scrotum, is full on ball sack. Back again to the guiche and anus.

There are certainly more possibilities than this; people are creative. Of the ones I've described though, the consensus is pubic piercings with a ring are the most pleasurable if you have a partner with a clitoris;. Apadravya are the most effective at enhancing penetrative stimulation, and vertical clitoral hoods produce most intense clitoral impact.

If you want to know how things might feel before putting holes in your body, I suggest having a toy pierced and playing with it. Have a toy pierced in general. It's a great way to test drive jewelry but it can also add sex appeal to your favorite dildo or fifi.

And you don't have to abstain from sex while it heals. Once you have a piercing, getting it to heal is really important and part of that is holding off on sex. It's recommended by piercers that you clean the holes once or twice a day using sterile saline.

NOT hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol which will kill the helpful bacteria. The punctures will start off inflamed and tender but then scar tissue will begin to form around the piercing until everything is sealed up and stabilized. Ideally, piercers want you to wait to have sex or masturbate until this happens but it really depends on the location and sexual behavior.

For some a few days is enough to refrain, for others six to nine months is considered more prudent. Most importantly use protection and rest or stop if you need to. And stay curious of course!

A special thanks to Jackie and Morgan from Painless Steel who shared their knowledge and experience of the genital piercing world. If you're interested in a piercing of your own I highly recommend consulting with a piercer. There are links in the description for other great resources, too.

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