November 08, 2012

Body Mods Down Below: Male Edition

by butts

What’s the deal with dick piercings? Do people really split their penises? Here's a brief look at all the crazy, cool and scary things that males can do to their genitals, and why you might want to look into getting pierced, even if you're not the "crazy" type! Not for the faint of heart!

Male Piercings

Foreskin Piercing:
One of the less-painful and lighter piercings that can be done on or around the male genitals. A foreskin piercing goes through the skin of the penis glans's hood. Equivalent to a clitoral hood piercing, this heals somewhat quickly as there is no deep penetration of the flesh. Even though you may think that this piercing would rip right through a condom, it won't (unless you have one of those spiky jewelry pieces, but I wouldn't recommend that and I'm sure your partner wouldn't either!). Most body jewelry are rings and beads that won't penetrate the latex. This also means that it's not going to jab your partner or hurt them, usually. A foreskin piercing can stimulate the glans (or head) of the penis by resting against it and rubbing during play or intercourse, and can possibly provide extra stimulation for your partner's G-spot or prostate in certain positions.

Prince Albert:
Though this is a rather hardcore looking piercing, it's actually not nearly as bad as it looks! Entering the urethra and exiting through some of the thinnest membrane in the male body, it's easy to pierce and very safe, plus did you know that urine is almost completely sterile? This helps the piercing heal, making it quite easy to care for during the healing process. Many males comment that the most uncomfortable part of getting the piercing is the tube that goes into the urethral opening, but this is a minor discomfort; the Prince Albert piercing isn't a painful one to get done. Because the piercing interacts with the bottom of the glans, this can be a highly pleasurable piercing for males! Light tugging and playing with the piercing after healing easily stimulates the gland's nerves. This can really add to your solo sessions or sex life. Most people choose a ring or captive bead for the jewelry, but if you have foreskin, a barbell can be a better choice as it won't prevent the foreskin from resting in it's natural position. I've heard stories about people being able to pee upright with them, and stories about people who have to sit to pee because the piercing makes the urine stream spray; I'm sure it varies depending on the person. If this is a major concern for you, you might want to talk to your piercer.

Dolphin:
You must have a healed hole from a Prince Albert piercing in order to get a Dolphin, and it is one of the more uncommon male genital piercings available. The dolphin is similar to a Prince Albert in that it passes through the urethra. However the Dolphin enters through the Prince Albert hole and exits through a hole made much lower in the urethra. It doesn't interact with the glans, but it does stimulate the nerves on the underside of the penis. Some people choose long metal bars, some choose jewelry made from flexible medical tubing.

Ampallang:
Ampallang piercings originated in Borneo, but have become popularized in the body mod culture worldwide because it increases stimulation for the wearer. This piercing goes horizontally through the glans of the penis, either above the urethra, or through the urethra closer to the tip of the penis (called European style). Though this looks like a very intense piercing because of the placement on the sensitive glans, most report that it's less painful that cartilage or nipple piercings.

Apadravya:
This one is quite similar to the Ampallang, but instead of horizontally, it goes vertically through the underside of the penis to the top of the glans. If you already have a Prince Albert, this piercing will be a little easier since it uses the same exit point. If you decide to remove it, you can put in the jewelry for a free Prince Albert! If you stretch the Prince Albert hole, you can wear both at the same time. Again, this one isn't as painful as it looks, and it definitely adds sensation for the wearer and their partner!

Frenum:
Piercing the pinch-able skin on the underside of the penis is called a frenum. Many males prefer to have multiple going down the shaft, often called a ladder. This doesn't go through the actual flesh of the penis, just the loose skin of the shaft, so the healing time isn't bad and the pain isn't very intense. These can be quite pleasurable for your partner! These can be put anywhere on the shaft of the penis, including the top and sides, still referred to as frenums. After healing, a large loop may be added that goes around the shaft, similar to a cock ring. These may hang downwards when you're not erect, and shouldn't be put in before it's fully healed to prevent migration and rejection.

Lorum:
Literally named after combining the words "Frenum" and "lower" (a lower-um), the Lorum is what it sounds like, a low Frenum! Placed the same way a Frenum is, it sits at the base of the penis just before the scrotum. These can be placed slightly more towards the scrotum to decrease the chances of it getting in the way of a condom if the wearer prefers.

Hafada/Scrotal:
A scrotal piercing, done anywhere on the scrotum. Commonly people choose to get multiple, sometimes one on each side, or a ladder going up the scrotum towards the base of the penis. Because these only pierce the scrotal skin and not the testicles themselves, this isn't a painful piercing to get, but it's mostly ornamental.

Dydoe:
Only available to males who have a pronounced corona (or rim on the head of the penis), Dydoe piercings go through the corona itself, usually in pairs (one on each side). This can add some sensitivity since it interacts with the glans, and isn't a very intimidating piercing as it doesn't go through a large amount of flesh like an Ampallang or Apadravya.

Guiche:
A typically horizontal piercing through the perineum, the area between the scrotum and anus. This piercing can also be done vertically, but it's not as common. Because this area is often ignored during sexual play, it can add pleasurable stimulation for the wearer, some even like the feeling of large jewelry and weights. Though sitting isn't a problem, it's advised that activities like biking are avoided during the healing process.

Pubic:
Equivalent to the female Venus or Christina piercing, this goes horizontally through the skin just above the base of the penis. This won't stimulate the wearer much, but a female partner may love this piercing as it is positioned perfectly to hit the clitoris during face-to-face intercourse, similar to a vibrating cock ring! Unfortunately this piercing has a higher possibility of being rejected or migrating out than most male genital piercings because of the area and tightness of the skin.

male piercing diagram 1
male piercing diagram 2

Nipple piercings:
Nipple piercings are popular for their aesthetic value. They can nicely accentuate the nipples and also be a good addition to those who enjoy nipple stimulation. Nipple piercings are done at the base of the nipple where it connects to the areola, not through the nipple itself. Getting your nipple pierced too close to the tip of your nipple may cause it to be easily ripped out or rejected while piercings too deep into the areola can cause bad infections in the ducts, but infections are less common in males. A lot of people enjoy having their nipple piercings being lightly tugged or weighted, and there are a lot of options for those interested in BDSM! Two of my friends have pierced nipples. One said he hardly felt them at all. The other (whom I was with when she got hers done) experienced a lot of pain and had to take a break between piercing them.

nipple piercings

Lower Piercings:
Piercings around the anus are not recommended because they take a long time to heal and can easily collect bacteria. Most professional piercers will refuse to do anal piercings; they're just too risky and have a low satisfaction rate.

Hard Modifications (not for the faint of heart!)

Scarification:
This is the removal of skin in a pattern to intentionally create a scar which may or may not be colored with ink and/or be accompanied by tattoos. This can be done anywhere on the body and can produce a variety of scar tissue depending on the method. While it's rarely seen on penises due to the loose skin of the shaft, most other parts of the body including the chest, back, arms and face can get scarification. More commonly, branding (scars achieved by pressing heated metal on the skin) can be safely done on the genitals, though this is still not something you see very often even in body mod forums. Unfortunately I can't post the photos here, but if you're curious (and a bit brave), type in "male genital scarification" to Google image search (with SafeSearch off), the first photo that comes up is from BME.com, a little heart brand on a penis's glans! Further down there's some more extreme branding if you're still curious.

Since I can't post those genital branding images, here's a guy's arm freshly scarred and healed!
scarification

Male Circumcision:
Circumcision is the most common body modification on males by far, but it is often done non-consensually. It's the removal of the sensitive foreskin that protects the glans of the penis. Circumcision was originally done as a way to help keep clean and reduce the spread of disease, as bacteria can easily build up in the foreskin without regular washing. In advanced countries where personal hygiene is easily up-kept, this is an unnecessary procedure that only continues because of tradition or religious beliefs. While removing the foreskin does lead to a general decrease of STI/STD infections in a population, it's easier to teach and promote better hygiene. Ultimately this is much less cruel. Circumcised males are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to the amputation of crucial nerves in the foreskin. In America, this is often done at birth. Up to 80% of male children have this procedure done without their consent. Male circumcision is even more common in African and middle eastern countries. It is very rare in South and Central America, Europe, (most of) Asia and South African countries. On some males, the foreskin is so tight that it can make erections uncomfortable, in which case a partial or full circumcision may be advised for their own physical comfort.

If you'd like to read up a little more on this common procedure, check out this SexIs article that is pro-circumcision: link and this article on Opposingviews.com against it: link

male circumcision area
The orange area is the skin that would be removed during a standard circumcision, the glans beneath is left intact.

Implants/Beading:
Males can get silicone or surgical steel beads or other shapes inserted under the skin of the penis called implants. These are for aesthetic value and stimulation for their partners, but these are much less common than genital piercings. Beads along the shaft are popular, as it adds a lot of stimulation for a partner during sex. A professional body modifier with experience in implants can safely place implants, but they may need to be removed or re-implanted if they begin to migrate too far and/or begin to rupture the skin. Genital implants and beading are less common on females as they are usually purely aesthetic.
*Fun fact: In Japan, traditionally, Yakuza (similar to the mafia) members get 1 "pearl" implanted in the penis for every year they have spent in prison!

Saline and Silicone Injections:
Saline can carefully be injected into the penis or testicles to increase the size temporarily. For a few days, the penis or testicles will be full and swollen with saline, which slowly absorbs into the body and is safe as long as the equipment used to inject was sterile. This can make penetration extremely difficult or impossible depending on the size post-injection. This can give the appearance of a large, thick cock or giant, plump balls, but you can inject saline just about anywhere, including your lips, butt, or non-sexual areas. (check out these photos of facial saline injections: link) Silicone injections are more risky and are permanent, but can be corrected with invasive and risky surgery. Silicone injections tend to stay where they are originally injected, but migration isn't unheard of. Fat relocation is recommended over silicone injections as it is more natural, will naturally disperse over years time, and is easier to remove. With some research on the general satisfaction rate on genital silicone injections, I can say that it's generally not worth it, and there are many complications that can occur over time. People have tried other liquids to inject too, including KY Jelly, Hydrogel, and mineral oil (which is often disastrous). None of these are recommended, in fact, I'd urge you to not even look up pictures. If you're interested in genital expansion of any kind, I'd highly recommend trying friendly, safe, ol' saline first!

Meatotomy and Splitting:
While this can happen accidentally when a Prince Albert piercing is ripped out, this is sometimes done on males who enjoy extreme sounding (urethral insertion) play. The urethral opening (called the "meatus") is clamped and cut to make the opening wider. Unfortunately this often interferes with the person's ability to urinate normally, as the stream may become a spray. This is often the first step in a glans splitting, where the head of the penis is surgically split in half, but head splitting isn't very common. In more rare and extreme cases, the entire shaft and head of the penis are split down the middle vertically. This causes the person to be unable to urinate and ejaculate normally, as the urethra now begins at the base of the penis. While in rare cases nerve loss can happen, often the splitting exposes nerves that are not usually easily stimulated, this can be very pleasurable even though the initial procedure is quite painful. Penetration is still entirely possible, but since the two halves are no longer connected, the penis tends to curve in on itself and may require assistance when attempting penetration. Since the halves tend to curve, this can be very pleasurable for someone being penetrated by a split penis, as it will give a fuller feeling. Scrotal splitting can also be preformed, giving the testicles two separate sacks, but this is uncommon.

genital splitting diagram
The blue area is where a meatotomy would be cut, the orange down the shaft is where the penis would be further split for a full genital splitting, and the green is where the scrotum would be separated. There are lots of pictures of meatotomies, split penises and a few scrotal splittings available on BME.com if you can stomach some gorey images!

Nipple Removal:
Nipple removal is more commonly done on males than females because milk ducts in females can easily become infected, but it isn't unheard of or undo-able on females. The nipple is clamped, cut and stitched up or burned off resulting in a patch of scar tissue to expose the nerves underneath the nipple. This isn't extremely popular and is usually only done by those into heavy modifications, nullo (body part removal), or those who dislike the appearance/feel of nipples. Many people report that they have more sensation in the area than before the removal because of the newly exposed nerves! Nipple splitting can also be done to expose nerves and gain sensation. Splitting can also accidentally happen when nipple piercings are rejected or ripped out.

Other less common heavy modifications:
Deep piercings
Castration (removal of the testicles and scrotum)
Nullification (castration + penectomy)
Glansectomy (glans removal)
Penectomy (full penis removal)

This is definitely not a full list of all of the possible body modifications on males, only a brief look! If this is in your field of interest, make sure to check out sites like BME.com (a large body mod community) or visit your local piercing parlor.