October 5th, 2011
I received a question from someone seeking unusual ornamentation:
Are surface anchor piercings permanent, and can you get them on your feet (top)?
No, unfortunately, even when everything is done right, surface anchors simply appear to be less of a permanent body modification than traditional body piercings.
Further, they require ongoing care throughout their life span, including regular irrigation to make sure no matter builds up in the channel or under the ornament. And even with this care, sometimes they will tilt and/or surface and reject.
On the feet, they are especially unlikely to be successful, even for a short period of time. There is little padding on top of the bone, and the area is subject to excessive trauma. Also, in that region you are at greater risk for infection than other parts of the body because of the proximity of the feet to the dirty ground.
In the event that a surface anchor were to actually heal and stay for longer than I would expect, there's some chance that a small amount of tissue could grow through the holes that are present in the base of most anchors (for the very purpose of helping the anchor remain in place). If that were to happen, it could still be removed by a piercer using ordinary piercing instruments.
October 3rd, 2011
I got this message from a woman who is unhappy with the placement of her nostril piercing:
After reading your impressive profile I feel a little silly with my question. But due to my vanity :), here goes: I am a 45-year-old mother of three. My husband and I lived in Switzerland back in 2000 where piercing was huge (or at least seemed more acceptable). I had always wanted my nose pierced (nostril) but was a little fearful (pain/infection/scarring). So, for the past 10 or so years I have just worn stickers or magnets.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, my 8-year-old daughter and I had a date to get her ears pierced (and my nose!). Yay!
We went to a highly reputable piercing studio, but to my disappointment they weren't that great with placement. They did put a dot on my nose, and at the time I questioned the placement but since they were the "pros", I trusted their judgement.
Oh Elayne, I could kick myself. Who knows maybe I just need to get used to it, but every time I look in the mirror, the peircing looks like it needs to be picked off. It just seems too close to the tip of my nose.
It seems when I'm talking to people they can't take thier eyes off my nose. Whereas before, I was looked in the eye and maybe given a positive comment about my "peircing").
I'm now debating to just take the thing out (before it scars) and start over, or just forget about it all together. Sigh.
Questions: If I do decide to try a re-do, do I need to wait for this peircing to completely heal? Also, I have been cleaning it thoroughly in the morning with surgical soap, and saline in the evening. I'm wondering if it will scar and look funny with a new peircing beside it. I just want to move the peircing 1.5 - 2mm back.
Anyhow, I'd love to hear your feedback.
September 27th, 2011
I recently received a wonderful email from a reader who got a VCH piercing for her 18th birthday. She explains that it was instrumental in reclaiming her body after abuse. Read her touching story about how a piercing was so positive and empowering:
I got my VCH piercing for my 18th birthday and it's really a thanks to you, this blog, the Piercing Bible and others who have the VCH piercing and shared their experiences.
I was sexually abused for five years when i was a kid so my body never did feel like it was completely mine until my birthday (the 17th). I feel so liberated, new, fresh and like i finally have a choice with my body-- i never knew a piercing could make someone feel this way or could help me out much more than any therapist could. Whenever i have flashbacks, or memories of the abuse, i can just smile it off now because my body finally feels like it's MINE and no one will ever be able to take it away and abuse it again.
Body modification has helped me out so much these past two years with finding myself again and gaining a strong sense of self and i feel like i owe a big thank you to you. You've enlightened me a lot on piercing (I want to be a piercer one day in the future) and have helped me realize how liberating and renewing a piercing can be-- thank you so much for being there for everyone, for writing the Piercing Bible and for being so passionate about body modification (you're a true inspiration)!
September 20th, 2011
I received a question from a woman who was experiencing a very unpleasant side effect from her clitoral hood piercing:
I am so glad I found your website. I need your wisdom. I have had my vch for about two years and ever since I got it I have had a fishy scent. Prior to my piercing I had no scent at all - not to be gross, but my husband said I had no scent or taste. For example, I could be in bed for days with the flu and not shower and still not have any scent. Now, even though I wash daily I still end up with a fishy scent by the end of the day. (Sorry for the to-much-info details but I wanted to explain just how much my vagina has changed since the piercing). I clean with ivory and move the barbell back and forth. I don't have any discharge, redness, or pain. My husband said the scent is not that strong but I am horrified. I have not changed my piercing since I got it and from what the piercer told me I have a stainless steel barbell with "less than 18% nickel". I am wondering if I need to chane to another material, if I may have bacteria inside the piercing, or if the barbell possibly changed the pH of my vagina??? Should I just take it out? I am so embarrassed and would be grateful for any advice you could give me.
Thanks so much,
September 17th, 2011
I recently received a very interesting piercing question from a piercer who is unsure of what to do when it becomes clear that a client is getting genital piercings for the experience of being pierced, and who does not really want to wear jewelry:
I have a 74-year-old gentleman who early last week came in and requested 4 8 gauge frenum piercings and an 8 gauge prince albert. Anatomy was suitable for the frenums but not quite for the P.A. so I made him aware and performed that piercing at a 10 gauge instead.
Everything was well and good, he was a more than satisfied client and went on his way. 3 days later he came in again and had taken them all out and wanted them all performed again. The P.A. was easily tapered back open and was not in need of a repierce. To redo the Frenums I just offset them a safe distance from the previous spots and re pierced them. The fact that he had had the procedure performed and then taken them out and had them redone within 3 days raised a few questions in my mind but i decided that I had no reason to not believe him when he said that he had just gotten frustrated with them so he took them out and realized doing so was a mistake.
Today, however, the gentleman came in to the shop again (3 days after the re-pierce, 6 days after the initial procedure) and had taken them all out again and wanted them re pierced yet again.
September 15th, 2011
I received a message from a woman who needed advice about her hood piercing:
I removed my HCH piercing when I was pregnant with my 3 year old. I couldn't get the piercing in after I had the baby. About a month ago my husband and I decided to try again. We used his cock piercing ring which was a bigger gauge with a bigger ball because we were unable to place the ball on my ring. Within 3 days I could barely walk due to the piercing. I am not sure if the gauge was too big on his ring for my piercing or we didn't clean everything properly. I am healed now and I want to put the piercing in again. What is the proper way to clean the ring and what is the best size? Or is there a trick to those pesky closing balls?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Inserting an even larger size after a piercing has been out is a recipe for problems. So is inserting jewelry that has not been sterilized in an autoclave.
Is there a reason you don't want to get help from a professional piercer? We have tools called insertion tapers that allow us to gently insert jewelry. There is a bit of a trick to getting the balls in, and most piercers are very adept at it!
This is a brief introduction to insertion tapers from my book:
September 10th, 2011
I received this message from a piercee who was experiencing problems with his Prince Albert piercing:
Finally I found someone who might have an answer. I got a PA about 3 years ago now. All went well and I was able to size up to an 8mm / 0 gauge after about 2 1/2 years. I wore the 8mm 24/7 for about 3 months when I noticed there was only about 5mm of skin between the piercing and the urethra.
I've taken the ring out completely now to see if the hole will close down a bit but its still much the same size. I dont want to wear a smaller ring in case the skin breaks thru completley. Any ideas? Should I leave it out for longer? It's been out for 8 months now. Would I be right in thinking that a smaller ring, although not heavy, would prevent any kind of healing?
August 30th, 2011
I received a message today from a gal who was concerned that her piercing hadn't been properly placed. Wow was she right!