Vaginal piercings have become almost commonplace today with a level of acceptance that would have surprised most people just 20 or 30 years ago. Chances are pretty good in fact that if you have a fairly wide circle of friends you know at least one woman with a genital piercing (whether she’s told you about it or not is another story). But just because something is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s particularly wise or healthy (hello Big Mac). So just because your BFF has told you she’s going to get a clit ring doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to follow suit. In fact, there are quite a few good reasons why you should never let that guy with the dazed look, dirty beard and parole officer on speed dial operate on your vulva and below we’ll spell them out.
The Objective Dangers of Vaginal Piercing
People who raise red flags about things like vaginal accessories tend to be looked upon by tattoo/piercing fans as being somehow backward or maybe even a tool for the man. But the fact is that anyone who ignores the very real risks and potential drawbacks of this type of procedure is simply demonstrating a reckless disregard for their own well-being. And while that’s certainly their right it doesn’t mean the risks of vaginal piercing are any less real. Here is a partial list of those risks:
- Infections – Would you sign up for an operation if you knew it was going to be performed in the back room of a convenience store? No, you wouldn’t and for a very good reason: the risk of infection. While many who do this type of piercing are likely wonderful human beings, they tend to ply their trade in environments that are no more sterile than the average 7-11 storeroom. If you don’t believe that infection is a real risk with this type of surgery (and that’s what it is) do an Internet search for “infected genital piercings” and have a look at the images. There is also a very real risk you could wind up with Hepatitis B or C, tetanus or HIV.
- Not everyone who says they’re qualified actually is – Regulation of shops that do vaginal piercing is lax to say the least. In many foreign countries where women go to have this procedure done, there is often zero oversight from reputable health agencies. That means that you may have someone responsible and well-trained passing a needle through your labia or you may have a dude who just really wants to score cool points or one of those 7-11 clerks trying to make a bit of extra cash on the side. There’s often no way to know for sure.
- No anesthesia – Since they are not anesthesiologists or licensed by a medical board, it is illegal for people who do tattoos and piercings to administer anesthetics or even do local numbing the way a dentist does. If your artist tells you not to worry because they’ll numb the area first, remember they have no legal right to do so. If done improperly this type of local anesthetic can lead to skin reactions, swelling and (if they administered it with a needle) nerve damage. On the other hand, if they tell you not to worry because the procedure won’t hurt they’re lying to you. It will.
- There’s no evidence that they improve sex – Genital piercings are often promoted as a way to heighten levels of sexual satisfaction. There’s only one small problem with that; there’s zero actual evidence that it is true. In fact, the few studies that have been conducted on the possible sexual advantages of piercings could find no evidence that they aided in sexual pleasure. Although they did find ample evidence that women with genital piercings experienced pain when their ‘ornaments’ would get caught in their underwear or pants, and that these women tended to have a greater number of yeast infections and other issues.
- Other complications – Infections are bad enough, but they’re not the only potential dangers of vaginal piercing. Other complications include the possibility of the accessory moving from its intended location due to the weight of the ring or another ornament, rejection by the body of the ring or other ornament and nerve damage that may be irreversible. In fact, if the piercing is poorly located you could actually lose sensation in your private area rather than having it enhanced.
Different Types of Vaginal Piercing
There are three typical forms of vaginal piercing. They are:
- Piercing of the clitoris or clitoral hood – This is the most popular type of vaginal accessory. Rumor has it that it enhances clitoral arousal during sex though research indicates that any enhanced feeling is largely a matter of wishful thinking. This type of piercing is far more likely to result in nerve damage than heightened arousal.
- Labial piercing – To learn exactly why someone would want to have rings or pegs inserted into their vaginal lips you’d have to ask the recipient of such a procedure. Again, there is zero evidence that putting accessories on your vaginal lips enhances anything other than your likelihood to suffer infections.
- Piercing of the urethra – Sometimes called the Princess Albertina this is a (thankfully) rare and complex procedure wherein the piercing goes through the urethra and the top of the vagina, and a ring is inserted. If you love yeast infections, pee spraying all over the place and discomfort during intercourse this is the accessory for you.
Next time someone asks if you’re brave enough to consider a genital piercing think of those photos you saw of infected piercings. You’ll realize the wrong question is being asked. The question that should be asked is: “Are you smart enough to say ‘no’ to vaginal piercing?” Of course, it is your body, and you have the right to do with it as you will. But you’d be wise to sidestep the vaginal piercing hype and leave well enough alone when it comes to your vagina.