What is this fascination with belly-buttons? It seems to start when we are babies - who can honestly resist poking at the chubby navel of an infant? And what infant doesn't giggle and gurgle in response to having their belly tickled? Our obsession with belly-buttons seems to only increase as we get older, when the cute and cuddly suddenly become sexy and erotic.
Navels have even reached the level of fetish for some. Websites have been created in honor of the belly-button, displaying hundreds of photos of celebrity and civilian innies and outies. Although not pornographic in any way, the navel has become a symbol of sexual appeal for men and women alike.
That said, there is now an increasing demand for products that embellish the navel, either permanently or temporarily. Belly tattoos are on the increase, with circular patterns specifically chosen to enhance the natural contour of the navel. Belly-button piercings are not such a new thing, but body jewelry companies are now striving for bigger, better and more beautiful navel adornments. Navel shields (like in the above picture) are especially popular.
That brings to mind a question I get asked once in a while - can an "outie" be pierced? It can, but the associated risks and possible problems are greater. Really, almost any skin can be pierced - an "outie" just has more surface scar tissue that has to be worked around. With the skill of an experienced piercer, an outie can be successfully pierced. As with any piercing, going to a professional and following your aftercare instructions is extremely important.
If you're not looking for anything permanent, there are temporary tattoos designed to go around the navel. There are also belly clips designed to give the look and feel of a real piercing, but are easily applied and removed. The latest fashion trend is the blinking, color-changing flashers that are inserted into the belly hole.
Whatever your personal choice of decoration may be, your exposed navel will not be alone as scores of belly-buttons around the world are enjoying their new-found freedom.