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Popular Types of Body Piercings

Explore the Art of Needles and Modification

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Young woman wearing ring in navel
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There are many different locations and types of body piercings; some of which trace back to the Bible and various cultures. What many seem like a simple puncture wound may have a very emotional and personal significance to the bearer. Body modification is just one way you can express your personality and make a statement so be sure you pick the piercing that fits.

The ancient practice of piercing can mark spiritual rites of passage and liberation. Some people rely on erotic or intimate piercings to provide sexual enhancement during foreplay and intercourse and may enjoy the mere sensation of being pierced.

Other people may wear a few select piercings to adorn and enhance their appearance. Body piercings can be worn by men and women, so forget the stereotypes and rest assured your body is yours; so do as you wish. Just remember the risks and pierce wisely. Be diligent in finding a professional body piercer and practice proper aftercare to ensure the healing and comfort of your piercing.

Popular Types of Body Piercings

Some piercings offer pleasure while others are simply just an expression of self identity. Here's a brief overview of some of the most common forms of body piercings and their known origins.
  • Nipple
  • Nipple piercing was once worn by Native American men before experiencing a brief popularity amongst women during the Victorian area. Today, both men and women can wear this arousing piercing which is said to feel pleasurable upon stimulation..
  • Tongue:
  • Although the tongue piercing dates back to tribes, Master Piercer Elayne Angel is credited for the introduction and popularity of this piercing style within the United States. A tongue piercing can enhance oral sex and also be worn as a mere fashion statement.
  • Eyebrow
  • Bearing no more history than for fashion in the 1970s, the unisex eyebrow piercing placement is ideal for adoring with all types of body jewelry and fashion styles; so do it up.
  • Genital
  • Genital piercings can be worn for many purposes including sexual enhancement, body adornment or for self-expression and rites of passage. The most popular form of genital piercing for men is the Prince Albert piercing which travels through the dorsal side of the glans. For women, a clitoral hood piercing is the most popular placement, as the clitoris itself is not usually an anatomically desirable spot to pierce. A horizontal or vertical hood piercing can provide pleasure when stimulated and allow for the presentation of beautiful gemstone jewelry.
  • Ear
  • Ear piercings include all areas of the ear including the lobe and cartilage. One of the most common ear piercings is known as the Tragus piercing which is a piercing on skin which covers the ear canal opening. So long as you've got the jewelry to spare, you can pierce many holes from the top to the bottom of your ear if you'd like. Many different ear piercings can be paired with different types of jewelry to create a unique look.
  • NostrilA nostril or nose piercing can be traced back to the Bible, Native American tribes and finally to India where brides wear a beautiful piercing to symbolize their wedding. The nostril is also worn by native tribes in both South and North America and remains a very popular choice for a facial piercing. In addition to the nostril piercing, the septum is another option for a nose piercing . A septum piercing is located at the base of your nose in on the narrow divider of skin. Often adorned with a ring, a septum piercing makes a bold statement.

Where to Go

If you're ready for a piercing you'll need to find a reputable piercer you can trust. Call around or seek reputable establishment by referral or word of mouth. Many tattoo shops have body piercers on location. If you have a trusted tattoo artist ask who they could recommend. You'll likely find a piercer who shares the same standards of professionalism and skill as your tattooist and you can in turn help them build their business by spreading the good word.

Since there is no formal education or standard requirements for piercing, you'll need to trust your instincts and find an expert who is professional, knowledgeable, sanitary and who puts you at ease based on their understanding of the procedure and the piercing establishment.

What Not to Do

No matter how easy the craft looks, do not try piercing yourself at home. Sterilization of equipment, proper placement and piercing techniques are essential for a positive piercing experience and to prevent the possibility of disease, infection or scarring from dirty needles or improper aftercare.

Heal and Recover

Allow your new body piercing to heal properly. Don't play and poke your body and by all means don't allow anyone else to either. Clean your piercing and follow your piercer's instructions for aftercare diligently.

Most of all, decorate and adorn your new body enhancement. Find jewelry styles that compliment your personality and appearance. Different metals, gemstones and colorful beads can really change your look.

Body piercings can enhance your best features and distinguish your personal and fashionable style, so don't be shy; celebrate your individuality with body jewelry and express yourself with metal.

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