There are several types of male genital piercings but a ‘Prince Albert’ is probably the most well-known. Piercing the penis from the outside of the frenulum and into the urethra or vice versa for a Reverse Prince Albert, it can be centred if the wearer is circumcised but, otherwise, will need to be off to one side to allow the foreskin to reposition itself. The Prince Albert is also the most common piercing as it has the quickest healing time of 2-4 months, along with the fewest possible complications. With all piercings, there is the chance of rejection but the likelihood with a Prince Albert is small since the passage of urine serves as a healing agent so cleaning after peeing is not necessary. The recommended jewellery would be a10 gauge captive bead ring or circular barbell and a Reverse Prince Albert has the jewellery circling around to the top of the glans rather than the bottom.
Moving up the penis, we come to Foreskin piercings which, naturally, are only possible in the uncircumcised male. Used for sexual enhancement, it can involve either single or multiple piercings using a 12 gauge captive bead ring or circular barbell. Like the Prince Albert, the healing time is 2-4 months and there are not too many complications. However, healing should be ensured before engaging in sexual activity, Care should be taken to ensure the piercing is well healed and stable enough before engaging in sexual intercourse as it is susceptible to tearing.
Two piercings go through the head of the penis (the glans). The Ampallang is one of the more difficult male genital piercings and, consequently, less popular, as it involves the slow, painful process of making a hole horizontally above, under or through the urethra and requires the passage of the needle through the thick, fibrous tissue of the glans. Because it is crucial that the line is straight to avoid important arteries and sensitive nerves, some piercing practitioners will require an erect penis. The wound can bleed for up to five days with complete abstinence from sexual relations required for at least two weeks and extreme care until it is fully healed which will take 6-12 months. The jewellery recommended for this piercing is a 14, 12, or 10 gauge straight barbell.
The Apadravya is similar to the Ampallang, except that it is a vertical piercing which could prove fatal if the needle is not placed properly.
The Dydoe piercing is preferred by men who have been circumcised but is not exclusively their domain, although it is dependent upon the glans being large enough for the needle (or needles for multiple piercings) and 16 to 14 gauge curved barbell as they need to go through the ridge on either the top or sides of the glans. It is thought to enhance sensitivity which has been lost due to circumcision. The healing period of 4-6 months can sometimes be complicated, especially if there is a foreskin involved as, again, there is the risk of tearing so sexual abstinence is recommended for one week along with care afterwards.
After the Prince Albert, the Frenum is the most popular male genital piercing due to its quick healing time, minimal pain and lack of complications. The needle pierces through the flexible skin of the underside of the shaft just behind the head of the penis.
The Frenum has two variations: the Lorum where the piercing is positioned at the base of the shaft near the scrotum and the Frenum Ladder, which is a row of Frenum piercings from the base of the shaft up to the top. The recommended jewellery is 12 to 10 gauge straight barbell, curved barbell or captive bead ring although care should be taken when choosing this as it is possible to lose the bead during sexual activity. Healing time is 2-4 months during which time care should be taken to keep the area clean, dry and free of pubic hair. A week of sexual abstinence is recommended followed by careful sexual activity.
The Guiche or Perineum piercing with a 12 – 10 gauge captive bead ring is not very common due to the associated complications of its position under the scrotal sac near the anus, which make it unsuitable for cyclists or desk-bound workers. Temperature, lack of ventilation and perspiration make the 4-6 month healing period problematic along with the difficulties of jewellery migration or rejection.
Finally, the Hafada or Scrotum piercing. In its favour, the scrotum can be pierced virtually anywhere and causes relatively little pain because of the thin elastic skin. However, it is crucial to ensure that the sac is not pierced and the placement of a 14 – 12 gauge captive bead ring in this area means that it can be easily irritated so the 2-4 month healing period can be fraught with difficulty due to natural perspiration and lack of ventilation. Keeping the area hair-free aids the healing process but the area should be rinsed clean of any soap afterwards. Care should be taken with sexual activity due to tearing.