I’ve Been Piercing Nipples and Genitals for a Decade. Here’s What I’ve Learnt. 

“For vulva owners, getting a piercing in this area can make sex or orgasms even more intense.”

12 April 2022, 11:05am

Taking a needle to the netherbits might sound like a ballsy idea to some, or send shivers down the spine for others. Piercings are polarising, after all, especially when it comes to your genital area. But for Mr Piercer – who’s gotten hundreds of pierced vaginas and penises under his belt – the world of intimate piercings is a playground in itself, one filled with pleasure, pain and pretty jewellery.

When J’son D’souza – a professional tattoo artist and piercer more popularly known by his moniker Mr Piercer – first started his studio in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2005, he noticed that there was a lack of awareness and understanding around intimate piercings. These piercings were already causing a huge stir in Europe, but only began gaining attention and acceptance in India about a decade ago, according to D’souza.

“A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of a friend, who was curious about intimate piercings,” D’souza told VICE. “When she expressed an interest in getting a piercing on her clitoral hood (a barbel placed on the thin piece of skin covering the clitoris), I began studying these piercings. It was a new realm for me, and I had to study a lot about body parts, human anatomy, healing and aftercare.”

J'son D'souza has been doing intimate piercings for over a decade and sees the trend on the rise. Photo courtesy of J'son D'souza

D’souza admitted that the first time he gave an intimate piercing was kinda awkward. “I spent several weeks carefully studying how to give this piercing, and told her that since this was my first time, it would take me time to get it right. She got a piercing on her clitoris and embellished it with a hanging pair of mini handcuffs. She loved it, and has it to this date.” 

The earliest known references to genital piercings can be found in the The Kama Sutra, the traditional Sanskrit text on sexuality, eroticism and emotional fulfilment. The book describes genital jewellery, such as pins and penis inserts, as ornamental, but also as a means to increase sexual pleasure for both partners. Meanwhile, the Dayak tribes of Borneo were likely the first known group of people to embellish their privates with piercings, often passing shards of bones through their penis glans. 

Today, the world of intimate piercings is expansive to say the least. These include piercings on the nipple, clitoris, outer labia of the vagina (to be clear, the more accurate term is “vulva,” but “vagina” is what everyone uses most), the head or tip of the penis, foreskin, penis shaft and even the scrotum. “There are about 10-12 piercings each that you can get on a penis or a vulva, and even nipple piercings can be given at many different angles,” explained D’souza. 

Nipple piercings are the most common requests that the veteran piercer gets at his studio. Photo courtesy of J'son D'souza

But why would someone want to get their private parts pierced? Isn’t the pain excruciating? Also, what does it mean for your sex life? 

Turns out, some piercings, especially those done on the clitoris, can bring you close to an orgasm without even having to touch yourself. 

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“One reason people get it is for the aesthetic value,” the veteran piercer explained. “The other is the arousal aspect. For vulva owners, getting a vertical or horizontal piercing in this area can make sex or [orgasms] even more intense, because they always have this piece of jewellery lightly touching or rubbing against them. 

He added that while clitoral piercings were often done with the intent of seeking pleasure, some people feel aroused by its aesthetic value too. “Stigmatophilia is a term for people who derive sexual pleasure from seeing their partner have piercings or tattoos, especially if they are primarily in the genital area. This makes the experience even more arousing, and I often have people coming in with their partners to get pierced because of this.” 

Some penis piercings, he said, could also make the sex more pleasurable for the penis owner’s partner. “Certain piercings like the Prince Albert piercing (which is done by inserting jewellery into the urethra, and out through the underside behind the penis head), can also make sex more arousing. Some people put a thick piece of jewellery like a ring through the head of their penis, which heightens pleasure for the woman in positions like reverse cowgirl or doggie style due to the jewellery rubbing against the upper wall of the vulva, which is closer to the G-spot.” 

Many vulva owners opt for clit piercings to maximise sexual pleasure. Photo courtesy of J'son D'souza

D’souza charges Rs 2,500 ($32) for nipple piercings, while genital piercings cost anywhere between Rs 4,000 ($52) to Rs 8,000 ($105) depending on where the client wants it and how elaborate their request is. 

The most common type of piercings that D’souza has done are the clitoral hood piercing, the Prince Albert piercing, and nipple piercings.  In fact, many of his clients get nipple piercings to draw their inverted nipple out, where the jewellery is used to bring out nipples that point inwards or lie flat. 

“Recently, I had a young girl of about 21 come in and get a nipple piercing to rectify her inverted nipples. After that, she sent me a message thanking me for uplifting her confidence with the piercing. She told me about how she was bullied in boarding school because of her inverted nipples, and even called ‘deformed’ by some of her classmates when they saw her in the community bathroom. It’s times like these that you realise the power of these piercings.” 

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Many of D’souza’s clients also happen to be be survivors of sexual abuse who get their nipples pierced as a way to reclaim their bodies. “One of the survivors said that this was their way of retaliation, their way to show their strength and victory over the traumatic incident. It’s a different feeling of gratitude you get when you realise you can help people feel better about themselves with these piercings.”

Some, however, find their way to him because they find pleasure in the pain. 

“I’ve done something called the genital corset, which is about 3–4 piercings done on each side of the vagina’s outer labia that you can run a chain through, like a corset,” he explained. “There is also a huge arena for suspension piercings, which is where you can run a chain through the piercing and hang vertically or horizontally.”

Some of the more extreme requests he has gotten from clients outside India include the Jacob’s Ladder (where multiple bars are pierced onto a penis to make it resemble a ladder), jewellery that weighed about 200 grams, and a genital chastity belt (where a piercing is used to simulate a cock cage by tying the pierced penis to a chain and tucking it in). 

“Some also get these piercings to derive pleasure from the pain at that point of time, which is what we call needle play,” he said. 

In fact, D’souza has sometimes found himself in situations where the client feels aroused or might get wet while he is giving them the genital piercing. 

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“It’s a natural thing, but it can make it difficult for me to give the piercing if they are moving or there is too much lubrication,” he explained. “So, in such situations, I usually try to get them to move or talk to them about things that will get them out of that mode.” 

D’souza’s experience and expertise have helped him develop a safe space for his clients, which he ensures by giving them all the information about the pain, impact and aftercare before they get the piercing. When it comes to giving these intimate piercings, D'souza compares his professional approach to that of a gynaecologist. However, he also has women on his team for those who might feel more at ease getting pierced by them. 

“When I’m doing such intimate piercings, I always talk them through the process, and give step-by-step commentary while the piercing is happening’,” he said. “Sometimes, the fear or phobia that this is going to hurt like hell makes them twitch or jump, but I need to make sure of the precision, so I don’t start until a person is fully settled and ready to take on whatever’s coming.”

While many expect the pain to be excruciating, it’s often not as hellish as people imagine. “Different parts of the body would have different pain levels, and people also have different pain thresholds,” he stressed. “But, a lot of times, people think that the pain will be a lot, and come prepared to feel so much pain, then realise it’s not so bad.” 

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However, he warned, there are times when things don’t quite go as planned. 

“Many of my clients are stopped at airports because of metal detectors, which is why I always advise them to carry an X-ray. Once, a client who had a foreskin piercing was [getting a blowjob] from a girl with braces, and you can figure how that ended. Another time, I’ve had a client with a pierced penis tell me about how they chipped someone’s tooth.” 

As a precautionary measure, D’souza always has an elaborate talk with all his clients, explaining how the piercing could impact their sex life and their relationship with their partner. 

“When you get a genital piercing, the metal is bound to affect your anatomy. From a sexual perspective, there has to be an understanding that a few things have to change, which depends on how rough you like to take it when you’re in the act.” 

If you’ve been cringing reading through most of the piece, wondering who in their right mind would want to go through this kind of pain, you must know that more and more people are turning up at D’souza’s studio for piercings.. 

“Earlier, I would get about 8–10 requests for intimate piercings in a month,” he said. “Now, I get almost that many requests in a week.” 

D’souza credits the post-pandemic attitude as the main reason why people now feel more emboldened to experiment with intimate piercings. “Post the lockdown, I’m seeing people become bolder about freely expressing themselves. I think that a lot of people have always had thoughts of wanting it, but have not gone out there to explore it, maybe because of the fear or the taboo attached to it. But now, we’re slowly seeing that change, which is amazing.”

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Tagged:

penis, Piercing, orgasm, genitals, clitoris, nipple

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