Men vs. Women: Which Piercings Are More Common Between the Sexes?

Having a hard time deciding what should be your next piercing? We don’t blame you. Today, there are plenty of types of piercing to choose from, with some offering even more options than just a decision to pierce your ear. Then it comes down to what type of ear piercing you want: lobe, tragus, helix, conch, etc. One way to help you pick your next piercing is to see what piercings are most common between the sexes.

The Most Popular Piercing for Men & Women Alike

If you had to guess which piercing is the most common for both men and women, would you choose the ear lobe? If so, you’d be correct. An estimated 83% of Americans have their ear lobe pierced at least once.

The Most Popular Piercings for Women

Belly Button Piercings

Aside from earlobes, the most popular piercing amongst women is a belly button piercing. Statistics show that 33% of American women have or have had their belly button pierced. The popularity of belly button piercings for women really sparked in the ‘90s with Alicia Silverstone’s pierced navel in the 1993 MTV Music Video of the Year winning video for “Cryin’.” Shortly after that, fashion models began to sport their belly button rings on the runway. Today, many celebrities have their navels pierced, such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Billie Eilish.

Belly Button Piercing

Nose Piercings

After belly button piercings, nose piercings are the next most common piercings for women. 19% of women in America have or have had a nose piercing, with the most popular being nostril piercings. When nostril piercings were first introduced into American culture, it was in the 1960s when the Hippies were influenced by Indian music, arts, and culture. In India, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, a woman should pierce her left nostril because it is beneficial to the health of her reproductive system. Today, nostril piercings are popularized due to the many female celebrities that have them, such as Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, and Zendaya.

Nose Piercing Hoop Girl

Non-Lobe Ear Piercings

The next most popular piercings amongst women are non-lobe ear piercings, such as helix piercings, conch piercings, and daith piercings. In fact, 13% of U.S. women have a non-lobe ear piercing. The popularity of these piercings grew when they started to become more acceptable for work. Additionally, celebrities such as Keke Palmer, Ashley Graham, and Teyona Taylor have all been photographed sporting conch piercings, multiple helix piercings, and more. If you’re looking for a dainty piercing idea, we’ve got a gold dragonfly industrial barbell.

Cartilage Piercing (Tragus)

Tongue Piercings

Much like the popular belly button piercings, tongue piercings for women are seen as a way to boost sexuality. 9.5% of women in America have or a tongue piercing, and it’s easy to see why. From kissing to enhancing a partner’s experience during oral sex, women can use tongue piercings as a convenient accessory. However, women also choose to get their tongue pierced because they think it looks cool or they want to do it for themselves.

Tongue Piercing

Nipple Piercings

Nearly tying in popularity with women in America, 9% of women have their nipples pierced. This can be attributed to the numerous options there are for nipple jewelry. From barbells to rings to nipple shields, women have plenty of options for adorning their breasts.

Nipple Rings Girl

Eyebrow Piercings

Around 8% of pierced females in America have eyebrow piercings. In the 90s, this piercing was more commonly seen on men who were trying to replicate the boy band look. However, over time, the piercing grew in popularity among women. Now, Kristin Maldonado of Pentatonix is commonly seen with her two eyebrow piercings with curved barbells in them.

Eyebrow Piercing on Girl

Lip Piercings

Despite the sudden popularity of lip piercings, including philtrum and Monroe piercings, only around 4% of females in America have a lip piercing. If you’re debating getting a lip piercing, we have many different styles of jewelry. From gemmed labret studs to gold florets that would look perfect in philtrum piercings, you can pick the perfect piece to complement your style.

Lip Ring Hoop on Girl

Genital Piercings

Much like nipple piercings for females, genital piercings are also seen as sexuality-enhancing piercings. Around 2% of women in the United States have a genital piercing. Genital piercings for women consist of the vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercing, the horizontal clitoral hood (HCH) piercing, the triangle piercing, outer labia piercings, inner labia piercings, and the Christina piercing.

Most Common Piercings for Men

Nipple Piercings

Aside from earlobe piercings, nipple piercings are the most common piercings amongst men. 18% of men in the United States have nipple piercings. One of the reasons why this piercing is more popular with men is because men can walk around shirtless, showing off their piercings. Another reason men get this piercing is that it can heighten nipple sensitivity due to the high concentration of nerves in the area.

Guy Nipple Piercing

If you’re thinking that nipple piercings sound too feminine, there are plenty of masculine jewelry options available. From simple circular barbells to straight barbells with stone or spiked ends, we have a variety you can browse through.

Eyebrow Piercings

Following close behind nipple piercings, 17.5% of males in America have an eyebrow piercing. From a statistical standpoint, this means that men are over 2 times more likely to have an eyebrow piercing than women. Some famous male celebrities with eyebrow piercings are Justin Bieber and Shia LaBeouf. For a masculine look, you can select from spiked ends, ends that look like skulls, or even a simple silver seamless ring.

Guy Eyebrow Piercing

Non-Lobe Ear Piercings

More common for men than for women, ear cartilage and non-lobe ear piercings are the next most common for men. Around 17% of American men have either a cartilage or other type of ear piercing that isn’t a lobe piercing. There are plenty of options for these types of piercings, such as the rook, the daith, the helix, the tragus, and the conch. The most popular ones among men are industrial piercings, conch piercings, helix piercings, and rook piercings. Male celebrities, such as Adam Lambert and Shawn Mendez, have shown different ways to sport cartilage piercings. Adam Lambert has been seen wearing ritzy, silver and gem-covered cartilage jewelry while Shawn Mendez has been seen wearing a simple circular end on a post.

Guy Tragus Cartilage Piercing

Tongue Piercings

Men have erogenous zones or places on the body that can cause sexual arousal with touch. One erogenous zone that men have is the tongue; therefore, piercings can help enhance the sensitivity of the tongue in men. Another reason men might get their tongues pierced is that it can enhance the pleasure of their partner. Regardless of the reasons men are getting their tongue pierced, 16% of men in America have a pierced tongue.

Guy Tongue Piercing

Nose Piercings

After tongue piercings, nose piercings are the next most common for men. 15% of U.S. men have their noses pierced. While women are more inclined to choose simple studs or rings for their jewelry, men are more likely to sport larger gauge septum piercings or nostril rings. For example, large gauge septum tusks are more commonly purchased by men than women.

Guy with Double Nose Piercing

Lip Piercings

Lip piercings are far more common for men than women. While only 4% of women in the U.S. have a lip piercing, 13% of men have a lip piercing. Among all lip piercing options, standard labrets with circular barbells or labret studs are the most popular. However, horizontal lip piercings are also common for men.


Genital Piercings

While studies have only been able to gather the statistic that 3% of American men have genital piercings, the number may be much higher in reality. Unlike female genital piercings, which can enhance sexual pleasure for the person who has the piercing, male genital piercings only provide a mental turn-on or pleasure for the other person. Some of the common male genital piercings include Prince Albert (PA) piercing, frenum piercing, ampalang piercing, and the apadravya piercing.

Regardless of your sex, there are plenty of piercing options available for you. A visit to your local professional piercer can also help you decide the next piercing to get. They will be able to chat with you about your anatomy and even curate a piercing project. Urban Body Jewelry has a wide variety of options to place in any of your piercings, whether you want a masculine or feminine look.

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.