In the United States, our culture is such that we simply make subtle references to sex and only discuss it lightly; we don’t take pride in genitalia like other non-Western cultures do and have done for thousands of years. Genital piercings are rarely discussed and are only ever displayed in private or kink-friendly events and spaces. While some people attribute genital piercings to serving solely a sexual function, they can be simply decorative as well.
While male genital piercings can seem intimidating, especially because it’s such a sensitive area, they’ve been performed in non-Western cultures for thousands of years. In fact, some of the earliest written records of male genital piercings (apadravya) are found in the Kama Sutra. They didn’t make their way to Western society until the 19 th century when the Dutch explorer Anton Willem Nieuwenhuis described ampallang piercings (which won’t be discussed in this article) in an ethnographic report.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the origins of the three most common male genital piercings.
Prince Albert (PA) Piercing
This piercing is easily the most common of the male intimate piercings and is usually a starter piercing for any guy who is considering getting a genital piercing. The name of the piercing originates from the fabricated legend that Prince Albert wore one to keep his penis “sweet smelling” to not offend the Queen. However, in Victorian England, the piercing was known as a dressing ring and was used to fasten the genitals to either leg to allow men of the time to wear tight-fitting trousers.
Today, the piercing has sexual function. It provides sexual gratification, regardless if its during masturbation; oral; vaginal; or anal sex, by stimulating the urethra and the area surrounding it. It also provides enhanced pleasure to a partner by stimulating the nerves of the genitals, anus, or mouth.
A PA involves either a barbell or a ring being inserted through the urethra and coming out on the underside of the penis at the base of the head. It is generally pierced at a 10 gauge, but you can stretch it to a larger size.
This piercing got is name by shortening the anatomical term for the area that is pierced: frenulum or fraenum. While a frenulum is simply a fibrous cord of connecting issue (you have them in your mouth—it is where a smiley piercing would be), this name refers specifically to the one on the underside of the penis. It is the area where the head of the penis meets the foreskin; if you’re circumcised the majority of the area is removed in the process.
The first documented reference to this piercing was in an ethnological publication in 1884. It stated that the Timorese of Indonesia pierced the frenulum (frenum) with brass rings to enhance stimulation during sexual intercourse.
Today, the frenum piercing operates in the same manner; it provides added sexual pleasure to the wearer and his partner.
As we mentioned above, this piercing has been performed for thousands of years and is even mentioned in the Kama Sutra. But did you know that the original idea for this piercing was for it to attach to a penis extension? That’s right; this piercing’s origins were intended to enhance pleasure for larger women. However, it got its name in the 1970s from piercing pioneer Doug Malloy. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term “prosthesis.”
Much like a PA, the apadravya goes straight through the head of the penis at an angle and bisects the urethral tube. For males, the piercing stimulates the prostate during anal sex. For females, the piercing stimulates the G-spot.
Male Penis Piercing Aftercare
Most male genital piercings bleed a lot. There are a lot of blood vessels in the area so it's quite common to experience bleeding and your piercer may put gauze on to help. It will also continue to bleed longer than most other piercings and may spot for several days after the piercing is done. The initial pain is over quite quickly but at first each erection will have pain because of the pulling on the piercing.
Aftercare for penis piercings is similar to other piercings, but it's important that you keep the area very clean to prevent infections. Daily showers and washing the piercing with a saltwater solution are a must. You can also do a saltwater soak to help with swelling. It's also important to wear clean underwear everyday for the same reason. You want to avoid going commando because this creates more movement in the area which can irritate the piercing.