Philly finds fashion and pleasure after pain.
They’re sparkly. They’re trendy. They get attention. Body piercings become more popular as the mercury rises. Whether on South Street or down the shore, getting pierced is a great way to accentuate the physique.
There are tons of piercings you could get—the Monroe, labret, snake bite, septum, dimples, tongue, eyebrow. The list is endless, and doesn’t even include the belly button, a summertime staple when clothes get skimpy. The addition of dermal anchor technology allows you to get a single stud on an otherwise unpiercable spot. These days, the limits to pierced adornment are set by desire alone.
Fashion and trends aside, some of the sexiest piercings are in places you can’t see—and the folks who get their nipples and genitals pierced are not who you might think. Sensual piercing, says the experienced crew at Warrior Piercing—piercing Philly since 1989—has gone mainstream.
“There is a small fetish crowd that used to be very prevalent in the ’80s when it came to body piercing and really brought it out in the gay and lesbian scene,” says Sage Werbock, of family-owned Warrior. “I hardly ever see that anymore.”
No, these days anyone might have piercings in intimate places—the mail carrier, the girl who works at the corner store, your landlord, your kids’ anthropology professor. The phenomenon is growing in popularity and is no longer relegated to fetishists or the hardcore.
There are a lot of different reasons people get their junk pierced. “One of the major ones is the fashion aspect,” says Werbock. “Some people just like the decoration of it and want to have something that looks pretty on them.”
But many want an erotic piercing to not only look badass, but also to enhance sex.
“Some people when it comes to the genital piercings want to have something that’s going to do something for them—going to increase their pleasure and increase their sensitivity,” says Werbock.
Male piercings like the ampallang (a barbell inserted through the head of the penis horizontally), the Prince Albert (a hoop that loops through the head) and the frenum (a barbell that’s placed on the underside of the penis where the head meets the shaft) do good work in this department for both the piercee and his partner.
Erotic piercings like these aren’t usually done on a whim, says Warrior piercer Shona Bradley. Unlike a gaggle of 20-year-olds who all decide to get their eyebrows, tongues or bellybuttons pierced on a sunny afternoon, “the more intimate piercings are more planned out,” she says. “It’s never like, ‘Oh, I think I’m going to go get my penis pierced right now.’”
In those cases, the piercer is often sought out based on experience and word-of-mouth recommendations.
“I feel like I get them all,” Bradley laughs. “[Some] guys don’t want other guys touching them, and women are more comfortable with a woman.”
And it’s not only the most liberated women who get such accoutrements. A housewife looking to spice up a bedroom that’s grown otherwise dull has several options, including the triangle piercing and the hood piercing—depending on what suits her specific anatomy.
Werbock explains that the vertical hood, the flap of skin that covers the clit, is the most popular sensual piercing for women— and with good reason: “When the piercing is done properly, the ring is in constant contact with the clitoris,” Werbock explains— then adds with a smile, “and that just makes everybody’s day.”
These piercings enhance and stimulate. In fact, some women have never had an orgasm before they try pierced intercourse. Sometimes a couple will go to a piercer together to get “compatible” work done. Hell, it’s almost like experienced piercers are doing a public service.
What’s the moral of the story? Don’t assume that someone who looks like a square really is one just because they don’t advertise their freak flag with piercings on their face. You never know what’s lurking beneath those clothes—no matter how skimpy they are.
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace