Piercings going through the actual clitoris are rare. Many who talk about having their “clit done,” or come into the studio to request a clitoris piercing, are actually referring to a clitorial hood piercing. There is a big distinction between the two, and it’s important to recognize the difference: the clitoral hood is the skin covering the sensitive tissue; the clitoris (technically, the clitoral glans) is the ultra-sensitive “nub” underneath the hood.
The clitoris is a densely-packed bundle of nerves, which means this can be an an intense piercing to sit through. Of course, this is the reason many people choose this piercing in the first place; lots of nerves means a piercing that provides lots of sensation!
When considering a clitoris piercing, the first thing that must be determined is size: is the clitoris large enough to accommodate jewelry? As a general rule, to even consider the piercing the clitoris should be as large as the end of a pinky finger. (Yes, that large.) Smaller than this and the piercing has a good chance of rejecting. The clitoral hood should also be smaller and easily retracted, leaving the clitoris exposed. Too large or too tight a hood can put pressure on the piercing, interfering with healing, causing trauma, and contributing to the risk of the piercing shifting or even rejecting.
If the clitoris is being pierced horizontally, a suitable jewelry option is a ring with a small enough diameter to comfortably tuck inside the outer labia. For vertical piercings, a straight barbell is used. (One with smaller ends that can be tucked under the hood.) 14 gauge jewelry is usually the thinnest that is used for an initial piercing—if the clitoral glans is too small to support 14 gauge jewelry, it probably shouldn’t be pierced—but if the glans is large enough, 12 gauge jewelry can be used as well. The piercing can also be stretched to accommodate larger jewelry once it is healed.
If considering a clitoris piercing, make sure you connect with an experienced piercer—most importantly, one who has experience with this piercing. A clitoris piercing is not one to put in the hands of an amateur. Not all of our piercers on staff have experience with this one, so if you're thinking about coming in for this one, call ahead to make sure there is someone scheduled who can accommodate you.