Genital beading, or "pearling," involves inserting small beads made of various materials beneath the skin of the shaft or foreskin of the penis. This beading is usually intended to enhance the sexual pleasure of partners during vaginal or anal intercourse. The practice is commonly associated with members of the Yakuza in Japan who insert pearls under the skin while in prison, but there is evidence it dates back to at least the 1400s.
Beads are placed using a technique very similar to a frenum piercing, the main difference being that the jewelry is sealed entirely under the skin instead of left with the ends protruding. After the piercing is made, a graduated taper is then inserted before being followed by the bead, which is left under the skin as the taper is removed. To remove beads, your piercer will squeeze together the skin behind the bead, forcing the genital skin to become tight over the bead. A small “nick” is made with a needle, and then the bead is popped out—similar to squeezing a pimple. After removal, there is often little evidence of the original modification.
Silicone beads are the preferred material for this piercing, as they are not only inert, but slightly “squishy,” and therefore a little more forgiving during sexual activity. Implant-grade steel or titanium beads (or PTFE) are also an option, but these are used less frequently. Typical bead sizes are usually 3/16” to 1/4”, though sometimes larger (5/16” or even ⅜”) beads are used. Another jewelry option is small strings of beads connected together. Regardless of the bead material or style, a random pattern is always preferable to a geometric one, as a certain amount of shifting during healing is inevitable and this will always throw off the placement of an organized group of beads. Once healed, single beads may move around the shaft with regular handling, while bead strings will stay more stationary.
Placement will vary based on desired results. For physical sensation for the wearer or partner, placement closer to the glans of the penis is suggested, but beads can be placed anywhere along the shaft of the penis. Round beads are the better choice for sensation, because they are taller, whereas flat shapes are more of an aesthetic addition. The amount of beads that can ultimately be inserted depends on the surface area of the shaft.
The initial holes from the piercing heal quickly, usually in the first several days, but it will take a bit for the beads to become “set” under the skin and encapsulated by new tissue. You will leave our studio with a waterproof bandage on the area, and this should be left on for three days, and then removed in the shower. During the first week, it is normal to experience a bit of bleeding, soreness & swelling. During the first two weeks, any activities that put pressure on the piercing site should be avoided. This includes wearing binders, tucking, penetrative sex, masturbation, etc.