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Vulva Piercing FAQs

Does it hurt?

While they may seem scarier than other piercings, most vulva piercings are among the easiest piercings to sit through and heal. The skin pierced is relatively thin and has a generous blood supply, so this area heals very quickly, often in just a couple of weeks.

That said, some piercings are easier to handle than others. Clitoral hood and inner labia piercings tend to be extremely manageable and are excellent choices for first-time piercees. Triangle piercings can be more intense, but can also provide more benefits in terms of stimulation. Because of the thickness of the tissue being pierced, outer labia and Christina piercings can be a bit more to sit through and they both heal much more slowly than other genital piercings. Clitoris piercings can be intense to sit through, but the payoff in terms of stimulation makes it worth it. No genital piercing is beyond your ability to handle, if you want it.

Which piercing should I get?

This depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. Are you looking for something more for decoration or for sensation? Is this for you or a partner—or a little of both? What sort of sex do you have, and what piercing will work best with both your anatomy and lifestyle?

There are a lot of variables that go into choosing which genital piercing is right for you. If you’re unsure, or even if you have a basic idea what you’re looking for, come in and have a consultation with one of our piercers. They can talk to you about exactly what you’re after, take a look at how you’re set up, and make a recommendation on which piercing will work the best for you.

Before you consult with a piercer, though, you may want to spend some time with a hand mirror. If you’re not already, get familiar with your vulva. What piercing do you envision? What kind of jewelry would you like to see there? Descriptions and pictures of each piercing in our gallery can also help give you an idea of what may or may not work with your anatomy. Just keep in mind, different people will have quite different genitals; you’ll need to figure out what genital piercing works for you.

Which piercing will give me the most sensation?

For most people (depending on anatomy) the vertical hood piercing is the choice that best balances aesthetics, ease of healing, and clitoral stimulation. With a prominent hood and exposed clitoris, a horizontal hood piercing can provide direct clitoral stimulation as well. A prominent hood and shrouded clitoris often means a triangle piercing will provide the most sensation. Inner labia piercings are largely decorative, but heavier jewelry can provide indirect stimulation. A clitoris piercing provides the most direct stimulation, but it is anatomy-dependant. And for urethral sensation, the Princess Albertina can’t be beat.

Different people like different types of sensation. Talk to your piercer about what you’re looking for; they can help you choose what will work best for you.

Is there a chance I can lose sensation?

If these piercings are done properly, no. Getting any piercing from an unskilled piercer puts your health at risk, but because of these piercings’ proximity to sensitive nerve bundles, they should be done with the utmost care and skill, and extra care should be taken when choosing your piercer. Don’t trust your orgasms to just anyone!

Can I be pierced by a female piercer?

Absolutely. If you're looking specifically for a female piercer, call ahead to check on who is available on the day you are planning your visit. (You can see our piercers' profiles on the Philadelphia studio page.) We also have several women who frequently guest at the studio, so keep an eye on our blog and social media. Elayne Angel, who specializes in female genital piercing, comes through several times a year.

Do I have to shave before the piercing?

No. With the possible exception of outer labia and Christina piercings, hair shouldn’t affect healing. (You don't need to shave with these two piercings either, but getting hair caught on the jewelry or in the discharge during healing can pinch and be a bit painful.) If you normally shave you can continue to do so—just keep shaving creams and hair clippings out of the piercing, especially during the initial healing. If you prefer a more natural look, that’s fine with us too.

Is it okay to get pierced during my period?

Yes. We're all adults; there's no reason to feel awkward about it. Just be aware that you may bleed a little more than normal and/or be more prone to dizziness. Definitely make sure to eat a good meal beforehand, to keep your blood sugar steady, and avoid anything that thins your blood, like alcohol, aspirin, Tylenol, or caffeine.

Does urine affect the piercing?

Not really. It may sting a little the first couple times you pee, but usually nothing drastic. If it bothers you, squirt warm water on the piercing while you urinate or rinse the piercing off afterwards with a saline solution. And don’t worry about germs from your urine; it’s sterile to your own body, so it has the same effect on your piercing that warm water would.

Do I have to abstain from sex for the entire healing period?

No, but giving yourself some time off will definitely speed healing. Take it easy during the healing period, and make sure you listen to your body. This includes masturbation as well.

The only sexual activity that is off-limits during healing is unprotected oral sex. (It’s the fastest way to iritate your piercing.) Any sexual activity during the healing period should be fluid-safe, so this means dental dams—or non-microwavable plastic wrap—for oral sex and condoms for penetrative sex. This is important even if you are monogamous or already sharing fluids with your partner, as everyone's body has its own natural bacteria levels and you can still pick up an infection from the other person.

If you cheat and rush into sex too quickly, as people often do, make sure you take care of your piercing afterward. A good saline rinse or a salt-water soak can work wonders to soothe a sore piercing—and help you remember to take it slow next time.

Can I go swimming?

It is best to avoid swimming for the full duration of the healing period. The risk to your piercing depends on where you’re swimming: saltwater and chlorine may be okay for your piercing, however, other bacteria in the water may be problematic; the water on a beach in the tropics is not the same at the water at the Jersey Shore; and you can never be sure how balanced the chemical levels are in anyone else’s pool—or what else may be in the water. Definitely avoid hot tubs, quarries, or lakes, as here the water quality is even more questionable. At a minimum, plan to avoid swimming for at least three months, and if you do swim during the healing process, the most important thing to do is to make sure that you clean your piercing afterward.