Guide to Body Piercing on E2

Body piercing is the practice of poking a hole in one's body to facilitate the wearing of jewelry. It has been performed, in one way or another, for thousands of years — a 5,000 year old body frozen in a glacier in Austria had a pierced ear; ancient Egyptian pharaohs had their ears pierced as a sign of royalty; male genital piercing is mentioned in the Kama Sutra. Body piercing has been done throughout the ages for mostly aesthetic and sexual reasons, though the multiply pierced will agree that it can become a habit and one may develop emotional ties to one's piercings, and in some cultures piercing (and related practices like Oh-Kee-Pah) can take on a cultural/religious significance. When the body is pierced, a rush of endorphin is common, relieving the piercee of most pain and inducing a pleasant feeling.

Though piercing has been around for so long, the origins of each piercing are not agreed upon. The histories of a few genital piercings are indeed true and documented, but the stories behind many piercings (such as nipple or navel rings) were invented by a British "scholar" trying to publish a book on the upsurge in body piercing. This is not widely documented, and many people are torn on the issue.

By far, the part of the body most commonly pierced is the ear lobe. These days, upper ear cartilage, nostril and eyebrow follow, with tongue coming close. History shows that the septum was a popular piercing among aboriginal tribes, as it gives the face a fierce look. The lower lip is slowly growing in popularity (and has its historical place among tribes of Upper/Lower Africa and Central/South America), along with select genital piercings. More extreme forms of piercing are emerging as well, like surface and brace piercing, bridge piercing and mandible piercing. Other piercing-related practices have also seen a slight rise in popularity, such as deep chest piercing and flesh hook suspension.

First, the Basics:

Specific Piercings:

Facial Piercings

  • facial piercing: a little bit of everything — some history, some examples in non-Western culture, and some meta
  • ear piercing: some reasons for getting pierced, and a fun historical fact
  • various ear piercings: a metanode and a node about healing and care
  • nose piercing: mostly links to specific nose piercings
  • eyebrow piercings: a what-to-do for eyebrow piercings (plus a good way to hide it), but can apply to many other piercings as well
  • tongue piercing: general and well-written information and a step-by-step of the proceduce
  • septum piercing: good info and experience
  • septum: two-liner
  • labret: some information and experience
  • vertical labret: placing, procedure, and experience
  • madonna piercing: short, due to the piercing's similarity to a labret
  • medusa piercing: short, due to the piercing's similarity to a labret or madonna

Ear Piercings: (all pretty short)

  • transverse: one-liner
  • conch: includes little ASCII diagram
  • upper conch: includes little ASCII diagram
  • tragus: includes little ASCII diagram, but is a bit hard to see; it's the thick flap that you can cover your ear canal with
  • Antitragus: includes little ASCII diagram
  • daith: includes little ASCII diagram
  • Snug: includes little ASCII diagram
  • Helix: includes little ASCII diagram (fifth writeup)
  • Orbital: actually refers to any ring through two holes; commonly refers to the specific ear piercing mentioned here
  • rook: includes little ASCII diagram (fourth writeup)
  • industrial: like an orbital but with a barbell; commonly refers to the ear piercing mentioned here

Bodily Piercings

  • nipple piercing: general info plus a lot of aftercare, and a node on breastfeeding
  • nape piercing: a basic info writeup and an experience writeup
  • navel piercing: a short node about the piercing and another node about piercing excretions

Genital Piercings




Unusual Piercings

Extreme Piercings:




  • piercing gun: great writeup about the dangers of piercing guns
  • Autoclave: nice node with how it works and mention of the only organism that could survive an autoclave sterilization
  • needle: a piercing necessity, but no node on the body-piercing type...
  • dermal punch: big and sharp
  • taper: fieryn's writeup is what you're looking for


  • Blowout: description, what to do if this happens
  • torn lobe: description, options to correct or improve upon the situation
  • infection: nothing about piercing, but good to know about (see also: pus, lymph)
  • Keloid: info on keloids in general, and what they are in the piercing world
  • rejection: nothing on piercing rejection...yet



Related Practices:


There: this should be about as comprehensive as possible. To prevent this from going out of date, I'll go through and link-check every now and then.

See one I missed? Write a new one? One's not there any more? /msg me.

26 August 2003: added How to pierce yourself
03 October 2003: added dermal punch
16 October 2003: added lip ring
17 October 2003: added new information on facial piercing
18 October 2003: added mandible piercing, nose ring and new information on Reverse PA and dolphin piercing
19 October 2003: added new info on genital piercing and pubic piercing
21 October 2003: added Mad Max bar
23 October 2003: added new info on hafada, clit piercing, hood piercing, triangle piercing and uvula piercing
17 November 2004: added vertical labret; removed various lip piercings (thanks, Saige)

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