Frenum Piercings Beaten to Death
The Frenum Piercing is the second most common Male Genital Piercing after the Prince Albert. The piercing's traditional location is on the under side of the penis horizontally through or behind the Frenulum tissue. Though the piercing can be place just about anywhere are on the shaft of the penis and in groupings to create a Frenum or Jacob's Ladder. The piercing or grouping is said to improve the pleasure of the wearer and partner during sexual activity
Since this blog is about a piercing located in the genitals and the fact that it is a sex organ, some might find the information offensive or not age appropriate. For that reason I would ask that if you continue to read that you keep an open mind or go elsewhere. If you are under age, some of the content of this blog may not be appropriate though the whole point of this blog is solely education. I think it is important to state that I will not do this piercing or any other that I would consider a sexual piercing on a minor. Also, I would not suggest getting the piercing underage because often if you find someone willing to do the piercing they not only lack the ethics to be a professional in the first place but often those that are willing to do this piercing on a minor are those with the least amount of experience and training.
If you are considering this piercing or another genital piercing a good place to start would be my blog - Sexual Piercings Why? A guide to Nipple and Genital Piercings. There I cover a majority of the basics and some of the common motivations behind desiring a sexual piercing.
History and Background:
The Frenum piercing is documented as a practice of the indigenous people of the Timo Island of Indonesia. Where they pieced the frenulum with a brass ring to increase the pleasure of the wearer. Though there has been a lot of misinformation as with most male genital piercing that it was some how used as a form of chastity but like most chastity, myths there is no documented proof that it was.
In modern times it like many piercing it first gained popularity in the Gay BDSM community and then slowly began to come into the main stream in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Groupings of a number of Frenum piercings is a completely modern invention as Timorese only pierced the Frenulum.
What is the Frenulum?:
The Frenulum or Frenulum of the Prepuce of the Penis is Elastic Band of tissue that connects the glands of the penis to the foreskin. With natural uncut penis the tissue protrudes from the body and with the foreskin is pulled down will stick out almost like a flap. Other frenulums in the body are the frenulum linguae on the underside of the tongue, the frenulum labii superioris inside the upper lip and frenulum labii inferioris inside the lower lip.
If the person is circumcised there maybe little of the Frenulum left. However, the area around it is very sensitive and with most men circumcised or uncut can be the most sensitive area of the penis. In fact even men with spinal cord injury can achieve orgasm when the area is stimulated though they can not feel the sensation. With circumcised men the frenulum may not be pronounced or seem like a small cord or seam that runs from the urethra to the what is left of the foreskin tissue.
Migration, Anatomy, Marking and Placement:
Any piercing under the right conditions can migrate or reject completely. To limit this the piercing must we wide enough to make it is easier of the body to heal the piercing or reject it. Also the correct jewelry is important is reducing the chances of migration and rejection. Since the area does encounter a level of abuse during sexual activity having jewelry that lays flat to the surface or has limited exposure needs to be considered. Also the thickness of the jewelry needs to also reduce the chances of rejection and damage to the piercing during sexual activity.
Anatomy needs to be taken into account especially if the piercee is wanting to expand the piercing into a grouping like a ladder. When I get to the point of marking the piercing I will ask if they are considering having more done in the future. Even in some cases going ahead and marking additional placements even if we are only doing one piercing that day. The placement should be done perpendicular to the shaft and should feel centered on the shaft. Since the Frenulum like most of nature is not straight, it doesn't always make the best guide point. I will usually mark the entrance and exit of the piercing and then pull back and view the piercings at a distance. This is often a more effective way of seeing how the piercings will fit into the anatomy.
Natural Penis - The piercing can be done with the foreskin pulled back and through the flap tissue of the Frenulum. Do to the limited space it would need to be done with a small ring. However outside of the foreskin the piercing can be done perpendicular anywhere on the underside, side or top of the penis' shaft.
Circumcised Penis - The traditional location of the Frenum is behind the Fernulum and through the sensitive tissue that is left after circumcision on the underside of the penis and below the glands. However the piercing can be done perpendicular just about anywhere on the shaft. It is pierced through the loss skin and not into or through the shaft itself. It is most common to do the underside of the penis, the top and sides can also be pierced.
Groupings(Frenum and Jacob's Ladder):
I've never been able to find any information of where the term Jacob's Ladder came from. Though when piercing started to gain popularity in the early 1990's there was a popular film by the name. I'm guessing that it comes from Biblical Jacob and his dream of a ladder between earth and heaven. I'll let you try to figure it out from there.
Often a grouping of three or more parallel along the underside, side or top of the shaft of the penis. Usually the placement is roughly 3/8 to 1/2 inch apart. Since anatomy is not perfectly straight often the placement is more about the visual look of being even then having the piercing perfectly match. Also I only suggest getting three or less at a time. This is due to the fact that the area begins to swell and the more you do the more likely the placement will be off as the area becomes more inflamed.
Jewelry Size and Types:
When considering the sizing of the jewelry the expansion of the area when the penis is erect most be considered along with the normal inflammation that comes with the trauma of the piercing itself. The most common rule of thumb is that the jewelry should be at least 1/8 of an inch longer than the width of the piercing.
There are issues that should be considered before choosing jewelry size and type:
- You must consider that the piercee is sexually active and the jewelry should have a lower profile to avoid abuse during sexual activity. For this reason I find that in most cases standard straight barbells are best.
- The second consideration is the thickness or gauge of the jewelry itself. The thickness can add the advantage of increasing the resistance against the body migrating or rejecting the piercing or the piercing being ripped or torn if the jewelry is caught on something. However, thicker jewelry will add weight to the piercing which can also increase the risks of problems. I would suggest nothing thinner than 12g and nothing thicker than 8g. Both are thick enough to give us the resistance we need without the weight that may cause issues.
- The third is that the jewelry is not going to cause damage to the surround area or get caught on clothing. The jewelry should be of a very basic design. There should be nothing hanging off the jewelry and there should be no sharp edges or shaped charms. The last thing you want to experience is ripping out a thick piece of jewelry. This is not only to protect your own sensitive areas but those of your partner.
- Fourth, since the jewelry may come in contact with urine and bodily fluids, plastic, organic materials and synthetic stones may be damaged or erode over time.
- The fifth thing to consider is the weight of the jewelry. Jewelry of a thicker gauge may increases migration and rejection. Often starting with a thinner pierce of jewelry like 12g and then stretching to a thicker piece after healing is the best option if you are interested in larger jewelry.
- Captive Bead or Beaded Ring - A circular ring with a fixed bead or ball or a bead or ball that is held captive by the tension of the ring. For piercing and healing, depending on anatomy, The only time I would suggest a ring would be on a uncircumcised male and the piercing was under the foreskin and thus needed to take up as little space as possible. You however could wear a ring that wraps around the shaft and threads through the piercing but this is only after the piercing is healed and would need to be wide enough to insure that it doesn't cut off blood flow.
- Standard Barbells - A straight post with threaded ball or end on each side. Another option is the threadless or pressure ends which I do not suggest wearing in genital piercing. With Genital piercings the best option is the most simple design available with matching ball sizes. . I can't express enough to avoid ends that are large, shaped, have sharp edges or anything that hangs off the jewelry. Even after the piercing has healed "Novelty" style barbells can cause a nicely healed piercing to have issues. Here's some styles that should be avoided:
- Shaped charms or settings - Since Implant Grade Steel and Titanium can be very difficult and expensive to mold into shaped objects and polish. So even if the packaging states that the jewelry is made of a body friendly material, they are only talking about the post. These settings and charms are often made of substandard materials and then attached to the post. It is common to find the charms and settings are made of Chrome Plated Plastic, Pot Metal, Silver, Pewter, Bronze, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium and Tin. Some of these materials are toxic and others can lead to reactions, infections or other problems. Understand there are better manufactures like Anatometal that do make shaped objects and settings in Titanium, Implant Grade Steet and Gold but you are not going to find them at the department store or the "Alternative" shop at the mall. Also the price will be higher to reflex the skill and craftsmanship that went into manufacturing the jewelry.
- Dangling Charms - Often the chain and charms are made of substandard or materials that are not body friendly but the real issue is that they act like a boat anchor. Dangles as they are often called will catch on just about everything they come in contact with increasing the risks of damaging the piercing.
- Silver and Sterling jewelry should never be worn in genitals because it can lead to silver poisoning also known as Argyria or argyrosis. Since silver gives off silver salts can be absorbed into the tissue of genitals it can lead to a permanent discoloration of the area. The jewelry should be Implant Grade Stainless Steel, Implant Grade Titanium or 14kt sold gold or better. Though gold is not suggested during healing.
- Circular Barbells - A circular shaped horseshoe with two threaded ends. Can be used during healing and after the piercing is healed with one main concern, weight. Since the ends add additional weight to the jewelry it can increase the risks of migration. Has the advantages and disadvantages of a Captive Bead Ring but with the insecurity of threaded ends. Also like a ring a large width can be wrapped around the shaft the penis and then threaded through the piercing. Once agian the width needs to be large enough to not cut off blood flow.
- Curved Barbells - A curved post with threaded ball or end on each side. Another option is the threadless or pressure ends which I do not suggest wearing in genital piercing. With Genital piercings the best option is the most simple design available with matching ball sizes. Curved barbells with a small gem on the top and a larger ball with a gem on the side are not a good option because of the added weight especially during healing. I can't express enough to avoid ends that are large, shaped, have sharp edges or anything that hangs off the jewelry. Also the jewelry will tend to flip flop during sexual activity and will increase damage and stress on the piercing. For that reason I usually do not suggest curved barbells for heal or to wear after the piercing is healed.
- Chastity devices - I only include this because I have had a number of e-mails and a few clients ask about them. With the increase exposure to BDSM activities and their gain in popularity, there has been an upswing in male chastity devices that are secured with male genital piercings and question about simply locking jewelry together to make stimulation or erection painful or impossible. Here's my insight on each:
- Locking jewelry together - Since the piercing is done through tissue and the jewelry is made of metal, chance are that the stress and added weight of locking piercings together is going to damage the piercing. Think about it if you have a 2g implant grade steel ring attached to another, is the steel jewelry going to break or will the flesh tear?
- Chastity devices - There seems to be a great number of them on the market. Usually they are a tube of some kind that fits over the shaft of the penis and then uses a section of rod to thread through the jewelry and then lock. They range in materials from Plastic to Harden steel. My biggest concerns are:
- That the added weight to the piercing will cause additional stress on the piercing or piercings.
- When the penis become or tries to become erect that there will be pressure and stress on the piercing that could cause damage.
- Most of them are one size fits all and the fit will not be correct. There is the fact of the size and shape of the penis plus the placement of the piercing. Both are not completely standard.
- The material that the device is in face made of. From the little research that I have done, I've found that there is no clear statement of what these things are made of beyond Steel or plastic. Allergic reactions are always a concern with piercings even if they are completely healed. Since often like most sex toys they are manufactured in Asia even if it states Implant grade Stainless Steel or Titanium, there is no third party testing involved. So, you are forced to take the manufacture by their word on what the material is.
- Lastly I would be concerned about hygiene. Contact with urine over a long period of time and not being able to clean the area correctly combined with the stress on the piercing could create a situation where unseen infection could happen. Since the piercing is often completely blocked from view, there would be no way of knowing until the device was removed.
For more detailed information on what Jewelry to buy go to my blog Post Healing Jewelry Guide
I always do the piercing with Pennington Forceps. The allow you to flat out the tissue, pull it away from the body and insure that you are only piercing the loose tissue and not into the shaft of the penis itself.
- Consultation and paper work.
- Evaluating the piercee's anatomy to insure that the piercing can be done safely and to size the jewelry.
- Disinfecting the piercing area with a surgical scrub
- Marking the piercing
- Reclining the piercee and then pinching the piercing area away from the shaft. I think with place the forceps with the markings in the center of the forceps' opening.
- Lining up the needle and having the piercee do a deep breathing exercise.
- Injecting the piercing needle through the piercing area and into a piece of cork.
- Remove the cork and forceps. For safety reasons I will then replace the cork on to the tip of the needle.
- Insert and closing the jewelry
- Stopping any bleeding and cleaning up the piercing area.
Hassles and Aftercare:
Though they heal rather quickly healing in two to three months, during the first couple of weeks they are prone to bleeding, redness and swelling. Bleeding may last off and on for one to five days after the piercing and I suggest wearing a sanitary napkin or pad for the first week. This is not only to avoid staining clothing but cuts down on the amount of moisture and bacteria and adds additional cushioning during the tender period. Unlike other piercing that will throb and ache for some time after the piercing is done, genital piercings tend to not. Though it will be tender to the touch for up to a few weeks.
Basic aftercare will involve hot soaks with warm water and sea salt twice a day and cleaning the piercing in the shower twice daily. Also you will need to take steps to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination. For more details go to Basic Aftercare Instructions. You will also need to urinate after cleaning the piercing to reduce the risks of cleaning causing a bacterial imbalance. Due to the location of the piercing you need to take precautions to avoid abuse including heavy or tight fitting clothing. Everyone reacts difference and of course is shaped different, so experiment with different clothing to find what is comfortable for you. Since sweat tends to collect in the area, it is a good idea to clean the piercing after strenuous activity. If you are wearing panty hose or other clothing that is tight or covers the piercing, either roll them down below the piercing, cut out a whole for the piercing or wear a hard plastic vented eye patch over the piercing. This can also be helpful during sporting activities to avoid trauma to the piercing.
The biggest or most often question is "When can I have Sex?" the answer is when it is comfortable and should be gentle and avoid abuse to the piercing until it is healed completely. A latex layer should be used during sexual contact for at least 6 months to avoid infection. If you use any lubrications they must be water based. it is also a good idea to clean the piercing after sexual activity. Understand since the piercing is scar tissue and the unforgiving strength of metal, you are more prone to tears during sexual activities and thus more a risks to contract STDs even after the piercing is healed and will need to take precautions.
It is important to avoid stress and abuse to the piercing during healing and after. Also avoid clothing and sport safety equipment like chest protectors and other heavy items that are tight in the piercing area. If you are required to wearing safety equipment for a job or sport that is tight fitting in the area, you may want to consider a different piercing.
Since we are piercing genitals there will be pain but it is slight and often fades immediately unlike other piercings that may throb or ache for up to an hour afterwards.
Risks & Concerns:
As with any piercing the greatest risk is infection. However since the area is very blood rich infection are extremely rare.
Due to the location of the piercing and if you are sexually active, changing positions and activities may needed to be taken to avoid contact between the piercing and your partner. Make sure that they are aware of the piercing and understand that no part of their body can come in contact with the piercing. Also as I mentioned above a latex barrier should be used during any sexual contact for the first six mouths.
The Frenun piercing can offer the wearing an increase in the sexual enjoyment that can last a lifetime. The piercing itself is mildly painful and quick and with a little amount of care heals very quickly. There is also the advantage that it is a person that you can keep private and only share with those you wish to. Which makes it ideal for those working in industries that frown on visitable piercings. There is also the marking of ownership over your body that the piercing experience can provide and let's face it it's about customizing your body and improving your enjoyment of your own body.