Thank You For Sending Me Elayne Angel
In February 2004, I got email from Elayne Angel, a piercer I actually recognized by name when I saw her letter in my inbox. I was instantly mortified about my old piercings page, which was constructed from gossip, rumours, and unfounded worries, but Angel kindly offered me some excellent information about piercing vulvas. I'm trying to be productive with my mortification by replacing the old piercing rumours page with this more informed version!
Having perused Angel's delightfully positive descriptions and photos of female genital piercings, I'm newly obsessed with piercing my girly parts. The focus of my renewed piercing desire is the triangle piercing, in which an open ring is placed through the clitoral hood tissue behind the shaft of the clitoris. Front and back stimulation possibilities! I also think it looks hot.
Part of the fuel for my newly raging fascination are these simple facts that I should have looked up a long time ago: genital piercings heal quickly (like mouths), many genital piercings don't hurt much (notably hood piercings) and aftercare is simple (but important).
I really like the discussion of anatomical variation in that piercing gallery, and recommend it to anyone who is concerned that her vulva looks weird. Sometimes it helps to hear about diversity from several kinds of experts. Unfortunately, the discussion of anatomical variation also renewed my fear of inexpert piercers-- what if they don't do it right for my body? I have some background-checking to do before I let anybody near my vulva with a needle.
Lately I've been getting even more convinced that I can't rely on doctors for information about how to take care of my vagina and vulva. Doctors hardly ever seem able to answer my questions, and I'm not sure I would trust a diagnosis if something was going wrong with my unit. Even among gynecologists, vulvas and vaginas are apparently a specialty field, less commonly studied than pregnancy and breast care (says a vulvovaginal specialist in The V Book).
Piercings seem like a similar situation. Plenty of doctors (and even some piercers) don't know that jewellery should not be removed from an infected piercing, and things like that. My dentist has been surprised and confused by my tongue piercing at every visit for the last six years.
Combining piercings and female genitals together must require a lot of personal research and the pursuit of alternate sources of expertise. I find that in itself kind of empowering, and I think it merits reminders. I'm still in the habit of presuming doctors are experts in my body.
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