When it comes to body piercings, particularly facial ones, men are more hesitant for two reasons: 1) they think it makes them look feminine and 2) they don’t want to be associated with a particular subculture. What most people don’t know is that not only has the concept of body piercing been around for centuries, but also, both men and women equally participate in the practice.
Ear and septum piercings are common among the Maoris in New Zealand as well as in Native American, Middle Eastern, and African cultures. In the media, however, body piercings were popularized by the music industry and the cultural styles that emerged out of the “punk” influence. People who identify as punk have a deep interest in the body, particularly in the sensation that comes from the piercing experience. But in the last couple of years, there’s been a growing trend towards less gendered fashion choices, which is why there’s really no longer a need to steer clear of body piercings.
Common types of body piercing for men + how to wear them
Piercings aren’t as permanent as tattoos so if you want to experiment with your look, these require less commitment. Though you can pierce virtually any part of your body, here are some of the body piercings men typically go for:
Ear piercings might just be the least controversial type on this list. Very few people are still shocked when they see a man wearing an earring; it’s become quite the fashion statement for men who want to add a little edge to their style. Opt for studs or hoops to tie your whole ensemble.
Nostril and septum piercings are arguably the most common nose piercings, with nostril piercings having the widest range of jewelry potential—but most people just get studs or hoops. According to piercing artist J. Colby Smith, this is what you need to keep in mind if you’re sporting a septum: “You just have to be careful with the jewelry. The trick with it being on the front of your face is to make it the last thing people notice. Choose a color that blends with your skin tone, and keep it pretty fitted to the nose. It’s about the thickness, color, and fit.”
This type of piercing gives men a chance to play with their jewelry. Instead of wearing a simple hoop, you could try ones with a spike, skull, or even dice; some men go for a curved barbell. The eyebrow tends to swell at first so your piercer should know to use a larger piece of jewelry to accommodate the swelling. It won’t be fully healed for about three months, but you could try changing your piercing after six weeks. Like with earrings, eyebrow rings should be worn minimally; pairing a curved barbell with a formal suit is a bad idea...unless you’re AJ from the Backstreet Boys.
Believe it or not, men get this piercing more than women. For one thing, it’s socially acceptable for guys to walk around topless, thus making it easier to show them off more often. Another reason why men don’t shy away from getting their nipples pierced is because it’s an erogenous zone (yes, for sexual stimulation). However, if the nipple is too small or too tight, it might not be the safest area to pierce; nipple piercings shouldn’t puncture the breast tissue because it increases the risk of infection. If you’re thinking of getting your nipples pierced, get straight or circular barbells, though some guys attach small weights for added pleasure during intercourse.
Where to get pierced
Plenty, if not most, of tattoo spots double as body piercing shops, so ask your tatted friends for recommendations. If you’re going into this completely blind, set an appointment at any of the following:
OUCH! Tattoo Studio in Robinson’s Place Ermita
Needle Juice Tattoo in Malate
Kikotatu in Pasay
How to take care of piercings
Make sure your piercer uses a needle instead of a gun. A gun causes a lot of unnecessary damage to the tissue. Plus, they’re harder to sterilize. We know you’ve probably heard that guns hurt less—wrong. With a needle, if a piercing is done correctly, you won’t feel too much pain. After the actual piercing, clean your wound with soap and water or saline solution; do NOT reach for the rubbing alcohol because it dries the piercing, which leads to more cracking and bleeding. If you’re tempted to turn the earring, you can, but only if it’s wet. But the most important thing to keep in mind is to be patient. You can’t rush the healing process. A new piercing is still a foreign object, and your body’s doing its best to adjust to it.