We humans do love tinker, don't we? New recipes, technology, new buildings. We even modify our bodies. When it comes to body modification, the motivations for doing it are as varied as our universal tinkering urges but one of the biggest motivators has to do with pleasure: better sex.

So here is a look at some of the ways we have used, and still use, one particular form of body modification to enhance erotic enjoyment: piercings.

Why People Pierce for Pleasure

One of the main reasons for getting pierced, aside from looking cool, is the way piercings can alter how the body feels. Exactly how much this changes depends a lot on where the piercing is done, the gauge of the needle used, the jewelry that's applied and the individual physiology.

Taking about the last first, our bodies are absolutely our own, meaning that this piercing more often than not feels very different for that person. Here, in other words, might be a slight increase in sensitivity while there … not so much. While you can sometimes get a taste of what a piercing might be like, such as using play piercings or certain kinds of breast or genital play, the reality is that nine times out of 10, the only way to find out is to just get pierced.

As for needle thickness and jewelry, it depends on the person. Usually, a thin piercing will have a sharper feeling as opposed to the weight and tug, for lack of a better word, with a thicker gauge.

Finally, consider the kind of play that might be done with a piercing. You should always start out gently and slowly work your way up the intensity scale so that you can keep an eye on how your body is reacting over time.

Some people also find that piercings will become less and less sensitive over time. Sensitivity may only be gained back by increasing the amount and style of play or the thickness of the jewelry being used. Again, this is something that varies from person to person.

Let’s Hear It for Nipples!

At the top, so to speak, of erotic body modification are nipples. Risking repetition, how they will feel after being pierced is a very individual thing. A good thing about nipple piercings is that you have two nipples. You can get one done and see if there’s a big or a little change in sensitivity before getting the other one done.

Play should be gentle and cautious, like flicking the ring or barbell with a tongue or finger or putting jewelry or weights on them. If you want to try using weights, do keep in mind that it increases the risk of the ring pulling through or out (ouch) or stretching breast tissue. If the ring does pull through, a common solution is for a medical professional to suture up the nipple (ouch, again) until it heals.

Labia, Folds and Fun!

For those with vaginas, there are all kinds of possibilities for barbells and rings.The labia majora (the big ones) and the labia minora (the small ones) both offer quite a few options for hardware. With barbells, you can frequently have a boost in sensation without the worry of them getting easily caught or pulled during play.

Rings do have that risk, but you can also use hypoallergenic thread or chains as a way to spread the lips open for all kinds of erotic experimentation ... or even lock them together as a form of non-penetrative chastity.

There are some who have also pierced their clitoris, though this is something that requires a lot of thought as the experience can be beyond intense. Personally, I was present during one of these and while the person getting it enjoyed the experience their screams were so loud we all thought that the police would come knocking.

Piercing the Penis

Meanwhile, those with penises have all kinds of areas that are just about perfect for piercing to amp up all kinds of arousing sensations.

Starting at the head, the classic Prince Albert descends vertically through the urethra and then back up to complete the ring. While it needs to be carefully maintained, those with this piercing have expressed pleasure regardless of whether the penis is erect. It can also be used for penis bondage by attaching weights or using it to restrict erections by attaching the ring to an immovable object like the thighs or pulled backward and attached to something like a butt plug.

Around the head of the penis, barbells can also be placed through the rim of the glans (a dydoe) or through the head itself (an ampallang) as well as a bunch of other places.

What’s especially cool about penis piercings is that they can be a double whammy (in a good way): offering intense sensations for the person with the piercing as well as delivering unique sensations for anyone on the receiving end during penetrative sex.

There tons of other places on the penis that can be pierced, including through the skin of the testicles (for those that have them) and along the shaft, but I think you have the basic idea.

Piercings for Pleasure

Even though they have been used for thousands of years, it's important to understand the risks involved in getting yourself pierced, especially when it might involve fun bits like nipples or genitalia.

The first of these risks is pretty obvious: infection caused by improperly sterilized equipment or not keeping whatever you’ve pierced clean. To avoid the first, it’s recommended to only go to a respected and thoroughly experienced piercer to get your work done. This doesn’t necessarily mean a professional. There are many who do what they do out of love and not money. However, you should seek out someone who has a sterling, and not just silver, reputation.

You also should make sure you understand how to maintain your piercing. Know how to keep the area clean, what to clean it with, what to watch out for, and what to do if you get an infection.

While your piercer should give you this information, as well as check up on you, by no means should you stop your education there. As with anything involving sex and BDSM, learn, learn, and learn some more before you proceed with the actual doing.

One thing that many people, unfortunately, forget to consider is not just the risk of infection, but also the possibility of an allergic reaction to the jewelry. This can be a pre-existing sensitivity to whatever is being used for the piercing or it may develop over time. And note that an irritation is even more, well, irritating, when it happens on a sensitive part of the body.

Again, the way to avoid this is to stay constantly aware of what’s going on with your piercing and have resources available in case things start to get red, inflamed, sore, or ugly.

If something does go wrong with a piercing, swapping it out for a different material or removing it altogether should always be an option. If you don't, the hole left behind could become a new feature of your body. Or not, depending on the quirks of your physiology.

In short, know the bad as well as the good, and approach getting pierced with your eyes wide open.

Play Safe and Play Smart

As with so many things about sex, approach piercings with caution, realistic expectations and an acceptance of the risks involved. When piercings work, the rewards can be amazing. Not only can they be strikingly beautiful, but they can also act like a dial cranked up to 11 when it comes to erotic intensity by taking something already sensitive and pushing it to the ultimate limit or giving something that is otherwise rather numb a tremendous boost in pleasure.

Like I said, we humans do like to tinker, especially with ourselves. With breast and genital piercings, you can have a blast taking your body into all kinds of new - and possibly wildly intense - places. Have fun experimenting!