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Clitoral hood piercing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Clitoral hood piercing
Horizontal clitoral hood piercing with captive bead ring
NicknamesVCH, HCH
LocationClitoral hood
JewelryCaptive bead ring, barbell, J-bar
Healing8-12 weeks

A clitoral hood piercing is a female genital piercing through the clitoral hood surrounding the clitoris. In addition to being an adornment, a clitoral hood piercing can enhance sexual pleasure during masturbation, foreplay and intercourse. In an empirical study at the University of South Alabama, the authors reported a positive relationship between vertical clitoral hood piercings and desire, frequency of intercourse, and sexual arousal.[1] There are two main types of clitoral hood piercing: the vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercing and the horizontal clitoral hood (HCH) piercing. As the names indicate, the difference is in the direction the piercing is oriented in the skin above the clitoris. Neither of these piercings penetrates the clitoris itself, although in common parlance they are sometimes called "clit" piercings.[2] The deep hood piercing is a variation of the clitoral hood piercing that passes deeper through the clitoral hood.



Clitoral hood piercings are done to enhance sexual pleasure, for aesthetic reasons, as an artistic expression of personal style, and for survivors of sexual abuse or assault, as an act of reclamation.

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, many people say the vertical clitoral hood piercing enhances sexual pleasure more than a horizontal clitoral hood piercing.[2] The vertical orientation of the jewelry increases pressure on the clitoris, particularly if the lower sphere (bead) of a barbell is situated to apply pressure directly to the glans of the clitoris. The clitoris is the human female's most sensitive erogenous zone and the primary anatomical source of human female sexual pleasure. The glans of the human clitoris is about the size of a pea but is estimated to have 8,000 to 10,000 sensory nerve endings,[3] approximately double the number of the glans of the human male penis, which is much larger. The extremely high density of sensory nerve endings in the glans of the clitoris enables it to be exceptionally sensitive to stimulation.

A clitoral hood piercing may be desired as an adornment, either on its own, or in association with other body piercings. Some people say that even if they were the only person who ever saw their genital piercings, they would be happy with them.[4]

For many who have been sexually assaulted, raped, sexually abused, or psychologically hurt in various ways, genital piercings serve as a means to reclaim their sexuality or their ownership of their genitals.[5]



Correct positioning is particularly important for vertical clitoral hood piercings: a mistake often made by inexperienced piercers is positioning the puncture channel too flat or too far forward. The piercing tends to grow out and often the desired contact with the clitoris does not happen. This misplacement often occurs when working with clamp pliers. Also, the piercing must not be placed too close to the edge of the clitoral hood. There should be at least 1cm between the puncture channel and the distal end of the clitoral hood.

Pain, healing and aftercare


Compared to other piercings, clitoral hood piercings tend to be rather uncomplicated with regard to the piercing process itself as well as the healing, which certainly contributes to the popularity of the piercing. In contrast to common expectations, this piercing is no more painful to perform than other body piercings. Since the piercing passes through a thin layer of tissue, it is quick to pierce and reportedly hurts less than ear piercings. Clitoral hood piercings also have rather short healing times, due to the amount of blood circulation to the area. The average healing time is 8-12 weeks.[6] During the healing period, the piercing is a wound and can increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Use of condoms is advised for six months. Showers are recommended over baths to reduce the risk of bacterial infection during the healing period. The piercing should be dried using only fresh disposable paper towel/kitchen roll. A communal hand/bath towel should never be used. Surgical gloves are recommended when cleaning the pierced area, and during masturbation or digital stimulation by a partner.



A vertical clitoral hood piercing is not suitable for a short clitoral hood. This piercing requires a minimum clitoral hood length of approximately 1 centimetre (12 in). Excessive pressure due to fat or sagging in the pubic mound area would preclude a vertical clitoral hood piercing.[citation needed] A horizontal clitoral hood piercing might be an alternative for some, however horizontal clitoral hood piercing is only suitable for people who have enough tissue above the clitoris and whose clitoral hood is not completely covered by the outer labia. The shape and symmetry of the clitoral hood are also important to keep the piercing from rotating or pinching. If a person's anatomy is unsuitable for a clitoral hood piercing, a pubic piercing for a male sexual partner can sometimes provide the desired clitoral stimulation during intercourse. As an alternative to either partner obtaining a piercing, a male partner can wear a removable device at the base of the penis that incorporates a clitoral stimulator or vibrator. Likewise, various clitoral vibrators and suction devices are available to enhance lesbian genital-to-genital contact.[7]



A wide variety of body piercing jewelry can be worn with clitoral hood piercings. Barbells, J-bars and other bar-style jewelry are common in vertical hood piercings, and both captive bead rings (also called ball capture rings or BCRs) and barbells are common in horizontal hood piercings. Silver jewelry should be avoided.[6] It is not uncommon for the beads of a barbell to be decorative, as is common in navel piercings.


See also



  1. ^ Millner, Vaughn S.; Eichold, Bernard H.; Sharpe, Thomasina H.; Lynn, Sherwood C. (2005). "First glimpse of the functional benefits of clitoral hood piercings". American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 193 (3): 675–676. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2005.02.130. ISSN 0002-9378. PMID 16150259.
  2. ^ a b Gilmour, Paisley (9 January 2019). "Everything you need to know about clit piercings". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  3. ^ White, Franny. "Pleasure-producing human clitoris has more than 10,000 nerve fibers". OHSU News. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  4. ^ Fenn, Violet (14 March 2017). "Why genital piercings aren't as scary as you think". Metro. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  5. ^ Stirn, Aglaja; Oddo, Silvia; Peregrinova, Ludmila; Philipp, Swetlana; Hinz, Andreas (30 December 2011). "Motivations for body piercings and tattoos - the role of sexual abuse and the frequency of body modifications". Psychiatry Research. 190 (2–3): 359–363. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.06.001. ISSN 0165-1781. PMID 21705093. S2CID 42613463. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  6. ^ a b "2021 VCH Vertical Clitoral Hood Piercing Pros & Cons by a Piercer S02 EP27 | Axiom Body Piercing Studio". axiompiercing.com. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Here Are the Best Lesbian Sex Toys to Play With". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2023.