Author(s): LaMicha Hogan
Purpose: More men with genital piercings (GP) are presenting to health care facilities, yet a paucity of medical literature exists about their body modifications, health issues, and medical needs. Historically, they have turned to a piercer or the internet for medical advice which may put their health at risk by receiving inappropriate guidance or delayed treatment by an experienced, well-informed clinician. Methods: A comparative, descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using an 83 item web-based survey.Demographics, risk behaviours, procedural motives, and post-piercing experiences about men with GP were examined, as well as depression, abuse, self-esteem, and need for uniqueness. Similarly published studies were also compared. Results: 445 men from 42 states and 26 international sites reported 656 genital piercings. The average participant was 36 years of age, Caucasian, possessing some college education, married or in a monogamous, heterosexual relationships, and in excellent health. Deliberate decision-making was present: 36% chose a Frenum/Frenum Ladder GP and 56% chose a Prince Albert GP, with 25% experiencing urinary flow changes. Outcomes were related to their motives: sexual expression, uniqueness, and aesthetics, with improvement of personal and partner’s sexual pleasure. Conclusions: Several unsubstantiated assumptions about men with GP were challenged regarding the amount of STDs, GP complications, and overall demographics. Currently their GP care information is still obtained from a piercer or the internet. Clinician awareness of GP is important to educate and inform adequately, give professional advice, and provide a realistic picture of structural complications.