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The Prince Albert Piercing: These Are Not for the Timid

What is a Prince Albert Piercing you might be asking? Well sit back and get ready to explore the interesting world of genital piercings!

Zachary Zane
Columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community

por Zachary Zane 9 min lectura

In nearly every single society on the planet for as long as people have existed, we've been piercing our bodies.

From religious significance to cultural status, piercings hold a special place in our hearts.

Perhaps that's why we have such a fascination with genital piercings, and why they hold such a place of mystery in the public's mind.

Chief among these mysterious piercings is the Prince Albert.

Often the subject of jokes, myths, and dare-we-say legends over the years, the Prince Albert piercing is very real, and for many people, extremely appealing.

If you've ever wondered about getting a penis piercing - especially the Prince Albert varieties - then read on.

Learning about the risks, benefits, and possible pleasure that comes from a genital piercing can help you make an informed decision about your own parts.

Quick FAQs

We're not going to sugarcoat it. Getting a Prince Albert Piercing is not for the faint of heart. They do hurt!

While it may be a painful piercing the risks are relatively low. The biggest concern is to make sure it is done correctly and that you keep it clean.

Yes, just like any other piercing, if you remove the jewelry the hole will close back up on it's own.

What is a Prince Albert Piercing

The Prince Albert piercing can be performed in a variety of ways, but they all have the same component - the piercing runs through the urethra and out the head of the penis.

Most of these piercings start at the frenulum and go out through the urethra, but some go up through the top of the penis as well.

Where'd the name come from?

The name is supposed to be derived from Prince Albert.

It's said he himself had his penis pierced in this way.

He wasn't the first person in history to have this piercing done, but probably the most famous. 

How are they worn

The Prince Albert can be worn in a few different ways, but there are commonly three distinct ways to wear it.

The Original Prince Albert

Original prince albert piercing

This piercing consists of a bent bar that goes through the urethra and out the frenulum, just below of the head of the penis.

It's secured with balls, like other barbell piercings, and hangs down. 

The Reverse Prince Albert.

Reverse Prince Albert Piercing

In this variation, the piercing sits on the top of the head of the penis

The Prince's Wand

Prince's wand style prince albert piercing

A bar is inserted more like a T-shape with the wand piercing, straight down the urethra and fastened underneath, but without the hanging circle.

Instead, the bar goes straight down the urethra and a straight bar goes down through the frenulum to hold the piercing in place.

Sexual benefits

While many men opt for a penis piercing for its aesthetics, a Prince Albert piercing actually has sexual benefits for you and your partner.

The gauge of the jewelry, placement, and shape of the piercing will all play a factor.

Personal benefits

For most men with a Prince Albert genital piercing, there are two main effects:

  • The movement of the jewelry will create another layer of friction during penetrative sex that adds more sexual pleasure.
  • Having the piercing, in general, will increase the sensitivity of the penis head and shaft, leading to stronger orgasms.

The psychological sexual benefits cannot be glossed over, either.

For many men, simply having the fortitude to have this piercing is enough to make them more confident in bed, which can lead to better sex.

Partner benefits

The Prince Albert piercing jewelry you choose can have a profound impact on your partner's sexual pleasure.

Even something as simple as the rounded barbell piercings can create unique sensations in the vagina or anus of your receptive partner.

Once the piercing is done, you can add different jewelry to increase the sensations, choosing from a variety of posts to larger balls.

What to expect?

The Prince Albert is not a minor piercing - it's in a very sensitive area and it will bleed a lot.

Moreover, there's quite a bit of recovery time before you can have sex or masturbate.

It is recommended to wait at least three to four weeks in most cases.

During this time, you should wear baggy pants and avoiding unnecessary sexual provocation.

How painful is it

We're not going to sugarcoat it; any piercing on your genitals is going to hurt.

So yes, it does hurt to get a Prince Albert—quite a bit, but if you're considering a piercing like this, you're likely already aware of the potential pain.

Recovery time

As we briefly mentioned, recovery time from a Prince Albert genital piercing runs around three to four weeks weeks.

During this time, it's of the utmost importance that you follow your piercer's guidance for aftercare to avoid infection.

This will also allow the piercing to heal correctly so that you can safely clean and remove your jewelry regularly.

Cleaning and Care

How to clean and care for a prince albert piercing

Your piercer will give you a guide to clean and salve your piercing to keep it from getting infected.

Pro Tip: One great way to stay clean while on the go is with Promescent before and after wipes.

As it heals, you'll need to regularly remove the jewelry and keep the holes clean. For the most part, cleaning and care after this piercing are:

  • Keep the area bandaged, and change it at least once a day, but twice is better - morning and night.
  • Always wash your hands before you touch your penis while it heals.
  • Clean it twice a day with saline solution, and remove any crust or debris from the holes.
  • Wear baggy clothes while it heals.
  • Prevent water from hitting your penis while you shower, and avoid baths if you can during the healing process.
  • While you can have sex during the healing process, it's best to abstain. If you can't, use a condom 100% of the time.

It's also worth noting that you will pee and ejaculate through your piercing.

It's just part of the process of having another hole in your penis; you'll get used to it, but it might be a bit jarring at first.

If nothing else, it will take some practice at the urinal.

Can I still wear condoms?

You can and should still use condoms when you're having sex. It will take some extra precautions:

  • Sex with a piercing using a condom cannot be too aggressive or it can pierce or tear the condom during intercourse.
  • Use additional lube - this is just a good point in general, but especially when having sex with a piercing.
  • Avoid ultra-thin or sensitive condoms; these have an even higher incidence of tearing in general. They cannot handle a Prince Albert piercing.

Pro Tip: Promescent makes a great line of premium condoms to help protect you and your newly decorated penis.

Risks

As with any piercing, the main risk associated with a Prince Albert is infection during the healing process.

As long as you're regularly cleaning and applying antibiotic treatment, risk of infection is low but never zero.

Keep an eye on your piercing for any signs of infection:

  • Redness and pain that increases rather than decreases as days go by
  • Swelling
  • Pus or discharge from the piercing site
  • Uncontrolled bleeding or fresh bleeding days after the piercing
  • Difficulty urinating, which could indicate swelling of the urethra

There's also the risk that the hole could close up.

Sometimes piercings heal completely in a very short time, so you need to practice cleaning the wound but also ensuring the jewelry stays in place.

This will prevent the hole from closing up and stop you from needing to get re-pierced. 

Health symptoms to be on the lookout for

Other than pain or issues at the piercing site directly, some other post-procedure concerns are:

  • Redness that extends down the penis to the trunk of the body
  • Pain in the rest of the penis or testicles
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Any of these can indicate an infection that has spread from the piercing, so speak with your doctor if you're concerned.

Jewelry options and cost

The main jewelry options for these types of piercings are barbells and balls to keep them in place.

This is because of the nature of the piercing itself - it has to go down the urethra and out the top or bottom of the penis.

Types of jewelry

Circular barbells - These are the most common pieces of jewelry for this type of piercing. These are usually capped with balls on each end.

Circular barbell prince albert penis ring

Prince's wand plug- you would use a straight rod with a perpendicular shorter post, both of which are topped with balls.

Princes Wand prince albert penis jewelry

Captive bead ring - where a single circular barbell is held in place with a bead - is another choice for traditional Prince Alberts.

Captive bead penis ring for prince albert piercing

Types of materials for jewelry

Piercings in the penis need to have the highest quality material available.

Where some cheaper nose or earrings can cause discoloration or irritation, neither of these things are conditions you want on your genitals.

Go for the best metals you can get:

  • Polymer - these plastics don't cause irritation or discoloration, and they're cheaper than other options. Still, they're great for your piercing and still provide sexual stimulation for you and your partner. Plus, they come in a variety of colors!
  • Titanium - jewelry made of titanium is usually surgery-grade, meaning it's hypoallergenic and made for extremely sensitive areas.
  • Gold and platinum - you can't go wrong with gold jewelry, but it's going to be more expensive. You'll need actual gold, 14k or better because gold-plated pieces can cause irritation and pain. Platinum is highly durable, beautiful, and hypoallergenic, but it's also platinum, so it's not cheap (and also harder to find). 

Costs of getting a Prince Albert piercing

Prince Albert piercing costs are varied, but $40-50 is generally the lowest it will go.

This is for the service itself, but that cost can go up, depending on where you are and how nice of a shop you're at.

From there, you will need to immediately buy jewelry to ensure the hole doesn't close.

This can be on the cheap end - steel and plastic pieces can be $20 or even less. As we said, however, the better quality of your jewelry, the better your outcomes.

A Prince Albert piercing kit will include your first piece of jewelry, but it's best to have more than one to swap them out once everything is healed up.

You'll also want to tip your piercer, so you should plan for that as well.

Like with most services, you should tip 15-20%, but feel free to tip more; they'll appreciate it!

How to change the jewelry

Changing your jewelry is fairly simple, as long as you allowed it to heal correctly. Do not change the jewelry until your piercing is healed completely.

Simply remove the securing beads and carefully remove the barbell by pulling it out through your frenulum.

Rinse the holes with saline solution and water while the jewelry is removed.

As long as you're gentle and the holes are healed correctly, you won't have much difficulty.

To put in a new piece of jewelry, run the new barbell up (or down) through the piercing hole and out the urethra, then cap the ends.

Once again, rinse the holes with saline solution and dry them completely.

What if I decide I don't want it anymore?

If you decide you don't want the piercing anymore, you will simply remove the jewelry and the hole will close itself.

In fact, a genital piercing will slowly start to close itself in most cases over the course of a year, so you might need to get it reopened with your piercer.

Even if you decide the piercing isn't for you within a few days of getting it done, you will still need for it to heal completely before you remove the jewelry.

If you don't wait until it's healed to allow it to close up, it could get an infection or heal incompletely.

So even in the case of second thoughts, ensure you wait three to four weeks for the piercing to heal.

Takeaways

Hopefully, we've dispelled some mystery surrounding the Prince Albert piercing.

Sure, it's a pretty intense piercing to get, but if you're considering a genital piercing at all, you must be pretty adventurous.

If you decide this piercing is for you, you might find that it's a fun, impressive piece of jewelry that contributes to sexual pleasure and personal confidence.

Post-piercing, just remember to follow the instructions from your piercer.

The last thing you want is an infection in your penis!

However, as long as you're careful during sex, especially when wearing condoms, and you take care of your piercing, a Prince Albert can be a hugely fun and exciting modification.

Just make sure you stock up on baggy, comfy pants while you heal.

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Zachary Zane
Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a Brooklyn-based columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community. He currently has a sex advice column at Men's Health titled "Sexplain It" and a relationship column at Queer Majority titled "Zach and the City." His work has been published in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, GQ, Playboy, Slate, NBC, Cosmo, and many others. He also has a weekly newsletter, BOYSLUT, where he writes erotic essays detailing his wildest and raunchiest personal sex stories.


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