:: Prince Albert ::
The Prince Albert (PA) is the most common male genital piercing. The name comes from the legend that, like his contemporaries, Queen Victoria’s husband wore a "dressing ring" in the tip of his penis, so it could be strapped to his leg, thus eliminating that unsightly bulge in his fashionably tight trousers. Whether this is true is the subject of much debate.
The piercing consists of a ring or circular barbell which goes in the end of the urethra and exits through a hole on the underside of the penis where the glans meets the shaft. Although it may look scary initially, this piercing is actually easy to sit through, and even easier to heal since the tissue being pierced is very thin (but very strong). The piercing is also bathed frequently by urine, which is sterile to one's own body and acts as an effective natural cleaning agent. With regular care, the piercing generally heals fully in 4 - 9 weeks. Of course safe sex is a necessity during the entire healing, and any play might be irritating in the first couple weeks. (See the Aftercare: Male Genitals section for advice on healing.)
We generally recommend starting with a 10g or 8g captive or circular barbell, stretching later if desired. This skin is so elastic that it may eventually stretch some on its own, especially if you wear heavier jewelry. It's not uncommon to see 4g, 2g, 0g or even larger sizes in a PA. Captive bead rings or circular barbells tend to be the most comfortable jewelry during healing, but curved barbells are also an option later. You'll want to ensure that the bead at the urethra side is large enough not to pull into the urethra (which can be annoying and cause extra spray). Just make sure to periodically check the tightness of any screw-on balls. Don't want to lose those anywhere!
Speaking of spray, many people wonder how the piercing will affect urination. In many cases it has little or no effect other than a little drip. For others, it may necessitate holding the jewelry a certain way during urination, or even sitting down. Most men find it doesn't change their routine much until they start stretching extensively.
The next thing many men wonder (if they get this far) is how the piercing feels after it is healed. The PA can be quite stimulating for the wearer, as it passes through the urethra. Many men do not know how pleasurable urethral stimulation is until they try it. A PA can also be quite nice for those on the receiving end, both for length it adds and for the hardware.
The PA is a pretty sure bet. If you're thinking about taking the plunge with your first genital piercing, this is a great one to start with. It's easy to get, easy to heal, and feels good for all involved.