Genital beading, or “pearling,” involves inserting small beads made of various materials beneath the skin of the shaft or foreskin of the penis. This beading is usually intended to enhance the sexual pleasure of partners during vaginal or anal intercourse. The practice is said to have originated with the yakuza in Japan, who inserted pearls under the skin while in prison.
Beads are placed using a technique very similar to a frenum piercing, the main difference being that the jewelry is sealed entirely under the skin instead of left with the ends protruding. The piercing is made with a large-gauge piercing needle. A taper is then inserted, to enlarge the hole, before being followed by the bead, which is left under the skin as the needle is removed. To remove beads, your piercer will squeeze together the skin behind the bead, forcing the genital skin to become tight over the bead. A small “nick” is made with a needle, and then the bead is popped out—similar to squeezing a pimple. After removal, there is often little evidence of the original modification.
Silicon beads are the preferred material for this piercing, as they are not only inert but slightly “squishy,” and therefore a little more forgiving during sexual activity. Implant-grade steel or titanium beads (or PTFE) are also an option, but these are used less frequently. Typical bead sizes are usually 3/16” to 1/4”, though sometimes smaller (3/32”) or larger (5/16”) beads are used. Additionally, other jewelry options include silicone bars—for a “ribbed” effect—or small “chains” of beads connected together. Regardless of the beads material or style, a random pattern is always preferable to a geometric one, as a certain amount of shifting during healing is inevitable and this will always throw off the placement of an organized group of beads.
The initial holes from the piercing heal quickly, usually in the first several days, but it will take a bit for the beads to become “set” under the skin and encapsulated by new tissue. For this reason it’s usually recommended to wait at least two weeks after the procedure for any kind of sexual activity. (You can’t rush healing on this one!) Aftercare is usually just a mild soap and water for the first few days.
Not all of our piercers perform this procedure. If you’re interested, email Robert to schedule an appointment with him.