Prince Albert piercing

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Prince Albert
Prince Albert Piercing.jpg
Nicknames PA
Location Urethra
Jewelry Circular barbell, curved barbell, captive bead ring, Prince's Wand
Healing time 2 to 4 weeks

This article is about Piercings

The Prince Albert piercing ('PA) is one of the common forms of male genital piercing. The PA pierces the penis from the outside of the frenulum and into the urethra. There is also the "reverse Prince Albert piercing" which enters through the urethra and exits through a hole pierced in the top of the Glans penis. While some piercers may choose to avoid the nerve bundle that runs along the center of the frenulum altogether, others do not. The piercing may be centered if the bearer is circumcised. Otherwise, the piercing will be done to the side because the skin in the area needs to be able to reposition itself dynamically.


The PA heals more quickly than many other piercings, as the area is highly vascular, and the tissue being pierced is relatively elastic. One rather upsetting, but harmless, consequence of a fresh PA is the tendency for them to bleed unexpectedly during the first 2-3 days.

Risks and effects

In the first day, most men submitted to the PA piercing urinate blood. Some men find that the dribble caused by the PA when urinating necessitates sitting down to urinate. This is not caused by the hole made during piercing, but rather by urine traveling along the surface of the jewelry. At other times, if a ring is worn that is too narrow (this can happen if the wearer down-sizes from a lower gauge jewelry to a higher), or if no ring is worn at all, an additional stream of urine may come from the hole in the frenulum. This effect may be exaggerated by different sizes and styles of jewelry. This is usually a problem only when using urinals. It can often be mitigated by either twisting the penis so that the hole is above the flow from gravity, or by holding the finger or captive bead against the hole, effectively sealing it off.

PA wearers usually report no negative effect on sexual function, and most say it enhances sexual pleasure for both partners, though some women report discomfort. PA rings can cause pain to the female in cases where the penis is long enough to impact the cervix; however, where smooth rings are used this is less of a problem. PA rings rarely interfere with safe condom use.

As with many piercings, there is small risk of the jewelry becoming caught on clothing, etc. and being pulled or torn out, but this usually only a concern with large gauge rings (under 8ga).


Prince Albert piercings typically are pierced at either 10 or 8 GA. In either case, they are often stretched to 8 or 6 GA soon after. The stretching prevents bleeding during the initial healing stages by exerting pressure on the fissure. Outside of this initial stage, they are rarely seen below a 10 gauge (2.6 mm). PAs are sometimes stretched to a 0 or 00 gauge, or about 11/32 inch (8 to 9 mm) diameter. Stretching to sizes of 6 to 2 GA is probably most common.

Very large gauge or heavy jewelry can cause thinning of the tissue between the urethral opening and the healed fistula creating an accidental meatotomy. Conversely, extremely thin jewelry can cause the same tearing in what is commonly referred to as the "cheese cutter effect", either during sudden torsion or over a long period of wearing, especially if the thin jewelry has anything heavy attached to it. In some cases this can be corrected surgically. While most wearers find that PAs are comfortable to wear and rarely remove them, even during sex, some individuals might find that extremely large or heavy jewelry is uncomfortable to wear for long periods or interferes with the sexual functioning of the penis.

Jewelry usually worn in a PA includes the circular barbell, curved barbell, captive bead, segment ring and the Prince's Wand. Short curved barbells are usually about 3/8" or so in length, so one ball sits on the lower side of the penis and the other ball sits at the urethral opening. This type of jewelry prevents discomfort that can come from larger jewelry moving around during daily wear.

Prince's wand

Prince's wand

The prince's wand consists of a hollow tube with a threaded cap at the end. The tube is inserted into the urethra, and a stem is inserted through the PA piercing and into another threaded hole on the side of the tube. The general shape is similar to a policeman's truncheon. The side stem holds the tube in place. The threaded cap, often just a ball, can be removed so the wearer can urinate through the hollow tube without having to remove the jewelry.

History and culture

The Prince Albert piercing may have been practiced in European culture for some time, and while there are many tentative theories as to its origin, the true origin of this piercing is unknown. Many of the theories regarding this piercing's history suggest that the piercing was used to secure the penis in some manner, rather than having a sexual or cultural purpose.

In modern times the Prince Albert piercing was popularized by Jim Ward (body piercer) in the early 1970s. In West Hollywood (a gay village of Los Angeles), Ward met Doug Malloy and Fakir Musafar. Together these men further developed the Prince Albert piercing. Perhaps more fatefully, Malloy published a pamphlet, Body & Genital Piercing in Brief, in which he concocted fanciful histories of genital piercings in particular. These ersatz tales — which included the notion that Prince Albert of Britain invented the piercing that shares his name in order to tame the appearance of his large penis in tight trousers — are widely circulated as urban legend. No historical proof of their veracity has been located independent of Malloy's assertions.

Like many other male genital piercings, it has a history of practice in gay culture in the twentieth century and became known outside that culture at the same time that body piercing began to emerge in popular culture in the late 1970s. The relatively easy procedure, rapid healing and claims of additional sexual stimulation (both to the wearer and his partner in sexual intercourse) attributed to this piercing have come to make the Prince Albert the most common male genital piercing.

See also

External links

Related Body Piercing articles
Piercing methods Contemporary piercing proceduresBody piercing materialsStretchingPlay piercingPocketingSurface piercing
Ear piercings TragusAntitragusSnugDaithConchHelixRookIndustrial
Facial and oral piercings CheekEyebrowAnti-eyebrowLip (Labret) • Lip plateLip frenulumMonroeMedusa) • Nose (Bridge) • Tongue (Tongue frenulum) • Uvula
Body piercings CorsetHand webMadisonNavelNippleNape
Female genital piercings ChristinaClitorisClitoral hoodTriangleFourchetteIsabellaLabiaNefertitiPrincess Albertina
Male genital piercings AmpallangApadravyaHafadaForeskinDeep shaftDolphinDydoeFrenumFrenum ladderGuicheLorumMagic CrossPrince AlbertReverse Prince AlbertPubicTransscrotal


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