Entertainment Fashion & Style Learn About the Relationship Between Female Body Piercings and Sex Do female genital piercings make sex better? Share PINTEREST Email Print Hill Street Studios / Getty Images Fashion & Style Tattoos and Body Piercings Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Skincare Advice Makeup Hair Fragrance Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Karen L. Hudson Contributing Writer Karen L. Hudson is a tattoo artist and contributing writer for Byrdie. our editorial process Karen L. Hudson Updated March 09, 2018 Although many body piercings are purely for aesthetic (decorative) purposes, others have a more utilitarian purpose: sexual pleasure and/or enhancement. As with any aspect of sexual practice, what feels good is a subjective thing; what one person finds pleasurable, another may find annoying, troublesome, painful, or otherwise undesirable. Another consideration when discussing genital piercings is that the pain and infection risk in getting one must be weighed against the possible reward in terms of sexual satisfaction. Here, we'll try to demystify the complicated relationships between piercings and pleasure. The areas most often pierced on a woman include the clitoris and the labia. Clitoral Piercings Clitoral piercings generally fall into three categories: Vertical clitoral hood piercing (VHC): The jewelry penetrates the hood's top and comes out the bottom; this results in the piercing jewelry being in constant contact with the clitoris.Horizontal clitoral hood piercing (HCH): As the name implies, an HCH piercing is placed through the clitoral hood horizontally, so that the jewelry rests over the top of the clitoris.Clitoral piercings: Piercings that actually penetrate the clitoris are much riskier than hood piercings. A professional piercer must examine the potential client to first see if she is even anatomically suited for a clitoral piercing. We don't have to tell you how sensitive the clitoris is, of course, and it stands to reason this kind of piercing can be painful. The piercing jewelry goes through many nerves—the same nerves that are responsible for sexual sensation—so there's a bit more at stake than with hood piercings. Complications are rare, but you should consider their possibility. Which Clitoral Piercing Is Better? If you're thinking about a clitoral hood piercing, bear in mind that which type to get probably won't be up to you; it's dictated by your physiology and how your piercer evaluates the site. A skilled piercer, upon examining your genital area, will recommend one piercing over the other for safety, proper placement, comfort, and best fit. Some women are anatomically suited for either piercing and can make that choice at their own discretion, but this is unusual. Given a choice, most women opt for VCH piercings because they tend to be more sexually stimulating than HCH piercings. If you want a VCH piercing, however, a professional piercer must test to see if your clitoral hood is deep enough to support it without damaging your clitoris. If it's not, she'll likely recommend an HCH piercing instead. Will a clitoral hood piercing stimulate the clitoris during sex? Maybe. That depends on the skill of the piercer and your anatomy. If you receive the best piercing (vertical or horizontal) for your particular anatomy and the piercing was done properly to encourage clitoral stimulation, then it should enhance pleasure during sex. Can a Clitoral Piercing Ever Make Sex Less Pleasurable? Whether vertical or horizontal, a clitoral hood piercing won't impair your ability to have an orgasm. Sexual stimulation comes from the clitoris itself, not the clitoral hood, which is just a protective fold of skin that goes over the clitoris. More than likely, a hood piercing will magnify the effects of stimulation in the area. In contrast, a clitoral piercing—because it goes through the actual clitoris—can have untoward effects. For instance, nerve damage could cause you to lose all feeling in the area and even diminish or destroy your ability to achieve orgasm. Granted, this is a worst-case scenario, but only a highly skilled professional piercer should perform a clitoral piercing. Labia and Venus Piercings: Hot or Not? A labia piercing is more cosmetic than functional in nature. It might be visually arousing to you and your partner and therefore might spice up your sexual experiences together a bit, but a labia piercing will not affect your own sexual pleasure in any purely physical way. A woman's sexual stimulation occurs mostly in the clitoris, and a labia piercing simply isn't located close enough to it to affect arousal one way or the other. Similarly, a Venus piercing—which is a surface-only piercing through "the mound of Venus," the pubic mound above the genital area—is done for appearance only. Also known as a Christina piercing, it can be painful and troublesome; piercings in this area can heal slowly, get infected and irritated easily, and are more apt to be rejected by the body than other genital piercings. Good hygiene and aftercare are important after any piercing, of course, but this is particularly true for a Venus piercing. In any case, it won't affect the physical sensations you feel during sex at all.