Posted on Leave a comment

Piercings for Gender Euphoria.

Before I start this blog post, I must state that as of writing, I am a 22 year old, femme-presenting/afab non-binary person who recognises her state of privilege, and lack of first hand experience and knowledge surrounding those who are seeking gender euphoric practices. Despite identifying as non-binary, I have personally never used piercings for ‘gender euphoria’, but definitely have used them in aid to find love in my body more.

This is why I have reached out to clients, and piercers first hand for their own experience that they are willing to share. This blog is intended to share peoples own experiences about being pierced to aid in their gender euphoria, and to provide more information to those out there.

Agender but transmasculine (he/him)

I have loads of piercings! 10 facial, 3 ear, both nipples and dukes – originally they were just a form of expression and I didn’t understand why they meant so much to me, but after transitioning, getting piercings really started to have a whole new meaning for me ! A lot of them enhance features that are already there that I find euphoric (for example, my eyebrow piercings highlighting my monobrow and my dukes highlighting my bottom growth) – since my experience getting vch/dukes, I’ve found them to be so gender affirming that I absolutely plan to get more genital piercings eventually!

My biggest advice to others looking for this is to go to a trans/trans friendly piercer that understands how much it’ll mean for you, especially if it’s a more intimate piercing! The experience of getting the piercing often really affects my feelings on it, especially with something as person as a gender affirming piercing, so it’s definitely worth finding someone that makes you feel comfortable and welcome! 🙂

Cove, 19
Healed Facial Piercings.

Hi I’m genderfluid, and use the pronouns he/they/it. The affirming piercings I currently have are my bridge, septum, and an eyebrow.

Facial piercings have helped me with gender euphoria, as they help to make my face look more androgynous, by covering/hiding more feminine aspects, and accentuating more neutral and masculine aspects. My bridge and septum help to draw more attention to my nose, and away from more feminine areas of my face, such as my lips and cheeks, and my eyebrow helps to make my brows look thicker and fuller.

The only negative effect I can think of, is having a strong emotional attachment to my piercings, as I don’t feel or look like myself without them, which can cause distress if I need to remove them.

I plan on getting my other eyebrow (I need symmetry), cheek piercings (as this will help to make my face appear slimmer) and lip piercings with hoops to almost hide them, making them look less feminine.

My advice for anyone looking to get affirming piercings, is to go to a reputable piercer and do your research. I had dahlia bites done and had to remove them as they weren’t pierced correctly and it crushed me. So trust me, the extra £15 is worth it!

Onyx, 19

I’m a trans masc nonbinary lesbian! my pronouns are he/they. I currently have 19 piercings, but my paired eyebrows that I got a year ago have definitely been the best for gender euphoria! I love the way they emphasise my brow bone and make me look more masculine, as well as balancing out my face because I have a lot of piercings from the nose down. I’m currently thinking of getting my bridge redone, as I think this would draw more attention again to my facial structure. To anyone thinking of getting masc gender affirming piercings- do it! My facial dysphoria immediately improved when I got my eyebrows pierced. I love them!

Juno, 22

Transmasculine, he/whatever.

I got diagonal nipple piercings last December, and it’s honestly been so good for the old gender. Before I had them I looked at my chest and it was just like “gross, still got tits”, but now I get to look at them and see sick-ass shiny bars! I’m now much less uncomfortable seeing my chest because there’s something else to focus on that’s not dislike of my body.

It was the same for my navel piercing, giving much less focus to my hips and ‘feminine’ stomach and instead just heh nice shiny blue bar. Funny enough, the colour also plays into it. Sounds a bit silly but switching from plain titanium to anodised dark blue pieces has actually made me love my piercings even more – perhaps a bit juvenile to be all blue is for boys, but it helps.

This one is a bit mad, but I used to have earlobe dysphoria. Honest to god I felt that my lobes were too small and feminine. Stretching them has completely nuked that, and I now love how my ears look! Stretching my septum has also made me love how my face looks, I think the chunky blue ring in the middle really ties everything together in a masculine way. I’m excited to get more piercings, planning a stacked labret in the next few weeks!

I’ve just started T and am planning to get a triangle piercing and perhaps a few labia’s once bottom growth has slowed down. I love the way genital piercing looks and am excited to find out how it feels! I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable during sex due to the whole trans thing, and I think genital piercings would help with that – having a less conventionally gendered vulva with bottom growth and piercings would help make it feel less like a Female Part and more just my body.

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: play around with different jewellery styles! Piercings are so customisable, you can tailor them to any version of your own masculinity or femininity. Also – nipple piercings do not hurt as much as everyone said they would.

Fletch, 19
Healed Nipple and Navel Piercings

My name’s Sin; I’m 30 and I’m nonbinary. I have a lot of piercings for a lot of reasons, but rather than talk about gender affirming genital work, or nipple piercings to help make my body more bearable whilst I wait for top surgery, I feel like you feel my gender euphoria most in my face. As much as the aforementioned are helpful, I’ve never felt more connected to myself than I do when I make that bold decision to change the part of me I turn toward the rest of the world.

I don’t like my face, but it’s mine. I’ve always had it and I always will. Even with surgery, with HRT, there’s always going to be my face under it, and people will always read it one way or another; masculine or feminine features, “harsh” features or “soft” features, boy or girl, whatever box the observer wants to put me in. But my modifications aren’t anything. They don’t belong to one category or another. They’re not a “male” or “female” feature. They’re not human, and I love that. Every new piercing is another step away from the expected presentation of either gender, into a new space occupied by neither, a space uniquely mine.

I’m a visual eunuch; something not quite both, but impossible to divorce completely from the concept of an “either”. In a body that never felt like mine, every new wound makes me a little more present. In the negative spaces I’ve made and filled in with gold, I’ve found myself; I am the most myself in the places in between, in the parts of myself that I enacted my own divine right to create or destroy or adorn.

I’ll continue adding piercings, and other modifications until I no longer feel a sense of “absence”. I’d like to expand on more directly affirming piercings like genital work as I explore HRT. However, with that, I’d say it’s important not to just consider that something is affirming because it is aligned to the presentation you identify most closely with, but sometimes that affirmation comes from the simple act of recognising your own ability to enact change. Body modifications are way to chip your own vision out of the flesh we’re all born into; it’s not about what “should” belong to a specific gender ideal, but about what makes you feel empowered in your own skin. Gender presentation is as multi-faceted and beautiful as the gemstones we fill ourselves with; it’s worth exploring.

Sin, 30

-Madelyn MacPherson(She/Her) 26, Ontario, Canada

Before I came out as transgender, the only piercings I had were my stretched lobes, and a septum ring. I had known I was trans for years, but was so scared to come out, until I heard I song I had heard many times before, but the lyrics “I need to be myself, because it so lonely in the eyes of someone else” hit me in a way they had never hit before. At that moment I knew I had to come out

A few months after coming out, I met my family at  @goldenelectrictattoo . That is when my piercing journey began.

The first piercing I got made me realize how gender affirming getting pierced is for me was my paired nose piercings. How beautiful I felt looking at myself with them in after fighting for so long to see the woman I am in the mirror, it was one of the most gender euphoric feelings I’ve ever experienced.

Since then, I’ve had pierced my high nostrils, mantis, bridge, paired centre eyebrows, third eye dermal, vertical labret, angel fangs, smiley, both nipples, surface tragus on both sides, and my conches punched at a 4 gauge.

Every last one of those piercings made me feel more beautiful than the last, more feminine, and more willing to learn to love myself. Every time I struggle to see the woman I am today stare back in the mirror, I see my beautiful adornments all given to me by amazing friends, and remind myself of the beauty I carry inside and out

Being trans is a lot like getting pierced in a way. It’s a lot of pain all at once, but once it heals, you feel beautiful .

-Madelyn, 26

Gender/pronoun preference: she/her, trans woman

Piercings you got and why: helix x3, industrial, nostril, septum, vertical labret, nipples, 16mm stretched lobes 

How this has helped with gender euphoria: I’ve made my body my own, in the way I want. I was insecure about my nose size, but my nose piercings have really helped with that. I wanted my nipples pierced for  ages, and was glad when my endocrinologist gave me the go-ahead after a couple of years of hrt! They’ve also helped my body feel uniquely mine. 

Any positive/negative effects from the piercing: I’m far more confident and comfortable going out! But sometimes I catch my nipple piercings in the shower 🙁 

If you are considering anymore affirming piercings and why: not at the moment! 

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: do it. Ignore what anyone else says, your body is yours and only yours, so do what you like to make it a body you’re proud of! 

Abigail, 23

My name is Tobias and I’m 19 (nearly 20!) years old and trans masc. I go by he/him pronouns and have been on testosterone for a year and a half. I have a lot of piercings (22 currently!) and some of them have definitely helped me with dysphoria and made me more comfortable in my own skin. 

I didn’t get a septum piercing intending for it to help with dysphoria, but right now my septum is stretched to 4mm and the chunkier jewellery definitely helps with a more masculine look/feel. It’s a big chunky piece and sort of the focal point of my facial piercings, meaning that my philtrum piercing (which I would consider more feminine, but that’s just me) doesn’t particularly stick out as much as it would without it. It means I can get more facial piercings that I want without worrying about them making me look too feminine.

I also have a large-gauge VCH piercing which was absolutely wonderful for dysphoria. I got it a few weeks after I started taking testosterone and have since stretched it to a large gauge than it was initially pierced at (3.2mm at the moment I believe). Genital piercings are absolutely wonderful for dysphoria especially since I haven’t had any surgery, and it only gets better when testosterone starts to work its magic and you get bottom growth. 

In regard to other affirming piercings, I’m looking at paired labia piercings and nipple piercings (post-top surgery, if eligible). I’ve heard so many good things from other trans masculine people and trans men about labia piercings and the euphoria from them. I’ve spoken to some people who’ve stretched theirs quite large and have said that they’ve helped them a lot with bottom dysphoria.

If you’re looking to get a gender-affirming piercing then I think you totally should! It’s a very personal and individual thing, so what I prefer for my expression might not be the same for another trans masc person. However, if you’re very ‘traditional’ in what you consider masculine, then I think large gauge piercings and plain/chunky ends will always work brilliantly.

Tobias, 19

It’s important that trans people are also given a voice about their experiences, rather than be overshadowed by someone who doesn’t have that first hand experience. And so I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been willing to share their own personal experiences for this blog post. I hope that people will find this useful and utilise it in their own journeys.

If you have any questions or are seeking support with your own journey into using piercings for gender euphoria, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!