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Body mods – piercing

AKA metal, ‘metalled (up)’ means ‘has piercings’.

For terms for individual piercings see the pages on types of piercings.

What are body mods?

Body mods are a range of things that permanently or semi-permanently alter parts of the body. They range from pretty tame changes, like ear piercing, to more extreme stuff like branding and scarification.

More common body modifications include tattooing, body piercing and ear lobe piercing or stretching. Some body mods have only become possible thanks to recent advances in surgical techniques; others have been carried out for thousands of years.

Piercing and the law

Following the Operation Spanner trial in the 90s, it was established in English law that you cannot consent to serious, lasting harm to your body. So certain, more extreme body modifications (but not professional piercing or tattooing) may be against the law to perform or have done to you.

What is piercing?

Piercing is making permanent or semi-permanent holes in the skin through which body jewellery is worn – usually a small metal bar or ring.

Play piercing is temporary and doesn’t involve jewellery. Read more about play piercing here.

What’s the attraction?

The popularity of body piercings is linked to the widespread appeal of jewellery.

Some people get turned on by the actual act of being pierced. Piercing genital and other erogenous zones such as nipples also increases sensitivity during sex. For some people piercings can create an almost permanent sense of being turned on. And sexual stimulation through a piercing can be a powerful way of controlling or being controlled during a sex scene.

Last review: 19/09/2018
Next review: 19/09/2021