Plugs are poplar types of jewelry specially designed for large gauge piercings. They are made to be worn in stretched piercings. Most commonly, plugs are used as ear plugs, as jewelry for stretched earlobes.
However, it doesn’t mean plugs are made for stretched earlobes only. Many other stretched piercing types can accommodate plugs, from stretched nose piercings to transscrotal procedures. At the same time, plugs are commonly used or ear piercings so it’s not surprising that they are associated with stretched earlobes.
Plugs are similar in shape and appearance, but there are several different types to choose from. It’s important to know what these differences are so you can make the best choice for your piercing.
In many ways, all plugs look similar. These are short, cylindrical jewelry pieces made for stretched (large gauge) piercings. They are typically smooth so they are comfortable to wear.
Since plugs are thick and made in large diameters, they can be crafted using many materials not available for small gauge jewelry types. Organic materials such as wood, bone, horn, glass and stone are common. These materials make plugs look truly special.
On the other hand, plugs can be made using common body piercing materials typical for jewelry of all gauges, such as Surgical Steel, titanium or gold.
Types of Plugs
The basic design of a plug is often changed slightly. It makes for a slightly different type of a plug. While all plugs are worn in the same way, it’s important to know these differences in design.
The main difference comes from the way the plug is kept inside a piercing. Since the basic plug design is cylindrical, there has to be something preventing the plug to move or fall off from the piercing. This can be achieved in different ways, which influence the design of the plug itself. This is why you can find different types of plugs to buy.
The most common types of plugs include:
- Basic plugs (Straight plugs). These plugs have a basic cylindrical design. They are kept in place by special O-rings. The O-rings are placed on both ends of the plug. The rings are soft and stretchable, so they keep the plug in place while being comfortable to the wearer. O-rings are often lost so it’s recommended to buy replacement rings. This way, you will always have one at hand.
- Grooved plugs. They are a variation of basic plugs. They, too, require O-rings to keep the plug in place. The difference between them and the basic plugs is that they have grooves carved in the plug on both ends. These grooves are made to hold the O-rings snug. This way, the O-rings are more difficult to fall out so it’s less likely that you’ll lose them.
- Double flared plugs (Saddled plugs). These plugs have flares outward on both ends, while the middle of the plug is thinner. The flares keep the plug in place, which means that no O-rings are needed with this design. This is a good choice for people who don’t like O-rings or who don’t want O-rings to change the aesthetics of the plug. However, the downside of double flared plugs is that they can be difficult to insert. Also, you need to have wide enough fistulas to accommodate for the flare during insertion.
- Single flared plugs. These plugs have one flared end while the other end is straight (no flare). The flared end is worn on the front of the piercing. The flare prevents the plug from moving or falling out, so no O-ring is needed. The straight (non-flared) end on the back requires an O-ring. These rings give you the aesthetic appearance of a double flared plug (that uses no O-rings) without having to struggle to insert a double flared plug and without requiring large fistulas that can accommodate flares.
Differences in Decoration
Each of these plug types can be decorated in many different ways. Many plugs are made to be smooth and without much decoration. These plugs are simple yet elegant. In case an organic material is used the material’s own color and pattern serve as a unique plug decoration.
On the other hand, plugs can be decorated in many different ways. Plug made of titanium can have different colors because of anodization. Some plugs come with gems inserted on front, which makes them sparkly and very attractive.
When choosing a plug, it’s important to take into account your piercing and your style. Many of the decorated plugs are not recommended for certain piercing types, such as genital piercings. Genital piercings require smooth jewelry, preferably made of medical-grade materials.
For your stretched earlobes, you have a wide selection of ear plugs, starting from simple yet elegant ones to organic plugs and richly ornamented plugs with gems.