Difference between Penis Plugs and Urethral Sounds

plugsUrethral sounds and penis plugs are the most popular urethral toys in the world.

If you are interested in urethral play and stimulation, it’s vital to know the difference between the most popular urethral devices and how to use them properly.

This is the only way to achieve satisfaction.

Before You Start

A special caution must be taken by those who wish to try urethral stimulation for the first time. Keep in mind, some urethral toys are made especially for the more advanced users and you should not use them unless your urethra is stretched properly and unless you are familiar with more basic forms of urethral stimulation.

It’s always best to start with smaller toys and build your way up from there. If you can’t find specializes stretcher and trainer toys, start with the smallest, smoothest urethral toy you can find.

Also, one important thing to keep in mind at all times: use only toys specially designed for this type of stimulation. While it may seem tempting to try different things, do not ever shove a random object down your penis. Always stick to proper urethral devices only.

Penis Plugs and Urethral Sounds: The Difference

Both penis plugs and urethral sounds are toys designed for urethral stimulation. In some ways, they achieve the same purpose and are used in a similar way. Both are designed to be used for urethral penetration, that is, they are inserted into the urethral opening. Most of these toys are designed for men, but some women can use them as well. If you are a woman who wishes to use urethral toys it’s best to stick to smaller toys.

Most users of urethral toys are men, which means most of the popular types of toys are made with men in mind. Both penis plugs and urethral sounds are inserted into the urethra and can be used to stimulate penis on the inside.

So, what’s the difference? The main difference is the shape and length, though there are some variations. Typically speaking, urethral sounds are longer and they are made for deep urethral exploration. This is why they are recommended for more experienced users who are already familiar with urethral stimulation.

Penis plugs, on the other hand, tend to be shorter. They are great for beginners who wish to try this type of stimulation for the first time. On the other hand, there are more extreme penis plugs out there, made with experienced users in mind, so they are definitely not a beginner’s toy only.

Another difference to keep in mind is the purpose. Urethral Sounds are actually medical instruments used by real doctors. This is why they are known as medical toys, though they are not used for medical play only. That being said, urethral sounds used as sex toys are still shaped in the same (or very similar) way as the medical toys used in hospitals. Some of them are long enough to reach all the way down to the prostate and bladder. In these cases, a special care must be taken not to damage these organs, though it’s also possible to use urethral sounds for prostate stimulation.

Penis plugs, on the other hand, are sex toys only. They are usually not as long to reach that deep into urethra. They also come in many different shapes and textures. They are made for penis stimulation and they can accompany different beads and other curves made for enhancing the effect. Some penis plugs also come with a glans ring. The ring is there to perform a dual function: it keeps the plug safely inside urethra and it also provides additional stimulation during use.

The main differences between urethral sounds and penis plugs:

  • Penis Plugs: shorter, made in numerous designs (straight, wavy, bumpy, etc.), made for penis stimulation but usually not long enough for prostate stimulation, often include glans rings for added stimulation and to keep the plug in place.
  • Urethral Sounds: longer, straight or slightly curved, used as medical devices (and for medical play), made for deep urethral stimulation. They come in several standard types: Hegar, Van Buren, Pratt, and more.

Rare Tongue Piercings

tongueTongue piercing is among the most popular piercings in the world. However, a classic tongue piercing is not the only possible placement. Typically, tongue piercings are performed transversally through the tongue, roughly at the center. This is a very effective placement and it’s not surprising it’s so popular. Still, it’s just one of the possible ways to pierce a tongue.

If you are interested in tongue piercings but you’re looking for something more unique and unusual, try some of the rare placements. These can be very effective & sure make for a more unique piercing.

Rare Placements

Here are some of the rarer tongue piercing placements. Some of them are considered separate piercing types since they vary significantly from the classic tongue piercing. The more unique tongue piercings include:

  • Horizontal Tongue Piercing
  • Tongue Rim Piercing
  • Tongue Web Piercing
  • Tongue Surface Piercing
  • Lingum Piercing
  • Scoop Piercing

A good thing about these piercing types is that they are unique enough to truly make a difference, but also popular enough to have piercers with experience doing those types of piercings.

Also, a special tongue body modification is tongue splitting. This is a more extreme modification and it’s not considered a piercing in the strict sense of the word. However, it’s a procedure some people prefer to conventional piercings. If you wish to have a tongue splitting it’s important to find a very experienced piercer specialized in this type of procedure. Keep in mind, it deviates from usual piercing procedure and it’s more extreme in nature.

Horizontal Tongue Piercing

This is a horizontal variant of a tongue piercing. It goes through the tongue tissue horizontally, from left to right. As such, it passes through more tissue than a conventional (vertical) tongue piercing, and it’s therefore considered a more extreme type of a piercing.

When performing this piercing, it’s vital to preserve the tongue’s functionality. Your tongue has to remain in a good shape to eat and talk, so it’s crucial to choose an appropriate spot to pierce. While it’s possible to pierce any part of the tongue horizontally, it’s important to choose the one that will not interfere with speech and other functions of the tongue.

It is vital to choose an experienced piercer. Your chosen piercer has to have knowledge and experience performing this type of piercing – you should not rely on someone who’s performed classic (vertical) tongue piercings only. A good piercer will know not only how to identify the best placement that will not interfere with normal tongue functions but will also know how to find the major blood vessels and adjust the placement based on them.

Keep in mind that this piercing is anatomy-dependent. Not everybody is well suited for horizontal tongue piercings.

Another thing to know is that this type of piercing is more painful to perform than standard tongue piercings, since the piercing goes through more tissue. The healing time is also longer – you can expect this piercing to heal in 5-6 months and more.

Typical jewelry for horizontal tongue piercing is a long straight barbell. The barbell can be made of any body-friendly material. For initial jewelry, flexible barbells are recommended since they don’t put so much pressure on the tissue.

Tongue Rim Piercing

This is a specific placement for a tongue piercing. Instead of piercing centrally, tongue rim piercings are located on the outer edge of the tongue. While it’s possible to get a single tongue rim piercing, the most common variation are pairs of tongue rim piercings, one on the each side of the tongue.

Typical jewelry for tongue rim piercings are rings. They look very effective when placed on the tongue. However, a proper care has to be taken since these piercings and their jewelry can cause damage to the teeth and gums.

Tongue Web Piercing

This rare piercing is done on the thin web under the tongue. It is an unusual but relatively simple piercing with a short healing time. It is not known to cause much trouble for the wearer. The only thing to pay attention to is aftercare: it’s important to clean your new piercing after each meal and at least in the morning and evening.

This piercing is typically problem-free, but there is one downside: it is rarely visible. One needs to open mouth in a specific way for this piercing to be visible. As such, it doesn’t offer much aesthetic value but there are still other reasons why you might want to have this unusual tongue piercing.

Tongue Surface Piercings

There are many different types of tongue surface piercings. What they have in common is that they are done on the surface of the tongue, meaning, the tongue tissue is not fully perforated.

There are numerous ways to perform these piercings – almost any point of the tongue can be pierced on the surface. Also, it’s possible to choose between top and bottom placements, which create completely different effects.

As with any other surface piercing, keep in mind that these piercings may be prone to migration and rejection. Proper placement, experienced piercer and body-friendly jewelry will help preserving these surface piercings for longer.

The most popular types of tongue surface piercings are Lingum and Scoop piercing.

  • Lingum piercing is a tongue surface piercing that goes through the lower part of the tongue.
  • Scoop piercing is a surface tongue piercing done horizontally on the tongue. This piercing differs from horizontal tongue piercing in that it doesn’t go through the full tongue tissue: it is located on the surface of the tongue.

Nipple Jewelry Guide

Nipple Jewelry StylesNipple piercings are among the most popular piercings in the world, so it’s not surprising there are many different jewelry styles and jewelry types made for this piercing.

Some of these jewelry styles are basic ones and can be used for many different piercing types while others are made and designed for nipple piercings only.

The Most Popular Styles

Here are the most popular nipple jewelry styles:

  • Straight Barbells. Perhaps the most common nipple jewelry style is a straight barbell. It can accommodate nipple easily and it looks very effective in a pierced nipple. These barbells are smooth and go through a nipple easily, while their ends can be plain or decorated with a gem or another element.
  • Captive Bead Rings. Another common nipple jewelry style is a Captive Bead Ring (CBR). Rings are so popular that some people assume they are the only jewelry style available for pierced nipples. CBRs can be plain or they may come with a decoration, such as a decorative bead, gem, charm or another decoration.
  • Other Rings. Instead of CBRs, some people choose to wear different types of rings in their nipple piercings. Popular choices include segment and seamless rings, as well as screwball rings.
  • Nipple Shields and Nipple Rounders. These are more elaborate nipple jewelry pieces. They are usually larger in size and they are meant to encircle the nipple and accentuate it. Many nipple shields consist of a shield itself and a primary jewelry (usually a straight barbell). Others only include the shield and you have to add a barbell yourself. Nipple shields and rounders come in many different sizes, shapes and decorations, so they can be truly eye-catching.
  • Nipple Stirrups. Nipple stirrups are special dangle decorations added to the main jewelry piece, usually a straight barbell. Some of these dangle are very simple and consist only of a chain suspended from both sides of a barbell (or another jewelry piece). On the other hand, some dangles are very richly ornamented, with gems, beads, charms and other decorations. Some dangles are thick and made into full swings. Sometimes, these dangles are made to hold large decorations. These large decorations can be very attractive and made in the shape of birds, butterflies, flowers and other shapes.
  • Nipple Trainers. These are special devices made to be worn on the nipples in order to stretch and expand the nipples. They are often used in bondage and other sexual activities, but can be worn for the visual effect alone. Nipple trainers typically have special adjustment screws that allow the device to stretch to different heights. Nipple trainers are not, strictly speaking, nipple jewelry, but they are popular among people who like intense nipple stimulation, nipple stretching and nipple torture.
  • Decorative Elements. There are many other decorative elements that can be added to the basic nipple jewelry piece to make it more attractive. Some of the popular choices include charms, whirls, swings, chains, and more. Nipple jewelry is often very decorated so there are many decorative elements that are often used to make a jewelry piece more attractive.

Most Popular Body Jewelry Types

Popular Jewelry TypesThere are many different and unique body jewelry types in the world. Body jewelry is varied and comes in many different shapes, sizes and styles.

These are the most popular types of body jewelry:

Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Ring, also known as “CBR”, is the most popular body jewelry style in the world. These rings are so popular that many people call any body jewelry piece “a ring”, even if it’s not a ring at all.

Captive Bead Rings are circular in shape. They have a removable ball or charm pressured by both sides to keep it in place. To open the ring one has to remove the ball, which is usually done using specially designed ring opening pliers. To close the ring, it’s best to use ring closing pliers in order to avoid damage to the ring.

These rings are widely used for almost all piercing types. They are very practical and relatively affordable, so it’s not surprising they are so popular. One downside to these rings is that it’s easy to lose the bead so it’s advisable to always carry a replacement bead in order to keep your jewelry in place.


Barbells are among the most popular jewelry types in the world. They come in many different styles and sizes and they can be used for almost any piercing imaginable. The decorations vary significantly: some barbells are very plain and simple while the others are richly ornamented.

Each barbell has a shaft and a ball on each end. The balls are threaded to the shaft and there are two ways to make a threading. Internally threaded barbells have a ball with a threaded post and the shaft is smooth. Externally threaded barbells have a shaft with a threaded post. Internally threaded barbells are much better and safer to use.

Depending on the shape of the shaft, barbells can be divided into:

  • Straight barbells: They have a straight shaft with a ball on each side.
  • Curved barbells: They have a curved shaft. They are often used for navel piercings.
  • Circular barbells: They have a curved shaft and resemble rings that are not fully closed.
  • Spirals: These shaft have a spiral or wavy shaft.
  • Industrial barbells: They look like straight barbells, only with a much longer shaft.


Studs are relatively simple jewelry pieces particularly popular for lip, tongue and nostril piercings. Studs include a post with a decoration on one end and a flat or round base on the other end. The decoration is typically simple: a bead or a small gem. The base is often wider than the shaft to prevent the jewelry to fall out.

Studs are often worn in lip piercings, where they are known as labret studs. Labrets have wide, flat bases on the end. Studs are also popular for nose piercings, where there are known as “Nose Bones”. Studs are typically easy to put on and remove.

Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are jewelry pieces specially designed for stretched earlobes and other types of stretched piercings. They are made in larger gauges to accommodate the stretched piercing. Many of these plugs are made in organic materials, such as glass, wood, stone, horn & bone. Plugs can also be made of metals.

There are several distinctive ear plug types: double flared, single flared and no-flared plugs. Plugs without flares and those with only one flare require O rings to keep them in place.

Ear plugs should not be confused for flesh tunnels, another popular jewelry type. Unlike plugs, tunnels and earlets have a hole in the middle. Flesh tunnels also come as double flared, single flared or no flared designs.

Why Are Captive Bead Rings so Popular?

Why Are Captive Bead Rings so PopularCaptive Bead Rings are among the most popular jewelry styles for piercings. In fact, they are so common that they may be considered the most popular jewelry type.

Captive Bead Rings (CBRs) are very versatile so they can be used for almost any piercing imaginable. It’s therefore not surprising that they are so common.

In fact, they are so popular that many people equate them with body jewelry of any kind. Ever heard of people talking about navel rings or eyebrow rings? While many people use CBRs for navel, eyebrow and other types of piercings, there are more common jewelry styles appropriate for these piercings. However, all these jewelry styles are often known under a collective name of “rings”. This is, in large part, due to the fact that Captive Bead Rings are so popular.

Captive Bead Rings: Design

Each Captive Bead Ring has a specific design setting it apart from any other jewelry style. A captive bead ring is typically round in shape so it makes a circle. One important aspect of a Captive Bead Ring is the opening and closing mechanism – the bead itself. Each Captive Bead Ring has a small opening to fit the bead. The bead itself it pressed by the sides of the ring, thus keeping it in place and preventing the ring to be opened. Beads typically have small indentations so the end points of the ring can fit.

A captive bead ring is typically round in shape so it makes a circle. One important aspect of a Captive Bead Ring is the opening and closing mechanism – the bead itself. Each Captive Bead Ring has a small opening to fit the bead. The bead itself it pressed by the sides of the ring, thus keeping it in place and preventing the ring to be opened. Beads typically have small indentations so the end points of the ring can fit. This is a pretty standard and recognizable design.

However, this doesn’t mean that CBRs are plain or boring. While the basic design is standard, there are many ways to make a Captive Bead Ring unique and more interesting. In fact, Captive Bead Rings are very versatile and they can be used almost anywhere. There are many different rings to use so it would be incorrect to say that these rings are “ordinary”, despite their huge popularity.

One of the best things about CBRs is how the basic design can be modified and enhanced to produce jewelry of varied styles. Some of the rings are very simple, with a plain bead of the same color as the rest of the ring. Others have beautiful beads done in many different colors and patterns. Some beads include a sparkly gem. Also, some rings include additional decorations, such as charms or chains. All these additions can make for a very decorated jewelry piece that doesn’t resemble a plain-looking Captive Bead Ring.

Popularity of Captive Bead Rings

There are numerous reasons why CBRs are so popular. Here are the most important of them:

  • They are practical. Captive Bead Rings are comfortable and easy to wear. While they take some level of practice to open and close, once you know how to do it they are very easy to use.
  • They are reliable. Captive Bead Rings are among the most reliable body jewelry types. They are not easy to get snagged on clothing and they typically don’t pose much problem for long-term wear. It makes them a very good choice for body jewelry.
  • They are versatile. CBRs can be used for almost any piercing type. Almost any piercing can accommodate a Captive Bead Ring, starting from simple earlobe piercings to some genital piercings.
  • They are beautiful. As described above, CBRs can be decorated in many different ways to achieve different looks and styles. The basic design is not a limit so there are many different styles to choose from. As a jewelry type, Captive Bead Rings are very elegant, starting from the simple, plain-looking ones to the richly ornamented pieces.
  • They are a classic. Simply put, a CBR is a classic jewelry piece used for so many piercings and in so many situations. It is not surprising that people always go back to this foolproof design.

Barbells or Rings: Which is Better for Initial Jewelry?

Barbells or RingsSome people wonder which is the best jewelry type for initial piercings. As you know, initial jewelry should satisfy some special standards regular jewelry does not have to include.

For example, while all body jewelry has to be made of body-friendly materials, certain materials are considered safe only for fully healed piercings.

For example, initial jewelry should use only certain materials, such as titanium or 316LVM Surgical Steel, while gold and organic materials are not recommended for new piercings.

Similarly, initial jewelry should be of a certain length. This is particularly important for piercings where swelling is expected. Many piercings swell after the procedure is performed, so initial jewelry should be longer than the regular one.

Apart from these guidelines, there is also one common dilemma about initial piercings: should barbells or rings be used as jewelry? Or, to put it this way: which jewelry type is more suitable for new piercings – barbells or rings?

Which is Better?

Generally speaking, both barbells and rings are good choice as initial jewelry, as long as a particular jewelry type can accommodate this jewelry. Most piercings that can use barbells (be it straight, curved or circular barbells) can also use rings, so it’s not a problem.

Rings are often considered to be safer because they allow for easier cleaning. Proper cleaning is vital for aftercare and preventing problems, so it’s very important to perform regularly. Also, rings can accommodate swelling easily, so they often do not have to be changed once the first swelling is gone.

On the other hand, rings have certain disadvantages. They are more difficult to insert, though this should not be much of a concern, since your piercer will be the one to insert your initial jewelry. Also, rings are reported to cause more discomfort in some cases.

If we talk about barbells, it’s important to know that they can be cleaned properly – you just have to be more careful. Also, it’s possible to use a long enough barbell to accommodate for swelling, so this should not be a concern.

For example, rings are not a great initial jewelry choice for tongue piercings. In this case, it’s best to use a barbell. However, it’s vital to choose a barbell that is long enough to accommodate for swelling. Once the swelling is gone it has to be changed for a shorter barbell. It’s best to make your piercer change the jewelry for you.

The same should be done for other piercings with a significant swelling, such as lip piercings. Rings may be great jewelry for these piercings once they are fully healed, but different jewelry types, such as barbells or labrets are better used as initial jewelry. Just like tongue jewelry, initial lip jewelry should be longer to accommodate for swelling. Once the swelling is gone, your piercer should change your jewelry to a shorter one.

Also, navel piercings will typically benefit from barbells instead of rings as initial jewelry. While you may wear rings in your healed belly button piercing, it’s better to use a curved barbell as your initial jewelry. Rings are more likely to move inside the piercing and they can easily get snagged on clothing, which can be dangerous during the healing time.

Another thing to note in barbell vs ring dilemma is that the difference in curvature. Rings are always curved, which may be problem for certain piercings. With barbells, you can choose between different barbell designs, from straight to curved and circular. Each has a different curvature, so in case your jewelry has to be straight, it’s best to avoid both rings and more curved barbells and stick to straight barbells.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, there is no much of a difference. Both barbells and rings make suitable initial jewelry, as long as they are well-crafted and made of body-friendly materials. For most piercing types, there is really no need to stress over the choice. Both barbells and rings will do a good job.

In some cases, yes, there is a bit of a difference. This is particularly important for very sensitive piercings, or those that are not easy to clean. However, it’s important to know that this small advantage also brings certain disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice is yours (and your piercer’s). That being said, keep in mind that both barbells and rings are good choices and neither will endanger your new piercing.

Segment and Seamless Rings

Titanium Smooth Segment Ring

Titanium Smooth Segment Ring

Segment and Seamless rings are a good alternative to classic Captive Bead Rings.

They are mostly used in the same way as CBRs are, and for the same piercing types, but they are designed a bit differently, which gives them some advantage to typical Captive Bead Rings.

Segment Rings

Unlike Captive Bead Rings, segment rings don’t have a bead. Instead, they have a removable segment. This segment is tightly pressed to the rest of the ring to make a perfect round shape when the ring is closed. Segment rings tend to be more elegant than Captive Bead Rings, since they offer a more seamless look.

To open a segment ring, simply hold the ring with the segment at the top. Push the segment gently to one side to open the ring slightly and force the segment out. Typically, opening a segment ring is easy, but closing it can be a bit tricky. To put the segment back, put one of its ends in the ring and push the segment in toward the end of the ring while pulling the other side out. It requires some practice but you will soon learn how to do it properly. Always be careful in order to preserve the ring’s shape and to prevent damages to the ring.

Keep in mind: you should never simply pull the segment straight out of the ring without opening the ring slightly first. It may cause the ring to lose its shape and functionality.

Seamless Rings

Seamless rings go even further. They do not have a ball or a separate segment of any kind. Instead, all they have is a split in the ring. This split is so sharp and thin that it’s not easily visible, which gives the ring a perfect seamless design. This is a very elegant choice so it’s not surprising that seamless rings are so highly praised for their beauty.

One great thing about seamless rings is that you can easily slip in and out of your piercing. No beads to worry about. There is no risk that you’ll lose an integral part of a ring since the whole ring is made in one piece!

How to open and close a seamless ring? The only correct way to do it is to twist them open and closed. It means that you have to pick different your ring with both hands near the split and twist the ends in the opposing directions to open the ring. Do the opposite to close it: simply squeeze the rings sides together.

One word of warning: if you open and close these rings incorrectly you can stretch them, which will make the opening wider. This may make the ring lose its original shape or even to become unusable in some cases. Opening and closing seamless rings with pliers is not recommended, since they can damage the ring’s perfect shape. They are great for Captive Bead Rings and segment rings, though.

What’s Wrong with Captive Bead Rings?

One word at the end: there is nothing wrong with Captive Bead Rings. In fact, they are beautiful, comfortable and very practical in many situations. There is a reason why they are the most popular body piercing ring type and why so many users choose them as body jewelry.

The problem is, CBRs have a bead that is not attached to the ring. It means it can fall off easily and there goes your beautiful ring. Of course, you may always use a replacement bead (in fact, that is highly recommended to do), but if you don’t want to worry about beads at all, get a ring without a bead.

Another thing is that CBRs can be very difficult to open and close. While some of these issues are present with segment rings, different designs allow for different opening and closing dynamics, which some users appreciate.

Finally, segment and seamless rings have a more seamless design and they tend to be perfectly round. This may look more elegant than a standard ring with a bead, so some people prefer these rings because of their aesthetics. And not just aesthetics: in some cases, having a perfectly smooth jewelry piece is exactly what you need (for example, if you have a highly sensitive piercing such as a genital piercing).

How to Choose the Right Jewelry for Your Piercings

Piercing and JewelryThere are many popular piercing types and many different jewelry styles. It’s always useful to know what kind of jewelry suits your piercing.

Generally speaking, most piercings can accommodate at least a few different jewelry styles, but it’s always useful to know what is best to wear for your piercing.

Jewelry Types

There are several basic body jewelry types. Among the most popular ones are barbells of different kinds (straight, curved and circular barbells) as well as rings (Captive Bead Rings, seamless rings, screwball rings and others).

These jewelry styles can accommodate most piercing types. Most of these can be used for many different piercing types, which makes these jewelry types multi-functional.

On the other hand, there are also specialized jewelry types. These are made for one specific jewelry type. For example, ear plugs and flesh tunnels are made for stretched earlobe piercings. Labrets are made for lip piercings. Nose screws and nose bones are made for nostril piercings, and so on.

That being said, even the most specialized jewelry types can usually be used for more than one piercing type. The trick is to know when to use which jewelry type and style. Sometimes, the choice will depend on your individual style and preferences, while it will sometimes be guided by practical reasons. Simply put, some piercings are made to accommodate some specific jewelry types and not the others.

To ensure a good fit and perfect comfort it’s worth knowing when to use which jewelry style for a particular piercing type.

General Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines on the jewelry types to use with specific piercings:

  • Ear piercings. There are many different ear piercing types, such as earlobe piercings, cartilage piercings, and many others. There are numerous earrings used for earlobe piercings, as well as special jewelry types made for stretched earlobe piercing, such as ear plugs, earlets and flesh tunnels. Ear cartilage piercings use many different jewelry types, such as barbells (for example, long straight barbells for Industrial piercing), rings or labrets.
  • Nose piercings. Nostril piercings typically use specific jewelry types, such as nostril screws, nose bones, fishtails and L-bars. Also, this piercing type can use a ring. Some other nose piercings, such as septum piercings, use different jewelry types, such as rings and tusks.
  • Eyebrow piercing. This piercing type usually uses a special curved barbell or a Captive Bead Ring. However, this piercing type can also use different jewelry types, such as barbells of different kinds.
  • Lip piercings. A typical jewelry type for most of the lip piercings is a labret. However, some lip piercings can also use rings or even barbells.
  • Tongue piercing. All tongue piercings are oral piercings, so special care has to be made to use only jewelry made of medical-grade materials and specially designed for oral use. Tongue piercing needs smooth jewelry that will not damage teeth and gums. Straight barbells make great tongue jewelry, though some people prefer to use Captive Bead Rings.
  • Navel piercings. Belly button piercings usually use special curved barbells. These barbells are ideal for this piercing type. However, you may also use a typical Captive Bead Ring or another ring type.

Navel Jewelry Sizing

Navel Piercing SizeIn order to be fully satisfied with your navel piercing, it’s important to wear jewelry of the appropriate size. It means you need to ensure proper fitting.

Here are some tips on how to choose navel jewelry of the right size:

Things to Keep in Mind

Typical navel jewelry is 14 gauge. This is the gauge most people are pierced with so jewelry in this size is very common. However, other gauges are also possible so do not assume your belly button piercing is 14 gauge if you are unsure. It’s important to know the exact size you are pierced with to ensure a good fit.

When it comes to length, there are some common sizes. Typical navel jewelry is a curved barbell, so the length discussed here applies to this jewelry type. Most common navel jewelry is a barbell that is 3/8” to 7/16” long. Keep in mind however, that this is a length for healed piercing. Initial navel jewelry has to be a bit longer, to account for swelling.

While curved barbells are often used for navel piercings, you may also use other piercing types, such as Captive Bead Rings. CBRs are a good choice for initial jewelry, though many piercers choose to use curved barbells for initial jewelry. If you decide to get a ring, make sure it’s large enough to account for swelling.

How to Measure Jewelry

In order to find the best fit for your navel piercing, it’s important to know how to measure your jewelry properly. For a curved barbell, it’s vital to determine the length. This will be a straight line between the balls. Do not measure along the curve of the barbell! Simply measure the straight line between the top and bottom ball. Make sure to start measuring under the top ball and go all the way to the top side of the bottom ball.

When deciding on the best length of a curved barbell, make sure to give it some space. You should leave some barbell showing when you wear your navel jewelry. It means you should not get a barbell that is so short to dig into your flesh. Leave a bit of a barbell showing to make the piercing air properly and prevent the jewelry from pulling into the flesh.

On the other hand, you don’t want to get a barbell that is too long. It might end up catching on clothes and hurting you. For the optimal result, leave around ¼” of barbell showing.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips about finding the best belly button jewelry size:

  • You need to be patient. You might need to experiment with a few sizes to find the best fit for you.
  • The length of your navel jewelry will depend a lot on your piercing. If you have a shallow piercing you will need to get a shorter jewelry than a person with a deep piercing. Typically, a good length for a shallow piercing is 5/16”, 3/8” to 7/16” for a standard piercing and around ½” for deep piercings. In some extreme cases, if your piercing is very deep, you might need to get jewelry as large as 9/16”, but this is rare.
  • In case you have a very sharp-angled piercing, you might experiment with jewelry types to find the ones that suit you best. Some jewelry types will make the piercing look straight so you might want to use them. Since this type of a piercing is not a standard one it’s tricky to determine the best size. This is why you should try several different things to find the one that’s best for you.
  • Shallow piercings will go best with smaller, lightweight jewelry pieces. You don’t want to go with anything too big, heavy or ornamented because your piercing might not be able to sustain it.
  • Keep extra care of your new piercing. You need to get a body-friendly initial jewelry that will account for swelling and help your navel piercing heal properly. This jewelry will typically be bigger than the standard jewelry you will wear once your jewelry is fully healed.

Piercing Discomfort

Piercing DiscomfortMany people wonder how much discomfort is normal and expected when wearing body piercing jewelry. There is no one universal answer to this questions, but generally speaking, your jewelry should not cause discomfort. In fact, discomfort and pain can often be a sign of a problem so you should never ignore it!

Discomfort Associated with Piercings

There are several different types of piercing situations in which you can experience discomfort. It’s very important to know which of these situations are “normal” and when you should take discomfort and pain as a warning sign.

Common sources of discomfort:

•           The procedure

•           Initial healing time

•           Swelling

•           Improperly Sized Jewelry

•           Jewelry Getting Caught on Clothes

•           Jewelry Made of Unsafe Materials

•           Jewelry Unsuitable for Your Anatomy

•           Infections and Other Problems

The Procedure

You should expect some discomfort and even pain during procedure. This goes without saying. Some people are scared of piercing needles and piercing pain, but the good news is that it’s usually not as scary as it sounds. Also, the pain itself lasts only for a few seconds (for most piercings) so it’s not something to worry about.

Another type of pain and discomfort you should expect happen a few hours after the procedure. In fact, this is typically when you can expect the most discomfort or even pain. You can use some painkillers, but if the problem persists, make sure to consult your doctor.

Initial Healing Time

Piercings take a while to heal. Out all of this time, the initial days are when you can expect the most discomfort. This is also when you should be extra careful with your piercing. You can expect it to be tender and to cause some discomfort.

Make sure not to touch it too much. In fact, you should touch your piercing only when you clean it and perform aftercare. Never twist or turn your jewelry because it can bring more problems. Monitor your piercing to notice any potential infections or other problems.


Swelling is normal during the initial phases of healing. In fact, it is expected. Your piercer should account for swelling when choosing initial jewelry for your piercing. You will probably need to replace your initial jewelry with a shorter one after the swelling is gone.

Monitor your piercing to see if the swelling is gone. It’s normal for a new piercing to be tender, but it should start healing. If you think the swelling is not going away, make sure to consult your doctor.

Also, keep in mind that swelling is not a normal occurrence past the initial healing. If you experience swelling, bumps or tenderness in your old piercing, it’s a sign that something is wrong so you should see your doctor to treat the problem.

Improperly Sized Jewelry

Improperly sized jewelry is one of the most common reasons for discomfort. This can also lead to numerous other problems, such as infections, migration and rejection. It’s vital to wear only jewelry of the appropriate size to ensure a perfect fit.

First of all, you should always wear only jewelry in the gauge you are pierced with (or your current gauge, if you have stretched piercings). Never wear jewelry of the larger or smaller gauge than your piercing.

Another thing to keep in mind is the length of your barbells and diameter of your rings. A properly sized jewelry should sit comfortably against the skin. It should not dig into the skin or else you may develop problems. On the other hand, your jewelry should not be too long or big or else may get caught on clothes and hurt you.

Jewelry Getting Caught on Clothes

This is a common source of discomfort and it happens every now and then to most people. In most of the cases, this is not alarming and will cause only minor discomfort, but in some more serious cases you can hurt yourself and tear the tissue.

In order to avoid this, you need to be careful whenever you change your clothes. Be aware of your piercing and proceed with caution. Another way to prevent this problem is to wear appropriately sized jewelry. Stay away from too large jewelry or overly ornamented pieces.

Jewelry Made of Unsafe Materials

This is another common source of problems, and a dangerous one. Unsafe materials can cause numerous problems, such as infections, allergies, migration and rejection. Nickel allergy is among the most common allergy types, so in order to avoid it you need to ear only materials that don’t contain nickel.

It’s vital to stick to body-friendly materials, such as Surgical Steel, titanium, nickel-free gold or acrylic. This is why it’s so important to always buy only high-quality jewelry. Stay away from cheap jewelry you can get at a mall – these jewelry pieces are poorly made and typically contain harmful materials.

Jewelry Unsuitable for Your Anatomy

This can be another source of discomfort. Sometimes, a perfectly good jewelry piece just won’t fit you and your anatomy. A ring or a barbell style that fits another person just doesn’t feel right for you.

In these cases, a solution is simple: use another jewelry piece. It may be frustrating, especially if you really wanted to wear a particular jewelry piece. However, it’s much better to use another piece than risk problems. Luckily, there are so many different jewelry pieces so you will always be able to find those you like. There is no need to restrict yourself to only one jewelry type or style.

Infections and Other Problems

Infections, allergies, migration and rejection are a common source of discomfort. They are also dangerous, so it’s important to always react quickly whenever you spot a problem. Watch for any changes in your piercing. If you experience rash, redness, tenderness, pain, discharge or another problem with your piercing, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. These problems are dangerous and can harm you so it’s crucial to visit your doctor. In some cases, you may need to retire your piercing, but it’s a small price to pay.

It’s always important to monitor your piercings and treat any problem immediately. Keep in mind that while new piercings in healing are at the most risk any piercing, even an old one, can get infected. This is why it’s so important to keep a good eye on your piercings. Never ignore discomfort or tenderness since it can be a sign something is going on with your piercing.