February 9, 2011

A Piercing Matter

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Everyone celebrates the end of finals in different ways. Some, for example, get staggeringly drunk and expose their buttocks to the cowering, sleep-deprived masses in Club Sudz. Others get staggeringly drunk and watch sixteen hours of bad British television without cessation. For my part, I skipped straight out of my Genetics exam, got not-so-staggeringly drunk, and headed down to the Commons, where dear Dawn at Stiehl’s put a needle through the hood of my clitoris.

For everyone currently fainting into his or her Terrace salad: it really wasn’t that big of a deal. While the clitoris may have 8,000 nerve fibers, the hood is just a thin flap of skin. According to Dawn, who really is remarkably hard to ruffle, the clitoral hood piercing is one of the least painful and fastest healing, a fact to which I can now attest. Sure, it hurt, but only for like a second — and then I felt like a total fucking badass.

I first heard about the growing trend of hood rings when I went abroad. In the process of detrousering an affectionate Australian closet case (and her brother’s best friend), I learned that lady-parts modification can get a hell of a lot more fun than a bikini wax.

“It’s more common than you’d think,” Rachel murmured to me as we watched our naked game’s third player attempt to disentangle himself from his tighty-whities. “And when I wear jeans — oh man.”

We quickly abandoned the conversation in favor of other pursuits, but something about the exchange stuck with me even after I flew back to the States. Sure, I’d seen clit rings in porn before, but I’d also seen breast implants and some seriously improbable latex snake outfits. Seeing it — and feeling it — on a real person had made it a valid possibility. Rachel had certainly seemed to enjoy her own accessory during our encounter Down Under, and the little tendency toward a pain kink lodged in my medulla oblongata began to insistently nudge me with its steel-toed dominatrix boot. I kind of thought it would go away eventually, but when I found myself studying clits on Xtube for far more than pure aesthetic appreciation, I knew it was time to nibble the needle.

The anthropologist S. Benson theorized that people who opt to pay fifty bucks to get their fleshy parts harpooned are really in search of control. Piercings are a type of wound, she hypothesized, but one over which the bleeder in question has ultimate power. And I gotta say, there may be something to that. As someone who occasionally hops the sad train to self-destructive town, my clit ring can serve as a source of pleasure through pain without all that pesky post-bender guilt. Sure, it twinges when I tug on it, but it’s a discomfort contained in the confines of my cooch. In a certain kind of mood, it’s the orgasm-inducing equivalent of eating ice cream and listening to Death Cab for Cutie after a long day of pining after the new CTB sandwich boy. More than that, though, it’s something I did for myself. Every time I wink at my clit and it winks back, I see it as an affirmation of my own sexuality.

But regardless of my wishy-washy psychobabble justification for getting my Jenna Jameson on, one fact shines on like a certain barbell newly anointed with love-lube. Fun fact: getting a clit ring sends one’s libido through the fucking roof. Rachel wasn’t kidding about jeans. Or driving. Or washing the dishes, or listening to This American Life. I’ve always been able to get off hands-free with some effort and strategic thigh-clenching, but calculus class gets twice as interesting when all I have to do to make the time pass is wriggle a little bit in that damned desk seat. The first time I got to whack off after two sad weeks of healing time, my vision actually whited out. Let’s not even talk about my recent encounter with a fellow Muscliteer. Suffice it to say that though it may take two to tango, it also takes two to tangle — and the whole untangling process is a whole different kind of foreplay.

You know what, though? Much as I love my clit ring, I have to say — it’s kind of like a Google Maps app for an iPhone. It definitely gets me from point A to point O more quickly, and I have the urge to fuck around with it at inopportune moments, but it’s by no means a game-changer. If worst came to worst, an enterprising snatch-sailor could still navigate my nethers with a sextant and some quality moonshine. If we’re really talking increased erogenous sensation, the nipple piercing I got just after New Year’s felt like going from semaphore to satellite dish.

Hey, I told you I had a pain kink.

Kate C. is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at katec@cornellsun.com. Ball You Discreetly appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Kate C.