Although male tongue piercing seems like a recent trend, it is a practice that dates as far back as the Roman Empire. Even the ancient Egyptians were known to have body art adornments with elaborate settings.
On the other side of the world, many tribal cultures throughout the Americas used tongue piercing as a ritualistic act.
The risks of getting a tongue pierced are usually minimal, with the primary issue involving a receding gum line. About 35% of guys who get this work done have this problem compared to just 5% of men without a piercing.
Chipped teeth are another potential problem to consider with a pierced tongue, especially in the first days when you’re getting used to having the barbell or attachment in the mouth.
Male Tongue Piercing: Why Do Guys Get Their Tongues Pierced?
Guys started getting their tongues pierced in the 1990s when body modification culture reached mainstream acceptance. Elayne Angel received credit for encouraging men to enjoy the way they look. Some male tongue piercing activities have a ritual or spiritual significance, while others are about pleasure.
Here are some fast facts about tongue piercings to consider if you want to embrace this body modification trend.
|Placement:||Most guys get their piercing in the center of the tongue. It is also possible to have it done along the tip or in the webbing underneath.|
|Price:||The cost of a tongue piercing depends on where you live and the rates of the person you use. An upper-echelon facility typically charges around $100 for a single hole.|
|Pain Levels:||Most men describe the pain level from this procedure as a 5 out of 10. If you have a sensitive mouth or gums, it might feel a little worse. It’s also more painful if you have a gag reflex and involuntarily move while the work gets done.|
|Healing:||Your new tongue piercing heals in about four to eight weeks, although you might need more time to adjust to how you speak and eat with the jewelry in your mouth.|
|Aftercare:||The best way to care for a new tongue piercing is to wash it out at least two times per day with a non-iodized salt rinse. It would be best to avoid any activities that could cause irritation or swelling, including any sports where contact to the face might happen. You can resume your regular routine after four to eight weeks.|
Tongue piercings are a popular way to modify the body without being overt about the decision. Even though modifications are more accepted in today’s culture, some employers and people still have preconceived notions about the people who choose multiple piercings.
Although a person’s physical appearance has nothing to do with their abilities, the visual differences that put someone outside their cultural comfort zone can trigger fear.
Some crazy beliefs are also associated with body modification culture, including that the person is in communion with the devil.
Part of this perspective comes from villains in popular movies. Characters like El Diablo and Darth Maul have distinctive tattoos and piercings, which some associate with those who make similar modifications in real life.
Even a nose piercing can make it harder to get a job. What is even crazier is that many people believe that this form of discrimination is acceptable because “you chose” the piercing.
A comment left on a post about this issue from the Daily Utah Chronicle sums up the perspective.
“A beautiful body is a clean, whole, unmarked, unmutilated body. Tattoos and piercings (other than single small earrings on women) are a violation of bodily integrity, a desecration of our bodies, and a sign of vanity and rebellion…”
How is it that piercing the ear is “right” and piercing the tongue is “wrong?” The truth is that it is not. Our diversity is what makes us stronger as a people, not a single-minded quest for conformity.
What Is the Purpose of a Tongue Piercing?
Everyone has their own reasons for getting a tongue piercing. The most popular answer given for those who have had this work done is that it enhances intimate moments with a partner. Many tongue ring varieties come with different attachments that enhance personal pleasure.
Men typically get their piercing in the middle or at the front of the tongue.
As long as you’re comfortable with the process, any reason is an acceptable one for getting a tongue piercing. If you’re feeling pressured into this body modification, please reach out for help to discuss your situation with someone you trust.
Placement of the Male Tongue Piercing
The traditional placement for a male tongue piercing is along the tongue’s midline. It stays in the mouth’s center, about two centimeters back from the tip.
Piercers typically place the top a little further back than the bottom. This technique allows your jewelry to sit back, away from the teeth, so that it has more space underneath the upper palate.
Most guys get a single tongue piercing just in front of where the lingual frenulum attaches.
Men have the option to pierce the frenulum if they don’t want something protruding from the top of their tongue. It creates a place for the jewelry with the “webbing” that causes less interference with eating and speaking.
Another popular choice is called “venom bites.” This term is given to a piercing that uses two barbells that sit next to each other on the tongue. It’s typically more painful than the standard style, but it can also help you set your look apart from others.
If you have the piercings next to each other vertically, that method is sometimes called an “angel bite.”
The final option that guys use is called “snake eyes.” It uses a curved bar that goes horizontally through the tongue’s tip, delivering two spots for a barbell attachment. This piercing is usually the least painful.
What to Consider When Getting a Tongue Piercing
We all have that one friend who wakes up with a tattoo or piercing they don’t remember. It’s a good laugh because the events are a bit funny, but you don’t want to be that person.
You need to be the guy who gets a male tongue piercing through a well-researched process. It helps to review the piercer’s work, parlor, and equipment before having the modification completed.
Here are the rules to follow when you want to get a tongue piercing to ensure favorable results.
Rule #1: Use a needle instead of a piercing gun.
This rule can be summed up in one statement: don’t go to a shopping mall to get your tongue pierced. The best place is a piercing parlor. Those guns require blunt force to punch through the tissues, causing trauma to the entire area. It can even produce an uneven scar.
Since guns cannot be sterilized, there is always a higher risk factor for unforeseen health consequences. Needle holes tend to heal faster and trigger less pain.
Rule #2: You typically get what you pay for with piercings.
If the price seems too low to feel right, you can assume that corners are getting cut somewhere with reasonable confidence. The piercing shouldn’t be $20 with jewelry, even if you’re getting an entry-level acrylic barbell.
Most shortcuts involve higher risks to the quality of work performed or your overall safety. Unless you have no other option, you should think about shopping around before getting your tongue pierced.
Rule #3: Always stick with titanium.
Titanium is the purest metal that works well with the human body. Although people can have a reaction to it, the allergy is pretty rare. It’s much safer than stainless steel, even if you’re using an implant-grade product.
Whenever the metal alloy contains nickel or carbon elements, you’ll run the risk of an adverse reaction with your tongue piercing. It’s better to invest in something of a higher grade to encourage the healing process.
Rule #4: Don’t drink while the tongue piercing heals.
You can choose to have a tongue piercing completed from the bottom up or the top down. Most piercers use the technique that gives them the most consistency.
It should sit between both sides of the tongue muscle, called the “medial lateral.” You’ll need to downsize to a shorter barbell after 14 to 21 days to reduce the risk of tooth damage.
If you decide to get a tongue piercing, try to avoid alcoholic beverages during the healing phase. Even mouthwashes can cause significant inflammation and swelling.
Rule #5: Check the sterilization logs.
You don’t need to be a hypochondriac to have the desire to review how sterile the piercing environment is for something in your tongue.
The first step is to ask the piercer for their sterilization logs. Any upper-echelon facility will have the documentation that proves you’re getting the work done in a safe environment.
You can also make sure the instruments and jewelry are sterilized before use. If something isn’t in a sterilized format, with a packaged opened in front of you, then be cautious with proceeding and ask why.
Another step to consider with this rule is to watch your piercer work in their environment. Look at what and how they touch things, including if glove changes happen after interacting with products in the procedure area.
How to Change Out Your Tongue Piercing
Guys should change their tongue piercing to a shorter barbell once the swelling decreases. If this step isn’t taken, there can be problems with chipped teeth, gum recession, or even swallowing the barbell. Since the hole can close quickly, your piercer should help with this process.
Once you get past the four to eight weeks for healing, it’s easy to change out your piercing at home. Here’s the method I’ve developed that makes it fast and painless to switch up my look.
- Stick out your tongue.
- Grab the beads on both sides of the barbell.
- Start twisting until one of them comes off.
- Pull the bar out of your tongue.
- Place the new jewelry through the hole quickly.
- Twist the beads on until they are tight, but not uncomfortable.
I highly recommend seeing your piercer the first time you need a jewelry change. That’s because the wound is probably still healing, and the sterile environment reduces the risk of a potential infection.
When you need new jewelry, a Grade 23 titanium product with external threads is your best option. You can choose from 14-gauge or 16-gauge if you want to avoid acrylic.
It might not be as popular for guys to get their tongues pierced, but it isn’t unusual. When you follow these steps, you can ensure that your experience is a successful one!