Updated 08 January 2016

The curious ways men adorn their penises

From penile jewelry to seriously painful surgery, some guys go a long way to prettify their Johnson!

We all know that men are somewhat obsessed with their penises – we give them pet names, we worry about them being big enough, we brag about our own and joke about those of others.

It’s also no secret that the penis isn’t exactly the most aesthetically attractive part of the male anatomy.

Put those two facts together and what do you get? Men who will go to considerable lengths – and frequently through astonishing amounts of pain – to prettify their Johnsons.

We live the Age of the Adorned Penis. And I’m not talking about penis enlargements, foreskin restorations or testicle implants – those, at least in some instances, can have valid medical justifications. I’m talking about guys dressing up their willies like Christmas trees and modifying them like sports cars.

Here are just some of the ways in which you can beautify your lower front porch, starting with the least painful and working up to some rather extreme forms of penile alteration.

Penis sheaths

While this particular tribal fashion hasn’t quite caught on in the “civilized” world yet, why not be a pioneer and start a trend.

In the remote parts of Papua New Guinea men commonly wear nothing but a dried gourd stuck over their penis.

These can be more than 15 inches long, are usually worn at a suggestively acute angle and would probably get you thrown out of most reputable establishments.

Penile jewelry

There’s a growing range of ornaments with which you can decorate your chief of staff. Some of them are merely pretty doodads while others, like vibrating cock rings, are meant to enhance your sexual enjoyment and performance.

There are crowns, caps, head harnesses and chastity devices to be worn and plugs and wands to be inserted.


It’s becoming harder and harder to find original, trendy and relatively unexplored spots for tattoos. So why not embellish your Pope John Pole III with a funky tribal design.

While penis tattoos are becoming increasingly popular, the obvious practical challenge for the tattoo artist is that the penis goes through remarkable changes in shape and size in the course of standard operation. How do you tattoo anything on that sort of medium?

Geometric patterns are generally a better option than realistic depictions of your mother or a Chinese dragon.

In case you’re wondering, the design is normally drawn onto the erect penis, but the actual tattooing is performed while it’s flaccid.

An erect penis contains a lot of blood under pressure and the artist would struggle to get the ink to stay in the skin while it’s constantly being pushed back out by all this pressurized blood.


  • The ampallang piercing involves poking a hole through the head of the penis horizontally, either above, below or through the urethra and inserting a barbell. It has been practiced in South East Asia, for instance among Borneo’s Sarawak tribes, for centuries. See image above.
  • The apadravya, a vertical piercing through the glans of the penis, is mentioned in the Kama Sutra (700AD).
  • The Prince Albert piercing goes from the underside of the penis, behind the head, into the urethra. Legend has it that Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had one of these done prior to their wedding. It was the fashion of the day! To avoid an unsightly bulge in the super-tight men’s trousers of the era, gentlemen had their members pierced to allow them to be held to either side via a hook or “dressing ring” located on the inside of the pants. The reverse Prince Albert is pierced through the top of the penis and the Dolphin involves a combination of the two.
  • Dydoe piercings are placed around the circumcised coronal edge of the glans.
  • Frenum piercings are poked through the flexible skin on the underside of the shaft just behind the head. At the base of the shaft near the scrotum, this is referred to as lorum and a series placed along the bottom of the shaft is called a frenum ladder.
  • Piercing the foreskin is as ancient a practice as circumcision. Some of the naked athletes at the sporting competitions in Ancient Greece used ribbons through their pierced foreskins to stop their penises from flopping about too much, while similar arrangements were used to prevent athletes and slaves from having erections or sex.
  • The guiche piercing is a horizontal piercing of the bottom of the scrotal sac near the anus which is not recommended for cyclists, while hafada piercings go through the side of the scrotum.
IMAGE: Different penis inserts: (a), (b), (c), (e), (g) penis ring inserted across the penis in different parts; (f) solid penis insert underneath the penis skin (fang muk in Thai); (h) and (j) Palang found in Borneo, (i) Talede found in Sulawesi. Source: adapted from Raven Rowanchilde (1995), ‘Male genital modification: a sexual selection interpretation’, Human Nature, Vol.7, No.2.

Penis beads

The practice of implanting pearls or plastic beads beneath the skin of the penis is thought to have originated in Asia. Think of it as the Rough Rider of implants.

These days penis marbles are typically made of stainless steel, titanium, silicone, niobium or long-life plastics. Genital ribs involve a variation on the theme in which short, slightly curved rods replace the beads.

Extreme penis mods

Not hard-core enough for you? Well, in the body-modification scene there are always some individuals willing to go the extra mile, no matter how crinchworthy and painful. Genital bisection – yes you read that correctly! – involves the partial or total splitting of the penis along its length.

In a meatotomy, the opening of the urethra in the glans, also know as the urinary meatus, is enlarged through an incision. Inversion refers to a form of genital bisection that allows the penis to be turned inside out. Pruning entails cutting away part of the penis head to give a desired shape, while a glansectomy is the amputation of the head in its entirety.

If that’s still not edgy enough for you, you might as well opt for a penectomy and have the whole damn thing chopped off altogether. Ouuuuuch!

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