Love, Art, Philosophy
Gay men are yearning for love. Some have found it in enduring relationships. Some search for it in a number of one-night stands. Some find it through associating with men with similar interests in art, theatre or sport. Some men are able to look at their sexuality in philosophical terms.
Bob Moore, proprietor of The Piercing Urge
In early Victorian times it was aristocratic ladies who had their nipples pierced and had gold rings inserted to increase their sensitivity. Their husbands, following the Prince Consort's lead, had a gold ring named the "Prince Albert" placed through their penises.
These days, body piercing has never been more popular. However, the most often requested piercings are the navel, the nipples and the tongue...followed by the erotic genital piercings, the "Prince Albert" and the "Guiche" for men, and piercings of the clitoris and the inner and outer labia for women.
Body piercing exists in cultures across the globe. The reasons are many and varied. Adornment, decoration, a sign of social status, a rite of passage, rebellion, something radical, to "piss off one's parents". It can be related to bondage scenes where various rings are pulled together using leather straps or rubber bands. It can be a test of endurance as the holes are gradually increased in size and larger and larger gauges of metal inserted.
And why do people still do it? Bob told us of his own interest in having his nipples pierced, and described the experience at the Gauntlet piercing studio in Los Angeles more than ten years ago. He found his nipples became "even more sensitive" and as a result, "it was the best thing I ever did". Then, having "caught the piercing bug" and at the suggestion of friends, Bob, who trained as a hospital operating theatre nurse, decided to start "a piercing business - somewhere to get body piercing done safely".
Now, just a few years later, Bob has two shops in Sydney and Melbourne and in the last twelve months estimates he and his staff have placed 10,000 holes in people. The healing time for any piercing with appropriate care is two to three weeks. The best metals are surgical grade stainless steel, titanium and niobium. The worst is silver, which can sometimes cause serious reactions within the body.
Bob described the Health Department Regulations and the autoclave sterilisation that he insists on at The Piercing Urge. He also warned that not all piercers are so careful. Anyone can put up a sign saying "Body piercing" and start punching holes in people. There is an urgent need to regulate the industry. Be warned! Both HIV and Hepatitis C can be spread by cross contamination and "some of the worst attempts at piercing come from doctors and especially doctors at medical centers".
The talk ended with Kim, Bob's partner, showing off his nipple and Prince Albert piercings, much to the delight and astonishment of many of the men present. For more information about any aspect of this fascinating subject ring Bob at 9360 3179. Our thanks to Bob and Kim for providing "a top speaker...and a top night".