On an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday afternoon one November, I walked into a piercing studio and said the words “vertical hood piercing” with at least ten times the confidence I felt. From behind the counter, a biker-esque dude nodded and gruffly said “Cool,” before handing me a waiver and alerting the piercer he had a vagina to look at.
Roughly 30 minutes later, I had a piercing in my nether regions.
Young and relatively inexperienced in sexuality and in life, the decision to have my clitoral hood pierced was by far the boldest thing I’d ever done - and I did it just for me. (To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve done anything quite so wild since then.)
Something as simple as a glittery barbell - and yes, my lady bits fucking sparkle - made me feel invincible. I walked out of that studio a new woman - emboldened. That piercing became the best money I ever spent.
After years spent being groomed by the media that my body was for the pleasure of men, and having spent my youth being reminded by my parents to dress modestly and “be sensible”, my piercing felt like a great act of rebellion against the status quo, the double-standard, the bullshit. It was something that brought ME pleasure (and a lot of it) and gave me permission to own my sexuality.
Suddenly, I didn’t have to be the shrinking violet, quietly waiting for a chance to speak up in a strategy meeting. I didn’t have to be unfulfilled in my sex life. It sounds ridiculous, but getting a VCH piercing was like flipping a switch on my attitude.
For obvious reasons, few people know a 16-gauge needle was pushed through one of my favourite and most delicate body parts - and the secret makes it all the sweeter. It’s the hidden reminder that I own my body.
The author has chosen to share this story anonymously.