Body piercing has been practised in almost every society as far back as it is possible to trace, but it has usually been confined to the ears, mouth, and nose. Notable exceptions are the practice of piercing the glans penis with a bone by a few tribes in Borneo, and the mention of penis jewellery in the Karma Sutra (probably through the foreskin). Discussion of female nipple jewellery in Victorian journals implies that this is not a completely modern idea, but most of the stories about the origins of piercings, such as the idea that Prince Albert wore a penis ring to tie his member down and prevent an offensive bulge in the breeches, are modern myths.
In fact, most of the names given to piercings are made up. This was revealed in an interview with Jim Ward,1 a piercer who in the late 1970s started Piercing Fans International Quarterly