Help A Bitch Out

GS v. STA: Hot Piercings

DeeCee wrote and asked me to help her find a book, but in doing so made me ponder the presence of piercings in romance novels:

I read an erotic book awhile back (1-3 years, I think) that featured a hero with a tongue piercing. I remember absolutely nothing about it, but that and that it was contemporary. On a side note, do you know of many romance books featuring tongue piercings? I can’t find many when I do an amazon or a google search.

Aside from the erotica novel DeeCee is looking for, with the dude who has a tongue piercing, there aren’t many novels that I can recall which specifically mention piercings. In Gleason’s Gardella series, the source of all the Venator’s power is a piercing ring with a cross made of silver which women wear in their navels and the dudes wear in their nipples (ow) and I remember thinking, “Whoa, that’s interestingly risky. Nipple rings in an historical novel? Dude.”

But contemporaries? I haven’t read any contemporary novels that mentioned piercings outright, erotica or otherwise. Tattoos are becoming more common in romance novels, but piercings aside from ears? That’s somewhat rare. I wonder why that is, because in my own experience, I know plenty of people who have tiny nose studs, lip rings, belly rings, and multiple ear piercings as well. Anyone got any books they’d recommend which feature piercings?

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  1. 1
    Dayle says:

    In our first book Cat Scratch Fever (Sophie Mouette, Black Lace Books, 2006), a secondary character had a tongue piercing. Probably not the specific book you’re looking for, but wanted to add that 2¢!

  2. 2

    Not a recommendation because that’d be too corny, but one of my books, Cassiopeia, has a hero with a pierced eyebrow. And another book, one of the Femme Metal series, the hero has a metal canine tooth. I know, my editor is very forgiving.

    And yay about tattoos! Love tattooed characters. Have you read Liu’s Iron Hunt? Or Weis and Hickman’s The Death Gate Cycle? Whoa.

  3. 3
    StephB says:

    This isn’t officially a romance novel, but Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely is a YA fantasy with a strong romantic storyline, and the hero’s tongue piercing is mentioned as being particularly appealing…

  4. 4
    Lorelie says:

    It’s not the answer to the HaBO but I’ve been on a Ward-crack binge lately so naturally Zsadist pops to mind, with his nipple piercings.  Qhuinn has seven studs in one ear.  I know I’ve seen at least one or two books where the woman has a navel ring, but I can’t think of them now.

    As to why there’s tatoos but not piercings – I’m betting it has to do with the fairly recent move toward acceptance of piercings.  It used to be that anyone who had a tat was seen as being edgy, and an individualist.  Not so much anymore.  Soccer moms have tats.  (I have one.  I also have an SUV and a home in the ‘burbs.  Shuddup.)  Now piercings are filling that role.  So I’d say they’re starting to trickle into romance novels, but only just – and we’ll soon start seeing more.

  5. 5
    Ana says:

    StephB beat me to the punch. Yes, Wicked Lovely had a hero with plenty of body piercing. (an amazing book by the way)

  6. 6

    Our Ellora’s Cave novella, Exceptions To The Rule, features a hero with a tongue piercing.  It’s m/m.  :)

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    The one that comes immediately to mind is Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron Parthenopaeus, who is described as having multiple piercings as well as tattoos and hair that changes color on a daily basis.

    Also, Molly Carpenter from the Dresden Files has multiple piercings, including one in her tongue and each nipple.  Ouch!

    spamword:  lay19.  Too many jokes…

  8. 8
    Toddson says:

    Not erotica, but I was recently re-reading Charlaine Harris’s “grave” books and the second and third have a character named Manfred who has multiple piercings, including one in his tongue … which he uses when he’s kissing the heroine’s hand.

  9. 9
    Mo says:

    I would love to read books where any of the protagonists have piercings, especially nipple or genital piercings.

    Also, (LINK NSFW) nipple piercings in a historical aren’t too far-fetched.

  10. 10
    robinjn says:

    I recently read a modern erotica where the hero had a pierced penis, a ball ring, which I actually have no clue what it was. It was a BDSM book, can’t remember name or author to be honest.

    As for Romans and that Wiki article, I’m not sure why I know this, but I think in Roman culture the foreskin was pierced with a ring as a primitive form of birth control. Um, ouch.

    again51. Um, no, not 50 yet!

  11. 11
    MaryKate says:

    Well, it may be that these are “run of the mill” these days, but I’ve read a couple of books lately that have had heroines with pierced navels. I think that belly piercing is more mainstream these days. But two that come to mind are:

    Key of Valor by Nora Roberts
    Trial by Fire by Jo Davis

    In both cases the heroines have pierced belly buttons.

  12. 12
    Tina C. says:

    I’m not 100% sure, but I think that Dean “Havoc” Conor’s younger sister, Jacki, from Lori Foster’s Causing Havoc (first one in her SBC fighter series) has a tongue piercing.  Of course, she’s not a main character but she and another SBC fighter have an on-going relationship that starts in this book and continues through the other ones.  (As an ancillary character, though, you don’t ever get to see that relationship actually develop nor do you see any action involving said piercing, if it exists.)

  13. 13

    I was just thinking about this the other day!  I would also like to read a romance (contemporary, erotic, whatever) featuring a male character with a tongue ring.

  14. 14
    Lil' Deviant says:

    Lora Leigh’s Dangerous Games has a hero with a genital piercing plus the heroine has nipple rings and a navel ring.

  15. 15
    shaina says:

    seconding Acheron. i just read his book yesterday, in pretty much one sitting. All 700+ pages of it. started around 2pm, finished around 9:30. ZOMG SO AMAZING. And Ash is pretty much the hottest hero ever, except maybe Rourke, and he has bunches of piercings…

  16. 16
    robinjn says:

    Lora Leigh’s Dangerous Games has a hero with a genital piercing plus the heroine has nipple rings and a navel ring.

    That’s it! That’s the one. It was a bit over the line for me, but not because of the piercings.

    And I *loved* Iron Hunt by Marjorie Liu.

  17. 17
    Tilly Greene says:

    I see a few ebooks here I must read :-)

    As for what I’ve written, there are a couple of stoies with heroes who have tattoos – I’m intrigued by them and the designs people choose to wear for life.  There’s Ryder in “Dragon Lust” [erotica short] with his totally wicked tat and Timu in “An Invitation to the World: New Zealand” [contemporary erotic romance] with his Maorian tribal tats.

    As for piercings, I fainted when I had my ears done, but love having them.  Max, the hero in my contemporary erotic romance “The Gilded Cage” had no problems getting his, a magic cross – an ampallang and apadravya piercings in his penis.

  18. 18
    May says:

    I don’t know why but I love to read about piercing. I didn’t even have my ears pierced. I think it’s sexy.

    One book I can think of the male character have a tongue ring is “Riding the storm” by Sydney Croft but he is not a main hero in that book. His story was told throughout the trilogy (Riding the storm, Unleased the storm, and Seduced by the storm). The book is erotic romance and you can see the action of that tongue.

  19. 19

    As others have mentioned, Zsadist in Ward’s Lover Awakened has piercings. Acheron (LOOOVED this book1) has a tongue peircing.  In my novella (DX) in Shards of Crimson, my heroine has a navel ring. I know there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind right away.

  20. 20

    I frequently mention piercings in my m/m yaoi series, Blue Ruin, from details on how one character makes creative use of his tongue stud, to a highly illegal “erotic piercing” scene that takes place in a tattoo parlor. (Not that I condone unlicensed piercing in real life, but this is erotic fantasy.)

  21. 21
    karmelrio says:

    Reno, the hero in Anne Stuart’s “Fire and Ice,” has eyebrow piercings.  And dyed hair.  And tatts.

  22. 22
    Sarah Frantz says:

    Much more common in m/m erotica, I think.  Lots of nipple piercings there.  I’ve read a couple with genital piercings, although titles are not coming (harhar) to me.

    Gina Vitagliano in Suz Brockmann’s TS series has a bellybutton piercing.

  23. 23
    Noelle says:

    I think a heroine with a belly button ring would turn me off. No offense to those that have them but personally I think It’s a trend whose time has come and gone.
    I don’t know a lot about piercings specially designed to heighten sexual pleasure that might be very interesting to read about a pierced hero explaining it all to his heroine.
    Anytime male piercing is mentioned I always think of that picture that was going around in forwards a couple of years ago “Puff the magic dragon” with the prince albert for the dragon’s eyes. Have y’all seen that picture?
    Hey does anyone know why it’s called a prince albert?

  24. 24
    Sarah Frantz says:

    Apocryphally, b/c Prince Albert (Victoria’s son) had one so that he could “dress” the correct way to make his clothes fall straight.  Wikipedia:  NSFW pictures.

    FWIW, male genital piercings, unless really large, don’t really heighten sexual arousal for some women.  Or so I’ve….heard.

  25. 25
    Noelle says:

    Thanks Sarah F!

  26. 26
    karmelrio says:

    Much more common in m/m erotica, I think.

    Does anyone know if this is trend is borne out in m/m reality, or is it more of an erotica/fantasy thing?  None of the gay men I know have piercings – not even ears.

  27. 27
    Sharyn says:

    Nate from J.L. Langley’s My Fair Captain has a Prince Albert.  I’d call the space regency m/m romance rather than erotica.

  28. 28
    jmc says:

    One of the hero’s in Laney Cairo’s Bad Case of Loving You has a genital piercing, but it’s not a Prince Albert.  It’s (forgive my spelling) an apadravya.

    And a heroine in an older Emma Holly has pierced nipples.  Velvet Glove, maybe?

  29. 29
    jmc says:

    Gah!  Heroes, not hero’s.

    Sorry about that!

  30. 30
    TracyS says:

    In Cherie Feather’s The Art of Desire the hero has a Prince Albert piercing.

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