Which Body Piercing Hurts the Most?

by Jodie O

Your first piercing can be scary. It's totally okay to be nervous! There's a needle getting shoved through your skin, so it's probably going to hurt, right? There's so many questions that go through our heads the first time we get pierced.

How bad is it going to hurt?
What if it doesn’t heal?
Will it look good on me?

Cartilage Piercings

These are all questions that can absolutely detour someone from going through with a piercing. Let's clear up the questions about pain!

How bad is it going to hurt?

Well, it's going to hurt. Will it be the worst pain of your life? No way, but it's better to go into your piercing knowing that a tiny bit of pain is a part of it. If you're not very tolerant of physical pain, you might want to bring a friend along to calm your nerves, you'll totally want to plan out some rest and relaxation time after your piercing, and above all else - talk to your piercer! Let them know how you're feeling throughout the process so that they can be sure you're as comfortable as possible.

Nose Piercing

You can’t always trust the opinion of a friend on this. As a teenager, I went into my navel piercing thinking I "wouldn’t feel a thing," because that’s what my girl friends told me. I felt a lot of things, but I was completely fine afterwards. Every body has a different tolerance for pain.

Belly Button Piercing

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Earlobe, navel, tongue and eyebrow piercings are the least painful.
  • Septum, labret, dermal (surface) piercings, cartilage piercings, nostril and male intimate piercings are typically a medium level of pain for most.
  • The most painful piercings are in sensitive areas, ie. nipple and intimate piercings (for females.)

I think it goes without saying, piercing an area of your body that's already sensitive is going to be the most painful. Don't let that scare you off, though. Your body will naturally react to stimulation, and if you're someone who is very in-touch with your body, you'll probably feel a bit startled. None of this means you're going to feel like you're literally dying just because you got your nipples pierced.

Just for good measure, I thought I'd share this totally awesome piercing video that demonstrates all of what I just said. Check out BodyCandy's own Snapchat queen, Ann, getting her nipples pierced!

If this is your first time getting pierced, there's a few things you can expect to happen, and ways to prepare yourself your induction into the pierced and proud crowd. 

  • Paperwork. You're going to need to show ID and sign some forms.
  • The piercer will explain exactly what they're going to do.
  • Sizing, positioning and a bit of waiting before the actual piercing happens.
  • Picking out your jewelry! This part is fun, but listen to recommendations your piercer makes before you get stuck on a piece you really want. Some jewelry can't be worn in fresh piercings, so you may have to wait.

For more information on what to expect, visit our guide to first time piercings:
First Time Piercing: What to Expect, How to Prepare

by Jodie O

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  • L


    Hello Ambar,

    I have to agree with Alley, everyone has a different tolerance to pain. When I got my nipples pierced I had a great guy that did them. The pain was not really that bad but the rush that I got was awesome. I do have a very high tolerance for pain. I can’t really explain the rush but it felt like heat waves racing all over my flesh. I think you also have faith in the person that is going to do your piercing. The guy that did mine was Jessie and he did an awesome job. After it was done, he showed me how to take care of them and how to change the rings/barbells. I love it when I change them with all the new stuff.

  • A


    Hey Ambar,

    Everyone’s body is different… But typically a belly piercing is pretty manageable as far as pain goes. Fleshy piercings like that are a breeze as long as you can handle a little pinch.

    Just make sure you practice good aftercare :).

  • T


    I would disagree with Elliot, my septum piercing was a breeze! One of the easiest piercings I’ve had done. Although the initial piercing didn’t hurt, the after care, and healing hurt way worse!! Now, when it comes my medusa that was such a painful piercing my nipples didn’t even hurt as bad as my medusa. This just shows how everyone’s body and pain tolerance is different

  • R


    Hi! Everyone is different, handles pain different…my most to least painful… industrials, conch, anti tragus, tragus, lip, ear lobes, nipples, prince Albert, tongue, septum

  • C


    My first body piercing that hurt the most was my tongue. My eyebrow, noise, ears, belly button, lip that done twice. Cartridge on the left ear. Nothing hurt as much as my tongue.

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