By Ryan Alphonso
If 10 random American men were gathered into one room, it’s likely that three of them will have some kind of piercing.
According to a Northwestern University poll, 28 percent of the American male population reported that they either have or have had a piercing.
Aside from lobe piercings, eyebrow, cartilage, and tongue piercings were three of the most popular types of piercings among men (15, 16, and 17 percent respectively). However, the most popular, next to lobe piercings, was nipple piercings with 18 percent.
Maryland senior Steve Kramer wasn’t surprised. To him, a body piercing is an expression of character, and he fully supports these expressions. “It’s not professional for a man to have some body piercings, so nipple piercings would be the most effective way for someone to still express themselves while maintaining a professional outward appearance,” said Kramer.
Kramer said he’d considered piercings before. “One of my best friends has his nipple pierced, so growing up, I always thought about it,” Kramer said. According to him, having friends with piercings opened him up to the idea, but he never got around to it. “I would have gotten small gauges, but eventually the desire just went away,” he said.
Kevin Fuss, however, pursued the desire when it hit him. Fuss, a junior, decided on a whim to get both ears pierced in October. “I’m fine with guys having earrings, but I think the nipple thing is a little much,” he said. To him, it seemed inappropriate and weird.
Fuss, like Kramer, was also influenced by his close friends having piercings, but doesn’t think he’ll get anymore in the near future.
For every three out of ten men with piercings, one of them is likely to have a complication during the piercing process. According to the same study, 31 percent of people who received a piercing experienced some sort of problem along the way.
“My ear bled a little, but it wasn’t really a big deal,” said Fuss. He’d heard stories of infection or bleeding, but none of it really scared him. He figured they were all just “flukes.”
“It’s like anything else worth doing,” Kramer said, unafraid. “There’s gonna be risk, but it’s up to the guy to decide if it’s really worth it.”