The Prince Albert: A (His)tory
Grace Kelly’s son, the playboy Prince Albert of Monaco, is finally engaged! While the significance of him producing an heir is important to Europe, we here at The Frisky are interested in talking about the other historically significant Prince Albert — the penis piercing. All the meaty details, after the jump…
Although the ring is named for a Western Monarch, it began as an antiquated and poorly documented tradition in the East. The motherland of ye olde Wikipedia on sex — the Karma Sutra — India was home of the original piercing for penises. Saddhu fakirs, body spiritualists in the southern tip [Heh. -- Editor] of the country, would attach weights to the piercing and lengthen their manhoods up to the unusable length of three feet. Then they would wrap the long wang around their waist and would charge people money to see the snake.
While you may have discovered a ring for free inside some punky guy’s pants, as it turns out, the trend was originally established in European society by a bunch of British gentlemen. Just like the hipsters of today, skinny pants were all the rage back in the early 19th Century. While we love to openly ogle the eyeful those trousers provide today, it wasn’t decent for a royal like Prince Albert (son of Queen Victoria I) to show off his family jewels — which were, according to legend, even more extraordinary than his estate. With a bulge that big, it’s no wonder Prince Albert was called the “most eligible bachelor in England!” However, the figurehead decided to solve his poking problem by piercing the tip and attaching it to a hook in his pants so it would stay tucked to the side. This was a popular practice during his time thanks to a stylish gay debutante and father of the modern men’s suit named Beau Brummel. Tailors referred to it as a “dressing ring” and had to ask their clients if they dressed to the left or the right. Talk about being a slave to fashion! However, when the gossip rag mags of the times found out the Prince was pricked, they dubbed the dubious ornament in his honor.
Alas, every fad has an expiration date, and eventually pant legs got looser and more accommodating. So, it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that another head of state took a shine to the penis piercing. Supposedly, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, who was a fan of absolute power and massive orgies, had a ring through his penis as well. It was even rumored that when the dictator got discouraged and nervous, he would rub the rung for comfort. Can you imagine working for a guy who was super bossy and touched himself around the office? Too bad it took sexual harassment law another 50 years to come around, but coincidentally, so did the Prince Albert.
In 1970’s, the penis piercing really rose again thanks to a Hollywood radioman and subculture king that is now considered the father of the modern piercing movement — Doug Malloy. He hung out with everyone, including the likes of Laurence Olivier and Groucho Marx, but Malloy was also one of the people in the emerging underground homosexual scene. After meeting a couple of sexy Swiss scuba divers who had gotten the old fashioned piercing for a utilitarian reason — to attach their urethra to a catheter so they didn’t go wetting their skintight suits — Malloy got the ring himself! A self-proclaimed “piercing freak” who authored the tome “Body and Genital Piercing In Brief”, he claimed it could increase pleasure, boost confidence, and curb your appetite with a simple tug. Needless to say, Malloy was the poster boy for the practice and made it in vogue in the gay community.
Since the swinging ’70s, the piercing has crossed over from one subculture to include all types of people and sexualities. Goths, rockers, porn stars, fetishists, regular guys, and even some yuppies have had it done. Almost two centuries after its namesake Prince Albert got pierced, it’s still making headlines, or at least the rumor mill. It’s said a former Mr. Universe used the ring to weight lift his wiener to a fully-functional foot and a half! Something tells us, no matter who it’s on, the oh-so-taboo Prince Albert piercing has a real up-and-coming public future! Especially as metal detectors get installed everywhere.