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Body piercing or just piercing is a form of body modification, where humans of either gender pierce their skin to put jewellery through the hole later. There are many different reasons some people have piercings, such as religious or other cultural purposes. Many people, especially in North America and Europe, choose to be pierced for ornamental, or sexual pleasure.
In early records, it was not common to discuss the use of piercings or their meanings. However, body adornment and modification are estimated have been around for more than 5000 years, found in mummies like Ötzi the Iceman, Europe's oldest natural mummy estimated to be about 5,300 years old. Piercing of the ears, nose, and tongue have a long history in many ancient cultures, and lip piercing and stretching were more common in African tribes, especially for cultural identification.
Piercings in the 20th & 21st century
Body piercings of any kind were not popular in Western cultures in the beginning of the 20th century. After World War II, the gay subculture used piercings as a fashion statement. Other subcultures, such as "hippie" and the punk movement also began to use piercings as a form of expression in the 1960s and 1970s. Genital piercing is becoming more common. Sometimes people get genital piercings to create interest or attract attention. Some types of genital piercing are supposed to increase sexual pleasure.
- "The Piercing Bible". Elayne Angel. The Crossing Press. 2009-12-06. p. 2. . https://books.google.com/books?id=uz-84gxdYAgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn%3D1580911935&cd=1&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- "Religion and American Cultures: an Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions". 2003. p. 356. . https://books.google.com/?id=uz-84gxdYAgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn=1580911935&cd=1#v=onepage&q=.