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Can you base someone’s sexual orientation on which ear he pins his earring on? Gay men also used the placement of earrings and jewelry to drop hints about their sexuality and attract fellow queer men from the crowd. Read this post to understand the context and meaning behind gay ear piercing and how you may style your own this 2022.

Pieces of jewelry are not just a woman’s thing–men also wear them, as in the case of ear piercings. Earrings generally gained popularity throughout time, and eventually, men also got their ear piercings. From the continuing prevalence of earrings, you may have heard that ear piercings can also indicate a man’s sexual preference.


Sometime in the 1960s, it became common knowledge that gay men wore earrings in their right ear. The craze for so-called “gay earrings” persisted well into the ’90s. However, the right ear remains the most common location for earrings.

More guys than ever are getting their ears pierced as the practice gains popularity among both sexes.

Read ahead to learn more about the background and history of gay ear piercings and what they mean in modern society. This guide will also explain how gay men can carry and style ear piercings as a fashion statement, attention catcher, and gender expression.

A Brief Backgrounder on Gay Ear Piercings

Body piercing is both seen as an art and an expression. Multiple piercings can mean different things in various cultures. In the LGBTQ+ community, right ear piercings among men traditionally signify their queerness and homosexuality.

By now, you have gained some understanding of gay ear piercing. But you may wonder how a pierced right ear became the designated secret code.

earrings superstition

As it turns out, gay men didn’t pioneer the right earring trend among males. Sailors commonly wore earrings as a form of superstition that they would save the wearer from drowning. Hence, the earring’s symbolic significance in the gay community remains relatively unclear.

Earrings clashed with the common perception of a man’s proper demeanor, which could explain the phenomenon. Homosexuality was already considered unconventional, so accessorizing with earrings made sense.

The Early Beginnings of Ear Piercings Among Gay Men

It’s worth noting that the “gay earring” has always been seen as a male-only symbol. Earrings were not a practical code for lesbians because, by the 1960s, they were widely accepted as typical female fashion. However, ear piercings gained more significance as a symbol of defiance and punk rock fashion in the 1990s.

It’s now hard to discern whether or not a man is gay simply by looking at his ears, as people of all sexual orientations sport piercings in at least one ear, if not both.

the gay earring- ear piercing

As a result, the “gay ear” trend quickly faded. However, the question of which is the gay ear remains popular among guys considering having pierced. The “gay earring” is the most well-known form of outward gay identification, but it wasn’t the first or only method.

Flaming was another term. Keeping a handkerchief in one’s left rear pocket was a sign of being a “top” according to this system of dress codes. Those who wore them in the right hand were identified as bottoms.

Getting an Ear Piercing: Is It Worth It?

It takes careful time and consideration to decide whether or not to get a new piercing, especially if you’re new to piercing. There is the fear of body pain, possible infections, and the hassle of setting an appointment with a piercer. So, is it still worth it to get your ears pierced to symbolize your homosexuality?

right or left ear

Getting pierced in the “gay ear” is no longer a defining characteristic due to the widespread acceptance of body modification practices. These days, men of various sexual orientations get their ears pierced, and not everyone adheres to (or is aware of) the tradition of designating the right ear as the “gay ear.”

However, if you identify as gay, getting your right ear pierced can serve as a nod to the long tradition of wearing an earring to draw attention to oneself and engage with fellow gay men. Similarly, there is no harm in getting your right or left ear pierced if you aren’t gay.

Since so many people today want to decorate their bodies with piercings, ear piercings can no longer be relied upon as a reliable sign of sexual orientation. Nevertheless, they remain an excellent means of expression.

Preparing To Get Pierced

skin preparation

When you finally decide to get your ears pierced, you must make necessary preparations to protect your skin from possible infection or other complications after the process. As with every piercing, preparation is the key to a successful ear piercing. Pick a piercer you are comfortable with first.

Compared to other piercing kinds, ear piercings have a lower risk of infection, but it’s still best to take precautions. Piercing specialists will use clean equipment and will be more likely to place the piercing in your earlobe properly.

Make an appointment at a piercing business once you’ve found a reputable one. It would help if you also thought about the jewelry you intend to wear in them. When getting your ears pierced for the first time, your piercer will likely use a “starting stud.”

This earring will remain in your ear for more than a month, so it’s important to pick something you enjoy.

Other Safety Reminders Before Having Your Ear Piercing

safety reminders

· Before getting your ears pierced, you should inquire about the piercer’s usage of hypoallergenic metals in the beginning studs.

· Be sure you get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy meal before getting pierced. That can make a massive difference in the success of your appointment and ensure a good blood flow.

· In terms of recovery, a standard ear piercing should be acceptable to wear again after roughly six weeks.

· After an ear piercing, the most important thing is to keep the piercing clean by acquiring the necessary aftercare kit. Excellent and complete aftercare supports the wound to heal and avoid or treat an impending infection fully.

Piercing Options: How Do Gay Men Pick Out Jewelry?

The design of most “starting studs” used for initial piercings is rather basic. However, once the piercing has healed, you can choose from various attractive earring styles.

Varieties of Gay Earrings

There is an assortment of ear piercings that gay men can choose from. Different types of piercing depend on the placement of the piercing.

Cartilage piercings

cartilage piercing

A cartilage piercing punctures a hole in the rigid portion of the ear. To fully recover, it could take anything from four to twelve months. If the jewelry cuts through cartilage rather than soft tissue, your body must work harder to repair the new hole.

Lobe Piercings

lobe piercing

A lobe piercing is a hole located in the lobule, which is the ear’s bottom, soft, fleshy area. It is usually punctured in the middle of the area.

Daith Piercings

Inner crease of ear

Your daith piercing will be found in the very inward crease of your ear. Those who suffer from headaches or other anxiety symptoms often find that getting this piercing helps.

Conch Piercing


The enormous spiral form that ears resemble inspired the name of conch piercing. You can customize the location (inner or outer) and the jewelry you wear (stud or hoop).

Forward Helix Piercing

Forward helix piercing

The forward helix piercing is performed by inserting a needle through the forward-facing portion of the cartilage just above the tragus and into the outer (often upper) cartilage closer to the face. Piercing your ears twice, or even thrice, through the front helix allows you to experiment with various piercing styles at once.

Advice on Keeping Your Ear Piercing Healthy and Looking Its Best

One of the benefits of getting ear piercings (whether on the “gay ear” or elsewhere) is that they require less maintenance than other types of piercings. However, there are critical actions to take after getting a piercing to ensure a healthy healing process and avoid infection.

healthy healing process

· Washing your hands will reduce the number of bacteria introduced to the piercing from the time you contact it. Cleaning the piercing with soap and water once daily is also recommended; this can be done while showering or bathing.

· Wipe the area around the piercing twice daily with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Germs may be destroyed in this way. You can use petroleum jelly if you like. That not only acts as a barrier but also as a soother for the area.

· As a final precaution against the piercings closing, you should leave them in continuously for at least six weeks. The healing process for a fresh piercing can be lightning-fast. To prevent the piercing from shutting, twist it a few times daily.

Final Thoughts: Gay Ear Piercing 2022

earrings and muscle suits

Nowadays, ear piercings have become more of a fashion statement and aesthetic than a gender expression. Therefore, if you’re trying to decide which ear to pierce, do it in the one you like best or both. Piercings stand out more given the right outfit for the occasion.

Browse Smitizen for high-quality body and muscle suits that you can pair with earrings to stand out in your next event.