[Body modifications and sexual health : Impact of tattoos, body piercing and esthetic genital plastic surgery on the sexual health of women and men]

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2017 Sep;60(9):1009-1015. doi: 10.1007/s00103-017-2603-0.
[Article in German]


The present paper addresses the psychological impact of body modifications (e.g. tattoos, body piercing and esthetic genital plastic surgery) on the sexual health of individuals and refers to past and present research insights. Body modifications are understood as invasive interventions on the human body, especially interventions on the human skin which result in (semi-)permanent changes. Tattoos and body piercing (in particular genital piercing) positively affect the sexual satisfaction and the sexual appeal of men and women but there is a controversial association with high risk sexual behavior. Moreover, this article focuses on esthetic genital plastic surgery based on the increasing interest and insights of the impact on female genital self-perception and sexual behavior.

Keywords: Attractiveness; Body modifications; Genital plastic esthetic surgery; Piercings; Sexual behavior; Tattoos.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Body Modification, Non-Therapeutic / psychology*
  • Body Piercing / psychology*
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / surgery*
  • Genitalia, Male / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masturbation / psychology
  • Orgasm
  • Sexual Health*
  • Surgery, Plastic / psychology*
  • Tattooing / psychology*
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology
  • Young Adult