Last Updated on December 18, 2021
Because of the stereotype previously attached to men piercing their ears, there’s now a common misconception that piercing a certain ear signifies a man’s sexual orientation.
However, it is completely normal for men to get only their right ear pierced, only their left ear pierced, or both ears pierced nowadays without it signifying sexual orientation whatsoever.
Yet it is important to discuss where this misconception arose from, how it evolved in the past decades, and why it’s no longer relevant. If you’re interested in discovering a bit more regarding this subject matter and why it’s acceptable that you—as a man—pierce whichever ear you want, then keep reading.
What Ear Do Guys Get Pierced?
The truth is that men can pierce whichever ear they want.
For example, a man might decide to only pierce his left ear simply because he has some kind of birthmark or mole on his right ear that he does not want to disrupt, or vice versa.
Alternatively, he might decide to pierce both of his ears because he feels that having a piercing on both sides suits him best. Perhaps he is a tattoo and piercing fanatic—there are so many these days—so he prefers to have both ears pierced. He could also decide to have both sides pierced multiple times, since earlobes are not the only pierceable part of the ear.
Unfortunately, it’s very likely that you’ve come across someone at one point or another who told you that if a man pierces a certain ear, it signifies his sexual orientation: One ear means he is heterosexual and the other means he is homosexual.
Though this belief is outdated, it is worth talking about its origins.
Why Do Guys Wear Earrings in Their Left Ear?
In the old days, when a man had his left ear pierced, it signified that he was homosexual. Well, if he lived in America or Australia, this would be the belief, anyway. If he lived in any of the European countries, the opposite would be considered true: If a man had his left ear pierced, it meant that he was heterosexual.
It really all depended upon where you lived in the world, as you can see.
Nowadays, this attachment of male ear piercings to sexual orientation is almost completely nonexistent. However—if you do choose to get your ear pierced to show your sexual orientation—the left ear is typically considered the heterosexual ear, and the right ear the homosexual ear.
It’s also worth noting that, even if you do get your ear pierced in order to signify your sexual orientation, it could still be reversed depending upon the country you live in or are visiting. Plus, there’s also a good chance that people will not even look at your pierced ear as a signifier of sexual orientation.
It’s all rather confusing and hard to keep up with, which—other than the fact that it is a problematic stereotype—is probably one of the reasons that the belief was abandoned altogether.
What are the Best Ear Piercings for Guys?
Depending upon face shape, ear shape, pain tolerance, and the preferred healing time, there is a wide variety of ear piercings to choose from if you’re a man.
The most common ear piercings I’ve seen on men—and this might be a result of the increased acceptance of tattoos and piercings—are what they call “plugs,” “expanders,” or “gauges.” These are large plug-like earrings that are used to stretch the earlobes, and they’ve become increasingly popular over the years.
Another ear piercing I’ve seen on plenty of men are the single earlobe piercing on both ears. In fact, this look is quite common for hip-hop artists and punk-rock musicians. Typically—if men choose this style—they wear regular studs rather than hoops or dangly earrings. I oftentimes see men wearing light diamond studs or plain silver studs.
If you are more into asymmetrical ear piercings—and your pain tolerance is quite high—then an industrial might be the right fit for you. This piercing requires two holes in the upper cartilage of your ear—hence the high pain tolerance required—which are then connected by a fitted bar.
The best part about piercings—as opposed to a tattoo or some other major body modification—is that you can simply take out your ear piercing if you do not like the way it looks. In other words, it’s not permanent.