I've been meaning to do this write up for awhile. I retired my apadravya as of September 2010. Here is my experience (scroll down for some pros/cons):
I went to a piercing shop in spring of 2008 with the intention of getting a penis piercing. I had never been pierced before. I don't remember what made me want one but I had talked about it with my girlfriend during a long road trip. She thought I was crazy, but was also a bit intrigued. We'd be apart for a good 6 months during the summer with a couple short visits in between, so I thought it was great timing to get a piercing that would need time to heal.
I really only knew about the PA, but the piercer recommended I go for the apadravya based on what I wanted to get out of the piercing. I don't know whether it was my own ignorance or her desire to do an apadravya instead of a PA, but either way I agreed. She was really professional and I'm glad that I opted for the app, but looking back I feel stupid for agreeing to something I knew so little about (especially given that it is an intense piercing). The shop was highly recommended, APP certified, and immaculately clean so I felt pretty comfortable.
I can remember the 10ga needle going through my glans as if it were yesterday. Even now I can re-enact the "inhale, exhale" and get a small rush thinking about the intense pain when the needle went through. It only lasted 2 seconds and then I felt the endorphin rush and was officially hooked on piercing. I was immediately stretched to 8ga and didn't have much bleeding. Walking out of the shop, the new piercing was hardly noticeable. I literally could not feel it.
The first night I had some bleeding from a midnight erection but never saw more than a little dried blood on the piercing after that. The piercing felt pretty sore during erections and I made a point not to sleep on my stomach as doing so was painful. The first time I masturbated was about 5 days after leaving the shop and the piercing was definitely sore and throbbing. I was diligent about soaking the piercing in sea salt at least twice a day.
I saw my girl for the first time again about 1.5 months from getting pierced. The barbell was a bit long and penetration during sex seemed impossible, so I took the barbell out. After having sex, the reinsertion was extremely painful and I vowed never to remove it again. I didn't see her again until 4 months after the piercing and by that time I had stretched up a gauge (6ga) and been fitted with a shorter barbell.
The stretching was done by a professional piercer in a different shop, and he used a taper. Let me tell you, the pain from that stretch was far worse than the original piercing and it lasted for several hours. It was an intense stinging that almost made it impossible to walk. At that point I vowed never to stretch using the fast insertion of a taper! Either way, the second time I had sex the barbell worked but penetration was still tricky and my girl did not enjoy it much. I figured I had enough time to get it worked out before we were reunited again.
I'd say it took at least 8-10 months for the piercing to heal, but even then, I never felt like it was fully healed. I'm not sure an apadravya ever does "fully heal" because even after stretching up to 4ga and staying there for a year, the piercing could not be removed for more than an hour. The 4ga barbell fell out once while playing football and I didn't notice until >1 hour afterward. I used an insertion taper to get another 4ga barbell in and it hurt like a bitch - not as much as the 8ga to 6ga stretch but close.
I loved the piercing because it was a cool secret that I enjoyed keeping, for the most part. A few of my close friends knew of it and even saw it, but otherwise you'd obviously have to see me naked notice. And believe me, people definitely noticed in that setting. I had more than a couple conversations with curious guys in the locker room and while it should have been awkward, it never was. I also visited a nude beach a couple times and the same thing happened - guys and girls that were curious about the piercing approaching me to discuss it. It was pretty fun to talk about and most of the interested parties were considering a piercing of their own.
But... ultimately it did not work out for my girl. I tried a number of different configurations, mostly involving short barbells that pinched my head a bit when erect and an assortment of ball ends (like half-domes and flat discs). The flat discs worked the best and missionary penetration was usually pretty easy, but other position did not work so well. My girl is pretty small and according to the variety of experiences I've read, it seems like individual variation plays a large role. The bottom line though, was that I didn't like restricting our sexual interactions because there was a piece of metal through my penis.
So... I removed the barbell and started wearing a captive-bead ring in the PA side of the piercing hole, while letting the top side heal over. Essentially I lost an apadravya and gained a PA. The PA is more flexible in that I can remove the jewelry for extended periods of time and not lose the piercing hole (I've already tried this) and, with a small-diameter ring, my girl hardly feels the metal which doesn't interfere with penetration. I've really enjoyed the PA because it's a new feeling to me, given the urethral stimulation that doesn't occur with the apadravya and the fact that the hole is healed. I'm actually quite happy with it.
Anyway, I feel like there is a lot more that I could add but I'm not sure how to narrate the information so maybe a list is better. Plus it'll allow people to scroll down and see some bullet points instead of reading my whole story.
- The piercing experience was incredible. The feeling of a large gauge needle passing through your glans is interesting enough alone to warrant the piercing.
- Getting aroused was pretty easy with the piercing and I found that to be the case during the whole time that I had it, mostly with heavier threaded balls. It also made masturbation more enjoyable once it was healed. Sex was marginally better.
- I'm not a person that has trouble with self-confidence, but the piercing still was able to increase it. I wouldn't say it made me cocky, but I definitely enjoyed the way I felt about it's presence. I would say the same is true for the PA.
- The awareness that it brought to my penis definitely increased my sex drive, which I never thought would be possible. Again though, the PA generally accomplishes the same thing.
- The piercing was quite sensitive with an erection, which could cause great discomfort at times. I couldn't lay on my stomach (not a big deal) but mostly it was awkward during foreplay because it did not feel good to be grinded against. This actually came up often.
- Barbells needed to be tightened often, even with high quality jewelry. I lost a barbell completely once and lost a threaded ball (luckily on the bottom) once. Not necessarily unique to an apadravya, except that a barbell is all you can really use there.
- Once again, penetration during sex was difficult and could cause me discomfort just as much as her.
- Cleaning the barbells was difficult. Given that urine could get into the threads the only good way to clean was to remove and soak. So you need to have a rotation of jewelry. If you do not do this, the jewelry can smell pretty bad, even after a few hours. I think this is one of the ugly truths about body piercings that doesn't receive much attention, but it's especially true for an apadravya given that the flesh on the glans side never truly heals (and the jewelry is exposed to urine). Forget about oral sex if the jewelry is not clean, unless your girl is extremely forgiving.