Some men believe pearling enhances sexual pleasure for the man's partner
That's because it allows more parts of the genitals to be stimulated
However, a men's sexual health expert says pearling is dangerous
It can cause infection, long-term pain and damage to the urethra
A case report also noted that pearling can cause erectile dysfunction
It is something the male of the species aim to avoid at all costs.
The thought of intentionally placing anything sharp near their manhood is enough to bring the bravest of men out in a cold sweat.
But, in recent years, there has been a rise in the number of men cutting into their own penis - or enlisting the help of a piercer to do so - to insert plastic beads, or pearls.
'Pearling', as it is known, is said to enhance sexual pleasure for the man's partner during intercourse.
It is thought to boost physical stimulation, applying extra friction to a woman's clitoris.
However, men's sexual health expert Dr Tobias Köhler, of SIU Healthcare in Illinois, told Daily Mail Online that pearling can be dangerous.
It can damage the urethra and cause chronic pain - and according to a case report, it can also lead to scar tissue formation and erectile dysfunction.
Dr Köhler said: 'I'd recommend against it in general, because despite perfect, sterile techniques, there's always a risk of infection and something going wrong.'
For some men, pearling is just an aesthetic practice - similar to that of penile piercings or tattoos.
But to others, the pearl is inserted with the hopes of making the man a better lover.
Pearling is practiced in many cultures across the world, including Japan, according to a case study in the International Journal of Emergency Medicine.
There, the Yakuza organized crime syndicate uses each pearl to symbolize a year spent in prison.
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The practice is also becoming more common in the US, especially within the prison system.
The pearl is typically inserted either by a piercing professional - or by the man himself.
Small, superficial incisions are made on the surface of the shaft of the penis, the case study noted.'If you do not use clean stuff - let's say you use a used razor blade to cut your penis - you can introduce infection that way Dr Tobias Köhler, of SIU Healthcare
After the incisions are made, the plastic pearl, or metal bead, is inserted under the skin of the penis.
The case study focused on a 19-year-old man who was admitted to the emergency room of the University of Florida Shands Hospital after trying to insert a pearl himself.
The young man cut the surface of his penis with a razor blade.
He made two horizontal incisions on the shaft, as well as one at the end of the penis.
Nearly seven hours after making the incisions, he went to the hospital with 'worsening pain, swelling and[discoloration]to his penis, as well as a significant amount of blood while urinating '.
He was rushed to surgery, where doctors removed a hematoma (a deep swelling of clotted blood) and cauterized the wounds to stop the bleeding.
The report concluded that pearling can 'cause significant morbidity to individuals themselves during object placement'.
Pearling can also cause penile abcesses, pain during erection and scar tissue formation - which leads to chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, the report noted.
Yet, Dr Köhler added that perhaps the most common risk of the practice would be infection.
He said: 'If you do not use clean equipment - let's say you use a used razor blade to cut your penis - you can introduce infection that way.'
He also cautioned that the pearl could damage the man's urethra and cause a fistula.
That condition would cause urine to come out of the new hole made during the pearling process.
While urging men to steer clear of pearling, Dr Köhler said: 'If they are going to do it, they should go to a reputable establishment that has experience and uses sterile techniques.'
He also noted that 'pearling' does not have to be permanent.
The sexual health expert said: 'They can be removed for the most part, just like a piercing.'