A History of Guys Wearing Earrings

Long before women wore earrings, men wore many different types of earrings. Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and King James II, to name a few of the more notable ones through history.

Ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as Persian and Indian men, wore earrings. American Indian also wore earrings. African warriors? Pirates? They wore earrings too! Even as far back as 5300 years ago, there is evidence of men wearing earrings.

Men wore earrings in the left, both ears, or in the right ear. In those times, the ear which a guy wore his earring had a meaning. We’ll discuss the historical significance of this article.

guy wearing earring in the left ear

An ancient Chinese belief states that wearing an earring in the left ear symbolizes that that person’s life has been endangered, and to prevent a recurrence, an earring is worn. It is supposedly protection against bad luck.

During the hippie movement, in the late 60s, more and more men started wearing earrings. As gay men joined, the trend quickly gathered a reputation for representing homosexuality. During this time, a common saying arose among the public that “left is right and right is wrong.”

This saying was in response to the perception that piercing only the right ear meant that you were a homosexual. This later became right is right and left is wrong. This was never proven to be true though.

Guy wearing earring in one ear.

In today’s society, however, it is common to find heterosexual men wearing earrings in both ears at once, as well as either their left or right ear.

Nowadays, celebrities and regular young men are seen wearing an earring or a stud in one ear or both ears and this is the norm. It has nothing to do with homosexuality or any one group of people but its more of a personal choice.

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Reasons Why Men Wear Earrings

  1. A Fashion Trend. An improvement in their looks and as a bold fashion statement.
  2. A Religious Custom or Tradition.  In some religions such as Hindu, ear piercing for both sexes is conducted in the 4th or 5th year of life and celebrated by a major feast with relatives and friends.
  3. As a Symbol of Status or Wealth.  Some guys wear diamond studs as a sign of their wealth.
  4. Actors in Character.  Some men starring in a movie or play that needs them to have a piercing on one or both ears to fall into character.
  5. Therapeutic Benefit.  A closely held view among pirates was that their long-distance vision was better with earrings. Some acupuncture professionals use piercings for drug dependency, eating disorders, etc. 
  6. Spirituality.  In some religions, such as Buddhism, the piercing of the earlobe and stretching of the opening is considered a sign of spiritual development. The bigger the opening the greater the spiritual development.
  7. To Rebel.  Rebelling against society, parents, or just to be different and stand out in a crowd.
  8. A Personal Preference. Men wear earrings because they want to do so.
guy wearing earring in right ear.

So, you see, over the years, the wearing of earring has taken on many meanings and forms when it comes to men. However, as times progressed into a more accepting way of thinking, men now freely wear any sort of earring regardless of their sexual preferences, social status, or religious belief.

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