A hafada (hah·fah·dah) is a piercing through the scrotal sac.
That's right men — right through the family jewels! Not for the weak-willed or faint of heart!
The hafada is a surface piercing through the skin of the scrotum, not through the scrotum itself (though that is done; see transcrotal piercing). It is usually pierced at around 16–10g. The piercing can be placed anywhere on the scrotum, but is often seen along the center of the scrotum, or high on the scrotum, on either side of the base of the penis (sometimes "hafada" is said to refer only to this placement). Usually a captive bead ring is worn, since piercings are easier to clean with a CBR, although a barbell isn't out of the question after it heals. Some men will get many hafadas in a row, creating an effect called a hafada ladder.
The piercing takes about three months to heal, and will probably be sensitive about being jostled around until about six months after the piercing. Nothing questionable — dirty hands, dirty water (including the sea), dirty underwear, washcloths, mouths — is to come anywhere near the piercing until at least two weeks after the piercing.
The hafada is a just-for-looks piercing: it will not make sex better for you or your partner. However a hafada piercing may easily be incorporated into your favorite brand of BDSM, or could make your next CBT session more interesting. Because of the nature of the scrotal sac, a hafada can be stretched to enormous sizes — I recently read about someone who had stretched his hafada to hold jewelry 28mm wide.
The piercing is rumored to have originated in the Middle East as a symbol of maturity (perhaps symbolically preventing the testicles from ascending?), and was always pierced on the left of the penis. When Western soldiers began occupying Middle Eastern nations and the two cultures met, the European soldiers learned about the practice and began piercing themselves, though often in pairs. Before long, they had brought the practice back to Europe. However, there is a good chance that this history was invented, and this piercing is actually a modern Western invention.
A personal experience with a hafada piercing:
Hobo Dann got pretty drunk one night, and stuck a safety pin through the skin of his scrotum while we were watching some movie. Oh, Hobo Dann. You know what he did next? "Watch this," he grinned, taking the safety pin firmly in one hand. He grimaced and ripped the safety pin out. Then he pranced around for half an hour singing the "My Balls Are Bleeding" song he made up on the spot.
(Nothing Hobo Dann does is ever recommended to anyone. Seriously.)