Another new guy here from the US. Been interested in stretching for a while after seeing some pics on Tumblr and having always been envious of guys with low hangers. I read lots of info here and finally got the 'balls' to ask a physician friend if its safe and, lo and behold, I come to find out he's been doing it for years! He basically told me that if hurts, stop, otherwise it's safe and pleasurable.
I had some 10 oz. farm cleves laying around that have a 1.5-inch internal diameter so I've been using those for about a month now. I discovered pretty quickly that though I COULD get five of them on I shouldn't, at least not yet. Man was that intense! I'm back to wearing one or two now all day, sometime with a silicone ring. It feels good and I love the sensation. They are not comfortable to sleep in, though, so I think it's time I spent the money and bought some high-quality gear from SL.
Thanks for all the great info here, guys!