My new nipple bar turned up today (the ball fell off my previous one!) so I thought I’d talk piercings.
I like piercings. A lot. And I like tattoos. Even more. What I don’t like is stretching. Ugh. Starts as a piercing and then gets stretched into a hole.
a) I don’t get it
b) I don’t get it
I mean, what’s attractive about putting holes in your body? Piercings are pretty – they add interest and sparkliness.
Holes aren’t pretty.
Even if you try to make them so with coloured tunnels
And what about when it goes wrong?
Anyway, this post wasn’t about stretching. Back to piercings.
I currently have my belly button, nose, ear lobes and ear cartilage pierced. I’ve had other piercings that I don’t have anymore. And each of them was a different experience.
I don’t remember the first set. I was about 18 months old. I know some people have a huge problem with that and think parents should leave kids to make their own decision when they’re older. I think it’s fine. Babies look pretty with stud earrings. So shoot me!
I had a second set of holes done when I was about 22. I had them done on my lunch hour and they basically got them wrong – they weren’t level. So I had to take them out and wait for them to heal, then get them redone straight! No surprise I went to a different place…
I had my right ear cartilage, at the top, done when I was 16. It was done in a hairdressers, which is incomprehensible now, but was the done thing “back in the day”. They did it with a gun, which is now illegal as it shatters the cartilage. Boy did I suffer with that piercing. It used to swell so much you couldn’t see the stud. It filled with pus. Sometimes just the slightest touch would make it ooze green gunge. Would I take it out? Would I hell as like! I was proud of that piercing! It wasn’t very common at the time and I felt very cool with it done (even with bloody goop just under the skin). It took around 2 years to heal properly. I couldn’t sleep on my left side properly for about 18 months, I had to put my hand between my ear and the pillow. That’s how dedicated I was!
I had this done when I was 18. It was a fairly new piercing at the time, not very common, and I was desperate to get it done. This was the first time I went into a “proper” studio. I felt way too uncool to be in there with all these alternative kids with bright hair and tattoos. Laying down on the bed, I flinched massively in pain, only to be told that was just the cold numbing spray, ha ha! The piercer applied the clamp, jabbed the needle through, threaded the bar and that was it. I was so pleased that I went shopping to try bikinis on immediately afterwards, even though it was only February. I had some mild discomfort afterwards but it’s always behaved well. I can’t see me ever taking it out.
Next I had an auricle piercing (I’ve only just found out it’s called that, I just called it half way up my ear!) Just on one side, the left. I mainly wear a stud, but lately have been wearing this on a night out, which is pretty cute.
I don’t remember much about that one at all, so it can’t have been too traumatic.
These were all pre-husband. The next two I hold him entirely responsible for (in a good way).
Firstly, I was drunk. You shouldn’t get pierced when you’re drunk, and a piercer shouldn’t pierce you when you’re drunk. But again this was just an independent jeweller. With a gun. I shouted “fuck”, very loudly. The pre-cursor to this is that we were having a weekend away at the British seaside and, predictably, it rained a lot. By the third day of rain we took refuge in a pub for most of the afternoon. And my husband, spotting the shop opposite, dared me to get my nose pierced.
I remember going back to work and not making eye contact with anyone because I didn’t think a nose piercing was a very corporate look. But no-one has ever said anything, and I’ve never regretted it. I swapped to a ring earlier this year and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. I love it.
This was something I’d previously never thought about much, and certainly wasn’t on my wishlist. Husband has his pierced, which I like. Then a friend told me she’d had hers done and that put the seed into my mind, which husband encouraged. I went from not really ever thinking about it to “I must have it done” within about 2 hours one Friday night. Needing to strike while the iron was hot (i.e. before I backed out) I phoned round and round on the Saturday to find somewhere I could have it done.
When I went into the studio I didn’t want to make a big fuss about the fact I was going to be getting my boob out, so I sat down and pulled my dress down straight away. The piercer didn’t look up, but carried on prepping, getting clean needles and jewellery and the like. I thought if I then covered up I’d look prudish, so I just sat there with my right boob hanging out for an inordinate amount of time, talking away like it was the most normal thing in the world. It was cringey! This was another mega painful one. There were swear words. I didn’t feel well afterwards and actually went to bed for an hour. To clean it I had to dangle my boob into a mug full of salt water. Good job I’m not blessed in the breast department, or I’d have needed a bigger mug.
The final piercings are all down to me, and all a bit stupid really (not stupid piercings, just stupid for me). I don’t have any of them anymore. Read on to find out why
I took my little sister to get her belly button pierced and the guy in the studio had a microdermal next to his eye, all sparkly and pretty. I expressed an interest as I’d seen them before and they looked nice. I was told that it’s a really simple procedure, they just make a little hole with a holepunch type thing and feed the jewellery into the hole. It’s anchored in because of the shape and then your skin heels over it. The jewel bit just screws onto the anchor that’s in your skin.
“It barely hurts” they said.
I wanted it in my hand. There were scalpels and skin peeling and all sorts of horrific pain. I didn’t think I could stand it. It was horrendous. But it looked so very very pretty.
It was a bit awkward and I was wary of catching it on things and again of people’s comments at work. I caught people looking at it but no-one ever said anything.
This one came to a rather abrupt end in a shopping centre. I was getting off an escalator and someone cut across my path, catching my hand with her handbag. As I walked away I thought that my hand felt sore, looked down, and the anchor bit WAS HANGING OUT. I went a little bit woozy and weird and tried to push it back in. But it wasn’t to be. I had to yank it and break the bits of skin that had started to grow around it (which sounds more horrendous than it was). I vowed to get it redone once I’d heeled, but in truth I was too wuss!
Triple forward helix piercing
Ah, the internet, purveyor of all things pretty. That’s how this one came about. This exact photo.
Love love LOVE the look (still do now). But impatience led to me wanting it to look like that immediately. So I asked for all 3 piercings to be done at once. The piercer did say it wasn’t advisable, but obviously I knew better, right?
The bars they used were too long, for a start, so I didn’t get the look I wanted (the picture above uses labrets which are more like studs). The healing didn’t go well and one came up in a lump, so I had to admit defeat and take it out. After a couple of months I conceded that it was an experiment that had gone wrong and decided to remove the others. Once came out fine. The other one was cross threaded. I couldn’t remember which way was loosening and which way was tightening so I wasn’t even sure I was doing the right thing to try and get it out. In a fit of exasperation I tried strong nail clippers to cut through the metal. It didn’t work (obvs). I had to go back to the piercer and get them to remove it.
I’m not sure I’m done with this piercing yet and might revisit it. But definitely only one at a time.
Perhaps my most stupid of ideas and one I blame firmly on hitting my mid-30s and having a crisis! There can be no other explanation. In my defence I had always wanted my lip pierced, and always held back due to work and appearances and the fact that it would probably be frowned upon by management. I finally got fed up of toeing the line and decided it was a box that needed ticking. So I had it done on my birthday, when I’d broken up from work, a few days before Christmas. I was assured that there was no reason it should affect my eating or impact my enjoyment of Christmas dinner (food is always on my mind).
We nearly had a repeat of the wonky earlobes piercing, when the lady in the shop marked the dot ready for the piercer. “That’s not in the middle I told her”. She said “sorry, we’re supposed to line it up with the middle of your top lip but yours is slightly unlevel”. Er, thanks.
The piercing itself was not as traumatic as I feared. The skin under your bottom lip is pretty thick and I had visions of multiple bodging to break through, but it was done in one push and that was that.
This photo was taken on the day I had it done. You can see the lump inside my lip!
Did it affect my Christmas dinner? Yes! Gutted.
Did it affect my job? No-one said anything. I think by this point they were used to me being a bit left of centre.
I never loved it though, it didn’t look how I’d hoped. It lasted about 6 months and then I took it out of my own volition. I found out afterwards that no-one had ever really liked it, and it put my husband off kissing me.
So, that’s my piercing journey!