The Vertical Nipple Question
My name is Aleksa, and I have flat nipples. I feel like I should be sitting in a room surrounded by cringing women as they, themselves, grimace their acknowledgment. I'm sure for a lot of people, it isn't like that: many women and men adore the type of breasts I have.
But among that many, I am not included. My breasts have plagued me since puberty, and I wondered why everyone else seemed "normal" while I was defective. I have never been shy about my chest: that is, until recently. At 18, I had passed a DD cup, in fact, I had passed it by at least a few more letters. At a size 40G (38H, depending on the company) I had breasts that felt abnormal to say the least. They were not perky like an 18 year old's breasts "should" be (damn you gravity, you bitch. Oh, and genetics. Screw you as well). The nipples sat flush against the areola, and the areola itself was practically the color of my naturally pale skin. Knowing there wasn't much to do about the size and color, I focused on the part I hated most.
And so, on my 18 birthday, I took a 13+ mile trip to be pierced. Living in a "small town" where the closest Walmart was a 10 minute or so car ride away meant that piercing shops I would trust with something so delicate were few. Instead, I went to the big city, best friend in tow, in 92 degree weather with what felt like 45% humidity, and a few light drizzles, to have my chest blinged out.
I went to Infinite Body Piercing, 4th and South Street, Philly PA where I felt like I had stepped into THE place to be around in Philly. Tattoo store after tattoo store lined against the street, old cars driving by. It was like something out of my happiest fantasies. I contained my squeals as I passed by Eddie's, NoKaOi Tikki, and I believe Body Graphics before I stopped by the sleek and industrial, incredibly clean looking Infinite. Walking in felt like a sterile and impossibly smooth journey. The counters were spotless, gorgeous jewelry inside glittering under the clean light.
The shop was almost as beautiful as the metal, bone, gem and wood jewelry lining their shelves, decoration in of itself. Half nervous, I walked up and asked about having my nipples done.
The woman at the counter seemed very nice and pointed me to my piercer so I could explain my dilemma, the nipple problem. My attention was brought then to a tall man who would be doing my piercings that day. He told me it shouldn't be too much of a problem after asking if they come out at all. They do, and I gave them my ID to be scanned and filled out all the paperwork. My hand shook around the pen. They asked me to sit down while they prepared everything, and I did so, breathing in deeply.
My close friend told me not to worry. After all: I had 21 piercings already. I whispered to her that I worried that I was TOO defective, that I would be one of the...oh, say 2% of women who are unable to be pierced. Sympathetically, she patted my hand and they called out my name. I stood, as well as she did when she found out she could be in the room, and walking in.
The APP certificates eased a few of my worries: after all, these people were pros. I'd heard good things about the shop everywhere I went. He asked me a few questions before asking me to remove my shirt and bra. As I peeled down my almost off the shoulder dress and unclasped my bra, I felt a heavy weight in my belly.
It was not as if I was nervous about being topless around this man. I had been topless before and had no problems with it. Breasts were breasts, and I didn't find them shameful: but knowing he would be so close to them and seeing what I felt was less than satisfactory worried me. Regardless, I removed it, handing it off to my friend for her to hold as if she was a clothing rack. A few laughs were exchanged as I tried to joke around, mentioning that it was the longest I had been topless around a stranger. Jay, my piercer, was incredibly professional through it all, however, as he asked me to stand up after checking jewelry length and cleaning the area.
As he looked from nipple to nipple, I bit my lip. He stood up, leaning against the counter as if he were about to give me grave news.
He was. He informed me that my left nipple would have almost no trouble being pierced, despite how flat it was. The right, however, has a gap between it, making him incredibly hesitant to pierce it, and horizontally would be practically impossible. I held back tears, feeling inferior and insecure. I tried to bargain, asking if it could be done vertically, at an angle, if he just pierced the top part or avoided the gap altogether. He shook his head, informing me that if he thought there was any way to do it, he would. I felt my stomach drop to my knees, and he waited patiently for me to decide.
One, or none?
Asymmetry bothers me. Or, rather, a lack of balance bothers me. I feel as if it would make me lopsided, strange. But I sucked in a breath and looked at him, telling him to just pierce the left. He nodded and told me to stand relaxed so he could mark me. At first, he began to mark the left horizontally, but I stopped him. Somewhere, I thought that there would at least me a CHANCE of piercing the right vertically, but I KNEW horizontally would be a huge problem. I told him to have it done vertically, and without flinching, he marked anew. After checking it, I nodded, and he went ahead, getting everything prepared as I laid back, sighing slightly. I giggled as he sanitized the area again, remarking that it tickled.
As he lined the needle up, (piercing freehand, so no clamps) telling me to breathe in deeply and to exhale slowly, I didn't even think of the pain. Closing my eyes and gripping the seat beneath me, I exhaled, feeling the needle jab through my flesh.
I don't go into any of my piercings under the assumption that they will be painless, but also without the assumption that they will be unbearable. Every piercing is different, and as such, I don't bother preparing myself for pain.
I simply experienced it.
Without flinching, I gripped the armrest between my fingers, eyes closed all the while. The pain was comparable to perhaps my lip, added with a lobe piercing or so. To me, on a pain scale, it was perhaps a 2 or a 3. (0 being painless, of course).
I opened my eyes as he slid the jewelry in, a sleek barbell, shining steel with 3/16 beads, internally threaded, naturally.
I stood, looking at the jewelry. My left chest looked so much better than the right, and I almost cringed. However, smiling, I remarked how great the piercing looked to Jay, and he nodded. I left the room, going to counter to pay after he gave me a frequent client card, a store business card and a very thorough and informative piercing aftercare booklet. I paid for the piercing, totaling to around $60 after tax. I left a 15% tip to my piercer at the counter (as I was unable to in the piercing room since I only had 20's on me, having to ask the counter to break one for me). As I left the shop, my new 12 gauge barbell pressed into my bra, I felt lopsided, and it was through no fault of Jay's.
It wasn't his fault I had less than ideal anatomy.
My close friend noticed my distress, and she told me to look around. I did, my mouth almost downturned. I was at war. The service they gave me was incredibly professional: I find no fault at all in Infinite or Jay. They are sleek, cool, clean, incredibly talented and knowledgeable. But the happiness of the left nipple piercing could not shade over the embarrassing heat from knowing I was faulty. However, as I looked around, I realized it.
I was on South Street and 4th, Philly Pa....shop after shop shine on the streets. It was close to 7 pm at this point, and I had left my home close to 4-5. It was getting late, it had been a very long day and I felt tired, but upon looking at all these shops, I felt a piece of me lift up.
Maybe someone in one of these shops could do something.
As my eyes turned to NoKaOi Tiki Tattoo I remembered their high volume of female employees, something that I knew would set me at ease. Not only that, but I remembered the mentioning of a man called, Luis Garcia, a piercer I had heard of from The Modified World, and also a man who I heard good things of at every corner. Sucking in a breath, I walked in.
What greeted me was a beautiful woman working the counter, tattoos lining her arms. The shop itself seemed very clean, but warmer and more comforting than Infinite did. In comparison, NoKaOi felt more like a home while Infinite felt like a plush hotel. The vibe in the entire place seemed great, and I instantly smiled as I saw the engraving on the desk "Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History."
I felt almost instantly relaxed.
I informed her that I was in for a nipple piercing.
Another (equally as beautiful) woman walked up to the counter at that point, my piercer. And, let me tell you, I cannot say enough wonderful things about Haley. She is informative, professional, detailed and careful: comforting and knowledgeable. I informed her of the problem, and she said that it shouldn't be too much of an issue. I breathed in as I did the paperwork at the counter, being wished a happy birthday as they looked at the date on my ID. I cleaned my bra out of my phone, lipstick and money, handing it all off to my close friend, but upon walking up the stairs to get pierced, I realized that she was supposed to be paid there. Feeling slightly foolish, I offered to go back down and get the money, but she told me I could just pay her afterward. She talked about jewelry with me, telling me she wanted to use smaller balls since I told her that my nipples lay flush.
I walked into the room after her, and the door closed behind me. She asked me to make it so that she could see my breasts, and I again peeled off the dress top, and removed my bra. As she knelt down, looking at the nipple, she remarked that it was a very unique anatomy. It wasn't round, rather, elongated with a small gap separating the top and bottom part of the nipple. As she looked at it, she was throwing ideas out there, trying to a find a way to pierce it so that there were few to no complications in the future. She asked me how new the other piercing was, and I told her it was fresh. She nodded and I told her it was done at Infinite, and that Jay, my piercer, wasn't comfortable with piercing the other nipple. She nodded again, and told me that she was going to act as if the gap wasn't there, treating the top part as it's own sort of nipple.
I agreed with her solution, and she went ahead to mark me up, cleaning me off, and preparing the jewelry. As I breathed in and out by her command, the feeling of the needle going through was much more sharp. I shuddered, and she told me that she had tried to scoop some more flesh under the needle, so as not to make the piercing so shallow. I said it was fine, and the jewelry was put through, smoothly. I stood and almost felt tears in my eyes from the look I got of my breasts in the mirror.
I felt....normal. For one of the first times in my life about my breasts, I felt like there was something that wasn't different about them. They could be pierced. They WERE pierced. After years of having an abnormal ("large") size (and being unable to find bras in "normal" retail stores for cheap. $80 bras...damn you genetics), a strange shape (gravity: you bitch. I will curse you for eternity), and downward facing, flat, elongated nipples....something in me lifted upon seeing the metal.
While I grinned at my reflection, she talked about the placement for a bit, about how she had to do it at an angle so there would be less problems. Looking at them dead on, they look perfectly vertical, but when i wear a bra or hold my chest up, they seem equally diagonal, forming a V toward my collarbone.
As I got dressed again, trying not to flinch as I set my chest into the bra once more, I asked if she would want to take a picture when it was more healed, since I knew the anatomy was so different. She asked of she could take the picture at that moment, and without hesitation, I whipped my bra off again, telling her to go ahead.
As she knelt down, taking a few pictures and telling me I had some unique anatomy, I couldn't help but be incredibly grateful to her. I smiled when she was finished and pulled my clothes on again, following her down the stairs and going to pay.
$55, including jewelry. I paid her and left a bit over 15% (I believe) and, if I could, I probably would have tipped her double that, I was so happy. I look forward to coming back for an inquiry as to inner-labia rings and a VCH.
And now, it's been almost a full day. I came home at almost 10 pm at night, wincing at the ache and soreness of my nipples and fitting myself into bed like a puzzle-piece (as I usually sleep on my stomach, despite the breast issue). I truly couldn't be happier.
The nipple question has been answered.
And yes never sounded so good.
submitted by: DollParts7
on: 11 July 2013
in Standard Female Nipple Piercings
Artist: Haley/Jay McColm
Studio: NoKaOi Tiki Tattoo and Piercing/Infinite Body Piercing
Location: 610/626 S 4th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147