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DIY forearm pocketing

For some months I had been itching to have a pair of forearm pockets attached, and had been eagerly awaiting the expansion of my local parlour to include the more uncommon body modifications. The thought of self-piercing had always sent a chill through me; my instinct for self preservation being particularly prevalent. It wasn't until last month that my urge for a BCR ladder in my ear cartilage, and a severe lack of funds for such a project that the idea of a DIY job started to worm its way into my head. After a brief Dos/Don't lesson from a well-practised friend, I set of to wildcats' to pick up a couple of 1.6's (I only intended to do a single trial piercing). The shopkeeper's response was 'sorry, we only do them in packs of 10.' Well that's just asking for trouble. Bastards. So I returned home with my excess of equipment. A couple of days later and I could no longer just sit by and watch those needles go unused, and the ease with which I pierced my ear gave me the confidence to move onto other areas. Then all my pocketing fantasies came back. I had originally planned one bar on each forearm, running from the back of the wrist, up my arm for a couple of inches, and this I stuck to. Preparing a sterile (ish) area in my house, I washed, marked up my arm, and swabbed it with surgical spirit, after a brief session with an ice pack. The needle went in surprisingly easy at first, with a bit more resistance as I went slightly deeper. The finished incision was about half an inch long, and hurt surprisingly little. Retracting the needle, and noting the surprising lack of blood, I slid the sterilised jewellery into the wound. I had prepared the jewellery before hand, by simply straightening a BCR, and curving it to the shape of my arm, with slight dips at the ends to fit into the wounds. The second entry went much the same as the first, but I had forgotten that I would require a second person to help stretch the skin while I pop the jewellery in. It was a struggle, but I eventually managed to stretch the skin with one hand, and the second end of the jewellery slid in as easily as the first. Understandably, I was reluctant to ask the only other person at hand - my mother. It was only as I admired my new addition that I realised that although it was indeed central, if I moved my arm into any position other than that in which I had pierced it, it just looked odd. Crap. It was at this point that my plans changed, and the next day, I resolved to try the pockets across my arm. Take 2: Moving 'ground zero' up nearer my elbow, I once again set out re-shaping the jewellery, marking, sterilising, and stabbing my arm. This time I had more flesh to work with and so had the opportunity to make the incisions much deeper, into the thicker flesh of my upper forearm. I did, however, note the increase in bleeding on this second attempt, presumably due to the extra depth of the wound. This ceased after only a couple of minutes, however, so proved no real problem. This also required sharper bends at the tips of the jewellery, and I hoped that this would provide a firm enough foothold for the bar. Learning from my previous attempt, I made the primary incision a little longer than necessary, so that I might have a little room to play with when slotting the jewellery into the second incision. After finishing the second incision, I pushed the jewellery right into the first wound, allowing me to insert the other end relatively hassle free. When both were in, I simply moved the bar further out of the first wound, leaving the extra length to close up. The finished result left an exposed bar of about 1½ inches, with approximately ¾ Inch under the skin on each side. The wound was then bound with medical tape to avoid irritation while I slept. The next day I was happy to see that no bleeding had occurred overnight, and there was only the faintest redness around the wounds. It was at this stage that I realised a pair of them, running parallel, would look so much better. So, later that day, I installed a second bar, about 1 – 1.5 cm further down the arm, and running perfectly parallel to the first, with the same ease as the first. 5 days later, and except from a slight redness, which is even now fading, and a hint of bruising, the wounds are clean, and apparently infection free. Hopefully continued cleaning and care will avoid infection or rejection.

I did, however, look a bit of a prick screaming and clutching my arm in pain yesterday, when a girl walked past and caught me slightly on the still tender wound with her handbag. Oh well.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 April 2001
in Pocketing and Stapling

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Artist: self
Studio: home
Location: brighton

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