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The regeneration of my life through piercings and tattoos

ad gone to the local watering hole with my life partner immediately after having had my nipples pierced. Now that the deed was done, I felt liquid courage was in order.

After several rounds of 'show-and-tell', one guy, still dressed in a suit from work, leaned over and asked "Why?" in a sarcastic tone of voice. I couldn't answer any better than because I wanted it.

I am near forty years old. Several years ago I began my personal rebellion of my Southern, Bible-Belt upbringing. I cropped my hair, almost shaven, pierced my ears and grew facial hair. I left my secure 9 to 5, work-a-day job to manage South Carolina's largest alternative dance bar. A very new, yet comfortable part of me was emerging with each step. So when I had my nipples pierced, this was (I thought) the final step in my metamorphosis.

Body Rites, the piercing studio I chose, was well lit and clean enough to resemble a doctor's office. After several lengthy question and answer sessions, I determined they 'jived' with all that I had read and heard about piercing. I chose to have both nipples done simultaneously. I could see my piercers wash up and put on gloves to remove the implements from the autoclave.

Ushering me into a room, I noticed they never touched anything with their gloved hands other than the cassette that held my new jewelry. They set up the area, placing everything just so. In the process, they washed their hands and changed gloves three times before ever asking me to remove my shirt and recline on the table. After washing my nipple area and marking it, they asked if I would approve the proposed sites. All looked good as I once again resumed my place on the table.

My piercers were thorough in their explanation of what was being done, and had a calming influence just from their tone of voice. Clamps were placed on my nipples, and I was instructed in breathing techniques that would help the procedure. Most likely they could tell that I was nervous, as I had begun to sweat heavily leaving an outline of my body on the paper-covered table.

The piercing was done. A quick, intense wave of pain swept through my body, and it was over. The jewelry was inserted and the rush my endorphins produced began. My partner was waiting for me outside and paled as I emerged; I was white as a sheet, but smiling! My journey had really just begun, and I knew it.

A few weeks later, I decided on a tattoo. Again searching for a studio that was clean, and a tattooist with a personality and ability I could deal with were at the top of my list. I chose an armband of twisted barbed wire puncturing the skin at each end. The actual tattooing wasn't as comfortable as I had imagined it to be. Really, under my arm, it hurt like hell. But two hours later, I left with a new marking to my metamorphosis.

A month or so went by, and I was pleased with my nipples and tattoo. They were healing very quickly and well. The crusties on my nipples had almost stopped, and could be played with gently. I was becoming the person I always knew was there, buried under all the years of mainstream upbringing. My partner was pleased with all the changes as well. I wasn't finished though; I wasn't yet complete.

After spending a beautiful April afternoon at a caf‚, enjoying Italian ices and coffee on the sidewalk, I walked the few blocks to the piercing studio again. A few more questions and I left with a new PA.

Same sterile, aseptic technique, although this time a warning about bleeding. And bleed it did! After the first few days the swelling went down, the bleeding stopped, and learning how to pee without being a sprinkler was at the forefront. The curve of the ring irritated my urethra, so a few weeks later I changed to a curved barbell. This fit perfectly and opened sexual arenas I never knew of.

Another tattoo was now on my mind. I found an open-minded artist, as I wanted this tattoo in my groin area. Scouring art books, the web and other sources, I decided on an American Indian motif. I returned to the studio, disrobed and had the artwork applied. Lying there naked and having the work done took a lot of self-control and dropping of my inhibitions as I was almost in plain site of the public wandering about waiting for service. This tattoo hurt me considerably, I think due to its placement. But, an hour or so later I left with another step towards myself.

Still scabby from my last tattoo, I left work last night and headed for the piercing studio. I wanted a frenum piercing. After filling out the paperwork (really just a signature for me now, the rest states "on file") I again entered the piercing room.

The piercing itself hurt a little more than my PA. Today I am swollen and a little bruised at the site, but in no pain. It could be that I stayed physically excited for hours after the piercing.

In returning to the gentleman's question of "Why?", first off, it is none of his business. To answer honestly, each decoration I choose is like a key unlocking some of the taboos I was brought up to believe in. I am no longer a religious person -- I am now a spiritual person. Understanding more and more of the people around me, respecting their beliefs even though I may not agree with them. Trying to explain all of this to a 'suit' would be futile. Let him find solace in his glass. The best answer is still because I wanted it!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999
in Tattoos

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