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Things that go poke in the night..

This past Sunday, August 11 2002, I was lucky enough to be involved in some temporary/play piercing. A friend, OpnHeartd, was doing a demo of this for a group of like-minded individuals in a private studio in Boston. OpnHeartd set up the piercing area really well, in my opinion. She chose a straight-back chair for the piercees to sit in, since she would be doing mostly upper body piercing. Two small tables were set up near here, containing the piercing kits she had made up for each person--a plastic baggie containing 25 gauge needles, betadine swabs, alcohol swabs, non-latex gloves and paper towels, extra paper towels, alcohol and betadine swabs, more needles of various gauges, a sharps container, a bottle of alcohol and a spray bottle of alcohol, and a trash receptacle. The surfaces were covered with paper towels and she and her assistant both scrubbed up and gloved up.

She first pierced a friend of her's back to show those of us who had never been pierced before what it looked like happening. Then, it was my turn, since I had volunteered to be the first 'victim'. I hadn't been pierced before beyond my ears, so I was a bit nervous and twitchy. Opnheartd explained everything while she was doing it. The most interesting aspect to me was how she prepped my skin--she swabbed it with several alcohol swabs and did it in a circular manner, starting at a central point and working her way out. She explained that this was to prevent the cleaned area from being re-contaminated by scrubbing a used alcohol pad back over a clean place, and to push dirt away from the area. That was something I hadn't heard before, so that was definitely something new that made sense.

She explained that she would be using a 25 gauge needle to start with, since they were quite small and not too painful. OpnHeartd also explained her method of piercing people who hadn't been poked before. She had them ask for the first needle, so that they would be ready to receive and wouldn't feel rushed or uncomfortable. So, when she was ready, I took a deep breath and gave my okay. She placed the needle against the skin of my left shoulder, to the right of the blade and pushed gently, explaining that the needle would catch the skin and it would want to go through. It did. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would; less than having my ears pierced and less than a visit to the doctor.

What an immediate head rush. My physical reaction was immediate; the spot where she pierced got warm and I felt very giggly. She did three more of the 25 gauge, making a chevron shape. My headspace was great. I was definitely feeling the pain, but really enjoying it, too.

A member of the audience suggested that she cross the chevron with another needle to make an 'A', since my first name begins with an 'A'. She conceded and told me that this needle was bigger, an 18 gauge. It hurt a bit more than the first four, but nothing excruciating.

After all five needles were in, she sprayed alcohol on them and rotated and moved the needles around a bit so that I could feel the burn, which was also nice.

She removed three of them by sliding them right out and the last two by 'dragging' them; lifting them at an angle as she drew them out. This left some really great track marks and that definitely hurt a bit. There was more alcohol after that, which definitely gave me a better burn.

When all of the needles were out, she handed me gloves and told me I was going to pierce myself. I chose a spot on my lower arm, just before the crease of my elbow on the fleshy part, and cleaned it as I had been told. I had two needles, both 25 gauge, and they went in pretty easily. The first one was deeper than the second, since my angle was off, but they both went in easily. The sensation of both watching myself be pierced and actually being pierced was very, very cool and almost surreal.

I didn't bleed too much on either one. If I had to choose, the back piercing was bloodier, but not by much. After each piercing was finished, the site was warm and then tingly. And the endorphins that hung around afterwards were intense. I was fairly giddy for the rest of the day. The marks left were really cool. The holes from the needles made out a bare bones 'A' and the track marks looked very nice and are still there today. I didn't have any bruising, as some people have related to me, and there was no residual pain at all.

I definitely plan on doing a lot more temporary piercing and am now looking into getting my hands on what I would need to do temporary piercing on my own.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Aug. 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: OpnHeartd
Studio: Private+Location
Location: Boston%2C+MA

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