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Exploring my Body through the prick of a needle: a story of Play Piercing

It is human nature to ascribe a profoundly descriptive word to those things in life that we have come to cherish, yet, not all those special things in life are quite so lucky to attain the titles to which they aspire.
Such, is the fate of the humble pastime of 'play piercing', which to so many people has taken on a means of deep spiritual and physical exploration, yet remains almost marred by the name it has been given.
It is a pastime much deeper, and more humble than many people may assume, and has the beauty of being something that can be taken to greater and greater levels depending on the situation and the person indulging. It can incite sexual arousal, become a vessel for self-cleansing, and can offer a way for the practitioner to test their mettle, it all depends on the individual and what they want to get out of the experience.
For me, I like to use it as a means to focus, to shut out the cacophony of the outside world, unfortunately many others assume that as a person who enjoys play piercing, I am also a sado-masochist. This could not be further from the truth, however, the purpose of this text is not to go into great depths of discussion over my sexual preferences, I am merely trying to offer some personal insights behind why a person would want to do this to themselves.
Essentially, the 'mechanical' aspect of play piercing is this: a person inserts sterile needles into various areas of their body, which in turn stimulates the body to release endorphins, these chemicals stop pain signals from being able to travel up the spinal column and into the brain. After a play piercing session, the needles are removed, and the areas which have been punctured are gently cleansed with sterile solution.
However, there is a much deeper psychological role in play piercing, and I think its a combination of both the psychological and physical factors which make it such a popular and pleasurable experience, despite the almost jovially misleading name. When indulging in a spot of play piercing I find I always go through the same set of emotions, at first there is a slight feeling of trepidation which usually begins while I am preparing what I will need: I take out several sheets of packaged medical needles, which I place on some kitchen roll on the floor, a clean towel to sit on which is there just incase I bleed a lot after removing the needles, a bottle of Savlon antiseptic spray, and more kitchen roll which is used to apply and wipe off the spray, and something to put all the used needles into once I am done.
Then, depending on what sort of a mood I am in, I sometimes light candles around me, and sit meditating on the floor for a few minutes, by the point I can feel my heart start to pound in my chest, and I use the time to try and steady my body and mind for what I am about to do. Then I will carefully unwrap the first needle, take it in both hands and gently pull off the long plastic cap, while coming into mental focus.
The first needle is always the most intense, as I sit there staring at it for what feels like half an eternity, twisting it to and fro in the light, then, with a deep and almost overwhelming focus, I grab a piece of flesh at the top of my breast, and push the needle in. I can see it as if it were the shadow of a fish swimming through murky water, as it slides unrelenting through the soft skin of my chest, it moves swiftly and my mind becomes as focused in purpose as the bevelled end of the needle which is starting to cut through the other side.
The skin pokes out, circus-tent held aloft with a single pole, and the needle breaks through, a metallic creature seeking to take in air after it's long dive under the surface.
In such colourful fashion is the first needle imbedded into my body and I feel jubilant!
Quickly I unwrap another, discard its plastic sheath and select another area of my body to violate. I decide to create a small ladder and position this one just above the one which has just gone in. For some reason, it seems to nip slightly more than its previous counterpart, but this is a fantastic sensation. I start to crave the pain to test myself. I imagine creating a conduit within me to allow the needle to pass through, and by doing so I make my mind force my body to accept the pain.
In layman's terms, it's like consciously telling your body what you want it to do and it following orders implicitly. For a person who otherwise finds that things are in reverse to the above in a day to day context, you cannot imagine how empowering this can be, and for me is the main reason I like to play pierce. Self-control is an amazing thing.
Another question that may be on the lips of the reader is, "Doesn't it hurt?". Well, I can't speak for other people, but I find the goal is being able to control pain, almost tame it as if it were some meandering beast who's sole purpose in life is to scorn from within. I never normally find that there's a great deal of pain, but I do find that after a few minutes all the needles under the skin start to itch, although it's not really unbearably itchy. Usually by the time I have inserted 4-6 needles into my breast, I feel that the experience has reached a plateau, and pressing in more needles would do little if anything. So, I move on to another body part: arms, cleavage, face, and sometimes my back. Different areas of the body produce different sensations, some may feel tight, others more sensitive, and it's worth mentioning that using different gauges of needles may also result in unexpected and very pleasant surprises.
Another bent on the experience is that of getting another person involved, however, make sure they are someone you know, trust, and better still, love. With a second person, you can pierce parts of your body you can't otherwise reach, and this again provides opportunity for exploring new sensations on both physical and mental realms. You can learn a lot about self-control when you have to steel yourself in preparation for another person piercing you: no matter how much you communicate to one another about when you are ready to begin, there's always the slight delay between 2 people which makes things very, very different, and can actually affect the pain levels that you feel.
However, for the sake of this particular experience, I am sticking to self-piercing. I often like to put a needle through the bridge of my nose, this is because of a secondary aspect to play piercing which is blood. It has been noted through the many years of human existence, that blood rituals have played an important part in many cultures, such as Native Americans, Meso Americans, and Paganism, however, through the sands of time, such earlier practices are now looked upon with revulsion and disgust by modern society.
While I admit that I am not completely familiar with these practices nor their relevance to the peoples that were concerned with them, I do find that bleeding after play piercing is both very beautiful and satisfying. There is something deeply remarkable about watching a drop of blood well up from a small puncture wound, and slowly wind its way towards the gentle pull of gravity.
I have found that the bridge of my nose is an area which bleeds quite a lot after the needle has been removed, but, it does not hurt any more to pierce than an area of my body which would bleed substantially less. So I carefully stand up, and move over to a mirror so I can see what I'm doing, I spray some Savlon onto a pad of kitchen roll and liberally apply it around the general area of my nose. Then I take another needle, open it up an put it against my nose. There is another surge within as my body prepares itself for the slightly different sensations of piercing in this area, and I move much closer to the mirror so I can keep tabs on what I'm doing, and make sure the needle is not dangerously close to my eyes. I pinch the skin as best I can just above the area I plan on putting the needle through and begin. I can actually feel it as it slides through the flesh, and gently breaks the other side, and as usual, it seems to work out squint. However, this is not a concern in play piercing, as it would be in something more permanent (although to some people the symmetry of the needles is extremely important).
At this, I sit down, and admire my body, proud of my achievement. There is no bleeding at this point,as the imbedded needles serve to cut-off any potential bleeding that would otherwise occur, almost like a stopper wedged in the top of a bottle of wine.
I take a deep breath, and feel my body become very calm. I also feel a slight fatigue at the back of my mind but I cannot succumb to it yet, as the next best part is about to come.
I head towards the bathroom, lean my face over the sink, and turn on the cold water. Then I slowly pull the needle from the bridge of my nose, trying to follow the piercing hole as much as I can.
Within seconds of being removed, I feel a cool trickle run down both sides of my face, and I bend right over the sink. The blood is coming in steady drops, 'splut, splut, splut' mixing into the crystal clear tap water and staining the ceramic in deep crimson blots which explode on contact.
Within less than a minute the splutting, is replaced with a slower drip which comes to an abrupt halt, usually leaving a ruby red droplet of blood on the tip of my nose which is already congealing.
I stand straight again, get another savlon-soaked pad, and press it firmly to my nose for 30 seconds or so, and after making sure the bleeding has stopped, I leave the bathroom holding my used needle, replace the plastic cap, and toss it into a bag. (which will later be sealed in a strong container, bagged again and put into the rubbish. If you have access to somewhere that disposes of needles such as a needle exchange, please use this method instead. No one has the business to pry into why you have needles, and it's much safer.)
Next, I remove all the needles in my breast, which is done quickly, then wait to see if it will bleed. I allow the blood to flow as much as it wants to, and find that after removal of the needles, the breast tissue often develops small bruises. These dissappear within a week, and are not painful, as they are simply the result of minor capillary bleeding.
I clean the area in much the same fashion as I've already described, then I make sure to cap and bag the rest of my needles.
Afterwards, I always feel exceptionally tired, but I also feel calm, controlled and very serene: it's very impossible to properly describe, like me trying to tell a blind person what the colour red looks like, and looking back at what I've just written seems fully inappropriate for what I am trying to describe.
All, in all, it's a very positive experience, and I would say that 99% of people willing to consider it would indeed go through with it.
My only recommendation, is to source decent needles first. By this I mean medical grade needles, which tend to come hollow and in sterile packaging. Please avoid using something that you would find in a sewing kit, as these needles are often laden in nickel, which can cause skin reactions (And I'm speaking from experience here, nickel allergies are no fun and the rash can take weeks to dissipate).
Just remember to treat play piercing with the same level of conscientiousness and hygiene as you would with any other form of piercing, and there are good sources on the internet for supplies, such as bmeshop and Westons if you live in the UK. It's not expensive to purchase the needles, which tend to come in boxes of 100, and another advantage is that you can buy medical needles in much smaller gauges than you will find at the local haberdashery.
And so ends my story. It had been almost as tiring recalling the sensations of the experience to write down here, as it was initially, but I have really enjoyed sharing this. Thank you for reading.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 Nov. 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: Myself
Studio: My+Home
Location: Scotland

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