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The Long and Detailed Story of my Septum Pierce

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About four weeks ago, I decided that I absolutely HAD to have a septum piercing. I had looked at them on the internet and in BME, and seen mostly positive results, and decided that one would be a nice addition to my body. I like piercings that are centrally located, since I feel they are more aesthetic and balanced than piercings on either side of your face or body. I figured that it would probably heal easily, and if it messed up, it wasn't like anyone was really going to see it. Anyways, my majour concern was how much it would hurt, since everything I had read said that it was incredibly painful.

My mother took some convincing, but I basically bugged her enough to allow me to get it done. She has both her nipples pierced, and we went to get our nostrils pierced together, so it gives you an idea of the type of parent she is.

For us, there were two options. Our first, was to visit the local piercing place. This place was actually a hippy-esque pipe shop, ("For Tobacco Use Only"), but it had an autoclave, a good piercer, and I had been pierced there before. The second option was a tattoo studio, (the name of which I shall not mention), owned by a friend of my mother's, and a friend of a friend's. The piercer/tattooist there normally  didn't pierce minours, so this was going to be a last resort.

The first weekend, we went to the hippy pipe shop. No one was there, despite the fact that it was during working hours. This turned out to be the fault of the piercer's nephew, who said he would be there, but never showed up. I was, to say the least, a little upset about not getting pierced. I had been waiting for a while to get it done, and I was more than a little peeved. Our failure, however, turned out to be a good thing, because, the next day, Bill, (the friend of the studio owner), called me to say "Look, I know you're upset about the piercing, so I talked with the piercer, and I'll take you down next weekend to get it done, so long as business is slow." This made me very happy for the rest of the week.

When the weekend came, my mother and I went up to the studio. We met Bill there, and I soon met the guy who would pierce me. He was polite, and professional, and his studio was very well kept. He took me and my mother into the private room in the back of the studio. It was spacious and well-lit, and had lots of counters, with glass overtop of them, and a big comfy chair. He photocopied my mother's ID and a waiver form, and then asked me what type of jewelry I wanted. I told him I wanted a circular barbell. He pulled out the smallest size and compared it to my nose. I'm not sure of the size of the circular barbell, but I think it's probably 16-gauge, in comparison to my other piercings. He probably compared the barbell to my nose 18 times during the whole procedure. He's apparently very big on aesthetics.

Soon, he had me sit in the chair, and he spun it around. Then he adjusted it so my feet were way up in the air, and my head was down, level with his knees. He removed the headrest, and had me tilt my head backwards, so he could look at my septum. He then proceeded to put on gloves, and take a wet, single-use, napkin of some type out of a package. He used this to clean my nose, on the inside, and on the outside of the septum. Again, he checked the jewelry, now out of the package, against my nose, then, used a toothpick dipped in iodine to draw a dot on either side of my septum, on the inside, and a line on the outside, to guide him. Now, he had me slip back a little more, and he held my head steady between his knees. He put a clamp on, (odd, since I thought that recieving tubes were used), and I closed my eyes.

Now, people say that this piercing hurts a lot, and I guess it does. As he put the clamp on, the piercer was kind enough to point out that it was one of the most painful piercings to have done. By the time I had reacted to that, though, the needle was getting ready to go through.

He pushed it through nice and smoothly, and yeah, it hurt. I don't think it hurt quite as much as my labret, but I know that the moment it went through, my eyes started watering. It was through in a fraction of a second, and I don't even think he corked it, judging by how quickly he put the jewelry through. The whole thing was done in seconds, and he pushed the back of the chair up, and I stood up, wiping tears from my eyes. As I admired it, (and it looked GOOD), he told me about the aftercare, and told me not to touch it anytime soon. He also made sure that I knew he was piercing me as a favour to my mom and my friend, and made sure that I wouldn't tell anyone else underage about his studio, because he didn't want them flocking there to be pierced. (In extreme irony, as we left, a flock of about 7 or 8 teenagers, ranging, probably, from 16-19 stormed into his studio. He must've been PISSED.)

So, I've had it for a few weeks now, and the crusty stuff is dying down. It was a dull ache for the first two days, but there was no bleeding. I've been using saline solution on it since I got it, and was instructed to only use Bactine for the first two weeks, if at all. The saline cleans the crusties off nicely. There was very little swelling, which is good, since it's a very small piece of jewelry, and, after a few days, very little pain.

I did find out an interesting thing though. When you get a cold, it is possible for the sneezing and the nose-blowing, and the general irritation to cause slight bleeding. This happened to me a few days ago, when I encountered a short bout with a cold bug. I just cleaned it out with saline more often. And, by the way, it doesn't hurt to blow your nose, so long as you're careful, and since it wasn't through the cartilage, I can pinch my nose without pain or problem.

A lot of people looked at me weird, after I was pierced. I was asked the same old questions, ("Did that HURT?"), and called "crazy" several times. Aesthetically, though, it looks good, even to my boyfriend, who thought it would look inappropriate on my small face. I guess he was thinking of those bulls that you always see with the big ol' gold rings through their snouts. The important thing is, though, I like it. It's very attractive, although, it is a bit masculine, so if you wanna look ultra-feminine, don't get a septum piercing. (Navel piercings, on the other hand, are VERY feminine, so get one of those, instead.)

I had a lot of questions going into this experience, a lot involving pain and procedure, and all were answered. If you're thinking of getting a septum piercing, here are my two cents.

 Yes, it hurts, but not as bad as you think.
 Don't worry, it DOESN'T go through the cartilage. [Note: on some people it does - Shannon]
 Getting a cold does irritate it, but not too badly.
 Methods for piercing the septum vary. 14-gauge or higher are normally used.
 You can get it pierced with a retainer, but be sure to flip the retainer up during the night, or else it could fall out. On the same note, be sure to tighten the  balls before you go to bed, just to be on the safe side.
 Clean it before you go to bed, otherwise it'll be all icky and crusty and hard to clean in the morning.
 Be VERY careful when putting on clothing, particularly anything that is mesh or crocheted. The jewelry WILL catch, and it WILL hurt.
 Think about aesthetics when you get it done. A piece of jewelry too big, too small, or in the wrong style won't look good, and will detract from its visual appeal.
 Think also, about the size of your nose. It will look better if you have a wider nose, than a long pointy one.

That's about it, except for ONE big thing :

 Not all piercers, (in fact, VERY VERY few), make exceptions like was made for me, being underage. Don't bug them. You'll just piss em off. (And, by the way, I will NOT tell you who pierced me, so don't even ask.)

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 July 1999
in Nose Piercing

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