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Why you shouldn't trust your friends to pierce you.

In the summer of last year, I finally talked myself into getting my septum pierced. I had found septum piercings to be interesting for a while, but I had no way of getting it done. I didn't want to do it myself because I wouldn't have even known where to begin ,so when the opportunity for someone "trained" to pierce me presented itself, I knew I couldn't turn it down. This aforementioned "trained professional" was actually a friend that had recently moved back into town and claimed he had went through and eight-week body piercing course. While I'm sure these insta-piercing courses exist, I have no idea why I trusted his judgment. Eight weeks certainly isn't enough time to master the art of properly piercing people (alliteration, woo!). He said that practiced with pig skin bought from the butcher and that his instructor was a well-known piercer. He never did mention his name.

At this point, I was very uneducated about body modification and thought little harm could come out of a friend with sterilized needles poking a hole in me. He washed his hands and bactined them and let me watch the whole thing to make sure I approved. He set everything up in our friend's living room in a dirty apartment: clamps, one 16 gauge needle, and one 16 gauge circular barbell with 3/8" diameter. I sat down in the chair and he put the clamps up to my nose, said everything looked straight. One, two, three: poke! Just moments after sitting in the chair, I was now the proud owner of a septum piercing. Instantly blood began to pour from my nose. He followed the needle with the CBB. It was externally threaded and hurt when he slid it in, but I was excited to finally have it done and it looked straight at first so I was really excited. I had my first, of many to come, piercing and I had already grown quite attached to it.

I flipped it up because I had work the next day and they certainly wouldn't approve of my wearing it down at the movie theatre and figured it'd be best if it healed that way. The next morning I flipped it down after washing my hands because I was really excited it was there and wanted to look at it once more. As when it was pierced, blood began to promptly pour down my face. This seemed strange but I thought little of it, but upon inspection I realized something was really wrong: he got it through the "sweet spot" on the right side, but also caught cartilage and the piercing was incredibly crooked. I informed my friend of the mistake and offered to redo it, in hopes of giving me a straight piercing.

Three days later, I was back in the same apartment. I had only taken out the first piercing the day before and it certainly was not healed. In retrospect, this was another (out of the multitude of dumb things about this whole situation) dumb choice on my part. I could have let any sort of infection be trapped inside my nose when the first hole closed, but as mentioned before I was inexperienced in anything to do with modification and trusted his judgment. Once again, the clamps were brought out and this time it hurt—bad. My septum was incredibly sore from being pierced but he clamped down hard on the very tender area. This time he spent more time making sure the clamps were straight and was very meticulous about the whole process. If only he would have done so the first time! His gloved finger pushed the needle through the tissue and he quickly followed it with the insertion of jewelry. Thankfully, this time it was free of blood and relatively painless.

The piercing was straight and fit my slightly upturned nose quite well. I had a 16g circular barbell with a 3/8" diameter and I couldn't have been more pleased. I recently began the stretching process and have discovered it was pierced a little too low, but as long as I wear jewelry with a relatively small diameter it still likes nice and I'm keeping it this time.

As I have educated myself about different practices and body modification as a whole, I almost wish I would have gone to someone who was more competent. I'm definitely a big supporter of D.I.Y. piercings. Body modification is an extremely personal thing for many and going to a studio might not always be what feels right. But I will say this: you must educate yourself. Do not trust someone just based on claims of being trained. I could have risked a multitude of problems arising from both instances and I'm very glad I escaped from it relatively unscathed (with the exception, of course, of the newfound hole in my septum).

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 March 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Location: Tennessee

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