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Nostril piercing - one coward's tale

It had been several years since I last got a piercing, and while I had been considering getting my nose done for about a year, the fact is, I'm a coward. I don't handle pain well. So I had been putting it off, but I was sick of admiring other people's piercings. I wanted more of my own, dammit! I'd survived the pain before, when I had my labret pierced, so I knew that I could go through with it. When it came down to it, I was just procrastinating.

I realised earlier this year after visiting the dentist that the anticipation of the visit was far more unpleasant than the actual visit, and concluded that the same probably applied to piercing. It was time to stop procrastinating.

Last Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling brave. I sent a text message to my best friend, informing her of my intentions, and she agreed to escort me so she could hold my hand during the procedure. I told no one else though, in case I chickened out at the last minute.

As I'd been considering this piercing for quite some time, I'd already done some research on local piercers, and had decided on Yakuza Tattoo. I met my friend at our favourite cafe, and we walked to the tattoo shop together. They weren't too busy, and could do my nose right away.

For some reason, Yakuza offers the choice of nose piercing with a gun or with a needle. I'd done enough to reading to know that gun piercing is a Bad Idea, and when I told the girl at the desk I wanted my nose done with a needle, she was enthusiastic and positive that I chose needle over gun, which made me wonder why they offer it at all, knowing that it causes blunt force trauma. I filled out the forms, which asked for the usual name, address and age, and also whether I had any allergies, communicable diseases, whether I'd had anything to drink in the previous 24 hours, etc. I picked out an 18g surgical stainless steel nose stud with a small clear gem from their display, which Sue, who according to the Yakuza website is their apprentice, autoclaved while she prepared the tools she would need to do the piercing.

First she wiped my nose clean with alcohol and iodine, then marked a spot on my nose with a marker, and had me lie down for the procedure. She used clamps to align the needle and told me to take a deep breath. As I breathed out she pushed the needle through. I'm told I made an odd squealy-grunt noise as it happened, and my eyes definitely watered a lot.

It took longer to push the needle through than I'd expected. It was a sharp, shocking pain, far worse than when I had my labret pierced, but it was oddly refreshing. There was a couple of seconds of what felt like tugging as she removed the needle and inserted the nose stud I'd picked out earlier.

My nose bled a lot more than I'd expected, and Sue had me lie down with some gauze held very gently over my piercing while we waited for the flow to ebb. My nose didn't hurt anymore, it felt oddly numb, which I imagine was due to the shock of the piercing. The bleeding slowed and I was left with an attractive little crust of dried blood around the gem, which came off later when I was cleaning it. After about half an hour it started to ache a little but since that first day, it has been pain-free.

Sue told me I should clean my nose with a special piercing cleaning solution that the shop sells, but I told her I'd feel more comfortable just doing sea salt soaks, which I have been doing. Aside from that, I've been utilising the LITHA method (Leave It The Hell Alone), and so far my nose seems to be healing up fine.

I'm now waiting anxiously for the next few months of healing to pass so I can change the stud to a ring. I'm also planning to invest in a glass retainer for work or for when I feel like a change. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the change in my reflection. My partner loves it, and my friends say it suits me so well it's like I was born with it, which is a relief, as I was worried that the placement was a little too far forward on my nose.

No feeling compares to that just-pierced mixture of adrenaline, relief and pride. For me, pain itself isn't enjoyable, but the pain of a piercing is all a part of the unique and rewarding experience, and I'm already planning and looking forward to my next piercing.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Sept. 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: Sue
Studio: Yakuza+Tattoo
Location: Wollongong%2C+Australia

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