I live in Los Angeles, CA and since the age of 12 I've always wanted a nostril piercing. My parents are very conservative people and they were very resistant to the idea and would not agree to take me to a legitimate piercing stand. So I took the bus downtown with my best friend, and went to a swap meet where many of my underage friends had been pierced, all with good results. Several people at my high school have gotten either snakebites or single labrets, and everyone assured me the place, although devoid of any kind of liscense, was clean, and everyone who worked there was polite and considerate.
About 30 minutes before getting the piercing, I popped 2 ibuprofen because I knew they would help with the pain and the swelling. My best friend and I walked up to the stall where there was a friendly looking young man on his Blackberry. He asked me what I wanted, and I said my nostril. He asked if I wanted it done with the gun or the needle, and I said the needle. This alarmed me a little bit, because many people have assured me that real piercers don't use the gun for anything except ears. He led me behind a counter, opened and curtain, and sat me down in what looked like a dentist's chair.
The interior of the stall was tacky but clean seeming. There were gloves, instruments, and cleaning solutions on a table next to the chair. Photographs and potted plants covered the walls. It almost looked like a combination of a dentist's office and someone's Grandma's living room. Directly across from the chair was a sink with a radio and TV attached on the wall above it. Also in the room was a small foldout table, where takeout Chinese food sat steaming. Since it was around noon, it was probably the guy at the front counter's lunch.
He called over another woman in a white lab coat, who put on fresh medical gloves and then asked me which nostril I wanted done. I told her the left one and she put a mark on it, and showed me it in the mirror and asked me if it was where I wanted the stud. I said yes, she cleaned the area, then took out a fresh needle from a package. I started to get a little worried because I realized how sketchy the situation was--the woman didn't even introduce herself or make any attempt to find out my age. I started to wonder what kind of professional piercers set up shop in a swap meet, and don't bother to check for ID's. I worried about whether this was a good idea, whether I was going to get some kind of disease (even though it was a fresh needle so that was sort of irrational), whether she'd accidentally stab some major vein that I wasn't aware of...the possibilities were astonishing. However, I felt like it was too late to back out, and I really, really wanted the piercing, so I wa s willing to risk it. I turned back at the lady and she was applying some kind of numbing gel to the needle, which I didn't know was possible.
After this point I squeezed my eyes shut, because I had never even had my ears pierced. My best friend grabbed my hand, and I was shocked by how little it hurt. The tension was definitley worse than the initial feeling, which I can only describe as a sharp pinch and tightening, which might have been the clamps she was using. My eyes watered as an instant reaction. The most painful part was when the needle was hanging in my nose and she had to slide in the jewelry. Unfortunately she kind of fumbled it and basically shoved her fingers in my freshly pierced nostril to properly align the jewelry. I could tell she had minimal training in piercing people; this was probably some sort of side job she had to make extra money. For some reason, I was relived by her aloof manner, and the fact that she didn't want to make conversation. I was so nervous that talking was the last thing I wanted to do.
I got up, paid $10 then went home. My parents reacted suprisingly well, saying they thought it was flattering on me. There was very little pain or swelling afterwards, even though a week later it's still sensitive. Most of all, I felt really satisfied that I finally did something I've always wanted to do, even though I was scared. Overall my first piercing was a great experience. However, I realize I'm lucky. I wouldn't recommend going to such an underground place because it could have turned out really bad for me.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Oct. 2008
in Nose Piercing