On being the piercee AND the piercer
Note to readers: Although I did many of my own piercings, self piercing must be done with EXTREME CAUTION. Screwing up your own piercings is not fun. Also, I may have pierced my friend's nipples at home, but this is not something you should attempt unless you have had experience. I had watched many nipple piercings and had permission from the piercer I apprentice under to try a nipple piercing. I also had my notes from observing in the shop. I do recognize that it might not have been wise to pierce without supervision.
I've been piercing various parts of my body since I was thirteen. Any time I could find a hollow needle and a window of parentless time, I would poke a new hole. I pierced my bellybutton, tongue web, ears, veritical labret, and left nostril. I had always wanted a septum piercing, but it seemed too forboding to attempt on my own.
I had never gotten anything pierced at a shop because of the price, and the attitude I would get in most place. A day before my nineteenth birthday, I decided that I would put all that aside. I was tired of having slowly done, lopsided piercing, and was willing to set aside my DIY pride to do it.
I went to a shop called Anubis that I'd heard was decent. I always passed it on my way home from work, and the few times I'd been in to buy jewelry the employees were friendly and attentive. I shelled out the sixty dollars and selected a fourteen gauge horse shoe. The guy working the counter tried to convince me that it would heal better if I used a sixteen gauge retainer, and stretched to a fourteen gauge horse shoe later. He was correct, but didn't feel like that would be a huge issue for me. He agreed that I'd probably be fine and told me to wait for the piercer.
I can't remember the name of my piercer, but he as he introduced himself, he added that he'd been piercing for eight years. I told him that this was my first professional piercing. "Who did all that, then?" He asked while he looked me up and down, inspecting my nose stud and vertical labret. He couldn't believe I'd pierced the vertical labret myself and gotten it straight. It was the only piercing performed on myself that I'd done correctly. I didn't trust myself with my septum.
The piercer showed me what everything was before he pierced. His technique was different from the one I use now that I'm an aprentice. He used a recieving tube, didn't mark placement, and used A&D to lube the needle. The technique that I would learn months later was much different. I was taught not to use clamps of a receiving tube. We use gentian violet to mark the inside of the nose, and technicare to lube the needle. In retrospect, I'm glad I saw a different technique when I got my first professional piercing.
When the needle jammed through there was a slight pinch, and tears ran down my face. It was much less painful than I thought it would be.
The healing process was what really hurt. I was able to shove the horse shoe into my nose when I slept so it wouldn't move around too much, and that helped. I stood in the back row at shows, and was extremely careful putting on shirts so I wouldn't snag the fresh piercing. It hurt the most when I sneezed, blew my nose, or snagged it on a towel. Luckily it seemed to heal rather quickly, and is now one of my favorite piercings.
A few months ago, I got myself a piercing apprenticeship. My boss doesn't like septums, but is extremely talented with them. I have never seen a dissatisfied customer. He always tells me that once I learn septums, I can do any that come into the shop. That's how much he hates them. I'm extremely intimidated by them. So far, I've only pierced ears and nipples along with a few easy stretching procedure. An odd combo, but so far I'm good at what I do. A few days from now, I will be piercing the septum of a friend, and I'm nervous. I've informed her that this is my first one in hopes that she'll back out, but she doesn't care. She insists, and I've agreed to it. I've watched many procedures, and this is just another that I will have to do myself. It's actually more scary than it was to get my own done.
I had this same attitude while piercing my first set of nipples. My best friend lay on a clean sheet in my room while I set everything up. She was telling me to relax, and that everything would turn out fine. I was more nervous than she was. The worst part was the placement. It took a couple of tries to get the marks to be perfect, and my hand was shaking a little. I steadied myself, and made perfect marks while she stood up straight with her hands by her sides. I had her lay down, then I set the clamps and did the deed. My first nipple peircings came out just fine, and the entire night she was showing them off to friends.
This boosts my confidence in regards to septum. As nervous as I am, I know I'll be fine. I understand that for both the piercer and the piercee the septum can be intimidating, but in the end it's not so bad.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Nose Piercing