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First bridge piercing

I'd been contemplating a bridge piercing (known as an erl) for a while; about 6 months or so – I'd seen some pictures in BME and Savage tattoo magazine and thought it looked both pretty and relatively unusual. I also thought that it would suit me, but the one concern I had was that I wear glasses and I wasn't sure if there'd be enough room for the piercing to sit properly against the bridge of my specs. Coupling that with my nearest piercing studio being in Bristol, and my lack of money, I decided to put it off until I had the time, money and knowledge to be able to get the piercing done properly.

The idea slowly got pushed to the back of my mind until an unexpected trip to London to see a visiting friend; I decided that I was going to head to Camden and get it done then, but time wasn't on my side and between shopping and wandering around the sights of London I couldn't get within 5 miles of Camden. Luckily I was heading back on the Saturday for a friend's birthday so while they went to the pub me and my boyfriend went to Camden. At this point I was torn between an industrial and an erl, so I figured the simplest way to determine what I'd get would be price; whichever was cheapest was what I'd have.

The first studio I went in was Chrome. I asked the girl at the counter about industrials, was told that it would cost £50, that it'd be done with two bcrs and that I'd have to come back in a couple of months to get them replaced with a bar. I decided to think about that and asked about 2mm bcrs. They didn't have any but told me to head to Cold Steel, which I did.

At Cold Steel I asked about industrials and was told the same, although the charge was £48. The girl I was talking to had an erl and I asked her about that; it cost £30 and they could fit me in that day at 2.30 for both the erl and the industrial. Although quick it caused a bit of a problem as me and my boyfriend were due on the London Eye with our friends. I explained that and, after a bit of a conference and me saying I'd only get the erl done, they said they could do me now. I filled out the forms stating I was fit to be pierced and then nipped down to a shoe shop on Camden High Street to get out the money I'd need. Munching a banana on the way back up to Cold Steel I arrived and was introduced to Julie, my piercer.

Me, my boyfriend and Julia walked up the stairs to the studio I'd be pierced in. I have to say it's one of the nicest studios I've been in! In the centre of the room was the chair on which I'd be pierced; in front of that a large mirror. To the right was a large settee which my boyfriend promptly settled himself on, and to the left a sink surrounded with cleaning equipment. The room was will lit by a large window, bright and clean. I dumped my bag on the settee and hopped onto the chair. I told Julie what I wanted, she had a look at where my glasses lie on my nose and decided it wasn't a problem. I took my glasses off and waited as she cleaned the area, marking the entrance and exit points of the piercing. She stood back and pointed at the mirror. All I could see was a very large blob (me) surrounded by other blobs (the rest of the room). After explaining that, having my boyfriend laugh at me and then hand me my glasses, I checked the placement and it looked fine. The placement of the mark in relation to my glasses meant that even if they were pushed up all the way they still wouldn't interfere – great news for a new piercing.

I took my glasses off again and Julie chatted to me as she was preparing the barbell and her equipment. I sounded nervous as I spoke and I'm not sure why – normally getting pierced doesn't bother me and I don't sound any different to usual. While I wasn't nervous this time I could hear my voice trembling, and when I mispronounced London Eye twice, calling it the Millennium Eye, I knew I must sound pretty freaked out. My boyfriend told me afterwards that he thought I'd been really nervous.

Julie showed me the first barbell and measured it against the bridge of my nose, telling me she thought it would be a bit too small and that she'd pierce me with the next size up, in case of any swelling. I agreed, happy to let Julie decide what was best. The next barbell seemed to fine, so I lay back on the chair, scooting backwards so that my head was dangling over the back. Julie started to tell me that this piercing wouldn't hurt; I'd feel a pinch on my nose and that would be it. I told her that I'd already had my nipples pierced and her response was that if I could do that then this wouldn't hurt at all! Laughing, I agreed.

First thing was to clamp my nose where the piercing would go through. This was harder than usual as the day was hot, I was sweating and the clamps would not stay on my skin. Eventually, after having them slip off a couple of times, Julie tightened them some more, which actually hurt, and told me to take some deep breaths. I did, and then felt the needle pushing through the skin on my bridge. It didn't really hurt, at least not compared to the pressure the clamps were exerting. The jewellery then went through, the balls were screwed on and I was told to sit up slowly. I pushed myself slowly up and forwards so that I was sitting on the edge of the chair again, and grabbed my glasses to take my first look at my new piercing,

I was extremely pleased; the bar was straight and very shiny. There hadn't been much bleeding and as far as I could tell no swelling. I admired it in the mirror for a bit longer before turning to Julie to thank her. She gave me the usual aftercare tips and asked if I was able to come back to London in a few months to get a smaller bar put in. I said I wasn't sure, but that I had some piercing friends back home who could do it for me, which was fine.

Me and my boyfriend walked back out into the sun and headed to meet friends at the pub. I was excited about my erl and we placed bets on who would notice it first. Turns out I had to tell most people that I'd just got pierced as they didn't even see it!

Three weeks later it's healing up great; there was no swelling, very little crustiness around the edges and only a little bit of redness. The bar moves easily and I'll be downsizing it soon. The only problem with it is that I'm starting a new job next week so I'll have to take it out, but a retainer should keep the hole open without too much trouble, particularly if it's bioflex or PTFE so I can just unscrew the balls and hey presto – piercing vanished.

I've got to say that I'm pleased with the results of going to Cold Steel – a wicked new piercing, and a load of new friends from the message board they have on their website.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 Aug. 2005
in Eyebrow Piercing

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Artist: Julie
Studio: Cold+Steel
Location: Camden%2C+London

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