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Navel Experience

was interesting to read all the navel piercing experiences on this site but they were tales from people a generation or two removed from mine. That's understandable because with the exception of multiple ear piercings, other body piercings do seem to be the province of the young. However, navel piercing, on a well cared for stomach, has always looked really attractive to me. I suppose I never gave it serious thought because I'm a forty two-year-old suburban, mother of two, station wagon driving, car-pooling, housewife. Shortly before Christmas, the idea popped into my head (seriously). Why shouldn't I have my navel pierced? My stomach is flat and stretch mark free. A lovely piece of canvas for a bit of body art, and sexy too! My husband didn't think it was a bad idea (he agreed with the sexy part) and he didn't think I was having a middle-aged crisis. He pointed out that age had never been an issue for me and thought I should just do it!
Another concern was how my fourteen-year-old daughter would react. She would really love to have a navel piercing but I didn't feel it would be appropriate at her age. How to justify mine then? Simple said my husband, just tell her that body piercing is a privilege of adulthood, just like being able to vote, drive, drink etc.

So the next day I went to a local piercing shop  (Body Exotic, San

Jose CA) just to ask some questions. When all my questions had been satisfactorily answered I asked when I could get an appointment to have it done. "Now", was the reply. I must have looked shocked because the shop owner laughed and said, "You were hoping I'd say two weeks from now, weren't you?" I laughed to and said,"OK, I'll do it!" I was then given all the pertinent info to read and signed a consent and waiver of liability form and was introduced to Phil, who would be my piercer.
Phil managed to convey the perfect combination of business like professionalism with warmth and humor. As I expected everything was very hygienic and Phil let me know what he was doing every step of the way. It was all over very quickly and with virtually no pain (though please bear in mind that my frame of reference for pain is two unmedicated childbirth's!). The words to best describe it would be fleeting discomfort, less painful than a blood draw. I got a little yellow gold ring with a faceted crystal captive bead. It looks like a mini engagement ring. Phil carefully reviewed the aftercare instructions and then I was on my way home.

Later that evening while re-reading the instructions I noticed that

on the bottom of the paper it said, "We hope you enjoyed the journey" I didn't feel, at that time, that I understood what that meant. I felt that the process of being pierced meant nothing to me, only the result mattered. Gradually I've come to understand what "the journey" has meant to me. No endorphin rush, no communion with the pain (since there wasn't any) but the feeling of power and liberation that comes with conquering a personal barrier as well as the thrill of knowing I've done something not considered acceptable for my stage in life.
OK, so now I've admitted that I'm not entirely like the average suburban housewife, but I'm more like most people than they would like to believe. Which brings me to the next part of this journey.

Reactions from friends and family have been somewhat mixed.  Most

people are a bit surprised and some have been quite shocked. My mother in law seemed very offended by the whole thing. I really didn't think it was such a radical thing to do and so I myself have been surprised by the reactions of others. My intention was not to shock, offend, nor make any political, social, or cultural statements. Yet, by having a body piercing, I seem to have done all these things in the eyes of some. The assumptions about other aspects of my life i.e. what I'm into sexually, politically etc., now run rampant! How can anyone presume to know so much about me based a little bit of body jewelry?
The only generalization I might make about those with body piercings is that they are probably more open-minded than other people. But I acknowledge that even that might not be true! The bottom line is that I had my navel pierced because I think it's beautiful and sexy. I love it and have not the slightest regret about anything surrounding the whole experience. My fourteen year old by the way, thought it was "cool" and was satisfied when I told her that not only would I not allow her to have a navel piercing, but that Body Exotic will not pierce anything but ears on those who are under sixteen (even with parental permission). So if you think that you may be of the wrong generation for body piercing, don't worry about others, do what you really want!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Feb. 1999
in Navel Piercing

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