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A happy tummy for a late bloomer!

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SHHH! This is a secret. My parents can't find out about it, but YOU can! It's my latest, greatest, newest, prettiest, sexiest toy...my belly ring! And lest you imagine that this is another teen experience, hold on. I am actually a 37 year old mother of two with a terrific husband of 17 years, a masters degree, a professional job, a mortgage, a sense of humor and a love of life.

I had actually never heard of having one's navel pierced until a short time ago, and trust me, it would surprise most everyone who knows me if they knew I would even consider one. But a friend of ours had hers done and it looked so cute on her that I started thinking and doing some research on the internet. I quickly found BME and read all I could regarding the procedure, the pain involved and the risks. However, the only place that I knew of in town, and the place she had hers done, was called (gasp) The Scorpion's Den. Well. That meant I had to at least go in some place called (gasp) The Scorpion's Den and talk to some unknown person who apparently liked unappealing scorpions and kept them in glass cases in the shop window. Ugh.

But I knew that if I did not like shop or the people inside that I didn't have to stay, so, in broad daylight, between clients, I worked up my nerve and boldly walked in (gasp) The Scorpion's Den (not looking at the actual scorpions, of course) and started asking questions about the procedure. Dale, ("Call me Scorpio") the owner of the shop, appeared to be older than me. He had multiple ear piercings with heavy gold rings in them, a large gold tongue stud, expressive ice blue eyes, and a very confident manner. He patiently explained the sterile procedures to me, mentioning his autoclave and disposable needles. Since his business card read "master piercer", I inquired as to what qualifies one as a "master piercer", was it certification from classes taken, did piercers have to pass tests to become qualified, etc. Scorpio seemed to enjoy talking about his profession and answered that, no, it's pretty much experience that qualifies one as a "master piercer" and that he had almost 15 years of experience piercing. He said that when he lived in Daytona, he pierced about 30 bellies a day. He also mentioned that he had paramedic training and was a certified First Responder. The certificate from the health department was prominently displayed above the door which led back to the piercing chairs. We chatted and laughed about professionals getting piercings (they do it all the time) but he didn't name names so I knew he was confidential about his clients. I asked about jewelry sizes and he remarked that he typically pierced navels with a 16 gauge CBR and that he would use that on me. I was much relieved because I was reluctant to have it done with a larger gauge ring like some I had seen on the BME navel gallery. He said that if I wanted, we could do it then, but I had to see a client myself in 10 minutes and didn't want to rush this. He would be open til 6:00, so I could come back anytime. The actual shop was light and clean, and aside from the somewhat frighteningly pierced young man behind the counter and the scorpions in the glass cases, surprisingly unintimidating.

After my last client of the day, I showered and persuaded my husband to accompany me to (gasp) The Scorpion's Den. I wasn't scared at all but wanted to share this neat experience with him and also have him drive me home in case I got woozy for some reason (like being pierced with a large gauge needle). We drove up, me full of adrenaline by now in anticipation of the event. I wore jeans and a white tee-shirt. I secretly hoped that mine wasn't the chubbiest belly he had pierced, but I knew that it couldn't be because although I am bigger than I want to be and still have a little bread-dough (moms, you know what I mean!!) my tummy is flatter than some. We went to the back room. Scorpio was kind, gentle, and very professional. First he marked my belly button with a black marker to indicate entrance and exit holes. I OK'd the placement and he had me recline on the black chair. I couldn't see my tummy or the procedure, and frankly didn't want to. He then laid his materials including a sterilized pouch containing the piercing needle and a ring with a hematite bead on it on a tray near the chair. Once gloved, he rubber banded the triangular shaped clamps and told me that he would clamp the skin on the top of my belly button so he could pierce it. The clamps went on, and they were tight! Then came the needle. (My husband looked away at this point.) There was a sharp stick and a burn. The burn lasted for several seconds, then there was a tugging sensation, the burn was gone, and the ring was in. Scorpio got out the pliers and fastened the bead securely on the ring, then told me it was all done! About all I could say was "Wow!" and I got up to look in the full-length mirror by the chair. There was a little ring in my little belly button! It was cute as anything. And it didn't hurt any more. I was given a sheet with aftercare instructions and approximate healing times and I asked more questions about this. Upon his recommendations I was to use Bactine twice a day and Neosporin plus after the Bactine. I folded my jeans down inside, to keep clear of my navel, and paid cash and left the now not-so-intimidating Scorpion's Den. The endorphin rush was mind-boggling and it lasted about three hours.

It has now been slightly over three weeks since the piercing experience. Scorpio was great and I would recommend him to anyone. My navel is really doing well and has shown no signs of infection or problems of any kind. I do remember that I could not sleep on it the first night, or turn in bed very well. The second night was better and the third night was better still, and then it was perfectly fine to twist any way I wanted to get comfy. I wash it well in the shower with generic antibacterial liquid soap in the morning and clean it with a benzalkonium chloride solution (like Bactine) in the evening. I also take 1000 mg. of vitamin C along with my multivitamin to help with the healing. I have ordered a jeweled curved barbell to replace the CBR when it is more completely healed. My husband loves it (which rather surprises me as he is a very conservative Christian guy) and my 8 year old son thought it was really cool when he saw it but is sworn to secrecy about it! And you are too...so don't tell my parents!!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1999
in Navel Piercing

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