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should I start? Well, I got a tattoo done about a year and a half before I took the plunge and got my belly button pierced. My tattoo was located around my belly button, and I thought a belly button ring would look really cool in the middle of the tattoo. After an incredibly painful and disappointing experience with my tattoo, I was very apprehensive. I did tons of research on piercings before I did it, making sure I was aware of all the risks involved and how to properly care for the piercing before I went for it. I went around to several tattoo/piercing studios in the Raleigh area before deciding that I felt most comfortable at Abraxas Body Art, in Raleigh, North Carolina. What I was looking for in a studio was above all, friendly staff and cleanliness. After dealing with an incredibly impatient tattoo artist for my tattoo, patience, understanding, and a willingness to answer questions was key. After hearing horror stories about unsuccessful piercings, cleanliness was also quite important to me. The guy who did the piercing, David Shaw, was a paragon of professionalism, skill, and patience. The establishment was spotless and he went to great lengths to put my mind at ease.I walked in and selected my jewelry (stainless steel curved barbell) and sat down to read all the care instructions and precautions, and signed a sheet saying that I was not pregnant, on drugs, etc. My heart was beating a mile a minute, and I was terrified. I went by myself, because I feel like sometimes "moral support" can make one more nervous. I showed him my belly button, and he placed dots where the needle would enter and exit from. After I "approved," I sat back in a chair, and he sterilized the area with alcohol and iodine. Then, he put clamps on my belly button that essentially made the hole the needle would go through perpendicular to my stomach. It pinched a little, but definitely nothing to sweat over. The he told me to take a deep breath and count to three. On three, he pushed the needle through. It took about one and a half seconds, and then it took him a few seconds to put the jewelry on. I felt nothing when the needle went through except a slight pressure. I think the clamp restricts the flow of blood, so you don't really feel anything. I was so relieved. I am a MAJOR chicken when it comes to pain and needles - I pass out when I get blood tests, and I frequently throw up when I get shots, and yes, I humiliated myself by puking when I got my tattoo. I can't even watch ER for fear that they will show someone getting some type of injection. But when I got my belly button pierced, I felt slightly light headed when it was over, but after David Shaw, the piercer, took my mind off things by talking about my work, the feeling passed. If anyone out there is considering getting their navel pierced, and the only thing holding you back is fear of pain and/or needles, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and do it. After its over, you'll feel incredibly empowered and even a little silly for being so freaked out about it. But I advise you to do some serious research before you do it. Infections are nothing to fool around with. Plus, find out what kind of jewelry is best for a first time belly button piercing - forego the fancy stuff and stick to something reasonable the first time. Your first priority is getting that thing to heal ASAP! Also, go to a reputable place. Only have it done by someone you trust - someone knowledgeable about piercings, and has experience. Most importantly, a willingness to answer questions, no matter how many and how silly is extremely important! I am indebted to my piercer - David Shaw of Abraxas Body Art is my hero. He took lots of time to answer my question, and spent lots of time calming my nerves. He made the experience so much bearable. My friends still can't believe I went ahead and did it. I am, quite possibly, the world's biggest wimp. The moral of the story? Do it do it do it! You will not regret it if you take the time to do your homework before you get it done. I've heard people say that tattoos are addictive, and that once you get one done, you feel you just have to get more. I don't share in that feeling, but piercings are another story. I think my belly button is beautiful and the experience was absolutely painless, and I am thinking about getting another piercing. Good luck, and I hope your experience is as positive as mine!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 Aug. 1999
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: David+Shaw
Studio: Abraxas+Body+Art
Location: W.+Peace+Street%2C+Raleigh%2C+North+Carolina

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