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my precious tongue

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saturday, may 8, 1999.

i was at my boyfriend's that day. i wasn't planning on getting my tongue pierced that day. i'd wanted it for 5 years now - ever since i'd seen the first pierced tongue i've ever seen, but it wasn't planning on getting it done then. it's about 9:30 pm when we walk into the place. there's no one else in there when we go in and only two people come in while i'm deciding. he sits down and looks through a magazine and i look at some of the art on the walls. there's a tattoo i want to get and i was staring at it trying to decide if i really wanted it on my body forever. he asks me if i want to get a tattoo or get my tongue pierced. but it was 9:30 and they closed at 10 so there wasn't time for a tattoo so i said i guessed i wanted my tongue pierced.

until that moment i was completely sure that i wanted it done but as soon as it was about to be a reality, i wasn't so sure anymore. we went over and looked at the jewelry and it all looked so...foreign. i had pierced my own navel 5 times before because it had rejected the ring each time and i finally gave up and i'd pierced my own eyebrow, which surprisingly is still open after almost a year without a ring in it. i found that out when my boyfriend's friend attacked me with an earring and shoved it through the hole. it went right through, no resistance. i was shocked. so, i had pierced my navel and my eyebrow, but suddenly i was like, "why would anyone want to stick a needle through any part of their body?!?" it seemed so painful and silly. but i had wanted it for so long and i knew if i didn't get it then i'd regret it. i mean i could always go back and get it, but that was the best opportunity i'd had so far and i knew i should take it.

my boyfriend has had his tongue pierced for two years and i've asked him numerous times if it hurt and what it felt like. he always said it didn't hurt much at all and the clamp hurt more than the needle and all that. my ex-boyfriend had his tongue pierced also and he said it didn't hurt at all. of all the people i ever asked who had it done only one guy ever said "it hurt like hell" and he said he hadn't paid for it, he'd traded a bong for it so i figured it wasn't too reputable a place he'd gotten it done at.

so, we're standing there at the jewelry case and one of the heavily tattoo'd men that work there came out and i said i was thinking of getting my tongue pierced and he asked the piercing guy if he was still piercing that night. he said yes. so i asked the heavily decorated guy if it hurt. he said he'd had it done a couple times and the clamp hurts more than the needle. it suddenly occurs to me to ask if it would hurt the next day. or at all after the piercing. and the decorated guy says "yeah, it's usually a little sore the next day and it'll swell up a little" none of that had ever occurred to me. but i say, okay, let's do it.

a different heavily tattoo'd guy comes out whom i see there every time i go in and he gives me a form to sign. (he was left handed like me) so i fill it out and sign it and give him my ID and he xeroxes it onto the back of the form. i s-l-o-w-l-y put my ID back into my wallet. i s-l-o-w-l-y pick up my shirt i was wearing over my t-shirt that i'd taken off cause it was warm. i s-l-o-w-l-y walk around the counter and behind it and behind the little curtain into the little room. a third heavily tattoo'd guy puts on some gloves and tells me to sit on the table, which is like one of those tables in a doctor's office, padded with the little step built into the end of it.

so this is it. i sit down and my boyfriend stands to my right by the big mirror. the guy gives me a little cup of the blue listerine and tells me to rinse with it and spit it back into the cup. then he tells me to stick out my tongue as far as i can and he takes a paper towel and dries off my tongue. he's frowning and i wonder if my breath smells bad or if my tongue's some weird color or something but i'm too nervous to worry about it. he gets a dark blue or purple pen and makes a dot on top of my tongue and shows me in the mirror. my boyfriend nods and again, i'm too nervous to care and it looks good so i nod too. so he puts the mirror down and walks around the table to the other side of it and tells me to lay back. so i'm flat on my back and i don't know whether i'm allowed to put my tongue back in my mouth or not and i'm kind of drooling so i put it back in my mouth enough to swallow and stick it back out.

now the guy turns on a light and shines it on my face and tells me to stick out my tongue as far as i can again. i think that's about when i grabbed my boyfriend's hand. so i stick out my tongue and he sticks those clamps on it. now, i don't know if it's because of all i've heard or what, but the clamp did hurt much more than the piercing itself (that's not to say the clamps HURT, just more than the piercing), maybe because the clamps were on there longer than the needle is stabbing through or something. i groaned a little when he put the clamp on. my eyes are closed so i don't know what he's doing and then i feel a sudden distant sharp pain and the piercer says "done. that's it, i'm done." and i don't even squeeze my boyfriend's hand till the guy says he's done. this is about when i realize i THINK he said some stuff before he said he was done but i don't remember what. maybe just "keep your tongue out" cause i kept trying to pull it back in my mouth. to protect it i guess.

so he's trying to put the bottom ball on the barbell and i'm still trying to pull my tongue back into my mouth and he kinda laughs and says, "you don't like to stick your tongue out do you?" and i kinda laugh and he gets it on and says, "that's it" and gives me another little cup of blue listerine and tells me to rinse and spit it back in the cup then he takes the cup and throws it away and throws his gloves away and leaves the room. i get up and go over to the mirror and stick my tongue out and there's this GORGEOUS silver ball sitting on the top of my tongue. i love it immediately. i'm still holding the paper towel he gave me and i hold it up to my mouth and i realize that i'm shaking. i'm smiling ear to ear and then i start laughing. i'm laughing all the way out of the room. i thank the guy again and notice a bunch of people had come in while i was back there and they're all looking at me cause i'm laughing. one guy's smiling and i laugh and stick my tongue out at him. he smiles a little more and then we're outside.

now...i must take a moment to say of all the people who i asked about the whole tongue piercing experience not one of them mentioned the horrible pain after the piercing. even the guy who said, "it hurt like hell" didn't say that it hurt like hell after the piercing he just said it hurt like hell, which i took to mean the actual piercing hurt like hell, and maybe that's what he meant. so i was quite surprised when my tongue didn't stop hurting after we left the piercing place...in fact...it started hurting more. i mentioned it to my boyfriend and he said, "yeah, like a burning feeling" and that is what it was like but he had never said it would feel like that. i said that to him and he said, "well, you just had a needle shoved through your tongue, what do you expect?" which was a really good point, but still...i find it odd that no one mentioned that beforehand. even when i asked. ah, well. now when people ask me if it hurt i'm going to say, "it hurt like hell but not till after it was pierced"

so aside from the swelling, the hellish pain, the lisp, and the trouble saying words with 'th' in them (three is the hardest of them all) i love my new tongue ring. i've only had it four and a half days now. it still hurts, especially on the bottom. i went through a whole 500 mL bottle of listerine in four days. apparently that's not so good, but it made me feel like i was killing bad things. i'm all for that "if it hurts it's doing something" philosophy. i like the yellow listerine, i like using alcohol on cuts, it feels like it's doing something right.

when i told my mom about it she said, "oh that's gross!" then later when i found out she'd told my grandma i asked her what she'd said and she said my grandma didn't like it that much and that they both thought my tongue was "too precious to stick bars of metal through"

so, that's the story of my tongue piercing. i love it. if you want it, get it. it's worth the obnoxious healing period.

-natalie [email protected]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999
in Tongue Piercing

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