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I Don't Need Your Venom

"WHY would you do something like that to yourself??"

I'm sure there are a lot of you reading this who are also a bit too familiar with this statement. (Yes, statement, not question. Generally, the people asking don't really want to understand, they just want to express how they feel.) It's at this point where most of us would say it's who you are, it completes you, you wanted it... whatever your reason may be. A lot of those goggle-eyed onlookers will leave it there, with that look that says they'd rather stay baffled. But some of them persist.

"But WHY?"

I think it's at this point where a lot of us go back to when we first realised we wanted to be modded.

I remember being six or seven, and, like a lot of young girls, begging my mother to let me get my ears pierced. I wanted earrings like Barbie, I told her. What worried my mother, however, was that I wanted earrings like Barbie, but going the whole way up my ears.

"The WHOLE way up, right up to here!" I'd say, pointing to where an anti-tragus would happily sit.

Naturally she refused, but only managed to bear my whining for so long. Eventually she caved in and let me have my earlobes pierced (which, for the record, failed miserably of course. Young children just do not have the same awareness of hygiene as adults do – my lobes became infected and amid many tears I took my beloved earrings out. Parents, stick to your guns!) In spite of that awful night of sobbing and pulling at puss-filled butterfly backs, my need grew from there. I've been getting pierced and wanting piercings ever since, and no number of bad experiences have ever managed to scare me off.

In light of this, I was about twelve years old when I knew I wanted to have my tongue pierced. I don't even know where I saw it, or what made me want it, but I knew I had to have it. I patiently waited six whole years, getting various other piercings, my first tattoo, and even having a huge interview for a piercing apprenticeship until it eventually resurfaced again.

I had been a member of BME and IAM a couple of months. I loved the website, particularly the encyclopaedia, where I found all sorts of wonderful modifications I'd never seen before, including a vertical medusa (which is now my crowning glory), and venoms. I came across one particular picture of a beautiful girl, sporting bright red pigtails, a lollipop, and a gorgeous set of venoms. I was fascinated.

But, having a short attention span and not being able to find as much information about them online as I would have liked, I forgot about it. I had a whole body to modify, and I'd just been introduced to tattooing. Suffice to say, I got distracted.

Then one day out of nowhere, my boyfriend at the time (who initially said venoms were "yucky" when I told him they were on my waiting list) messaged me.

"You know, you should really go for venoms - it'd look so good! Do it do it do it!"

It was the push I had been waiting for. I'd been getting a lot of hassle back then from people who were supposed to be my friends, and it was about time I did something for myself. He was right, it WOULD look great – I could practically see the jewellery sitting there every time I yawned. I was going to do it!

After taking some mild anti-inflammatories to help the swelling, despite the risk of bleeding more, I got to my usual studio. I was excited, confident, and feeling great about myself. I strode over to the manager, who recognised me and smiled.

"Venoms," I said, and that was it. He raised his eyebrows, handed me a form, and went to talk to my piercer. To my amazement, she tried to talk me out of it! She explained that she had them done herself and they were a total nightmare, that they were NOT normal tongue piercings, that they pass through muscle, take much longer to heal, hurt more, bleed... Eventually I made it clear I knew exactly what I was in for, and that I was ready for it.

"Are you sure?" She asked one more time.


"Let's go then."

I got comfortable in the piercing room and let her set everything up. Another piercer came in just to watch – "venoms? I HAVE to see this!" – because they aren't frequently done in that shop. I rinsed my mouth out, then stuck out my tiny tongue as far as I could to let her check for blood vessels. It wasn't too uncomfortable but it took absolutely ages. She was checking and marking up for about fifteen minutes. After a final check and one more change to the placement, we were ready.

As my piercer talked through what she was doing and what I was to expect, then placed the clamp tightly on the left side of my tongue. It was slightly uncomfortable, although not painful, but it was at this point where I panicked. All of a sudden my heart was pounding, the clock on the wall almost came to a standstill, and for the first time in my life thought to myself, "I'd rather do this some other time!" However I knew if I didn't do it now then I never would, and that I deserved something special for myself after taking so much crap from everyone else. I told myself to shut up panicking and that I was ready...

The needle went in. It hurt, but not nearly as much as I expected. She screwed the jewellery on nice and tightly, and instead of taking a breather we decided to go right for the next one before my tongue started swelling. The second one hurt a bit more, but again was bearable. I dribbled everywhere! I hardly bled at all though, which was disappointing but I took as a good sign.

After revelling for a few moments in that heightened calm of being pierced, my piercer smiled and handed me a big glass of cold water. She asked how I felt and I told her I was completely fine! Talking was easy, although it felt odd with the balls of the jewellery touching the roof of my mouth. Overall the whole thing was so much easier than I expected, and it was one of the best piercing experiences of my life, which I thanked her for. The spectating piercer then lifted a box of lollipops off the shelf with a look of huge satisfaction on his face and offered it to me.

"Take as many as you like, you fucking deserve it!"

Aftercare went quite smoothly. I stuck to stage one baby food, smooth porridge, soup, smoothies and icy water for the first few days, and to my surprise and delight found I was just about back on my normal diet after six days. I was still very careful while chewing, made sure to rinse with salt solution after every meal and morning and night, and took painkillers last thing at night and before eating if I needed to.

I kept up standard cleaning for about a month, and it was all going beautifully. Good oral health seems to have made a huge difference – when your teeth are clean, there's less plaque in your mouth to irritate the piercings, so it makes sense. Unfortunately my tongue decided to swell right up again for no reason and caused havoc for nearly two weeks – I was even back on baby food for a few days. The left one also randomly bled from time to time... Regardless of this I can still count myself as lucky in terms of healing.

Now, almost four months later, they still aren't completely healed, but nearly there. I love them and I feel closer to who I'm supposed to be since I had them done. The experience was fantastic, and I'm so glad I finally did it – I proved a lot to myself by going through with it. No matter what anyone else ever does to let me down, I'm still the very same person. My venoms are about strength, and nobody can ever take that away from me.


submitted by: DuckieVamp
on: 13 Oct. 2008
in Tongue Piercing

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Artist: Aine
Studio: Celestial+Ring+south+studio
Location: Dublin%2C+Ireland

Comments (1)

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Monday, July 9, 2012 @9:43 a.m.
This is so good to read - I'm getting mine done tomorrow and I'm positively terrified at the thought of it.

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