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Painless tongue piercing

I don't even know how I got it into my head to pierce my tongue - I'd had my ears done twice and ended up taking and leaving both out after a head X-ray (broken jaw), and then for some reason I went straight to this. I always thought it looked cool and might be entertaining to fiddle with in my perpetual ADD boredom (honestly nothing dirty was a motivation for me).

I heard so many horror stories about tongues swollen to grotesque sizes, inability to talk or eat, having to sleep sitting up... I told my friend C, who has her tongue pierced, that I decided to do it, and she took me with her to her tattoo parlor, assuming I could get it done. Alas, they had stopped piercing 2 weeks prior, and I disappointedly watched her get a gigantic tattoo for 5 hours as I thought about my empty tongue. I sourced out a couple of other places and ended up in an incredibly sketchy piercing shop in Washington Heights, in uptown Manhattan. Luckily the name of the place escapes me. It was owned by a friend of a friend from work. C took me food shopping beforehand, telling me all her painful experiences and showing me the foods she'd had to drink with a straw for two full weeks (at least) before she was able to use her mouth properly. We bought all kinds of soups and mashed potatoes, etc.

I walked in and the place was pretty grimy, and I was met by an incredibly indifferent guy in his early 30's who did not look like someone who could be certified to stick needles into people. He charged me only $25 (!), and led me into a back room that, of course, had porn taped up all over the walls. I was fully prepared to walk out if he did not do the basic things (mouthwash, gloves, sterile pre-packaged instruments, etc), because honestly I feel that wall-porn could be a symptom of greater problems, but he did all of these important sanitary things. I was nervous, as it was my first major piercing, and my job involves a LOT of talking, but I just went for it. He picked a spot, I asked him if we could move it at all but he had identified veins that pretty much isolated the piercing to that one spot (which was fine, I was just nitpicking). I gave him my tongue and I swear to you I just felt a pinch, and some tweaky discomfort as he stuck the guide in and screwed the ball on . But he knew exactly what he was doing - there was no fumbling and there was almost no blood, and it really did not hurt. I felt a bit numb afterwards, and he nonchalantly (indifferently?) suggested that I go to the fried chicken joint next door to get a cup of ice to chew on. Which I did. He gave me the basic rundown of care - mouthwash, no alcohol, etc.

See the rare thing about my experience is that this never swelled. It swelled a LITTLE - but not to the extent that it impeded my speech at all. I certainly did not have to sleep sitting up. I gingerly ate soup that night, very, very slowly. The second night I whined over some chili or something, but the third night I was eating falafel platters. C raged with jealousy.

I have never had a problem with this piercing, and I've had it for about four or five months - I do have to be careful of plaque buildup on the bottom (but I actually own dental implements, despite not being a dentist), but if you use mouthwash regularly it can be avoided. When it was new it really stimulated my salivary glands (which are right under your tongue web)- in other words, you spray- and it still does occasionally, but not to the same extent. I still have a bit of a lisp, but I like that, and it's because I kept the longer bar in. I have friends who have continually chomped their original long bars, but really I think that's just a matter of figuring out the physics of having a big piece of metal in your mouth. I am now unsure how I would deal with NOT having the big piece of metal in my mouth...

Incidentally I recently got my labret pierced as well, and that hurt SIGNIFICANTLY more than this did. My ear cartilage piercings hurt so much for a full year afterwards that when I got my jaw x-rayed I just left them out. I was so incredibly impressed by this guy's piercing performance (he did a much better job than my labret guy, who had come highly recommended, but was about to pierce me without even giving me mouthwash), but I ought to emphasize that my non-swelling reaction seems to be in the vast minority. STILL, it's a fun piercing and completely worth it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 08 Dec. 2009
in Tongue Piercing

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