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Piercing, politics, and plans.

rcing, politics, and plans.

Piercing, politics, and plans.

My first piercing was done after three days of thought. I was working away from home with two piercing devotees, and one of them offered to do my nipple for me - something I had always wondered about having. As someone who has the pain threshold of a small child, and a fear of needles that borders on the paranoid, body piercing would have been the last thing anyone would have expected me to go for. As it was, the deed was done. I sat, shirt off, while he marked up my nipple, then sprayed local anaesthetic, put on the clamps, sprayed again, readied the needle and -

'I've changed my mind! I've changed my mind!' I shouted as the needle bore down on my flesh.

'No you haven't' he said, and the needle went through.

A tiny moment of pain, and I looked down. This was probably a mistake - squeamishness has always been another of my failings. The ring was there, right enough, with tiny collections of blood at either side of my nipple.

'I need some fresh air,' I said, standing up and walking outside.

This was a fib. I needed a cigarette, and fumbled in my pocket to get one. I lit it, took a deep breath and - whoa! - the world tinged itself in black around the edges. No more cigarettes at the moment. It took about ten minutes, but then all was fine. That was almost four years ago.

About a year after the piercing, I was selected to stand as a candidate for my local Council. Figuring that my piercing was private and hidden, I didn't tell the selection committee about it. I stood for election, and won. A few months later, away at a conference, I was swimming in the hotel pool with the leader of one of the other political groups on the Council. Of course, the ring was in place and he noticed it. Later, as I prepared to speak at a meeting, the cry of 'show us your nipple' came up from the floor. The secret was out. Later yet, a small article in the local paper mentioned my piercing. The public reaction was minimal, with curiosity being the most common. Everyone suddenly wanted to see my chest, and for months afterwards I would be unbuttoning my shirt to show people.

Undaunted, I have attempted a second nipple piercing. Unfortunately this has been dogged by problems. The first attempt (six months ago) failed when the first needle used was too narrow for the barbell, and I made the mistake again of looking down. Again, even without a cigarette, the world went black around the edges and I was in no fit state for a second attempt that day. After healing up for six weeks, we tried again. This time we used a different local anaesthetic, and I was calmer. There was no pain, there was no problem, I even helped clean up the slight bleeding afterwards. It looked great. Matching barbells on left and right nipples was fine by me.

A week later, I caught the barbell on my night-shirt as I undressed. The pain was enough to wake me up - and the barbell slowly began to grow out. The band of skin holding it got narrower and narrower until my pierced advised me to remove it before it fell out. Now, it's time to try again. First will come the right nipple again. Next on the agenda are secondary piercings on both nipples, and (once I've firmed up my stomach) a navel piercing.

I am fortunate in having a friend who is a piercer. This makes it easier for a squeamish wimp like me to allow someone to put needles and surgical steel into him, and to come back for a second attempt if there is a problem. I enjoy the body decoration of piercings, although the pain is a sacrifice I have to make to get them, and am always looking for different jewellery styles to wear.

Eventually all my planned piercings will be done, and I'll have to sit down and think about what is next.

Alastair Alexander

Update, August 21, 1997:

The best-laid plans

For the last year or so, I have been trying to get my right nipple pierced. There have been failures with the barbell growing out, and me just plain losing my nerve. This time, everything was set. I had arranged with my friend (and piercer) Ashton to meet up with him at his home, and to get the nipple done. As an afterthought, I called him in the morning and asked if he would do my navel too. Ashton was happy to.

About half an hour before I was due to arrive, I rang him again to check all was well. He rang me back after 5 minutes to say that all was fine, apart from one small thing - no anaesthetic. In a fit of bravado for someone with no pain tolerance and a deep-rooted fear of needles, I suggested he did the piercings without it. There was a pause at the other end of the line, and then Ashton politely expressed his concern and disbelief. In short, he suggested, there was no way I was going to be able to do it. With a feeling of disappointment, I decided that I would have to wait a little longer.

Ah! Inspiration struck! The navel! We could do my navel anyway. The reason was simple - no feeling there. About 8 years ago, I took a fairly serious spinal injury. It left a great deal of the right side of my body numb, from my chest downwards. Over time, the area affected by loss of felling has shrunk, but still - whoopee! - includes my navel. Happy with the injury for the first time in my life, I trotted to Ashton's flat.

(At this point, I should mention that I would actively encourage anyone else to go to a proper piercing studio for their work. I choose for mine to be done in the informal surroundings of someone's home simply because I cannot face the ideal conditions of a proper studio, and my peircings are done by a good friend who knows me and my reactions well.)

The piercing itself was almost an anti-climax. Ashton carefully checked my navel, looking for the best place to pierce, then laid me down and talked me through a series of breathing exercises to help me relax. By the time I felt the clamps on me, I was calm. With a combination of loss of feeling and quick work by Ashton, the piercing was done almost before I knew it. There was no discomfort at all, and quite an adrenalin rush afterwards.

The right nipple will be done shortly, once the navel ring has bedded in for a while. Assuming all goes well, it seems that secondary piercings on my navel are going to be added to my plans.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1997
in Nipple Piercing

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