Horizontal Female Nipple, Pierce and Subsequent Repierce
Horizontal Female Nipple, Pierce and Subsequent Repierce
I'd gotten myself addicted to piercings. That's just how it was. I'd
started with my navel and it was about halfway healed. Now I was seriously considering getting my left nipple pierced. (The navel pierce will be a different story.) ;)
In deciding to start getting body pierces, the actual process was
about 25% plain desire and 75% the need to lay claim to my body, both in appearance and in the healing process from an abusive relationship I'd had in the past. Now, I am not your typical skinny girl; I'm an Iowa farm girl, and I look the part. No fine-boned aristocratic build for me; my ancestors worked in the fields for a living and my body's meant for it too. I'm not overweight, but I'm big-boned and have a nice, soft layer of fat beneath my skin; I've been told I'm very 'comfortable'. I won't win any beauty contests, but that's not a big deal for me, and the piercings (and tattoos) that I have gotten (or am getting) are my way of making those little nagging 'I-don't-like-my-body' doubts shut the hell up. These modifications are mine; they were my decision, are my responsibility, and are beautiful. They make my body mine, and I love that feeling. It's like saying 'I was here, dammit!'
I was used to my piercer, Dusty, at Mountain Tattoo in Alcoa, TN, so
I decided to go back to him to get the nipple piercing done. Dusty is a nice guy, rather a redneck, and old enough to be my father, but is sweet enough and taught Microbiology at the local university for a few years. He is licensed to do minor surgery.
The piercing studio isn't all that large, really; the waiting room
is, of course, plastered from wall to wall with tattoo designs. There's a fish-tank to watch, a couple portfolios of polaroid photos, some bodmod magazines; the usual. The piercing actually takes place in the first room on the left past a swinging, saloon-type half-door.
I went in, filled out my little consent/information form, handed
over the cash and let Dusty get to work. He seated me in the chair for the piercee; something that looks a lot like an old-fashioned dentist's chair without all the instruments coming off it, and washed his hands. I stripped down from the waist up and he put on a pair of rubber gloves and started laying out instruments, showing me the backing on all the blue plastic wrappers, those little black arrows meaning that the stuff in the wrapper was steam-sterilised by autoclave. So on we went through clamp, rubber-bands, the 14g niobium CBR I'd chosen plus an extra bead in case the one jumped away at the last minute, (which, anybody who's worked with them will know, they have a tendency to do at the most inopportune times,) the piercing needle, the cork, the pen he was going to use for marking (I didn't know pens could be autoclaved,) and the needle holder. (Which reminded me of a seam-ripper, for some strange reason.) Then we examined the gauze pads he was going to use to lay out the instruments on, the spray-bottles of that yellow stuff (betadine?,) and other cleansers (alcohol, I think). After laying everything out, he took off the gloves, washed his hands again, and put on a fresh pair. This is when I started to get nervous, and so I started doing my little circular breathing exercise, you know; 'in through the nose, hold for a second, out through the mouth, hold for a second' and so on. It relaxed me immensely, as it always does. (Too much sometimes. Heh.)
The cleaning process started with fresh cottonballs and that yellow
stuff. (Luckily I'd remembered to wear an old t-shirt that I didn't care if it was to get stained. I'd opted to go without a bra, which proved to be a mistake, as I wear a D-cup and the mere weight of my breast made the new piercing uncomfortable.) He cleaned almost the entire breast surface with that, then rinsed with a spray-bottle full of distilled water. Again with the yellow stuff, then he swabbed it off and sprayed with alcohol, then swabbed again. I was still yellowish after this and wondering 'when do we get to the needle part?' when Dusty switched gloves again and took up the pen. He had me stand up and examined my breast from a couple different angles, making little marks with the pen (a fine-point sharpie, I think. It was black but the ink comes out purple on skin,) as he went. When he was satisfied he had me sit back down and handed me a pair of rubber gloves, telling me to put them on because I was going to hold up the clamp once he'd gotten it on so he'd have both hands free to pierce with. Hell, at this point, I was game for anything. 'More jewelry,' I kept thinking, 'More piercings!' He put the clamp on after slipping about 5 doubled-over rubber-bands around the handle. With some tugging and adjustment, he let the clamp close slowly, making sure the marks were centered in the forceps. (Their ends are shaped like triangles with the middle cut out.) Now, for me, once I get over the adrenaline-shakes I always get watching the preparation, the worst part of the actual piercing process is the damn clamps. They hurt. I almost bit my tongue when he finally let them all the way closed; they were cold, they were grooved on the inside, and they pinched something awful! I groaned and grinned at Dusty. He grinned back and let me hold the clamp; I immediately lowered the handle a few degrees so my wrist wasn't bent wierd. He grinned at me again and told me that I was about to go to the next level piercing, the 'audience participation' bit. I started breathing again.
I watched him butt the receiving cork up against the right side of
my nipple, (this is a horizontal pierce) and watched as he lined the needle up with the mark on the right side of my nipple. Then I looked away. (I can't stand watching the needle actually go through flesh. Never have been able to.) I took a deep breath, exhaled hard, inhaled again, and right as I started to breathe out, the piercing happened. Normally, I have what I like to call a 'cold rush' from the minute the clamps go on till about a minute after the jewelry has been put in and fastened or closed. This piercing was no exception. For a split second all the blood left my shaking extremeties and my face flushed. I felt the tip of the needle pass through the flesh with a sharp, internal pinch, then I was immediately flushed with heat and my whole breast ached sharply. There was more cold after that as Dusty pulled the jewelry through by butting the ring up against the hollow end of the needle and threading it through. Then he took the clamps off, angling the ring so it would pass through the holes in the forceps. That hurt a little too, though I was concentrating on breathing and trying as hard as I could not to notice. He pressed the ring shut and inserted the bead, then told me I was done. I took a few more deep breaths and attempted to stand up.
Mistake! I thought I was ok but as soon as I was on my feet I ...
really ... needed ... to SIT DOWN! My head swam and I got the cold rush again. I sat. Around this point two things happened : the sharp ache dwindled down to a quiet, nagging throb, and I got that gigantic, stupid endorphin-rush grin on my face. Dusty laughed, my roommate (who was along for Moral Support [TM], a tradition we continue today when one or the other gets pierced or inked) laughed, and I stood up to look at my piercing. I loved it! Woohoo! Dusty gave me an aftercare sheet and some verbal instructions on how to care for my new piercing. (I took notes.) I drove home glowing, popped a couple aspirin, and spent the rest of the night freaking out my weak-stomached friends by showing them. (One of them passed out. I revel in freaking out mundanes with my piercings. Especially the hidden ones.)
As I'd learned to expect from my navel piercing, the first cleaning
was the worst. Worse than the piercing, in my opinion. There's a stabbing sensation, and a zing, and suddenly you're thinking 'why in the holy hell did I decide to pierce something?!' (edited for content, of course. Normally there's quite a few expletives liberally sprinkled in there.) The 3-4 cleaning per day schedule continued for 4 1/2 months, after which I declared the piercing healed and dropped to 2 cleanings a day, once in the morning and once in late afternoon or evening after dinner.
I went on, after that, to get a tongue piercing and then my right
nipple. For a while I was content, then decided to get an 8-ring ladder in my right ear, growing on the 2 rings I already had (and had them stretched to 14g.) These are also other stories. There was a failed nostril pierce (2 weeks after the piercing was done I got strep and took it out, not wanting to chance a severe infection,) and a month after that the 6 rings I'd added to my ear came out. After a year or so, I noticed on my way out of the shower that my left nipple piercing, which had since, with it's mate, been stretched up to 10g and fitted with surgical steel circular barbells, was much, much, much closer to the surface of my nipple than it had been when it was pierced. With only a little pressure, the skin went white and I could see the silver color through it. Worried, I soaked it in salt water and watched it for 2 weeks, going back up from 2 cleanings a day to 3 and alternating flipping the ring up one day, leaving it hanging down the next. The piercing only succeeded in moving closer to the surface. Frustrated and not wanting to have a bisected nipple, I removed it, and allowed it to heal almost completely closed. The entry and exit holes still existed, but were less than 1/16 inch deep. After 2 months there was no more healing discharge (normal dead skin cells mixed with the gentle lactation that the piercings cause,) and after 4 months more, I decided to go for a repierce. This was about a week ago.
This time, I went to Saint Tattoo, Knoxville, TN. My piercer's name
is Brian, and he's very professional. Brian is probably only a few years older than I am (I'm 20), has an excellent chairside manner, and is cute as a button to boot. ;) He's very informative, can answer almost any question you can think of to ask, and takes extremely thorough precautions before, during, and after the piercing.
Saint Tattoo's studio is large, a big house, really. There is a
large waiting room with bathroom off the entryway, piercing/tattooing rooms off to the left and right, and a large back room which the guys who work there use to house the fax machine, printer, credit card machine, cash register, etc. There is artwork (and not just tattoo designs) everywhere, both paintings on the actual walls, hung from the walls, beads and figurines and general bits and peices of sculpture, toys and stickers on every flat surface. (It provides something nice and colorful and distracting to stare at during the piercing/tattooing process while making the general aura one of quiet, good-natured chaos, much like the folks who work there.) ;) As you can probably tell, I'm very pleased with Saint Tattoo as a business, and with both Brian, who did my piercing, and Marcus, who did my (to date single, but that will change!) tattoo.
Anyway, I'd brought in my other jewelry the day before so Brian could have it autoclaved. There was both the 10g circular barbell, and also a 14g CBR, both surgical stainless, just in case I didn't have room for a 10g initial repierce. Brian met me in the entryway, a long hallway, and had me fill out the consent forms while he sterilised the room, the table I was going to be sitting on, and the tray for his instruments. He did a very thorough job. (I watched. Call me paranoid.) After the forms were filled out he made sure to ask me if I was feeling okay, had I had enough to eat and drink this morning, did I need to use the bathroom beforehand, was I prone to passing out, etc. Even though I had come completely prepared, this 5 minute process made me feel like he really wanted to make sure everything was okay. It was very calming and made me feel a lot safer than Mountain Tattoo did. Brian led me into the piercing room, adjusted the doctor's table so that I'd be reclining in a mostly-upright position, and went to wash his hands and brush his teeth. (He'd just had lunch.) I stripped off my t-shirt and the bra I'd decided to wear, an old, stretched-out racer-back sports bra. Brian came out of the washroom and put on a pair of rubber gloves. He started laying out instruments; calipers for measuring, the needle, the cork, the pen, rubber-bands, clamps, cotton gauze, three little plastic cups (one with lubricant, one with water, and one with alcohol,) the jewelry I'd had him autoclave, about a million Q-tips, and a level, of all things. (Like a carpenter's level, you know, the little plastic thing filled with yellow fluid, so that when the surface you're measuring is flat there's a bubble between the 2 lines?) 'Wow,' I thought, 'He knows what he's doing!'. He cleaned me very thoroughly, spending almost 20 minutes swabbing alternately with water and alcohol, switching Q-tips every time. I was very impressed, especially because the whole time he kept up a very pleasant, soft-spoken banter, asking how I was and if I liked my piercings, telling jokes, just general friendly stuff. When the cleaning part was done, he switched gloves and had me stand up. He started marking my nipple with the pen, measuring the width with calipers and using that level every few marks. (He kept having to tell me to stand up straight; I guess I was being nervous and slouching. But he was really nice, even though I know it must have been exasperating for him.) After about another 20 minutes, he finally got the marks where he wanted them, and let me sit down. He informed me that the jewelry I'd had him clean wasn't of a large enough diameter for my nipple and that I'd probably want a straight barbell to promote good healing; so I agreed. (Which has turned out to be a good decision -- I got an internally threaded barbell, yay! I'll never go back to externally threaded if I can help it.) He explained that because of the size of my breasts and the orientation of my nipple, especially on the left side (I'm a little uneven) the type of jewelry I was wearing was prone to migrate out just as mine had because the bra cup puts pressure on the top of the nipple and the upper half of the areola, pushing up, while the jewelry is being tugged down at the same time. This coupled with the fact that I was pierced too shallowly in the first place is what caused my piercing to migrate out. He said that the right nipple piercing, though, is doing well.
Also, he noticed that the initial left piercing and the scar tissue
from it's migrating and healing had caused my nipple to become a little deformed, almost shaped like a solid figure 8. He said that he was going to do his best to bring that back to normal shape and that he'd be piercing behind the scar tissue left by the other ring, both because that would put the piercing in the right area and so that the scar tissue would help the piercing to keep from migrating. Once again, I was impressed. He put the clamps on slowly, letting them close all the way and then tugging a little to get the marks lined up -- ouch! I started circular breathing. Once the clamps were lined up, Brian changed gloves again, lubricated the needle and the jewelry both very liberally, (this impressed the hell out of me, Dusty hadn't ever lubricated the jewelry and I was about to find out how much more comfortable the piercing process is when the needle and jewelry are lubed,) and asked me to take a deep breath. He told me to exhale, and as I did, he shoved the needle through.
There was a very sharp pinch, sharper than the first time, but I'd expected that because of the scar tissue left behind. I felt him remove the receiving cork and then accidentally drop it (it bounced off my hip and landed on the table. He threw it away, of course.) He made sure the jewelry was lubricated and then pushed the needle out with it. The jewelry insertion process was so smooth because of the lubrication that I didn't feel it. There was also no tugging or twisting to remove the forceps, thank god.
He spent another 15 minutes cleaning me and simultaneousy explaining
aftercare. He made sure I was happy with the piercing (I was, of course, though I've long since gotten so used to piercing that I no longer get a massive endorphin rush,) and had one of his colleagues come in to see it. I was congratulated all around and then I left, heading for home and Alleve. I stopped by the store to get some cleaning soap; Brian recommended Softsoap, Antibacterial formula, active ingredient: trichlorosan. It's very gentle and much easier to use than bar soap in the shower, that's for sure.
The piercing is 4 days old, still aches a little, but is doing quite
well. There's a little swelling but the nipple's shape is back to normal, nicely rounded, and it looks incredible! I'm very pleased with Saint Tattoo and will go back for both ink and piercing; I'm contemplating a genital pierce but I'm not sure which one yet!
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Copyright: Gaea Rising, 1999. Permission granted to BME for online publishing only on the BME website. All Other Rights Reserved.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Feb. 1999
in Nipple Piercing