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Bosom Companions

On the evening of the full moon in January '05 I got my nipples pierced along with my roommate Alicia and our friend Kate. I had been thinking of piercing my nipples since the summer but I am highly body conscious. My (recently ex)boyfriend had his nipple pierced and offered to do it to me—but I didn't know how much it would hurt and he's not a piercer so I'd declined on that offer. I figured that it was just going to be one of the many things that I had wanted to do but hadn't the courage.

Alicia and I were sitting in our dorm room the night when our friend Kate IM'd Alicia asking if she wanted to go with her to get her nipples pierced—she needed someone to hold her hand. I of course had to come and see it done. Alicia knew that I had wanted holes in my nips for a while now and started trying to get me to get them done but I purposely left my wallet at the room—I refused to make it an impulse action. When Kate, Alicia, and I met up to walk across campus to the piercing/tattoo parlor Kate started trying to get Alicia and I to get something pierced as well. Alicia said no until she saw the moon "O my gosh, it's a full moon, of course I have to do it now!!" She is a flighty nutcase but that's why we all love her. She wanted her belly button or her nipples but chose nipples to match Kate. Now it was two against one, both of them started badgering me to get mine done but I maintained that I wouldn't with the added defense of having no credit card with me.

We went to "Artkore Tattoo and Body Piercing" in downtown Normal. The girls hadn't known where to go but I pass by the place every day on my walk to work. It's always very clean: no smoking, no animals, no carpet ect. and I had heard good things about their tattoo work from a fellow art student. Kate filled out her information and gave her ID to the desk attendant. Leon, the piercing specialist came to the front and called for Kate, he allowed me to come back to his studio to watch. It is spacious, clean, well lit and comfortable. He has framed pictures of him piercing a guy for suspension which are really very interesting to look at. Everything went very smoothly, Kate flinched only a little and really didn't need to hold my hand after all. When Kate was done we went back to the lobby while Leon cleaned up. Alicia submitted her paperwork and both Kate and I went back to see her get hers done. Alicia's went just as well. She got CBRs while Kate got horseshoe shaped piercings with cone points at the tips. Again we all went to the lobby and Alicia and Kate demanded that I get them done. "Come on Crystal, when else is something like this going to happen?" Alicia whipped out her credit card and said I had no excuse. This night would forever mark our bond as "bosom companions". With them to back me up it didn't take much urging to get me to start filling out the paperwork—really my biggest concern was my body consciousness but Leon is really a very sweet guy and takes the time to talk to you. He explains every process, shows you what he's using and what its going to feel like. He answered all my questions and I really feel like he cares for the people he is working on. Besides, how can you resist an attractive guy who calls you "honey bunny"? Mind you, I imagine that he only graces the females with that...sorry boys.

It was my turn finally. I hopped up on the piercing table and took off my shirt and bra while Leon opened all the packages in front of me. This was the first time since my adolescent strip-mall earlobe gun piercings that I was to voluntarily pay to be poked. Those healed over long ago so my nipples were the first piercings in my adult body. I must say that the needles were intimidating. I suppose it is because they are hollow and thusly look bigger. Leon said that they were thinner than the needles that you give blood with. I don't know if it's true or not but it put me more at ease. The forceps didn't hurt at all though I had heard from some people that it's the worse thing of the entire process.

"Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in and hooooooold it, breathe out." The piercing with the needle took probably 3 seconds but I must say that it feels like forever for it to pop out the other side. The switching of the needle for the CBR didn't hurt and then all there was needed was to close the ring around the bead. The other nipple obviously didn't come as quite the same shock as the first one had—now that I knew what to expect. Leon closed the ring and cleaned the areas and left to let me get my shirt back on. He came back with his piercing care sheet and went over it, encouraging any questions. It says what to do with the piercing and what not to do with it. It also gives his number so that if I had any further questions I could ask over the phone or I could come back. He also changes the jewelry for you, even stuff you didn't buy from Artkore.

My nipple piercings are healing well, I've been following my care sheet (clean twice a day with original dial liquid antibacterial hand soap, remove crusties before rotating the soaped jewelry inside the body, don't leave the soap in the body longer than 30 seconds). The only rule I break is using the dorm's water...I don't make effort to devote months of distilled water to my tits. The only thing I suffered from was temporary dry skin around the holes—which I believe has more to do with the soap than the water as they were fine with the water before. With Leon's permission, I alternate a 10-minute sea salt soak between washings of dial soap in the shower. Salt soaks are on his aftercare sheet as an alternative to soap but he doesn't say to do them when he is telling you what to do verbally. I read here in BME that so many people praise them that I came back and asked him if I could do it. I imagine that he doesn't say to do salt soaks because of how many people think that stronger is better when really it can harm the healing process. He talked to me about exactly what formula to use to avoid ruining my piercing: ¼ teaspoon sea salt to one cup (8 oz) warmest water you are comfortable with. My roomie and I bought Dixie cups which are 6 oz and we figure that 2 ounces of space is given at the top to prevent spilling during the titty-pickling process so we eyeball about an 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt to what we reckon as 4 oz of water. It's the same amount of salt in the water so I can't imagine anything bad with altering the amount. I couldn't tell you which way is better, dial soap or sea salt since I used both. I just learned to judge what my nips wanted at the time. The 10 minute warm salt soaks are good for when they are feeling sore or tender and also to make tough crusties soggy and easy to remove with a q-tip. The shower is quicker but more rough so I reserved that for when I was in a hurry or they weren't sore.

If you haven't noticed, I am a big fan of Leon and his work. It is now the end of March, making the nipple piercings about 3 months old. After the nipples 14g ($65), I've gone back for a standard pair of earlobe piercings 14g ($35 I believe) an eyebrow 16g ($35) and a central bottom lip ring ($40) (I've been told it's called a "fairy kiss" by a friend but the only reference to one on BME is for a vertical labret—which I didn't get). All the piercings are CBRs. I'm planning on more in the lobes and some cartilage. 6 new holes in 3 months...I find both the piercing process and the visual result afterward addicting.

Leon has been doing piercing for years and knows his profession well. If you live anywhere near Normal, Illinois (home of Illinois State University)—I'd say that its well worth it to go get your piercing from Leon Battiste at Artkore on N. Main Street. You can find the shop's phone number by looking at www.yellowpages.com Call ahead and make sure to ask if he is in and when he plans to leave for the day so you don't miss him. Artkore itself is open 7 days a week till 9pm

My AIM is rhoedan and I'm always happy to chat. I'm usually invisible so just IM me and if I'm there I'll respond.

Or, send me an email: [email protected]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 April 2005
in Nipple Piercing

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Artist: Leon+Battiste
Studio: Artkore
Location: N.+Main+St.+in+Normal%2C+Illinois

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