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feeding the addiction...(nipples and nape)

y most recent bout of piercing included two 8 gauge nipples and a 10 gauge nape. I live in a small town in the middle of the bible belt and travel to a minor city half an hour away to get pierced. I've made this journey once a month for the past six months or so, twice a month if I'm not particularly impoverished. My piercer has taken a fondness to me, as I usually request at least one fun piercing while I'm there, and he gets to do something he hasn't done in a while. He even knows me well enough to have discovered one of my main weaknesses; ask me, "Tammy--want to get _ pierced?" and I'll almost always say yes, as long as it doesn't violate my below the belt rule, or seem too extreme.

The nape was suggested when I was there supporting a friend who was getting her first piercing, a normal 14 gauge navel ring. I wasn't there to get pierced, but ended up with a 4 gauge conch that had been on my list of piercings to get done for an adequate amount of time. Kevin, my piercer, brought up a nape. Just a suggestion really, as we were looking through the container of "fun" jewelry and came across the long barbells, and at that time I demurred, thinking it a bit much to do on the spur of the moment, but the idea had been planted in fertile ground.

A few weeks later, another friend decided to get her nipples pierced, and asked me to come, and since I'd been wanting mine done for a few months, I thought I'd get them as well. So I called Kevin about two weeks before the day my friend and I had set aside, in part to set the appointment and in part to discuss what gauge I should go with and have the ring verses barbell discussion. We decided on 8 gauge barbells since I was planning on wearing a bra during healing, and I like the aesthetic of barbells. After that was decided, I told him I was also going to go ahead and get the nape done that day as well. I thought the whoop of joy he made a little much but figured he'd calm down before the time to pierce actually came.

(Fast forward two weeks)

I had the night off from work, since I thought it might be beneficial to have some time to get used to my new piercings undistracted and I work in a restaurant that's fairly crawling with bacteria, which isn't something I really wanted to expose new piercings to. I made the rounds and collected all the people that would be coming. Mariah, who had decided to get just her left nipple pierced, TJ, who came on a whim, and Christie, my best friend and fellow piercing addict. Then it was back to my family's house for a hearty lunch, to keep from passing out. This was awkward as my parents have asked that I not get anymore piercings, and I always feel a twinge of guilt around them before getting one done, but it wasn't enough that I decided not to get it done (addiction beats out conscience once again).

We left about 1:20 for a 2 o'clock appointment, and arrived at the shop about five minutes early. (There was only one rough moment in the car when what I was about to do hit me and the excitement almost made me have to pull to the side of the road.) The chick at the desk recognized me, and just waved me on up the stairs with the brief comment Kevin was with someone but would be out shortly, so we went to the second floor. Swirling designs on the stairway greeted me as well as the tuxedo clad pink flamingos just outside the piercing room, and I started get excited again. Everyone else sat on the bench and I took the floor, knees to my chest trying to regulate my breathing… They discussed the order in which we would be pierced: my nipples, Mariah's nipple, my nape. I mellowed and realized I didn't have anything to pull my hair back with, so they sat me down on the bench and braided my relatively long hair into two thick indian-style braids and then winding them together and fastening them well above my neck, leaving my nape cleanly exposed.

About the time we finished, so did Kevin, and he opened the door and

gestured us in, while going over the aftercare with the woman he'd just finished with. He'd gotten a new piercing chair, this one larger and more cushioned than the last one, which turned out to be advantageous. Kevin walked the woman out and came back in; he passed out the consent forms and we spent the next few minutes catching up and filling out papers. We told him the order we wanted to go in, and he reluctantly agreed, he'd wanted the nape to go first.

So I sat down in the chair and removed some clothing, while Kevin readied everything. He'd just run out of 8 gauge needles and I had the option of piercing at a ten gauge and then using an 8 gauge insertion taper, or piercing at a 6 gauge. Fearing excessive scar tissue and not minding the extra bit of pain, I decided on the 10 gauge needle and the slight stretch.

He showed me all of the equipment and explained what would happen. He showed me the barbells, which he made himself, with a lovely smooth tapered edge and internal threading. He got me to stand up, swabbed the breast with Betadine and started marking placement, which took a seeming eternity (five minutes) since I thoroughly enjoy being clothed and this topless thing wasn't particularly enjoyable. So he marks them and checks them, gets everyone else's opinions, and I get to sit back down. He reclines the chair, changes gloves, cleans me again, and pierces my left nipple and does the stretch, inserts the jewelry, and all is well, an 8 gauge looks huge going through my nipple. He spins the chair around, luckily, I'm not given to dizziness, and asks me if I'm okay, and I am. He gets the second needle of the day and pierces the right breast, which hurt as much as any non-cartilage piercing I've ever gotten, the stretch and the insertion of the jewelry are actually quite pleasant in comparison. The only problem is that the piercing itself made the breast hyper sensitive, and every time he touches it to do something else it jumps, literally, which made the jewelry insertion a bit rough. That done he escorts me to the mirror to check them out and I love them, yeh! So I button up my shirt and tuck my bra in someone's pocket book, walking without a bra with hyper sensitive nipples is fun to say the least. Mariah gets pierced, and it's my turn again. He asks me if I'm ready and checks both Mariah and I for signs of passing out, I tell him I'm fine and it begins again.

Kevin brings out the supplies for the nape, and we discuss my positioning for the piercing, and I realize why he wanted to do the nape first; I'd be lying down. But we recline the chair when I'm not in it and he shows me the deep groove between the back and the seat where I can rest my breasts with minimal pressure. So I lay down on the chair, with a stool supporting my feet where they hang off and it is surprisingly comfortable. My face is buried in a chair back and I can't see a thing that is going on but there's enough dialogue going on that I have at least a faint idea of what is happening. I'm cleaned, marked, checked, cleaned and Kevin tells me he's about to start. I feel the needle go in, and it is a long slow slide from there from my perspective. On the other side it is a bit more involved, the skin on the back of my neck had suffered an allergic reaction to hair dye about a week before the pierce, and it was somewhat tougher than normal, making it pretty hard for Kevin to pierce. The needle actually gouged out a chunk of his thumb due to the force being applied, so halfway through he has to stop and change gloves and do an assortment of other cleaning things I'm only peripherally aware of. He ended up having to use a brace of some sort to get it through, so it was tough for him, but rather easy for me. So we were finished and he went over aftercare and decided I'd have to downsize the bar in a few weeks, I've currently overdue for that, but I'm just more comfortable with ample room for lymph drainage just in case… And I went downstairs with everyone else, and browsed the shop there while Kevin took his first break of the day and tended to his thumb. Another one of his often returning customers came in and Kevin showed me off a bit, being proud of his work and a bit of a braggart. He made me stay there for a while and promise I wouldn't be the one driving for the next few hours, due to the trauma he'd inflected upon me and its potential to impair some of the body's perceptions. And so we left an hour or so after arriving, thoroughly pleased with the day's events.

It has been two and a half weeks and everything is well, I'm healing somewhat homeopathically and somewhat scientifically. My only problem is wanting a spinal next and needing access to the mildly extreme side of BME to glean what information I can, causing me to write this article and pray Shannon deems it worthy.

tammy austin taustin@clemson.edu

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 March 1999
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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