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Surface piercing experiences

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I love knowing there is a thousand years of history backing up most of my modifications. That they did it first, under conditions that did not involve a triple beveled needle, an autoclave, or even a rudimentary knowledge of microorganisms, and they came out fine. I love knowing that in the right culture what is done to my body is considered sacred and a right of passage into adulthood, or at least a test of strength. I even love the fact I found BME when I was 16, years before I could legally be modified in my country, and I had to spend two years considering my body's potential before I was allowed to realize it. Year 18 has been the year recognized by American society as the one in which its youth evolve into adults, and has now become the one in which I undertook my comparatively minor rights of passage. The piercings I am going to discuss are not the ones seeped in years of history, in fact, to my knowledge, they have no anthropological roots.

I am not a masochist, I do not enjoy pain. That much I would like to state up front. In addition to that I would state, the surface to surface piercings I have experienced did not hurt.

In February of 1999 I had my first nape done, it was an amazing experience. Feeling the needle go in and the long, slow slide to the exit point was intense. I could feel my body resisting the point millimeter by millimeter, and knew the moment it broke the skin. It was a dull sensation, movement as opposed to pain.

My body acted as though the piercing had always been there, and healing the nape was easier than any piercing before it. I must confess, I showed that piercing off to the world, which is unusual for me. (I don't necessarily agree with American society, but at the same time I don't wish to alienate it.) I couldn't help it, I thought it was too amazing not to show off. Consider it my way of educating people out there of what can exist.

In March of 1999 I got a tattoo of a spinal piercing. Spinal piercings were my next planned piercing project, and constantly on my mind. It also serves to commemorate this period of my life, if I should ever need a reminder of it. The barbell is beautifully done as well as the shading along where the "bar" is in my body, but at a 2 gauge I doubt I'll ever match ink with steel.

In April of 1999 my piercer installed two spinal piercings. They were beautiful, one above and one below the spinal tattoo, approximately an inch apart. I bled for these, something I rarely do, but it had stopped by the time I arrived home(half an hour later). The next day the area was a little bruised and a little red, but the skin there is sensitive and I'd experienced the same reaction when I had the tattoo, and remained unworried. The bruising faded within the first two days, but the redness persisted. It felt like a sunburn and looked like rejection, but I prayed it was something else, something I could have some control over. I tried everything to keep them, I wore my pants inches away from them, and avoided sitting back in chairs, and any other advice anyone had to keep stress off of them, but to no avail. The next week my piercer confirmed my fears and told me they were rejecting, but that I could keep them in a little longer and see if it would stop half way if I wanted to. Week two was horrible, it offered me hopes as one piercing and then the other would fade to my natural skin color and appear to be stabilizing and then flair back up unexpectedly. My piercer told me I really should take them out and he'd repierce them at a later date. I decided to try to go another week. The third week was odd. The balls on the barbell were supposed to be above the skin, that's the way the jewelry was shaped, but at some point during the third week the skin around the exit and entrance points started to envelope the balls. At that point I gave up even my slim hope of retaining the piercings and took them out.

In May I healed. Allowing the abused tissue to settle back down. They turned into scars that flank the tattoo in a slightly darker brown than my half Asian heritage accounts for, creating an unexpectedly nice aesthetic. Two barbells sat waiting with my piercer in May, intended for my nape. But still a bit skittish with my first rejection still fresh in my mind, I allowed them to wait. I did however have a madison done. That was also the month I became an apprentice (after a year and twenty something piercings).

In June my madison became infected (a good reason why you should always remember to wash up after playing with your pets) and steps were taken to clear up the infection. Then, last week, infection fading and my confidence in my body's ability to heal once again restored, I opted for one of the barbells to be a nape and one to be a spinal. There was no bleeding, or redness, or soreness or pain, or any other indication modification occurred. I think they will stay.

I'll end my experiences there, brief though they are. If they reject I'll send in an update, if not then I'll leave it hanging unfinished with everyone free to believe I and my piercings lived happily ever after.

Before I finish I want to add in one little thank you to my piercer, Kevin Thomas, for freehanding all of my piercings and doing a damn good job of them.

Tammy Austin taustin@clemson.edu or Nox_fg@hotmail.com

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

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