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Calf piercings - here to stay!

Prelude

It was a week after I'd gotten my madison. I was talking to a friend about that, and she asked what I would be getting next. I hadn't really given it much thought yet, but I replied with a few ideas anyways. Clavicles, probably. Microdermal at finger, possibly. Industrial for my right ear, maybe. In an afterthought I added surfaces 'here' while tapping my calves. She laughed a bit, told me I was nutz, and conversation went elsewhere. Eventually, we said goodbye. On my way home I could not stop mulling over that damned next piercing.

Initially, the calf idea had come from seeing a picture of 2 perfect calves tattooed with 2 single...oh what's the English word. One ties them around gifts already wrapped in paper to make them look even nicer. Strikjes. Those strikje tattoos looked so incredibly funny and feminine I considered forsaking my body suit idea just to get them. The fancy passed, but the effect of the placing of them never left my mind again. They had been at a third of the distance between kneejoint and foot, right on top of the curve every calf will have.

In the weeks that followed, I did a lot of thinking on facial piercings. I decided that no, I would not want to chance to have to take them out upon leaving university. I poked around at my chest in front of a mirror, and found that most places I liked for surface work there would either have my bra over them, or be made of quite a thin skin. I didn't like the feel of my madison much at that time, so clavicles were off as well. Microdermals are not yet really available where I live.

I started considering my calves seriously. I poked at them. Thick, but supple skin. Plenty of underlying tissue. Nice bodypart altogether. I don't modify parts of my body that I'm not happy with, heh. I went over the practical side of things. Would I be able to care for them myself? Check. Would any clothing be rubbing over them? Yes, my pants. Autumn had been particularly mild so far, but it was not supposed to stay like that so skirts really were not an option. I figured I'd just walk with my legs bared at home as much as possible during healing. Would I have time to make the trip to the piercing studio should anything go wrong? Check. Mind made up, I went online and went trough the BME Surface/Unusual experiences list for experiences from people that had done and kept this type of piercing.

I found none. It made me want them all the more. While my primary drive for getting pierced is their beauty enhancing, making myself stand out as an individual is an important second. It also scared me a little. I wondered why 'nobody' would get their calves pierced. Could it be dangerous? I shrugged that off, and started pondering on when I was going to get them. It would turn out to be two months after I'd gotten my madison.

Getting the bars in...

It was at the start of a week off from university that I made the trip to Alkmaar. I walked into the street the shop is at, and found Suzan smoking outside. I told her I was here for calf surfaces. "Calf surfaces? Why in the world would you want to get calf surfaces?" Unlike anyone else I had told about my plans so far, she was saying this jokingly. That took some tension out of me I hadn't known I had built up. I don't mind answering curiosity, but sometimes questions can be framed in a way they feel like accusations. I guess I had come to expect to have to argue about wanting it done.

She finished her smoke; I filled out the mandatory form. She put on the dots; I approved and lied down. Lying on my stomach allowed me to really relax for a few moments. Nerves had popped up during the marking, and I focussed on my breathing to keep them under control. Suzan cleaned the areas that were to be pierced, and then proceeded to try and grab the skin with a clamp. She couldn't get a steady hold because the skin was too thick, so told me she would pierce me freehand. A little voice at the back of my mind wondered what the difference between freehand and clamped piercing was, but since it couldn't get over the roar of "Breathe in, breathe out" the command to formulate the question never arrived at my lips. It was answered within moments anyways. The pain was more evened out. The pinchy feel of the needle entering wasn't there, nor the nasty poppy feel of it exiting. It all did last somewhat longer, but I kept focussing on my breathing so it wasn't that bad. Suzan said as much, and upon answering her my nerves won again. I started babbling, repeating stuff I had said earlier and talking so fast you couldn't have pitched in unless you cut me off midsentence. I think I got to saying "...no didn't hurt at all that much please go on with the next whenever you're ready really I'm fine..." 3 times before Suzan was convinced she could go on and pierce my right calf too. I was still rambling when the needle went through, and needless to say, it hurt a lot more. However, if Suzan had waited untill I was calm n reasonable again, she would have had to wait a long long time. I'm still proud of myself. I'm getting better at controlling my nerves each piercing I get. This time, I walked into the shop fairly relaxed, and I didn't do the silly babbling thing before the first needle went in. Go me :P

Anyways. It was done. I moved off the table a bit awkwardly, putting my right leg on the floor first as straight as possible, gingerly putting more pressure on it. My calves were feeling sore, and a part of my mind was expecting fierce pain as soon as I attempted to put my legs to use again. I walked a few steps. It wasn't exactly fierce, but there would be a definitely unpleasant sting whenever I did not walk penguin style. Everyting was still in working order, though. That confirmed, I checked out my latest additions by turning backwards. You know that giggle jolt you get when someone tickles you? That's what my fresh calf piercings did to me. I laughed and hopped around. I wanted to hug Suzan, and I'm really not that outgoing a person. They were so adorable! So cute! So perfect!

Suzan taped gauze over them to prevent my pants causing an infection immediately. I paid, and left the shop with the biggest grin ever. Halfway to the railway station, I started to feel woozy. With my previous piercings, this woozyness had come up while I was still in the shop. I guess getting two piercings done right after another postpones it. I sat down ever so delicately and ate half a bar of my favorite chocolate. It solved the woozyness within minutes, and I continued my merry little penguin walk home.

Healing

I expected my calf piercings to heal pretty much like the ones in my wrists had, only slower. That assumption proved to be both true and false.

The stingy feel that made me walk like a penguin took 2 days to wear off. That's including a really painful experience on my way home from the shop. It involved getting up from a bench while the train was still negotiating its way over the various tracks in order to get to the right platform to dislodge its passengers. Maybe that rough bumping was what caused the bruises to get so big. I had been expecting them, but 4 inches in diameter (the right calf at its worst) did seem a bit large to me, given the size of the piercing itself (half an inch). What I really fretted about was the swellings they caused. Especially the right calf would seem to absorb the balls of the piercing. I ended up paying Suzan another visit a week after getting pierced just to be reassured about them. Three days later, they had calmed down to a point there would be no dents visible in my skin anymore. It was then that I could finally start pushing the jewelry around a bit.

Crusties I've had for a month. The first week, they were bloody; after that, it was only plasma. Never pick your scabs. I did, and ended up with a slight limp for a few days during the first week of the healing. Apparently, I had damaged some tissue. Don't be lazy like me. Always soak your crusties first, and then gently rub them off.

The one thing that really has been a bugger is keeping the piercings from getting too seriously infected. I knew that would be hard, given the fact my pants would be flapping their bacteria at them on a daily basis. Sure enough, as soon as two days after the piercing, red edges would pop up around the holes. I don't mind redness. As the days went by, they went from soft pinkish red to angry red. They also got really painful. I did mind that, so I took Aleve Feminax for two days. It's a painkiller which will combat infections too. I don't like taking pills, but these work really well, and I felt I didn't have much of a choice. My aftercare had consisted of taking my daily shower and afterwards wiping off whatever would surround the holes and come off. It had been enough for my wrists, and it would have been enough for my calves if I had just been able to wear skirts. Either way, when the first redness came up, I started spraying Calendulan spray on them. That didn't help much, and since I had long days away from home, the redness got worse. The worlds most suggested remedy against angry piercings, salt soaks, never works for me. I can't seem to get the right mixture of salt and water. So in came the pills, and together with a day of walking bare legged, that worst 'crisis' was averted. They have had a few flare ups since, always after I have gone on for days n days without sufficient airing. Nothing worth taking Aleve over, though.

My wrists started itching badly after ten days or so. My calves took 18 days to get there, and when they did, the itch was barely noticeable. So yeah, they heal slowly. It's been five weeks now, and I still have a ways to go, but so far so good.

Reactions

Be it asked with a grin or a frown, the universal response to these piercings has been: "Why the hell would you want to get pierced there??" What these heathens can't see is the beauty of the Calf, let alone the beauty of the Piercing. I can imagine they have a hard time believing though. Reddish edges amidst pale, hairy winter skin has made it hard to see past what is really there: utter cuteness. I should be able to start converting them in earnest upcoming spring. Can't wait :)

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Dec. 2006
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Suzan
Studio: Body+Sign
Location: Alkmaar%2C+the+Netherlands

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