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The "bolt" in the back of my neck...

January 29, 2007: The date of my first "real" piercing. Up until that day, only my ears and navel had been pierced. (Since everyone and their mother seem to have a navel piercing nowadays, it doesn't seem to count!) For some time now, I have been perusing the images and experiences on BME, trying to decide what fit me best. I didn't want a piercing that I would see coming and going, so-to-speak. After much debate (and some Photoshop experiments!) I finally decided on a nape piercing. I found them to be elegant and uncommon enough to not see one at every turn.

I have a back piece in progress at El Toro Inkhouse and, in fact, had my navel piercing performed there several years ago. I was therefore very familiar with the establishment and its clean, professional environment. Just to be certain however, I asked my tattoo artist if he thought the piercer there was good. With his positive endorsement, I gathered my courage and approached Josh, the piercer.

We chatted a bit about the nature of the piercing, the possible complications such as migration or rejection, and his experience with nape piercings in general. He quoted me a price of $85, including the jewelry I selected. It should be noted here that, by general consensus, a surface bar is the optimal (if not, ONLY) choice for this type of piercing. This is the part where I did NOT do enough research. I knew I wanted a surface bar, but I had never actually seen a picture of one. So, when Josh showed me two different-sized straight barbells I simply selected the length I wanted, without realizing that they were not actually surface bars.

Enough dicking around...time to get pierced! Josh was very thorough in explaining aftercare instructions, and did so prior to the actual piercing, when they are more likely to be remembered. He also explained that the piercing had to go deeper than other piercings because of the stress placed on the skin above it. He had me sit perfectly straight while he marked the entry and exit holes, and had me approve them before we continued. For the actual piercing, I lay flat on my stomach. He clamped the skin, and told me to take a deep breath. The clamps were apparently not to his satisfaction, so he re-clamped them. Because of the re-clamp, I thought he was still clamping but the needle was already through! He put the jewelry in, and there was little to no pressure. He asked if I was doing okay, but I was in such shock from how little it hurt that I think I barely mumbled a surprised, "Yes!"

Piercing finished, I hopped up from the table to check out my new adornment. I was ecstatic. It was exactly as I pictured it! It was (of course) a bit pink and swollen, but even after the initial adrenaline wore off still relatively painless. Extremely giddy and grinning like a crazed monkey, I ran back to show my tattooist. He shook his head and grinned at me, but I hardly registered his reaction before I was back at the mirror staring at my neck. I'm sure they must have laughed at me after I left the shop!

At approximately three weeks later, I am continuing to heal well. Josh has been monitoring the piercing on a weekly basis, since I am frequently in the shop having my back piece worked on. There was a brief rejection scare because he thought it looked a bit crooked, but after (obsessive) monitoring it turned out to just be a positioning thing. I'm obviously not out of the woods yet regarding rejection, but my body appears to be accepting it well. There has been very few "crusties" and no oozing/pus. As far as aftercare, I have been washing it daily with antibacterial soap and keeping my hair up and off my neck at all times! I have also been changing my pillowcases frequently and, per Josh's recommendation, not altering the hair products I use. He said that for some reason, switching shampoo and/or conditioner tends to irritate the piercing. Other than that, I have been just leaving it the hell alone- despite my frequent urges to fiddle with it!

I am very satisfied with this piercing, and the entire process surrounding it. El Toro Inkhouse is an amazing, clean, professional studio full of talented artists of both the ink & piercing type! As far as the types of reactions I have received thus far: some people like it, some people are grossed out, almost all are surprised or amazed. My mom has taken to referring to it as "the bolt in my neck" and my little brother calls me "Frankenstein", but I thankfully don't live with them. During a couple of tattoo sittings, I have had large, tattooed men say "Ouch!" or ask in amazement what I did to my neck and why. I just smile because I know how "special" this piercing is, and no matter what anyone thinks, I LOVE IT!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Feb. 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Josh%2C
Studio: El+Toro+Inkhouse
Location: Lake+Forest%2C+CA%2C+USA

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