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Pain in the Neck

So I'm not especially sure I can say why I wanted to get my nape pierced. I'm a fan of piercings, always have been, and have several myself now. But the nape was never one I thought I'd have done. After turning eighteen, though, the possibilities for new mods became endless (not counting all the ones illegal in Florida) and I realized that I could get this one. So one cold winter day (about sixty in Orlando) I decided to do it. I told a few people, but nobody had heard of it. My mom was one of those people, and when I explained it to her, all she could say was "no." But I said yes, and that was that so I headed to my favorite studio. My brother's friends were all shocked when I left.

The piercing itself was the first one I'd gotten totally alone. When I'm being pierced or tattooed, its generally in the company of my brother or friends, who regret their curiosity soon after. But for this one it was just me. I'd never even seen a surface piercing being performed, so I had no idea what to expect. I still haven't actually seen one done, so I can't explain how he did it too well. Let me just get this out of the way first: the most painful part of the experience was the wait while Pete measured and marked my neck, to be sure it was right. It took almost fifteen minutes of "move your head up, now down, now back up, now down again, now up one more time...." But then again, that's why I go to Pete.

I was more than ready for the needle when it was finally time. With a crowd of his friends and an apprentice watching, he performed the piercing. It took about two minutes from start to finish, from what I remember. Maybe I'm just desensitized to punctures now, but the pain was surprisingly minimal. It just felt exactly like what I had expected: one stab, needle sliding under my skin, second stab. It was no big deal, the only uncomfortable parts being the removal of the needle (which felt VERY weird) and when he bent the ends of the bar.

Those people watching asked me if I was alright, and how badly it hurt and all, but Pete answered for me, knowing I was fine. My rule is if something hurts, you'll hear about it. Otherwise I stay pretty calm during these things. The procedure wasn't finished yet though; its till had to be pocketed. This part did feel a bit odd, as he rolled the fresh bar into the skin on my neck. I could feel the steel making an indention and fitting in. He told me that I took the pocketing well, which is always a good thing to know.

I couldn't be happier with my nape. It's exactly what I hoped it would be. And I love seeing people's reactions to it (though I do get the "does that hurt?" a little too much). My mom ended up not hating it as much as she thought she would. I managed to hide it from my dad for a while too, until he spotted it kayaking one day. His eloquently worded question became one I've heard over and over again: "what the fuck is on your neck?"

Here's some advice if you're considering this piercing: don't mind people's comments. I say this because apparently when you have a piercing like this, everyone wants you to hear their opinions, which are often rude or just flat out mean. I've heard "that's disgusting," "oh my god, that's horrible," and (on a number of occasions) "I just want you to know, looking at your neck makes me feel sick." My general response is "fuck off," but this could bother a more socially minded person. You'll also get a LOT of questions about how it was done, and in general what it is. A surprising number of people assume the two ends of the bar are two individual piercings.

Alas, fear not! If that last paragraph scared you, then keep in mind you'll also get a lot of positive responses, people who are genuinely curious about it, and people who'll want to meet you. I've met new friends when they asked me about it. You'll also meet more cool BME people, like I did recently, and that's always a good thing.

In the end, though, other people's opinions don't mean a thing if you really like your piercing. I love mine, and I think getting it was a great experience. Most people will never have the sensation of a bar sliding under the skin on the back of their neck, much less want to. All I can say is they're missing out.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 April 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Pete
Studio: Inkredible+Ink
Location: Orlando%2C+Florida

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