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A Surface Bar Corset, nearly a year old.

I thought that now would perhaps be a good time to do a mini-update on my corset piercing, and so there is the back story, the link for the '2 months on' experience is: A Surface Bar Corset - 2 Months On

So, at the end of that experience it was early August 2006. Now it is May 2007 and the piercings will be a year old in almost exactly a month. August last year I was trying to work out how best to clean 4 surface piercings that were still healing at a festival. Rather than using boiled water (trying to locate a clean enough pan that wasn't covered in dried noodles would have been a challenge in itself!) and salt, we decided to use tea tree oil and cotton buds with regular tightening of the balls. My boyfriend and I got though it okay, giving them a very good clean once we got back from the festival.

By that time, the thing I remember most about how they felt was the itching. Sometimes it would be really intense, and so instead of using sea salt and water for the now occasional cleaning, we would use plain boiled water. The salt was drying out my skin badly and with the eight balls on my back, applying moisturiser isn't the easiest task.

Two months in to starting art college, we were due to go on a trip to London. My poor friend Charlotte, who finds my corset 'a bit weird' is my best girl pal at college and so was elected to be the maintainer of my corset for the few days. Luckily, this involved no cleaning, but after various incidents with loose beads and them falling off in random places, her task was to tighten them. She insisted on wearing nitrile gloves (we have a ready supply in our house) because she was a bit grossed out and I'm obsessive-compulsive about germs (especially on hands) The man that could see us opposite our window must have thought we were very strange! She said that doing it wasn't as horrible as she thought till during tightening she managed to get a small crustie on her gloves! Because I didn't have any cleaning equipment with me (I only trust Leo and my parents to do it because they can be extremely difficult to screw on) I soaked my back in the shower to loosen any more up and used one of my towels from home to dry them.

Since then, having them has been like little lumps on my back that are smooth, hard and don't hurt! The only downside is that I haven't had much chance to show them off in winter. In the summer, I managed to confuse some of my Czech friend's pals on a trip to Prague, and cause a woman in a shop in Great Yarmouth to ask if it is glued on.

At the beginning of March I had four microdermals placed parallel to my collarbones. I had them done at the same place I had my corset done, Holier Than Thou. This gave me a chance to show them their good work from last year and they seemed impressed by how well they had healed. It was good to get the opinion of someone who knows exactly what they are talking about! One of the oddest things about the feel of the corset is that they seem to move in my skin...almost too easily! The bars can be felt under my skin and if moved, they give me the sensation that the bars are tilting. The balls have made little indentations in my back, but my boyfriend says these are just temporary dimples from where lying on my back has caused the balls to press in. My boyfriend has also told me that when he takes the balls off (which are difficult to get off now after Charlotte did them, like she used a bolt tightener!!!) the skin around the post looks like normal skin, rather than the purpleish tinge it used to have when it was healing.

Sometimes I feel slightly embarrassed to 'have them out' (as I say!) in public. I feel the same about my new microdermals. I know people point and stare and ask questions and I get nervous about it. Sometimes I get asked if because of my corset piercing, do I have lots of genital piercings, which is such a personal and ridiculous question I never answer it. During the summer, the only time of year when the Great British climates gives us enough sun to actually bare our shoulders and backs, I feel embarrassed wearing tops with bare backs or collarbones, because of what people might say. I know, because people have told me as such, that I must have got this piercing because I'm a little attention seeker who did it purely for shock value. Very few people seem to understand that I did it because I love the aesthetic. Nor am I a self-harmer looking for ways to experience pain. I hate the pain of modifications! I'm fed up with being judged by people in this way, and I know it is my own fault for choosing to do things that people find unacceptable. But I think I've got the confidence now to be past caring. If people think I'm an attention seeker, fine. I'm just wearing summer clothes like everyone else.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 May 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Marcus
Studio: Holier+Than+Thou
Location: Manchester

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