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First Foray into Surface Piercing- My Nape

It seems like every piercing I've gotten began with the thought, "Now that's something I would never get." When I was 16, I thought a tragus piercing looked unattractive and pointless. The day I turned 18, I got my tragus pierced. And so it went with other piercings; septum, etc. Perhaps my immediate distaste for certain piercings plants the idea deep into my head and it festers there until I think, "What is it about that that bothers me so much?" And all the thinking develops into a fascination until, ultimately, I have to have it.

And so it went with my nape.

I don't recall the first time I saw a nape piercing, but I do remember watching a documentary where a girl got her nape pierced. The entire process was filmed, at my shop no less, and by my piercer, and I still thought, "Nope, too intense."

It had been a while since my last piercing, almost a year, and I had that itch. I was somewhat limited in my options though because of my mod-hating family. I knew I'd have to get something I could hide easily. I hate healing cartilage piercings, didn't want my nipples done...what else is there that's easy to hide? So I brought up to my piercer the idea of getting my nape done. Surprise, surprise....he was all for it. I didn't make an appointment, I told him I'd just drop in a couple of weeks.

When I went into the shop a couple of weeks later, my piercer, Sque3z, was busy helping someone else, so I talked to Tyler about the day's work. I told him I wanted to get my nape done, so he measured the spot on the back of my neck to see what size jewelry I'd need. Unfortunately, they didn't have a surface bar in stock that would be the right length and rise for me. I was presented with two options: a. have the right size bar ordered and wait to have it pierced another day, or b. have it pierced with tygon jewelry instead of metal.

Wait? Please. I chose tygon.

I'd heard some horror stories about tygon and expressed my wee bit of concern to Tyler and Stephen, but they assured me that so long as I swapped it out for a new piece of tygon (or metal when it came in stock) every 6-9 weeks or so that it shouldn't be a problem. I also heal pretty well in general, so I figured I'd take my chances.

We went into the little back room and Tyler spent what must have been ten minutes marking and measuring me. He made sure everything was symmetrical and had me twist my head around in every possible direction to make sure the placement of the jewelry would be right. After every mark, I was to look every which way until he was sure everything was perfect. Finally, I sat down in the chair, and we got down to business.

Tyler walked me through some deep breaths. I tend to clam up at the moment of truth and not realize it. At this point, Stephen became the mama cat, and I his kitten, as he gathered the scruff of my neck and I expected to be lifted right off my seat. Stephen was responsible for holding my neck roll steady as Tyler placed the tip of the needle against the entry hole mark. I know Tyler was talking to me, explaining step by step what would happen, but all I heard was what sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher and my own heart pounding in my throat. I was about to have a needle jammed into the back of my neck! Why, if it weren't for the scent of patchouli and sweat, I wouldn't have even known Tyler was there.

After my third of three very deep breaths, the needle went in. The needle went in very quickly and, surprisingly, painlessly. I could definitely feel something going on back there—there was pressure and I could feel the needle running through—but it didn't hurt. Stephen explained that that area isn't very high in nerve endings. If it makes sense, this piercing was the least painful but most uncomfortable of any I've had. Perhaps the discomfort only came from being descended upon by two large men in masks tugging and squeezing in tandem at my neck meat.

Tyler had cut a piece of tygon to the length I needed, and he slid it through and screwed on the ball ends. He cleaned up the small amount of blood, told me to "hit it with hot water in the shower, as hot as you can stand," and the boys sent me on my way with a hug and a high five.

For a couple of weeks, it seemed like everything I put on would get caught on the jewelry and I was scared to sleep in certain positions lest it get irritated or infected. But aside from being pink and sensitive, nothing really ever went wrong with it.

Since I never call or make appointments before I drop in, it took a while before they happened to have a surface bar in my size sitting around when I wandered into the shop. I ended up just having and swapping tygon for about seven months. I can honestly say I never had any problem with the tygon. The piercing got a little weepy and tender when I knew I was overdue for a new piece of tygon, but other than that, no issues.

I've had the piercing for well over a year now, and it's definitely my favorite piercing.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 June 2008
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Tyler+Floren%2C+with+Stephen+DeToma
Studio: Anomaly
Location: Pasadena%2C+Ca

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