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10ga to 2ga Ear Piercing

developed the habit a few years ago of getting pierced every time I went abroad to somewhere interesting. So while in San Francisco last summer (96) I decided it was time to get piercings that would actually be visible in everyday life. So I decided to take the plunge and start on stretching my lobes, something I'd wanted to do for ages. The problem was that I had practically no earlobes, my ears just continued around from the end of the cartilage to the neck - leaving only a few mm between the edge of my ear and the inter-tragal notch or the anti-tragus. But as they weren't pierced yet I assumed that a decent piercer would be able to position the piercing so as to allow for a decent amout of stretching - say half an inch or so.

As I was in San Francisco I decided to go to Nomad as I knew they were into stretching and the like. I was a bit surprised at the size of the shop - it's quite small - but the bloke behind the counter was nice and friendly so I decided to call back another day and get it done (for some reason I can't just walk into a shop and get stuff done, but always have to go in before to have a look and make sure the place feels nice - that way I stop myself doing stuff on impulse, at least that's the idea). About a week later I went back but this time there were different people behind the counter (Kristian and Eric if memory serves). I told them that I wanted to get my ears pierced, with the intention of later stretching to at least half an inch, but that I wasn't sure I could get away with it with the shape of my ears. So Eric takes a look at my ears and says he could put them in at 2ga. I said pardon and he said he could put them in at 2ga - piercing at 10ga and then immediately stretching to 2ga, healing with nice lightweight plugs. I'd seen an account of a similar procedure on BME a bit before so I new it could be done, and then they said that that's how they'd done Kristian's ears which looked grand so I thought to myself, sure all my ather piercings have been done the "normal" way - pierce at 14-10 ga and stretch gradually - so I might as well have something done a bit unusually, plus they were really nice with that trustable air about them which is impossible to pin down but has been common to all the piercers I've let shove stuff through me.

So Eric got the plugs asked if they were alright, which they were - nice plain black ones and lead me into the piercing area, bringing along as well a friend of his who wanted to watch (he did ask if that was alright which it was). Then he set up the stuff - needles and two insertion tapers - and marked the piercings, holding up a mirror so I could confirm the location was grand. Then the piercing started. Ouch. I'm serious - the pain was unbelievably excrutiating, I can't remember which bit hurt the most - presumably the last stretch but I couldn't say for certain. That left me a bit shaken so I asked Eric to hang on a bit before going for the other one. He said it was probably best to get it over with which I've found is almost always the case with these things so he went for it. I assume this one hurt as much as the other but I can't actually remember. Then I was shown my new ears in the mirror but was too wobbly to be really chuffed about them for a few hours. There was a really nice mellow I'm guessing it was an endorphin buzz for those hours where I walked home feeling, well if we're honest, feeling nicely stoned - a pretty groovy side-effect from piercing if you ask me. If you're in San Francisco I'd have no hesitation in recommending Nomad, the people that work there are really nice and their work also turns out well.

However, before that you have to heal the piercings, and that's where the fun really stops. Because when the endorphins wore out I realised that my ears were very sore, throbbing if you will. They actually throbbed for about three days during which time I managed to learn both how to sleep with my hand cupped around my ear and also how to give ear-piercings a salt-water soak and bear the comments that inevitably follow from sitting at a kitchen table with your head twisted so your ear will go into a glass of water. But I knew from past experience that once the pain stops it's just forgotten about whereas the new piercing won't be.

Anyway they healed fine and I started stretching - but now quite slowly. I used knitting needles until I got to 12mm, then a flesh tube for 13mm. But as I said I now went quite slowly, taking the best part of a year to go from 2ga to 13mm. I found the knitting needle method to be really good - you saw off about a half an inch and then sandpaper down the ends so they're nice and smooth, and you've got a handy insertion taper should the stretch not be easy - I found myself that I rarely needed the taper as I was waiting about 2 months between stretches, each time goin up 1mm. Now that I've gotten to just over half an inch the piercings look like I've got normal size lobes just with a half-inch hole punched out. The piercings were placed perfectly so as to allow for the stretching, and as I've never worn even vaguely heavy jewellery the hole hasn't been stretched in an oval manner but in a nice round manner. But the problem is that half an inch just doesn't seem that large anymore, so I'll probably start stretching again soon. But I'll probably stop before an inch. Probably.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Dec. 1997
in Ear Piercing

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