Two small steps down the road to acceptance
It was to be my first visible piercing. Seven years previously I'd got a PA, and I'd followed that eventually by paired nipples and a navel - but those at the time were my 'secret': nobody knew about them unless I chose to divulge the information.
Having at last confided in someone at work that I'd got a navel ring, it was, I suppose, only a matter of time before I expanded my horizons and thought about getting something visible. Although I'd thought about it now and again, I'll admit I wasn't too keen - after all, a 'respectable' middle-aged guy and ear-ring(s) don't quite go together. But, over a period of time, and with a little bit of encouragement, there we were on the train to Birmingham one day in late September for a fun day out shopping. Should I go for a single ear piercing, or get them both done? I'd been wondering indecisively and still hadn't come to a conclusion. We sat drinking coffee in the shopping centre (mall) waiting for the piercers' to open. One or both - I just couldn't make up my mind. We ended up tossing a coin....heads or tails?... Best of three? .....
At opening time, my friend went first and got her lobes stretched. Now it was my turn. I confessed I still hadn't decided whether to have just one or a pair, but in I went, only to discover that it was the 'gun/stud' room. Aargh, no, I want it done 'properly' with a needle and a ring, I said. No problem - I was ushered into the room next door and with minimal fuss and performance the deed was soon done. A visual sizing-up for placement, and all I felt was just a sharp prick - nothing spectacular. A small but reasonably discreet CBR was inserted and I emerged back into the waiting room to take a proper look. Oh dear - It looked pathetic on its own!
At this point we confessed my 'inexperience' to the piercer. He asked me what I did for a living: when we told him I worked in a library he then revealed that he'd done lots of other very visible piercings for a local Birmingham librarian - if anyone says anything, he just screams 'sex discrimination', apparently. He added that, having had both lobes pierced many years ago himself, if anyone quarrelled with it, he just told them: 'Sod off'. To me, that sounded reasonable enough, so back we went to make it a matching pair, with me casting the blame for my indecision rather unfairly on my friend from work! The right-hand lobe was a little more tricky, requiring a lot of visual to-and-fro checking to make sure of a matching placement, as well as two attempts to pierce it, as the the ring wouldn't follow through the first time, so it was a little bit sore, but by no means unbearable. There was very little blood - just a few spots.
I paid up, collected the little bottle of aftercare lotion, and we hit the shops! As we went round that afternoon, I found myself looking rather insanely in every mirror or reflective surface that I passed, checking that my new ear-rings were still in place and looking good. My first real moment of doubt came as I was walking back from the station that evening: I was acutely conscious of my fresh ear piercings, and I felt sure I'd get some sarcastic comment or other. Feeling very self-conscious, I passed a group of teenage lads on the way home, but to my surprise and relief there was not so much as a murmur: perhaps I'd worried unnecessarily.And now, two years on, I can hardly believe how over-cautious I was back then. Although my right ear took slightly longer to heal than the left, presumably because of the second attempt at it, I used the after-care lotion twice daily for about three weeks, and had no problems at all. I'd taken a couple of weeks off work initially, so that by the time I went back I felt self-confident enough to field any comments or remarks about my new piercings. For the most part, though, they've passed without much 'official' reaction - amongst the rest of the staff at least; occasionally a customer will remark on them, but it's almost always in a positive way.
After I'd had them about a year, I began to think about stretching them. I didn't really have a definite goal in view, other than maybe aspiring to some flesh tunnels eventually. I guessed (correctly) that if I progressed slowly and carefully nobody really would notice or comment, and that technique seems to have worked. In four separate stages I've moved gradually over a period of about a year up to a pair of 4mm rings - for the most part without any particular pain or discomfort. I've even acquired a cartilage ring and a tragus. Perhaps at last attitudes are changing!
submitted by: Don
on: 14 Jan. 2002
in Ear Piercing