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Conch Stretching (a continuance of “My Bitchy Conches”)

Conch Stretching (a continuance of "My Bitchy Conches"):

In May of 2003, I was on vacation in Maine, where I am from and I was about to be driven to a bus station to leave southern Maine and head further north. My friend and I had some time to kill, so I asked him if there were any decent piercing shops around. I had just finished stretching my lobes and was contemplating getting my conches done and figured, since I had the money, I would get at least something pierced. He recommended Pins and Needles since they had a military discount (I had separated from the Navy only 2 weeks prior to that, so I still had a valid ID). So that was that.

I have already written about this part in the piercing experience, so I won't waste space by reliving all that nonsense; the rest is about the stretching.

I got them pierced at 14 gauge which, I admit, was a mistake. I knew I wanted to stretch them, but I didn't know how hard it would be, or how long it would take. As aforementioned, I was on vacation, so I didn't mess with them much during that time. The initial healing, as written about in "My Bitchy Conches" was, as you might guess, a bitch. I took nearly a year before I dared to do anything with them. By that time, I was working at a body jewelry kiosk at a mall shudders. Due to my job, I was able to get a lot of jewelry for cheap and do several things that I would have been able to afford otherwise. I acquired two 14 gauge barbells that were 2 inches long and had them bent to accommodate tragus-conch industrials. Of course, that is a whole different story of tragus rejection. Soon after that disaster, I did my first stretch. It was as simple as getting 2 12 gauges and slowly pushing them through. Barely any discomfort whatsoever and I didn't even feel anything after 2 days. Very shortly after that, I was kindly asked to look for another job, and I found one the next day at a local piercing shop; here is there the real fun begins.

It had been a year since the initial piercing and I had only stretched once. Now, however, I was in a full on piercing shop with much more at my disposal. I quickly received several piercings and stretched almost everything I had, including my conches. I went up to 10 gauge with as little trouble at the previous size, but the barbells were too long and the friction was causing severe problems. I got an accurate measurement of how thick the piercings were and then inserted the shortest barbell possible, which was 3/8" long. That solved the problem and I was content for a little while. I knew I wanted to go to 0 gauge when I got them pierced, so I decided I should keep plugging along and go to 8 gauge. This was the first stretch that I had someone else do with a taper. It was brutal to say the least. It definitely involved ass squeezing and knee bending until the jewelry was in. Once it was though, I was happy. I always have liked 8 gauge because it is normally the size at which I can wear a flesh tunnel and see easily through the piercing. I began wearing glass regularly at this size, as it seemed to help me heal up faster.

I wore 8 gauge for a long time before I was ready to go up again. After a while, I tend to forget how much something sucks. I had my girlfriend taper me up to 6. She had never done anything like that before, so I was walking her through step by step. I'm glad she is smart, though, because I hadn't figured in my diminished capacity once she put the taper through; she had no problem following through with the jewelry and actually did it like a pro. That was the worst stretch up that point, and I had only assumed it would get worse as I went up; my conches were not happy to be fucked with.

A coworker was also stretching her conches, and she was at 6 gauge as well, so I knew I had to quickly go to 4 and then 2 so I could be 2 sizes ahead of her. I am naturally competitive, so I felt the need to beat her soundly in this made up battle. I stayed at 6 gauge for only a few weeks until things healed up, then I decided it was time to go to 4 gauge. I had a piercer at my work do that stretch, and, as suspected, it was worse than all the ones before. That stretch took several weeks to heal up and was almost as bad as when I first got them done, although they healed faster this time. By this time, I was no longer working at the piercing shop, so I took a long hiatus from stretching and piercing in general. After nearly a year of wearing the same black, 4 gauge tunnels, I was sick of them. Totally on a whim, I dug through my jewelry box looking for 2 gauge stuff. I found 2 glass plugs round on one end and flat on the other that would make nice natural tapers. I went into my bathroom, got out the Technicare, and went to town. I only got one stretched that night after a long time with a lot of profanity followed by a restless night of sleep. The next night I succeeded with the other one. A few nights later, I put in no flare 2 gauge tunnels that I had. I was quite happy where I was.

As fate would have it, I was arrested less than 2 weeks later on suspension-related charges (yes, you read right) and as fast as they came, my 2 gauges went. I only spent the night there, and only lost one size back down to my trusty 4 gauge. I was quite miffed, but I couldn't bear another stretching that soon. It would be 6 months before I did it again.

The second time was easier. It was my first hot shower stretch and I realized I was an idiot to not have done it that way before. The glass plugs slid right in and revitalized my desire to go all the way to my goal. I recovered from the stretch in no time at all and went back to my trusty tunnels I wore before. I had been noticing, during all this stretching, that my conches seemed to get thicker the higher I stretched. I think that is a common occurrence, but I don't know for sure. Consequently, I waited on the next stretch for a while until I found suitable jewelry.

When the "final" stretch came, I thought I would be in control with the hot water technique, but, of course, my body gave me a huge, resounding, "Fuck you". The first attempt was total disaster. The right conch stretched, but the left would not budge. I wore the right one for about 5 hours until the throbbing was unbearable and I took it out. I got different jewelry, a set of plugs similar the glass I stretched before with, and made my second attempt. This time, the left side stretched with ease, and the right side wouldn't budge. Needless to say, I was pissed. This time, I left the left side in despite the throbbing and concluded that I was going to have to back to my roots on the right side: electrical tape stretching. Primitive as it is, you can't deny results. After two weeks of carefully wrapping a new piece every few days, I was able to slide my jewelry with no discomfort.

After about 10 days, my right ear is nearly free of pain, and my left is totally fine. So what is the point of you reading all this? Try this on for size: I stretched using barbells, glass pieces, tapers, electrical tape, hot water and straight up Technicare to get from 14 gauge to 0 gauge, and what have I learned? Just get the damn things punched! I don't care if you think stretching is a magical experience; it isn't work it! I hope that advice helps.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 July 2005
in Ear Piercing

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