It's Nice. It's Good. It's Getting Bigger...
Let me make something clear. I am not a professional. I do not recommend what I do to everyone or really anyone. What I am is someone who is aware of their own body and limits as well as someone who doesn't do something 'drastic' without researching. I began stretching a year ago. Previous to this, I think my body was trying to tell me to stop putting holes in it after the last three of my 21 piercings had gotten infected and took me at least a month to heal. Stretching from beginning to end took me around 8 months to go from a size 20g to 5/8". It took me longer then expected because of my impatience. I added an extra month onto it because on my way to size 0, I didn't want to wait and pushed and shoved my way into a size 0. It burned. It was horrible. But that's later in the story. My ears were pierced when I was 3 months old. They have always had earrings in them. In between the age of 13 to the beginning phases of stretching, I had 21 new holes put into my body. Nose, lip, navel, tongue, ears. I had wanted to start a corset piercing but the last three holes (conch, tragus and rook) got infected immediately and it was a struggle to get them healthy. They are healthy and fine now but I took that as my body telling me to stop poking holes in it. Then a beautiful woman walked by me in Portland and she had at least 2" plugs in her ears. Her plugs were equally as gorgeous; dark green, stone looking with raised Celtic knots. I think that was the light switch going on in my head. (-gasp- "That is what I shall do!") So I went out and bought 10g tapered earrings. I know. A jump from 20g to 10g? Well, after a nice long shower and some wiggling of the earrings, they slipped on through wonderfully. I wanted them bigger. But I had an obstacle to overcome. I was low on money and I couldn't afford to buy new plugs. Some internet searching and BAM! Black electric tape. The site said a single layer is a gauge up. Well, I wasn't and still am not confident of that but figured a layer at a time was a good way to stretch. So begin the real stretching. I decided to keep to most of my stretching immediately following a shower. You get warmed up to stretch in general, so why not? I always take out my plugs in the shower, wash them and the holes with some Dr. Bronner liquid soap I picked up from Wild Oats. For your information, this soap works for almost anything but needs to be diluted well. Anyways. Once a week, I wrapped a new layer around the earring. Every other day, I removed the tape and used new tape. Yes, this means you'll go through a lot of tape if you do it this way. But really, all that yucky stuff from stretched holes is gross and sitting in it, gathering more of it is unhealthy and stinky. Clean your holes people! So in the first month, I went from a 20g to a 10g then moved up to a 4g. At this time, I bought new plugs. Also at this time, I read an article about oils that can be used to aid in stretching, so hence my extensive research started. Jojoba oil was listed a lot as a base, Vitamin E is a beautiful oil and was mentioned in each and every article. Then, after four hours of reading online, at about 3 am, I stumbled across a mentioned of emu oil. Yes, emu like the bird. Ew? Maybe. But many people went on and on about how wonderful it was so, why not. It was relatively cheap and came with an extra bottle that had a pour spout. Perfect! I started using emu oil every day, once in the morning and night and every time I stretched even the tiniest bit. Man, I love it. It doesn't smell at all and I reaped so many benefits from this oil. But then, I got too confident and impatient and just wrapped my new plugs, not paying attention to the layers. It was too many and I just ignored that. I pushed and shoved until they went through. Wow, that was a painful experience. But I left them in. For about a day. The throbbing was too much so I decided to take the plugs out and bathe my ears in warm sea salt solution. Except when I pulled the plugs out, the holes had ripped and there was pus. Disgusting. So out came the plugs for two weeks. I washed them in warm water, didn't use any soap for a week. Stung too much. Once the rips had healed, in came the soap. Out stayed the plugs. Then I decided to add jojoba oil and Vitamin E to my emu oil mix. Jojoba oil is moisturizing, Vitamin E is good for the skin and is regenerating. So, I started massaging the mix in twice a day, for about 5 minutes. Oooh, how good it felt. After an additional two weeks, I started back at 4 g, left it in for a week and layer by layer, once a week, I stretched them to a 2, then a 0. After four months, I had finally reached a 0. I was going to stop. Until I saw a beautiful pair of glass plugs. Damn. Bought them, of course. I still washed the holes and plugs every shower, massaged the mix into the holes every day. Used it when stretching was a bit difficult. Then, Hot Topic started it's buy one get one deal for body jewelry and my "stay at 00g" went out the window. Every time I found a gauge to stay at, I found new jewelry and of course, they only had it in the next size up. I still continue to massage the oil mix in and I'm at a 5/8"g now. It took me 8 months. After the "injury", I took it slower. Kind of. Rather, I didn't push my limits. I did two gauges in a month. I have to say, the oil mix has done wonders. I get compliments all the time on how much skin I have, now that I'm at a 5/8"g. Stretched, it's about a half inch of lobe left below the hole. I do have a strange wrinkle in my right lobe because it didn't heal as well as the left when I had ripped them. A wrinkle in my hard won perfection. I don't mind. I love my holes. Even now, I'm not sure if I'll stay at this size. I stay out of piercing salons because of the beautiful glass plugs and they're not so beautiful prices. So because of this, I've been at 5/8"g for months. This is the longest I've stayed at the same size since I started stretching. It feels nice. I would like to imagine that the stretching process has given me a better understanding of patience. Maybe it has. I generally don't recommend stretching this fast.
But, more then that, I recommend not going past your limit. I also recommend looking into some kind of lubrication for your ears. While I don't look forward to dropping money on my next set of plugs and leaving these ones behind, I do look forward to stretching again because 90% of the time, it was a good feeling. I also recommend reading about what you're about to do. Just because you want it, doesn't mean you can do it with a snap of your fingers. It opens your eyes to so many different experience and avenues to take.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Ear Piercing