My Stretched Ear Saga
Ah, lobe stretching. How I love thee.
It all started when I was in 6th or 7th grade and first saw a pair of stretched lobes. I instantly knew I wanted them, though I was hesitant at first. My parents weren't exactly thrilled about the fact that I wanted my ears pierced (somehow I "forgot" mention the whole stretching part). They told me I would have to wait until I was at least sixteen, but when that day came, they still weren't having it. I started seeing people with stretched lobes around, and started convincing.
I finally half-convinced them, (more of a we're not going to say yes, but we're not going to stop you either). At the end of January, 2008, when I went down to Dustin at Tattoo Art in Billings, Montana, we decided since I wanted to stretch, might as well start somewhat larger. I had them pierced at 4g, then 6g steel spirals put in. The whole experience was quite painless, despite what my friend had told me. It felt like someone just pinched my ear with a pair of hot pliers. Not bad at all. I soaked my ears in warm salt water twice a day for the first week, then took it down to a few days every week, which I still do to this day.
I waited a little less then a month to stretch up to 4g, I had some silicone plugs that I got from a friend. They went in very easily, no pain or anything like that. I waited only a week, then put my 6g spirals through them. I wore these for a week, then put 4g acrylic plugs in them, waited another week and decided it would be time to stretch to 2g.
The only 2g jewelery I had were double-flared steel tunnels with HUGE flares. I was hesitant to try and jam them in my ears, but I went through with it. Initially, I just tried to button them in my ears, but that didn't work out so well. I had a acrylic 0g taper that I lubed up with K-Y and put partially through my ear, then followed it with the tunnel. I did my left ear first, and it went in with a fight, but no problem. Then I did my right ear, and it just wasn't working. I kept playing with my ear and eventually got it in, but when I looked at my hand, it was covered in blood. Surprisingly, despite the bleeding, my ears were perfectly fine. That said, I decided to give it a few extra weeks.
Three or four weeks later, I decided that my ears felt quite healed enough to handle the next stretch. I lubed up the taper and ran it through my right ear first, in a quick fluid motion. I followed it with the tunnels I had, nice steel screw on backs. I did the same to my left ear, and all went well. Only a slight pain, hardly anything at all. Three weeks pass and I decide it's time for another stretch.
I was going to see my friends' band in Bozemon, which is about an hour and a half away. I decided to try and stretch my ears with toothpicks, like another friend of mine had done. I fit about fifteen toothpicks in my ear without any additional pressure on my ears. Slowly throughout the day, I eventually fit approximately twenty-two toothpicks in my ear. Each toothpick I fit in caused a very sharp stinging pain, and this was by far my most painful stretch. Later, I jammed in 00g acrylic plugs after about eight hours rocking the toothpicks. They took a long time to get in, and my ears bled...again. Once again though, they were fine.
Another three weeks pass, and I started slowly wrapping my plugs with Teflon tape, one layer a day for three or four days, then I was able to fit 7/16" glass tunnels in my ears without any problems.
I forget how long I had those in before I went up to 1/2". I had a pair of white silicone plugs that I stretched with. Yeah, I know, bad idea. I'm well aware now. That said, I popped them in, there was a slight pain when they expanded, but all was well.
I waited about a month and then fit in some 9/16" steel double flared tunnels. They took fifteen minutes to get in, and felt fine. It was really painless and trouble free.
I went up to 5/8" after I got some steel plugs with no flares from a friend of mine. I think it had been three weeks since the last stretch. I went and stole o-rings for them from Ace Hardware, and easily got them in my ears. They were really heavy and weighted my ears really well.
After another two weeks, I got some acrylic 11/16" plugs from a friend, and they went in my ears very, very easily. Just slid right in, no problems, despite the very short amount of time since my last stretch.
I ordered some 3/4" rams horn and coco wood tunnels from eBay two days after my stretch and they arrived two weeks later. I really should have waited to get them in my ears, but I really couldn't. They were just too fucking sweet. I got them in pretty easily, and my ears were fine. It was at this time I started oiling my ears every other day or so. I used Emu Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Vitamin E oil. I combined them all in an eyedropper and massaged it into my earlobes really well.
I realize how fast I went with my ears, and in retrospect should have waited longer at certain steps, but up to this point, my ears were just perfect. They looked really amazing, perfect little circles in my ears. Then my friend bought me some 7/8" silicone tunnels. It had been three weeks and I had really big gaps between my plug and my ear, so even though I knew stretching with silicone was a bad idea, I thought it would be fine since I had so much space.
I popped them in, and instantly knew something was wrong. That said, they looked just fine, but they were really sore for a couple days. I only realized something was really wrong when I bought some double flared steel 7/8" tunnels. I hadn't taken my plugs out until then. I realized I had a blowout in my left ear, and lots of dry scabby skin came off of my ear. I instantly went back down to 3/4", but decided to go back up after only a week or so.
I tried to tuck my blowout in the silicone plug, hoping it would help reabsorb. It really didn't. So, I took BMEWiki's advice and got a piece of 3/4" nylon tubing, two washers and two o-rings. I wore that and kept oiling my ears. My blowout went way down in size, and I decided to stretch back up.
I was back at 7/8" but my blowout was still ever present. It was really small at this point, and didn't bother me anymore. I decided I would live with it, I didn't mind. Once thing that I started to notice was that my ears no longer sat "even" with my face. My left ear faced much more forward then my right, due to an excess amount of lobe above my hole in my left ear. I thought I could stretch it out, so I went ahead and just did it.
My friend had her ears reconstructed, and she was at 1", so I had five pairs of plugs for me. This was a good month after the whole debacle with my blowout. I fit a pair of steel cubic zirconium plugs in my ears, no flares. They went right in, but were solid steel, and insanely heavy. So, I started taping my 7/8" tunnels and eventually got 1" double flared tunnels in.
But, my ears sat even more unevenly. I was told that no one else could notice, but it really bothers me. I went down to Cin City in Billings and talked to Nikki there about having my lobes scalpelled. She agreed that it would probably give me a bit more symmetry. I'm currently waiting on my 1 1/4" plugs to arrive so I can get them done.
Hopefully that will help! My whole experience with lobe stretching has been overwhelmingly positive, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Learn from my mistakes though, go slow, don't use silicone to stretch, or toothpicks for that matter.
Take it easy!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Ear Piercing