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Ear Stretching in progress, currently at 1/2"

Hello, my name is Jeff, I go by Ka on BME. Awesome introduction, right? Well for starters, the topic of this experience is ear stretching, my ear stretching to be exact. I am writing this experience for a multitude of reasons; one being, I feel as though BME has provided me with so much in my path to becoming what I want to be, and I feel the need to return the favor to others seeking similar information. And second; I need more time for my account.

I began my modification journey in seventh grade. I got my ears pierced in the mall, with the most safe, and hygienic method available: the piercing gun. (amirite or amirite?) Jokes aside, I did, in fact, get my lobes pierced with a 20gauge post at a Piercing Pagoda.  

A quick aside about Piercing Pagodas and piercing guns: Piercing guns were originally made for livestock, and later adapted for use on humans (strike 1 against the gun). Instead of perforating the lobe, and making a hole for jewelry insertion by means of removing that tissue, the gun pushes the post through the lobe, and pushes aside the flesh that was previously in the place of the piercing (strike 2 against the gun). The gun also could retain bacteria that gets jettisoned from the ear when it pierces, very unsafe/unclean (strike 3 against the gun). My point being, get pierced at a a reputable studio. And on Piercing Pagoda; good place to buy jewelry (gold and silver for special occasions), bad place to get pierced. I didn't contract any viruses, and my ears are healthy now, but don't let yourself become that one person. 

Anyway...I began stretching sometime after my 20g healed and I rid myself of the faux bling. I bought my first pieces of jewelry from Pacsun, another place that doesn't exactly cater to the likes of body mod enthusiasts. The jewelry was mock CBRs, my ear didn't agree with the jewelry's insertion or general wear, but that is the jewelry that adorned my ear for a few weeks or so. From there, I gradually dead stretched from 18g to 10g using standard stainless steel CBRs and curved barbells. I was a pretty good boy, never skipped sizes, although I can remember some stretches to be particularly painful, a sign that I was not quite ready to stretch up yet. Aside from the pain that followed stretches, all was smooth sailing until about 6g. 

Not to say that anything bad happened at 6g, not at all. But at the time, stretching was more of a fashion statement, I saw no real future in it beside bigger-looking jewelry. However, what did come into play was a decision of whether I wanted to have a permanent large hole in my ear. My girlfriend at the time didn't want me to go larger than a 6g, and my parents didn't exactly think highly of any piercing in general. Around this point, I researched how far I could go without being unable to return to  "normalcy", I came across the general consensus that 0g was that point. This point is different for everyone, and I now know that. I continued dead stretching (the process of basically shoving the new, larger jewelry into the hole) until I was at a 2g. I was content with the style of jewelry I wore, non-flared plugs and eyelets, with a screw-on backs.  

For reasons unbeknown to me now, I removed my plugs, and I let my ears close to the fairly small size of a 12 guage. I honestly do not remember the reasoning behind this decision, but I wore 12g CBRs in my two lobe piercings, and my 2nd lobe on my left ear as well. Self-done mind you. I was in my sophomore year of high school, and my ears were fairly unstretched. Around the beginning of 11th grade, I hung out with my friend Allison, a girl known at my suburban high school for being "heavily modified" (actually, I doubt anyone at my high school knew the term "body modification"). Allison was my perfect role-model. In her likeness I began to stretch up again. 

Throughout the school year, buying miscellaneous jewelry from Hot Topic, I managed to stretch to 0g, a new height for me at the time. At the end of the school year, I left for a summer semester abroad in Japan. I left with Allison's blessing, and her acrylic dangly tribal-style adornments. For my 11th grade stretch process, I didn't skip sizes, but I frequently stretched with acrylics, another bad idea, that others reading this should try to avoid. Plastic is more porous than stainless steel, therefor your healing ear can adhere to the jewelry. I stretched via dead-stretching and pincher-style jewelry, using plugs from past years, when I could locate them. 

Once again, I removed my adornments. There is a reason for it this time; students in suburban Takasaki, as well as parents and teachers are very unfamiliar with the process of earlobe stretching. I got stares left and right, all day, and I felt as though it was hard for others to look into my eyes when talking to me. In Japan, staring isn't as impolite as it is in other cultures. I couldn't wear jewelry in school, and I was in school for the majority of the day, so I opted to remove and downsize. I managed to do this quite successfully. I felt as though, at the time, downsizing was what needed to be done, and for this I feel little remorse. 

When I returned from overseas, I gave it some thought, and decided to stretch again. I wanted to do the process, from the beginning as legit as possible. I thoroughly browsed BME, and gained as much knowledge as I could on the subject. I bought from kingsbodyjewelry.com a stretching kit to stretch from 12g to 0g. I did this one size at a time, using the included tapers. I lubed the ears, the sterilized equipment, and the jewelry. I did this all after warm showers, more often than not. To stretch to 00g, I went to a shop in Philly, where I bought 00g stainless steel tunnels, and they inserted them through the use of a sterilized taper. I wore these until senior week 2009, where I opted, against my best judgment to buy 7/16" silicone eyelets. They were a little bit bigger than what the salesman told me they were, but I still inserted them, without lubricant. My ears bled, they were sore for awhile, but eventually they healed. When I was comfortable with how healed my ears wher

e, I bought the next size up, and stretched up with ease.

They jewelry I bought was 1/2" stainless steel, they were non-flared, which I bought with taping in mind. I am currently wearing 1/2" plugs with 1-2 wraps of medical tape around them. I take them out when I shower, and sometimes sleep with them out to allow for blood flow to the lower part of my lobe. I plan to stretch to at least 3/4", and I feel as though I will know what is right to do once I get there. For now I will continue taping to make the process as gradual as possible. 

I also did some consulting, and apparently I have thin earlobes, which might make stretching to sizes beyond 1 inch difficult, but I feel as though things will work out. I use Dr Bronner's vitamin E balm with jojoba oil to increase elasticity and healing, and what have you. I will continue to write my future experiences and post them if they are of value to anyone. And I also plan on chasing my dreams as a body modification artist, I think I will write an experience on that, as well as my other modifications I did not mention in this paper.

Please excuse any grammar/ spelling errors, its been awhile since I've written anything more formal than a to-do list.

Follow your path. -Ka

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Oct. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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