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My tiny stretching experience

I've always wanted to have modestly stretched ears. My ears have been pierced since I was eleven, done at Claire's. I had them pierced with a piercing gun, which isn't the best method. Luckily, it was uncomplicated and I had no scar tissue. So, back seven or eight months ago, I attempted to dead stretch from an 18ga to 14ga, using some stainless steel circular barbells I'd borrowed from my best friend.

Not a good idea. I tried for weeks, and my ears just became inflamed, swollen and lumpy.

Fast forward to a month or two ago, my best friend and I went to Hot Topic to purchase earrings. My logic was that if I was to use a tapered piece of jewelry, I could still skip 16ga. So, I purchased some clear acrylic 14ga pinchers (clear is always cheaper. Not sure why).

Upon coming back to her house, I started to soak the earrings in alcohol. Another bad idea. The earrings were somewhat scratched, tarnished... (or something) from the soaking in the alcohol. They felt rough to the touch.

For a week or so, I tried, and tried to ease the pinchers in. They would go to nearly the largest point, and stop. Again, my ears became painful and I had lumpy holes again.

I gave in and purchased some 16ga circular barbells from K-Mart. They went in with ease, and I had no problems. I wore these for about a week, then managed to slip in the same 14ga stainless steel earrings from months before, and had no problems with those.

My best friend lent me some 12ga acrylic plugs. I was a bit leery of both plugs and acrylic materials. However, with my left ear, the plug went in easily, no trouble or pain whatsoever. My right ear needed a slight push, and I felt some pain, but it was momentary.

I wore these for quite a while. I had no problems with them and they were really comfortable. I liked them so much, actually, I was reluctant to size up. But, I did, when I procured some 10ga steel plugs.

This brought along some problems. It was a struggle to get the plugs in both ears. I had even went so far as to shove a 14ga and 16ga barbell in each ear to try (probably stupid, I know). I got them in, but they were so painful I had to take them out. Taking them out required quite a pull, and I could barely get my 12ga's back in.

I eventually got them in. I felt some pain in my right ear for some time (my right ear seems to heal slower or require more effort to get an earring in). A warm water salt soak helped ease the pain and swelling in my right ear. (I used plain salt. All I've read is sea salt, but there can't really be much of a difference, right?)

Words of the wise- DO NOT skip sizes. EVER. No matter what anyone has told you, it's not a good idea. Even with tapers or pinchers, it's still painful (especially for weenies like me) and can lead to infection and scar tissue. Despite all of the bad things I have heard about acrylic jewelry, I have had no such problems. Just don't soak them in alcohol, and make sure that your hands are clean before you handle them (they do tend to harbor more bacteria, but you can try and prevent it). I've had better results with acrylics than I have metals at this point (this may speak poorly of the quality of the metal, however). As you increase in size, you'll probably need to start using tapered jewelry, with me I'll pretty much have to put an end to dead stretching. Always wash your wares and ears regularly- I have good results with plain soap and warm water. My jewelry started to smell pretty funky even at a 12ga. Just pay attention to how your body acts with certain jewelry and materia ls. And don't buy expensive or multiple pairs of a certain size unless you intend on staying there for a while- another thing I found out the hard way. Also, the honesty and quality of jewelry at kiosks in questionable. The staff at Hot Topic and Spencer's I've talked to are friendly and knowledgeable.

I am currently at 10ga, with the same steel plugs. My holes are essentially healed. I'm eager to move up to an 8ga, and my final stretch will most likely be to a 4ga, but no further than a 2ga. A main factor in stopping at that point is most peoples lobes will return to normal at those sizes... And I'm not sure I'll want drooping, stretched lobes as I go up in age. I intend on continuing to use acrylic earrings, mostly of cheapskate-ness. Wish me luck!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 Nov. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Myself
Studio: Everywhere
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