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1/2" at last

Here is the continued story of my ears.

I started stretching my lobes nearly two years ago now -- I honestly can't believe it' been that long. Despite a few fuck-ups, I'm generally pretty cautious, and I sat at 00 for around a year before I decided to stretch up. My usual go-to place for jewelry in Edmonton is Strange City, as it's where I get all my piercings done, and they're amazing, so I'm more than happy to give them my money. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of people also have this idea, so the stock can get pretty low sometimes.

I decided I was going to go up to 7/16", but there wasn't any jewelry in that size that was single-flare, so I checked out some of the other shops on Whyte Ave -- there's three or four total. I ended up at Divine, which isn't my favourite place, but I really wanted to stretch.

They didn't have any jewelry in 7/16", but the guy behind the counter said that really, I could probably go straight to 1/2". I knew this was unlikely, but I bought the jewelry anyway, 1/2" steel eyelets, because I'm something paralyzed by shyness and I feel awkward saying, "I really don't think that's true." Besides, I'd get to 1/2" eventually anyway, so. I bought the jewelry.

I tried putting it in, on the off-chance was right, but no such luck. Having learned from previous experience, I didn't force it. I felt like it was sort of close, though, so I went onto bodyartforms.com and ordered a 1/2" taper to try that. It got in about ten days later, so I took a hot bath, lubed everything up with Vitamin E, and tried again. Again, no luck, just a sharp pain that told me I was going to be very, very sorry if I pushed any harder.

At this point, my thought was that I didn't really want to spend money on 7/16" jewelry I wouldn't wear for very long. Eventually I logged back on BAF, and after a little searching, found what I was looking for: a set of 1/2" horn spirals.

I've used this method before, and figured that skipping past 7/16" this way would probably work, and if it didn't, wouldn't do irreparable damage to my ears. The method is basically this: put spirals in as far as they'll go without shoving them through. Go about your day and then to bed. In the morning, take them out, take a shower, and then put them back in. It's easy, relatively painless, but takes a while. The main problem is that spirals, particularly ones that are 1/2" thick and around 2" tall, are really uncomfortable to sleep on. I end up with this hard, poky thing under my jaw when I sleep on my side.

Because of the skipping, it took a bit longer than usual -- around 2 weeks. Even when I was at the largest point of the spiral, I had a little bit of soreness and the plugs I had still wouldn't go in. I was a little worried that I'd either pushed too hard or that the spirals were slightly small, which can happen with hand-carved jewelry. I left them for a while, and eventually, when the soreness went away, tried with the jewelry I bought.

I hopped in the shower, used some soap to make everything slippery (I dropped the jewelry a couple times as a result, thankfully I didn't lose anything down the shower drain). I was using the taper, because I figured that'd make it easier, but it went right through and then I dropped it. Oops. So I put it aside and reached for actual jewelry, which popped in perfectly with a satisfying little sound, and no pain at all.

It's been a couple weeks now, and everything's good. I didn't spend any money on 7/16" jewelry, I have healthy, stretchy lobes -- my jewelry keeps coming out while I sleep, which is a little irritating, but I take it as a good sign that I've got some extra stretch there.

I'll probably be waiting another year or so before I stretch again, and will built a small collection of jewelry at this size. In an ideal world, I'd like to add another 1/4", but I'm going to see where my ears take me.

I do think the taper method would be helpful in the future, though. I'm used to just sort of gently easing new jewelry in, but it can be a little difficult. The taper would probably make things a lot easier, if I weren't doing the spiral method, and since spirals get harder and harder (and more and more expensive) to find the larger you go, I'll likely have to find a new method. Still, it's going to be a while before I really have to worry about it.

In the meantime, semi-occasional treatments of vitamin E keep my ears happy, and I'm totally happy with my progress.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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