Growing and shrinking, 12mm
I first decided to stretch my ear in March 2008. It was the craze at school, with everybody shoving tapers haphazardly into their ear lobes, squealing with pain, and waiting meagre days before continuing the ugly process. I had always admired stretched lobes and had wished to do it myself for some time, without understanding or researching the processes involved. While cynically watching my schoolmates' attempts, I decided that I wanted to do it too, and properly. So I BME-ed it and googled for an entire evening, deciding how to go about the process.
On the not-long-awaited Saturday afternoon, I headed with a friend to town and purchased myself a bottle of vitamin E oil, some sea salt, and a 2mm taper. My friend bought herself a 3mm taper, decided that 2mm was a pointless stepped that could be skipped for financial reasons (big mistake on her part...). We sat on a bench and I carefully oiled my ear (which had been pierced for about 3 years at this time) and began to insert the 2mm taper. It was uncomfortable but not very painful. I pushed slowly and carefully, while my friend pushed the 3mm taper in her own ear with all her might, complaining about the pain. Mine didn't hurt that much at all and I felt very proud when I got it completely in. I went home, and later that night was texted by my friend to tell me that she had removed hers after the pain was too much. Meh, I told her so. And she gave me her 3mm taper, so WIN.
All over the internet there are lists of appropriate waiting times between stretched, but the overruling advice for me was "listen to your body". After only 1 and a half weeks, there was no pain, redness, swelling, discomfort, or anything. I decided to take the plunge to 3mm, which was a painless stretch. One month later I went to 5mm, again painless. I continued to stretch in increments:
At 12mm it swelled up like a monster for about 24 hours, bright red. I was terrified but kept it soaking in salt water and it went down with no further problems. Phew!
At 8mm I bought myself a cute little wooden plug with O-rings. At 10mm, I bought a bone plug with tapered edges. At 12mm I bought a flesh tunnel with O-rings and a solid black plug. I wore these day in, day out. I moved to Wales in September to start at a new school where my tunnel was held with a combination of terror and admiration from many people who had seen nothing of the sort before. I loved it and cleaned it daily to remove any gunk. But I had no problems with it pussing or smelling or anything like that. No blow-outs. I was dead happy with it, after reading all the horror stories. But I just listened to my body and carefully looked after it with vitamin E oil and sea salt soaks a couple of times a week.
But it wasn't all smooth going. After a crazy night out in Bruges in March 2009 (one year since I'd originally started stretching) I arrived back in the early hours, minus the plug that I'd been wearing. We were touring Europe for another 2 weeks and I hadn't bought another plug. In small-town Belgium and Germany, I found no time or outlet to buy another. I watched the hole shrinking by the day, luckily no cat-butt effect, but still it was gutting to see the stretch I had so carefully nurtured slowly decrease in size with nothing I could do about it. Sad times indeed.
Got back to Wales to find that none of my previous plugs fitted any more, and I had no tapers to bring it back up to size. So I sadly put a 14g BCR in and began to accept the loss of my lovely stretch. The large hole wasn't particularly noticeable but I still thought of it often.
While taking my boyfriend to lose his piercing virginity with a basic lobe piercing in October 2009, six months since I'd lost my plug, I asked the piercer (Mike from Broad Street Studios, Bath) on a whim to take a look at my stretched hole to take a guess to the approximate size of the shrunken stretch. He reckoned it looked about a 6mm. There was hope!
A couple of weeks later in Cardiff I went to Rebel Rebel and purchased a spiral of max gauge 7mm (I'd always wanted a spiral and had never got around to getting one). I'd expected it to be a bit of a tight fit but it fit perfectly and I am very happy with it indeed. The 12mm stretch was lovely but it was extremely noticeable and definitely made me stick out. Whereas this cute 7mm spiral is quite subtle, I think it suits me very well, and it is suitable for interviews and work and the like. Overall my stretching experience was a very good one, and although losing the 12mm plug was disappointing at the time, I can see now that it was probably for the best and I definitely love my current spiral very much.
Remember, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and CARRY A SPARE PLUG WITH YOU.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Ear Piercing