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Nape: bane of my existance, love of my life.

After seeing my dear friend walk around the halls of high school with light bouncing off the back of her neck, I knew then I had to get my nape pierced. Piercings and tattoos had always rolled around in the back of my mind, for I've always seen them as an extension of physical beauty and art, but growing up with a slightly neurotic mother had always inhibited these thoughts from becoming a reality. That was until I discovered the nape piercing and a lovely cheque for $100 under my bed.

One sunny Sunday afternoon, I dragged my friend down to Enlightened Art [now defunct] and nestled my head into the head hole. The piercer and I laughed and giggled and before I knew it, the needle was making its course through my flesh. I had never felt anything as amazing as that needle. The moment it pierced me, a warm electric rush flowed through my body and I could feel every hair on my head stand on end. I didn't want this feeling to end, but just as soon as it came, it was gone, and I was cleaned up with a brand spanking new steel bar through my neck.

With the placement and size of the surface bar, I knew that a nape piercing would be my perfect little secret. And it was. For 3 years. I successfully hid it from my mom, freaked out hair dressers, and chocked and amazed friends and passer bys. The entire time I had the surface bar in, my piercing "gooed", for lack of a better word. Every few hours, I would massage the accumulation of sebum out of the piercing channel, lest it "goo" out onto my hair and clothes. But this didn't bother me; in fact it brought me closer to my piercing. I cared for that thing. But I must have done something to upset it. It was probably the thoughts of getting other piercings or getting my ponytail snagged on it, but my nape was mad at me. And it proved it by migrating. I went to visit my friend Tye at Way Cool Tattoos [at the time] and begged him to tell me that it wasn't leaving my neck. Unfortunately it was, and he took it out for me. As Tye pressed the remaining sebum from my now defunct nape piercing, he mentioned the possibility of dermal anchors. As this idea intrigued me, I made an appointment to meet with him in a few months, once the old piercing had healed to investigate the possibilities of a new one.

August rolled around, nearly 4 years after getting the original piercing, I was back in the chair to take another stab, literally, at a new piercing. Compared to the original threaded nape piercing, dermal anchors suck. Tye took a dermal punch to make a small hole for the jewelery to fit into, and then applied great physical force to get the "heel" of the anchor beneath the skin successfully; all with a tremendous amount of pain. The left side went in perfectly. The right side, not so much. It took nearly twice as long to get the heel under the skin, and when I got home, it appeared to droop a little. But I figured this was just swelling of the tissue around the piercing, and proceeded to take care of it in the hope that it would even out.

Not so. The right side was visibly uneven, thanks to the scar tissue of the old piercing underneath. So in mid November, I went back to Tye, took out the right side, and put it back in, a little higher. And it was perfect. For a little while. The scar tissue from the original piercing, as well as the first attempt at a dermal anchor, crept up and began to push the right dermal anchor out. At this time, Tye was busy with his lovely new baby girl, so I went to Tom Brazda. He said that I should keep applying pressure and tea tree oil, to try and eliminate the fatty scar tissue beneath. And it worked. For a little while. But every time I tried to do something to keep the dermal anchor in, it fought me back with all its might. Finally, a year after having it placed a second time, I ran back to Tye and begged him to remove it. It slid out without a hitch and quickly healed.

I currently look like a damn fool with only one dermal anchor on the back of my neck, next to a lovely scar. I plan to get this fixed sometime in the future, when I'm not so furious with myself for letting it get so unruly. In the meantime, I've gotten my septum pierced and am saving up for a three dermal anchor chest piece. Do not let this story deter you from getting your nape pierced; I was happiest when I had it done. It all depends on how you take care of your body and how badly your scar. It is still my favourite piercing to date and smile a little when I see others walking around with it. Piercings are an otherworldly experience that I would recommend to anyone who wishes to extend their physical beauty with metal and bone.


submitted by: zammechat
on: 18 April 2010
in Neck and Nape Piercing

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Monday, May 3, 2010 @2:13 a.m.
i miss enlightened art. and way cool tattoos. piercings here in Australia are about twice as expensive as back home. and i've found alot of the shops here to be pretty dodgy. maybe i'm just biased towards the shops i grew up with. i had my vertical labret done at way cool over 4 years ago, and i still have it now. never had a single problem with it. definitely will be saving up to get some more piercings on my next visit back home.

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