My Ear Stretching Journey
When I was 16, I began to develop a liking for body modification. I would see people on the street with tattoos, piercings, and giant earlobe holes, and I just knew that I had to be a part of this movement. Stretching piercings is a gutsy move. I was nervous, but my boyfriend was supportive, and he was always encouraging me.
I had a good friend in highschool who was into stretching. She told me that there were such things called 'claws' and 'tapers'. She also told me of a hole-in-the-wall dollar store that sold random body jewelry and stretching tools. Soon enough, I found myself there, purchasing a set of what was probably around 8g claws. I was excited, and I went home right away to put them in. Needless to say, this was a mistake. I was trying to go from a standard earring post to 8g without any knowledge of proper stretching procedures. My friend stretched her ears relatively quickly, and she told me to just 'shove 'em in no matter how badly it hurts'. Ya... Not such good advice. I forced the claw halfway in, and stuck an o-ring on the back. The next morning, the claws were lost and my ears looked disastrous (red, swollen, goopy, etc.) My heart was broken. How the heck was I gonna stretch my ears if I couldn't even get that tiny little claw in there? I let my ears heal for a few months.
During those months, I decided to do some research on what it really means to stretch your ears. I checked out Google and BME, read countless forums and articles, and looked at thousands of photos. It didn't take long for my curiosity about body modification to become a love affair.
With my new found knowledge about stretching, I began again with a belly button ring. Geez, it was hard enough to get a 14g into my ear hole, let alone that dollar store 8g claw. I began using warm, salty water as a stretching prep and healing tool. Because I come from a small town, there was really no place to find stretching gear. I took to the Internet once again and ordered a taper in each size up to 0g. That was my final goal.
If I've learned anything from stretching, it's that I do NOT have stretchy skin. Putting tapers in was always difficult, and I had to leave them halfway in for weeks at a time before I could push them all the way through. My mom would say things like 'Good God, Emily, those things look ridiculous/horrible/stupid. Why don't you just stop that silliness?!' But I refused to give up, and all the while my boyfriend was very supportive. Not a real bmod-er himself, he still enjoys alternative chicks and wanted to see me continue toward my goal.
It took me almost 2 years, but I finally made it to 0g. I had ordered some stainless steel eyelets, and I wanted them in right away. I warmed up my lobes and used lots of lubricant, but the flares were enormous and I just couldn't get them in. In frustration, I shoved a little too hard, and really did a number on the inside of my ear holes. They were bruised and swollen. Once again, I was heartbroken, and I took my plugs out completely. I was done with stretching, and ready to go back to wearing normal earrings.
This decision presented a few problems. 1. I didn't like the way earrings would pull on my ear holes and make them look big, and 2. I was still madly in love with giant ear lobe holes. Although my mom was ecstatic that I had taken my plugs out and bought me a few nice pairs of earrings, I was thinking about stretching again after just a few months.
And so, my stretching journey began again. As I mentioned, my skin is not stretchy. I had to start again from 14g, and use each taper one at a time. At least this time I had a new mindset. Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to stretching, and I was determined to do everything right. I made it to 00g, and was SO excited. I ordered a few pairs of plugs to wear, but they were short-lived. They just looked so... small. I went from 00g to 1/2", and again, ordered a few pairs of plugs. These seemed really small, too. 9/16"... small. 5/8"... small. I taped up from 5/8" to 3/4". It was the first time I didn't use a taper (because my favourite Internet shop was out of stock), but I went slowly, using one layer of tape at a time. I really don't recommend this technique, as tape is really not an ideal material to have against unhealed skin.
Now, I'm 22 years old. My earlobes are 3/4", and have been that way for about 6 months. I love them. They're absolutely perfect just the way they are. I always wear wooden plugs. They're light, comfortable, I can sleep with them in, and I work as a fashion representative, so I like to keep it low-key. I do have a few pairs of eyelets.. I wear them out to parties and conventions. They have the 'shock value' that can sometimes be fun. My ear stretching journey had come to a close. ...Or had it?
Nope. Sorry folks, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE stretching, piercing, and tattooing. Although I love my earlobes the way they are.. I'm totally bored if I'm not in the midst of some modification process. I had a 14g conch piercing that was a few years old. It's the only ear cartilege piercing that has ever agreed with me (and believe me, I have had many). So, why not strech it? The first stretch was really exciting. Of course, I used the same prep as I have used for my earlobes, and the taper slid right in with no pain. It was never that easy to stretch the lobes. My conch is now at 8g, and I plan to move up to a 6g. There are no parameters this time around, as I've learned from stretching my lobes that anything can happen.
Of course, I highly recommend stretching to anyone. It's fun, it's a stress reliever, and for me, it has taught self-discipline. Of course, it also looks amazeballs. Just remember: Be patient! It may have taken me 5 years to get to where I am, but my holes are perfectly round with no scar tissue whatsoever. I plan to love and keep them forever, and maaaybe one day I'll try out some ear weights.
Happy stretching to all, and to all a good stretch. :)
submitted by: bmemiry
on: 07 March 2011
in Ear Stretching (past 1/2")