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Needle Play

"Ow! Fu....hey, that doesn't actually hurt! I mean...it's painful... I think, but it doesn't...hurt." I said as a mixture of confusion, joy, and enlightenment raced across my face. I know it doesn't really make any sense, but that's how it felt at that instant.

Music was playing in the background, but I could still hear (or maybe just feel) the pop as the needle peeked out.  The sterile smell of latex gloves and Techni-Care (the antiseptic soap that was used to clean my arm) filled my room.  This alone made me a little tense.  Whenever these two scents mingle, pain usually follows.  I looked at my forearm; half expecting a trickle of blood, but it was just a little hypodermic needle with about a quarter inch sticking out on either side of my skin.   

The metal was cool, but the area around the needle was starting to warm up as my body fought to vanquish this new invader.  After about thirty seconds, the pain went away and all that was left was a tingle, almost an itch, and full relaxation. 

"Where do you want the next one?" asked Jason, my friend and housemate.  Still trying to make sense of the sensations, I was a little delayed in my response.  "What? Oh, uh, I don't know, your pick."  The blood was now rushing to my arm, which presented a whole new sensation.  A small reddish patch had appeared around the fresh piercing.   

He picked a spot about an inch away from the first one.  "Do you want a count or should I just go at my own pace?" Jason asked.  "Huh? Oh, I think I can handle it, go ahead.  You know, this is a really strange feeling.  I mean, isn't this supposed to hurt?  I know it sounds kinda silly, but, c'mon, I have a needle in my ar...Ack!"  Jason pushed the next needle through, stopping me in mid-sentence. 

During the entire session, I kept finding myself caught in a mass of conflicting emotions and sensations.  It was painful, but at the same time, it did not hurt.  This was an entirely new concept to me.  Once my endorphins took over, the pain subsided and all I could feel was the pressure of my skin around the needles.   

We continued adding needles to my (getting) tender arm.  He mad little designs with the needles, crossing over and stacking them, creating varying pressure on the skin.  At this point, there was no pain really, just...strange.  Jason gave one of the needles a tug, pulling straight up, away from my body.  At this I winced, again I expected a surge of pain or a stream of blood, but there was nothing except the pressure of the needle on the skin. 

Saying nothing, Jason handed me a needle that he had removed from its sterile package.  I was puzzled but I took it from him anyway.  He then grabbed a pinch of skin off my arm and held it up, as if presenting it to me.  I understood.  It was my turn to pierce.  I was extremely hesitant to pierce myself.  Subconsciously, I think I expected it to hurt more than when Jason pierced me.  "Well, I've come this far." I said after looking at the needle for a few moments.  I rested the tip of the needle against my skin where Jason was holding it.  I pushed.  This was more painful than I expected, especially since I paused after the bevel passed under the top layer of skin.  I took a breath and slowly let it out as I pushed harder, passing through the subcutaneous fat.  The tip hit the intended exit, pushing the skin into a white point topped with silver just underneath.  This also hurt more that expected, but I was able to remove myself from the pain physical pain and focus on the  actual sensation of what was happening.  (This all sounds very strange, I know, but it makes sense to me.)  The bevel squeezed its way through, shining in the bright light of my computer monitor. 

I held my arm out and regarded my work.  It was a bit crooked, which bothered me a bit, even though it was just temporary.  I looked at Jason, then back at the needles, and back at Jason again.  "Well, I'm good if you're good." I said.  "Hey, it's your arm...therefore I'm good."  He replied, motioning towards my now tingling arm.  "Start grabbing needles!"  He exclaimed, gently tugging on the protruding hubs of the needles. "This is the fun part."  

We started pulling needles out two at a time.  We each took one and pulled it out at the same time.  As the first two came out, warmth came over the wounds.  Blood was running from the holes in crimson rivulets down my arm.  "Wow!  This is strangely liberating."  I exclaimed with a chuckle.  We removed the rest of the needles in quick time, disposing of them in Jason's sharps container. 

After all the needles were out of my skin, my arm was literally covered with blood.  The glove that I was wearing on that hand was not only covered in blood but filled with it too.  I slowly and cautiously peeled it off my hand, trying to keep the blood from spilling on our work area.  This was certainly an odd experience in itself.  Up until this point in my life, I had never been exposed to this much of my own blood.  I never expected it would be under these circumstances. 

For me, the entire play piercing experience was very positive.  I finally learned how to set aside the negative aspects of pain and simply focus on the purely emotional sensation.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 Feb. 2003
in Ritual

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Artist: Grazer
Studio: the+townhome
Location: Kettering%2C+OH

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