The Little E That Couldn't
After I started play piercing, I looked for a forum on IAM that I remembered Dan (IAM social irregular), used to frequent: iam.playpiercing.I read through the last couple pages of posts, and a shirt was being made to say BMEZINE with one person making each letter on his/her back in play piercing needles. The final E was still open, so I posted that although I hadn't been there before, I was interested, and I'd like to have the E if it was okay. IAM repeating who had gotten the whole thing together said that he'd consider the letter mine. I asked Dan, who has done all of my play piercings to date with the exception of a small four needle one I did on myself, if he'd be willing to do it, especially since, to be big enough, it would probably have to go on my back. He told me he would, but that I would have to draw up a plan for it.
I had hoped that he would do that, since he is better at art in general than I am, and has had more practice play piercing than I and might know what would work better. But I figured if nothing else, I could draw something up, and he'd probably make it work in his own way. There was no required number of needles or anything, just big enough to be seen. Dan said that we should do it just above my genitals where I'd planned to do a play piercing at some point. That is, if I was okay with having my genitals on a T-shirt. I said that I was pretty sure that wasn't the idea, and we'd stick with my back.
We ordered some needles from BMEshop in 22ga because he thought it would be easier on me if we used a lot of needles, and they would slide better, making putting in the letter easier on him. I looked back through the pages to find the guidelines, which basically said that any kind of needles would do, though whatever contrasted the most with my skin would be the best if I had access to a variety. The needles should be packed as densely as possible, with the hubs spelling out the letter in block print. We decided when the 22ga needles came that the yellow 20ga I already had would probably work fine, since he decided he just wanted to do a corner of my back, rather than the whole back, so he could pack the needles more tightly. If we went over the 45 needles that we had, he said that IAM Hit-or-Miss would let us use some of his.
I still hadn't drawn out a plan two days before the weekend that we'd decided to do the session, about two weeks after it was assigned to me. Truthfully, I was going to just show up and wing it, since I knew Dan would come up with something better than I would. But, as a creative writing major, I have to go to readings each week, and during one reading, about two weeks from the time I was given the E, I started doodling a possibility, starting with the top line, working from the right to the left. My idea was that, similarly, Dan might work in this way. My plan used 40 needles, which gave me room to spare on my supply, but I wasn't sure that this would translate to my back, since it was just a small scale drawing. Still, it would give a ratio and guideline, which is really all Dan needed, or so I thought.
On Saturday, we decided to do the session. Dan had changed his mind again and decided to use the 22ga, since it would be easier, so we thought, and we'd have a whole box. (He said he planned to use about 60). He had me lay on my stomach on top of a towel on his mom's bed, and his mom moved around looking for the best spot for the pictures she'd eventually take. I think that I was lying on my stomach was a problem, because Dan ended up having to lean over me and kind of squish my arm down. He started from my right shoulder blade, working inward. It wasn't that easy to breathe, and when the first few needles went in, I breathed out hard. Dan got upset because this was screwing him up. I got upset because I didn't know what else to do. They were just 22ga, less than I'd done before, but for some reason, they were hurting much more than I thought they would. Part of this is probably that I haven't been eating as much as I should, so my back has a lot less fat than it used to (and that was never much).
The second problem was that, though I had a design, Dan didn't think it would work, and he couldn't figure out a way to do a 90 degree angle once he got ten needles in and wanted to do the spine of the E. I thought he could use my design, and have three needles going horizontal right up next to the hub of the top vertical line he'd made. He didn't think he could because it would create a gap, he didn't think I could take it if he put the needles under the other ones to minimize the gap. We thought about turning the letter on its side and using the line we had as the spine instead of the top rung, but it wasn't straight enough. I asked if it would be easier if I sat up, since he'd thought it was easier to do my back corset that way, but he said it wouldn't be. I asked about him sitting on the bed with me instead of the chair next to the bed, and he said he preferred the downward motion.
After much sitting around trying to figure a way to do this successfully and not coming up with one, we decided to give up. He thought about doing it on some other part of my body, but didn't think that there was anywhere but my back that was big enough. I was sad, and disappointed that it wasn't working out. He suggested having a regular piercer do this, if I still wanted to, but I was on leave from work at the time, and definitely didn't have the money to pay someone to do it. My thought was that we could use the smaller needles we'd gotten, which are 27ga and ½ in long. Dan was worried first that they wouldn't be uniform because everyone else was presumably using full sized ones, and that the pink hubs wouldn't show up against my skin.
Whether we'd do it or not at another time, and Dan doubted we would as he wasn't comfortable trying to do it, we weren't going to do it that night, so he pulled them out. I felt no real pain as this happened, even on about the sixth one in, which had hurt severely going it (it had felt like he was weaving with my skin, going in and out four times). There wasn't much blood, not even enough to write something in, which disappointed me. The next day, I had a little bruising, and the marks were pretty prominent in a track. My shoulder hurt a lot to lean on, especially if I carried anything, like my lap top case. It wasn't really unbearable, just uncomfortable. By the next night, it was still sore, leaning forward even, and it kind of hurt to lie on. I was a bit surprised, as I hadn't experienced this with my back corset, but then, this was needles in a closer location. Monday night, the tracks were still there, and where the first two needles had been still hurt to put pressure on, which was right over the bone of my shoulder blade, but otherwise there was no pain.
I was disappointed that we weren't able to make this work. But, a week or so later, Dan said that he had an idea, and that we'd try again another time, in a different spot, with smaller needles. He didn't tell me what he had in mind then, and still hasn't (although I have a feeling, given the smaller needles, he's talking about the previously referenced spot), but I guess I'll find out later. Hopefully, my next experience will be the Little E That Could.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Jan. 2006