A Flaw In Character
It should be noted before I begin that this experience is concerning that of the process and emotional journey that entails to my self stretched, 4 gauge septum. To some this may not be viewed as something of significance or valuable tips and tricks for fellow modifiers, but I myself believe otherwise. Had I been able to find information and advice on stretching a septum piercing, I would have been better prepared. I had no troubles with the overall experience but quite frankly I'd rather be prepared than walk blindly into something. Silly me, little-miss-be-prepared...
At the time of the initial standard piercing, even as I had turned the corner and flipped up the teeny retainer on my way back to my car, I knew deep in my heart that I wanted to stretch. I've never been a fan of standard septum piercings with captives, or pincers, or funky coloured jewelry. I had been pleasantly surprised with my little surgical stainless steal retainer that I now tend to think of as something similar to microscopic. I liked the way it barely hung out of my nose, the way it was so thin and classy, the way it could be flipped up and turned into my own personal secret. This new found love did not make the urge to go larger die away.
In only few months I had my tiny piercing stretched to a 12gauge. That first stretch took place at Soul Survivors with my good piercer BJ. I hadn't trusted myself, nor been used to having a piercing on the inside of my nose so when I had gone in for another piercing asked to have it stretched a size up. I feel stupid now for having it done rather than doing it on my own. If I had had the jewelry (a slightly wider, slightly longer, more square and not so rounded septum retainer), I probably would have been able to slide it in with only a slight resistance. My piercer had used a small taper and then angled in the jewelry. The whole process was extremely fast and painless to be quite honest. Describing it, I'd have to say it was tight and heavier than the previous, being larger I was more aware of it and when flipped up it tickled my nose. Personally, I didn't find it a big deal in the least, or not in the "oh my god I just got a new piercing!", type of way. I kept it in for quite some time without daring to remove it, a few months at least. By about four moths with the 12 gauge jewelry in it began to slip down on its own when flipped up to be hidden. At that point my grandma was visiting my mom and I and I'd been paranoid about hiding my tattoos and tongue piercings as it was, so I really didn't need the retainer to slip down and add to everything else. While in the car after being told that my grandma had seen it and quizzed my mother on it I had taken the retainer out wanting to avoid a reoccurrence. It was only when I was getting ready for bed that night that I realized I didn't have it. I searched everywhere for my still semi-new retainer, and with no luck eventually gave up. Letting the lump of dread settle deep in my stomach I took the little 14 gauge retainer out of safe keeping and put it in to prevent the piercing from closing completely. With no other suitable 12 gauge jewelry, I was left with no choice but to keep the smaller in. Weeks passed, my grandma left, and my plans for stretching were put on hold until I could purchase a new retainer. I had mentioned to BJ about the possibility of perhaps going straight to a 10gauge, to which his advise was to play with the current retainer as much as possible which would loosen the tissue and allow for a stretch without needing the 12gauge. I did play with it a lot, pulling at it and twisting it and flipping it up and down, but it had become too loose; falling out in day to day actions, while sleeping, and no longer staying put when flipped up...but I was too scared to stretch directly to a 10. About a month and a half later upon returning from the car wash, my mom told me that she had a gift for me. Putting my hand out and having something dropped into my palm I knew what it was in an instant! I had shrieked and squealed in excitement as I asked where she had found it. Apparently it had been under my seat and my mom had thankfully spotted it before vacuuming under there. Anyway, I ended up cleaning it with hot water and soft soap (could've
By the time July of 2007 rolled around I had found a new job in a semi professional setting. I was just finishing the last of my training and would soon be on the production floor taking calls at a third party, inbound call centre. I had been a little more than nervous and a little more worried about my visible modifications than usual. Once I hit the floor I found that a facial piercing here or there were pretty common, mostly a lip or a Monroe, defiantly nose studs... What I wasn't seeing was more than a couple, nor was I seeing any septum piercings. I was desperately worried about chances for advancement in my new work place. I've always been a hard worker, thorough in my actions and notes, and I've always thought of myself as somewhat professional. I'd been raised to mind my manners, be polite and courteous and so on. I did not want my coworkers or managers to view me as unprofessional or as a freak because of those modifications. I was reassured by both my trainer and my manager that this shouldn't happen, but so as not to give the wrong impression, wore my septum retainer either up (propped on the backs of my nostril studs so as not to fall down), or not at all during work. After the majority of my training class quit, I was left with an empty row. At this point I decided to wear my retainer down now and then, flipping it up when I had to talk to my manager or visited the cafeteria on my lunch or break. Hiding my septum like this made me feel like a small child getting away with stealing a cookie from the cookie jar, it was exhilarating, fun and made me feel both sexy and liberated. This is when I decided to stretch again.
From this point, my stretches 10 up to 6 took place at my desk at work. My stretch to 10 gauge was done after much searching for the jewelry from when I had stretched my main lobes back in high school. I knew that I had at least one of two surgical stainless steel circular barbells (yes the horse shoe type jewelry), left and found it sooner than later. I didn't like the way the circular barbell looked with coloured beads and I wasn't able to find any stainless steel ones that fit and wouldn't make my face look crazy crowded. My decision would be to wear it with no beads, leaving the screw-like ends bare and visible... but that time would come soon enough. I packed the circular barbell into my stash tin and away in my purse for the opportune moment. That moment happened to come between the hours of 8am and 11am while sitting at my cubicle busying myself before my shift by writing in my journal. I was determined to stretch as large as I could without causing my face to go through severe changes. My goal was to have a larger gauge septum that I could wear a plug or tunnel in and have the option of wearing standard, visible jewelry at the same time, at my own discretion. That was it, I had to try! If it wouldn't go through I wouldn't force it, if it went through and it was uncomfortably tight too bad so sad. I rummaged through my purse for my stash tin, rummaged through it momentarily to see if there was anything smaller, which of course there wasn't and plucked, out my endless circular barbell. For a while I sat and played with it, it sounds like something silly to admit to, as I should have cleaned it (at least with soft-soap), cleaned up and been careful with the jewelry and then put it in (at home probably would have been best)...but that isn't what happened so I won't bother saying that I did. So I played with the circular barbell; rubbing it between my fingers slowly and slipping it onto different fingers as if it were an odd, not quite finished ring. It was as if I had to touch it, I had to keep it near me, and I couldn't bear to put it down and away from my skin. When I was finally ready I removed my septum retainer and slipped it over the tip of one finger. I hunched over my desk that was cluttered with papers and the contents of my purse, took a deep breath and threaded it through my nose. While doing so I pulled my upper lip under my top teeth causing the skin from the tip of my nose to the lip to tighten and stretch the hole in my septum ever so slightly. I felt the screw end slide through without complaint and proceeded to push the curve of the jewelry through. It was tight, but it was also quite tolerable. For about a week the jewelry was stiff, it got crusties and yes I'll admit it... nose goop. After about a month I was able to just barely flip it up to have hidden and soon after that I was able to remove it for a day at a time. For a while this had been enough. I didn't own any 8gauge jewelry, and quite frankly I wasn't ready. Again I waited...
When I finally stretched to 8gauge it wasn't as bad as what I had been expecting. I had specifically purchased an 8gauge captive from a friend who sells body jewelry on the side (decided against wearing it with the bead in as to keep from crowding my face). Insertion had been easy, again done on my own and at work. The main difference was that I was starting to feel the weight of the jewelry, it was larger therefore more noticeable and admit able out of place looking and I could smell it a whole lot more. It was at this size that I became slightly put off by the visibility of the piercing and contemplated stopping. Luckily, while looking over accounts on IAM, I had stumbled upon a member with his septum stretched and discovered the possibility of using plugs to make it more discrete. I was set. Amazed that I could have my septum pierced, slightly stretched and still hidden I couldn't wait to stretch up and use the 6gauge plugs that I had already purchased from that same friend.
Stretching to 6gauge was without a doubt the worst stretch for me. Again it was done at work huddled inside my cubicle. This time I was just returning to work after hanging out with a friend (who happened to have just sold me a 6gauge pincer), before my shift. I had recently discovered the miracles that tiger balm could do for my lobes and for lack of anything better to use I decided that covering the pincer in it would be the best way to stretch. I can't stress enough how stupid I am for doing that. I will give you a brief explanation of what tiger balm is; basically it its a heat rub that's composed of menthol, mint oil as well as a few other oils, petroleum jelly and paraffin... similar to but not as strong as Icy Hot and with a smell of menthol and cloves. With this said, yes I used it on my stretched lobes, still do to this day infact. It is quite soothing and relaxing when used in that manor... to put on jewelry when stretching a piercing that is through interior tissue now that is a different story! Not only was the jewelry tight and uncomfortable in its freshly stretched piercing, but thanks to my oh so wonderful (sarcasm), idea it also burned like nothing I've ever felt before. Worse than that, my eyes teared, my nose got all runny and then in the midst of the whole thing I got a call on my headset. For the duration of the call I remember thinking a mixture of 'please hang up!' and 'Owww owww owww'. I wanted nothing more then to pull the pincer back out of my nose and scream bloody blue murder, but knew that just touching the jewelry itself would hurt and I didn't have a chance at getting it out. Another part of me knew that eventually the pain would fade and I would be content with my slightly larger septum.
It was a big decision for me to decide to go bigger than 6gauge in regards to my septum. I've seen several pictures in my tattoo magazines of larger stretched septums; the nose gets pulled down and changes the look of the person's face drastically. Given the choice to have any size septum with no facial disfiguring, basically equivalent to having it dermal punched, I would love to have mine at 00... unfortunately there aren't magic little elves that can painlessly punch your septum in the middle of the night, so with my boundaries decided I stick with the smaller sizes. I gave myself a stopping point of either 4gauge or 2gauge, which would be decided upon reaching 4gauge. If my nose was starting to look pulled down and out of shape then I would stop, if not and I felt as though I could safely get away with one last stretch to 2 I would go. This of course had been decided earlier on in my stretching process... quite possibly stashed away in the far corners of my brain back when I'd seen my piercer's dermal punched septum. After my dreadful experience at 6gauge I really wasn't too sure if I should go any larger. I had tried sliding in 4gauge jewelry like pincers or captives with no luck in the least. I didn't try hard, but I was more concerned about not tearing my nose or what's left of my sweet spot than forcing it up a size. Several times I was quite determined to try harder but still my nose wouldn't give and the jewelry didn't budge. Two months passed and the urge to stretch hit me off guard one night while watching television with my mom. I brought out my purse, my stash tin, and my little non-flared plug. Surprisingly I only struggled with it for a half an hour. I had gotten the bottom half of the end in, but the rest just wouldn't go, I don't know why I hadn't tried it before, but the idea of pulling downwards on my septum hit me out of nowhere. Low and behold it worked! I was actually quite surprised, as I had expected to lose the battle with my nose once more. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it hurt, it didn't really even smart but rather felt heavier in my nose. In few days I was able to pull it out without it hurting and whenever I cry or my nose gets all runny it gets overly loose. Other than that no complaints on my end.
Truth be told, stretching my septum has been one of my most valuable experiences to date. I have not yet decided if I will stay at 4gauge or chance a final stretch to 2gauge. My piercer has recommended that if it is where my heart lies to test out those waters, worst case I can go back to a 4gauge no questions asked. I love the fact that I can hide my septum piercing if I choose to or wear visible jewelry and shock those who don't expect it. Its quite funny that considering my facial piercings (as subtle as they may be they're still there), it's still the septum that gets the reaction. I don't have to justify why I decided to stretch, in reality there is no one reason that I could tell all of you readers or each person that asks. What it boils down to is that I stretched because I wanted to. I stretched because the moment that BJ had shown me his own perfectly punched, so carefully hidden septum complete with nose goop it sparked something inside me that just ignited. I love the path that I've chosen and don't plan on going back anytime soon.
I'm not going to lie, there are a few downsides, and minimum as they are it's always better to know. From 12 and up the different jewelry (with the exception of the plugs), basically they were all too long. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but quickly learned that they get in the way of eating and are by far at their worst freshly stretched when trying to do so (lets just say that when your nose is sore and swollen and the jewelry is stiff, biting into a hamburger and having the jewelry get pushed into a different position is not fun). Rough housing really isn't my cup of tea as specially if I get bumped anywhere in the nose, not to mention rubbing noses intimately or sometimes even passionate kissing (the tip of my nose and the underbelly of my septum have increased dramatically in sensitivity, no joke). Then of course there's that lovely smell...Septum funk I can only describe in a few different words; cat breath, blood with a high iron content, stinky feet and those clogged up boogies that get lodged in your nose sometimes and just reek. It's not terrible, sometimes it impairs my sense of smell at times when it is stronger, at other times I don't notice it at all. That's that, all good and gravy.
If you're thinking of stretching your septum I say go for it! I urge others to make sure that their jewelry is of good quality, and that you, your jewelry, and the environment that you choose to do your stretches in are clean. I know my body and I know what I can handle-everyone is different! Be cautious, know your body and have fun along the way!!
submitted by: Bondage-Kit-1
on: 29 May 2008
in Nose Piercing