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My Septum Piercing - From The Very Beginning. . .

  I stumbled across BME during one of my late night attempts to continue warding off sleep some two and a half years ago, whilst meandering aimlessly through the labyrinth that is the internet. I was only fifteen at the time, so a lot of the content seemed quite extreme, and I immediately assumed a lot of it was not for me. What surprises me slightly in hindsight however, is that I totally accepted what I was seeing and reading as I navigated my way through the myriad of galleries and experiences available to me. My thoughts can roughly be equated to "It's not for me, but hey – each to his own, right?", though I kept on returning to the site religiously, drawn unexplainably to its presentation of practices and modifications without judgement.

Over time, and with great reflection on the articles in the Publisher's Ring (and the meeting at this point in my life of a current friend in possession of several modifications), my mind seemed to open. Cliched though it may sound, I started to see myself as I was, not as society wanted me to view myself. I realised that I was somehow incomplete aesthetically and spirituality, and I felt the desire to align my newfound inner vision of how my body should be with how it actually appeared - to better represent my personality and the person I truly am.

As soon as I had come to this realisation, I knew what specific modification I wanted – a septum piercing. Its connotations of warriors and animalistic tendencies seemed to mirror the traceur (Parkour practitioner) and martial artist within me, and its aesthetic was highly appealing.

By this point it was roughly 8 months until my sixteenth birthday, and I spent the subsequent four months learning everything I could online – about piercing in general, the septum piercing itself, the hallmarks of a good studio and artist, aftercare and how to deal with infection, rejection and the social consequences of such a stigmatic piercing etc. In short, I trawled BME and similar sites, spoke to everyone in the industry I could, and bothered every friend who had a piercing at the time to learn anything that could be of use; if I was going to do this, I was going to do it correctly and armed with every bit of information possible.

It was at this interval that the Glasgow Piercing Studio was recommended to me as being a great studio – clean, friendly and professional. This was the general consensus from everyone who had visited the Studio, so my doubts over this aspect of getting pierced were assuaged and plans began to formulate.

With four months till my birthday, and the piercing, I informed my parents of my plans. To their credit they were quite accepting of it on the whole – there were a few conversations beginning with "I think you'd suit your ear or maybe an eyebrow instead...", however I think this is to be expected and whilst not supportive, they readily accepted my decision as a mature adult.

After a seemingly decades long wait, the day eventually rolled around (March 16th - my birthday is the 14th) for me to walk into GPS and emerge with some steel balls adorning my upper lip.

I met my friend outside the studio (he was getting his central labret pierced at the same time) and we entered together. Rachel, the piercer, emerged from the piercing room into the waiting area a few minutes later, introduced herself and asked us what we were after. We both responded, she checked our ID (and wished me a happy belated birthday) and took my friend into the piercing room in the back.

He reappeared some ten minutes later with his lip glinting in the spring sun (this short period of time had proven more than adequate for nerves to take hold of me, and my mind had started racing through everything I had learned over the previous months to ensure I was fully prepared), and I was quickly called into the room. I sat at the desk and filled in all the appropriate forms whilst Rachel went over them with me, then we sat and went over the aftercare regime I should follow (warm sea-salt soaks, followed by a rinse twice a day, and general babying – I won't bore you with the details). Then it was over to the bench whilst making small talk with Rachel to help me relax (meanwhile she was getting fresh gloves out of the packet and preparing needles).

First off, she used an alcohol wipe to clean off my septum, which was so powerful it had my eyes watering straight away – this entertained the two of us helped to ease me into the situation, and she soon set about finding my "sweet spot" (the spot between the cartilage and the bottom of your nose where a septum piercing ideally lies). She was doing the procedure freehand, so no clamps were present and I was asked to close my eyes (I didn't, as I wanted to experience as much as I could of the piercing) and take deep breaths corresponding to her slow counting of " One – Two – Three". On "Three" she deftly manoeuvred the needle through my septum, which made my eyes water to the point of tears – not through pain, simply due to the relations between nerves in that area. It was at this point that a sense of surrealism kicked in (due, I assume, to endorphins) and I totally relaxed as I saw either side of the needle sticking through my septum in the mirror. The 14Ga circular barbell we had decided to use followed the needle into place, slowly and in a controlled manner such that I barely felt it, even though some had cited it as being the worst section of the procedure. This was quite a relief as I had been somewhat apprehensive about the insertion of jewellery, but Rachel knew what she was doing.

We ran back over aftercare and I was told not to hesitate and come straight in if I had any questions or issues, then I thanked her, paid her, tipped her for her excellent work and was on my way.

Swelling went down after only a few days and I was delighted to see that my septum piercing was totally straight – a testament to GPS, as this is notoriously difficult to do freehand. Healing took about 6 weeks, a fairly average healing time, with me sticking religiously to my aftercare regime and fortunately it was quite uneventful on the whole.

For a time, this was me entirely content with my body image, having had both internal and external aligned, however as you all know the piercing-bug is notoriously difficult to overcome, and it wasn't long before I was looking forward to stretching my septum and getting my tongue pierced – but they are different experiences entirely...


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 May 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: Rachel+Scanlan
Studio: Glasgow+Piercing+Studio
Location: Glasgow%2C+Scotland%2C+UK

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