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My First Lip Piercing Experience

So here I am, aged 21, at Reading festival... someone (quite stupidly I thought) may have dared me to go and get my lip pierced. Now I'm not often one to turn down a dare and besides, I had been toying with the idea of getting my lip pierced for a while (at this point my only piercing was a very recently pierced tongue, although I did have my eyebrow pierced for about 6 months before that).

So somehow I ended up in a porta-kabin, the inside of which had been decked out to look somewhat like the inside of a professional piercing studio. I probably should have been scared, but actually I was just buzzing – having conquered my fear of tongue piercing only a few weeks before, I was feeling as if I could handle anything.

The guy, who pierced my lip, carried out the perfunctory checks, getting me to fill out a basic health questionnaire and sign some kind of 'I promise not to sue' paperwork. Then we went through the other motions, he asked where I wanted it and used a purple marker to draw a dot on my face, which turned out to be in the right place first time (when does that ever happen?). I must admit, he wasn't very friendly or informative though and I wanted to be pierced with a bar, but he refused, citing that it had to be a ring, as it was easier to keep clean, fair enough I thought, that sounds sensible. So I conceded to the ring. At that time, unfortunately, I knew nothing much about 'gauge', so I couldn't check to ask what size he was going to use.

I watched as he put on clean gloves and got the new needle out (I love to check out how enormous they are!). Then he did some disinfecting and anaesthetising and then we checked the placement one last time and he re-marked the dot. He clamped my lip (always the worst bit) and the next thing I knew, the needle was through and the ring was in. He was very quick and it was very painless.

He handed me the little mirror to check out the handy-work and I was... mildly mortified. The delicate silver ring I had imagined when he told me I had to have a ring, wasn't delicate or silver in colour, it was bloody chunky and almost black and the ball in it was massive. It was not really very attractive if I'm honest, but, being the shy, inexperienced type, I paid up (£35 if my memory serves me correctly) and left without a word of complaint. Oh yeah and I also brought a little bottle of disinfectant to keep me going until I got home.

Now I realise my first mistake; I had my lip pierced at a festival, probably the stupidest thing ever, especially considering the immediate squalor I had to live in with my new piercing. Plus, I didn't know the piercer from Adam – as it turns out, they were from a large studio (Metal Morphosis, based in London I believe) – so I had no idea of the quality/professionalism of the service. I have no doubt that everything was clean and that the piercer was skilled, but the manner in which I was treated was similar to a cow being hearded into an slaughterhouse – in and out as fast as possible with minimum communication.

I was given a little leaflet with aftercare instructions (all pretty straightforward) and this also informed me that I could go to the studio in London and get my jewellery changed for a further fee of £10!

Anyway, the festival ended and I went home, frightened my mother to death with my new face ornament and carried on as if I loved the thing, despite knowing that this big black ring almost completely obscured my face altogether.

Then after a week, I had to go back to have my tongue piercing checked, which was done by Marie in Abingdon (lovely, lovely lady who works from home and is a superb piercer). The minute she saw me she wanted to know who had butchered my face – I shamefacedly admitted what I'd done. After she'd reprimanded me, she went on to explain that whoever had done the piercing had used totally the wrong gauge (1.6), as I have quite delicate features, this thick ring was very overpowering. She changed the jewellery in my new piercing for a delicate barbell in a smaller gauge and at that point I did fall in love. It was perfect. The whole around the jewellery soon shrunk to fit the new size (1.2) and I got a shorter bar put in once the thing was healed. Having a barbell didn't seem to impede the healing at all and I had no problems with infections or anything like that.

So while I may have made a mistake with my original choice of piercing destination and probably should have embarked on a bit more research before taking the plunge, the piercing itself turned out perfectly in the end.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Sept. 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Studio: Metal+Morphosis
Location: Reading+Festival+%28mobile+studio%29

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