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Bonding with Steel II

For years, I have been eying the many modifications that caught my fancy, slathering away at my monitor and wishing (begging, to my parents) for several of them. Only recently has my family come to accept this, perhaps because they realize that it is an obsession rather than a passing fad. My family in itself has evolved, and perhaps that has lent to the evolution and opening of their minds as far as my own freedoms go.

When I was thirteen, barely a few days away from fourteen, I had my nostril pierced, but this only deepened the need, the 'itch'. It was an awakening, although I myself still remained shut off to some modifications - such as stretched ears. I now have a pair for myself. This past June, just less than a month after my fifteen birthday, my mother and I both had our navels pierced. It was a pleasant surprise and an experience titled "Bonding with Steel" - the original.

The agreement that allowed me to have my navel pierced also allowed my to have my lip pierced. Several complications postponed this until later in the summer - I traveled a lot, working and saving money for a potential trip to Japan. Finally, once I returned home, my parents and I made plans to have my lip pierced. It was then that my father introduced the idea of having his nipple pierced again, which excited me endlessly. I can't quite explain the sense of bonding I get from chatting eagerly and in equal knowledge with my parents about modifications.

I was pleasantly surprised - our plans were sort of hellish that day, and Dominick (Dominico, whatever he wishes to be called) had no problems in coming in earlier than his usual shop hours for us. I was nervous and almost sick - a nasty side effect I experience before piercings, even assuring myself that it won't be painful, and knowing it would only be for a few seconds if it did. Part of my nervousness spawned from the idea that I wouldn't be satisfied with the piercing, and that I wasn't confident on where I would like it positioned. I had decided to have it done in the center, partly because I figured it would fit my face best, and partly because everyone and their scene sister has one. You simply don't see as many females with centered labrets, for some reason.

We watched - and recorded, with pleasure - my dad's piercing. He said he would need the longest period of recovery, and so he went first. The face he made was entertaining enough.

Finally, I stepped up to be pierced. He marked the place and it was...sort of on my chin. I stepped up to the mirror and asked him if he thought it was a little low. He studied it, and finally said that he believed it would look better lower, because I have a fairly large bottom lip in comparison to the top and it would sort of overshadow it. I looked again and agreed. I was too excited and slightly nervous to think to check the inside of my mouth, and definitely too excited for it to occur to me that it might not be a part of my mouth at all.

It should have occurred to me that something was wrong when he placed the forceps in my mouth and there was an almost cutting pain. Why? Because he was clamping the web of my lip, I later realized. He checked it several times, moving it as he needed. Finally, he pierced it. I'm not too proud to say it didn't hurt, because it did. More than I expected it to. The jewelry transfer was also painful, but it was over in an instant. Like my other piercings, it bled. Even my nostril piercing bled for a minute or so, for the lessened blood flow in cartilage!

I was in a daze. I looked in the mirror, and I loved it. The low look was unique and seemed to do well with my face. The only problem was that I could see the bar that stuck out looking straight on at my face. He assured me it was just because of the length of the bar.

It took me a while to differentiate the pain in my lip and the pain in my gums, but I did notice! I noticed the trouble eating early on. It hurt my gums to open my mouth enough to chew, even in small bites. Luckily for me, I was having dinner with my biological father and another part of my family that night. Excellent thing to spring on me, dad!

The dinner was practically misery. The food was excellent, but I simply couldn't finish it. My lip began to bleed again, and my gums were beginning to hurt more and more. We stopped and bought some dental wax, the kind that people with new braces protect their lips with, which came in as a large help later on. By the end of the night, my mouth was a private hell. I found that if I shifted my lip around, the disc would rest in new, relatively unscathed areas it would relieve it for a little while.

It wasn't long before I discovered that the bar itself was tilted. Completely. I could poke the skin above the bead and feel the slanted bar. After some experimenting, I discovered that the disc was at the very bottom of my lip - the rest of the bar wasn't actually in my lip at all! It was in my chin!

I had a sort of "center lowbret". And I can attest to the theory that these piercings are exquisitely unpleasant. Perhaps it's worse because there's less space in the center of your mouth - mine, at least. Because the bar itself was tilted, so was the disc, which soon left an imprint on my gums.

We decided, because the gums were already visibly being cut and wore down, that it had to go. Which took a lot of pain and two pairs of pliers.

Skip the healing time. The piercer offered to do my piercing again for free, which I was wary of because of his first "experimenting". He hadn't let me know beforehand that he was slanting it so. But it was free, and I had seen good piercings from him, so I let him know this time that I wanted it to be completely standard - dead center, right below my lip. He even let me take a CBR and place it over my lip to make sure that it was high enough to wear a ring. I checked inside my mouth to make sure that it would be sitting even relatively right.

So I said hell with it and went to be pierced again. It hurt this time, again - it seemed to hurt more, for some reason. I think it just took more time. The jewelry transfer was more noticeable. Perhaps I just knew what to expect.

I looked in the mirror - my fears of giving up aesthetic for dental health were off the mark. I think now that just maybe it looks -better- than it would have so low down. When my lip is swollen in the morning, you can't see the ball well, but it's noticeable enough.

My dad also got his second nipple pierced after my lip. :) It was fun. Now all of my immediate family - excluding my toddler sister - has at least one fresh modification to look after and talk about. Mom always jokes about dad shocking our little old lady neighbors when he takes his shirt off to mow and, suddenly, BLING BLING! He blinds them with his nipples!

I do have to caution my readers, however. Even experienced piercers can be uninformed. Simply because they have a nice clean shop, sterile technique, a decade of experience in Dominic's case, and a friendly face, doesn't mean that they're quality piercers! Several things about Dominick's technique and piercing knowledge makes me uneasy.

First of all, he revealed to us that he uses a half gauge SMALLER needle than the jewelry he uses, with threaded jewelry. I can't stress this enough - bad! It creates unnecessary trauma to your healing piercing. Threaded jewelry is bad enough, but it's worse that you're basically using a dead-stretch on a new piercing with those terrible little ripping ends. It could lead to more complications, like scarring. He said he does it to reduce bleeding, so he doesn't have to sit around waiting on it to stop. Ick.

Another small thing I shall add, simply so this doesn't become a lengthy diatribe, is that I believe - haven't confirmed it yet - that he used a sixteen gauge barbell in my mother and I's navel piercings. Navel piercings are considered surface piercings, and as such, are prone to rejection. Using such a smaller gauge piece of jewelry could make that rejection all the more likely. The standard size is fourteen for a reason. Not only that, but I've had difficult in finding sixteen gauge navel-specific barbells, and will likely have to stretch.

I urge everyone to think through every modification they get, whether their reason ranges from aesthetic to spiritual. If you want your mod bad enough, you have to be willing to accept that problems may arise, and if they do, you have to be prepared to do what is best for your body rather than what is your personal want. It pained me to remove my piercing, but I'm very glad that I did. This looks better, and it definitely feels better. I had the piercing less than two days the first time before it began to wear away my gums. My second one has lasted almost two weeks so far, and I don't see it leaving until it must.

I have wanted this for two years, and it is absolutely amazing to finally have another part of my personality fleshed into corporeal, visible form.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Dom
Studio: Tat-Nice+Tattoos
Location: 4th+Avenue%2C+Huntington%2C+West+Virginia

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