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The toughest lip he's ever pierced

As my fellows in the modified community can relate, about a year ago I got the piercing itch. With a fully healed tragus, an inner conch piercing, and a set of stretched lobes under my belt, I was itching for something more adventurous. It did not take more than a few minutes of perusing BME for me to find the vertical labret. I was instantly drawn by its simplicity, symmetry and elegance. As I researched further on BME Encyclopedia, I was thrilled to find that there were few to no risks usually associated with normal lip piercings, such as gum recession and tooth abrasion. I contemplated it for another couple of months before mentioning it to the parents, even gluing two small beads onto my lip to assess the visual affect (which did not work, by the way). 

As my parents had made clear from hole number one, there were to be no holes in my face, or anywhere other than my ears for that matter, until I was 18, my hopes were severely dampened. I was 16, and half-way through my third and final year in high school (I was sick of immature drama and wanted out early, but that could fill another 800 words). I began to test the waters with my mother, asking her why exactly the magical age was 18. In typical mother fashion, she avoided the question like the plague, but eventually responded that it was because at 18, being a legal adult, a certain level of maturity is reached. That, of course, begged the question of whether or not graduating from high school a year early demonstrated a precocious level of maturity. After a good month of pestering, she agreed to let me get it done as a graduation present. Score: Addy-1 Mom-0. 

As I still had a birthday present piercing to decide on, and enough homework to choke a horse, I put the lovely vertical labret in the back of my mind. I decided an Orbital Rook would perfectly compliment my existing tragus piercing, and made plans with my mom to go to Straight To The Point (my piercing studio of choice) upon my return from my birthday zoo trip with my boyfriend, Alex. 

The zoo was crowded and rainy that Saturday of my 17th birthday, and there was not much fun to be had. We returned from the zoo slightly damp and very disappointed, looking for the pick-me up of a Happy Birthday piercing. On the way to the studio, my mom surprised me by letting me know that as a special birthday surprise, she would let me get my Vertical Labret done! I squealed for a full five minutes, I was so excited! 

When we arrived at Straight To The Point it was as busy as a piercing studio in a suburb usually is, with anxious blondes awaiting nostril and navel piercings. I was about third in line, so I completed the paperwork with the quickness of familiarity, chatted briefly with Nick, who had pierced my conch and stretched my lobes to 6g, and snuggled in on the couch to await my turn to be poked. 

When the time came for me to sit in the piercing chair, I had insane butterflies in my stomach. I introduced Nick to Alex, as he had never come in to see my get pierced before. Nick made  a vague allusion to the fact that Alex would have to "stay off of this for awhile", and we both nodded knowingly. For the third time, I assured Nick I didn't have any questions and let him mark my lip. After a few rounds of  "Open your mouth, now close it" he sighed and handed me the mirror.  

He said something to the effect of "Here is the beauty of you: When your mouth is open, these dots are the perfect middle. When your mouth is closed, these dots are the perfect middle." 

Oh no! My perfectly centered, symmetrical piercing was impossible! 

He continued: "So you can have it centered when your mouth is closed, or when your mouth is open, or kinda half-way in between." 

I thought about it quite seriously for a moment, and decided that I would prefer to have it centered when my mouth is closed. He nodded, clarified the dots, and took out the needle. According to his instructions, I inhaled deeply, and when I exhaled he tried to pierce my lip from the top to the bottom, however, my lip did not give. After a second try of a gentle poke to the top of my lip, he moved to the bottom. 

I inhaled and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY THAT HURTS! The needle was moving, slowly but surely through my lip. I inhaled and exhaled, trying to keep myself calm, as he forced the needle through my lip with each exhale, taking at least thirty seconds. He put the Tygon in and trimmed it in a matter of milliseconds, as I tried to keep my watery eyes from crying. 

He moved my chair into a sitting position, and asked me if I was okay. I assured him that I was, and glanced over to see that Alex was looking slightly traumatized. Nick got me a glass of water, and let me know that I could sit as long as I wanted to. That was good, because I felt like all of the blood in my body had rushed to my lower lip, and was sitting there, throbbing. 

As he cleaned up, he let me know with a note of awe in his voice that I have the toughest lip he's ever pierced (he's been piercing for over 20 years). He continued, saying that his girlfriend compulsively chews the top of her lip, causing massive scar tissue build up, and her lip was a breeze to pierce compared to mine. That was why he couldn't pierce it from the top, the needle simply wouldn't go in, and why it took so long for the needle to go through, because he would push, and nothing would happen. He called me a "trooper". 

With that in mind for future modifications, I wandered back into the lobby to receive my mother's verdict, still clutching the paper cup half full of water. She let me know it was cute, she paid, and Nick gave me a brief aftercare reminder and a bottle of H2Ocean, and wished us a good day. 

I spent the entire ride home staring at my new lip in the mirror, and tentatively sipping the cup of water. But that's right, we didn't go home. Silly me, thinking I was getting an Orbital Rook for my birthday, and set my heart on going to my friend's parents' pizza restaurant for dinner! 

Of course we were greeted by my Mormon friend, as he was working that night. Blindly embarrassed to see him with a fresh lip piercing, instead of saying Hi, I blurted out "It's only crooked because it's swollen!" He looked puzzled for a moment before his eyes settled onto my red, puffy lip, with a very crooked barbell through it. He seated us nonetheless, and I had the most difficult meal of my life. I only caught the top bead with my fork once, and only got hot mozzarella wrapped around the bottom bead once, but they were both very memorable events. 

Although getting off to that start did not bode well for my lip, it has healed marvelously with only the occasional H2Ocean spray for the bad days. Eating sandwiches was difficult for the first couple of weeks, but with the assistance of straws and care, it didn't pose a major complication to my eating habits. I was healed enough to start kissing again after the first two weeks, but waiting longer wouldn't have hurt. 

I occasionally get weird looks from old ladies and conservative folk, but mostly compliments, and lots of kudos. I just changed the Tygon to a 3/8" stainless steel barbell today, and I look forward to the rest of my time with my lovely lip extension.  

I love my Vertical Labret like a part of myself,  because it is a part of me now, and I hope to have it forever.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Oct. 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Nick
Studio: Straight+To+The+Point+Body+Piercing+II
Location: Troutdale%2C+Oregon

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