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A lot of pain for a tiny piece of metal

I'd always been fascinated with navel piercings, but had never really considered getting one as I can be very sensitive to pain. However, I found that I could tolerate a fairly large amount of pressure on the needle so I had had a 'poke around' many times, playing with needles in the upper area of my navel, but had never actually piercing all the way through or putting jewellery in. I think I just liked the feeling of breaking the skin.

I'm not sure what exactly changed my mind, but one day I decided to go and get my navel pierced properly. My boyfriend took me to a piercing studio he had been to many times before (about an hour's drive away) and, as he was 22, signed the consent form for me. The receptionist told us that it would probably be a trainee named Jed performing the actual piercing but assured us that he would be assisted throughout the procedure. I didn't think much of it at the time as I was just excited to be pierced!

My boyfriend picked out the jewellery he liked - I agreed with him, of course - and we went through into the piercing room. It honestly reminded me of a dentist's office in there - the room was very cold and there were scary looking instruments on the surfaces. Jed, and the fully qualified piercer, Carl, introduced themselves and chatted to me about the procedure. I decided it was best to mention that I had poked needles through my belly button before, so there could be scar tissue there. They didn't look worried and just told me it would hurt a lot less than anything I had inflicted on myself.

Carl collected all the equipment for the procedure, while Jed cleaned my navel and then marked the site. It was spot on the first time, which relaxed me.

I was then told to get into the chair, which was adjusted until it was completely horizontal and I was looking up at the ceiling. My boyfriend helped me to tuck my shirt into my bra and loosen my trousers a little to make more room. I was now beginning to get nervous and my hands were shaking. My breathing was a little irregular so the piercers gave me a few minutes to calm down.

Now came the clamp. It hurt a lot more than I expected - my skin felt very tight and uncomfortable, and the occasional tugging was actually pretty painful. Mentally, I just told myself this would be the worst part and calmed down a little.

There was a pause... "sorry, my hand's shaking," Jed told me. Uh oh, not good. I took a deep breath in and braced myself, and squeezed my boyfriend's hand as I felt the cold metal needle touch the skin on the inside of my belly button. He pushed. I screamed. Panicking, he stopped piercing! Carl leaned over to see what was happening and told Jed to continue. I bit my tongue and let him get on with it this time. The pain was excrutiating - it began as a sharp sting but then a burning sensation took over and I was aware that the needle was twisting, probably due to Jed's shaky hands.

Seeing that I was in pain, Carl encouraged me to take slow deep breaths. In on one, out on two - stab - in on three, out on four - stab. It was probably worse that the needle wasn't being pushed through in one motion - the consistent jabbing didn't seem to be making a lot of progress and also, it hurt like hell.

This continued for another five whole minutes, until Carl finally took over to pierce the final layer of skin. He placed a piece of cork over the clamp on the top of my navel, got me to count to three, then pushed sharply and quickly upwards. I let out another involuntary scream, but luckily this part was just a quick scratch then it was over.

The clamp was then taken off, relieving a lot of the pressure. I was starting to bleed, however, so Jed had to grab some tissues and apply a lot of pressure to the site. After a few minutes the bleeding had all but stopped, so he continued with inserting the jewellery. All went well to begin with, he slid the needle up, following through with the jewellery, but then at the top hole, he pulled the needle out too quickly. He pushed for a few seconds but couldn't get the jewellery through the skin so decided to repierce just the top.

I had no choice but to agree and prepared for the pain. If it's even possible, this part hurt more than the initial piercing. My navel was already sore and this was just further irritating it. However, the jewellery was then pulled through again, correctly this time and I was done.

I was cleaned up and iced - I can't tell you how good this felt - and went back home £40 poorer, but with a 14 gauge barbell of metal in my stomach.

A month later the piercing is still sore, understandably, but appears to be healing well.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 March 2008
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Jed
Studio: I+forget+the+name
Location: Near+Manchester%2C+UK

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