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Overcoming fear

My first piercing (other than the usual earlobes) was a second lobe piercing that I did myself. Since then, I have gravitated towards letting professionals stick needles in me. I have seven piercings and one tattoo as of now, and I am planning on just a few more.

Most recently, I got my tongue pierced in Montreal. I had wanted my tongue pierced for a while, and the only problems were finding a studio in which I felt comfortable while on vacation, and finding the courage to do it.

The thought of getting my tongue pierced caused me a certain degree of fear, because I have had my fair share of dental work done. I have had almost every baby tooth pulled, a skin graft onto my lower outside gums due to gum recession, braces for somewhere near three years, and a fiberotomy to top off the braces. For those that don't know, a fiberotomy involves scalpelling the gum line to help keep the teeth in place just before removing braces. That procedure also involves many needles to numb the mouth. There were three to four needles for my inside and outside lower gums, the outside of my top gums, and five needles in the roof of my mouth. Hence the fear of a needle passing through my tongue.

I like to get some form of body mod while on vacations as a souvenir of sorts. I chose to get my tongue pierced while in Montreal because I have wanted to do both things for a while, and because I am away from my boyfriend, and therefore would have no interference with the healing process.

The first thing I needed to do was find a piercing place I felt comfortable with. So after an extensive amount of time online, I decided I would call Studio Tentation and ask about their price list. It would cost $55, and the lady who answered sounded pleasant on the phone, so I thanked her and hung up. I was still scared out of my wits so didn't actually make an appointment.

The next day I wandered down to the studio to check it out. It seemed very clean and comfortable, with plenty of every kind of jewelry on display. I was greeted almost instantly and asked if I needed any help. Being as scared as I was, I said no and said I had only come to look at some jewelry. I was told that their piercer was piercing at the time but she would be right out to help me if I needed anything to do with jewelry.

I wasted some time looking at every piece they had on display before leaving. I had remembered I hadn't eaten yet that day. After a meal from Mcdonald's, I went back and wasted some more time looking through tattoo portfolios before I plucked up enough courage to go talk to the piercer, Shereen. We made small talk for a while before I said, "I think I want my tongue pierced." and briefly explained my fear. She offered to show me her equipment, so I went back to the piercing room with her. Everything was in little autoclave packages. We wandered back out to the counter where she continued to put me at ease. After what felt like half an hour to forty-five minutes, she asked if I'd made my decision. I had.

Shereen went to go prepare everything and I talked to a tattoo artist in the waiting room until Shereen called me back. I went into the piercing room and took my seat on the chair. Shereen washed her hands and gloved herself, and proceeded to take things out of their autoclave baggies. She then gave me a small cup of some kind of oral sanitizer to rinse my mouth out with and told me to spit it back into the cup. We discussed placement, and she marked my tongue, top and bottom. I checked it out in the mirror, and everything looked fine, so I gave her the go-ahead. She clamped my tongue (which really wasn't that bad save for the dental memories it was bringing back) and pulled slightly. She asked if I could stick out my tongue any further. I couldn't, so she pulled a bit more. I was concentrating on that when she started putting the needle through.

I think my skin has slightly more elasticity than most, because I don't bleed as much as others, and usually it takes a professional two tries to get the needle through. I had warned Shereen about this before we started, so she knew what to expect. It didn't end up being two tries like I expected, but more like it was ever so slightly slower than the quick push that usually happens. I forgot to breathe deep and slow, and I breathed fairly shallowly and quickly as she was pushing the needle through. I barely felt her take the needle out or fasten the bottom ball onto the barbell.

I had the after-piercing-euphoria instantly. So I of course tried to excitedly talk to Shereen. My tongue was pretty huge so that didn't go well. Shereen gave me a cup of water and an empty cup to swish and spit with and get rid of the slight bit of blood. I actually thought it resembled Kool-aid. Shereen and I went out to the counter and she gave me a sheet of after-care instructions. She then had me pick out a shorter barbell, which was included in the price. I also bought a small bag of sea salt.

I'm going back in a couple weeks for Shereen to check on me and change my jewelry.

It has been about four days since and I have almost regained all my previous speaking ability. I was even able to eat a small cheeseburger from Mcdonald's today.

I know I'm going to love my new metal, as I always do. This time though, there is also a sense of accomplishment that goes with it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Aug. 2008
in Tongue Piercing

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Artist: Shereen
Studio: Studio+Tentation
Location: Montreal

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