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Spinal Piercing Experience

ITLE>Spinal Piercing Experience

spinal piercing experience

by Brian Chambers

i discovered the spinal piercing while browsing through the body modification e-zine. i was attracted by the way it elegantly crossed the spine, punctuating the arch of the lower back and, especially with the double pierce, suggesting the delicate structure of the spine itself. i also liked the subtlety of embedding the jewelry deep within the tissue of the back, peeking out like buried treasure in the ocean floor.

the jewelry itself consists of two 12 gauge barbells, constructed specifically for this kind of piercing from surgical stainless steel. my piercer, trish, clamped me up and measured the length and tissue depth to determine the jewelry's specifications. i then placed my order to stainless studios in toronto.

once i received the barbells, i visited trish for the piercing procedure. she sterilized the jewelry, disinfected my lower back, and marked me up. as i lay stomach-down on her living room sofa with my upper body propped up by a cushion, she attempted repeatedly to clamp the flesh. as it turned out, clamping was our primary obstacle, as it was difficult for the forceps to stay clamped on such taut tissue. looking back, i think maybe we should have had a second piercer holding the forceps in place or used a pair of forceps for a better grip (this is just ill-informed speculation on my part; don't take it as professional advice). suffice to say, my lower back ended up with some pretty ghastly contusions from all the clamping.

"okay, honey, on the count of three...one, two, deep breath..."

i have found that, at the heart of each piercing, there is a transcendent point of entry--a splitting, white-hot eruption followed by an endless, frozen second when you sense every molecule of flesh through which the piercing needle bores. it is orgasmic in the way it unfolds: an excruciating crescendo dissolves into a sustained discord. when the needle emerges, the notes decay, and the jewelry is threaded through the hole.

for anyone considering piercing their lower back, be warned: it is very tough. when the needle was about 1/3 through the tissue, my piercer had to climb on top of me and push with all her strength to force it the rest of the way through. it was a rather grisly ordeal. i felt queasy and faint afterwards, especially knowing that i still had one more to go. she asked whether i wanted to proceed with the second, and i told her yes, that i wanted to get it over with. for about ten minutes, she tried to clamp the second site, but the area became so swollen and bruised that she could no longer work with it. we therefore decided to wait a few days before installing the companion piece.

[the trick to avoiding this complication is to put both clamps on before piercing. -ed.]

it has now been 24 hours since my piercing, and i only experience discomfort while driving, due to the way my car seat rubs against my lower spine. i clean it as best i can twice a day with betadine, and i soak it each day in warm salt water. (okay, actually, i lie in the bathtub thrusting my pelvis in the air; this creates a vacuum in the arch of my back, flushing water into the wound as i laugh hysterically.) though i'm a little embarrassed to show it off because of the peripheral damage, i've already frightened a number of friends and coworkers with it. once everything heals, i'm sure i will be elated by the end result.

UPDATE: well it's been about six months now. i got the second barbell in my lower back and another in my nape. the latter has healed up wonderfully; it has no tenderness and no sign of migrating out. the two spinals are still coming along. i think the lumbar support in my car has kept them aggravated, as well as my daily cleaning. they feel better now that i'm using a less drying soap and cleaning them less frequently.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1997
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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