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Ever since I've been getting piercings of my own, I wondered constantly what it would be like on the other end of the needle. Nick, who works [worked] at Forbiddin Art in Philadelphia, promised to give me that chance. He told me that as soon as I saw him again (I go to school three hours away) he'd give me a short lesson, then let me give him a simple piercing.

I arrived in Philadelphia last Friday evening, and Nick skated down to the train station to meet me. We walked back to his place, and relaxed for a bit, exchanged some jewelry, and hung out the rest of the night.
The next morning, I reminded him of his promise. He sighed uncomfortably and asked if I was sure I really wanted to. I said, "Yeah, man!" and began to get hyper.

Nick got out his box of supplies, and picked up a D-ring he made. He dropped the jewelry into a small cup of Madacide. He said. "Okay, you can give me a Madison piercing."

My jaw dropped. He couldn't be for real. I had expected him to let me pierce his ear cartilage or maybe an eyebrow if I was lucky. I knew that surface piercings shouldn't be done by anyone inexperienced. It could be dangerous. Then, I glanced at the jewelry he picked out. It was kind of small; only a 16 gauge. "Um, don't you think you should at least use a 12, or at the smallest a 14ga? Are you sure I'll be able to do it right?" I asked nervously.

"Look. You'll do fine. I'm here to show you what to do. The 16ga is the only surface jewelry I have right now, and a madison is what I want, so that's what you can give me. Besides, the tissue there is really soft, so you shouldn't have a problem," he answered with confidence. I agreed with excitement, and a small twinge of fright.

We ran downstairs to ask his roommate to take photographs of the event.

All three of us then headed for the bathroom. Nick and I both washed our hands. He handed me a pair of latex gloves to wear, and he also put a pair on himself. He said, "First we must prep the skin." He opened a small, sealed wrapper containing a disposable wipe cloth then preceded to wipe his neck in the area to be pierced. He got out a marker, and showed me how to measure the width of the dots against the jewelry. The "in" and "out" dots were made, and he drew a line down the center of the dots. "See that tube over there?" Nick asked, "That's lubricant.
Squeeze a small glob of that on the back of your left glove."

"Okay. What for?" I did what he told me.

"It's to help the needle push through the skin," he answered. He lifted the jewelry out of the cup of Madacide, then said, "This is the difference between a painful piercing and a not-so-painful piercing.
Always remember to wash off the Madacide." Then, he picked up a sealed envelope containing a clamp that had already been autoclaved. Nick showed me the proper way to clamp his neck, with the center line he drew becoming the crease.

Nick held the clamp while I opened the needle. "Now, dip the needle in the lubricant on the back of your hand. Be sure to get it good and slippery," he instructed.

The time had arrived. I had the clamp in one hand, and the needle in the other. My heart was beating faster than it ever had before, and I was so nervous I could have shit my pants right then. I told myself to keep calm. I was staring at the dot, and I aimed the needle right at it. "You ready? 1... 2..."

"Heather, don't do that," Nick said suddenly. He was still calm.

"Don't do what?!" I asked with fear. I wasn't sure what I had been doing wrong.

"Don't count, because then I'd know when it's coming. Be sure to do it fast, because if you do it slow, it'll hurt." Nick told me.

"Oh! Sorry." I took a deep breath. I took a look at Nick's face, then put all my concentration on the needle and its mark. I pushed it through. Fast. He hardly made a noise. The needle was through his neck. "Wow! I did it! Holy shit. That was SO rad!" I exclaimed. I looked at Nick's new Madison piercing. "Hey, I did that good, didn't I?
I got it right on the marks!"

Nick looked at it in the mirror. "Yeah, not bad. You pierced me better than my roommate ever did." The last part was to insert the jewelry.
After we pushed it through, the ball had to be snapped in place. Nick wanted to do this part himself since it required a tool, and a bit of force. I stepped back and looked at our work. {sniff} It was SO beautiful! I snapped a few pictures of the finished product. It's been a little over a week since Nick got his new piercing, and I haven't seen it since. I just hope that it heals with minimal or no problems.


This story was written a few months ago. Nick took out the jewelry about a month after I pierced him. The 16ga was too small to heal properly, and it was already starting to migrate. It was still a fun experience for the both of us, and Nick said that he'd let me pierce him again. Read an interview with him on the people section of BME.

E-mail Heather at [email protected] E-mail Nick at [email protected]


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

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