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When and where it started I will never know. I can only speculate. Musing over the past, I guess it could have started with my fascination of what my mom would call "circus freaks" and the sort. It could have been when I first lavished the moments after being scratched by my cat Dynasty (why we called him that I don't know-I would hate to think it referred to the 80s overindulgent drama series). However, my fascination with pain has been an ongoing thing that I kept a secret for all sorts of reasons. It wasn't until the Summer before college that I got the nerve to even consider getting pierced and realized for the first time to feel this way was perfectly OK. I never connected the two. Initially, I considered body modification was done solely for the aesthetics of the jewelry in the skin and against the body. At that time I wasn't interested in that at all for pain is what I found pleasure in.

Where I got the idea from? Well, it started with another random trip to the village in NYC where for the first time I really looked at people in their faces (I was so use to just walking around with my head down and gazing into store windows from time to time) and a "plop" in front of the television to see a Jenny Jones special along the lines of "My Parents Hate Me Because I am a FREAK." In it, the kids would yell that they had a fascination with pain and that body modification was not only a way to adorn themselves but the jewelry and such was a way to remind them of what "went down". Of course, the adults gasped and rained complaints down the "willing" and "neglectful" parents throats. Of course, this hapless attempt at youngster reformation (from a talk show I might add-which really sucks!) was not a means of deterrence for me because I had to find a way to vent what I thought back then was a want for "ecstasy" from pain. These kids made me realize that body modification wasn't just for aesthetic purposes but had all to do with adornment, pain, and pleasure. If I could get all three then I was ready for it.

So I did it! It was on a Friday I believe. In Philadelphia because that was where I was to attend college (University of Pennsylvania). As I walked into Inferno, then a quite young Tiffany smiled my way directing me towards the glass encased counter and I knew that I would like her for a long time to come. I muttered a mere, "Can I get my eyebrow pierced?". "Sure" she genially replied, probably realizing how insanely apprehensive I was. I mean I knew what it felt like to feel Dynasty's claws but a needle piercing into my skin wasn't something that I considered. The thought left me empty but yearning for the first prick. I considered walking out but I found my trembling hands reaching into my pocket and pulling out my new school ID and birth certificate (I hadn't gotten my non-driver's license yet). So Tiffany gives me a stare and I anticipated her next move. From then, all seemed a blur with tables moving, door closing, feeling of leather against my back, forceps, feet tapping, voices asking "are you ok", replies of "I am fine", and it was over.

So that was over! It took but a few minutes of preparation, more prepping, and then the final moment of what I deemed to be "ecstasy". To say it was "ecstasy" would have been overrated after that point. It felt more like a limitless escape. Honestly! Here I was doing something that at the time only a few had-much less a timid, na‹ve, and young black kid from NYC. It was kind of funny. When I looked into the full length mirror, after instruction to do so, I was overcome by "ecstasy" for this time the sight of the stainless steel ring hanging from my eyebrow encapsulated me; left me limp with joy. It was amazing. It was definitely comparable to any scratch, bite, or snip. After a smile from Tiffany (who is very beautiful by the way) I walked out, vowing to continue this road to body modification excess. And excess it was!

So now here I am over 3 years later. It is May of 1999 and 9 eyebrow piercings, lip piercing, tongue piercing, countless ear piercings (including plugs), nipples pierced, and a couple of male piercings later, I have come to what BME would consider an "unusual piecing". The thought scares my mom! For her, all that I have done is unusual (God bless her soul-I have put her through a lot!) Of course, I don't have most of the piercings described before any longer for many reasons but the most important being that I have grown to love minimalism. However, if a nape piercing is consider "unusual" mark me down for it for the rest of my life because it has proved to be both exhilarating during and after the piercing procedure.

My best friend, who happens to be a girl, had hers done September of 1999 at Infinite by Luis (a cute, very cool, and sexy dude that started working there not too long ago-don't tell him I said that!) For a while I had been going through what I hate to call (but I will for I can't think of another word) "phases", where I just really did not appreciate the aesthetics of some of my piercings any longer. So I took a lot of them out and was left with those "unseen to the public eye" and those in my ears.

A lot of times I subconsciously think of piercings (about getting them, feeling the needle go through my skin, and the sort) but it was not until I woke up one morning and thought of the nape that I really knew I was hooked and had to get it done. To me, it is one of the most beautiful piercings out there for a number of reasons. The most exhilarating one would be the fact that it is "hidden" in a sense. I mean sure where mine is placed (in the middle of my neck-length and width wise) the public eye can see it but there is something about it that still seems secretive and beautiful all at once. Though I loved all of my piercings at one point, this one had to be the most dear to me.

So I am laying on my back being prepped with blue-black ink and all the while breathing on my own (before Luis told me to-I find that it works). For a whole lot of reasons I am apprehensive for the first time since that day in Inferno. Not just the fact that I am half naked (actually in a tank top but I am very slim!), but the fact that I was getting something that I heard very few can handle (mostly after the procedure that is). So all thoughts rang in my head, as Luis massaged my neck and applied the forceps, but I continued to breath keeping my chin planted firmly on the now warm leather rest. So Luis mouths, "Take a deep breath.breathe in and breathe out." And it happened! Surely, I did what I was told but as the sharp, cool, metal object touched my skin I gasped for that breathe of air that Luis had been talking about. I got it but not until I felt the most exhilarating feeling in my life as the needle seemed to glide through my neck. Some say that piercing parts of your penis is something unexplainable-for me, it was this. I relaxed as the dreadful part (and I was warned it would be) came. Meticulously, Luis took the special shaped barbell and slid it through. It was here that I felt pain like no other (only comparable, though different, to the daith or rook procedure). The "staple" shape barbell, designed to make the healing process better, was torture. And you know what? I loved every minute of it!

I can say that getting pierced at Infinite by Luis made it that much more enjoyable! The dude takes his time, making sure that the piercing is right smack dab in the middle and perfect; I couldn't ask for any more. The healing process has been spectacular so far, I am thinking which is largely due to the shape of the barbell which allows for easy blood flow.

Of course, during the procedure I went back to the times when I associated body modification only with experiencing sheer pain and enjoying it. And you know what happened? To say I am happy with my nape piercing would be an understatement. I am sure that the procedure was enjoyable largely due to Luis (and I thank him for this) but loving the aesthetics of the piercing after the procedure is largely due to the fact that this piercing is one of the BEST that there is! This piercing, was the first that left me happy with the aesthetics and the painful, but enjoyable, procedure. I am glad that I got it done.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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