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A birthday piercing

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Well, it was my first piercing that wasn't on an earlobe, but just so that it wouldn't feel "lonely" I had it done on the outer conch of my ear. Well, that's a poor excuse for piercing placement, making sure it didn't feel "lonely"! There were actually other reasons I chose that particular spot. A major motivation being that my dear flatmate had a ring there too, high up on the cartilaginous part of his ear, near the top, and it looked very good on him. The other reason being, that I figured for my first non-earlobe effort, this would be a safe place to start.

I should explain that it was a gift from a friend of mine - one of the people who had originally sparked my interest in body modification that didn't involve tattoos ? This friend actually has a small business (Dispater Design - and no he doesn't export to the USA) making body piercing & other interesting jewellery.

I decided he was trustworthy enough to do my piercing because I had seen his genital piercings, which he'd done himself over the course of a few months. I also had good reports from people who had experienced nipple & facial piercings from him. An acquaintance of mine had received a labret piercing from him, and found his manner very soothing. I also knew that his understanding of aseptic technique was thorough, having chatted to him about it many times over the last few months.

We decided to do it on the night of my birthday, after he finished work for the day. So he came to my house, and we chatted about where on my ear to put it, and where to sit while it was being done. We decided on a spot a few centimetres below the point of my ear, on the outer conch. Deciding where to sit for the procedure was a little more difficult (that would make sense if you'd seen our lounge room at the time).

Preparations were simple enough for me, I just had to sit down and relax. My piercer, on the other hand, had to set himself up a "sterile space" which involved having a piece of paper laid down on the ground where he could set up his clamps, piercing needle and jewellery. All that was boiled (well, obviously not the paper), and then a squirt of Betadine antiseptic creme was put on the paper with the tip of the piercing needle resting in it. At that stage he put on some gloves, and some more Betadine was wiped on my ear. I have to say that Betadine cream is sort of dark red in colour, and stains skin impressively, so it's something to be aware of if you're intending to use it. There is a clear solution (not the cream) available for after care, but beware it contains alcohol, so it stings a lot on new piercings!

By that time I was sitting comfortably on the floor, leaning against a chair. I'd heard that cartilage piercings are painful, and I have to say that they are a little. Putting the piercing needle through for the 12 gauge piercing hurt enough to make me swear and go bright red in the face. I also got an increased pulse rate, plenty of sweating and a small orgasm, which pleased me a lot. It seems I like piercings . ..

The next part of the procedure, putting the captive bead ring into place was less painful, but I felt more pressure. My friend had given me a beautiful titanium ring, which had been fired to show rainbow colours on it, with a haematite bead. Even on my glowing red ear, it looked beautiful.

Throughout the procedure, my ear had bled very little, and in the following week it did not bleed at all. Cleaning involved using Betadine antiseptic solution twice daily for a week, then occasional salt water rinses for the next week. I felt pain even after a month, and still feel occasional very mild pain now, three years later, if the ear gets pressure put on it for long periods of time. Despite that, I do feel that the piercing was worth it, as it looks excellent, and I can avoid putting too much pressure on that ear.

I have had only once incidence of infection in the piercing, and that was very mild. It was easily cleared up by using some simple antiseptic solution bought over the counter at a chemist shop.

Considering that this piercing is often exposed to being tugged by clothing, and pulled on generally, I'm pleased to say it hasn't migrated a millimetre. What has happened, however, is that the beautiful rainbow colours in the titanium ring have faded to an darker, more even tone. I had been told to expect this after time, as the oxidisation technique used to make these colours does not introduce the colours into the whole thickness of the metal, but just onto the surface. Still, while it lasted, it looked great!

My general recommendation to people is that if they do choose to have such a piercing done, they should be prepared for a slow healing in comparison to such things as tongue or genital piercings. In addition, it's worth ensuring that the jewellery you choose does not catch on clothes as you dress, so a smaller ring may be easier if one's prone to absent-mindedness in the mornings ?

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999
in Ear Piercing

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