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My 15 cents ear stretching adventure

How I got started:

My first encounter with stretched earlobes came in, of all places, a movie theater. We had arrived a bit late for a showing of some movie, I don't recall what it was, and the only seats we could find had me directly behind some extremely tall and wide guy. I was craning this way and that trying to find some way to see around him, when I noticed the light shining through his ears, and discovered, to my immense amusement that I could be watching the movie through his ears. Hah, I though it was the coolest thing ever, but at the time I wasn't all into piercing, so I figured it was only for a different sort of person. However, the idea had been planted in the back of my head. A number of months later, I had gotten my tongue pierced on a whim, and liked it so much I kept going. So, 7 new piercings later, I was kind of considering stretching my lobes when I met a guy through a friend who could fit candy canes through his ears. Very festive around Christmas.

So I'm impressionable!

I determined that I HAD to be like him. So, I started investigating: where to start? Do I have to pay other people to do it for me? That sort of thing. I discovered that yes, you could pay a small fee to have your friendly neighborhood piercer jam a taper through your ear and put in the new jewelry, but that gets expensive fast. Especially if you have to buy new stainless steel plugs or flesh tunnels every time you drop a gauge. So I started looking for the do-it-yourself solution. I started off with a regular old earring hole I'd had since I was like 6 and began by jamming the 14-G barbell I got my tongue pierced with through it. Then I dropped to a 12 G CBR I had lying around. That's when I ran out of real jewelry. I has been knitting for a while, but lost one of the needles, so I had a spare just lying around that looked about the right size. So I cut off the end and tried to jam it through. Yeah, that one hurt. It took a few days of progressive forcing and some quantities of blood, but I finally got it through. I decided I'd had enough, and I'd just let this one heal and be done with it. That was approximately a 8 or 10-G. Well after it healed I decided that no, it didn't hurt that much after all, and I should keep going. But I was fresh out of knitting needles. So, I wandered down to the neighborhood hardware to store to see what I could find. What I did find was a reel of different sizes of plastic tubing, So I bought a length of 3/16th tubing. It was like 5 cents, a lot better than $40 for new surgical stainless steel plugs. I found that by using a knife to pare off the end of the tube, I could taper the tube to only the thickness of the inside diameter. So that made it moderately easier to force through, still not quite the same as a nice gradual stainless steel taper, but hey, poor college student, you gotta make do with what you can find. Still not very much fun though, I don't really recommend jumping from an 8-G to a 4 in one single moment (there was much cursing and ice on my part). So, blood and pain aside I was now making progress. I did the same thing, got 5 more cents worth of quarter inch outside diameter tubing and jammed that through. Once again with the pain and bleeding.

Genius strikes:

That's when I had a brilliant idea. I mean, sure I could handle jumping from a 4 to a 2 gauge in one fell moment, but was all that pain and ear trauma really necessary? (I'm not one of those people who feel a piercing is less worthwhile if it doesn't hurt. Plus I heard you can rip your ear trying to go to fast, and I was somewhat concerned) So, after my ear was accustomed to the inch tube, I took it out and wrapped a layer of duct tape around it and put it back in (yes, duct tape truly solves all of life's problems). I did that for a week or 2, gradually stretching them out, and it was ridiculously easy to put in the next size of tubing, which was 5/16ths. Hmm, wish I'd though of that earlier in the game. Anyhoo, I'm now at a 0 gauge, which was my original destination, but I've been having so much fun I might just keep going. Besides, it's a cheap option for those times when you feel like altering your body but just don't have the money for a new piercing.

Note: it's now a month later, and I find myself at a 00 G, and since I really don't want to be one of those people with ridiculously huge earlobes, I just plunked down $40 for some flanged earlets. The thought behind that move was "well, if I spend a lot of money on nice jewelry, I'll have second thoughts about stretching my ears any more, because after all, what, if any, practical use is there for 00-G earlets when your ears are at a 000-G?" None whatsoever.

[email protected] comments or questions welcome :-)


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Aug. 1999
in Ear Piercing

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