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All Snuggled Up

The Decision

I'm no stranger to a piercing needle, and after having several other piercings done (several lobe, cartilage, rook, anti- tragus, navel, horizontal navel), I decided it was time to get another one that I (and my husband) would be happy with. My last piercing was four years ago and failed (the anti-tragus). It was an unfortunate event, but I knew I could always get it redone if I wanted. The idea eventually left for a while, and as financial aid for school stopped and our cash flow began to slow down, I definitely had other priorities than getting pierced.

I finally got a stable job and made enough money to have extra cash left over. My husband and I decided to get ourselves each a present for Christmas, so I decided to get a piercing. I knew I didn't want to get my anti-tragus done again (I realized it looked too cluttered next to my lobe piercings), so I started looking into the snug piercings because they were a bit higher up on the ear. I had always loved the way they looked, so I decided that's what I wanted.

Finding A Piercer

I thought it would be easy to look for piercers. You look in the phone book, pick a place, and make an appointment. But when the internet gives you the benefit of looking at online reviews, the decision is a lot harder to make! A lot of places I looked at either had poor reviews or didn't have any Web site whatsoever. I live in a small town in the Bay Area so there were several cities I could choose from to get it done. I called the piercing place closest to where we lived (about 15 minutes away) even though they had some bad reviews, and they hadn't even heard of a snug piercing! So obviously that place was a no-go. After reading the reviews for a bunch of other places and calling around, we decided to go to a place about an hour from where we lived.

The Shop

We picked Zebra Tattoo and Body Piercing. I had known their shop in Berkeley was highly praised, so I figured the shop in Walnut Creek had to be of the same caliber. Even though we traveled a lot further than we'd expected, I felt confident in my decision to go there. I knew I wouldn't be going to some shop next to a bar or in an alley. When I called them the piercer answered (Wes), and right away I knew he was going to be such a nice guy. He answered all my questions without making me feel like I was taking his time, and he made sure I got all the information I needed. After I got off the phone with him, I immediately got ready and we left.

Like I said, the shop is in a really nice area. The place is awesome on the inside. The girls that work there are so sweet - making sure to greet you right when you walk in. I was helped right away even though there were several other people there. I told the girl at the counter what I wanted, and immediately she got out several boxes of jewelry for me to choose. I ended up choosing a small silver barbell with diamonds on the balls. She then filled out the paperwork I needed, told me the cleaning procedures, and gave me a buzzer/beeper thing while I waited for the jewelry to be sterilized.

The Piercing

My buzzer buzzed about ten minutes later. I walked into the piercing room, and there was Wes. I know a lot of people who work in tattoo and piercing shops may intimidate people, but Wes looked like any other guy on the street. It was sort of funny because he actually didn't have any piercings himself! He greeted me, told me where I could set my stuff, and had me sit in a dentist-like chair. We talked about what I was getting done, the holidays, and some other piercing stuff. And then he said, "Okay, take this mirror for a second."

I was kind of worried because he hadn't even done anything to my ear except examine it, and he said, "We can't do a snug piercing on this part of your ear because if we did, the needle would go through the back of your ear." So I was sort of disappointed thinking I would have to leave with another type of piercing or worse - nothing. But then he said, "So we are going to have to place it just above your anti-tragus." And then my fears disappeared and I said, "Let's do it!" I didn't mind the placing at all - I still thought it was going to look really good.

So then my husband walked in and while I talked to him, Wes said, "Okay, here we go." And then I said, "Are you marking it now?" And he said, "No, I'm actually going to go ahead and do it." And I said, "Oh, did you mark it already?" And he said, "Yes." And then I said, "Oh, Can I see it?" He then apologized and let me look in the mirror. The placement was perfect so I let him go ahead. (Always ask to see the placement! You don't want to leave without a crooked piercing.) I never really felt my other piercings, so I wasn't nervous to get this done. I figured it wasn't going to hurt.

He got close to my ear and then I felt the needle pressing into my snug. It didn't hurt; it just felt like someone was pinching it. Before I go on, I have a high pain tolerance when it comes to piercings, so my experience with it may differ greatly from yours! I expected him to then tell me to take a deep breath in so he could stick the needle in, but no. He just shoved it through. It didn't hurt much when it was going through, but I'm pretty sure it was the needle going through the exit hole that hurt a little. I didn't flinch or anything, but right away my legs felt like they needed to shake for some reason. It was hard keeping them from staying still, but somehow I managed. Putting in the jewelry hurt more than the piercing itself; I actually burst out a giggle because it hurt. (Who giggles when they are in pain?) I said sorry after laughing, and Wes said, "It's okay, this is always the most difficult part."

During the whole process Wes kept asking, "Are you doing okay?" I was actually a little embarrassed for laughing, but at least I didn't have an opposite reaction. He showed me my snug in the mirror, and even though it was a little red and swollen, I really liked what it looked like. I thanked him a million times and then we said good-bye.

Cleaning Procedures

The only way I've ever cleaned my piercings is with dial soap twice a day. It's worked pretty well for the most part, so that's what I'll continue doing. The shop recommended pure emu oil, so if my piercing doesn't heal correctly, I'll most likely go back to buy some.


Even though it's only been a couple of hours, my ear hasn't really hurt at all. It felt a little warm immediately after it was done, and it started throbbing a bit after my hair got caught in it, but after that it has felt fine. I don't know how the piercing will heal in months to come, and from past experiences it can go either way (my rook healed with absolutely no problems, my anti-tragus gave me nine months of hell.) Hopefully this one lasts!

Feel free to email any questions you may have!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Wes
Studio: Zebra+Tattoo+and+Body+Piercing
Location: Walnut+Creek%2C+California

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