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Conch experience 101

So this all begins in a drama class in first year of university, when I saw this guy with a crazy piercing. The ring he had in went all the way around his ear and through the middle, hard cartilage, part of the ear. I thought to myself, "how cool is that?" However, I never ended up getting it done.

Fast forward to the third year. I had become obsessed with the piercing again, but this time I was definitely getting it done. I discussed it with my friend, who thought it would look good, and I decided to head down to the piercing place to get it done. I hadn't heard too much about this place, as it was new, but it looked clean from the outside, so I was willing to give it a try.

We got there about a half-hour before they were going to close, and when we walked in there were quite a few people already there. A very friendly woman greeted us when we got in, and asked us what we wanted. I asked her if they did conch piercings, she said yes, while pointing to her newly pierced conch/helix spiral barbell. She asked if I wanted to get it done, I said yes, and she took me back to apply the freezing cream.

Now my friend had told me a horror story about a place that had used freezing when she had her rook done, so I was a little skeptical. However, this place used a freezing lotion as opposed to a spray, which I was told was much better. Being new to piercings, I went along with it. I was also told that there were two eyebrows in front of me, so it would be about 25 minutes. I was told to help myself to a free drink and have a seat.

So as I enjoyed my pop (which helped calm my nerves and get some much needed sugar), my friend and I browsed around looking at the tattoo portfolios, while we waited.

After what seemed like forever, it took about 35-40 minutes for him to finish both eyebrows, I was told Jamie was ready.

Jamie asked me what we were doing, so I told him a conch, and he told me he had never done one of those. Not really what I was wanting to hear at this point, but the girl from the counter assured me he had just done her spiral piercing, so no problem. This made me feel better.

Next he asked me what gauge I was thinking. Again, being new to this, I had no idea. He explained that most guys usually go with a 14g with piercings. Sure, sounds good to me. But then another snag - he wasn't sure if he had a ring big enough to fit around my ear. Again not the most comforting thing, but after some quick measurements we narrowed it down to two rings. Jamie explained that he wanted the ring big enough so that it didn't pull on the hole when it stretched around my ear, but not so big that it would easily snag on things.

He then marked a dot on my ear and began opening his tools. Being a university biology student, I know a thing or two about autoclaves and sterility, so I was pretty interested in this part. I asked him a few questions about the equipment he had, and it sounded very impressive. I couldn't believe how clean and sterile everything was. He showed me the date of when each piece of equipment was cleaned before opening it, and made sure to show me that none of the tools had been previously opened. This made me feel much more comfortable.

Once everything was opened, he held the smaller ring to my ear and decided it was the perfect size. He told me to take a look, and I wasn't so sure. The only two guys I knew with the piercing both had rather large rings in the piercing, and this ring looked very tiny in comparison. Not a problem he said, lets get a second opinion. So he asked my friend and the girl from the counter and they both agreed that it was the right size. Then after taking a second look, I agreed.

Now on to the actual piercing. Unlike most, Jamie said he likes to explain what is going to happen before and during the piercing. He explained that he would remove the needle from the casing, apply some lubricant, count to three, tell me to take a breath and then pierce the ear. He would then insert the ring in the end of the needle, make the conversion from needle to jewelry, apply the ball and finally clamp the ring shut. The play by play made me feel much more comfortable, and made the whole thing less intimidating I felt.

Before I knew it, it was time. Jamie told me to take a deep breath and the needle went through. It was at this point I knew the freezing was a good thing. Seeing as how I have never really had a chance to test my pain tolerance, I was unsure what to expect. Let me assure you though, it wasn't that bad at all! Other than a small pinch, it really just felt like he was holding onto my ear. After reading many previous experiences, and considering the thickest part of my ear was getting pierced, I assumed it would be very painful. Not at all.

Now time for the jewelry. Jamie again told me what was happening, but before I could even think about it, the jewelry was in, the ball was clamped on and he was telling me to take a look. I must say the inserting of the jewelry hurt a little more than the actually piercing, but only because it was moving around while the ball was being clamped on. When I looked in the mirror though, it looked awesome! I absolutely loved it, and my friend, the girl at the counter and Jamie agreed. Having just had two piercings done himself, Jamie thought he may have to consider getting his conch done after taking a look at mine.

After picking up some aftercare solution, going through the instructions with Jamie and paying for the piercing, my friend and I continued to chat with him and the girl at the counter. We then left, and I was so excited to be able to feel the jewelry in my ear as I walked

After an hour or so when the freezing wore off, my ear felt hot and a little uncomfortable, but nothing unbearable. I was worried about sleeping on it that night, but it was not that bad. I managed to situate my pillows perfectly so my left ear didn't have to rest on anything.

I have had the piercing now for almost a week and I love it! I have had so many compliments about it, and have really had no trouble with it at all. I clean it twice a day with anti-bacterial soap and then spray it with the aftercare solution from the shop. So far so good, only a few crusty pieces, and a small amount of blood the next day (which Jamie told me was normal). I highly recommend Jamie and Iron Legends, not only do they run a quality shop, but they sure know how to make you feel comfortable, especially if it is your first time!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Nov. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Jamie
Studio: Iron+Legends
Location: Kingston%2C+ON

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