The Day My Last Piercing Left Me
All I can think of is the part in Lord of the Rings when it’s implied that the ring has a mind of it’s own. It “leaves” Gollum, bouncing away to a place where it knows it’ll be found by Bilbo.
On March 2, 2017, I removed the barbell from my right breast nipple. As I slid out the last remaining piece of jewellery from my body, it felt strange. I had mixed emotions. It had been there through so much. 15 years feels like a long time. When I think about what I was like when I first got it done, showing it to my ultra-religious trans-Atlantic “boyfriend” the week after I got it done when I was in the UK. I’ll never forget his face. Total fascination. I love being a conduit for people to have an experience that they’ve never had before. Getting a glimpse of a lifestyle that they are afraid to explore, opening their mind to new possibilities. It’s always a rush.
A year ago I had an unfortunate incident with my other nipple barbell and an unfinished door frame, so that’s when it decided to leave me. My second nose piercing always getting caught on my shirts and not being able to really scratch my damn nose during the winter just made me feel like it was more of a pain, so out it came. You really don’t realize how often you do things, like scratch your nose, until there’s something there to remind you. My two tragus’ were my favs, besides my nipples. People always commented on them and they were discreet enough that I could get away with them at work. I had a hard time taking those out, partially because I liked them so much and partially because I just couldn’t actually get the bead off. I ended up having to use tools to remove one.
Before that, the Rook left me. I kept losing the beads. I remember getting this one pierced vividly, it was probably one of the most painful for me. My boyfriend at the time was awesome when I wanted to change it to a stubby barbell. Laying on the kitchen floor in total agony, he pushed it through to the next size up. That pain was awful! In hindsight, he wasn’t afraid of much, and that was a quality that I didn’t value as much as I would now. The usual lobe & upper lobe piercings and the helix, gone. What are we up to, eight on the ears, two on the nose plus nips, twelve. My bellybutton lasted the least amount of time because I went swimming in a lake right after and had a job where I wore a duty belt that sat right at it. Infection plus chaffing equals glorious failure in the piercing department. Thirteen.
Then of course the all mighty “clit” piercing, which let’s just clarify, is not actually that, although some people apparently do. The piercing is through the little hood that protects it. That piercing lasted a whole 2 weeks because what 18 yr old can go a month (the recommended time) without having sex. Are you kidding me? We barely made it back to his house.
14 times a needle has been pushed through my skin. Fourteen times a metal object was shoved in after it. The sting! The experience is very interesting and probably very different for everyone.
I enjoyed it.
The preparation, the anticipation, the adrenaline. (huh, my nipples just got hard writing that) Hopefully the person doing it was confident. I found men and women to be equally bad or good at it. In my experience, some were steady handed, they’d seen a thousand vaginas and nothing phased them. They’d be joking about giving you a two-for-one deal if you pierced something else while you were there with your pants off. (True story) Or there’s the guy who bumbled around like he was stoned, only to end up piercing on the wrong angle so the jewellery didn’t sit properly, resulting in a gross infection. (also a true story, just not mine)
What keeps bringing us back? What causes us to have these urges for pain & adrenaline every once in a while? What do we gain from decorating our body with jewellery? Is it sexy? No, it’s gross. There’s shit that comes out of piercings, it smells like…I don’t even know, but it’s nasty. Not to mention, you really don’t realize until they are gone, how much energy it takes making sure they don’t get caught on stuff. I can finally relax! I’m single now and rolling around naked in the bedsheets with someone isn’t even on my agenda…but it will be fun when it happens!
On some level, they become you. So when you make that decision to remove them or they decide to leave you, you feel a small sense of loss. A little piece of you is gone, never to be the same again. Literally, because now you have a scar.
When I sit quietly & really feel into my body, it’s saying thank you.
I can relax now, no distraction, energy is flowing unobstructed and it feels fucking fantastic.
Originally published at thejournalsedge.blogspot.com on March 12, 2017.