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il faut epater le bourgeois
(one must shock the bourgeois)
-baudelaire

i love piercings, both on myself and other people... they can be both beautiful and symbolic, depending on the piercee. for me, i guess they're both.

when i first decided to get pierced, it wasn't really for any deep reason. i just thought it would look cool. i'm so shallow. *l* i guess the big shock of my first piercing experience was the adrenaline rush afterwards. it's strange, because in this society, we are taught that pain is bad, usually leading to death (also bad). of course, any s&m person will tell you this is bullshit. there is something pure in pain, especially something you choose to do to yourself. and the rush afterwards is incredible.

since that first time, my piercings have taken on more meaning. in a few words, getting pierced is my way of exerting control over my body. it's something that i chose to do and there is noone on this earth who could take that away from me. they make me feel in control of myself.

these are my piercings, past and present...

eyebrow
this was my first pierce, and i chose a barbell cause i don't like how rings stick out from the face. it was 18ga, and it looked very cool. then it started to grow out. i was in denial for awhile, since it had lived happily in my skin for about two months. but i finally had to face the truth and take it out when i could see the metal through the skin... i didn't want it to get accidentally ripped out. about a month later i tried to repierce it, but same story. so i gave up for awhile. i'm thinking about giving it another go if i ever have a job where the amount of metal in my face will make no difference. if i do it again, i will probably go for a bigger gauge, though, and get a curved barbell. and pray. *l*

labret
definitely my favorite of my piercings. currently, i'm wearing a 14ga labret stud with the disc back. it's the same stud that i got when it was pierced, so it's kinda long, but i used to play with it all the time, so i didn't mind. lately, though, i've been thinking about getting a shorter stud to wear in it, and maybe also a ring, cause that looks very cool. i just need to get some money first. *l* unfortunately, it's the only pierce that's in any of my pics, so if you want to see it, click here. in order to look normal for employment purposes, i bought a labret retainer, which is this little piece of acrylic that's flat on the front and painted the flat part with flesh-tone nailpolish so you really can't see it at all... most people just think i took it out (as if!)

nipples
well, it used to be both nips. one grew out (my body is getting rebellious) but that may have been my fault. i'll probably get it done again, i don't know. it looks better to have both, i think. i have a plain 14ga cbr in the right one, and the other cbr is just hanging out since i removed it and let the hole close up.

tragus
this one didn't hurt at all, i swear. i had heard so many horror stories about it being the most painful you can get, but the clamp ended up being more painful than the needle. i'm wearing an 18ga cbr in it, and it's doing okay. it's a slightly difficult pierce to keep clean, just because i can't see the other side of it. and it's a moody pierce; if it is not kept absolutely clean, it gets all red and painful (bad pain). for awhile i thought it was keloiding, but it seems to be okay now.

conch
my most painful by far. it's in this really hard piece of cartilage, but at least it's not going anywhere. i've got a 14ga cbr in it, and it looks really cool. it feels like one of those tags that scientists put in the ears of animals to track them or something. *l* this is my other favorite. recently i got a pierce craving and got the other one done, and it's behaving much better... not giving me all the trouble the first one did... healing cartilage piercings is tough...

tongue
i play with this thing constantly. it healed really fast, but for awhile i was living on listerine (something i was used to cause i had to use it for my labret as well). i did eat solid food the same day i got it (a long and arduous process, almost a spectator sport *l*), so i wasn't living off of yogurt like some people. recently i got it stretched up to a 10ga, cause a long time ago, i had this dream where my tongue was at a ten, and i'm trying to follow my dreams, weird as they may be... actually, it was barely even stretching, cause it'd been stretched so much by me playing with it... the piercer was kinda disappointed *l*

antitragus
wow did this one hurt... it was my first piercing in my left ear (besides a lobe pierce when i was in the fourth grade), probably because that ear has a tendency to bleed. and bleed it did. trickling all down my ear. my friend mike had to go into a restaurant and get me napkins to clean myself up. i think what made it hurt most was that the piercer had to push the needle through three times, so it took an incredibly long time. but finally i heard the pop, and i had a cute 16ga ring in a place that isn't expected. yes, that's right, had... it grew out (wah!)... this makes three rejections (four if you count the eyebrow twice), and i'm starting to wonder what's wrong *l* but a lot of it's my fault for taking a risk with surface piercings *nod*

atlantis
i love this pierce. i saw it on someone's webpage. there weren't any pics of it on bme (at the time), even. so i figured it was something not a lot of people have. an atlantis piercing goes through the very top portion of cartilage in the ear, where it meets the head. normally, it would be an easy affair, but since i have the world's most fucked up ears, the piercer had to do it twice, because the first time the placement was wrong and he caught an extra fold of cart with the needle. so he did it again a little higher, and it was cool. unfortunately, it's keloiding, but i'm not too worried, cause my tragus did the same, and saltwater fixed it right up.

rook
one of the coolest looking ear piercings. the piercing was super easy, just a little uncomfortable cause the piercer did it freehand, and there was a lot of pushing and leaning on my other piercings. he actually leaned on my tragus so hard that he got it to bleed a little, and i've had that sucker for a while. for awhile this was a tough one to heal, but that may be my imagination, cause i was so afraid it'd grow out... but now i've had it for almost a year, and it's quite settled... it's not going anywhere *knock on wood*

helix
a helix piercing is your average at-the-mall-with-a-gun cartilage piercing... problem is, i have very strange ears... the cartilage folds in places where it just shouldn't, so on me, a helix looks pretty damn cool... it's this ring on the top corner of my ear that lines up perfectly with the fold... unfortunately, it just doesn't want to heal... it keloided in the front, and it's just weird in the back... so i guess it's still tender, eventhough i've had it for months and months... but they all act up at random times, so i guess it's no big deal...

septum
i finally got my septum done... it was my birthday present last year, so i've had it for about eight months... it's perfect... healed in only a couple weeks, never acted up or anything... i've got a 12ga circular barbell in it, because i need to be able to flip the ring up into my nose when i'm at home... wouldn't want to scare the fam with too much metal in my face... besides, i need to be able to hold a job *l* (one reason why i haven't attempted my eyebrow again... no way to hide that)

lobes
i got my first set in the fourth grade, one freshman year of high school, two when i turned eighteen, and three more just a couple weeks ago... so there's eight all together... one of which i'm stretching... right now it's at a 12ga, but eventually, i wanna put spacers in...

pierces i want to get:
well, there's my eyebrow and left nip again. plus there's still more i could do to my ear cartilage... and my ears are such a conversation starter, i guess the more holes the better... my short term goal is to have twenty... since finishing out my left earlobe put me at 18, i'm almost there, but once i hit twenty, i'll just be shooting for 25, so it's kinda pointless... but a person's gotta have goals, i figure *l*

people have a tendency to do various things when they see me on the street or wherever. it was especially bad after i got my labret done, because i dyed my hair enchanted forest green. i've had little children point and cry out to their parents. i've had rednecks walk up behind me and show off their second-grade educations by insulting me and using horrible grammar (and all of this in south jersey!), i've had sales people of all sorts talk to me, some good, some bad. at the very least, looking like a freak lets you meet lots of people. i suppose it just bothers me how many people have had negative reactions to my appearance. when i looked normal, i believed in the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" thing, and i thought other people did as well (or at least some). now i know better. it's depressing, but true. the majority of people that i see every day think the worst as soon as they see me.

i also get a lot of people asking me "didn't that hurt?" everyone with anything pierced gets this question like five times a day... now, don't get me wrong, i don't mind someone asking in the midst of a conversation... it's the people who corner me on the street and ask... or salespeople... random strangers... am i the only person who finds this rude? for awhile there, i was keeping a journal in a small notebook of all the random comments i get in a day... some of the gems include "how do you pick your boogies with that thing?" (about my septum) and (noticing that i have many visible piercings) "do you have anything else pierced?" (insert lewd facial expression here)... to these terribly rude people, all i can say is this... i currently have eighteen piercings... do you think i would have so many if i was concerned about the pain factor?

the other problem i have with the general public is the people who are concerned about my welfare, or what my parents thought. it's absolutely ridiculous. after all, i will not necessarily be a fifty year old grandma with a labret stud. i can take it out at any time, and the hole will close up. good piercing is in no way permanent (with the exception of extremely stretched earlobes, i guess). yes, i have concerns about my ability to breastfeed but i've been told that many people have breastfed with rings in. besides, i'm not even sure if i was breastfed, so it can't be all that important. my parents didn't see my piercings until most of them had already been done and their reactions weren't too adverse. i'm sure they don't like them, but it's my body. my mother did ask my why. i told her i wanted to. end of story.

my final thought to the nay-sayers is this ~ at least i don't have a tattoo (yet!)

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