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Until Saturday 17th July 2004, I only had two pierced holes in my body and that was simply one on each ear. I actually tried to have a second hole pierced in each ear when I was about 16 and wanted to be young and trendy. However, a second hole was added to one ear with a gun; I was a total wimp, screamed in agony and refused to have the other one done! This hole then went on to become severely infected and eventually I gave up and let it close over.
So I don’t know what possessed me to add additional piercings to my body. I can’t even tell you when or where the first idea began that I wanted to do something so drastic to my body. Perhaps it’s indicative of determination to stay young at heart and in mind since turning 40 in August?
For several weeks I’d been casually mentioning to my husband that I would really like my nipples pierced. I didn’t think he’d been listening or taken me seriously at all. But whilst shopping in Croydon that particular Saturday, he called my bluff as we walked past a shop called the “London Piercing Clinic”. He said “right then”, if someone’s gonna stick a needle through your nipples, I’m going to be there – let’s get on with it! Weighing up the pros and cons, I breezed into the shop with him, with far more bravado and confidence than I really felt!
It’s worth saying at this point that I had been giving it serious consideration and had done a substantial amount of research on the internet, reading about people’s good and bad experiences, as well as taking note of which piercing places had a good reputation. So, I already knew that the London Piercing Clinic was quite highly rated.
The piercing studio is actually contained at the rear of the shop. Customers are asked to fill out a form relating to various skin complaints and medical conditions before the piercing can take place and have to sign a consent form that accepts any inherent risks of potential damage! I filled in my form and no sooner had I done it, than I was called into the piercing room. Andy followed. To my horror the piercer (whom I will call *J* was a young, skinny, very attractive young lady, you know, the kind that makes you more aware of your flabby body and droopy 40 year old boobs. However, she was extremely pleasant and she had a load of visible piercings too, including her tongue, which I must confess I found slightly comforting.
Wimp that I am, I asked if any local anaesthetic would be applied and took a large gulp when I was told “no” that they don’t use anything like that. There’s a school of thought that believes any kind of treatment like that can increase risk of infection. J told me to remove my top and bra and took a good long hard look at the nipples in question. Like most women I have one nipple that is lower than the other and she recommended that the lower one should be pierced with a bar rather than a ring due to the weight of the breast (yeah, they’re big (42DD) but I love them!) and the fact that a ring might put unnecessary pressure on the nipple! Both Andy and I were adamant that we wanted rings, so I risked her wrath by refusing to take her advice. J then marks with a special marker the entry and exit point on each nipple, asks me to look in the mirror and confirm that I’m happy with the positions. I just nod my head because by this point I’m bloody terrified.
The piercing itself. You lie down on a doctor type bed. Nipples are swabbed with a saline solution. A new piercing needle is removed from packaging and J changes her gloves. A large firm clamp is attached to the nipple to “squash” it and make the piercing itself easier. I decided to do some “on the spot” meditation and just concentrated on my breathing. I have a regular acupressure massage and have been taught that pain is easier dealt with on the out breath, so decided to try this technique here. It seemed to work quite well!
J warned me that she was about to pierce, told me when the needle had entered and exited. The most accurate description I can give was a sharp sting and then a deeper burn. As soon as the hole had been made the ring is pulled through and secured with a ball closure. The rings themselves are made from titanium and are surprisingly thick and chunky. Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t see them beforehand! I wasn’t so shocked and pained that I couldn’t consider having the other one done, and it was all over in seconds. It actually takes quite a while for any real pain to set in, because the adrenalin gives such a feeling of euphoria just after you’ve done it, and for a while afterwards.
After it was done, she gave me sound advice on how to clean the nipples by bathing twice daily in distilled salt water or saline solution that is used for contact lenses. This really is the most important advice to follow, to avoid future infection and aid the healing process. I have been doing it religiously.
I guess the most painful experience was paying for it! Price for each nipple is supposed to be £35, which includes the titanium ring. However, if you have both done together you get a 20% discount, so it cost us £56 in total.
Despite only having it done on Saturday, I’ve already experienced excellent customer service from the London Piercing Clinic. By the time I got home on Saturday, one of the ball closures had come off one of my rings and was rolling around in my bra! Both A and I tried in vain to put it back on, but we just couldn’t manage it at all.
After the piercing, J had given me a leaflet, outlining the after care that was required and providing lots of good general advice. This also had a phone number for queries. I used it on a Sunday morning because I wasn’t sure if they opened Sundays or not and was advised to tape over the ring so that it didn’t come out and to go back to the clinic on the Monday to have the ball replaced. I got there on the Monday and they replaced the entire ring and put larger ball closures on each ring to try and ensure that it didn’t happen again, all at no additional cost.
Finally, I just want to say immediately after the piercing, I felt so euphoric. I was in love with them immediately. They look really cool and made my fat, frumpy self feel incredibly sexy. It reinforced my self-image of being young at heart, despite being 40. If you’re tempted, just do it! It’s really not such a big deal.
Always ensure that the local authority licenses your piercing studio and do lots of research before undergoing something so “permanent”. OK, I know I can let these close over eventually if I want to, but I guess in some ways they’ll always be there. So do be as sure as you can be.
UPDATE 12th February 2005 (6 months on)
In October I posted an update that declared my new piercings "fully healed" and made reference to the fact that both myself and my husband were getting a lot of pleasure from them. We were. However, be warned. Nipples do take a LONG time to heal - up to 12 months, and I think we were too adventurous too soon.
The right nipple eventually became infected and was so painful that I had no choice but to remove the nipple ring. The relief was instantaneous. I'm now considering having it re-pierced after six months or so, but I haven't finally decided.
This type of body piercing should be seriously researched and the long term effects considered before entering into it. That said, I have no regrets and the left one still provides a lot of fun!
I have to agree with LuckyFriend. You are, indeed brave, i have both of my nipples done, and totally agree with your sting and burn pain sensation. Another great piece of aftercare advice is Anti-Bacterial soap. Once daily with a cotton bud - it works a treat. Our experiences sound about the same,(although the price was £30 different, and i was pierced with bars.) and it was a good idea to seek out info about your piercer. I have used the same woman foe years now and have never had any problems before. Anyway, this comment is almost as long as my review, so i will leave it there. Well done and thanks a lot. X
e.j.kingham 28.08.2005 17:02
The aftercare at that piercing place sounded spot on, lots of advice and a phone number for any problems. I used to want my tongue pierced and my mum would say if God wanted a hole there he'd have made it there in the first place. My reply was always if God wanted her hair that colour he'd have made her that way - she had answer to that. I eventually passed that phase though and still just have one hole in each ear... maybe I'll get adventurous later on like you did!
Luckyfriend 09.04.2005 17:03
All I can say is that , your very brave! I don't mind piecings but on other people. I'am too much of a coward and like you say, worry about infections. Alot of my friends have them though and have had noe probs. Even my friends husband has had his penis peirced. Ouch, that one gotta hurt!!