i remember the day i got my nipples pierced
the last tattoo i got done is a fantastic piece – it is a hopi indian symbol that mean cloud that walks alone. now i'd like to take credit for how it sometimes is an accurate portrait of how i see me and the world but in truth i just like the design.
a moment of synchronicity.
while process of getting the ink and looking after it was not one of the best experiences to go through -i love the result. to this day i have no idea why it was a nightmare – the best i can come up with is i just wasn't in the mood.
but once bitten by the body modification bug it is hard to completely walk away from it especially as where i was working it seemed like barely a week would go by without someone getting more ink or a piercing.
suffice to say it wasn't long before i wanted something else done. i still wasn't sure about another tattoo i couldn't find a design i really liked and i wasn't ready to relive the travails of the last one. so move into new ground and new experience – let's get the nipples pierced. as i couldn't remember and couldn't be asked to find out which nipple was the straight one and which the gay one (the body as a call card) i thought i'd go all in and get both pierced and that is exactly what i did.
i went to a painfully hip and trendy place in smithfield. i even got there on time.
i explained this was going to be my first piercing and i was somewhat nervous. no worries, they tell me, simple process you'll barely feel it. yeah right i thought.
the piercer cane to collect me and we descended to the bowels of the shop. dark gloomy and atmospheric, it could happily double for a set in a hammer horror movie or be used for a dominatrix's dungeon.
the young chap who is going to do the deed has a maori style arm tattoo – i never quite understood the attraction of such tats just a lot of black ink on skin, may as well just do a new design every week with a marker pen, but that dear reader is the joy and wonder of tattoos: they are such a personal expression of who we are.
we chat. i once again go over the fact i am a bit of a wus when it comes to pain. he tells me that don't worry it doesn't hurt, and that it is best not to have a numbing agent, just get it done and enjoy that endorphin kick when comes rushing through the body.
he directs me to the old leather dentists chair – the back of my mind is screaming out DON'T GO THERE but that is because i have seen too many horror films. i take my top off and he begins to work on the nipples.
first problem: sweating like a pig so he can't get the guide clamps to stick every time he gets them on they just slip off. takes some time but the first one is in place. he gets out the needle – fuck that looks big, he gets out the ring – fuck that looks big. i close my eyes and he does his thing. the sweat doesn't help him but i can feel the needle going in and in and in and in – suddenly my nipple seems to be the size of a redwood tree. he is muttering and in my experience that is never a good thing. and then the pop – imagine the sound of taking a bite out of a ripe apple or peach and that is the sort of sound you get when your nipple is punctured by a needle. ring inserted. first nipple done.
i had to get up and walk around take some deep breaths to prepare myself for the next one. he took the opportunity to wipe down the chair that looked as if it had been hosed down in fatman sweat.
let's do nipple do.
lots of instructions of how to look after them.
not so happy a few months later when lying the bath the last ring finally floated out of the scabby nipple. no matter what i did to look after them the nipples became a magnet for everything to bang into them. carrying some boxes? the rings would catch. go to the gym, a weight would land on them. stumble into something and nipples would take the brunt of it.
those poor old nipples were not going to get any rest and the rings were destined to come out. shame really as they looked really neat.
what i did learn from it all is that generally when people tell you it isn't going to hurt they are lying. when they tell you the endorphin kick is going to be great they are lying, either that or i missed it because i ended up sleeping.
in the end the piercing turned out to be the last body modification i had. perhaps it is time to have some more?