Before I got my rook pierced, all I had ever gotten done was my ear lobes (3 times) so I didn’t really know what to expect from a cartilage piercing. Originally my plan was to get my snug pierced but when I asked the piercer, she advised against it because apparently 4 out of 5 snug piercings get rejected and she wasn’t comfortable taking that risk. I took her advice, and instead I chose to get my rook pierced. It’s an area of the ear that has relatively thick cartilage and so I was expecting it to be very painful. In reality, it was much less dramatic than I had thought. In terms of aftercare, I was told to wash it with a saline solution twice a day for 13-14 weeks. For the majority of the healing time it was no problem at all and once or twice it would be a bit tender if I had accidently slept on it or something. In the beginning, I was quite cautious of brushing my hair or washing it because I didn’t want to catch it with my brush or finger but it was easier than I thought to avoid it completely. You just adapt to these things. Overall it was very much a trouble free piercing. I recently for a scaffold piercing and in an attempt to not sleep on it, I had to sleep on my rook piercing which did make it flare up a bit but nothing too bad. It’s been more than 6 months now and it’s pretty much pain free. The only trouble I have with it really is changing the barbell….it’s a difficult piercing to change because there’s not a lot of room for your hands and if you’re doing it yourself, the angle is quite awkward. I’ll admit I’ve had my mum give me a hand a few times, but a bit of bonding isn’t so bad. I have so many nice barbells to put in my ear but I find it an effort to change them so most of the time I just leave the same one in all the time. If there’s anyone thinking about getting another cartilage piercing, or in fact wants their rook pierced and is unsure about it, I would definitely say go for it. It’s pretty low maintenance and it looks great. It’s a neat piercing and it’s quite subtle so fairly easy for people (i.e. parents, employers) to miss. I had mine 2 weeks before my mum noticed it!
I lived my entire life content (22 years!) with my ears pierced ever since I was a little kid. But it wasn’t until I was 21 and starting to feel a little rebellious, I thought about getting my tongue pierced. The thing about me was that if it was something as “extreme” as getting my tongue pierced, I needed to do it ASAP or I’d chicken out! I asked one of my friends who used to work in a tattoo and piercing shop on the side for recommendations on where to get it done. I ended up not listening to anything he said and went out and found another tattoo and piercing shop that was closer to where I lived.
I woke up one Friday morning, told my sister to come with me for moral support, and drove to the shop. I walked in at a little passed 12pm when the shop opened and told the man at the counter that I wanted to get my tongue pierced. He called to someone in the back named Lisa and she came out to go over the logistics of it. After everything was signed, we went to the back room and she looked at the webbing under my tongue. She told me it would be quite dangerous if they pierced through that so she had to go around it and I was totally fine with it, I just wanted it done! I was a little worried about getting hurt if she did get the webbing though, not gonna lie. But I suppressed my worry and trusted her! She marked my tongue and when I gave her the OK, she brought out the clamp and the needle. I squeezed my sister’s hand as Lisa clamped my tongue. Breathe in, breathe out… I held onto my sister’s hand and Lisa quickly stuck the needle through my tongue. I barely felt a pinch and before I knew it, Lisa was screwing the balls onto the end of the barbell. She told me about the aftercare procedure and I was done.
I finally did something out of the norm for a typically average Asian-American girl that was normally wouldn’t do anything crazy. I was able to hide my tongue piercing from my mom for a couple weeks, but she saw the silver ball and the jig was up. However, I don’t regret getting my tongue pierced at all! It was one of the best decisions of my life and I feel empty without my barbell in.
When I was in fourth grade I got my ears pierced for the first time. Earrings would bother my ears a lot so I had to buy hypoallergenic ones. Many of the cute shapes I was not able to wear. My collection consisted of mostly studs in different colors. I was in 8th grade when I started realizing that the studs would look really pretty and cool on other parts of my ears, so I pierced my own cartilage. Of course my parents forced me to take it out since they believed I was too young. They strongly believed at the time that it mattered what ear I did it on. I told myself when I was older I would defiantly get it done.
Four years later during a quite evening in my dorm room, I pierced my cartilage again. Many of my friends would ask me didn’t that hurt? Yes of course it hurt, I used a regular needle, alcohol, and cotton swaps. However, before I did it myself I researched many articles that other people had written about their own piecing’s and the warning signs so I could recognize if my ear was becoming infected.
Piecing your own ear is a hit or miss. Sometimes you get a keloid bump and sometimes you don’t. Keep in mind that keloids can develop even if you got it done professionally. On my left and right ear I pieced my Targus myself. I found the skin to be so tender in that area it was sore for a whole week. On my right ear I have two cartilage piercings at the top one I did myself and the other I got re-done when Clare’s did the cartilage piercings. I had both originally done them myself but I got a keloid bump and had to take it out. That is top advice for someone getting piercings, yes it looks cool, but once you get a keloid bump don’t be afraid to take it out. Many of my keloid bumps developed weeks after I pieced it. I believed it was because I was touching the piercing too much and trying to change the earring too soon.
I have had my Rook piercing which is on my right ear for five years now. I got that professionally pieced down at the beach and I absolutely love it. It is a very subtle piercing since it doesn’t stick out. One thing that people should be aware of is that not everyone can have the same piercings since the shapes of the ears are so different.
The one piercing regret I have was getting my belly button pierced. I should have known better. The piercing was ok for about two weeks but after that it started to get red and irritated. I didn’t matter how much I followed the cleaning regiment it was getting worse every day. My skin was allergic to the material in the belly ring and my body rejected the piercing. I was forced to take it out. I was so disappointed it was almost a hundred dollars to get done. Something to keep in mind is just because a piercing in your ear is fine does not mean that a piercing on your body will react the same way. Don’t rush into getting a piercing. Do the research and determine if you have to take the piercing out and are you willing to live with the scar. Getting your ears pierced is an art there are so many different color combinations and groups of piercings to get that are unique to you.
|I had known my bestie for about 6 months when we got pierced together. We went to Indiana University in Bloomington together and I had just gotten back to my dorm room when she called me.
“Hey, what’s up dude?” I answered.
“I’m thinking about getting my lip pierced”
“Oh, cool. That sounds fun. I’ve been thinking about getting my rook done. I’ve wanted it for a few years and I think I would actually be committed to it now,” I replied.
“We should go get pierced together!” She exclaimed.
“Yeah! That would be awesome! Let me know when you wanna go and I’ll drive.”
We hung up and I proceeded to get more comfy in my dorm, changing clothes and hopping on Facebook to see what was going on at home. I was thinking she was going to mull over the decision for lip piercings for a few days and then we would start searching for a piercing shop in our college town when I heard a knock on my door.
“Are you ready to go?” She asked as soon as I opened the door.
I was really surprised she had come over and that fast after getting off the phone, “Go where?”
“To get pierced! I wanna go now, that’s why I called!” She laughed.
“OH. I didn’t know that, well I guess so,” I said rather calmly as I panicked in my head. Am I ready for this? We haven’t even looked at piercing shops. I don’t know where any of them are. What if the one she wants to go to is gross? How do I tell her we need to find somewhere else?
We left for a shop she had heard of called Evil by the Needle and I called my mom on the way so there wouldn’t be any surprises when I came home in a few more weeks. My mom not knowing what a rook was, didn’t approve but knew she couldn’t stop me and said she wanted pictures when it was done. (She was quite surprised when I sent an ear piercing, rather than a below-the-belt photo!)
We arrived and then my friend started trying to decide if she wanted a normal single lip piercing or if she wanted to get spider bites. We had to wait for the piercer to finish up with another customer and then it was our turn. We went into the back room which was not as well lit and fancy as the shop I was used to back home, rather it was like a large closet with a bathroom, but it wasn’t dirty and the piercer was prepping for us very professionally, so I decided I didn’t need to run screaming out the front door.
My friend went first, having finally decided on spider bites, and told me she needed me to be her support. Being the awesome best friend that I am, I told her that if she cried I would laugh at her. She didn’t cry, but she did bleed quite a lot.
When it was my turn, I started panicking again. I had no idea how bad this piercing would hurt. I had already had a cartilage before, so I wasn’t unprepared for the piercing pain, but I WAS unprepared for the headache. (If you are wanting to get your rook done, make sure you take ibuprofen or acetaminophen with you!) I bled pretty bad considering I have 6 piercings and that’s the only one that has ever bled during the piercing process itself. Inserting the jewelry was a nightmare due to the headache, but once it was done I was really excited for my new piercing.
We left the shop and took pictures of our new piercings while waiting to get ice cream at a local creamery. My mom got her very G-rated ear piercing picture and decided that she loved it after all. I absolutely love that my BFF and I got piercings together, even though I know a lot of people would say it’s on the same level as getting matching tattoos. If the friendship ends, we’ll both have the memory of how we got our piercings, even if they are completely different.
Almost 5 years later, my friend just got her rook pierced, on the left side, at the same shop. She didn’t get the same piercer because that girl no longer works there, and I didn’t get to go because I no longer live there. She agrees with me that it was the worst piercing in terms of pain, even more so than our nipple piercings, but that it was totally worth it. I have posted a picture of both of our rooks; mine almost 5 years old now, and hers, which is almost 5 days old from the time I wrote this article.