By Lauren I. from Fairfax, VA

I went with my best friend to get her belly button re-pierced. I myself have had my belly button pierced for three years and an industrial for nine months. I never got to see when they pierced it fearing it would make my passing out reaction even worse. So when she wanted to get hers redone I had to see how it was done. There was the needle and a little bit of blood then it was over. No big deal. As we were walking out the piercer asked if I wanted anything done. I shyly said no but I truly did. I don’t know if she saw past the façade or was just being persistent but when she asked again I admitted I was thinking about getting my nipples done. Then she tried to talk me into getting them done then but I chickened out. I like to read everything there is to read online before I go through with a piercing (Pros and Cons, what people’s opinion of them are, how badly it hurt them, etc.) and I hadn’t done that to the extent that I normally do yet with nipple piercings. My friend offered to pay for it as a Christmas present but I still wasn’t ready to go through with it. That night however the anxiety and nervous feeling I get before a piercing lasted for hours and prevented me from sleeping. I couldn’t take it anymore so the next morning I texted my friend so that I could get this over with. I knew I was going to get my nipples pierced eventually. Why not now?

We headed over to the piercer and I was hoping there could be two piercers so they can both be done at the same time but it was right after they opened and I didn’t have such luck. The guy that was there however was extremely friendly and I felt totally comfortable with him. First I took off my top as he opened sterile tools and he used floss to make an indent in both nipples in order to mark where the metal would eventually pass through. Then he took a toothpick with blue ink to mark it after the indent disappeared. He made a few corrections and finally had me lay down on the chair/bed. He could easily tell I was nervous and tried to make small talk with me and we were quickly joking around and laughing. Then the clamp time came and I remembered what it was I was doing. He told me he would make the clamp a bit tighter and that would take the edge off the pain of the needle. If it did I don’t want to know what it would have been like if he hadn’t made it tighter. It was a horrible pain. I had read that the second is always worse and I could not imagine how it could get worse. But it did. I am pretty sure this was the worst pain I have ever endured. Then again I have lived a pretty pain-free life. After he got the metal in the pain subsided immensely. He went through after-care with me and I was on my way out.

I didn’t swell but that might be due to taking ibuprofen prior to minimize swelling and had ice packs on them (with a paper towel in between) within the first twenty minutes. The few hours following they felt chaffed and the next two days I was hyper aware whenever they got cold. But within two nights I was able to sleep on my stomach (I’m a major stomach sleeper) with a very padded bra.

The pain was easily worth it. I am in love with my new hidden secret and have found I feel much more confident when I look at myself in the mirror shirtless. I have found it also made other piercings not scary at all. I know that since I went through this I can get anything else and it won’t be this bad. I love how they look and I love how they make me feel.