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 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.
My girlfriend and I went for a new piercing New Years Day. Gypsy Rose in Calgary AB, Canada (where all my piercings are done) was open and it was gonna be a good day!!
I was first up to the bench, choosing the rook as my next to get. I have my lobes stretched to 5mm, second holes, my right ear has a high helix and a lower helix ring, my left has its fourth hole and was looking bare. I decided on the rook based on the cute jewelry I could purchase like the heart or jeweled bar. I was lying on the table, and the piercer (we’ll call him Bob) aligned the dots and I took a look. Loved it!!! Lied back down, felt the clamp.. oh good its coming!!….. SHARP PAIN! ooooow! next thing I know his elbow is on my face and his arm at a 90 degree angle holding my head down as he used two hands to push the needle through my rook. Bob said that it is the hardest piercing he’s ever had to do. My girlfriend was next. She just got her lower helix. As we were at home watching Gilmore Girls- because what else is as magical as GGs? I moved my hair and my ear started gushing blood. Not leaking, but literally gushing; it had filled my ear and covered a rag. Basically disgusted by all the red, my friend left.
A few months later I went in to keep my boyfriend company as he was getting his tattoo worked on and got my navel pierced. This was a different piercer. And he asked what other piercings I have. I listed them. He mentioned that his co-worker Bob had a client once who he had to pretty much restrain to the table in order to get the needle through her rook.
That legend is me! 🙂
By: Kim From: Alabama
It took me a few months to figure out which piercing I wanted to do next, I had my cartilage pierced before but it was done many many many years ago with a gun and it just didnt work out well for me so I ended up taking it out. I really wanted to get it again but I was also torn between the tragus piercings. The tragus piercings looks so cute and I really wanted it. So I decided to start out with the cartilage because the tragus looked extremely painful. I did research the tragus piercing to see how other people would rate the pain level and of course everyone has a different answer, so I decided to hold off on the piercing and just re-pierce my cartilage. I headed down to the tattoo shop with the intention of only getting my cartilage pierced after I filled out the paper work I sat on the piercing table and watched as the piercer sterilized the jewelry and set up everything for my piercing. She marked my ear and when I was happy with the placement she told me to take a deep breath and breathe out and it was done, I didn’t really feel anything just a slight pinch. Since it was virtually painless I told her to just pierce my tragus while we’re at it! She went to get the jewelry for the piercing, came back and marked my ear for placement of the jewelry. She put the clamps on my tragus and had to bend it forward to make sure the placement would be right. When she started to pierce I could hear the needle tearing through my cartilage and it got stuck, she had to use quite a bit of force to complete the piercing. The piercing itself wasn’t painful but there was a lot of pressure and you can hear every little thing. My piercings are healing up nicely I plan to get my rook done next!
By: Christina L. From: Tennessee
I have to start out by saying that I love tattoos and piercings and when I get bored or I feel like its been a while I tend to get some new ink or a new hole in my body. My very first “body piercing” besides my earlobe was my belly button, I was 16 years old and my mom promised me that I could get a belly ring on my 16th birthday and that began my journey of body modification. She wouldn’t allow me to get anymore until I was 18. When I turned 18 I was a senior in high school and as a graduation gift she allowed me to get my tongue pierced and I got my first tattoo. I would have to say that the only bad thing about the tongue piercing is that I couldn’t really talk with it for a while but with practice I got it down. I went away to college and in college I got my nipples pierced I mean hey what college girl wouldn’t want nipple rings. My roommate and I decided on a whim to get our nipples pierced and they have to be my favorite body piercing. I just recently got my rook pierced and I absolutely love it the pain was horrible the piercing is gorgeous. I absolutely love all my piercings and tattoos, will I ever regret them? I think not!
By Meghan N. from USA
After debating for a long time of where I wanted my next piercing (which would be my 10th – they are so addictive!), I finally decided on the rook piercing of my right ear. Unique, fun, and I had the perfect rook to be pierced – plus it would look great above my tragus piercing and three lobe piercings. So one night soon after, my best friend and I headed to the piercing/tattoo shop (this would be my third piercing from them). We were led to the room, I sat down, and told the artist what I wanted. He nodded, then asked me to pick a flavor, mint or bubblegum. I didn’t think much of it at first, so I said mint (just a fun question to keep me from being nervous, I thought). Then he handed me a little cup of mouthwash, told me to swish it around, and spit it out in the sink. I started to wonder if this was a new protocol for any piercing around the facial area (just in case I had bad breath, perhaps?), so I did as I was told. Next he asked me what size loop I wanted. Another weird question, as I thought a barbell was standard for a rook piercing. However, I dismissed this as well (maybe the shop had become a little unconventional), and requested the barbell. No problem. Moving along, he grabbed the antiseptic and a pen to mark the spot. He asked me what side, and I said right. At this, he does not ask me to turn so my right side is facing him. Instead, he started towards me, getting closer…closer…and I began to freak out – I was not understanding his methods! His hand comes up within an inch of my lip. WHAT?! I draw back exclaiming “WHOA! Dude, what are you doing? I want the ROOK pierced…on my right EAR!” The artist’s eyes got big, he started laughing, then apologized for having a crazy busy day and mistaking ‘rook’ for ‘lip’. Now, a year and half later, the piercing bug has me again. This time around I think I will go for the forward helix on my left ear…hopefully no one could misinterpret THAT!