Head on back to my place... GARY GOT HIS NIPPLE PIERCED?!! last updated 01/14/2002
I got my left nipple pierced April 7, 1998. At the time, it was so out of the ordinary for me to do. No one who knows me can believe I did it. I don't even have my ear pierced!


I took a business trip to Baltimore the previous week. It was gorgeous weather for March, in the 80's and sunny. I saw this guy in a tank top. As he turned, I noticed that he had his nipple pierced. I'm not sure exactly what the jewelry was, but it was gold, and I thought it looked great.

Anyways, I got back home and thought about it. I looked up some information on the internet, but I did not stumble onto anything too useful. My friend Brenda told me about Extremus, which advertised in The Pitch, a local alternative weekly newspaper. I picked up a copy of The Pitch and found their ad. I checked out the website for Extremus and found it very informative. (Unfortunately, it is no longer active.)

The next day, I went down to Extremus during lunch to check it out. It is only 9-10 blocks away from where I work. They answered my questions and told me the whole process only takes about 20 minutes. I could do it during lunch, and then go back to work. Since I was there, I decided to go for it!

From their selection of jewelry, I had wanted a barbell type. They explained that for initial piercings, they only use rings (those facilitate the healing process). Most of the rings had a bead on them. I didn't care for those too much. Too flashy. I just wanted a simple, old-fashioned American nipple ring, the kind your mother used to wear. I ended up with a fairly plain, 12-gauge titanium ring.

The piercer's name was Mick. He was the one mentioned in their web page, so that made me feel more comfortable for some reason, even though he looked like a freak. He took me into the piercing room. It was very much like a room at the doctor's, except that he had a cd player up on the shelf and one of those 3-D pictures on the wall (I have yet to see the image on one of those things!). After removing my shirt, I sat up on the "doctor's" table and Mick took a felt tip pen and marked the spots where the piercing would go. He had me look in the mirror to verify that they were "straight." He then prepped the area with some solution. He told me that he was going to pull the needle out of it's wrapper and that I could look away if I wanted. I'm used to needles, so I didn't really look away, although I didn't catch a glimpse of the needle. I'm now glad that I didn't. He told me to take some deep breaths and to let him know when I was ready. I asked him how long it would take, and he said about a second. I told him I was ready, and he did it.

Did it hurt?

Um, yes. It hurt like HELL! Actually, the brain kinda freaks out at the intensity, and it was such a rush. In fact, my first words were "What a rush!" I looked down and saw this needle that looked more like a drill bit piercing the skin. Mick then connected the needle to the jewelry and pulled it through. The initial pain was still overwhelming, so the rest of the process didn't seem to cause additional pain. When the ring was in, Mick took some pliers and spread the opening on the ring a bit so that he could insert the bar to "close" the ring. (The bar is held in by pressure.) He then took cotton and dabbed at the wound until the bleeding stopped, which took quite awhile. It's a rather big hole that pierces the skin, so that's normal. I just was not expecting so much blood. Mick must have changed rubber gloves about 10 times!

The bleeding eventually stopped, and Mick put a large square bandage over the wound. I donned my shirt, paid for my new acquisition ($30 for the piercing, $40 for the jewelry), and went back to work. I was quite sore. I told my co-workers about what I did, and they couldn't believe I did it. After awhile, I started to bleed through my shirt (a Ralph Lauren Chaps shirt, no less), and I was really embarrassed. I went to the bathroom to clean up as best I could. I had taken a late lunch, so the end of the day came soon enough.

I went home and took off my shirt. (I doused the blood spots with ERA. That really does work on getting out protein stains!) The bandage was full of blood. It had somewhat clotted and was exactly the color and consistency of cherry pie filling. (Gross!) I had lots of trouble getting the bandage off because the blood was sticking to my chest hair. I needed to remove the bandage to clean it up and stop additional bleeding. Pulling off the blood-soaked bandage from the chest hair probably aggravated the wound a lot. (I would suggest shaving the area first next time.) I finally got the bandage off, and it took me awhile to clean up the rest of the blood. I was bleeding a lot. It wouldn't stop. I laid down on the couch with a bunch of tissue. It took over an hour for the bleeding to finally stop. I kept thinking that I'd have to go to the emergency room to stop the bleeding!

I got up after it stopped and got on the computer for a little bit before getting ready for bed. I'd occasionally move in such a way that blood would spurt from the wound. I felt like I was lactating or something! Even that stopped after awhile.

Before going to bed, I needed to thoroughly clean the area and rotate the ring some as part of the normal twice-a-day cleaning. There was a lot of dried-on blood. I didn't think it would ever get clean enough to rotate the ring. I finally just let some of the solution soak on the dried-blood for about 5 minutes. That did the trick. I was quite elated to have the wound all cleaned up.

I slept fine through the night, and I had no more real bleeding problems. I put a bandaid over it just in case I started bleeding at work, but I didn't need it.

The wound was really sore for about 2 weeks, but there were no signs of infection, which is good. It took several months for the wound to completely heal.

Why the left nipple?

Um, I didn't know any better. At the time, I didn't realize that left is "top" and right is "bottom." If a hot guy questions it, I just say I'm dyslexic. ;-) Being versatile is a good thing!

Where did I get the bear?

I got the pewter bear charm from the Kansas City zoo and just attached it to the original jewelry. (The Kansas City zoo didn't even have any bears there, so I took the bear charm being in the gift shop as a "sign.") I get lots of comments about it, and I like the little bit of extra weight the charm provides. It also makes tugging a bit easier. :-) I have not been able to find a pewter bear charm for sale on the internet (if you do, please let me know the link!), but I've found a sterling silver one that looks similar to mine at http://www.spiritsigns.com/bear/bear_sterling_silver_charm.htm.

~ Disclaimer ~

Please note that I've talked to several people with similar experiences, but I've also talked to lots of people who said there was little pain. Maybe it depends on who is doing the piercing. If you're contemplating getting your nipple pierced, I'd suggest talking to others in your area who've had it done and find out their experience.

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