A few weeks ago, Master had both of my nipples pierced by professional piercer. I’m still in the healing phase for that and I wanted to share some thoughts on the experience and its meaning to me.
FINDING THE PIERCING HEADSPACE
There’s always a background story to a piercing or tattoo. Some people get piercings for how they look. Some people, maybe us kinksters in particular, might carry the additional significance of cultural signs and meanings.
i was given the contact of a piercer and told to check out the shop’s opening hours, a few weeks before i was due to meet up with Master. Perhaps it was a hint from Master that He’d like to get me a piercing? He was playfully vague, as He often is. If i was to be pierced, which part of my body would it be?
This placed me in the right pre-emptive headspace for getting the piercing. It was clear to me that my body is owned by my Master, and so i put any thoughts on how i’d look/feel about being pierced out of my mind. It was not something i was in control of. It was a meditative headspace where i felt calm. Even if we didn’t have time to go for piercing when we were together, i was in a D/s headspace.
As it turned out, my piercing was something he intended, though as we travelled to the shop i still had no idea what was intended for me. As we went to get a soda before the piercing, i start to feel some anticipation. But, it was the moment when i stepped through the door and started talking with the piercer that the anticipation really started to built up. It felt like there was no turning back from here. Things just got serious!
Being with Master and having some sugar in my system kept the rising tension under control. Body modification professionals always recommend that you not take drugs or alcohol before coming, and many will not work on you if they suspect that you have. I’m not going to lie to you, a piercing session does involve some level of anxiety and pain, but it’s better to do your piercing while your mind and body are in good condition. Like BDSM, being fully present will make a difference to your piercing experience.
A good piercing place and piercer will also make a huge difference to your experience. Good piercers are like good dentists — they know how to chat you through your anxiety. They’re also happy to answer all your questions. Again, much like BDSM, it’s mainly the fear and anticipation that makes actual pain sensations sky rocket. That’s why a friendly and calm piercer will make a significant difference to your piercing session.
After it was revealed that it was my nipples that were being decorated, the piercer spent some time marking me with a black pen and keeping up a friendly dialogue with Master as he examined and approved the placement. There was a sense of calm, and i was relaxed for the piercing of the first nipple. Of course, as my first piercing ever, you don’t really know the intensity of that feeling until it actually happens. The second piercing hurt a lot more than the first, i think mainly because I knew how that one was going to feel. Master and the piercer kept up a calm and cheerful dialogue in between the two piercings, joking about the number of people they knew who had only one nipple pierced and fled the shop, promising to come back the next day for the other one. Apparently, they never do.
OUR BODY HOLDS OUR EXPERIENCES
Piercing a nipple takes roughly two seconds, but in those two seconds there were a flood of thoughts running through my mind. Thoughts of the journey that i have been through as a submissive to Master, all the bummers, difficulties, confusions and struggles, and not giving up. i was grateful for all our moments together and all the things that meant that we could be there together, in that shop sharing that experience.
As the needles and barbells went through and were done, i felt those two seconds formed a clear boundary that separated the past from the future. These two barbells, that now live within the flesh of my body, are permanent and will follow me into the future. It felt as if the quick flash of piercing sharp light has made a clear cut of my past and gave me a fresh space to continue writing the timeline.
i see human biology and body as a subject of time, as cell die and regenerate, as traces of wrinkles grow or cuts and scars develop. I see traces and trails of time and space. Perhaps Elizabeth Grosz will help me to explain better about the human body as social-construct:
For Merleau Ponty, says Grosz, the body is not an object “it is the condition and context through which I am able to have a relation to objects” (p. 86) BUT Grosz claims that “body is both object (for others) and a lived reality (for the subject), it is never simply object nor simply subject. It is defined by its relation with objects and in turn defines these objects as such” (p. 87).
On the same page she adds “the body is my being-to-the-world and as such is the instrument by which all information and knowledge is received and meaning is generated… the relation between the subject and object is thus not casual but based on sense or meaning” (p. 87).
Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism – Elizabeth Grosz (1994)
Her point is that the body is an instrument of/for information and knowledge, where it is received/generated. Piercing or body modification can be tools/signs for abstract communication that finds limitation in communicating through conventional words or language.
For me/us, it mark the commitments, strengths and devotions of making a seemingly impossible D/s dynamic happen. It marks the intersection of two people’s timeline — a point where they cross and collide. Lastly, it marks the idea of ownership and property, certainly at this phase of our lives if not the entire phase of our lives.
Although a piercing may seem to be just a small hole within your flesh, aftercare is very important. Depending on what type of piercings you are getting, it may take two to six months for a piercing wound to fully heal. Externally it may seem like a small wound, but it is a tunnel of open wound created within the flesh. It is easy for bacteria to stay and develop inflammation or infection. Here is a link to an article from the Association of Professional Piercers, to help you care for your new piercing.
Generally, keep it clean, and (only) use sea-salt solution or saline solution to soak the piercing a few times a day for two to ten minutes, depending on the condition of your piercing. If your piercing has developed pus, yellow discharge or swelling, it is advised increase the frequency of sea salt soaking. Contact your piercer if your piercing has got infected and always ask for help if you are feeling uncertain.
If you are interested in getting a new piercing, do check out our genital piercing charts here! It is an easy illustrated guide, so you’ll get a good idea of how a piercing might look on you.