Something I get asked on a near daily basis is “didn’t that piercing hurt?!”, which, I’m nearly always inclined to reply with a sigh and shake of my head. I’d say, out the 20 piercings I currently have, I can only remember a few of them hurting more than what I would consider “bearable” pain. I think I have a high pain threshold, because I have had piercings before that I genuinely didn’t feel, and some that stung a little more than that. I was going to rank the pain out of 10 but pain isn’t quantifiable so I think this will give a more detailed idea of what they felt like. They are listed in the order that I got them done.
1. Ear lobes
I pierce around 30 ear lobes a week at my work, and I get genuinely irritated at adults who ask me if it’s going to hurt, or make a big song and a dance about it. I completely sympathise with children because they have no point of reference and are generally more anxious than adults, but surely as an adult you must have some idea of what getting your ear lobes pierced must feel like?! I remember getting my ears pierced for the first time – my mum and dad told me I had to be 13 before I could get them pierced, but one day when I was 10, my mum randomly asked me if I wanted to get them pierced. Obviously I did so my mum booked me in to get them pierced the next day at the Brighton Claire’s Accessories store (which is where I currently work, funnily enough). I was so excited to get them pierced right up until the moment just before they lined up which is when I started crying out of fear and had to come back after I’d calmed down. When I finally let them pierce me, I said what most people say – “that wasn’t at all as bad as I thought”. I got my seconds done at a Claire’s in Chester when I was 16, and then my thirds done by a trainee piercer at work. All of my lobe piercings were done using a gun. I’d say lobe piercings hurt the least out of any piercing, they aren’t anywhere near as bad as an injection and they feel hot for a couple of hours after and then they feel fine.
I got my nose pierced on the day before my 16th birthday, after wanting it done for 10 years! I saw my sister get her nose pierced on her 19th birthday, when I was 6, and asked my mum for the next 5 years if I could get it done. She finally came to an agreement – I could get my nose pierced when I was 16 if I didn’t ask her again until then, which I obviously agreed to. I was so excited to get it done that my adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t actually feel it happen. I then got the same side pierced a year and a half later, and I think it was the most painful nose piercing I’ve had, but it wasn’t unbearable and stopped hurting after an hour or so. Most recently, I got my nose pierced at work by my manager, using a gun as opposed to a needle, and I’d say it was a more pleasant experience than using a needle because there is less faffing around after the area has been pierced. This is because the stud itself is used to pierce the area, so once it’s pierced, it’s done. Nose piercings sting a little and make your eyes water but aren’t at all unbearable and are easy to heal, as long as you follow the after care advice religiously!
3. Forward helix/tragus
I’ve combined these piercings as they are very similar. I’ve had my forward helix pierced twice as it was pulled out at a festival when I was 17 (and yes, that was JUST as painful as you’d imagine!). On the scale of painful piercings, these would probably come second as the least painful piercings I’ve had. They take a month or so to stop being crusty, but they don’t give me any grief now and I’ve had them both for about 2 or 3 years.
I’ve had my belly pierced twice because the first time it was off centre and really bugged me. I took it out for a week and got it repierced, and now I’d say it’s probably my favourite piercing and the only one I know I’d never take out because I can’t imagine myself without it! It was such an easy piercing to get, a very straightforward healing process and it’s one of the only piercings I have that I can change and play with and knock it without it hurting in the slightest – some of my ear piercings still get a little tender when I change them. Despite saying all this, I have heard countless belly piercing horror stories, so maybe I was just lucky that mine didn’t hurt or get infected!
I got my septum pierced on my 18th birthday and it’s always been one of my favourite piercings! I think it makes me look so much older and it’s another piercing I can’t imagine myself without now. I absolutely love the position of my septum piercing – this is my own preference, but I don’t like it when it’s been pierced low and so the jewellery hangs low. Mine is pierced in the fleshy bit right up between my nostrils, above where the thick cartilage is. Until very recently I always wore a horseshoe ring in my septum but I bought a crescent ring at work and loved it! Because it’s so easy for me to hide my septum piercing, I doubt I’ll ever take it out for good. A septum piercing hurts less than a nose piercing but makes your eyes water just the same.
To this day, I have never experienced anything as painful as getting my nipple pierced. I have often said that I will encourage anyone to get any piercing they want, regardless of the pain… But I would never encourage someone to get their nipple pierced because it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced! It’s such a shame as well because I only have one done and I would love to have both, I just know I could never go through the piercing or healing process again. It took a good 6 months to heal and during that time I caught it twice and have never come so close to vomiting out of pain before! I love it now though, but it still isn’t worth the pain I went through to get it!
I got my conch pierced a year and a half ago and although the first few weeks were hell, I absolutely love it. The bar in my conch is a lot thicker than any of my other ear piercings which is why it took longer to heal, but now it has healed it’s a dream! Getting my conch pierced hurt about as much as any other ear piercing. I get asked a lot if I can still wear headphones – of course I can, just be careful putting them in for the first few weeks! The only thing I didn’t like about my conch at first was that I got a black barbell when I got it pierced. I now have a thick long gold labaret bar in it and I think it looks really cute!
After not being able to get a new piercing for about 6 months because of being in shows, I got the middle of my bottom lip pierced last summer. I had wanted it done for years but never got it done because my not wanting a scar out weighed my wanting a lip piercing. I since realised that I’m going to be covered in tiny scars if I ever take all my piercings out anyway, and the lip scars I’ve seen haven’t actually been that bad. Getting my lip pierced was close to painless, the only bit that stung was when the piercer put the jewellery in. I did however, go out clubbing that night which I do not recommend because I woke up the next day with the fattest lip I’ve ever seen! My lip took about 2 weeks to look normal on the outside and about 2 months to heal completely. I changed the bar myself after a month because I was catching my bottom teeth on my original bar because it was so long. I now absolutely love it and don’t ever want to take it out!
I had my helix pierced a couple of years ago and it’s the only piercing I’ve ever taken out for good. It was driving me crazy because it refused to heal nicely, would really hurt whenever I knocked it and was developing a keloid which I was adamant not to have so I took it out after a few months. At the end of last year I got the top of my cartilage pierced at work and then again underneath it a few months ago. Although I love them and think they’re cute, they are a bit of a pain to heal and are the only piercings I have that still give me grief from time to time, but only when they are knocked quite hard. Other than that, I think they’re straightforward to get pierced and don’t hurt too much, I prefer getting my cartilage pierced with a gun than to a needle because like I said before, it’s less faff and so much quicker.
I got my eyebrow pierced late last November and have loved every second of having it. The piercing itself was barely painful, but for the first week or so I had a bad bruise which made me look like I’d been punched in the face (which of course I secretly loved and made me feel really bad ass all week!) It is still healing, and the only thing I’d say that is a downside to this piercing is that it’s hard to put and take off makeup in the first few months… But you do become a pro at tweezing eyebrows!
I got my tongue pierced this week and besides nipple, it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt! I’m going to write a blog post about day to day healing because tongue piercings are completely different to every other piercing I’ve ever had and seeing as I’m currently going through the healing process right now I may as well take advantage!
Hope this wasn’t too long and hopefully you learnt something or have been inspired to get a new piercing! Let me know what piercings you have and your experiences, I’d love to hear them! xxxx