Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reader Request: How NOT to Pierce Your Nipple

OK, well, due to popular demand, my post today is going to be about my nipple piercing experience in college because certain individuals out there apparently were not satisfied with the minimal information I provided in my meme. I never would have guessed that simply stating that I had my nipple pierced by a dude in a college dorm room surrounded by coeds tripping on ecstasy would garner so much curiosity...oh yeah, I forgot who my readers were. Pervs who only like to hear about dildos and bodily fluids. Well, today is your lucky day because today will involve at least one of those, and if I dig back deep enough in the recesses of my brain, I might remember a tidbit involving the other as well...let's give it a shot, shall we?

The whole demented experience started much like so many of my other college high jinks: with the consumption of massive amounts of alcohol, British people and the total boredom that comes with being a college student in a small New England town without a fake ID. You see, I had a group of friends that consisted of theater majors, punk kids and almost all of the British exchange students, including my ex-girlfriend (now best friend) who at the time was not my girlfriend, but simply a twinkle in my little bi-curious eye. Just in case you are wondering, the one to perform the actual nipple piercing "procedure" was one of the punk kids named Joel who was about 5 feet tall with a bleach blond mohawk and a penchant for hallucinogenic recreational drug use. He was a really nice guy though.

So that night we were all sitting around in Joel's dorm room, a selection of motley 19-year-olds that would put the Real World to shame. The black light shone in all it's trippy glory and we sat around, inebriated and looking for something to shake up the night a bit. I had been talking about getting my nipples pierced for a couple of weeks, and I had been bugging Joel (who was an accomplished piercer who had real equipment and everything) to do it for me. Apparently, Joel only pierced when he was really intoxicated because otherwise he couldn't stand the sight of blood. It was as if he switched into his alter ego upon alcohol and drug consumption and was able to withstand certain things that otherwise he couldn't. Being the stupid, risk taking kid that I was, this oddly didn't disturb me at all, and I was only concerned with getting him intoxicated enough to agree to do the deed. Luckily someone produced some tabs of ecstasy.

It seemed that it was my lucky day!

Now, here is where I will pause to say that I DID NOT partake in the ecstasy experience, because as much as I was into experimenting with certain carnal pleasures and such in college, I also wasn't stupid enough to not realize how many brain cells were destroyed in such practices. I was perfectly happy to get drunk off three shots of Raspberry Stoli and take a toke off a joint and coast through the rest of the night feeling pretty damn good, as opposed to my idiotic counterparts who ended up praying to the porcelain god or trying to scratch their skin off (or worse, sleeping with a Coyote Ugly *shudder. I am proud to say I never did that, in all my four years of college ballyhoo).

So everyone around me started tripping, including Joel. And I waited patiently for him to transform into fearless piercing guy, as opposed to the pussy punk he normally was. Finally, after passing around a joint and a long conversation about how much everyone loved Ramen Noodles, he looked at me and nodded. It was time.

His little sidekick, Jake, got out the equipment and he had someone else fetch the water in the hotpot so he could boil water to sanitize the needle. This is where it gets fun. This is the part where my less-than-modest self got to whip out my boob and let Joel examine my nipple like a bug under a microscope to decide where to make the little dots with the magic marker so he knew where to put the needle in. You can also create the mental image of five or six other random people sitting in the room staring slackjawed and completely fascinated while he did this. You might think that having a bunch of people stare at your breast in wonderment might make you feel uncomfortable, but surprisingly, I wasn't fazed. It was just basic human anatomy, what was the big deal? I mean, half the people in the room had breasts themselves, so it was nothing new to them. And the other half had certainly perused a nudey magazine or at least gotten to second base themselves so I was figuring they had seen it all before as well. A boob's a boob, right?

The equipment arrived and the adrenaline started to pulse through my veins as Joel prepared with needle and swabbed down my nipple with rubbing alcohol.

WARNING: This is the part where it gets a little graphic so those with weak stomachs or nipple sensitivities, be forewarned.

He took the clamp and strategically secured it on my nipple. That hurt like a bitch. Imagine someone taking some metal cooking tongs and gripping your nipple with it as hard as they could. It doesn't tickle. It's way worse than a purple nurple.

Then he got a piece of cork and placed it on one side of the clamp while he deliberately placed the needle on the marking he had made previously. He told me to look away and take a deep breath, which I did. But at the last minute I turned my head, just as he counted to three and I saw the needle plunge into the soft tissue of my nipple and come out the other side into the cork.

Fire ripped through my breast and up my arm, making me feel lightheaded and a little bit nauseous and the room spun around me. Joel looked me in the eye and asked if I was OK. When he saw me wobble a bit, he led me to the bed and had me lie down. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth of my nipple, and looked down to see the needle still in there, attached to the cork on the other side. It was strange and foreign, almost as if my breast was not a part of me anymore, and it was...the coolest thing I had ever seen!

My heart pounded with excitement and I sat up in the bed. There was such a rush involved in doing something that people feared. I felt proud and strong that I had done something so bold, so adventurous. I had endured the pain without tears and now had a symbol of my valor to treasure forever (well, at least until I took it out a year later). I felt powerful and giddy.

The ring was placed carefully in the hole and I sat and stared at it for a while. I am pretty sure that everyone else passed out until I was the last one awake, still buzzing from the excitement of that night's events. I think eventually I fell asleep, my recent wound still throbbing, a reminder throughout the night of my fearlessness.

Luckily, my breast did not fall off from some terrible infection, nor did I set off metal detectors or spontaneously spray breast milk when I got pregnant, like some urban legends would have you believe. I ended up having the other one done at a piercing/tattoo parlor to even myself off and I enjoyed them for about a year until I got sick of them catching on my clothes. The worst part of the whole experience was fending off the frat guys who all wanted a glimpse of the legendary nipple rings on campus.

And although I have to admit that the whole experience is one that I cherish as a valued college memory, I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding, yes I would!