In the last couple of months I’ve added to my collection of piercings, jumping in with an industrial and then my nipples, two piercings that a lot of people say are very painful. In my opinion, neither one’s got shit on a septum piercing, which I got today. I’ve wanted one for years, and my decision was made for me when I was introduced to jewelry like this:
About the piercing. It was single most painful body mod experience I’ve ever had. I’m talking tattoos, too. I remember my 6 hour thigh piece much more fondly. Maybe it’s because it’s right in the middle of your face, making the whole thing immediately more traumatic.
My nose was clamped with a pair of medieval torture device pliers. These clamps hurt. Oh, they hurt. The pinching and pressure made my eyes become those giant sky waterfalls I imagine cascading from Valhalla. The intense pressure and pinching, coupled with the even more intense pain of the needle made it hard for me to regulate my breathing. Too deep a breath caused me to gag, and because I didn’t want to throw up on someone putting a hole in my face, I was unconsciously holding my breath. Then I panicked because I knew I shouldn’t be holding my breath, so then I would take small, rapid breaths. Also know as hyperventilating.
I tried desperately to get it under control, to stop being so ridiculous. I tried to channel Gaston, because there’s no man in town half as manly. Try as I might, I couldn’t. A salty cocktail of tears and blood flowed into my mouth, the gagging issue grew in intensity.
Because of having a somewhat smallish nose, the guy was having a hard time getting in there. The addition of blood made his job harder. By the time the needle was in he took the clamps off and gave me a minute to get my breathing under control before putting the horseshoe in. Through this all I was gagging, weeping, and bleeding. I give the piercer a ton of credit and do not place any blame on him for my experience, rather I think it’s just the nature of the piercing. I tipped generously and left the shop feeling like an idiot.
I laid and remained still for both of my tattoos, I cringed a little for my industrial, and only flinched during my second nipple piercing. I am not the kind of person who has a problem with pain, and I don’t think my experience was so bad because of pain. I think the real problem was my inability to control my breathing and collect myself. I felt like I was suffocating and a primal, stupid, fight-or-flight part of my brain took over. I felt like someone who’s possessed by a demon, watching their body do all this evil, demon-y stuff and not being able to stop it. It was scary, and borderline traumatic for me.
While the actual piercing was horrible, within an hour I had virtually no pain in my nose. Cleaning it stings, but that subsides. Otherwise the pain afterwards is very minimal compared other piercings I’ve had, and decreases rapidly in the first couple of hours. I don’t think I’d ever do it again, but I’m glad I did.
Now, I have some mustache jewelry to order.