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May 20, 2024

Body Art II - Piercings

By Ed Moyer

Okay, I know that this was supposed to be a series of articles, which would imply them being done in close proximity to each other. I do apologize to the public for dropping the ball on this, but hey, it is summer. Would you believe that an evil doctor attempting to take over the world held me hostage? No? Okay, would you believe that I was held hostage by a pack of unruly cub scouts set on taking over the world? Eh, no, huh? Okay, then would you believe being held hostage for a ransom of one trillion dollars? Okay.

But seriously, summer is a bad time to get a tattoo, or really any other body modifications. Why, you ask? Because, part of the instructions given for a tattoo is to keep it out of direct sunlight and to keep it out of bodies of water. Yes, this includes pools and lakes. The main reason why is to avoid infection, or the chlorine from fading out the new art. I have never personally experienced an infected alteration. I will say that if I even thought for a moment that I did have one, I would be at my doctor's office rather quickly.

I thought this time we would cover, or uncover, piercings. I hinted to them in my last article, which was what almost a year ago? I have one in my tongue, two in my ear, I have a "Prince Albert", and recently had both nipples done. No, I am not into pain.

Over the past few years, it has become less and less a shocking incident to see. In the days of old you only really saw the hardcore "Punk Rockers" with outlandish piercing, when in actuality a great many piercing have a long line of history to them. Almost all of us have heard the tale of Prince Albert. For those that haven't, the Prince Albert piercing is apparently named after Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. It is alleged that he wore a ring attached to his penis which was then strapped to his thigh, in order to maintain the smooth line of the tight trousers that were in fashion at the time. It is very difficult to ascertain the validity of this myth. No contempory account of him adopting the practice has come to light. It has also been suggested that the name actually refers to Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor. This theory probably stems from attempts to link Prince Albert Victor with the Jack the Ripper murders.

There are a great number more piercing for men when it comes to genitals. Mainly societies did this because in many cultures a male with a piercing in this region was thought to be virile, or at least to have attained his "manhood".

Many piercings today cause folks to simply scratch their heads and wonder what the individual was thinking. I do not attempt to make a claim to understand them all. I have just learned to not judge folks because of their choice of piercing.

Why did I choose the piercings I have, you ask? I am glad that you asked that question. We will start with my oldest ones and work our way forward.

Ears -- in the 80's it was beyond cool for a guy to have his left ear pierced. Hence, how much cooler could one be than to have two piercings in his left ear? Contrary to popular belief, pierced ears do not ensure you a date to the Friday night school dance, or better a date for the prom. At this time, I had several friends who fell into the "punk", or "skater" image that we are all familiar with these days. At this time, I never even once considered getting another piercing.

Fast forward a decade. I was living in New Mexico at the time. Met a friend of a friend who was into piercing. By this time I had begun to toy around with the idea of getting my tongue pierced. The main reason I decided to do this was because I wasn't in any relationship, and what better way to break the ice? I had also been considering for a good length of time getting my nipple done. (Axle Rose had gotten his done, and I thought he was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Yes, I was rather silly as a teenager!)

So a deal was reached. I would pay for the jewelry, and she would do the piercing for $10. The night I moved back from New Mexico, she did my left nipple for me for free. I ended up getting this one removed accidentally. I removed my tongue ring to be able to climbed corporate ladder.

I have since decided that it isn't my appearance that qualifies me for my job, but my qualities. Last Thanksgiving, I got my tongue redone. This time in a professional setting, the experience was very painless. Around the first of the year, my girlfriend and I went to get some below the waist piercing done. I got the Prince Albert, she got a clitoral hood. These healed up fairly well. We did have some issues with my PA -- apparently I was given the wrong sized hoop when I had received it originally. Once we got that resolved, my girlfriend and I decided to get our nipples done. We now have both nipples done. Getting a piercing with your partner does help for the healing process. One tends not to accidentally reach or grab for a tender area when that same area is just as tender on them.

As with my advice on tattoos, please be sure to follow the directions given by the one doing the piercing. They have spent several years doing this. Our current piercer has been doing it for five years, two of which were spent as an apprentice. Don't use things like Neosporin, unless instructed to. This prevents air from getting to the actual piercing and thus slowing down the healing process. Wash your hands BEFORE touching the piercing or the area around it. This is one thing that you DO NOT want to get infected. Genital piercing, the Prince Albert, Reverse Prince Albert, Clitoral, and Clitoral Hood piercing, all are difficult to get infected. The human body's urine contains a good deal of ammonia. In effect you are cleansing the wound each time you go to the restroom. But, this doesn't mean that you can forget all the things they told you. When they say to keep away from bodily fluids, they mean ALL bodily fluids. Use some common sense, and remember that we smokers will take longer to heal, due to the fact that we have fewer of those things that help heal fast. Oh, and be sure to do exactly what the professional says during the healing process. Certain piercings it is possible to over clean, and cause a longer healing process.

For more information, you can check out http://www.bodyart.co.za/piercing_explanation.htm, where you will find some very precise graphics on assorted piercings. Be forewarned - if you don't want the visual, don't go there.

Article © Ed Moyer. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-04-10
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