During my little break from the rat race (before Cov-19) I decided to get some piercings. I had seen some very cute and delicate images of pierced ears pop up on my pinterest feed and soon become fixated. Now that I wasn’t working in an office in a client facing situation I also wasn’t restricted by the anal retentive requirements of a dress code unaltered since the 1950’s. Hurrah!
So – it was just a matter of where to go to make it happen.
When I think ‘piercings‘ I don’t think of the West End or Knightsbridge… I think Camden. Mostly because if you walk through Camden you will see people with a significant amount of shrapnel either on their face or body. If I was going to do this I wanted to be in the hands of those who clearly know their stuff, so Camden it was.
I’m pretty sure when I announced to Mr Maybe that I was going to get some peircings done in Camden he thought I had possibly hit my head… However I was deadly serious. And by this point it had escalated to six piercings. Double lobe on both sides, a helix and my nipple.
After a brief hunt on the internet and cross referencing glowing reviews with images on instagram – I settled on a place called Cold Steel. The place had been in business since 1993 and patrons had all commented about the professionalism and aftercare. Bingo.
To take my mind off the upcoming date with a needle Mr Maybe and I decided to have lunch and do some shopping before it was time for my appointment. I think we were both trying to act cool as neither of us had any clue how much or little this was going to hurt.
Now, I wanted to stride in there like a badass. However the entrance to the salon was down a spooky corridoor and up a grubby flight of stairs with a neon light shaped like a helix-hoop.
It was the kind of corridor you would see in an after-school Blossom episode.
Or maybe Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
And I was, in fact, shitting my pants.
I couldn’t let Mr Maybe see that I was scared. He was already 99.9% sure I might back out at the last moment considering I am more a sexy librarian type than someone who would confidently rock a nipple piercing. If he knew I was scared he would throw me off my game. So… outward bravado it was!
We were ushered into a room by Julie (one of the owners and someone I can’t recomend highly enough). She was warm, friendly, chatty, put me at ease entirely and walked me through the process. After a conflab it was decided that a double lobe, helix plus nipple piercing was just one too many piercings in one sitting. Julie explained that as your bodies defence mechanism against injury, piercings get more painful as they go if multiple are done at the same time.
So I had to come back to get my nipple done.
Anyway, I got marked up re-placement of said helix and lobe piercings and was asked to lay down on a table facing Mr Maybe who was perched on the sofa looking nervous. This was brilliant as I didnt have to look at the needle getting shoved expertly through my ear while he got the full show.
I just felt a pinch and thats it. I didn’t even flinch. Which very much impressed Mr Maybe I can tell you. He visibly scrunched into a ball on the sofa and asked in a pained voice “Oh, babe! Doesn’t that HURT?!” Afterwards, he described how surreal and somewhat disturbing it was for me to be chatting happily during the whole process blissfully unaware of a metal needle poking out of my ear at a strange angle. Maybe it was just Julie’s expert hand or the adrenaline raging through me at that moment in time… But I felt like I could catch bullets with my teeth.
I walked out of there feeling proud of myself, 10% cooler and slightly lightheaded.
Now… the nipple.
I had diligently been looking at a plethora of nipple piercings from different angles to best gauge how it might look on me and decide without a shadow of a doubt if I really wanted one.
This was not the time for buyers remorse.
74 youtube videos later I still wanted to do this – so off to Cold Steel we went.
Thank all that is good and pure I managed to book in with Julie again and as a result could quite comfortably whip my bra and top off without any blushes so she could mark up my nipple for its new jewellery.
Granted, again, I was outwardly smiling but inwardly hyperventilating and Mr Maybe nervously perched himself on the sofa.
I kept thinking to myself:
“It’s going to be fine” / “You aren’t going to feel a thing” / “its just a piercing”
But the truth is… I knew this was one of the most painful piercings you could get done and I wasn’t sure what my threshold was.
Lobe piercings are one thing, helix piercings are another… but a nipple?
Mr Maybe was trying to distract me by chatting animatedly with Julie but I was still incredibly conscious of the needle just over there and the bar equally nearby that would very soon adorn my boob.
To say I started sweating is an understatement. But strangely only from my armpits and only straight down onto the paper covering the slab I was lying on.
I was determined not to flinch.
And at first I thought I might manage it, but then, halfway through the nipple I simply had to scrunch up my right eye. That’s all. Like I was winking animatedly in a musical… Because it felt like a hot poker was being shoved through my nip. It was a fleeting flinch of the eye alone, but a flinch none the less. Weirdly it wasn’t the outer bits that bothered me. Just going through the middle.
It felt hot. Really bloody hot.
I have to say, regardless of the pain, it looked incredibly cool and I felt proud of myself once it was all over. I tucked my boobs into my sports bra and thanked Julie for the brilliant job she had done.
Obviously we went straight to the pub for a lot of celebratory drinks.
I whipped my boobs back out as soon as we got home and jiggled happily in front of the mirror much to the amusement of my boyfriend, striking poses and feeling particularly sexy indeed.
It was so un-“me.”
I felt defiant and liberated.
I felt like Sarah Connor, Lara Croft, Arya Stark, Xena and Eleven all rolled into one.
But that’s exactly what I needed.
It felt good. So good in fact that I was slightly unprepared for Mr Maybe wiggling his eyebrows at me and saying in a coy and roundabout way,
“So… do you think you might get the other one done too?…”