I have always been one who is willing to answer most questions, and I always have the sort of disclaimer that “This is my experience, and yours may vary.” When it comes to one particular topic though, I admit I always sigh a bit. What topic is that?
You see, I’m more than happy to tell you how I’m taking care of a piercing (though, each piercing is different, and you should be talking to your piercer about these things). I do understand though, that some people want to get an idea of what they are in for ahead of time, and they want personal experiences, so I’m happy to share. One question though, in particular, I wish I could wipe from the face of the planet is:
“Didn’t that hurt?”
I had completely forgotten about that one, but, with my new(ish) septum piercing, it’s resurfacing a lot. At the grocery store? “Didn’t that hurt?” Random emails? “Didn’t that hurt?” Friends and family? “Omg, I heard that the septum is the most painful one to pierce!” Etc.
Why does this question bother me? Well, honestly, because I’ve had several piercings, and I can tell you that each was its own experience. For example, when I had my tongue pierced, I honestly did not even feel the needle go through my tongue. I hear that’s pretty common for oral piercings. The worst bit was the aftercare, because my tongue was pretty swollen for a few weeks (which, again, is pretty common).
I had my nipples done, and there was no consistency there, either. I had them both pierced at once, and honestly, the first one stung a little bit, but nothing major. The second one got sort of “stuck”, and my piercer had to kind of “weedle” the needle through it. That hurt, but, not bad enough to cry or anything. When my navel was pierced, the piercing itself was less than a pinch and it was all over. But, it bled like crazy, and had to have a lot of pressure applied, and even still – when I went home it continued to bleed until the next day, despite laying down and putting lots of pressure on it. Annoying.
My septum? It did hurt. Much like the nipple piercing, the needle got a bit “stuck” and didn’t glide through smoothly. I didn’t cry or whine though, so it wasn’t that bad, and it was no more than a couple of seconds before it was done.
My point is, each piercing is completely different – as is the individual’s body. Some people feel their septum like I felt my tongue piercing. Some people get their ears done, and it hurts terribly badly. Some people will never like the pain that accompanies a piercing. Some people will.
Bottom line, if you’re really interested in a tattoo or a piercing, and you want it badly enough – don’t let the fact that you may be uncomfortable for a couple of seconds prevent you from getting it. And, don’t assume that it will or will not hurt. You cannot predict whether a piercing will hurt from the location alone. The piercer’s technique, experience, your own body, whether you handle pain well generally, whether you’re piercing over scar tissue, etc, will all affect the piercing. There is no one person who can tell you what your piercing will feel like. It is very individual.