George Carter
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Goodbye Piercings

| Wednesday 8th May, 2024

Over the last few days I have taken the difficult decision to retire a few piercings.

My Septum has always been interesting. I really wanted one when I got it – and I was delighted that I did, indeed, have it done, even though I wore it hidden for several months. I retired it, maybe three or four months after getting it done, then regretted retiring it and went to get it repierced around a year after retiring it. The hole was actually still there, so it was simply a matter of tapering it back up to size.

I’ve been stretching it over time, but wearing visible jewellery less and less, and wearing a tunnel retainer more and more. I kinda wanted to have it there, but didn’t really know why. I think there were flavours of BDSM potential in there, and since I’m learning more self-love and have less and less wish to be abused, those reasons became, naturally, less and less important to me.

I know that removal of my septum is potentially a temporary measure… the hole will likely stay open for a good amount of time, and while tapering back open can be a little uncomfortable it’s a darn sight less uncomfortable than re-piercing.

The helix piercings are also interesting… I actually took out my scaffold piercing during the night last night to get that old feeling of just resting my head on a pillow, and it was wonderful. I knew that the holes may close up overnight and the jewellery might not go back in, but I was willing to take that risk. Actually most of my piercing removals over time have been at night when they just got to be too big a pain in the butt.

I successfully reinserted the jewellery this morning… around eight hours without jewellery and the holes hadn’t closed. But I guess they are moderately mature at around fifteen months old.

But I have helix piercings on the other ear too. Well, I did until about thirty minutes ago. The original plan was to pierce two holes in the upper helix so that 8mm rings could go through and hug the ear neatly rather than hanging down.

One of them did a good job of healing and I downsized it around six months ago. The other was a little grumpy at that time so we left the larger larbret in place. I’ve noticed recently that there’s a lot of post sticking out of my ear so I went to a piercer this morning to see about downsizing. I told him the original plan and he ummed and ahhed and got out his caliper.

Seems like the angles of the piercings wouldn’t support 8mm rings anyway (annoying because I already bought the rings). No, it’s going to need some fiddling and measuring and messing about and maybe 9mm or 10mm rings in place. And then I’m not going to be able to sleep on them because rings try to lie flat when you sleep on them and that irritates the holes further.

Moreover, the piercer didn’t actually have any of the right sized posts in stock to downsize to.

I think I took all of this as a sign… while I think the double helix rings would have looked pretty awesome, I’m no longer willing to put up with the faff, discomfort and lifestyle modification required to support them. It’s just not that important to me.

So I took them out. By tomorrow I’m pretty sure they won’t go back in, so this is a pretty ‘final’ decision, and one I’m going to have to live with.

But as I learn to trust myself more, I learn to trust my decisions and own the consequences. Worst case: I don’t get to “look cool”. Best case, I get to lie on my left side again without having to lay on my arm or risk helix irritation. (The travel-pillow thing never worked for me).

As I write this, I’m already feeling a sense of relief. I feel I no longer need piercings to be who I am. (That was not the case a couple of years ago, they were very much part of my identity).

I have a feeling growing inside of me that when I’m naked I’d like to be truly naked. At the moment (after these changes) I have my lucky knot bracelets that very rarely leave my wrist, my scaffold and my PA piercing. I don’t know if my tattoo counts as “not being naked”… it’s only a bit of ink.

So maybe piercing was a phase… I always saw it as a verb, not a noun. It was about getting pierced, not about having piercings. It was the autonomy and freedom to do with my body what I will. And maybe that time has passed. Or maybe “what I will” has changed to healthier eating and exercise and stretching… they are still things I have the freedom to do with my body. And they are more compassionate, hurt less and have a greater chance of leading me to the life that I wish to live. (Which, actually I am already living).

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