George Carter
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The Joy of a Large-Gauge Piercing

| Friday 1st December, 2023

As I mentioned, I had my PA re-pierced last week. I was tentative about going for a large-gauge.

I previously had it pierced with 2.4mm (10g) about sixteen years ago. It was very irritable and I took it out after around six months.

Similarly, in 2021 I had it re-pierced at 3.2mm (8g). Again after around six months it was getting annoying. I could feel the pressure of the ring. 3.2mm was actually the minimum gauge recommended by my piercer in 2021. (The piercer in 2007 was almost certainly not following modern best-practice – I don’t remember receiving any aftercare advice, we didn’t do a post-piercing check-up, we didn’t downsize the jewellery.)

This time round is so different. I went up two full sizes and have gone for a 5mm gauge (4g).

Now don’t get me wrong… the piercing process itself hurt like a butt-cheek on a stick. But extremely surprisingly to me, having been pierced on Wednesday I was back at the bouldering wall and climbing hard climbs by Friday. Seriously. Forty-eight hours later is was as if nothing had happened.

The ring I have at the moment is oversized to allow for swelling, so it physically gets in the way a tiny bit, but there is no discomfort at the piercing site at all. AT ALL.

I’d heard that a larger gauge was more comfortable and boy were they right!

My friend didn’t understand why so I explained the following:

Imagine you have two pieces of paper you would like to keep fixed in place. You hammer a thin nail through the first, and on the second you use a hole punch and a rod.

In the first example, the paper will tear as the pin isn’t large enough to hold it. In the second case it will be held firm with little or no damage.

That’s just what we have here. (Although a large gauge piercing doesn’t punch any flesh out of the hole, it simply stretches around the needle.)

But where are all these ramblings leading? I think they’re to say: if you were thinking of going for a large gauge piercing, then go for it.

When the piercing studio’s jewellery expert showed me the ring I was going to be pierced with I almost backed out. “Holy crap, that’s BIG”, I exclaimed. “Do I want to go smaller?” to which she said… “No. If you’re thinking of 5mm, then go for 5mm.” She was right.


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