My tattoos and piercings, pain and experience.

In 2015 I marked two things off my list:

69. Get my bellybutton pierced
70. Get a tattoo

I completed those two things about two weeks apart from each other, which was pretty cool.  Now, over a year later I have three tattoos, two non-ear piercings, and I’ve stretched my ears to 4G.

My first and third tattoos were done at Fianna Studio fundraisers for the ARLGP.  I was incredibly nervous to get this done, because it was my first tattoo.  I had just gotten my belly button pierced about two weeks prior, and that hurt, so I was extra nervous for the tattoo.
As I found out, tattoos and piercings don’t feel alike at all.  The most surprising thing when I got my belly button piercing was how much it hurt – everything I’d heard said I’d barely feel it.  The most surprising thing about the tattoo was how little it hurt.

My second tattoo is the only personalized piece of the three I currently have.  The artist designed it, picked the colors, and everything, all I said was I want a Betta fish.
Now, there is actually meaning behind this tattoo.  Other than my being a fish-enthusiast.
Something many people don’t realize about Bettas is that even though they’re small, delicate-looking, gorgeous fish they are extremely aggressive.  They can and will easily take down another fish, especially the males.
I always compare them to the black-tipped reef shark.  Which are small, but still maintain the “scary” shark look.  They are shy, have been known to live in social groups, and can actually be quite friendly towards divers; especially if the people have snacks for them.
I consider it a yin and yang kind of thing, one beautiful small freshwater fish that will kill another of it’s species just for being in the same tank, and one large “scary” (personally, I find them rather adorable) shark that is gentle, shy, and will only bite humans under very rare circumstances.

I already mentioned my third tattoo being another animal shelter fundraiser tattoo.  This one is a little better hidden, it can only be seen while I’m wearing fairly short shorts.  I got it where I did thinking that it wouldn’t be any more painful than my arm.  I was wrong.  It was quite a bit more painful, though still bearable.

My septum piercing is an interesting story.  I apparently don’t have what is referred to as a “sweet spot”.  Which basically means that if you pull the skin down on my septum there’s no good place to pierce through the skin.  Generally, they want to pierce through that skin, and not through the cartilage.
My is through my cartilage.
The biggest issues with piercing through the cartilage are:

1) A longer healing time.
2) It’s more painful to have done.

Current personal piercing/tattoo location pain ratings (least to most painful):

  1. My first tattoo, the pawprint on my arm. Hurt less, and healed better than any piercing/tattoo I’ve ever had. Never had any problems except when I sunburned it (that was stupid and my fault, I know) and when the cat sunk her claws into it.
  2. Septum. Didn’t hurt at all, though since it went through cartilage it should have hurt more than normal. Healing time was ~2 months for me, but not too bad.
  3. The betta fish tattoo. Hurt more than the first because it hits my shoulder, and pretty close to my armpit. Still not too bad.
  4. Earlobe. I don’t remember getting the piercing really, but I know it got infected every time I wore heavy earrings, which sucked!
  5. Thigh tattoo. My most painful tattoo to date, but not bad. However, healing was weird because I got it a week before going on a backpacking trip, so it got pretty dried out and that wasn’t great.
  6. Stretching. I got impatient and ripped my ear once causing two days of intense pain and swelling before I took the jewelry out. Another time my ears randomly swelled and closed up a lot. And recently I stretched, and it worked fine. The next day they were sore, and a day or two later I took the jewelry out because it hurt and ended up bleeding and swollen. Otherwise stretching has been easy, and even less painful than anything else.
  7. Belly button, because of how it was done. The clamps hurt, the needle going through hurt (they’re not really supposed to wiggle the needle through the way he did), the jewelry going through hurt. And being the genius I am, I got it when I was wearing a harness everyday the entire time I was working. Healing took foreverrrr.

Next Saturday I have my next tattoo appointment, and hopefully within the next month or so I’ll be getting my industrial piercing, which will knock another thing off the list!

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