Saturday, February 1, 2014

NSFW - Piercing Experience Continued


The images shown below are performed by a professional piercer.  DO NOT attempt any of this on yourself, you could cause serious and permanent injury, leading to infections and complications, or you could hit something important and bleed to death. When it comes to this kind of thing, don't be Joe Schmoe, GO PRO!

Also, the photos have a half-assed watermark signature of the dude who took the pictures for me on them.
I was a little surprised my piercer let him take photos, but hey, my piercer is awesome. Come to think of it, the folks at Cottage 13 are all-around awesome.

As some of you may have previously read about my RPA piercing experience, I've recently [today] gotten the beginning of a lorum/hafada ladder design started.

Once again, I do these things during the stupidest weather possible. It was snowing, but warm enough that everything was sloppy, yet cold enough to still snow. Forecast was for a bad storm to hit the surrounding region, and maybe a bit of the city I live in. So I trudged my way through the snow down to Cottage 13 for my appointment feeling a bit weird and wondering if I should do this or not.  It's something that's been on my mind for months [shortly after I got the RPA done - which is almost a year-old now, actually] and figured, my piercer is awesome enough, if I get there and chicken out, she'd be alright with that [and she is/would be]

I don't remember why or where/when I started wanting one, and much the same with my Reverse Prince Albert piercing, the only thing that really comes to mind is that I like the look of it [on myself], and I contemplate how it can be a potential enhancement for the future Mrs.' pleasures. [think one of those
As everything takes time, and there's no current other-half, I figure I've got time to get myself set up and healed.

Think of a Newton's Cradle [I had to look up the proper term. "office desk momentum thing" gave me one photo result that was correct] kind of effect with the jewelry when it's all done in the number I want.

[Image taken from Thinkgeek]

I'd done my research on the general inner-working of the scrotum, and how these piercings are. What I hadn't taken into account, and as always, Yo, in her awesomeness, was fully aware of, was how the jewelry would sit, how the piercings would be, because lets face it - your nutsack is a floppy bag of stretchy skin that will fold over on itself given half the chance.

Now, when it comes to piercings, I like "unique" without being "extreme". [And I'm sure of you are thinking that hey, a needle 3/4s the diameter of a pencil going through the thickest part of your wang is extreme to begin with]. So I'd done some looking. And then some more looking. And all I really found where guys who'd had ladders of 3-6, and then a dude who had about 35 rings in a tightly consecutive ladder, and some other guys who had random placement, sides and middle.

I knew what I wanted to do. So I sketched it out and talked with Yo and we ran into some potential issues and found solutions to them. Did I mention Yo is awesome? She's awesome.
So here's the sketch.

Except, of course, imagine a ladder like that.

And then here's some of the markings Yo made while we looked for `the sweet spot(s)`.
test-markings for acceptable locations
I gotta say, I am SURPRISED at how little it hurt. I have - literally, in the proper sense of the word - had paper-cuts that hurt worse. And I'm a giant pussy when it comes to pain. The closest thing I can liken it to is [duh] getting pricked by a needle to give blood - but the pain didn't last as long as that does. Being flicked in the testes hurts worse than this did.  And the second one! Usually your adrenaline is in decline so a second piercing always "always hurts worse" than the first. I barely felt it. [by comparison to the first]

Ahhhh yes! The beginnings of a hafada ladder. A tri-set if we can do it right.

Needle in
Taper in

Piercing finished
Jewelry in

Pierced at 10ga [gauge] and immediately stretched to 8ga. The same kind of thing that Yo did for my RPA.
I barely felt the stretch, too. I was more cognizant of the motion of something moving around where I'd just been jabbed, instead of the usually more obvious feeling of something moving through your skin.

So, once I got home, going from cold to warm, had to pee. And I noticed something that made me smile [aside from the happy new piercings] - the jewelry clacked together. Tap-tap. Yay. The end-result effect of what I'm looking for is already starting with just 2 of an estimated potential 12-15 piercings.

Now to keep it clean and take care of it like any other piercings [but a tad more zealous, 'cause you know the term `sweatin my balls off`?? yeah.. sweat's not a healing-wound's friend.] and go back in a month or so for a checkup and hopefully 2 or 3 new pieces of the ladder added.

Updates when they come, like with the other post.

Day 2:

Minimal blood spotting, if you've seen the RPA post and the pictures of how little I bled there, it's about the same size spotting, only less. And only day-of / overnight, no bleeding throughout the day today.
Itchy though..and I can tack that squarely on the weather, electric radiant heat and dry skin. So, if I can just not-scratch my balls, I'm set.

Was a little worried while destroying ye olde porcelain throne, what with how things dangle and size of the seat and how I'm a bit paranoid about the cleanliness of said seat and whatever is colonizing underneath, but it's oddly all good.  I was [pleasantly] surprised at the lack of pain or discomfort while cleaning in the shower with the Punk Medicine all natural uber-vegan anti-microbial soap.
Now them that know me will laugh, but them that don't - understand - I like my steak-wrapped-bacon and chicken-fried-chicken and porkchops and snausage.. so for me to use something `vegan`, let alone `super-vegan` might seem a bit odd, but hey, natural [real natural, not corporate-produced "natural"] products are better, no parabens, parafin liquidium or other petroleum products.

So yeah, it's all looking good so far. Update again after I head back to the piercer's for a checkup and game-plan update.

Week 2:
Back to the piercing parlour for some new ear-holes and a look-see at how things are doing.
The lorum/top hafada piercing is misbehaving a bit, and the bottom hafada is doing very good.
The skin at the piercing site is a bit raw [and tender] and should be closed up around the jewelry, as opposed to kind of pulled away from it. So, there's a couple things to try and get the skin around the piercing like proper and back on track to healing like expected.

Still, no real infection, outside of general bodily defenses coming into play while healing, so it's better than it could be.

Week 4 / 1 Month:

So after a 2 weeks of using a topical antibiotic cream - cream, don't use a gel or ointment, they tend to coat/soak the top layer of skin and prevent your skin from breathing, whereas a cream generally absorbs deeper / faster and your skin can still breathe through it. Also, creams don't have as much[if any] petroleum by-products in them, whereas ointments often do.
I still have an issue thinking this was an infection, as the *only* sign it might have been was the one side of the piercing entry/exit site was a little inflamed and red - not tender though.  Still, the antibiotics did a good job and things are much better, so I'm also thinking perhaps I caught a potential issue well ahead of it being a real problem.

Soon enough, the next section of the ladder will be added on [give it another month to make sure everything is happy-happy and not just mock-happy]. More pics when progress happens.

2 Months:
Round 2 - pierce!

So, 2 months in, time for Round 2, get some more added to the ladder.
Problem is, all this week the piercings have been acting up a little bit, except for the hafada.
Nipples and lorum decided to be irritated/ing but have calmed down, and wouldn't you know it, I sat "wrong" at work today and felt a little tug..and my hafada bled a little bit. Seems I sat and pulled the ring, also pulling some hard crusties through the edge of the fistula.

Once again, pierced at 10, stretched to 8.
3 this time. pleasantly surprised Yo did it, as normally 2 might be the limit.
[depending on location, I would think. Don't quote me on that, it's an assumption]
First one felt like a mild burning sensation, the second one pinched/burned/hurt a bit more, and the third one [the bottom..pierced left side, right side then bottom..reverse left&right for the photos] actually hurt.

So.. here we go:

No. 2 - didn't get photos of No.1 [on the right]
Needle for No.3

All 3 - 3 shiny new hafadas at 8ga. The side rings are a larger diameter. 

And more updates as they come.

Round 2 - 1 week after [7days]:

So here's a few things:
I'd been battling a cough for about 3 months - ever since coming back from visiting my dad at the Mayo Clinic. It looks like these three new piercings kicking my healing / immune system into a angry screw-you.
Keeping in mind I generally heal faster than most folks, and drugs have a very diminished effect on me - what you take a tylenol for, I'd need 4, or a tylenol-3.
SO... the cough coupled with how dry my apartment is [dry nights = post-nasal drip, a wonderful bacterial stew waiting to bubble] gave me what turned out to be pneumonia. Now remember, I'd had this cough for 3 months, non-infectious. My roommate spent one day being in the same apartment, making sure I wouldn't pass out in the shower again or fall down and go boom, and now my roomie's sick like I was/am.

So remember - If you're sick with something, even something minor like a cough that just won't quit, piercings can aggravate an illness. You'll also want to watch the skin / site around your piercing - mine dried out and cracked / started to peel like a bad sunburn. I was taking in about 10 litres of water a day for 3 days and had only peed twice in that entire time.
You could say I was dehydrated.
Got some meds for the pneumonia and the cough [they gave me a narcotic cough suppressant. Once I doubled the dose it started working..not smart or wise, but remember kiddies, I'm damn-near immune to meds.
Once the meds kicked in my hydration levels returned to normal and I started to get some sleep instead of waking up every 30 minutes to hack up a gooey chunk of rancid lungbutter.

The piercings are healing nicely again all should be good in time.

When I got my RPA, I didn't want to run the risk of the jewellery resting against the actual toilet bowl, or under the lip of the seat. So I would tear off some extra TP and let my penis rest on the seat. This brought my balls up and closer to bear against said seat.  Now that I've got piercings there, I tear off a bit more TP and as I sit down to crack the porcelain, I tuck it under/around my scrotal piercings and all is good.

Now how does this work for public toilets? The ones with that wedge cut out from the front of the seat?
It works easier, actually.  I just go about my business as usual and rarely have any issues with the seat.

Whether boxers, briefs, styles-in-between or nude, sleeping became a bit more challenging.
I roll over. I spread out. But piercings tend to grab your skin, and scrotal skin is... kind of malleable.  Warm, cold, contract, expand, loose and tight. Roll over and shift a leg and pull a piercing.

So... I'm getting into the habit of "adjusting" [old-school ballplayer style] and that seems to take care of things just fine.

Update: April 18, 2014:

I'm going to get the outer rings downsized, as when I walk, there's enough friction that rotates the rings,
and tries to force the bead into the fistula. Also going to replace them with segment rings.  Segment ring worked wonders for my RPA, hoping they'll do the same here.

Another week or two then get the 2 lower outside rings put in, and possibly/probably another ring down the mainline ladder.  My piercer doesn't like to do a lot at once, because the more you do, the longer/harder it can be to heal them all. Makes sense, so we'll wait and see what she has to say.

Update May 26, 2014:
Still having issues with the left hafada, even after going to a smaller ring in the hopes that it wouldn't get knocked around so much. Going to try segment rings [when they come in] and see if that does anything. If not, I may have to take it out altogether, which I would rather not. Unfortunately, as good as Anatometal is, often there's a few weeks' worth of wait-times, and sometimes orders get backed up.

But good things come to those who wait, so I wait. And try to be patient...which is easy when you forget about something.

I don't want to go into what the issue is until I have a permanent solution, because if you've got the same thing happening, you'll want a solution, not just 'oh hey, someone else who has this..and didn't say what they did to fix it', right? Right.

May 29th 2014 Update:
May 28th is 1 year with the RPA:

So it's been a full year to the day with my RPA. Doing well, I must say. ...and that's enough rhyming.

I've had my horizontal nipple piercings for about 2 years, vertical nipple piercings for about 15 or 16 months, RPA for 1 year, hafadas and lorum for about 5 or 6 months.  Just stretched [today] my left hafads, as I'm waiting on a pair of segment rings to come in for the left&right hafadas.  The left one is still giving me issues at the end of the fistula, so I swapped out the CBR for a barbell - the same barbell I was going to use in my RPA but couldn't.  The stretch barely hurt at all, from 8ga to 6ga.

If you're going to self-stretch, cold-pressed[extra virgin] olive oil is a boon.

You can see the barbell - which was about 1/8" longer than recommended for the RPA [but worked well until the large 1/4" barbell started rotating through my urethra. Pain in the dickhole! Literally!!]
Hard to see the issue I'm having from that angle, but you can see the length of the barbell just fine. 1 ball is 1//8" and the other 1/4".

1 year and going strong.

Wonder what other piercings I'll get in the future.

June 13 - 15, 2014:

So, after applying some old cream-based antibiotics, my left hafada has cleared up and my right is still a bit whiny, but that's because it's still got a ring in it, and sitting all day at work puts stress on the ring, pulling at the piercing.

I bought a bottle of Witch Hazel [liquid] and have been applying it to the angry piercing with a q-tip. Keeps it in check and okay and stops it from getting as stress-inflamed.

My barbels came in, and my awesome piercer has them in her autoclave, so I should be able ot get this ring out tomorrow and a barbel in, making for happier piercings. Unfortunately, only 1 barbel was ordered, so the larger 6ga curved [that is too long for the piercing] will have to remain for now. The good news is, it's behaving and healed up well.
When I go to pick up the new jewelry tomorrow, I also plan on having another rung of the scrotal ladder put in, maybe something else, but I'm not sure what.
So I picked up the new barbel and stretched and put the jewelry in.

It should be noted that the tapering kit I bought is designed for ears, and to be worn not just lubed and used.

Laid my paper towel down, q-tips, 2 shotglasses - 1 with cold-pressed olive oil and 1 with hydrogen peroxide, jewelry and my tapers - same size as my jewelry, and 1 up from that.

Not sterile like a reputable piercing parlor, and doing it myself, so not exactly professional. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this for anyone. When in doubt, be patient and see your trusted piercer. 

I am risky and impatient and very, very lucky with my piercings. I appear to be that 0.001% of people without issues and infections, despite my choices and actions. I can not stress that enough. 

So on with the pics!

Everything got dipped & swished in the hydrogen peroxide. Then dried on their own paper towel. So, I coated my taper with the olive oil and slide it in behind my jewelry. It slid in and through easily, so, leaving it in the piercing, coat the next size up in olive oil, and point-to-flat end push it through, a little discomfort for the stretch but nowhere near as it would be for, say, my ears. [Which I stretched today and were the general amount of pain/uncomfortable for stretching]

You'll notice how red and inflamed my piercing is. It's still responding well to the Witch Hazel, and now that I have a better jewelry option in there, it should calm down.

See how the end of my taper is flat? This means it requires a rock-steady hand for keeping jewelry flush to the taper as it goes through the fistula. I've been pretty fortunate with myself, but the one slipped a little bit and I pinched myself inside my piercing about 3/4 of the way through.

The good news is that this is an internally-threaded bar, so there'd no screw-threads trying to shred my fistula.

Taper out, barbel in and ends screwed on.

And that's how I did it - unprofessionally and in non-sterile conditions.
Seriously, unless you heal like me or, say, that pussy Wolverine, get your piercer to do this for you.

They won't pause, mess around, or get the angle wrong looking in a mirror and bungle the insertion.
And their shops should be clean and sterile, not an old workbench with tools and computer components on it.

And with that, I sign off for now until the next jabby-stabby session.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is created by Dan Shipton unless otherwise noted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.