My Body, My Canvas


By Jessica M. Hancock

Not all that long ago it was inconceivable to think of piercing any part of your body except your earlobes. Go ahead and ask your grandma what would happen if came home with a ring in your nose (also known as a septum piercing). Mine would tell you that she would rip it out! Today’s more progressive, enlightened, and tolerant adults recognize the beauty and individuality that piercings and body jewelry provide. As such, these adornments are becoming more and more popular among people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. 

Getting your body pierced is a personal thing. Some do it for aesthetics, while others do it for sexual gratification or fetishes. There are cultures in the world that recognize piercings as a rite of passage and a signifier of adulthood. Other reasons can be attributed to popular culture and the need to follow the latest fashion trends or emulate musicians, actors, and other celebrities.  Some people use piercings and jewelry for commemorative purposes like marking an anniversary or the birth of a child.

Whatever the reason for the enhancement, the decision to get your body pierced is a personal one. There are of course adults who choose for their infant children to have ears pierced, but this needs to be no less important than if they were piercing themselves. Often the jewelry used to fill the pierce is valuable and meant as an extension of love and worth as much as it is meant to enhance natural beauty. Piercings are also semi-permanent, and often completely reversible, a distinguishing fact that makes them easier to try and wear than other body modifications like tattoos. 

Looking online for body jewelry it’s easy to find shops offering several styles of body jewelry including studs, rings, and bars. From these three basic styles, there are so many different shapes and styles to consider. Solid gold and silver. Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones. Imitation and manmade materials are abundant and with the advent of 3D printers so are the options for personalization. There are jewels and charms to fit every occasion, and everything seems to be available in sizes from microscopic to ginormous. 

As the world relaxes and personal identification more mainstream, body piercings and jewelry are increasingly being used to make a statement. People feel more comfortable displaying their fashion choices even when they are associated with sexual gratification and fetishes. Piercings and jewelry used to enhance genital and nipple areas, as well as in erogenous zones, are badges of honor and pride as well as functional adornments that create pleasure. 

There are many places on the body that are typically pierced including the nose, tongue, cartilage, ears, and belly button. Some reportedly hurt to pierce more than others. When you’ve got your gusto up and decide that the time is right to get pierced here are some basic tips to follow to ensure a great experience: 

  • Make sure the person hired to pierce your body is a professional
  • The person piercing you should always wear clean, disposable gloves
  • Only new needles and sterilized equipment should be used
  • The area being pierced should be properly disinfected
  • The piercer should clearly communicate everything going on throughout the process
  • Ask for recommendations for ointments to speed up the healing process and fight any infection
  • Avoid changing your jewelry before the piercing is healed completely
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before touching your piercing
  • Use saline water to clean your piercing daily
  • Seek medical attention if there are any signs of infection
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