More on Microdermals

December 3, 2009

Anchors, single point piercings, microdermals–whatever you call them, they are one of the newest big things in body piercing.  Traditional piercing placements are described in the old  maxim, “If It Protrudes, Pierce It.”   Single point piercings are attractive because you don’t need a protrusion, flap, or fold of skin–you can place them anywhere (theoretically.)  So far, the major problems with these cute little things are migration and rejection. Innovative jewelry makers and piercers are still working to refine the concept for viability, versatility, and long-term wear.

Above is a picture of my almost one-year old single point piercing (which I wrote about getting here.)   I’ve been lucky–many don’t make it this long, as they tend to reject.  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve learned about them:

Placement can make or break a piercing.  Lots of ladies are getting “cleavage” piercings, but are finding that the movement of their breasts is causing the piercing distress.  The anchor part that is in your skin must remain flat to the plane of your body.  My piercer placed my anchor higher than I initially wanted, but I believe it has been the key to my success so far.

Aftercare for these piercings consists of keeping them clean, with the occasional sea salt soak or compress.  Compresses (clean gauze or paper towel soaked with hot saltwater solution) are a good option because unlike a normal piercing with a channel and two exit points, there is only one hole.  Therefore, gentle pressure with a hot compress can help expel any lymph or other matter from the piercing.

Rejection and migration are the big problems here.  A messed up piercing must ordinarily be removed by a piercer, and may leave a scar.  Unfortunately, I’m not aware of anything that can be done by the piercee to prevent this.

As good as mine has been doing (no redness, pain, or anything), it has popped out a bit over the course of the year, as you can clearly see in the above pic.  (It looks a little red in this picture, but I think that’s just my pink person skin!) I think it may eventually work itself out and need to be removed.

Contrast my anchor with the two in the pic above, used with permission from PriestessLolo at the BAF forums from this thread. Her two chest anchors have clearly migrated away from the plane they are supposed to be in.  This is a very common consequence, and the piercee is planning to remove at least the bottom one before it can get worse.

I only have one single point piercing, so my thoughts and experience are limited.   They look amazing, but some might feel the piercing is a lot of money spent for pain, with more money, and more pain to remove them.   If you are willing to experiment with your body and accept the risks of rejection or scarring, they are really very rewarding and unique piercings.  Are they worth it?   The jury is still out on this one.

fin


PA Panel

October 18, 2009

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This is a continuation of the PA Project Part 1.  Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this up, but I want to thank my friends, Bash, Jacobite, and DC, who have shared their wisdom and experiences with this piercing with us all. I asked them to discuss choice of jewelry, stretching and gauges,  condom use, sex with a PA, how they solved the “pee problem,” whether the PA is a “gateway piercing,” and other tips on living with a Prince Albert piercing.  Without further ado, let’s hear what these gentlemen have to say.

DC

I think that the wisest thing that should be done and probably seldom is, would be to determine the gauge of the jewelry that the piercee wants to end with. Then the piercee can discuss placement of the piercing with his pierer to make sure that there is enough flesh to accomodate the jewelry without fear of it ripping out.

There are many  suggestions as to how to handle the peeing problem.  If you look at the floor in public restrooms there must be a lot of men who cannot aim without having the P.A. problem.  My best advice is to just sit down and be done with it.

For the PDB crowed it seems that most started with a princie, myself included.  After that it often gets addictive.  If you get a Prince Albert, you have half an Apadravya.

Prince Albert Piercing

Prince Albert Piercing

Jacobite:

It wasn’t so many years ago I sneaked in the door[of  the Tribalectic forum] without any piercings, feeling I didn’t have much to add.  Yet look around now and see how many guys like me are getting a PA as their first piercing in their mid 30s. Having been informed by a colleague who already had a PA that there were benefits for both my partner and me in getting a PA, I did a little research finally getting my PA on my 14th wedding anniversary.  The hardest part was actually making the decision to get my closest & best friend of 38 years poked with a needle–my first piercing now 6 years later I have 9 piercings and 6 tattoos.

Just a quick pinch and the needle was through; a 3 or 4/10 on a pain scale (I’ve endured much more pain on a visit to the dentist).  The most uncomfortable part was the receiving tube and fitting the jewelry.   For preference, get pierced at 10 or 8 gauge and immediately stretch to 8 or 6 gauge to minimize bleeding using a CBR.  Try to gauge the diameter of the ring you require before you go visit your piercer, measuring while erect the difference between the frenum at the bottom to the urethra opening up at the to (some guys are growers some are showers when they gain an erection).

Being a keen cyclist, when I initially had my PA pierced, the vibration as I cycled along the cobbled (granite sets) streets of my home city[Jacobite lives in Edinburgh] proved uncomfortable enough that I avoided these streets or had to stand out of the saddle while healing for the first 10 days or so.  Once healed I knew where theses streets were for another reason–the sensations  were not all together unpleasurable; even stimulating perhaps.

For the most part I tend to go commando, only wearing underwear when the situation dictates a little support or restraint, and then I choose boxer briefs.  The only problems I’ve had going commando were the one time with a Tribal Dream Ring fitted and attending a Highland Celidh wearing a Kilt and dancing the evening away.  Got home to find the jewelry had worked loose, as it’s just held together by a wee bolt/screw.  Alas, condoms I can’t help you with.  I had the snip before my PA and only wore them for a month or so during healing, although I do remember being disconcerted to see a little blood in the condom, due to me being too impatient to wait for healing to try out my new toy after 6 or 7 days.  This continued on occasions until I stretched to 3.2mm (8 g) or 4 mm (6 g) when the cheese cutter effect stopped.

Sex, whether solo or sex with a partner– certainly it takes two of you to find out what works best for each of you.  This may involve compromises.  I’ve found that thinner gauges pinched her more. This lessened as I increased the gauge of the ring.  As you stretch you may be able to reduce the diameter of the ring overall.  Many guys I know have done this, and it makes it easier to insert as the jewelry hugs the glans more closely, as well as being more comfortable for oral with less risk to teeth.  Larger gauges do seem to be better received–upto a point of about 00 gauge, which proved less comfortable than 0 gauge.

It cannot be stressed enough that this is a piercing for both you and your partner and you both need input into making it work for you. That might mean that you have to take it out for some positions.  I do have to take mine out but I never forget to put it back in, even for solo sex there is just something missing if I don’t have my PA in.

Would I do it again?  Hell  yea although I’d do it 20 years earlier!

Titanium Segment Rings

Titanium Segment Rings

Bash

I wouldn’t conmsider a PA a “starter piercing” for one reason: Piercing genitals is a real gut check for most people.  Nearly pain free and a yawner to heal it may be, but there is a psychological chasm between an earlobe and a penis that all of the assurances in the world will not close. Gateway? Perhaps.  It was for me, but for many it will be all they need/want.

There is no “best jewelry.”  I’ve tried just about everything, and they all have their pluses and minuses.  My favorite would have to be segment rings in titanium, because partners are more likely to find them comfortable/tolerable, urination is generally more easily managed; also the Ti is lightweight, and less prone to stretching the piercing.  On the subject of weight, the feel of that new weight swinging around “down there” is, at first, novel and pleasurable.  The body, however, adjusts quickly, and in just a couple of days it can no longer be felt.  Also, for me at least, there is such a thing as too much weight.  This is undoubtedly tmi, but when I was waring a 9 g stainless ring, it caused my penis, when flacid, to assume a long, thin profile.  I didn’t like the look at all.

Urination is a problem, but it is  manageable.  It varies from day to day with the jewelry worn, gauge of the piercing, how much oversize the piercing is relative to the jewelry, and whether the peen is pointing due north.  Feng shui is important! 😉  There are a number of strategies for dealing with this.  The most effective is to simply sit.  Next best is the twist and pee method; sounds awful, but it’t not, at all.  In all cases, a guy needs to pay attention. Wool gathering leads to accidents!

I don’t get many questions–most, I guess, deal with urination.  That, and some guys are really bugged when a bead disappears into their urethras. It should be a non-issue, but so far I’ve not had much luck convincing them of that.

I’m a patient guy, and go months/years between stretches, so they’ve been pretty non-eventful.  I actually don’t like this characeristic of PAs; they stretch on their own, and then don’t want to close up at least all the way.  This means you are stuck with whatever decision you may have made, good or bad.

Men are stupid; we’re obsessed with our dicks, and we do extreme things to them. I’m talking about stretching, here.  There is a point where jewelry begins to obstruct the urethra.  This has two effects, one demonstrable, the other theoretical.  The obstruction creates back pressure, which leads to “bypassin” during urination, complicating an already challenging situation.  Also, I believe that this obsruction inhibits the normal flushing of of the urethra by the urine stream, and sets up a sitution where bacteria can find a happy home.  This is, as I said, theoretical, and I have no idea what the critical jewelry size is, if in fact it’s a factor at all.  In my case, I stretched to 0g, decided to downsize, and the fistula retreated to about 4.

#1 Tip:  Patience, Grasshopper, Patience.

Again, thanks to my friends for sharing their thoughts on this very popular piercing.  I hope you can use some of these tips to make your own piercing a happy experience.

Pic of segment rings from Steel Navel.

fin


Healing Update

December 28, 2008

One week later . . .

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The chest anchor (aka microdermal, cleavage single point piercing) is being very calm.  I hardly know it’s there. It’s crusting some, but not too bad–yet.   It’s kind of an odd place for a piece of jewelry, and I’m kind of getting used to it.  I’m still not sure whether I need to hide it for work, or just ignore it or pretend it’s a stick on gem or something.

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The nipple piercing, on the other hand–

BAR TOO SHORT!

I’ll have to return to ABQ to see Noah as soon as possible to get it changed out.  The balls are sinking in to the nipple, which is not good.  (In Noah’s words, “bummer.”) I was keeping an eye on it, because I thought it might just be swelling, but–it’s definitely too short.

Sometimes there’s a bit of trial and error involved in getting the right fit for jewelry, and you never know how your body will react, either.  So I’m concentrating on keeping it clean and happy until I can get it changed out.


Anti-Experience: Pt 2

December 23, 2008

Part one can be found here.

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Marking

I can’t begin to tell you how important it is to take your time about the marking.  This is the time to communicate lifestyle considerations such as plans for further piercing near to the new one, purpose of the piercing, or what style of jewelry you would like to ultimately wear.

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Communication is key! If you have doubts, always ask the piercer.  Often they have benefit of experience and will tell you why they want to place it a certain way.  Proper placement can mean a more stable and aesthetically pleasing piercing.

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Take the time with the marking and prep work until you are comfortable.  It can be hard to assess by yourself, so having a friend give a second opinion is valuable.

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Noah is doing cleaning and prep work on me, and we discuss placement.  I also asked for an unusually large starting gauge for my nipple, 8 gauge, and he had to carefully assess whether my anatomy was suited.  After looking at my other, long-healed 8 gauge nip, he agreed to do it.

Wonderful shop that had all the jewelry I needed! ‘tho the 8 g needle and jewelry had to be statim’d.

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The Piercings

BD#1 went first with her Monroe.  It was very quick.  She let out a subdued moan, but was very brave.

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Here’s BD#1 caught in that, “oh shit” moment, right before the piercing.  Noah is well into his aftercare speech, which he wants you to focus on instead of dwelling on the pain.

Right.

Noah asked me which piercing I wanted first.  I opted for the chest piercing–ouch with the needle + a hard painful push on my chest to get the anchor inserted. Then the nipple piercing.  That was pretty painful–it seemed to take forever, but he had to push that 8 gauge needle pretty hard to get it through.  It really only took a few seconds.

In my mind, piercing is a significant event, and should be treated as such.  Pain has been a part of human transformative rites forever. You walk out of a piercing experience a different person, transformed through ritual.

So, yeah, it hurts a bit, but it’s worth it.

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The Jewelry

Dazed and Confused. Again.  Immediately after piercing, you’re so high on endorphins and jazzed and relieved it’s hard to pin down the little details.  Like jewelry and aftercare.

Make sure you know what jewelry you just bought! This can become important if you need to replace part of it, plan to stretch, or just want to buy new jewelry.  Or maybe that piercing you just got is having problems and you suspect the jewelry.   Is it stainless steel? Titanium? Who is the manufacturer?

They gave me a receipt with all the jewelry spelled out, if in abbreviations.  So, uh . . . what are all these abbreviations again? “am-at-18”? “is-tbop4”? omgwtf?

The following pics are an experiment to document my jewelry purchases.

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the surface anchor

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the barbell

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BD#1’s labret jewelry

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Bye Bye, Evolution! We’re pierced, poorer, and pumped up! Why doesn’t my town have cool places like this? We’re so podunk! Next time I’d like to have a little more time to hang out in Albuquerque.

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About two hours down the road.  Badge of courage.

A great experience altogether, but I have to say that two intense piercings, plus an 8 hour drive makes for one tired Cloud and BD#1.  Now, I can concentrate on . . . the aftercare!

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See ya!

Thank you, of course, to Noah Babcock at Evolution Body Piercing who very graciously let me take the photos during the whole thing.

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The Anti-Experience: Pt. 1

December 22, 2008

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The Anti-Experience, by Cloud.

Featuring Beautiful Daughter No. 1 and a road trip to Albuquerque to visit Evolution Body Piercing and get a Monroe, nipple, and chest anchor piercings.

Tired of the same old “experience”?

I went to the shop . . . met the piercer . . . he was cool . . . got pierced . . . it hurt like a sonuvabitch! . . . ([or] it didn’t hurt at all!) . . . got new shinies . . . blah blah blah . . . am proud.

Me, too! so — here’s my “anti-experience.”  I like to use mind-maps sometimes–they’re great for note taking, learning, or articulating a concept. (Some delicious tags for mindmaps here.) Note: This is without a doubt the single dorkiest thing I have ever done.

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Road Trip with my Bodymod buddy!

Beautiful Daughter No. 1 is my bodymod buddy. [ETA: I know it’s not “boddy” mod buddy.  No, I can’t change it now–live with it!] She’s provided moral support countless times, designed 2 of my tattoos, and even inked a few lines in another of my tattoos. . It’s so nice to have someone to hold your hand and give you a second opinion; not to mention company for the road.  I’ve driven that trip to Albuquerque and Santa Fe many times, but there’s a whole lot of Nothing out here! 4 hours up; get pierced (or tattooed); 4 hours down.

Woo.

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The Studio:

We went to see Noah Babcock at Evolution in Albuquerque. Beautiful place! I love going to piercing only shops.  Noah gave good directions and it was easy to find!

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Here’s Angela at the counter who patiently explained the information about my jewelry three times.

anti-b-100_0785Here’s the beautiful lobby.  Water, plants, fish.  Jewelry! Noah gave me a tour.  He showed me the piercing rooms, sterilization equipment, the decontamination room door–all the stuff.

No, I didn’t ask to see the spore tests. Maybe next time I’ll ask and get a pic.

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Here’s Jamie, another piercer, doing packaging. Work, work, work!

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The Piercer: Noah

Noah came highly recommended and is an APP Piercer who is actively involved in developing and refining piercing techniques and jewelry, and is an industry advocate.  It’s so nice to know that the person about to stick a needle in you is very experienced and skilled. Noah has a terrific client manner, is calm, reassuring and funny.  He made BD#1 and feel I very welcome, before he shoved sharp things in us!

Tune in for Part 2–there’s still the marking, piercing, jewelry, and aftercare to go!