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The Adrenaline Response

The adrenaline response, also known the ‘fight or flight’ response, is a hormone (adrenaline) release from the adrenal glands in response to stressful or dangerous situations. This release of adrenalin gives us a boost to act quickly. It can also cause feelings of distress, anxiety and feeling unwell. The aim of this release is to help you face dangerous situations and be ready to “fight or flight”.

How does it affect piercing?

When preparing for your appointment, and actually waiting to get pierced, a lot of people can be worried or anxious thinking about the pain, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The adrenaline response can be triggered by these thoughts of anxiety or stress in response to physical harm of the body (even though we decided to do this, these thoughts are completely normal and valid). This response often has physical presenting symptoms on the body, including.

A diagram showing the reactions and symptoms of the adrenalin release.
https://www.sfh-tr.nhs.uk/media/3782/fight_or_flight_and_relaxed_breathing.pdf

In this situation though, the release of adrenalin isn’t always helpful! Running away (fight) won’t necessarily help, and we definitely don’t recommend trying to fight your piercer! So we implement techniques during your time with us to help manage these symptoms. First of all, we learn what the signs and symptoms can be (see above diagram) and figure out the best way to help you. We have sweets on hand to help with blood sugars, as well as cool water and compresses on hand to help with body temperature. We also help prepare you for the piercing by focusing on breathing techniques. We get you to focus on the ‘in and out’ of breathing, slowing it down, and releasing on the ‘push’ of the needle. By doing this, we can shift the focus from the anxiety, and help ‘rebalance’ the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide we might have from the temporary imbalance we might have caused from shallower breathing.

Even though these feelings can be scary and unpleasant, they are not dangerous. You are also in the hands of safe professionals who are prepared for all of this! And despite how cool you may think your piercer is, we still get nervous too! Yes, even when we get pierced!

So why do I feel weird after the piercing?

This is the adrenaline rush to help you manage the pain. Because your body senses a heightened emotion, your adrenal glands create a quick release of adrenaline into your bloodstream to help manage the pain you are feeling. It is your own body’s way of creating it’s own distraction technique from the pain and sensations you are feeling by increasing mental stimulation. The adrenaline also dampens the pain response in your nervous system so you won’t get slowed down by your injuries (the fight or flight response!).

It’s not just fear and pain that can spike your adrenaline, it can also be excitement! For example, some people enjoy dangerous sports or rollercoasters because of the ‘thrill’ they get from it. This thrill is the adrenaline surging through your body, despite not being in danger. This can happen in piercing too. The excitement of being pierced or getting pierced can easily trigger this response. (This happened to Jay after their cheek piercings!)

It’s not always super fun though. Sometimes you may get light headed or dizzy, and feel a sense of irritability. This ‘rush’ can sometimes be stressful for some clients. As always, your piercer should be on hand and prepared for all outcomes! For example, everyone at Rogue is first aid trained, so if you do feel lightheaded or dizzy, let your piercer know! Often we will elevate your legs to bring the blood back to your head steadily, and grab you some sweets to bring your blood sugars back up! Sometimes you might just need a glass of water.

Why do I sometimes feel ‘bad’ later on?

After your piercing you may feel like you are invincible or on top of the world, this is super normal, however over the next few hours the body will slowly start to return to normal after the surge from the hormonal release. The adrenaline surge can last up to an hour, as it returns back to normal levels you may feel a ‘comedown’ effect. These symptoms can include low levels of energy or tiredness, as well as a drop in mood (also known as ‘post-adrenalin’ blues). There is absolutely nothing to worry about! We recommend doing something that you find helpful in terms of self care. Whether this is getting super cosy on the sofa with snacks and watching movies by yourself, or hanging out with friends, it is super important to look after yourself. We also recommend grabbing some good food, and something full of sugar (such as a full fat Coca-Cola) however you should avoid over-consumption on caffeine as this can increase the adrenaline in your body.

Breo showing off one of our sweet jars!

The adrenaline response is nothing to be scared about. It is a natural reaction that the body has been using to protect itself for thousands of years, and it is rare we see ‘bad’ reactions to the adrenaline response from piercings. However, if you are feeling super nervous our team are always on hand to help you out and make you feel better!

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Fainting At Your Appointment.

Quite often we hear the words, ‘I’m a fainter’ by clients when they come and get pierced with us, which can make the experience much more daunting and scarier than it needs to be. It can also be a scary idea for anyone who has never fainted before, but may have never had a piercing, or is quite queasy anyway! But there’s nothing to be worried about! While fainting can be quite common, and any professional piercer should be equipped to handle it, it really doesn’t happen as often as you think it might. But let’s discuss fainting, what it is, why it happens, and how we (at Rogue) minimise the chances of it happening to you!

Fainting is a short-term loss of consciousness. It happens because of a sudden drop in blood flow to your brain. A fainting episode usually lasts a few seconds or minutes. Then, you wake up and return to normal.1 It occurs when the body over reacts to certain triggers, causing that sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate, making the blood flow to the brain slow down. These triggers can include (but are not limited to), standing or sitting for a long time, dehydration or extreme heat, stressful or emotional situations, and seeing blood or having an injection.

At your appointment, some of these things can be tied altogether! For example, it is very common for some people to be nervous about the pain or the procedure, which can cause feelings of anxiety causing stress levels to rise. Depending on your piercer, and the piercing you’re having, you may be sat or laid down for your piercing, so if you stand to quickly it can cause you to feel lightheaded or faint. You may not have had food before getting pierced, or not enough food, so during the piercing your blood sugar might be low, and then it can drop further due to the adrenalin response after being pierced. However, it is still very rare for us to have a fainter in the studio!

When you put a number of these factors together, and very quickly, it drastically increases your chances of feeling faint, or passing out, which is why we have a number of procedures to minimise this as much as possible.

  1. Eating! On our consent form we ask if you have eaten in the last 4 hours prior to your appointment. Having a healthy amount of food in your system can stable your blood sugar and prepare it for the drop in blood sugar once the adrenalin response happens. If you have not eaten, we have a variety of snacks and sweets on hand that we will ask you to eat before you go onto the room. We also have sweets for after the appointment to give you that litlle boost of sugar back!
  2. Lying you down! For most piercings at Rogue, we will have you laid down. This means that if the blood flow to your head slows down, it has less fight against gravity. And if you do feel faint, it is easier to bring your legs above your head laid down, than stood up or sat down!
  3. Breathing techniques! When getting pierced at Rogue, we will get you to focus on your breathing, keeping it nice and steady, and taking breaths in and out to alleviate the pain on the ‘push’ of the needle. But alongside managing pain, breathing techniques are a really great grounding technique and can help reduce stress and anxiety before the hard bit.
  4. Focusing on you! As the piercer and the person ‘in control’ of the room, it is really important that all of our attention is on you, even if you don’t notice it, we are always watching you and your reactions to pick up on any warning signals that you may feel faint. These signs can include going pale, or sweaty. If we pick up on it early enough, we can typically help you out by giving you some water and or sweets, a cool compress if needed.

Despite everything we can try and do to prevent fainting, it can definitely still happens. But there is still absolutely no need to worry. Every member of Rogue is First Aid trained, and we take annual courses to keep up to date with any changes. We have sweets and water on hand for when you come round, and we’ll always stay with you for a small time to make sure you’re feeling back to normal (or as much as possible) before you leave the studio. If you are prone to fainting, just let your piercer know, that way we can be as prepared as possible beforehand!

Feel free to book an appointment with us, and we’ll make you feel as comfortable as we can!

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21699-fainting
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Birthstones – June

Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite. A cute array of white, rainbow, and purples, June is one of only three months (the others being December and August). with three birthstones, creating a beautiful array of choice for every June babies style and budget. The months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

BVLA – Raine
Rainbow Moonstone

Pearl!

Pearl is the only birthstone that is organic, which means it is formed by a living organism instead of long periods over time in the earth. Pearls come from shelled Molluscs , where they deposit layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants – typically believed to be a grain of sand – that get lodged in their shells. Each species produces distinctive looking gems that are characterised by very specific ranges of colour and size. Technically, any shelled mollusc can make a pearl, only two groups of bivalve molluscs (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent “nacreous” pearls that are valued in jewellery. These rare gemstones don’t require any polishing to reveal their natural lustre. Mother-of-pearl is also known as Nacre, and is is an organic–inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer. The same material of which pearls are composed. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.

Pearls were once an incredibly rare gemstone and were accidentally discovered by divers foraging for food. These pearl-bearing molluscs live in salt-water or freshwater environments. They do not thrive in polluted environments. In 1893, the Japanese innovator ‘Kokichi Mikimoto’ discovered the process of growing pearls through ‘culturing’. The new ability to increase pearls instantly made them accessible across the market at a much more reasonable price. Salt-water cultured pearls are now being grown across the world. These farms are typically found away from socialisation and very breath-taking scenery, such as the southern coats of Japan and China. As a result of culturing, the rarest and most expensive pearls are natural pearls that have grown without any human interference.

Because pearls are made of Nacre, their colour will be the same as the same colour displayed by the animal they grew in. Typically soft and inviting, Pearl is commonly white or cream coloured. However, due to breeding pearls can now be found in a variety of hues, such as pinks and oranges, to exciting blues and greens. You can also find black, gold silver and grey on the market as a common colour. These pearls are typically from cultured from freshwater and are dyed. Black pearls are incredibly rare in the wild and so are mostly cultured, but surprisingly they aren’t actually ‘black’, but rather green, purple, blue and silver!

These milky-white stones have long been associated with purity, humility, and innocence – traditionally being given as a wedding gift. They are still used to celebrate the third and thirteenth wedding anniversary! Due to their rarity, elegance, and colour, they have been a symbol of wealth and luxury throughout their history. People also thought pearls brought a range of health benefits, such as curing depression and improving poor eyesight. While we can’t necessarily agree now a days, it’s definitely food for thought!

On the Moh’s scale of hardness, pearls are incredibly lowing, ranging from 2.5-3. This makes them incredibly soft and fragile. They can become easily damaged, especially if stored in plastic bags or exposed to chemicals. If stored in bank vaults, the extra dry air can cause them to dry out over extended periods of time. There is a saying around pearl jewellery that it must be the last thing you put on (even after makeup and hair products) and the first thing you take off. The best way to clean pearl jewellery is very lightly, with a slightly damp cloth. after each wear.

Pearls are relatively rare in body jewellery – Currently only BVLA works with genuine White Pearls!
Cosmic BVLA Pearl cabochons.

Alexandrite!

Alexandrite is the second birthstone for June! Often described as ‘Emerald by day and Ruby by night’ because of it’s contrasting colours, Alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral Chrysoberyl. The most prized stones show a deep dark green in fluorescent lighting and a sharp intense purple to red colour in incandescent lighting. The colour change is due to an uncommon chemical composition which includes traces of the same colouring agent found in Emerald – Chromium. It is the unlikelihood of the combination of these chemicals that makes this stone one of the rarest and most expensive gems on the earth. This isn’t the only thing interesting about Alexandrite, there is also another phenomenon with this stone. When long and thin inclusions (Inclusions are solids, liquids, or gases that are trapped in minerals) are parallel to each other, they can create the Cats-eye effect (also known as Chatoyancy). This is an optical reflection effect that makes the viewer see a band of light across the stone.

This mystical stone is relatively modern, but there is claims it was discovered in 1834 on the same day that future Russian Czar Alexander II came of age and therefore it was named in his honour, originally discovered and mined in Russian Emerald mines in the Ural mountains. These were eventually mined out, and now most Alexandrite is mined in Brazil, East Africa, and Sri Lanka.  These newer deposits contain some high grade stones, but many display less-precise colour changes and duller tones than the 19th century Russian alexandite’s. Because of its scarcity, especially in larger sizes, fine-quality alexandrite is one of the most expensive coloured gems on the market.
 

Chrysoberyl mining at Corrego do Fogo near Malacacheta, Brazil.
Courtesy: ICA

In contrast to its Opal counterpart, Alexandrite is relatively hard, scoring a 8.5on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness. With no cleavage (the weakest plane in a gemstone where it can split) it is an incredibly tough stone, making it a great stone for everyday wear and to gift. Despite ultrasonics and steam cleaners being a great way to clean this stone, it is still always best to use warm soapy water and a soft cloth.

Moonstone!

BVLA – Rose Cut Rainbow Moonstone

Moonstone, believed to bring great luck, is known for it’s vibrant, natural and optical effect similar to the bright appearance of the moon on a cloudless evening. This affect is known as adularescence. This happens because Moonstone is composed of microscopic layers of feldspar that scatter light. The best moonstones show a blue gleam over a transparent (colourless) background. The thinner layers of feldspar produce the blue while the thicker layers will look white. Despite this, this birthstone comes in a vast array of colours, including pinks, yellow, grey, peachy and greens. Sometimes, they can even produce a star or a cats eye!

Moonstone has associated with both Roman and Greek Lunar Deities (not surprising considering its long term history of comparison with the moon). This is again seen through Hindu mythology, which claims this stone is made of solid moonbeams! It is also known for it’s common associations with love, passion and fertility. During the Art Nouveau Movement between the 1890’s and 1910, many great artists and designers used moonstone in their fine jewellery, such as  René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Moonstone peaked interest in the market again during the 1960s “flower child” movement alongside the New Age designers of the 1990s.

The most common Moonstone on the jewellery market comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland. Moonstone is now mined in a variety of, most commonly in places such as The United States, New Mexico and North Carolina. However, the most important ones are found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, India and Madagascar.

This birthstone falls in the middle of Alexandrite and Pearls, earning itself a 6-6.5 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it prone to stress cracking . It has poor toughness, and can crack when exposed to high heat, therefore making ultrasonics and steam cleaners unsuitable methods to clean this stone. Instead, you should use mild soapy and warm water, and a very gentle toothbrushes. Baby toothbrushes are great due to their soft bristles. Care is always recommended with any stone.
 

BVLA – Rainbow Moonstone

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world such as the December Birthstone, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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Piercings and Lifestyle!

Often when we get a piercing, we don’t think too much of the complications. Piercings are quite typically seen as ‘just a piercing’ and not a lot of thought or care is put into the upkeep of trying to heal a piercing. But anyone who has had an irritation bump will know that piercings are not easy to heal, and require a lot of our time, effort and energy. They are also incredibly responsive to our environment, which is often why we may need to consider our lifestyle in relation to the piercing we are getting.

I’m going to break up our aftercare’s 3 main rules and some examples of lifestyle choice (or lifestyle influences that aren’t necessarily choices) that might influence the heal of your piercing.

1. Keep it Clean!

Keep it clean by cleaning twice a day with a sterile saline solution and general shower hygiene is the routine that we recommend you stick to in terms of actively cleaning your piercings after everyday movement. This help remove any casual dirt, grime, sweat, and crusties that have built up overnight or during the day.

But for some people, they may need to think about what they are up to during their everyday life. For example, if you are working in a job where there is an extraordinary amount of ‘dirt’ ‘mud’ ‘debris’ etc, you may want to consider if a piercing is for you. For example, working in career fields such as oil rigs, mining, construction, plumbing, farming, can leave you covered in insulation, wood chips/dust, contaminated water, faeces, and lots of other things you might not have thought about. Getting dirt in your piercings can cause serious irritation and infection, which is a good reason not to get the piercing for some people. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We can start slow and steady, doing one piercing at a time. We may recommend an extra clean during the day, or finding something to protect the site, such as PPE. We want to work with you to heal piercings where possible, so we rely on communication from both us and yourselves to ensure the best heal, and to fix any arising issues.

2. Keep it dry!

Avoid soaking and submerging for an absolute minimum of 6 weeks, no swimming and bathing in bathtubs!
Have you got a holiday booked that involves a swimming pool, the ocean or a hot tub? Have you got swimming sessions booked with school or in general? Maybe now isn’t the best time to get that piercings. Pools of water are really great at harbouring bacteria and micro-organisms, which is not great for a fresh and healing piercing (or tattoo, or wound!). If your lifestyle is revolved around swimming, but you are adamant on having a new piercing, you need to be able to commit to a 6 week break, and be thorough with the cleaning and drying appropriately after.

Alongside water being a great harbour point for bacteria, there is also mixture of chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, which can be incredibly harsh and damaging to fresh piercing sites. These are two very drying chemicals which can also be incredibly hard to remove from the jewellery. This can lead to really pesky irritation bumps which can be a pain to get rid of.

Did you know that a single litre of pool or sea water can contain up to 1 million bacterial cells?

3. Leave it alone!

No touching, twisting, turning or fiddling with the jewellery. And definitely do not remove the jewellery, for an absolute minimum of 3 months (unless you plan to retire it of course).

If you have a job, or are in a school, which will ask you to remove your piercings, maybe adding an additional new one isn’t worth it. Removing jewellery in the initial stages of healing can cause trauma and irritation alongside introducing bacteria into a healing wound which can cause an infection. Depending on how long the jewellery is left out, the piercing channel can shrink (which requires a slight stretch to re-insert the jewellery) or it can close completely.

You may also want to consider your clothing choices. For example, if you are a person who wears a binder, having nipple piercings may not be the best course of action. The extreme tightness and pressure from the binder can cause excessive pressure on a piercing, resulting in irritation, migration and or rejection. This is incredibly similar to navel piercings and high waisted clothing. For navel piercings you need to avoid wearing any clothes that will create pressure around the piercing site, we normally recommend bottoms such as low waisted jeans and dresses, or things like leggings where the waistband can be folded over.

In ear objects! Headphones, stethoscopes, ear plugs, hearing aids, all objects that go inside your ears can be really aggravating for certain piercings. Daiths, Conch’s, Tragus’s and even Rook piercings can all be affected during the early healing stage (especially with the longer posts) due to the constant insertion and removal of the item risking knocks and snags. They can also cause additional pressure on the jewellery which in turn irritates the piercing channel. Excess pressure and irritation may result in bad angles, migration, rejection or retiring the piercing.

Stop Touching!

If you are unsure if your lifestyle would work with a piercing, feel free to send us an Instagram message, call us, or book a consultation for an in depth chat!

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Piercings for Gender Euphoria.

Before I start this blog post, I must state that as of writing, I am a 22 year old, femme-presenting/afab non-binary person who recognises her state of privilege, and lack of first hand experience and knowledge surrounding those who are seeking gender euphoric practices. Despite identifying as non-binary, I have personally never used piercings for ‘gender euphoria’, but definitely have used them in aid to find love in my body more.

This is why I have reached out to clients, and piercers first hand for their own experience that they are willing to share. This blog is intended to share peoples own experiences about being pierced to aid in their gender euphoria, and to provide more information to those out there.

Agender but transmasculine (he/him)

I have loads of piercings! 10 facial, 3 ear, both nipples and dukes – originally they were just a form of expression and I didn’t understand why they meant so much to me, but after transitioning, getting piercings really started to have a whole new meaning for me ! A lot of them enhance features that are already there that I find euphoric (for example, my eyebrow piercings highlighting my monobrow and my dukes highlighting my bottom growth) – since my experience getting vch/dukes, I’ve found them to be so gender affirming that I absolutely plan to get more genital piercings eventually!

My biggest advice to others looking for this is to go to a trans/trans friendly piercer that understands how much it’ll mean for you, especially if it’s a more intimate piercing! The experience of getting the piercing often really affects my feelings on it, especially with something as person as a gender affirming piercing, so it’s definitely worth finding someone that makes you feel comfortable and welcome! 🙂

Cove, 19
Healed Facial Piercings.

Hi I’m genderfluid, and use the pronouns he/they/it. The affirming piercings I currently have are my bridge, septum, and an eyebrow.

Facial piercings have helped me with gender euphoria, as they help to make my face look more androgynous, by covering/hiding more feminine aspects, and accentuating more neutral and masculine aspects. My bridge and septum help to draw more attention to my nose, and away from more feminine areas of my face, such as my lips and cheeks, and my eyebrow helps to make my brows look thicker and fuller.

The only negative effect I can think of, is having a strong emotional attachment to my piercings, as I don’t feel or look like myself without them, which can cause distress if I need to remove them.

I plan on getting my other eyebrow (I need symmetry), cheek piercings (as this will help to make my face appear slimmer) and lip piercings with hoops to almost hide them, making them look less feminine.

My advice for anyone looking to get affirming piercings, is to go to a reputable piercer and do your research. I had dahlia bites done and had to remove them as they weren’t pierced correctly and it crushed me. So trust me, the extra £15 is worth it!

Onyx, 19

I’m a trans masc nonbinary lesbian! my pronouns are he/they. I currently have 19 piercings, but my paired eyebrows that I got a year ago have definitely been the best for gender euphoria! I love the way they emphasise my brow bone and make me look more masculine, as well as balancing out my face because I have a lot of piercings from the nose down. I’m currently thinking of getting my bridge redone, as I think this would draw more attention again to my facial structure. To anyone thinking of getting masc gender affirming piercings- do it! My facial dysphoria immediately improved when I got my eyebrows pierced. I love them!

Juno, 22

Transmasculine, he/whatever.

I got diagonal nipple piercings last December, and it’s honestly been so good for the old gender. Before I had them I looked at my chest and it was just like “gross, still got tits”, but now I get to look at them and see sick-ass shiny bars! I’m now much less uncomfortable seeing my chest because there’s something else to focus on that’s not dislike of my body.

It was the same for my navel piercing, giving much less focus to my hips and ‘feminine’ stomach and instead just heh nice shiny blue bar. Funny enough, the colour also plays into it. Sounds a bit silly but switching from plain titanium to anodised dark blue pieces has actually made me love my piercings even more – perhaps a bit juvenile to be all blue is for boys, but it helps.

This one is a bit mad, but I used to have earlobe dysphoria. Honest to god I felt that my lobes were too small and feminine. Stretching them has completely nuked that, and I now love how my ears look! Stretching my septum has also made me love how my face looks, I think the chunky blue ring in the middle really ties everything together in a masculine way. I’m excited to get more piercings, planning a stacked labret in the next few weeks!

I’ve just started T and am planning to get a triangle piercing and perhaps a few labia’s once bottom growth has slowed down. I love the way genital piercing looks and am excited to find out how it feels! I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable during sex due to the whole trans thing, and I think genital piercings would help with that – having a less conventionally gendered vulva with bottom growth and piercings would help make it feel less like a Female Part and more just my body.

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: play around with different jewellery styles! Piercings are so customisable, you can tailor them to any version of your own masculinity or femininity. Also – nipple piercings do not hurt as much as everyone said they would.

Fletch, 19
Healed Nipple and Navel Piercings

My name’s Sin; I’m 30 and I’m nonbinary. I have a lot of piercings for a lot of reasons, but rather than talk about gender affirming genital work, or nipple piercings to help make my body more bearable whilst I wait for top surgery, I feel like you feel my gender euphoria most in my face. As much as the aforementioned are helpful, I’ve never felt more connected to myself than I do when I make that bold decision to change the part of me I turn toward the rest of the world.

I don’t like my face, but it’s mine. I’ve always had it and I always will. Even with surgery, with HRT, there’s always going to be my face under it, and people will always read it one way or another; masculine or feminine features, “harsh” features or “soft” features, boy or girl, whatever box the observer wants to put me in. But my modifications aren’t anything. They don’t belong to one category or another. They’re not a “male” or “female” feature. They’re not human, and I love that. Every new piercing is another step away from the expected presentation of either gender, into a new space occupied by neither, a space uniquely mine.

I’m a visual eunuch; something not quite both, but impossible to divorce completely from the concept of an “either”. In a body that never felt like mine, every new wound makes me a little more present. In the negative spaces I’ve made and filled in with gold, I’ve found myself; I am the most myself in the places in between, in the parts of myself that I enacted my own divine right to create or destroy or adorn.

I’ll continue adding piercings, and other modifications until I no longer feel a sense of “absence”. I’d like to expand on more directly affirming piercings like genital work as I explore HRT. However, with that, I’d say it’s important not to just consider that something is affirming because it is aligned to the presentation you identify most closely with, but sometimes that affirmation comes from the simple act of recognising your own ability to enact change. Body modifications are way to chip your own vision out of the flesh we’re all born into; it’s not about what “should” belong to a specific gender ideal, but about what makes you feel empowered in your own skin. Gender presentation is as multi-faceted and beautiful as the gemstones we fill ourselves with; it’s worth exploring.

Sin, 30

-Madelyn MacPherson(She/Her) 26, Ontario, Canada

Before I came out as transgender, the only piercings I had were my stretched lobes, and a septum ring. I had known I was trans for years, but was so scared to come out, until I heard I song I had heard many times before, but the lyrics “I need to be myself, because it so lonely in the eyes of someone else” hit me in a way they had never hit before. At that moment I knew I had to come out

A few months after coming out, I met my family at  @goldenelectrictattoo . That is when my piercing journey began.

The first piercing I got made me realize how gender affirming getting pierced is for me was my paired nose piercings. How beautiful I felt looking at myself with them in after fighting for so long to see the woman I am in the mirror, it was one of the most gender euphoric feelings I’ve ever experienced.

Since then, I’ve had pierced my high nostrils, mantis, bridge, paired centre eyebrows, third eye dermal, vertical labret, angel fangs, smiley, both nipples, surface tragus on both sides, and my conches punched at a 4 gauge.

Every last one of those piercings made me feel more beautiful than the last, more feminine, and more willing to learn to love myself. Every time I struggle to see the woman I am today stare back in the mirror, I see my beautiful adornments all given to me by amazing friends, and remind myself of the beauty I carry inside and out

Being trans is a lot like getting pierced in a way. It’s a lot of pain all at once, but once it heals, you feel beautiful .

-Madelyn, 26

Gender/pronoun preference: she/her, trans woman

Piercings you got and why: helix x3, industrial, nostril, septum, vertical labret, nipples, 16mm stretched lobes 

How this has helped with gender euphoria: I’ve made my body my own, in the way I want. I was insecure about my nose size, but my nose piercings have really helped with that. I wanted my nipples pierced for  ages, and was glad when my endocrinologist gave me the go-ahead after a couple of years of hrt! They’ve also helped my body feel uniquely mine. 

Any positive/negative effects from the piercing: I’m far more confident and comfortable going out! But sometimes I catch my nipple piercings in the shower 🙁 

If you are considering anymore affirming piercings and why: not at the moment! 

Any advice for other folks looking for gender affirming piercings: do it. Ignore what anyone else says, your body is yours and only yours, so do what you like to make it a body you’re proud of! 

Abigail, 23

My name is Tobias and I’m 19 (nearly 20!) years old and trans masc. I go by he/him pronouns and have been on testosterone for a year and a half. I have a lot of piercings (22 currently!) and some of them have definitely helped me with dysphoria and made me more comfortable in my own skin. 

I didn’t get a septum piercing intending for it to help with dysphoria, but right now my septum is stretched to 4mm and the chunkier jewellery definitely helps with a more masculine look/feel. It’s a big chunky piece and sort of the focal point of my facial piercings, meaning that my philtrum piercing (which I would consider more feminine, but that’s just me) doesn’t particularly stick out as much as it would without it. It means I can get more facial piercings that I want without worrying about them making me look too feminine.

I also have a large-gauge VCH piercing which was absolutely wonderful for dysphoria. I got it a few weeks after I started taking testosterone and have since stretched it to a large gauge than it was initially pierced at (3.2mm at the moment I believe). Genital piercings are absolutely wonderful for dysphoria especially since I haven’t had any surgery, and it only gets better when testosterone starts to work its magic and you get bottom growth. 

In regard to other affirming piercings, I’m looking at paired labia piercings and nipple piercings (post-top surgery, if eligible). I’ve heard so many good things from other trans masculine people and trans men about labia piercings and the euphoria from them. I’ve spoken to some people who’ve stretched theirs quite large and have said that they’ve helped them a lot with bottom dysphoria.

If you’re looking to get a gender-affirming piercing then I think you totally should! It’s a very personal and individual thing, so what I prefer for my expression might not be the same for another trans masc person. However, if you’re very ‘traditional’ in what you consider masculine, then I think large gauge piercings and plain/chunky ends will always work brilliantly.

Tobias, 19

It’s important that trans people are also given a voice about their experiences, rather than be overshadowed by someone who doesn’t have that first hand experience. And so I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been willing to share their own personal experiences for this blog post. I hope that people will find this useful and utilise it in their own journeys.

If you have any questions or are seeking support with your own journey into using piercings for gender euphoria, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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Body Reclamation in Piercing

Since the beginning of time, body modifications (Body Modifications: The deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance.) have been used as a way for people to reclaim their bodies for a multitude of reasons. Dying your hair, getting tattoos and piercings, to even more extreme modifications, such as tongue splits, are all different methods of modification used for body reclamation. This practice has been and is used in both the modern western world, and in earlier practices in the eastern world. It’s almost like an instinct to use our bodies to express and deal with heavy and distasteful emotions.

This blog does slightly touch on heavy negative emotions and abuse, which some people may find triggering.

What is Body Reclamation?

Body reclamation is about reconnecting with your body. Becoming more intimate and connected with yourself. About learning to explore who you are and gain a sense of power (or gain back that sense of power) or your self being.

This can mean different things for everyone. For some it’s about finding a sense of self and expressing themselves in ways they never could. For some it’s about re-identifying and learning to feel comfortable in the body they were born in. And for some it’s about becoming more intimate with themselves.

How does this entwine with piercing?

“Pain is not pleasant, I still don’t like it, but it is a tool, a teacher. My aim is what comes after. The head is quiet, time slows down. For a second, mind, body, and soul are perfectly aligned and connected.

That brief moment of balance.”
-Darkam Arcadia

https://www.instagram.com/p.a.i.n.project/

As a young body piercer in the UK, I have bonded over personal emotions with many of my clients. I’m a bit of a talker when i’m in the piercing room, and I quite often ask ‘so, why this piercing today?’ , the replies vary, but quite often I hear:

-“I’ve always fancied it, I’ve just never been brave enough.”
-“My ex partner never wanted me to have any, so now I’m getting everything I ever wanted.”
-“I’ve just recently had a break-up/divorce and thought I’d treat myself.”
-“I’m just having a bad time and knew this would make me feel better and relieve some emotion.”

And our clients aren’t the only ones too. I personally have quite often found getting a new piercing or tattoo can be a welcome distraction from personal hurt I’m feeling too. I also tend to find that the more people tell me to not get that piercing, or stop getting more, I go and do it with even more ambition. I hate that people think that they get to police how I choose to decorate my body. I use it as a defence mechanism to tell people ‘this is who I am’, and I love who I am with them.

For some people, using piercings and other body modifications is a way to heal through trauma, and let go of things that have been weighing them down. Some abuse survivors looking to reclaim their bodies through body piercing do it as a means of “reclaiming their bodies and body parts from memories and history of abuse”.


“Started getting piercings at 14. They’re all out now after 5 years in the military. But I’m covered in tattoos, starting at 17. Sleeve, hand, hips, back, belly. Without them I’m just a regular looking suburban white lady. With them I feel a sense of armor and protection. I’m made of rice krispies on the inside, and having an unapproachable exterior gives me a sense of protecting my vulnerability. I also do my best to not be flirty. I don’t want to draw positive sexual attention from the world at large. It gives me a sense of control over a body I haven’t always been able to protect.”
-Unknown

https://www.reddit.com/r/CPTSD/comments/lij2by/reclaiming_your_body_with_tattoos_piercings_etc/

Many transgender people use piercings as a gender affirming tool. This can be as simple as a Trans Femme client getting her first lobes done as a step into ‘womanhood’, the same way little girls get their first piercings. It can also be more intense genital work which can provide a better sense of self intimacy and belonging in their own bodies.

“I just recently got my ears pierced, for me it’s just a natural thing wanting to be more fashionable with that part of the body and feeling in line with cis-women.”

https://www.reddit.com/r/MtF/comments/alli9d/being_trans_and_getting_piercingstattoos/

People choose to get pierced for a variety of reasons, it’s not always to reclaim their bodies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be aware of those who do. We can help make that experience a little bit better, and provide more options to further assist in their journey. Empathise and be a friend to those who need it, but don’t push boundaries when not needed.

At Rogue we always like to provide the best experience no matter your reason behind the piercing, but if you are looking for additional support we are always here to assist in that journey to self expression, identification and love. We are available 7 days a week, and offer a wide range of piercings between our 4 members of staff that cover the body head to toe. Do not hesitate to reach out for guidance.

If you have been affected by any of the topics that have been touched upon in the blog, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

Support for domestic abuse and violence.
Support for sexual abuse.
Support for mental health.
Support for gender dysphoria.

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The Importance of Taking a Break

It’s hard to know when the time is right to step away from something and often we’re not aware until it’s too late. There are many times in our day to day life where it is so important to take a break from what we’re doing. This applies to every one, not just Piercers and enthusiast.

Have you ever worked in front of a PC at an office? It’s recommended that you step away from the screen every 2-3 hours to give your eyes a rest. In most manual jobs, you will be given designated breaks throughout the day to rest, re-hydrate and eat. Even a small break from work is important, but how does this apply to Piercers and people being pierced? We/You need breaks too!

“I love my job, I could work all day!”

While this is a great mentality to have in theory, an over-worked Piercer is less likely to give each client 100% of their best self and when you are putting your trust in us, we want to make sure we always give you the best experience possible.

For Piercers:

Piercing people all day everyday can be emotionally, physically, mentally and socially taxing. We spend several hours a day, many hours a week, interacting with the public in the studio and online. This can quickly drain our social batteries, leaving little left for after work activities. Spending all day making small (or big) talk with clients, companies and colleagues can leave little energy left for socialising with friends and family once the day is over at the studio. Even on the best day, with the best clients and piercings, it can take a toll just to be present for that long.
During your day, it is important to take small moments where possible to step away, here is a list of things you can do to take a small break during your shift as a Piercer

  • Take a moment somewhere quiet to take slow, steady breaths and lower your cortisone levels
  • Schedule your lunch break! A hungry Piercer is a shaky Piercer
  • Hydrate yourself
  • Step outside for some fresh air and sunlight. Being indoors for 10 hours is no good for your body or your brain

But I’m a piercing/modification enthusiast, how does this apply to me?

I hear you. But have you considered how often you are having piercings or tattoos? Have you got the ‘itch’ for new modifications and a bucket list of ideas you are desperate to get through? Take a break! We don’t recommend healing more than 3 piercings at any time but we often don’t take into other modifications such as tattoos, fillers and even dental care. All of these things can have an impact on your healing and your immune system. Even if you feel tip top after 4 or 5 piercings, your body needs time to heal. Wherever you are in your modification and self expression journey, consider taking small breaks to rest and recover before moving on to the next step.

It’s also important to consider other aspects of your life. We know a lot of people like to get a piercing to represent an important change in their life. New job, new house, start or end of a relationship, visiting a different country. All of these things impact our health. This is not to say we don’t want you to punctuate a significant event with a piercing, but it is important to factor in the stresses of life and how that can take it’s toll on the healing of a new piercing. In the process of moving house? Maybe take a little break (a few days, a week) before you book that tattoo appointment. Rough break up? Get the piercing you always wanted, but schedule a few days to rest, recover and indulge in some self care before the next big thing.

This is a career that piercers are incredibly passionate about and as such, we tend to take the job home with us. Making an 8 hour work day into a 24 hour day. Some things that are important to create a work/life balance include:

  • Setting times for when you will respond to work related questions and not responding outside of that (ie studio hours)
  • Consuming content that isn’t piercing related (is your IG feed just piercers posting work? make a second account for dog content instead!)
  • Having activities outside of the studio such as painting, gaming, running, yoga or just hanging out in your pjamas
  • Evaluating your social circle to include people outside of the industry, this can help to get a fresh perspective on things that as Piercers we feel mountains, but in reality may just be mole hills
  • Scheduling actual holiday time. And no, Conferences do not count as holidays. Take a week to step away from work and just be a person who is on holiday. Whether that be on a sunny ol’ beach or your sunny ol’ sofa, take a rest from the studio and do something different. It’s so good for your brain.

Coming back to work after a break can be daunting but you should hopefully feel refreshed, rejuvenated and excited to be back. Don’t let piercing just become another mundane 9-5 that you begrudge. Step away and step back with a new sense of appreciation for what you do. And for our clients, we promise we are better people and better Piercers when we’ve had a little break. This means when you see that we are on lunch and you give us the space to be alone for that time, we are extra appreciative and extra nice when your appointment time comes!

If you’re not due a break from piercing, or you’re on a break from other things, come see us! Book in 7 days a week here!

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Birthstones – May

Emerald, that gorgeous glossy green that has been a fan favourite since the dawn of time, and the perfect stone to ease us into the warmer spring season.

May only has one birthstone, and it’s definitely hard to compete again that grassy-green. However, for the months that are lucky enough to have more than a singular birthstone, these are separated into two lists: Modern and Traditional. The more common of the two is the modern birthstones, which were defined in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in an attempt to standardise (and commercialise) birthstones. This was further updated in the 1950s, to include gemstones such as Citrine for November, or Alexandrite for June. Modern stones are based on what’s easier to sell in large quantities (making it the more affordable choice).

BVLA – Flourish Illusion

A massive thank you to Becky at Inkhaus for the above photo!

Just like Aquamarine, Emerald is a form of Beryl – a mineral which can grow up to a foot in length, and with six sides. Typically Emeralds can range from light green to that typical deep and rich green associated with Emeralds. However, there are arguments whether or not these lighter forms are beryl’s are true emeralds! The deeper the green, the more valuable the stone, the rarest emerald gemstone is an intense green-blue colour. And yet again, just like aquamarine, the way the colour presents depends on how well its cut by a skilled gemmologist.

Mining of Emerald dates back to as early as 330BC in Egypt, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 (nearly 3!) billion years old! However old they are though, they have been a long time royal favourite. Cleopatra is one of the most famous historical figures to have an affair with emeralds. During her reign shed actually claimed ownership over all Emerald mines in Egypt.

The green gemstone is now mined all over the world. It has mainly been mined in Colombia for over 500 years, and has actually set the standard at which all other emeralds are now measured at. The Muzo mine in Colombia is actually one of the most noteworthy! They had such hidden and prized mines that it took the Spanish conquistadors nearly 20 years to actually find them.

The May gemstone is also found in Brazil, and one of the most productive emerald mines is the sophisticated Belmont mine. They can also be found in Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan!

Anatometal – Mini Kandy

David at Talisman tattoo came through with this photo!

Wildly considered the definition of Green, emerald has been loved for thousands of years. It is seen as the perfect stone to welcome spring, and along with that brings the belief that it invokes rebirth and renewal and new beginnings. It is believed that it brings loyalty, wit and intelligence to the wearer! It was also once believed to cure cholera, malaria and other diseases (although I’d still highly recommend checking with a doctor for these before self medicating with a stone). Now a days however, it is used as the stone given for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries!

Unlike last months birthstone (Diamond), Emerald only falls at a 7.5-8 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it more susceptible to scratching. Quite often the stone is treated with methods such as dyeing paler stones, or filling fractured stones with oils/waxes/resins. This is to help improve colour and clarity of the stone.

Emeralds require special care. They should be avoiding exposure to heat and harsh chemicals. They should also never be placed in an ultrasonic. This can cause any filler in the gem to ‘sweat’ out from any fractures. Filled emeralds can also be damaged by hot water. They should only be cleaned with mild and lukewarm soapy water, and a soft bristled brush (a tooth brush designed for babies would be perfect).

Thank you to Jess at The Luna Collective for a photo of this end!

We stock jewellery from brands from across the world, and can source items in all birthstones imaginable! If you would like to treat yourself to some meaningful pieces, just get in contact with us.

Make sure to follow us on social media for regular updates, and keep an eye out as we post new blogs every single Friday!

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The History of Vulva Piercings and the UK Law

Welcome back to the blog, and welcome to quite a complex topic! Today we are talking about the intersection between female genital piercing, female genital mutilation (FGM), the UK Government, and the formation of the UKAPP. So, first things first: Did you know that consenting intimate piercings on female clients was considered Female Genital Mutilation, and carried a potential jail term of up to 14 years?

Wait, What?

Yes! In April 2015, new UK NHS guidelines were brought into effect after months of serious pressure from the Crown Prosecution Service. These guidelines added new rules for a wide range of medical professionals who are subject to Mandatory Reporting guides. In short, this meant that professionals like Doctors, Ob Gyns, Nurses etc, would be required by law to report any observations of potentially altered vulvas. This including reporting any female adult who had consented to a western-style (modern day) body piercing as Female Genital Mutilation. This would then open up the piercer to prosecution under UK law!

The FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) offences were set out in the 2003 FGM Act, which were then later amended in 2015 by the Serious Crime Act. There were 4 offences set out, including “assisting a girl to mutilate her own genitals”. Self-mutilation is not an offence, but assisting someone to do so is.

“A person is guilty of an offence if it is proved that:

  • a girl has excised, infibulated or otherwise mutilated the whole or any part of her own labia majora, labia minora or clitoris, and
  • the suspect has aided, abetted, counselled or procured this.” 1

At this point you may be thinking that surely we’ve over reacted to this? There’s’ no mention of piercing! Well, if we take a look at the World Health Organisation (WHO), they broke down FGM into 4 categories, the 4th one was the one that became detrimental to female genital piercings. “Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g., pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.”2

Due to this, female genital piercings became illegal overnight in the UK. It was safer for piercers to stop practicing intimate piercings. This protected both them and their clients.3

When did this change?

As of current (April 2024), we are now allowed to pierce the genitals of consenting adults once again! This is down to a lot of hard work from charities and piercers across the UK lobbying the government. The UKAPP was born out of the UK Piercer Meet Up (UKPMU). The UKPMU came together because of the change in the UK law of FGM. It was in Newcastle that a group of piercers grouped an informal meet-up to discuss what was needed to protect both our industry and peoples rights.4 This was the start of the United Kingdom Association of Professional Piercers (UKAPP). And from there they helped campaign to allow adult consenting women the freedom to have the choice of piercing their own bodies.

The first UKAPP meet-up. Including our very own Aiden!

It was late 2019 (right before the pandemic) that piercers were once again allowed to pierce vulvas after the CPS released fresh guidance information. “The piercing of the female genitalia to adorn it with jewellery or other accessories purely for the purpose of personal decoration or in order to enhance the sensation of sexual contact, as commonly understood and practised, is unlikely to involve excision, infibulation or mutilation.”5 

This meant that piercing Vulva’s was not likely to cause harm or mutilation to the consenting adult, allowing piercers to once again offer this wonderful service. And for that we can thank the tireless work of piercers, including the UKAPP and especially Lola Slider. Lola Slider (of Forest Piercing in Glasgow) was a massive voice and driving force behind the legislative change. Around the time of this change, Lola was the UKAPP president, and before then was nominated as Medical Liaison, and honestly did some amazing work during her time on the organisations board.

What happens now?

Despite the fact we now have the green light from the UK government to offer these services once again, doesn’t mean there isn’t limitations involved. Some local councils still refuse to allow studios to offer intimate piercings, and some have by-laws that will effect the process. This means that depending where in the country you get pierced, the appointment may look different or follow a different procedure.

For example: At Rogue, each client looking for intimate work has to have an intimate consultation a minimum of 24 hours before they get piercing. At this appointment, one of our piercers will thoroughly discuss with you the history of intimate piercings and the law changes, the aftercare, and what to expect during the heal.

However, the main limitation for intimate piercings, is that we are not allowed to pierce for function. We are only allowed to pierce for aesthetical reasons. This means we walk a fine line with our clients each and every appointment.

As adults, we are all aware that if you place metal into a sensitive part of your body (where it wasn’t before), then sensations might change. We are not allowed to discuss this with you. “purely for the purpose of personal decoration”5 We have clients get intimate piercings that come from all walks of lives and have so many different reasons to get pierced. Some want it purely for the looks, some want it for kink dynamics, some want it to reclaim ownership of their body. However, the minute a client may mention they want to ‘use’ the piercing, we can no longer pierce.


If you would like to know more about intimate piercings or the process here at Rogue, here are some attached links!

https://roguepiercing.co.uk/2023/05/12/vch-aftercare-101-vch-hch-piercings/
https://roguepiercing.co.uk/2021/06/11/female-intimate-piercings/
https://roguepiercing.co.uk/intimate-piercing-info/

To book a consultation or a piercing at Rogue you can book here.
Contact us.
Instagram.

If you believe a girl is at risk, or has recently been a victim of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation” call the police on 999 (for urgent/emergency cases) or 101 for non emergency.
NHS ENGLAND FGM
FGM Nottingham Poster
Mandatory reporting procedure
FGM Resource Pack

If you, or someone you know has been a victim, please do not hesitate to reach our for support.
NSPCC FGM helpline – a 24-hour free helpline for anyone worried about FGM: 0800 028 3550.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/national-fgm-support-clinics/

1 https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/female-genital-mutilation

2 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation

3 https://thepointjournal.org/2015/04/06/point-70-when-is-piercing-mutilation-paul-king/

4 https://ukapp.org.uk/history.html

5 https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/female-genital-mutilation

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My Experience: Cheeks

So, on the 27th of February 2024, I got my cheek piercings. Well… sort of? Gemma coined the term ‘Deek Piercings’ because they are a midway placement between Cheeks and Dahlias. The reasoning for this was my anatomy! And with cheeks regaining popularity, and them being a fan favourite, I thought I’d tell you all how my piercing experience went!

Now, I have to preface this by saying I am only two weeks into my healing, and cheeks can take up to 2 years before they finally Settle down and get comfortable. You can read a deep dive and overview of cheek piercings here! But, I definitely think those first two weeks are A) the most important and B) the absolute worst.

On my own personal scale of 1-10, the actual pain of having them pierced was quite low, maybe around a 4? I can definitely remember my tragus piercing hurting way more in the moment. They were pierced by Gemma as part of her training, under direct supervision of Aiden. The beautiful thing about it was that Gemma had done her first set only 2 hours prior! Aiden held my hand and was super supportive of us both, as you can imagine we were both nervous but for very different reasons!

The after feeling of the piercing was amazing, I had an immediate rush of excitement and happiness, especially when I got to look at them in the mirror. They just looked great and I couldn’t have been happier, I couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 5 minutes. And then came the difficult bit – eating. We were having a film night at Rogue that evening, and we collectively ordered Wagamama’s together. I realised the 24mm bars in my mouth, and the tight constrictive feeling that was happening, meant that eating was going to be difficult. I played it safe and had some soft bread and katsu curry!

The next day I went ahead and got myself a bunch of meal replacement shakes. To be quite honest, I think the first week was possibly the most nutrients and vitamins my body has ever had! I’d also bought a ton of water, and easy to eat soft foods, such as instant mash and plenty of tinned foods. I just needed something easy to swallow. I also ate a lot of rice!

We headed off to the Edinburgh expo on the Saturday, and on Monday and Tuesday I was starting to fill my face again! I started off with pizza (and I cannot tell you how good it was to eat solid food, plus they had the best garlic sauce I’d ever tasted). By Tuesday night, the swelling had started to decrease and the bars were starting to poke out of my face and move as I ate! I had to take a bite of food, and then hold the bars while I chewed. Definitely looked a bit funny!

I returned back to work on Friday, so only three days later, and it felt absolutely horrible to talk, and I couldn’t even smile at people! I had to keep apologising to people and say “Hey, I promise i’m smiling, my face just hurts a lot right now!” Thankfully, most people were incredibly understanding! We also did the first downsize! 24mm initially pierced, dropped down to 18mm! The relief was amazing! We also upsized the balls on the inside of my mouth to 5mm. This was because the balls had started digging into the swelling on the inside of my cheek and was creating a lot of uncomfortable pressure and soreness!

By the the following week I was mostly back to normal, drinking and eating as I had been before, although I definitely chomped down on the larger balls a few times. There is still a mild bit of swelling happening (although I definitely didn’t look as puffy as I did the first week) and a lot of of localised redness. They’re also incredibly crusty, and every time I eat it pushes out more lymph node ( I keep just telling people my face is leaking), but It’s definitely a good sign that everything is healing and doing what it needs to. And just before the 3 week mark, we downsized the 5mm balls back down to 4mm, and my mouth has never felt so spacious!

I am still healing and making gradual downsizes, week by week, but the hard part is definitely over! There’s still quite a bit of localised swelling/pinching around the bars, as well as redness and many crusties each day, but for me it’s definitely worth it.

I decided to write this blog as when I was looking into other people’s experiences with cheek piercings, there wasn’t much out there. I’m very much a person who likes to know exactly what to expect. And so hopefully it might be helpful to someone else! Now of course, please keep in mind that everyone heals differently, and so your experience could be totally different! If you also want to see a day-by-day highlight of the healing process, check out my Instagram highlights for a close up view!

If you are interested in booking your own cheek piercings, book a consultation with Aiden or Gemma here!