Piercings are cool. I have 6.

  • L ear lobe (x2)
  • R ear lobe (x2)
  • L + R nipples

I was really inspired to try them after previous contemplation after I visited Kabukichō during a trip to Tōkyō in 2023 and saw the Jirai-kei fashion that has become popular in recent years, especially around that part of Shinjuku. Jirai-kei itself is a controversial topic but the people I saw and the way they dressed stuck with me and I found it beautiful even with its dark color.

In any case, piercings are far less permanent body modifications than tattoos; I love how tattoos look on other people but I could never settle on a piece of art to display on my body for most of the rest of my life; that's such a large committment. With a piercing you can simply remove it and it will heal with proper care; after that it's almost as if you never had it.

Ear Lobes

I had all four lobe piercings done back to back. It didn't realy hurt at all, just a quick sting like getting the flu shot. Both sides were pierced at the upper and lower lobes so this procedure was done 4 times; I was in + out of the shop in ~20 minutes, accounting for filling out paperwork and picking out the stainless-steel studs. I can 100% recommend going to a dedicated shop like a tattoo + piercing place, at least somewhere that uses a hollow needle to pierce, not a gun.

Ear piercing detail

The ear piercings healed fully in about 4 months at which point I was able to change them out for other jewelry. I really like the look of the studs I got at the shop when I had the work done, so I wear these studs most often. There were many other types of studs at the shop made of different materials such as opalite or stainless steel finished with gold; I prefer the ones I got as I don't think I'd like the look of any white or gold finish on me, though it's hard to tell just looking at them next to your ear; titanium was a close runner-up.

My ears are not suitable for an industrial piercing that runs front to back as the top, most-forward part of my ear is too close to my head; I was advised such a piercing likely would be rejected by my body for that reason.


In place of an industrial I decided to have my both nipples done. Mine lay almost flat on my chest (below) so I was worried about the feasibility of having them pierced but it seems that skilled piercers can do almost any type of nipple, even inverted ones. The piercer cleaned the area off, marked the entry + exit points and pushed through the entry mark to the exit mark using a 16 gauge needle with the jewelry already attached. 16 gauge was needed because mine are small.

I have heard the pain described as “minimal” maybe rivaling that of an upper ear lobe but honestly the entry stung significantly more than either lobes; after the needle was removed the pain went away and I was left with a vague soreness for a half hour afterwards. Now, 2 weeks after, there is only pain if they get snagged on clothing which I've quickly learned to not do.

Nipple piercing before / after / after detail

One thing I definitely want to do is get a helix piercing so I can run a chain from it to one of my lobes. And unfortunately I cannot get the “traditional” front-back industrial because of my anatomy but I was advised that a vertical industrial is do-able with my ears. I'll let what I have heal until I pursue that thought further.