Before I start, a few quotes from some people who I told about this:
“You really are a twisted person.”
“Did you pierce what I think you pierced?”
“You’re going all out with this shit, aren’t you?”
SPOILER ALERT: the answer to all three of those questions is “yes”.
Ladies and gentlemen, last night I got a Prince Albert piercing (wiki link, NSFW images).
I had decided to do it a few weeks prior to going to Burning Man, but various things kept me from getting it done. Don’t ask why I did it, because I don’t have a reason that’s any better than why I got my nipples pierced and the answer to that one is, “Why not?”
I’ve always been into body modification and I’m pretty much done with the tattoo thing for now. But recently I kinda got the itch to do something again. Piercings are quick and oddly painless, and if you don’t like them, you can remove them and they seal back up very quickly. And people who have been way more pierced than I ever will be have stated repeatedly that the nipples are by far the most painful out of all the ones they’ve ever had. Frankly, I doubt this includes an ampallang (wiki link, NSFW images) but I digress.
So on Tuesday, I decided enough was enough, and I’d just call to get some details about the procedure. Not the procedure itself, as I’ve done quite a bit of research as to how it’s performed, but rather how much it would set me back. I called the “good” tattoo / piercing place here in town (Flippin Ink) – there are several, but I’ve heard from different people that this is the “good” one – to get some details about cost. I was quoted $120 to get a Prince Albert. Ouch. I’m pretty damned tapped out monetarily lately, so that number hurt. But then they told me that the resident piercer is running a “portfolio special” and was only charging $10 for any genital piercing, and that includes jewelry! The catch? I gotta let her take a picture for her portfolio – hence “portfolio special”.
So wait…..in order to save $110, all I have to do is let someone take some pics of my junk? SOLD.
Unfortunately, nothing was available that same day, so I made an appointment for Wednesday after work at 7. Getting bored with nothing else to do other than think about what’s about to happen, I get there a bit early. I meet Jen, the apprentice piercer and her mentor Mason. Jen wasn’t ready yet since I was early, so I sat down and shot the shit with Mason for a bit. He’s got a PA as well, and asked me if I had any questions. I basically asked him to give me the answer to the same questions that every dude who gets a PA asks. In no particular order, here’s what I was told:
- Get used to not being able to use urinals for a while. It’s possible, but it takes some skill as well as some manual manipulation of your junk while standing at a urinal.
- First couple days, it’s gonna bleed, but it won’t hurt.
- It’ll take 4-6 weeks to heal, maybe twice that for me (diabetic)
- NO SEX. He relayed a story that really made me believe what he had to say on the subject (not that it’s a huge issue right at the moment =) )
- Believe it or not, urination isn’t painful.
So by this point, Jen’s gotten things more or less set up, and I go back there, along with Mason as he’s supervising. She asks me if I’d prefer to sit or lay down, and I relate my earlier revelation that reclining seems to keep the vasovagal reaction at bay. Mason comes in, closes the door and says “Alright dude, best way to do this is for you to drop trou, hop in the chair and let’s get this started”. Keeping it light and informal was awesome, as trying to be too serious would have just been weird. Which is why I had absolutely no problem commenting on just how fucking cold they kept it in there and thanking them profusely for it.
After I de-pants and get in the chair, I see that they’ve laid out a couple of different sized rings and were determining which one to use. The largest was about the circumference of a penny and was the one they decided on. I asked why it needs to be so large, and they explain to me that since it would be somewhat awkward to ask a guy to get an erection right before someone jammed a metal needle through it, they have to choose one that’s large enough to accommodate flaccid as well as rock hard. Not doing so could lead to….tightness. Yow. I comment “Yeah, I think I’d have a hard time with that. No pun intended.”
In retrospect, maybe making the piercer laugh isn’t a wise course of action but what can I say, I gotta be me. And me gets all chatty when he’s nervous.
So they decide on the size of the ring, and now she’s measuring / marking exactly where the piercing is going to be placed. She told me later that she prides herself on “measuring twice, piercing once” and to my mind, that’s a really, really good thing. Now, I don’t know if you know anything about how this piercing is done, but I’m going to assume that you don’t and I’ll explain.
This thing was wider than I care to recall
What you see to the right is called a “receiving tube”. This thing is lubed up and then fit into the urethra and the beveled (is that the right word?) edge is pressed against the bottom of the penis to stretch out the skin and give the piercing needle someplace to go. The piercing starts on the bottom of the penis, and goes into the tube, rather than starting inside the tube and exiting on the bottom.
They started using the “holy shit that thing is huge” size but when positioning it, it slipped out, so I took that opportunity to ask her to use the “jesus christ that thing’s still huge but it’s smaller than the last one” size. That one worked out a lot better. I mentioned that I think this tops the list of Least Sexy Things I’ve Ever Had Done To My Junk, and she apologized for it which was amusing. I assured her it wasn’t her, and that I was just babbling as I tend to do when nervous. At this point, everything was more or less ready to go, and Mason had me start doing some breathing exercises: inhale through the nose, exhale hard out the mouth. Keep doing it, and then they started the countdown – on the third exhale, she was going to pierce. So I breathe, he counts down, and on the third exhale, I brace for the pain and…
Well, not really nothing, but it wasn’t bad at all. Just a small pinching sensation that lasted for ~1 second. Now, I had done my research, and I knew that this is what I was supposed to expect as the skin there is very thin and it’s not through any fibrous tissue or anything, but knowing a thing and experiencing a thing are usually completely different until after the fact. So this thing was really a great big non-event. Shame no one told my vagus nerve.
So they’re asking me how I’m doing, the same way they always do after you get pierced / tattooed / whatever, and I tell them that I’m fine. They say they’re going to wait until I’m ready to insert the jewelry, as right now the receiving tube’s been removed, it’s just the needle sticking through. I tell them that there’s no time like the present, and it’s not actually hurting, so go for it now. She gets the ring and threads it through the needle, then pulls it through and voila! Deed is done.
They offer me some water and cold air, and I gladly accept as I can feel the vasovagal reaction start. Now, sometimes it doesn’t go full bore and breathing, drinking water, cold air, etc help to head it off at the pass. Not this time though. It happened very slowly, so I was talking to them throughout it happening as the tunnel vision completely closed in and I just sorta went deaf. This was our next conversation:
Him: “…….smelling salts”
Me: “You don’t need smelling salts, man.”
Him: “We lost you for a few, dude.”
Me: “Yeah. Yeah you did, and now I’m back. Worst is over, I’m good now. Thanks.”
Which was completely true. When this happens, I tend to lose consciousness for about 5 seconds, but once that happens, it’s all uphill from there, so I knew I was fine.
After that, it was just a matter of finishing up. They had to pinch the ring closed so they could get the tension ball on there, wait to make sure the bleeding stopped, etc. They get everything taken care of and finished up, and hand me a mirror so I could get a good look at their work which was awesome. Placement was great, dead center and everything. Mason agreed, saying “Damn Jen, that placement is perfect! Way to go, your first Prince Albert came out perfectly.”
I actually didn’t care, I just thought it was funny that I was the first PA she’d ever done. But regardless of whether or not it was her first or hundred and first, it still came out great. Then they took some pics from a few different angles for her portfolio, as agreed.
After that, I got dressed, went out and paid, made some small talk, and went home. I then proceeded to completely destroy a nice set of sheets because I fell asleep in the middle of getting prepped and when I woke up, there was a sizable bloodstain.
And then the next day, I had to work from home because the damned thing kept scabbing, and I kept moving, and the scab kept ripping, and the bleeding would start again. It’s not a lot of blood, it’s just persistently there. Aggravating to say the least. They promised to get me copies of the pics they took, but I don’t have them yet.
So, the question of the day is: