I’m a proudly pierced and tattooed skeptic, and last weekend I went to Holier Than Thou piercing and body modification studio for some advice on my next adornment.  The staff were professional and informative, and I came away feeling empowered and ready to go under the needle.  They also gave me a handy price list to take away, and it’s got some piercing names that even I didn’t recognise.  So here’s a list of piercings for you to guess / discover!  I must warn you, there are some intimate ones in the list (the header “genital piercings” should be a bit of a giveaway, but if in doubt, wait until you’re at a non-work computer!)

The price list I took home also had some listed that aren’t on that list, and that I didn’t recognise.  These are:

Madison – a surface piercing near the collarbone

Snug – an ear piercing through the cartilage near the centre of the outer ear

Nasallang – wow, extreme nose piercing!

Information on Austin (a bar through the end of the nose), Jestrum (a vertical top lip piercing), Frowney / Smiley (inner mouth piercings), and loads of other unusual piercings is available here (it’s a good post with lots of photo examples of facial piercings).

This also brings me on to a great recommendation by one of the QEDcon 2015 speakers for a clothing brand, Steadfast, who produce the “Tattooed and Employed” shirt in the ad to the right. I’d love to get one of these to wear on Dress Down Friday, as I am also a proudly pierced and tattooed engineer. Ironically, I wouldn’t be allowed to, because while my body adornments are deemed acceptable, slogan t-shirts are not. Huh?
Mr. Science Gentleman doesn’t get my penchant for going under the tattooist’s needle, and neither do many other people.  I used to get faced with many arguments along the lines of “it’s not natural” or “it’s not how God made you”, and these were exactly as effective as all the pictures of my tattoos and piercings on this site would suggest.  Here’s an article on why people choose body modification.  It’s nowhere near the full story, and if you really want to get an understanding of it, I’d recommend reading as many alternative and tattoo magazines as possible (BMEzine, or Skin Deep are good.  I wish I could still recommend Bizarre, but they ceased trading in February 2015).  A lot of the reasons connected to tattooing and piercing are related to the alternative lifestyle, so attending some conventions and shows, or even visiting somewhere like Affleck’s Palace, might give you an insight into this particular subculture.

There are a multitude of reasons, but for me, body modification is an end in itself.  It find it beautiful and striking, and I choose to make myself look different – better, I’d say.  It’s a way of expressing agency over my own body and appearance, and improving what I have.

And I did go for a new piercing a few days later, to complement my existing nostril piercing. In this picture it looks a bit odd because they’ve used a longer bar due to anticipated swelling from a new piercing (any decent piercer will take this into consideration – you’ll need to change to a smaller piece of jewellery post-healing, but it is absolutely necessary during the healing time as it’s basically an open wound subject to inflammation and discharge – bleurgh!). However, once it’s healed, I’ll be able to wear two shorter studs and the piercings on either side of my nose will be symmetrical and it will look properly awesome! double nostril piercing

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