All About My Piercings

I don’t know what exactly classifies a person as “heavily pierced”, but I can definitely say I have more metal in my body than the average person. I got my first piercing when I was 5 years old- generic first lobe holes with little pink gems on golden studs. I was obsessed with them and wore every kind of earrings under the sun. That was just the start. At 22, I currently wear 16 piercings every day, which I’ve gotten over the span of 18 years of my life. Come on my journey with me of putting what some may think is way too many excess holes in my body.

Disclaimer #1: as of the publishing of this article, I have 16 active piercings (ones I actually wear jewelry in, other have closed up or are not in use). I’m not going to talk about the ones I no longer wear because this article would be wayyyyy too long. 

Disclaimer #2: I have very sensitive skin, so in my body, the only metals I will wear are titanium, stainless steel or pure gold. My preference in piercing style is a hollow sterile needle. My preferences are just that- my own and please do what works best for your body!

Disclaimer #3: I am not a licensed piercer by any means. Everything stated is my unprofessional opinion, in addition to my feelings / the way my own body handled the body modification. Talk to a licensed professional if you want professional advice. Essentially, this is just for fun and take everything here with a grain of salt. Thank you!

In order of when I got them:

  1. Right Upper Lobe

This piercing was originally my “first regular lobe piercing”. Upon looking at the unevenness of my two first holes, I got them re-pierced at 11, but I continued to wear this “upper” lobe piercing since then

  • When: 2002/2003 
  • Where: Frank and Fran’s
  • With what: Piercing gun : – (
  • Pain of piercing: 6
  • Pain of healing: don’t remember
  • Ease of healing: 7 (the back of my earring got lodged in the hole; did not know proper aftercare like I do now)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Gold piercing studs (pink jewels)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Small titanium stud with cz jewels
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 4/16 (unique piercing, I’ve never seen it on someone else)
  1. Left Lobe 2

This piercing was originally my “first regular lobe piercing”, just like the one above, but I just used this as a second lobe piercing later in life

  • When: 2002/2003 
  • Where: Frank and Fran’s
  • With what: Piercing gun : – (
  • Pain of piercing: 6
  • Pain of healing: don’t remember
  • Ease of healing: 5
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Gold piercing studs (pink jewels)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 10/16
  1. Right Lobe 1

This piercing was my new “first hole”, pierced when I was 11

  • When: 2008 
  • Where: Frank and Fran’s
  • With what: Piercing gun : – (
  • Pain of piercing: 4
  • Pain of healing: don’t remember
  • Ease of healing: 1
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Gold piercing studs (clear jewels)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Changes on the daily, these are the only piercings I take out every night/change on a consistent basis/wear heavy or fake jewelry in
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 1/16 (most used/flexible)
  1. Left Lobe 1

The same as above

  • Ranking out of my piercings: 2/16 (most used/flexible, but a bit more sensitive than the right ear)
  1. Right Lobe 3

At the time I was 13 and not wearing the first two of these piercings, and I just wanted one second hole because I thought being asymmetrical would be cool. (At the time this was my “second” hole on my right ear)

  • When: 2011
  • Where: Frank and Fran’s
  • With what: Piercing gun : – (
  • Pain of piercing: 2
  • Pain of healing: don’t remember
  • Ease of healing: 2
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Gold piercing studs (clear jewels)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 11/16
  1. Left Lobe 3

Wanted 4 holes in my left ear. Mom said yes. Got ‘em for my 17th birthday present

  • When: October 2015
  • Where: Frank and Fran’s
  • With what: Piercing gun : – (
  • Pain of piercing: 4
  • Pain of healing: 3
  • Ease of healing: 5 (one of them did not wanna be pierced. Had to go back and repierce it years later)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Silver ball studs (WOULD not recommend silver for piercings)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 9/16
  1. Left Lobe 4

The same as above

  • Ranking out of my piercings: 8/16
  1. Left nostril piercing

I had wanted this piercing for so long. I wore fake ones so often that people didn’t realize when I actually got it pierced that it wasn’t already real. My parents “allowed me to get it done” for Christmas when I was 18

  • When: January 2016
  • Where: Village Streetwear
  • With what: Hollow needle
  • Pain of piercing: 2?
  • Pain of healing: 3
  • Ease of healing: 7 (got multiple keloids, super annoying to heal)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: L shaped stud (purple iridescent!)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 3/16
  1. Septum

I was supposed to get this done in like September of 2016 with my best friend, but I chickened out and got my closed lobes repierced. My partner at the time wanted to get theirs and I was like “fuck it” and got it with them. However, they forgot their ID when we went to get it done, so the professional place turned us away, and we went to this side place because they wanted to

  • When: February 2017
  • Where: Some corner store on St. Mark’s street in NYC
  • With what: Hollow needle
  • Pain of piercing: 1
  • Pain of healing: 3
  • Ease of healing: 4 (got infected like a year after piercing after a cold, generally not annoying to heal)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Regular shmegular titanium horseshoe
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: same titanium horseshoe (I’ve worn endless titanium hoops which are cute but not able to flip up into my nose when necessary)
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 6/16
  1. Upper Cartilage 1 (lower)

My friend texted me on a Saturday morning and was like “wanna get free piercings?” and of course I was like yes. That was super dumb. I got them done by an apprentice (that’s why they were free), like 2 days before my 21st birthday

  • When: April 2018
  • Where: Not gonna say
  • With what: Hollow needle
  • Pain of piercing: 5
  • Pain of healing: 10
  • Ease of healing: 10 (stayed infected/incredibly painful for a year and a half after I got it pierced. Both of them are pierced diagonally through my ear, so no earring I had was long enough to not squeeze the skin. After a year and a half of huge keloids and pain, I switched the jewelry to something that finally worked and I haven’t had a problem since.) No shade on the apprentice who did them at all, they were new and I’ve learned after this that my ears realllllly hate cartilage piercings and are super temperamental to heal
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Flat back studs (reason these were awful was because the ball on the front was way too small and my ear almost swallowed them whole)
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Seamless pure gold hoop, and I will never wear anything else in it, because it’s the only thing that has never irritated it
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 12/16
  1. Upper Cartilage 2 (upper)

Same as above, but holy fuck this is the worst, most painful and troublesome piercing I have. I’m surprised I actually still have it in

  • Ranking out of my piercings: 16/16
  1. Left Upper Lobe

This is the easiest piercing I’ve ever had. I got it pierced on a whim; went with a friend to go to my favorite piercing place and just thought why not? I got it to even out my ears; I already had the upper lobe on my right

  • When: December 2018
  • Where: Village Streetwear
  • With what: Hollow needle
  • Pain of piercing: 0
  • Pain of healing: 1 (I genuinely forgot I got it pierced it was so easy).
  • Ease of healing: 1
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Titanium ball stud
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Small titanium stud with cz jewels
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 5/16
  1. Right Lobe 2

*sigh* so…. I was bored and depressed in my apartment one summer day and thought “I wanna fully even out my lobes. So I just pierced the extra 2 lobe piercings myself. Dumb, 1000% would recommend not doing that, but… here we are

  • When: July 2019
  • Where: …myself
  • With what: Sanitized sewing needle
  • Pain of piercing: 1
  • Pain of healing: 3
  • Ease of healing: 3 (Got a little red but nothing too bad)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Gold piercing stud with clear jewel
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 13/16
  1. Right Lobe 4

Literally do not do this. I lived right next to St. Marks street, the piercing capital of NYC; I had no excuse

  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Small titanium ball stud
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Titanium endless hoop
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 14/16
  1. Conch

It was Friday the 13th and a piercing/tattoo shop had a deal for $13 piercings and I was like “hell yes” and the rest is history

  • When: October 2019
  • Where: Murda Ink 3
  • With what: Hollow piercing needle
  • Pain of piercing: 5
  • Pain of healing: 5
  • Ease of healing: 5 (Still have a little keloid on it, but I’m slowly healing it)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Steel conch ring
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Steel conch ring (I literally am never touching this thing)
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 7/16
  1. Rook

Same story as above

  • When: October 2019
  • Where: Murda Ink 3
  • With what: Hollow piercing needle
  • Pain of piercing: 6 (I’m gonna be honest this was the most painful of my piercings, I think mostly because my conch was already in pain and it’s a tricky spot to get to)
  • Pain of healing: 5
  • Ease of healing: 5 (Still have a little keloid on it, but I’m slowly healing it)
  • Jewelry I got it pierced with: Steel curved barbell
  • Jewelry I’m wearing in it now: Steel curved barbell (I literally am never touching this thing)
  • Ranking out of my piercings: 15/16

Overall, I love my piercings. I’ve been pretty intentional with my placements and although some of them give me trouble, I wouldn’t take any of them out. I’m fortunate to live somewhere and work in an industry that doesn’t care about piercings. I personally prefer to hide my piercings and tattoos when I’m in a professional setting; I wear headphones all day so you can see none of my ear piercings, and I tuck up my septum. However I think they enhance my looks/aesthetic and I really love being a generally decked out person. 

I might put out a tattoo tour soon, so stay tuned! If you have any questions on piercings or body mods in general, feel free to DM me on Instagram: @mjsullivanart. Thanks for reading!

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