Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mighty Need

Now playing: serial experiments Lain
mood: nuggets

First of all, I made the mistake of finding this Hand of Fatima belly button ring (second pic on page). Then I surfed for more belly button jewelry, OMG! My brain has been stuck back in the days of high school with girls taking earring studs and home piercing their navels. So, within a matter of a day or so had a mighty need to have my belly button pierced. (Ok, so there was more to it than that but this pretty much sums it up).

Aside from my ears being pierced in 2nd grade, I have no other body art/modification. I have always been of the mindset of blood, guts, gore, dead things - no problem; Sharp pointy objects that make blood, guts, gore come out of body - not so much.

On Saturday, I called up Z. so he could put me into contact with his friend Ash (whom he is always singing praises about), who is a body piercer at Hearts of Fire Tattoo here in Springfield. He called her up and found out prices and such but also that she could do the piercing that day or not for a week or so because she was leaving for a piercing convention the next day. I got an appointment right then...mighty need and all.

I got to the studio (by myself) a bit early and the slightly sterile smell started to make me nervous, like going to have blood drawn at the doctors office. Ashley was super nice, super laid back, and super knowledgeable. Once she "looked at my anatomy" she helped me pick out a barbell for the jewelry. I initially wanted a garnet stone but she suggested that with my "anatomy" a 1/2" length would be better and she didn't have any that size. I went with her suggestion of 1/2" and picked the aurora borealis stone in my size instead.

I told her I was a body piercing virgin so she took extra time to explain everything top to bottom. She had me stand while she cleaned my navel and marked the spot she was going to pierce. She also explained that she pierces free-hand without a clamp to lessen the trauma to the area. By the time she had me laying horizontal on the mechanical chair I had almost forgotten about the whole piercing my flesh with sharpened metal.

"Deep breath in," ...poke
"Breath out," ...slide
"Deep breath again," ...poke
"And out," ...

That was it. Didn't hurt. Felt odd, for sure but I've hurt myself worse popping a zit. She fiddled around with it for a few seconds getting the barbell in place. I assume because I didn't watch. Then I was upright and looking at it in the mirror. She gave me a sheet with all the important info on it. Don't touch it, how to clean it, what size barbell, etc. $50 got my piercing, jewelry, and aftercare H2Ocean spray. My bar is internally threaded which means the bar is threaded on the inside and the ball inserts into it, like the pic above. That is so there is a smooth surface going through the piercing and not a threaded one. (Here is also a super un-sexy pic of my pierced belly. Not bad for free hand, huh?)

It was strangely such a pleasant experience I would almost do it again for giggles. But, I am not allowed to have it changed for a month (by her only,) and I can't touch it for 6 months. All I can do is stare at it, no touching, no turning, no breathing on it. I've been flashing it at my friends a lot. "BELLY!" It has only been 3 days and still doesn't hurt. I guess if it hurt I wouldn't want to touch it so bad, but since it doesn't it almost feels like it isn't really even there. A mirage. AHHH! want! to! touch!!! I bumped it once, but that kinda sucked. I get a little joy when it is time to use the cleaning spray but I am way to paranoid to mess with it. I want it to heal well.

When I started bellydancing I found tattoos and navel piercings distracting. The first time I saw Bahia dance I could only look at her tattoo every time she turned it toward me, even though I think she is a most beautiful and talented "classical" Raks Sharqi dancer.

I found the same problem with navel piercings (and too much body glitter for that matter.) I would focus on the body art and not the dancing. Not to say that body art (and glitter) is any different than ear piercings and costuming. And, with the popularity of Rachel Brice and American Tribal Fusion styles, it is hard to find a "tribal" dancer without the Brice inspired tattoo on her torso. It's like seeing the trendy Tramp Stamps all through the 90's. Tattos seem to have become an accepted form of body art for American tribal style dance. And really, with henna and facial piercings being a common part of many near and far East cultures it is perfectly appropriate. So I guess seeing the body art, particularly on tribal style dancers more and more often has helped me become less distracted by it.

Even though I find some tattoo art beautiful, creative, and even funny, I prefer the versatility of a piercing in case I get a wild hair up my ass. (HAHAHAHAHA I know it's just a saying, but I had a visual of a wild hair up ass...giggle...think of it, right now, in your ass, can't help it now can you...HAHAHAHA). And to be honest, once it is healed I will probably take my piercing out or put a clear retainer in it when I dance, classical BD anyway. I still don't feel like it compliments the classical BD style. Maybe I'll change my mind. I may not be able to afford that 18k gold HoF but I can get a barbell that I can add my own charm to. So either way I win.