So, on Thursday July 14th 2020, I went to get my nipples pierced in Lekki, Lagos.
This was right after lockdown and I had already done a good amount of research about the piercings during my ample spare time. I was also looking for a way to lift my spirits after a very climatic time at home with my family. For moral support, I took a friend along with me. I had other body modifications such as my tongue piercing and multiple tattoos which gave me much needed bravado. However, I also had it at the back of my mind that these were not a regular sort of body-mod as the piercing process was more (physically) invasive and the healing period was also much longer than most of my other piercings.
Much like my other body modifications listed above, I was really excited at the prospect, and nipple piercings were something I had wanted for quite some time.
Since it would be my very first time getting a piercing in Nigeria, I looked into several piercing/tattoo parlors, many of which were by appointment only. Being a spontaneous girl, I wanted a place where I could walk-in. I eventually found one on Instagram which looked well accredited. Looking through the pictures, I saw that the space was properly cleaned and then I went through videos to compare their techniques to what I understood to be safe practice i.e. wearing gloves for every single procedure.
Pictures of nipple piercings (non-pornographic) can be quite scarce, luckily YouTube had some videos available after I logged in and confirmed I was older than eighteen. I also read people’s blogged experiences on getting nipple piercings; where the bar should be ideally placed and aftercare tips.
A piercer also said to ensure that the piercings were not done while lying flat. Ideally, your upper-body must be in an upright position and he advised to leave immediately if any piercer asked me to lay flat, so take note of that.
When I got to the piercing parlour, the piercer and I discussed the piercing at length and I was given strict instructions about aftercare. He also told me that I would not be able to engage in any sort of nipple play for at least three months. I had read this online, but hearing it said in person was doubly shocking as I quite enjoy nipple play. The pair cost about N14,000 in total, inclusive of two rings for either breast.
I still wanted the piercing so I asked that he go ahead. I lifted up my top, he cleaned the area and then we got down to it.
At first, I was sitting in the chair but since he was taller than me, I needed to be standing for him to be at eye level with my breasts. Then, he brought out the needle for the piercing and I ensured that it was a new needle, of course.
After piercing the first breast, I made the unfortunate knee jerk reaction of pressing on the boob, which is an unconscious reaction to throbbing pain. This made it bleed but only a little bit. By the second one I knew better, so that one did not bleed at all, just at the exit point of the needle. I am not unsettled by blood, so this occurrence meant little to nothing to me.
The first nipple was about six out of ten, in terms of pain level. Pain receptors respond to ‘physical trauma’ by pumping adrenaline into your veins so as a result, you are so internally wired by the second one that it is bound to feel like more of an eight.
After I got all cleaned up, the piercer gave me a solution to spray. I was also not to swim for a month and I had to clean the area at least three times a day. Of course, I had to check on it for any sign of infections as well. Needless to say, I was sober for this experience and I have been sober for all my body modifications prior. I will not be recommending this shop because I have seen my piercer (knowingly) do body modifications for people who have used alcohol and drugs. You bleed more under the influence, which is just one of the reasons why it should not be done.
Majority of people say that their sensitivity increased after their nipple piercings. This is the same in my case. My already very sensitive nipples are even more so now. Also, I did not wait the three-month mark before having them played with because I am a stubborn girl. They were touched (very gently) around week five.
Prior to getting my nipples pierced, I had read that I would be unable to drive afterwards and that someone else would have to drive me to the piercing parlour. Again because I am stubborn, I did not heed this. I was able to drive, albeit carefully, after the procedure.
Since my pain tolerance is high, I would advise that other people do not do this. There are many other places in Lagos that offer nipple piercings, such as WhitneyWhiteBeauty or Jibaday on Instagram. However, there are also piercers who might operate out of their homes. It is just wise to note that while these people may be good piercers, they may not be certified.