Nicole La Hoz

Pain is personal – don’t let people scare you out of piercings

I don’t do well with needles. Period. You know when you’re at the doctor’s office getting a shot or blood drawn, and the doctor tells you to look away? I have to focus on the needle. The worst part is that anticipated pain; there can’t be any suspense for me.

So when people told me snagging your cartilage piercing is a 9 out of 10 on a pain scale, I gave myself every excuse to not get my cartilage pierced. How was I supposed to deal with pain coming and going? The what ifs?

Ever since the sixth grade, I wanted to get my cartilage pierced. To me, they’re one of the coolest piercings. It sits at the tip of your ear. You can be subtle with a small stud, or grab someone’s attention with a shiny barbell.

Instead, I made up for naked cartilage with 10 lobe piercings. Even though three were done myself (please never, ever do that!), I still couldn’t muster up the courage to get my cartilage pierced. My friends’ comments psyched me out.

When I had to create a bucket list for a class assignment, I thought it was the perfect excuse to stop excusing myself from that new piercing. I grabbed a friend (who also wanted to get pierced) and headed to the local shop. Once it was my turn to sit on the chair, I dug my index finger’s nail into my thumb a good minute before anything happened. The needle finally went in, and I thought, “Hm, that wasn’t – ow, ow, ow, ow, OW!”


The needle went through my skin, cartilage and broke through the back of my ear. After that throbbing progression, a hoop earring was twirled in and fists unclenched.

Yes, the piercing hurt, but it was like any other piercing. You have pain at first, but it eventually goes away. Don’t get me wrong: I nearly cried in the middle of my college’s dining hall when my phone brushed against that fresh piercing.


The pain wasn’t worth postponing a piercing I wanted for years, though. Body jewelry is body expression. If you want a piercing, find yourself a great piercer, bring a great friend and get yourself some new jewelry. After all, it’s about you.

After six weeks of healing, nothing could top getting to put in my new Deathly Hallows stud. Now, three years later, nothing tops looking at my cartilage jewelry for my piercing.