The first piercing that I ever had was late at night, at the SF Citadel, from a couple that I had not played with before. After what I remember as a very fun caning (my first), they decided to try needles on me as well. I had not seen the attraction of needles prior to that night, and, frankly, still didn’t afterwards. We were pressed for time, and although they pierced allegedly sensitive areas of my body (breasts and nipples), the entire situation was hurried, the needles were very very small, and the experience didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I wasn’t hostile to needles afterward, but definitely skeptical.
I believe that my next experience was a piercing ceremony at a workshop run by Cleo Dubois. Unlike the previous time, we were well prepared mentally: conscious intent was brought into the ceremony, which took place in a ritual space, with appropriate music and focused breathing. The energy and high from that experience were amazing, and only increased as I began to pull against the piercings, feeding off my partner’s shared pain as well as my own. I felt like there was only the slightest thread connecting me to the earth, and that I needed to be reeled down from the sky to return. Suddenly piercing made a lot more sense to me. What, me, endorphin junkie? No, of course not.
Since then, I’ve been pierced quite a number of times. The experience varies from time to time. I don’t always get high from it. Sometimes I get a high just from the surrounding energy: when I assisted with the piercings at the Southwest Leather Conference, I got high during the preparation rituals, before even a single person had been pierced. Sometimes I get giddy without consciously feeling the energy, or a connection with the piercer or people I am journeying with, but then I feel a little cold emotionally later, almost like some people get after “meaningless” sex. Even during a single session, my energy and high can vary dramatically, especially over a very long time (a particular multi-hour hook pull comes to mind, where I crashed in the middle of it but then rose up again after a snack).
This year, I would like to make sure my piercings (both of me and by me) are done with intent. Not that I don’t want to do them, not at all… but I would hate for them to become boring and routine.