Note from Sacred Raven Tattoo and Piercing Shop: My name is Enrique “Reek” Perez, I have been a professional body piercer since 2006. Throughout this ‘piercing near me‘ blog series, I will be touching on the most common questions that I have received in the last fifteen years of my career. Some will seem like basic knowledge everyone should know, and others will be a bit more niche and nuance. As you read this article, keep in mind that I do love what I do for a living and enjoy helping people that want my help. That being said, remember there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

Do Piercings Hurt?

This is without a doubt, 100%, the most asked question that I have ever gotten in my adult life. Sometimes I will be grabbing a cup of coffee and someone will randomly ask me in line if piercings hurt, I then quickly grab my almond milk latte and exit the building because that person looked homeless, but that’s beside the point. The short and quick of it is, yes they can, and let’s be real, I am the person you are paying to perform your perforating services so if I did say “No” you wouldn’t believe me anyway. That would be like believing the level 9 hottie at the local strip club actually thinks you are cute. It might be true but you know she’s working. Now that we have gotten the blunt answer out of the way, I must also say that it will ALWAYS depend on the individual, the tissue that is being pierced, the procedure that is getting done, and how you choose the right piercer to do your piercing. Not everything is the same, like comparing an earlobe to a micro dermal or an industrial bar to a genital piercing. And just like choosing a tattoo artist, not all piercing shops near me are the same either, with different levels of expertise and professionalism. Every piercer is different and you want someone who is an expert at your particular piercing. The nose piercing places near me search you found on google isn’t always the best place to get your nipple piercing, as well. And when you’re considering if your piercings hurt, you probably want to expand the question to include your specific piercing i.e.:

Do Nose Piercings Hurt?

Everyone experiences pain differently (read below to understand your piercing pain personality type). Nose piercings can make your eyes water, and there are different nose piercings that may not hurt at all depending on the area. As for a septum piercing, this involves going through cartilage and yes, that can be more painful, BUT a Professional Piercer will go through the softer space of tissue just below the septum, and this actually heals more quickly and causes far less pain or none depending on the type of person you are (read your pain personality type below).

Do Nipple Piercings Hurt?

Do Ear Piercings Hurt?

Do Cartilage Piercings Hurt?

Yes. Read our answer about Septum/Nose Piercing above for more about cartilage piercings.

Do Belly Button Piercings Hurt?

Do Tongue Piercings Hurt?

Do Eyebrow Piercings Hurt?

Do Lip Piercings Hurt?

Piercing Pain Personality Types

Whatever piercing you’re looking for, you want an advanced piercing specialist who’s advanced in the area of the body where you want your piercing. And the pain level of different areas of the body ranges because different tissues have different sensations, and some tissues hurt more or less (check out ‘Which Piercings Hurt The Most and Least (pain scale)‘ to gauge the different pain levels). The bottom line is: More often than not, the biggest factor is YOU! In my personal experience, there are three types of people that get piercings and they each seem to have a different reaction to whether piercings hurt:

The “nerves of steel” person.

picture of the rock, chopra, and zac efron

This person will genuinely believe that nothing with a needle hurts, and often have already been through the process before. They enter the piercing room with big dick confidence, truth be told they may not have one, or one at all, but that is irrelevant. These people are in and out in a matter of minutes, they come in with one goal on their minds, get it done, and get going. The nerves of steel person doesn’t say whether it hurts, regardless of what surface they’re getting pierced.

Next is the “Oh, wow. That’s it?” person.

Kip from Napoleon Dynamite

This person will usually have been wanting to get a specific piercing for months and today is finally the day. They may start filling out the release form, stop and ask out loud if they really want to do it, hesitate to actually walk into the piercing room, and will usually have me mark and remark the area in a feeble attempt to stall the inevitable. Their reaction is what you would expect from someone that thought they were going to get blasted with a 45 to the face, only to find out once their eyes open that it was a nerf dart to the shoulder. They will usually give me a look of confused disappointment, an out-loud laugh of how embarrassed they feel, and a rush of excitement when they see their new body jewelry that they have been visualizing since the new year. Truth be told, the great majority of people that I work with will fall into one of these two archetypes.

Lastly, there is the “Drama Queen/ King” person.

Dawson's Creek I Am Not A Drama Queen

They outwardly display all of the same pre-piercing characteristics of the “Oh, wow. That’s it?” with a few key differences. The Drama Queen/King always needs an audience. This will more often than not be a best friend, cousin, mother, or drinking group. If, by chance, they did come alone, fear not for they will quickly pull out their cell phone and begin to face time anyone they can get ahold of. If this path is taken, the phone will usually be on speaker and camera faced so that their audience can get a front-row seat of the “torture” to come. From there, the experience becomes somewhat of a-rhythmic-dance, by that I mean that I will usually have to take a step forward and then step back for somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes. What song is playing? I’m glad you asked! Some of the classics include “ok, go ahead, WAIT!”, “No, but seriously, 1 to 10 how bad is it?”, and my personal favorite “you can keep the money, please don’t kill me”. At this point, the audience will get tired of the playlist and be encouraging by offering a hand to hold, or go the opposite direction and turn on the Drama Queen/King like a bad singer on show night at the Apollo. Eventually, the piercing will get done and they will hold the piercing like a ginger child, ready to protect it from the evils of the world. Sometimes they will swear to never do this again or begin to verbally assault themselves for being stupid enough to do it in the first place. Oddly enough, I will see these people again a few months later and the process begins anew. “BUT REEK”, you may ask, “don’t you just hate those people? Why would you pierce them again?” and though this may be a perfectly logical question for someone new to this, remember, I’ve been doing this for fifteen years. I’ve been punched, kicked, bit, scratched, been drooled on, squirt on, and had my ears ringing from someone letting loose a scream that would make Sindel from Mortal Kombat jealous.

Conclusion: Do Piercings Hurt?

I’ve experienced all ends of the spectrum and based on that, most people don’t think they hurt that bad and many are often shocked at how smooth the process can be. Yes, some people don’t do well with piercings and will stop at the one navel or nose piercing they always wanted but a lot of people find a new way to express themselves through body piercings and are willing to deal with a little discomfort and healing to get the aesthetic they want. And if I’m being honest, I often have the most fun with the people that are scared the most, it’s when I get to truly be myself and comfort someone or make them laugh to distract them from what has them so nervous. Yes, I may end up in the piercer stance (imagine a bored praying mantis) for 20 minutes with a sore thumb from holding a needle but if at the end of it my client has a good experience and a story to tell when they leave, then that is a success to me. So, do piercings hurt? I don’t know, why don’t you come down and see me and we find out together.