Generally, I’m a pretty big fan of piercings. I think they can look badass, gorgeous, or just damned cool, depending on where they are, and who’s wearing them. Sure, every yuppy housewife has a nipple piercing now, but the dedicated piercers do some insanely cool stuff with their skin. But every now and then, I see something which makes me wince in horrific pain, imagining getting metal rammed through there. My editor insisted that this list be at least vaguely SFW, so sorry folk, no crazy genital piercing. You’ll have to Google for splitcock on your own time.
14. Nose Bridge
Imagine someone next to you said something completely and incomparably stupid. Your natural reaction is probably to look down, pinch the bridge of your nose, sigh loudly, and be thankful they haven’t bred yet (we hope). Now imagine a shaft of metal was running where your fingers are, and you get an idea of how a nose bridge piercing works. In terms of this list, it’s not a particularly oddball spot, but at the same time, it’s weird enough that you have to scratch your head over it. One thing I do like about this piercing is the folks that get glasses installed, hinging on the piercing. That’s kind of badass.
Most of the time, hands are pierced in the little webbed bit between your fingers (though some folks do more extreme places), a location that strikes me as incredibly inconvenient. As someone who makes my way in this world by banging on a keyboard, I can’t imagine how much those piercings would be worried and rubbed against while typing, or doing anything else with my hands. As your fingers move, you’d snag the bar, rub it, and generally wiggle it, doubtless making healing tricky, and doubtless prone to infection. Thanks, but if I’m getting pierced, I’ll do it to a place that’s less used.
I’m not allowed to get too explicit in this list, so anal piercings aren’t included (google at your own peril), but what’s slightly more SFW is getting a piercing right at the top of the ass-cleavage. Just where the butt cheeks begin to split, that’s where they do the piercing. Is this the pierced equivalent of a tramp stamp? Only found on slutty girls with daddy issues? You know what? I just had the most wince inducing thought. Imagine going down a slide with one of those, and it getting snagged. Friction and piercings are a bad combo, and having a piercing torn out of your ass would be absolutely horrific. Nice bum on the girl, though.
Neck piercings give me the heebie fucking jeebies. I don’t know why, but they just do. Again, it’s probably my irrational fear of things getting caught, but I can just imagine pulling off a t-shirt, and snagging one of those bars. Yowch. Or your hair getting tangled in it. Or any number of other things that just seem like asking for trouble. On the flip side, you could totally hang necklaces off the studs, which would be kind of badass, I suppose. But yeah, neck piercings make me wince.
10. Horizontal Lip
A normal lip piercing goes through the top of the lip, and out the bottom, right? Makes sense, that way to have to go through the least amount of flesh, and the lip sticks out substantially, making it an easy appendage to stab through. Now turn the piercing sideways. Imagines piercing horizontally along your lip, with a long bar. Wouldn’t that really alter the way your lip works? Surely it’d kill much of the flexibility in your lower lip, making talking significantly different, chewing food, and forget ever being able to play the flute again! And kissing would then suck, as it’d be like their lip had an erection and couldn’t bend at all. Horizontal lip piercing isn’t doing it for me at all.
This is not to be confused with a Lowbret piercing, which is placed inside the lip as low as possible, and extends out near the chin. A true piercing is a relatively shallow one, that is entirely in the skin and muscle of the chin itself, not piercing through into the mouth at all. Ow. Ow ow ow. That looks extremely uncomfortable to get done. Maybe I’m just unusually small chinned, but trying to grab enough tissue in front of the mandible for a piercing seems like a tricky prospect, and one that would make the actual act of piercing the skin quite difficult.
Gah! Just seeing pictures of this causes me to blink furiously, then wince at the thought of blinking with one of those rings in place. I suppose the eyelid is super thin, making it easy as anything to pierce. But, isn’t that tissue filled with blood vessels, and highly enervated? And every time you blink, doesn’t the ring rub right against the surface of your eyeball? I can’t help but think that would be a recipe for a heavily scraped eye, not to mention all sorts of horrid infections.
7. Surface Weave
A surface weave piercing is a long piece of material that snakes in and out of the skin multiple times. This can be either done with flexible materials, or, if you’re hardcore, with a specially bent piece of metal. This has got to be severely traumatic to the soft tissue. Something big and spiky going in and out of the flesh, over long distances? Jeez, that looks rough on the body. I really hope skilled piercers are able to do this without having to force the metal into the right position, jimmying it about until it sits right, and wreaking havoc. It also looks like the Loch Ness Monster if viewed from the right angle.
6. Vertical Lowbret
A vertical lowbret piercing starts on the inside of the lip, and then goes straight down, and out near the chin. Take your finger, and reach down beneath your lower lip and your teeth. Put your finger as far down as possible, until you reach the very base of the gums. Now imagine a two-inch hunk of metal going from there to the outside of your chin. Apparently a rather painful piercing (no, really?), I can only imagine how weird that would feel. It also has the rather bad side effect of causing gum erosion, and sometimes fluid drips out of external side of the piercing. Not to self, try not to watch anyone with this piercing chug anything.
The Madison Piercing (named after a pornstar who sported it), is a surface piercing, placed horizontally slightly above the where the collarbones, an area known as the jugular notch. Look at that ring in the image above. Now tell me you don’t think that would rip out incredibly easily, leaving you with a bloody wound where the artfully placed piercing was. Since it’s a surface piercing, there’s a really high risk of rejection, migration, and scarification. In other words, you’re going to have two little scars on the front of your neck, like you were attacked by a vampire without a sense of aim.
4. Flesh Plating
A flesh plating is the piercing equivalent of a grill — a big hunk of metal covering a biological chunk of your body. Flesh plating involves a large hunk of metal, which is then anchored through multiple small piercings at structurally important places in the jewelry. The area that goes into the skin sometimes has holes drilled through it, so that the skin can grow through the gaps in order to make it stay in place better. Unsurprisingly, it’s just about impossible to keep these clean, and all sorts of nastiness can grow underneath the plate. But hey, get a couple dozen of them, and you’re just about be armor plated!
A transfinger piercing is arguable the sanest place to pierce the deep tissue of your hand, which is like saying it’s the most sensible way to cover yourself in gasoline and jump through a fire. The trick with this piercing is to avoid the bone, which tapers to a relatively small point, making it easy enough to miss. There are also no tendons this high up the finger, and if you hit a nerve, it won’t kill the entire digit. Still, look at that piercing! That’s freaking nuts! Think of all the germs and grossness your fingers get regularly exposed to, and imagine all that around an open wound with a hunk of metal stuck in it.
These piercings are pretty rare, due to a high rate of complications, and slow healing time. They run from the base of the tongue, straight down, and out the bottom of the chin. Notoriously slow healing, the piercing can also interfere with saliva production, causing fluid to leak from the hole for a considerable amount of time. It’s a pretty big piercing, going through an area of high density nerves and blood supply. And it makes you dribble down your neck, until it very, very slowly heals. I’ll take a pass on that.
Incredibly rare for obvious reasons, the Achilles piercing is ludicrously high-risk. It passes between the Achilles tendon and bone, which is only possible on specific people’s anatomy. It can also permanently impair your movement, cause tendinitis, and if it scars up, your foot is permanently fucked. The picture above is from a performer called Mr. Tetanus, who has stretched his piercing to mammoth proportions, and keeps 10mm piercing through it. If he takes out the spike, it begins to close over in as little has half an hour. When your body is so worried about a wound that it heals at Wolverine levels of speed, it’s probably a sign that it’s bad for you.