Friday, March 5, 2004

The Nose Ring

Three weeks ago tomorrow, I got my septum pierced.  (That’s a ring through the cartilage at the bottom of the nose.  Think Ferdinand the Bull.)

Why did I do it?  Well, with winning the Seattle Leather Daddy contest in November, I got a certificate for a free piercing from Troy at Apocalypse.  I’ve already got a pierced ear and a Prince Albert (head of the dick, going through the urethra and out the bottom), and I’ve previously had (and removed) a nipple ring and a tongue stud.  So it is was septum, labret (below the lip), guiche (between the dick and the asshole), or a lorum (a bar or ring at the base of the dick where it meets the scrotum).  (Or I suppose I could have got something bizarre like a uvula piercing.)  I’ve always thought septum piercings looked cool — and with a small retainer in place of a ring, they can be tucked up into the nose, nearly invisible — so that’s what I went for.

(Not that I had to use the certificate, of course, but I wouldn’t want to spurn the generous donation Apocalypse made to our club.)

At the time, I had the choice between a split ring (with a gap at the bottom and two balls), a captive bead (where a ball sits caught between ends of the ring, or a retainer.  I chose the split ring because it can be rotated up into the nose to hide it for a while (such as if I have to visit my mother).  I could have gone with the retainer, but I figured that if I find the piercing just a little irritating (and I have at times), I might be tempted to remove the retainer and just ditch the piercing, which I’m unlikely to do with the full ring.  I wanted to make sure I stick with it.

After eight weeks, it should be healed enough to change the jewelry.  At that point, I’ll probably go to a retainer for daily wear, saving the ring — or getting more dramatic spikes and such — for weekends and special events.

The set of reactions I’ve had since then have been unusual.  In general, people do their best to just ignore it.  I haven’t noticed many cases of people looking at the ring rather than the rest of my face.  A few co-workers have asked some specific questions about it — like “What did you do to your nose?” (“Nothing,” I replied.  “The piercer did that.” <grin>) — but no vocal negative reactions.  Of course, this is Seattle, which was one of the places the trend of facial piercings came from.  That, and people generally just try to be polite.

(And of course, there’s the typical “Did that hurt?” question.  In gay circles, I answer that quite matter-of-factly: “Just enough that my dick started getting hard when he shoved the needle through.  With my teenage step-daughter in the room, watching.”)

But the last weekend of February, I went to Texas for LUEY.

Walking through the airports in Dallas and Houston (but not in the hotel I was at, which was hosting the mostly-black attendees of a Narcotics Anonymous convention [I note the race just because it was the situation there, not because I draw a connection between blacks and drugs; heck, maybe it means blacks are more apt to try to recover from such addiction than whites!]), I kept getting cruised.  Or so it seemed, but when I would try to make eye contact and cruise back, I kept getting deep scowls, of the “That guy is gay, isn’t he?  I don’t like queers” sort.

It wasn’t until coming through Dallas on the way back that it hit me that the guys weren’t scowling, precisely, but were instead staring at the nose ring.  The scowl was more one of confusion than dislike: “What the hell does that guy have hanging from his nose?”  Hard to say if I was being cruised as well, or not.

Or maybe the look was “Who let Ferdinand the Bull loose in here?”

Updated on March 9, 2004

Updated on November 8, 2005
Comment by Adam D. (Columbus, OH)
In the deep dripping South, it is sometimes held by religious precept that you should not place any marking on, or hole in, your body, because it’s going to make you unworthy of resurrection.

I think there could be a fundamentalist-Christian thing there…  Oh, looky Ma a sinner… he’s going to Hell.   Same reason, I suspect, that until last year (or maybe it was the year before?) you could not legally be tattooed in South Carolina.

Genesis 1:26-27, God said, "Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground."

[That verse sometimes gets used to bash tree-huggers, i.e. we’re all fucking Masters of the Universe…what a bad idea that is.   And the very next verse is one that some of those guys try to use to get us Gay folk in trouble:

Genesis 1-27: God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.]

The anti-tat, anti-pierce idea is, I think, that God is flawless and unmarked, and so should we be also.   Don’t ask me where the notion of circumcision comes in — I’ve always been happier dreaming of God’s person as being male with a big uncut dick.  At any rate, seeing one always gets me to fall to my knees.
Updated on December 20, 2010
Hmm, looks like Ferdinand the Bull didn’t actually have a nose ring!

After a few days of trying to conceal the nose ring by turning it up, I gave up and just lived with it down.  Once I changed jobs, it was well enough healed that I switched to leaving it out during the week, putting it in only on weekends and times I’m going to engage in leather play or such during the week.  Except for those days I forget it is in and wear it to work.  Oh well, not like working for a music company in Seattle, people haven’t seen facial piercings!

Heading toward seven years later, I still have the nose ring — and I’ve added a lorum and had both nipples done (second time for one of them; “like punching through shoe leather” the guy said).  Still haven’t decided about a guiche someday, but might get another lorum ring.

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