First one off the list!
I've been meaning to do this for a couple years, and have had tentative plans that kept changing since May. Finally my friend J and I made it happen.
It was a very Portland-esque outing. Met for lunch at the Grilled Cheese Grill food cart and browsed at ZimZim "alternagift store", then headed over to Black Hole Body Piercing.
Yeah, I know, it's not exactly extreme. Keep in mind, I'm an accountant. Although I've realized recently that many female managers have at least two earlobe piercings, I can't think of any coworkers off the top of my head who have any upper ear piercings. Definitely no facial piercings around here.
When my firm first developed a piercing/tattoo policy a few years ago (suddenly deemed necessary when a new staff person started who had a full sleeve of tattoos, and another employee randomly got a nose piercing), it was pretty specific, and actually, rings other than in the earlobes weren't allowed - I could have done this piercing only with a post. I think facial piercings were only allowed with clear retainers. Now, after several iterations, the policy merely says that the firm will compromise between professional appearance and personal self-expression, and basically it's only a problem if a client or coworker complains.
J got a piercing to finish a plan from several years ago. She had the lower piercing done already; now she had the upper part pierced, and had the bar put in connecting them.
For additional piercings, I've decided I'm going to get an another one on each ear, just above my three earlobe piercings. It's kind of still earlobe there, but verging into cartilage, so it's one they couldn't do at a jewelry shop with a piercing gun. I would have had it done already at a body piercing place if I hadn't been afraid to go to a body piercing place. Beyond that, I'm not sure whether I'll do more or not.
I considered watching J's first before having my piercing done, but both she and Andrew, the piercer, advised against that. I generally like knowing what's going on, but not necessarily if I don't have any control over it.
I did watch him do J's piercing after mine. There's a needle about two inches long, which does the piercing, with a piece of cork behind the ear to stop the needle. Then another little length of metal is hooked to the needle and pulled through. Then the earring is attached to that threader, and pulled through the ear.
Andrew was really great, and talked me through deep breaths, pulling the needle/threader/earring through on an out-breath. I was going to hold J's hand, but he pointed out that squeezing something tenses your body, which will make you feel more pain. So she was right there just in case, but it wasn't too bad. More of a pinch than you feel with a piercing gun, and you feel that same pinch again when the threader and earring are pulled through, and when the ball is put on the ring to close it. But after it feels basically the same as an earlobe piercing.