WOW! It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry I haven't produced anything new, but life hasn't allowed much free time in this cynic's life lately. I'll spare you the boring details, and just get on to my column.
This one is about stupid questions/comments. Being in shops as much as I am, I hear a lot of stupid rhetoric going around, and it's almost always the same damned things. The following is a list of the ones that bother me the most, from both customers and artists.
First, the customers.
Honestly, do you care this little about your body? If the price of a mod will effect your decision, don't get one. You are not mature enough for any. Honestly, there is a simple solution to this one. Wait six months. Save all your spare cash. At the end of the six months, get what you want. By then, you'll have enough for it and won't have to complain about the cost!
This is usually followed by the dumbest comments I've ever heard (the worst I heard was using Listerine to heal a nipple piercing!). Never trust your "friend" over a professional. Someone may have healed their 20g ampallang using monkey urine, but that doesn't make it a good idea! The piercer/ tattooist has probably been doing mods much longer than you, or your friend, has been getting them. They generally have a good idea of what they're recommending.
How rude is this? Think about where you work. Now imagine a customer telling you about one of your competitors offering a similar product at half the price and essentially calling you a crook for charging what you feel is fair. Yeah, it's not very nice, is it? In the end, you probably will be getting what you pay for.
Sometimes this is an honest question, but when it's followed up by "WHAT?!" or the ever popular "But my friend had (oral) sex that night and was fine!" Wait!! It's worth being patient and having a beautifully healed mod.
I got this question often at a shop I worked for. We had a pair of 3/4" diameter CBRs in the case. They were mostly for show, but we sold a couple here and there (one for a very nice transcrotal!). With a little thought, you can easily answer this question yourself. Jewelry this big only goes in -- what's that boys and girls? -- BIG PIERCINGS! Then to react in disgust when you ask, it's like you really didn't want to know to begin with. If you don't want to know, don't ask!
I was once asked this question in regards to my [regretfully retired] large gauge labret. The person asking was a 14 year old kid with a battery shoved into his blood-clotted-blown-out earlobe. I swear, I wanted to plug him into something when I saw that. Do you want to know the answer I gave him? "Because it makes me happy." I was called a freak, and he left the store. I'm sure everyone will do something that makes others question their actions. I don't walk up to everyone with $300 sneakers and ask why they spend their money on them. Don't ask piercers/ tattooists about it.
Piercing a hole in one part of the body is the same as piercing a hole in another part of the body. If you plan to have one, do not look down on the others, especially when you're looking down at others who have the piercing you don't like. I'd be bad off if I decided to outcast everyone from my life who had their cartilage pierced. I don't, though. I just DON'T CHOOSE TO DO IT TO MYSELF! Is it that hard for others to do this, as well?
Trust me, people: Someone else has always done it first. That said, old ideas can certainly be made new again. Looking through the flash for your tattoo, though... No. That is the most unoriginal thing you can do. You may think that a Taz or butterfly make you different, but SURPRISE! Thousands of other people have the same damned tattoo on them, thinking it's as unique as yours, probably!
I know this is seeming a little one-sided, but I'll get to the artists, now:
This is the dumbest remark I've ever heard. EVERYTHING has a risk, and it's not "Worst case scenario, we take it out." Risks of a tattoo? It could come out shitty, an infection, allergic reaction to the ink, etc. Risks of a piercing? It could be crooked, you could hit a vein, infections, rejection, etc. Implants? I'm not going to even try to list how many risks those have (You can read BME/Risks to find out more). Hell, you can die from a paper cut. Just because the risk may be unlikely doesn't mean it won't happen.
I am utterly repulsed at how many artists I've found that don't know what a portfolio is, or think they don't need one. A portfolio is your way of telling customers why they should let you work on them! What's even worse, I see a lot of portfolios in which artists throw in pictures of everything they've ever done, shitty or not. The absolute worst I've ever seen was a piercer I had to beg to see any examples of her work. When she came out of the back, she had a stack of photos taken with a funsaver camera. They were all blurry and all of the piercings were horrible.
Customers, if your piercer has had only one piercing (not currently) or your tattooist has only one little tattoo, RUN! How will they know what they're doing to you if it's never been done to them? This stuff hurts, and it takes someone who's been there before to fully understand what they're doing to you. A good example of this is that I usually prefer men to do genital piercings on me because they've had that piercing and know exactly what they're working with. There has been one exception to this, and my current piercer is female ;)
Well, I'll leave you with those thoughts to thinking about, people. If life continues at the pace I'm at now, expect another column from me soon. Until then, send me your comments at [email protected]