We all know someone who is 'addicted' to body piercings. Not addicted in the literal sense that they have became dependent on them, but in a way that most tattoos or piercings can become 'addictive'; in that once you have one, you feel the need to get more. But, can body piercings really be addictive?
We have to ask the question, why do people decide to get body piercings? There are many different ways in which people express themselves and their personalities, and piercings are just one way of making a statement. Whether that be a fashion statement to signify that you are drawn to a certain look or lifestyle, or a way in which to reject societal norms, piercings can be a wonderful way of showcasing your personality. For many, once they've had their first piercing and are now accustomed to the process and the feeling of it, the idea of another new piercing can be a really exciting prospect.
Some people get body piercings in certain areas such as the genitals, nipple, belly button, and tongue as they may feel it makes them more sexually attractive to potential mates. It certainly draws attention to that area, and is possibly a form of 'peacocking', whether consciously or not. This concept isn't about the pain or the process of the piercing itself, but the expression and aesthetics after the piercing is done.
For some people, it's all about the piercing procedure itself. As there's no strong form of anesthesia for the piercing process, anyone who undergoes a piercing or any other form of body modification for that matter, will have to endure the physical pain (and possibly anxiety) that comes with it. In situations like this, adrenaline is released, and after the piercing, people may feel quite relaxed in contrast. For many, people want to push their bodies to the limits and attempt to develop a physical endurance, so the physical part of it can play a part for some people's reasoning for getting pierced.
Stephanie Hutter-Thomas, a professional body piercer and also a PhD candidate who studies the psychology of body art commented that for many people, piercings are about maintaining a sense of personal identity rather than an addiction. She notes that "Pain allows us to experience pleasure by presenting adequate contrast for our brain.... Pleasure may feel nice, but it doesn't make us happy without something painful to compare it to". This is true, in that after the body experiences a physical intensity, the brain releases endorphins, which can have an opioid-like effect. Stephanie says that "Unlike prescription medications, natural activation of our body's opiate receptors doesn't lead to physical dependency." So, we can assume that people don't get physically addicted to piercings.
Stephanie also comments that the experience of contemplating he piercing, preparing for it, and picking out your jewellery can be a really positive experience for some, which is why people enjoy the process so much. For many, it's about the freedom of having autonomy over our own bodies, and being able to decorate them how we see fit. It's more about the psychological experience behind the piercing, rather than the actual physical act of the piercing itself that people seem drawn to.
There's no real evidence to suggest that body piercings are actually addictive. For most, it's either an enjoyable process, and a means in which to express ones self, and we think it's beautiful!
If you are a fan of piercings, then why not check out our huge range of body jewellery available over on our website? For any body piercers looking to stock up on piercing tools, make sure you head over to our store where you can buy Septum clamps online along with many more piercing tools.
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