Nipple Piercings Aren’t As Scary As You Think They Are

Illustrated by Jihyang Lim.

What you should know before getting one

Don’t tell my mom, but I got my nipple pierced on my 21st birthday. I was sober (surprise), and I guess you could say it was during my "rebellious" stage. I took it out a couple of years ago after a particularly scary NSFW happening that forced me to choose the well-being of my areola over vanity, and I miss it every day. That’s an exaggeration, but I do miss the feeling it gave me—something a little wicked, and a lot subversive.

Nipple piercings have a certain intrigue to them; mostly because you don't know who has one unless they show you, which means they're probably showing you a whole lot more. They're mysterious and definitely sexy. Rihanna—as anyone who has seen the “Wild Thoughts” video… and the “Work” video… and the “Needed Me” video—has one, so clearly they're desirable. But though many people have doubtlessly considered getting this piercing, it can be an intimidating one to actually get. But don't be afraid: As Brian Keith Thompson of Body Electric and Cassi Lopez of New York Adorned tell me, anyone can get it done.

“I’ve never met a nipple that I couldn’t pierce,” both tell me. Meaning, every nipple shape—flat, inverted, protruding—can be decorated as its bearer sees fit. The only people that can’t get a nipple piercing, Thompson says, “are the ones who are too chicken to walk up the stairs to make it happen.”

That’s not to say there won't be some pre-piercing apprehension. There will be! That’s normal! “It's natural. We all feel it,” Thompson assures. “The people that don't get nervous, those are the crazy ones.” If the source of that nervousness has to do with how much the piercing is going to hurt, though, it’s misplaced.

I’m not going to say a nipple piercing doesn’t hurt because a needle going through any part of your body is going to send some type of jolt through you, but it’s very short-lived feeling (like, two seconds short). As Lopez notes, there isn’t a lingering pain afterward. “Pain is such a minuscule part of the whole thing… it’s mostly in your mind,” Thompson adds. “I've had very few clients who have told me it's intolerable. The first thing they usually say is, 'Oh, that's it?'” What you should be worried about, he says, is the next six to eight months of care.

Maybe worried is the wrong word, but you should definitely be cognizant of what goes into caring for a piercing. Though, in and of itself, the maintenance is pretty simple. Lopez recommends investing in a little saline spray, which you should spritz on the piercing twice a day. While Thompson recommends using soap (Dr. Bronner’s is his go-to) and water. He adds: “Don't play with it. It's not a puppy—no spinning, no turning—keep your hands off of it. All that’s required of you is washing the surface bacteria off, to avoid a local infection, the body's got everything else covered. If you do those things, you're not going to have a problem.”

How long it takes to heal differs by person, but, typically, it takes six months to a year. A couple of things that will help speed up the process include carefully planning when you get it done. Lopez advises that summertime isn’t the best necessarily, especially if you’re going to be heading to the beach or pool. You can get a piercing done then, just be wary if you’re going to be submerging the piercing in any kind of body of water for a long period of time. 

Another factor that will determine how fast your piercing heels is the jewelry you choose. The type of jewelry—barbell or ring—is typically up to the client. When I got mine done, the piercer would only use a barbell, and both Thompson and Lopez prefer barbells over rings. “A barbell, 100 percent, is going to heal better,” Lopez says. “Even when you’re healed, a barbell can be way more comfortable.” You can heal a hoop, Thompson says, you just have to be more cautious. “Right now, it's way more popular to pierce with barbells, and I think, aesthetically, barbells look more pleasing to the eye anyway. They're less intrusive, and if you want to wear a shirt without a bra you can kind of see it, but you kind of can't—there's something cool about that," he says. If you want to change your jewelry once it’s healed, that’s an option, too. Just make sure to go back to your piercer to do so.

Know how we mentioned earlier that everyone can get a nipple piercing? That’s still true but, Thompson notes, not everyone can heal one. It’s rare (Thompson says he’s only seen it in about 10 percent of his clients), but some people might find that, over time, their body rejects the jewelry. What that means is the jewelry will start to migrate, and you’ll notice it getting shallower in the nipple. “That’s the body slowly pushing it out,” Thompson says. If this happens, go back to your local piercer and have them remove it before it pushes itself all the way out. “If you take it out early enough, you'll have minimal scarring.”

Now, about those misconceptions you’ve likely heard rumblings about. First, breastfeeding: You can still do it, both Thompson and Lopez assure. “You have hundreds of milk ducts in each nipple, it will not affect it at all,” Thompson says. Another is that the piercing will increase your nipple's sensitivity. Wrong again. “It will make the nipple protrude a little bit more. So if you have flat nipples, it will kind of stand up because the barbell is underneath them,” Thompson explains. “When you first get it pierced, of course, they're more sensitive because you just put a needle through it, and I think that's where people get the misconception from. But once they fully heal, they will go back to the way they were.”

One final bit of advice: “There’s no right or wrong way to pierce your nipple—left, right, both—there’s no script,” Thompson says. “It’s whatever the fuck you want to do and however the fuck you want to do it.” You heard the man, 2017 is the year of girls (and boys!) doing whatever the fuck they want, and that includes, but is not limited to, accessorizing our nipples.

Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

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Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

He'd previously said he wanted to punch Jackson's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers in the face

Aaron Carter has been one of Michael Jackson's fiercest celebrity advocates in the aftermath of the Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In a new clip from People, however, he seems to walk back his defense.

People reveals that Carter will be joining the upcoming season of reality TV show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition with his mother. It's noted that he will be revealing more thoughts regarding Jackson following the documentary and the sneak peek specifically sees him alluding to a negative experience with the singer.

Carter, who has previously said that Jackson was never inappropriate toward him, says that Jackson "was a really good guy," though he does note that this is only true "as far as I know." "He never did anything that was inappropriate," he continues before stopping himself, as though remembering something. "Except for one time. There was one thing that he did that was a little bit inappropriate."

Carter does not provide any more detail after this statement. He has previously said that he would stay at Jackson's Neverland estate and sleep in the same bed as the much older star when he was 15 years old, though he hasn't seemed to understand then just how creepy that is. He also said earlier this year, in a clip from TMZ, that he would be telling a story of something that happened between them in an upcoming book about his life.