A lot of these are very similar to my blog post on "Tattoo Etiquette" but a little refresher never hurt. For your sake and ours, here are some things that will make your experience easier. Enjoy!
Okay, so first thing; LISTEN TO YOUR PIERCER; they know what's up. There are very few things that are more frustrating than being told how to do your job, as I'm sure we can all agree. I know, you are making a modification to your body and you want it to be a certain way but they are professionals and they know what they are talking about. You have to be willing to accept that some things cannot be done the way you like, or at all, and that is only ever for your own good.
Before you come in EAT SOMETHING. Story time! One time when I was getting pierced after a long day, having only had one glorious slice of left over pizza for breakfast, and I became so nauseated and faint that within 30 seconds of standing up the room was closing in and it sounded like I was under water. I B-lined for the restroom and threw myself in front of the toilet thinking I was about to vomit and I fainted face first on the floor. Moral of the story: EAT. You need your blood sugar to be at a reasonable level.
Speaking of toilets... PEE FIRST. Just in case. I wont bore you with the time I peed my pants because I fainted. Feel free to read about it in our tattoo etiquette blog here. and please, if you are a fainter, let your piercer know before hand.
GOOD HYGIENE. I know most of you are probably surprised that it even needs to be said but it does. Your piercer is going to be all up in your personal bubble and they really don’t enjoy nasty dragon breath swirling around in their face like poison. So do us a favor and make sure you have nice breath and fresh armpits and such.
DO NOT SHOW UP DRUNK OR HUNGOVER. We will not pierce you. Again, that is for your own good, your blood thins with alcohol and we can’t have you bleeding out. No bueno.
YOU CAN BRING A FRIEND. If you are nervous and want a friend to come in with you that's cool, we want you to be comfortable. We would just rather you not bring your whole entire squad, too many people can be distracting for the piercer. Bring a friend for support but just one friend.
ASK YOUR PIERCER IF PICTURES ARE COOL. Usually, they don’t mind but it's just polite to ask. They'll let you know what's okay and what's not. Obviously you can’t get in the way and I'm sure no one is trying to but sometimes you really just don’t realize it. They'll let you know where you can and cant be.
This one is important- SIT STILL. Don't grab your piercer’s hand or pull away or fidget or kick your legs or flail your arms, or anything else that could cause your piercer to lose control of the needle. Two things to remember- if you are all shifty it makes it very difficult to make a well placed hole. Also, and this one is very important, if you move you could cause your piercer to stick them self after piercing you. A needle stick is incredibly serious. Consider this; How scared would you be if you were accidentally poked with a needle that had just been inside a stranger? Please, SIT STILL.
PAY ATTENTION TO AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS. Seriously. We know you just got pierced and you're all jacked up on adrenaline and it's exciting but please try and focus on what they are telling you to do take care of your piercing. They want you to have a successful heal just as much as you do and they know how to make that happen, so pay attention and do as they say.
TIPPING, like with tattoos, is appreciated. It's not an expectation, but it really just shows them that you are happy with their service and that you appreciate their work.
MINORS. The truth is, piercers don't have to do anything they aren’t comfortable with. Some piercers have no problem doing kids ear lobes; others don't do it for a number of reasons. Kids are unpredictable little creatures and the last thing a piercer wants is some poor little darling whaling like a banshee after one ear lobe and too scared to do the other. So it's up to the piercer and they are never going to be forced to do something they aren't okay with. In some situations, like navel, they just know that the chances of a successful heal on someone that is still growing is near impossible. There are a million scenarios and reasons why a piercer will or will not do something on a minor and that is their choice to make. It's not personal; it's usually for your own good.
Piercings should be a fun and safe experience and if you follow that advice, (wherever you go to get pierced) that is exactly what you should get.