The history of ear stretching goes way back a great article (in my opinion) about it is found on the Urban body jewelry website titled, The History of Ear Stretching.
I absolutely love my stretched/gauged ears. It took me about 2 years to get to the size that I am now. I am at a comfortable 9/16th inch/14mm size. I tried to go bigger and it was uncomfortable for my little ears so I went back down. Now I am making this post for everyone out there that either is interested in them or has heard so many bad things about them that they no longer like them. So just a little bit more of my history with them before I get started. I was always open to the idea of them when I was younger, but I wasn’t allowed to have them while I lived with my parents. I think I actually ended up going from a 18g (normal earring size) to a 16g by sneaking them and telling my mom that they weren’t bigger lol. (Don’t lie to your parent kids!!) But I rocked those from 8th grade all the way through my Senior year in high school. After I graduated I ended up meeting my now husband and we got our first place together in 2011. That was when my journey started. About a month into living on our own I started stretching my ears. He helped me a lot and some of my knowledge is actually from him. See he used to have 1 inch/25mm plugs. Like I said earlier it took me about two years to get to my size, after I found “my size” I have had them ever since.
Now they are so many things I have heard from other people, I’m going to list off a few. Yes, you read that right I’m going to do a list thingy…..again haha! I’m going to try to either explain these or squash some of the myths out there.
#1.) “You’re going to hell!” –Unfortunately this has been said, and some people strongly believe this. I personally do not believe that I am going to hell because of how I express myself. On the other hand some religions find this as “self-mutilation” which in turn makes it a sin. So my opinion on this would be if you have a religion do your research and check into it to see if it is, and you should be able to base your decision off of that. ***Side note to this*** Always be mindful that everyone has different beliefs and it is up to us to respect each other’s in order to make this a better place.
#2.) “They are dirty and smell horrible!”–This is a huge misconception on this subject. A lot can go into this actually, where do I even start. First off, there is a care regimen you must follow just like any other piercing. The only difference is that even after it has healed you have to continue to clean them (I usually clean mine in the shower.). Once you have fully healed ones and you are just cleaning them in the shower make sure you take out the actually earring to clean the dead skin off your ear lobe and clean the earring itself. Now make sure that before you put the earring back in, you let your ear lobe dry and dry off your earring, otherwise it will cause them to stink from the moisture being trapped between the earring and your skin. Second, everyone’s bodies are different. There are a bunch of different materials used to make these plugs/tunnels/tapers, so your body could react differently to them than what mine did, ya know? So always make sure you are aware of any allergies or materials that your body doesn’t take well to, before you try to put it into your body. Third, hygiene is a big indicator of this. I know I covered some of it in this first one but this is your personal hygiene that I’m talking about now. If you sweat easily or have oily skin, you should clean your ears more often. If you have dry skin then you should use an oil or ear lobe lube to prevent splitting. If you are some weird mix (like me) then you will have to experiment and figure out your comfort zone on cleaning. With all that being said, if you ignore all these then yes your ears will stink, but I want to point out and stress that it is NOT the stretching that caused the smell! It would be your poor “maintenance”.
#3.) “You’re ears will never be the same!” –So this one is kind of true to an extent. There is a threshold if you will that once you cross, it makes it hard for your ears to go back to normal. Most people consider this “threshold” to be right around the 3/4ths inch/19mm size. I personally feel like it depends on the size of ears to begin with. I have not reached that “threshold” yet, sometimes if I leave mine out for a day or so my ear lobes will have already shrunk a little bit. So mine are very capable of shrinking back down. My husband had passed it and he ended up having to have his sewn shut. So if you are going to stretch your ears make sure you are prepared for your ears to possibly not go back to normal.***Side note to this*** If you decide to stretch your ears and you later decide that you want them sewn shut, PLEASE!! do not attempt this at home or as DIY!! Go to a professional! I have seen horror films (YouTube) of people attempting this and it not working in their favor. Also if you get them sewn shut make sure that it IS what you really want, in other words make sure you are ready to part with them because depending on the procedure and how they healed you might not be able to get them back later. My hubby wasn’t ready 😦
#4.) “How did you do that?/Did they use a type of hole punch?”–No haha, do not use a hole punch to do this. In all seriousness if you try that you are going to hurt yourself very badly. The process to this takes a while and determination. If you really want them I highly suggest the slow and steady process verses the quick one. The quick one can cause blowouts or tears. A blowout is what happens when you stretch a hole in your ear too quickly and a small flap (sometimes big flap) of skin from the inside of your piercing gets pushed out. Tearing is exactly how it sounds, when you stretch quickly it doesn’t give your ear lobe enough time regain elasticity so it will tear your skin and can even completely rip your earlobe in half. Painful and ugly ear lobes are not worth speeding through the process of stretching your ears. The Slow and Steady method is what I used. I highly recommend this way because, even though it takes awhile, if done right you will experience little to no pain.
#5.) “Do your ears whistle when it’s windy out?”–Actually funny story, haha. Back when mine were about 2g/6mm I was walking through a parking lot and I kept hearing this sound, like a faint whistle. I kept looking around and I asked my husband if he heard it. He said he didn’t and shrugged it off so we got into the store and the sound went away. When we were walking back to the car I heard it again. I stopped and instantly started laughing once it hit me. The wind was trying to pass by my tunnels and was causing that little faint whistle. I tested my theory and covered them and the sound stopped, I uncovered them and the sound started again. So yes if you take: the direction of the wind + the velocity of the wind + the size of your tunnels = you get a faint whistle!
#6.) “Can I touch them?/Can I put my finger through them?”–These are interesting. Personally as long as you ask and I say that it is okay then by all means, but do not take it upon yourself to just do it without asking. Some people do not appreciate it so it’s always best to ask before doing. These are funny because for some reason people expect them to feel different from theirs haha. Trust me they don’t.
#7.) “Are they heavy?”–It depends. There are different variables that play a role in this:
I hope this all is helpful or at the very least helps with some the confusion. I want to point out that all this information is from my personal experience and the link I have on here are ones that I have personally used. Hope everyone has a great day!