[One important] thing [is] the concept of belonging. We
all need to belong somehow. Through piercing, through S&M;,
we belong. We lose race, color, [gender]. There is nothing
there except what we want and what we want to do, and in that
sense, we belong. That's important to me, and I think it's
important to a lot of people. We don't have heterosexual [or]
gay: we [all] belong to one group of people who enjoy being
who they want to be. There are no limits. We are all in the
same family. I'm a gay Puerto Rican male. I don't like to
use the term "top," but [I] play "top" and get into a bondage,
fatherly scene. I don't consider myself handsome; other people
do. But we always look at ourselves differently. A lot of
people, especially in the gay community, have heard from others
[that] I'm "a hot daddy to get pierced by."
Piercing is something that has to come from the heart,
not from the brain, not because someone told you [to do it],
or just because everyone else has it. I developed fantasies
in my 30s when I began to see that other people had fantasies.
My fantasy was to help them fulfill theirs. But as a child,
I [had no] fantasies. I guess that has to do with my own situation
as a child--[I was] molested sexually. I always was afraid
of certain things. As a matter of fact, I find it sometimes
very awkward to get tied down or be submissive. When I do
allow myself to do it, I enjoy it very much. But I have to
allow myself to do it.
I pierce anything and everything! I kid [that] if I ever
started a shop, I would call it "From Clits to Tits." I have
done just about every piercing there is: eyebrows, clits,
clit hoods; men and women, gay and straight. Having been married,
having had children, and having gone from being a straight
male to a gay male, it's just never bothered me.
I do a prescreening, which is very important to me and
to the [clients]. I never lie to anyone and [say] that it's
not going to hurt. I ask what kind of piercings they've had
before [and] if they've had any problems. I ask what they're
interested in and what jewelry they want. I show them pictures
or talk to them about what they would like and give them some
ideas. Jewelry is very personal. I never force people to use
a certain kind of jewelry.
I always ask people if they are over 21. I want to make
sure that the person knows exactly what he's doing. There's
a statement I [always] read: "Do you understand that no piercing
will be done if you are under the influence of alcohol or
drugs?" This is something that I hold very dear. I don't drink,
smoke, or do drugs. I don't care if other people do, but when
you come here for a piercing, I want you to know what you're
doing. I don't want you to wake up [the next day] and say,
"What the hell did I do?"
I need to know that the person has no [physical] problems.
I always ask if they have epilepsy or diabetes. I have to
know if they have hepatitis or HIV or AIDS or if they're on
any medication. I am very careful. All my tools are sterilized.
I have two autoclaves. Sterile conditions [are] very important.
[With] a piercing, cleanliness is more important than anything.
If you don't keep it clean, I always guarantee a problem.
I always give [people] a sheet of paper that [lists] everything
they should know and do.
I also have a disclaimer that I ask everyone to sign,
[stating] that this is done willingly and that I will not
be held responsible for anything that goes wrong afterwards.
I guarantee their safety when they're here, but once they're
gone, all I offer is help and assistance. I recommend a warm
saltwater solution for cleaning, the old-fashioned remedy.
I ask everyone to call me before doing anything drastic, like
remove a body piercing. I [also] ask if the area to be pierced
is under extreme punishment and activity. Some people laugh
at that question, especially if they want a Prince Albert.
They say, "No, not enough!" And I say, "Oh you poor baby!"
In [one] woman's case, I asked, "Is [the clitoris] under a
lot of activity?" and [she answered], "Not usually."
The reason [I ask] is that sometimes the area [has been]
under torture, like the nipples, and [if so, the skin] tends
to be a little [tougher]. I need to know how much force I'm
going to be using [and] how to handle it: to be ready for
problems if the needle doesn't go through right away.
If the person is ready, I prepare him. I clean him up.
I mark the area to be pierced. I always talk to him. [The]
feedback that I have gotten is that people feel comfortable
when they're here. They come in the door, and they're nervous
as hell. But by the time they walk up the stairs to the room
where I'm going to do the piercing, they are comfortable.
That is more important to me than anything. I'm in a position
of a family doctor who is going to violate a part of their
body. If a woman is going to lay down on a bed and open her
legs, she has to feel that it's okay, and so do I.
I don't advertise. I [get referrals from leather] shops.
To me, word of mouth is the best advertising. I get two to
three calls a day for piercings, and I have to set up appointments
in advance. I may do two or three piercings a day, sometimes
five or six a day. Piercings are very seasonal. [In] summer,
piercings are very popular. Winter, not too much, because
you feel more discomfort in the cold weather.
[Washington D.C. has] a leather weekend, usually in January,
where a thousand or more people come to a leather contest.
In that weekend I do anywhere from 20 to 25 piercings. I have
someone registering everybody, and I bring them upstairs.
I have an autoclave going all the time, so sterility never
changes, precautions never change. I have someone with me
to always make sure that I am being cautious. That's usually
my other half. He is usually here, watching me--he's like
my nurse--to make sure that I don't do anything stupid. If
I pick up an instrument before my hands are sterile, that
instrument gets sterilized immediately.
[There are] many styles [of piercing]. I find that piercing
a woman's [nipple] is a lot easier than piercing a man's.
A man's nipples are smaller and a bit on the tougher side,
whereas a woman's are a little more tender and a bit longer.
I find it a little harder to get the needle through [on a
man]. [On] a woman, [it] will just go right through, and half
of them don't even feel it. Yet they're terrified that it's
going to hurt. I pierced my nipple and had no pain and no
blood, but I was on a natural high. This is what I wanted:
my heart said do it, and it felt good.
I have had many people [who got] maybe 10 or 15 piercings
on one ear alone, all the way from the top to the bottom.
I've had two people come in and want the eyebrows pierced.
I even had someone who wanted a little bit of the skin on
the side of the cheek pierced.
Of all the piercings on a man, the one that I think is
the nicest is a Prince Albert. It's also the fastest to heal,
in my opinion, because the urine is sterile, and the salt
tends to help healing. A frenum [piercing] is one of the simplest
to do. It hurts the least, but it still hurts a little. There's
a foreskin piercing, where you pull [up] the foreskin and
pierce right through [it]. Sometimes a person wants a small
ring on it, so [he] cannot pull the foreskin over [the head].
[Then the piercing] can be used [as] a chastity [device].
Or it can be a large ring where the foreskin will go totally
around the head when it's enlarged. An ampallang, I have been
told, is a wonderful sensation, especially for women. Both
the ampallang and the apadravya are a little on the dangerous
side. If done wrong, the person could bleed a great deal,
because when you're hard, you have vessels that fill up with
blood, and if you penetrate those vessels during any one of
these piercings, you open that little tube, and it [will]
drip until it's healed.
There's a guiche and [also] a hafada, which is [placed]
either on the left or the right side of the scrotal sac, depending
on your [D&S;] interest.
I [started] in the leather scene. I [got] involved in
one of the local Levi-leather clubs [and became] interested
in some of the people's scenes. They would tell me, "I'm into
bondage." Some people were into being branded. Other people
were into being shaved. I can't think of too many things I
haven't tried. I think that my favorite part of all is bringing
the person out of it. I get a wonderful inner satisfaction
as I take everything off of the person and just hold him in
my arms and give him the love, the warmth, and the reassurance
that he needs. I have seen a lot of people not do [that] for
others, and I think it's very detrimental. That is my favorite
part of it all.
[S&M;] has made me a more loving person. It has made me
honest. I used to be very shy, would speak only when spoken
to, would never argue a point. Now I'm the opposite. I [am]
more curious now, more involved. I am more aggressive. I'm
hardly ever depressed any more. I attribute all of that to
my doors being opened; my true inner self was finally let
out. I finally figured out that I've always been this way;
it's just that it was inside of me and never allowed to be
brought to the surface. When I'm into the top or the master
[role], I can get as ornery and as harsh and as hard as I
have to, but I always [think]: how would I want to be treated
overall? I want to feel loved. And that's what I give: this
love that they need.