Exploring body piercing in a small town

“Believe it or not, some of us have piercings and tattoos and dye our hair because we think it looks pretty, not for any deep sociological reason. This isn’t an act of protest against cultural or social repression…” – Alex Bell

On a normal Saturday morning, I made my way over to a shop hidden in a corner of Brown Street. I entered, welcomed by the sounds of busy tattoo guns. The reason I was there? I was interested in getting an ear piercing, the kind that would be considered a body piercing. I didn’t get the piercing, but what I did get is an interesting look into a rebellious industry.

You don’t need a reason to get a body modification. Piercings are just a beautiful addition, a decoration if you will, for your body. They sort of sit up there along with tattoos, perhaps only as distant cousins, as piercings can be semi-permeant while tattoos are for life.

Body piercings (we’re not talking about the lobes here) are far more versatile than you might think, but they are not exactly as widely popular as you might imagine. Only 14% of people have piercings in more than just their ears, and a smaller percentage than that have dedicated themselves to further modifications such as stretching with plugs or cutting the skin for dermals. But nevertheless, having body piercings can require your dedication simply because, depending on where you are getting pierced, the healing time can be anything from a few weeks to a few months.

Where to get pierced in Nelspruit? That would be at Scream n’ Skin Tattoos.

Errol in action at Scream n’ Skin Tattoos in Nelspruit (Image: Facebook)

The piercer working weekends at Scream n’ Skin Tattoos in Nelspruit has stuck his fair share of needles through the skin of numerous clients. A sudden jab of pain, a quick removal of the needle, leaving behind a plastic holder, and before you know it you have a stunning piece of body art that you can treasure. A simple, quick procedure is all it takes, and the results are worth it!

For the last few years,  Errol has been the shop’s resident piercer. His laid back, but no-nonsense, personality makes for a nice vibe. His job (which mostly consists of piercing on Saturday mornings although you can always enquire about other times) might seem unusual, but it certainly suits him. I asked him a few questions about his second profession and the industry in Nelspruit.

A chat with the tattooed needle administrator

LC: How long have you been doing body piercings and what sparked your interest?

E: 3 or 4 years I think. Haha, I started because a friend’s tattoo shop lost their piercer and I have always loved tattoos and piercings and the people who get them!

LC: What are the most common piercings you do?

E: Belly rings

LC: Are there certain seasons when you see a spike in the interest in body piercings?

E: December is the busiest and then Easter after that. Pretty much any time people have a few days off in a row is busy!

LC: Have you had any unusual requests?

E: Unusual requests? Haha, in the piercing business there are no “unusual requests”, but no in a smallish town we don’t get too many “unusuals”.

LC: How do you feel about dermals and implants?

E: I am interested in dermals, but I have had very few clients who are interested or have enquired about dermals, so for the time being, I am just researching it.

Asked about the clients he gets Errol said, “We see everybody! The rich, the poor, sane and slightly unusual, pretty much from all walks of life.”

Piercing jewellery on display (Image: Facebook)

I’m sure that you have at least a handful of friends with tattoos and piercings. Whether it is that dainty nose stud that almost looks like a natural feature, or something more eye catching like a ring through the lip or a surface piercing (through any part of the body), you have to admit that piercing is more mainstream than ever before. It could be your child’s teacher, your boss or it could even be you who displays a bit of body jewelled art.

There is something about getting a piercing, an act of rebellion against the norm perhaps or an attempt to display our individuality to the world, that makes getting a body piercing exceptionally enticing to many of us.

Get in touch

When you are pierced by this guy you are in some seriously good hands, his laid back, humorous demeanour will quickly put you at ease. The body piercings are exceptionally affordable and they include the jewellery.

You can find his contact details, along with the contact details of a highly skilled tattoo artist via the Scream n’ Skin Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/screamnskintattoos/)



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