When it comes to piercings, one of the first questions almost everyone asks is, “Is it going to hurt?” The simple answer is yes—I mean, c’mon, we’re putting a sharp needle through your flesh. However, the degree of pain is individual. Some people are more and some people are less sensitive than others, so there’s really no way to say how bad a piercing is going to feel to you.

Certain areas of the body are extra sensitive, and conventional wisdom is that some piercings are more intense than others. Earlobes for instance, are a very easy piercing whereas an ampallang is quite severe. Surprisingly, for most men—myself included—nipple piercings are more extreme than Prince Alberts or frenums.

If the fear of pain is keeping you from getting a piercing, ask yourself—could you handle a really bad pain for 15 seconds? Most piercings take less time than that, and most piercings are not that bad. They hurt, but it’s over so fast you really don’t have much time to think about it. As I escort people to the piercing room, I tell them if they scream, I’ve got a new ringtone. I have yet to get a new ringtone. I’ve heard an occasional “motherf**k,” but no screaming.

Most clients describe the sensation of a piercing as a pinch, a sting or some pressure. Typically people remark that the experience wasn’t nearly as bad as what they’d been expecting. I still get nervous every time I get a new piercing, even though mine number into double digits. But that doesn’t stop me from getting them, and it shouldn’t stop you either. I am a firm believer that pain is fleeting—jewelry is forever.

Rockin’ Rob