Stretching (also known as gauging) is a popular form of body modification in which a healed piercing is slowly stretched to accommodate larger jewelry. Earlobes are the most popular piercings people stretch, though it’s possible to stretch piercings on most of the other parts of the body with equal success.
Stretching offers certain benefits, so it’s not surprising it’s very popular among many people. Some of the reasons why you might want to stretch:
• Body modification. Many people like the modification itself, such as the appearance of stretched earlobes.
• More varied jewelry. Stretching allows you to try new, different types of jewelry and to wear jewelry in different sizes.
• New sensations. Stretching allows for new sensations. This is particularly important for genital piercings, where larger jewelry contributes to pleasure and enhances sex for both partners.
• Exciting process. Some people enjoy the process of stretching itself and they love to see the effect of the each new size.
Proper stretching requires patience and time. This is the only way to ensure you won’t get hurt and that you will be able to continue stretching to the desired size. When stretching, it’s important not to skip sizes, especially if it’s a one digit size.
Most piercings start at the sizes 20g, 18g, 16g or, in some cases, 14g. It’s important to know what is the size you were pierced at, so you will know the next size you should achieve by stretching. You should start stretching at one size larger than the original size.
When stretching, it’s important to start with a healed piercing. It means waiting the amount of time appropriate for said piercing. It usually takes at least 4 months before you can start stretching. It’s also important to wait at least a month (or several weeks) between stretching, often even longer. It’s important to give your piercing the time to heal and rest between stretching.
It’s always best to stretch after a bath and it’s advisable to use a bit of lubricant to make it easier. This process should not cause serious discomfort or bleeding, so it’s important to go slowly and take your time.
Using tapers is probably the most popular stretching method. Tapers are handy and easy to use, and they come in many sizes so you will always be able to use them for stretching. When choosing a taper, it’s best to use steel tapers because they are smooth, non-porous and can go in and out relatively easily. They are very reliable and make stretching easy. The one downside of tapers is that they are not always suitable for stretching at very large sizes.
When stretching with a taper, it’s important to take it slowly. Massage some lubricant and slowly start pushing the taper through the hole. Make sure to push the small end first – that’s the whole point of using a taper for stretching.
Prepare your jewelry and make sure it’s in the same size as the one you’re stretching to. Align the jewelry with the large end of the taper and push slowly. As the taper goes through the hole you can gently push the jewelry in.
This is all you need to do. The aftercare is minimal if you stretch properly: there should be no blood and no damage to your skin. You may wish to use a saline solution to treat the newly-stretched #piercings.
Some people think it would look great to wear stretchers as a jewelry, but this should not be done. It’s always best to use specialized jewelry made for stretched piercing and gauges.
Stretches piercings can accommodate new #gauges and styles of jewelry. However, general considerations still apply: it’s important to choose jewelry made of safe materials. There are many cheap products you can buy, made of inferior, unsafe materials. It’s vital that you use quality jewelry made of body safe materials.
Good materials for healing stretched piercings include titanium, surgical steel, Teflon and glass. For healed stretched piercing, you may use some other materials, such as gold, silver, stone, bone, ivory, horn and certain wood materials.