You've been thinking about it for a while... You've decided its finally time to get that tongue piercing you've been wanting!
Your tongue ring might be your first piercing, but odds are, you've already been to a piercing shop and know what's in store. The piercer is going to take a special needle and push it through your tongue. It's going to sting for sure, but what does it actually feel like? Is it a strange sensation? Is my tongue going to swell?
Tongue rings have existed for a long time (and no, they're not just done for sexual purposes). There are many different variations of tongue piercings, but they are all located in that muscle inside of your mouth. The most common tongue piercing is a "midline" piercing, which actually goes in between the two muscles that make up your tongue... But you can also pierce both sides of your tongue, the tip of your tongue, or even the frenulum of your tongue - that strip of skin you see when you lift your tongue up.
Regardless of what style tongue piercing you're headed in for... You're probably still wondering, "What does it really feel like to have a needle pushed through your tongue?" Body Candy reached out to five (5) of our trusted tongue-piercing-enthusiasts for some honest testimonials. Stay tuned for their stories!
Keep in mind that no matter what modification, body part, or piercing shop, every person's piercing experience is going to differ. You might not have the same experience, but it's certainly helpful to know what the experience was like for someone else!
Note: some of the names in the testimonials below have been altered for privacy
Mandie H. - Paducah, KT
For my tongue piercing, the whole thing was pretty easy! I went to my favorite piercer and she took a look at my tongue and marked the piercing spot with a purple dot. She let me look in the mirror and give my stamp of approval.
She then had me stick my tongue out really far and clamped it with a little tool (it felt huge on my tongue though). Before I even knew it, she had pierced my tongue all the way through with a needle. It was over so quick, but she definitely talked me all the way through it, which helped a lot. All in all I'd give it a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale. It hurt, but just a little and it was over so fast.
Obviously the needle hurt, but also it felt pretty pinchy when my piercer inserted the barbell. I did get a little swollen afterward, but it wasn't a harsh pain, just a bit of soreness around the actual piercing itself. I sucked on a lot of ice chips and took some ibuprofen and was totally fine after 2-3 days.
Becky B. - Clearwater, FL
So I'm no stranger to piercings but I am definitely a low pain tolerance kind of girl. In my opinion, my tongue piercing hurt quite a bit, maybe its because it's a muscle and not just skin... But I also don't think it hurt worse than any of my other piercings either. I'd give it a 9/10 on the pain scale... But all my piercings hurt that bad.
For me, I made sure to swish my mouth out with mouthwash first and my piercer was totally fine with that. She sat me down in the chair and made a little dot where my piercing was going to go. After that, she applied a clamp, which actually hurt a lot more than the needle itself tbh. The clamp was a big pinch and was really tight. Just kind of a weird sensation to feel across your tongue.
Because my pain tolerance was low, I was scared so I was really jittery, which is bad because its important to stay really still during the piercing itself. It's over so quickly, and honestly, it didn’t even hurt that much after the piercing is done.
My tongue was definitely swollen for a few days, but it really didn't hurt to eat - I was back to a normal diet after 5 or 6 days. After that, the healing process was really fast. So much faster than your ears or nipples. I was ready to put in a new piece of tongue jewelry after about three months.
Adalia E. - New York City, NY
I got my tongue pierced and the whole experience was really chill. I was def pretty nervous with the butterflies in my stomach before the piercing itself, but it ended up not hurting at all.
I actually started laughing during the piercing because I was drooling on myself! My piercer let me know that drool was a super common reaction. My gut reaction was to pull my tongue back into my mouth but he had it clamped... And my giggling kind of lightened the mood and made me feel better instead of scared.
One thing I wasn't prepared for was the extra long barbell they pierce you with. I was excited to have different colored jewelry but they have to pierce you with something long to account for the swelling. I was definitely swollen the first few days and the long jewelry helped a lot to keep me comfy, but pretty soon I was totally ready for something smaller.
When I take it out or change it now it feels so strange! My tongue doesn't feel normal with no barbell in it anymore. But I wouldn't have it any other way, I love my tongue ring!
Kit M. - Erie, PA
So my tongue experience was really quick. My piercer sat me down, marked my tongue, and pushed the needle through within the first like ten minutes. It hurt like a vaccine, but I was expecting it to feel much more weird because you don't typically have anything pushed through your tongue!
After a week or two my routines and habits were back to totally normal (except smoking, I quit that). I was afraid to eat at first, but it really is fine as long as you're careful around your teeth. Even talking and kissing is easy and not affected!
I don't personally feel weird for having my tongue pierced, but I will say this... I have had people ask me straight-up if I got it for a "below-the-belt" purpose. It's annoying but I just take the opportunity to explain that I like the way they look. I just roll my eyes most of the time. Then again, I got mine done when I was in college which is a pretty accepting time, but then again, you can't really see mine easily unless I stick my tongue way out.
Francesca S. - Taos, NM
Everyone has a different pain tolerance. I have heard a lot of people say that their tongue piercing didn't hurt at all... But I disagree. Mine hurt SO BAD.
I went to a piercing shop with my friend, she also wanted a tongue piercing that day. I think I kind of scared her a bit because I went first and had a really painful experience. We got it done right after one another and mine was sore and painful right away and remained for the rest of the day. My friend said it barely hurt her at all and she was acting and talking totally fine for the rest of the day. I think I'd rate it a 9 out of 10 on the pain scale but if you asked her, she would say 4 out of 10. It just goes to show you that everyone is going to have their own personal experience during a piercing.
After a day or so the pain went away, especially because I was really diligent with my ice chips. I absolutely LOVE my tongue piercing now, it was totally worth the pain. My friend loves hers too!
We want to hear about your tongue piercing experience!
We want to hear from everyone! Do you have a tongue piercing? What was the piercing shop like? What number would you rank a tongue piercing on the pain scale? Tell us all about your personal experience in the comment section below!
Shop all of our tongue jewelry now!
Check out our Tongue Ring Monthly Club subscription as well!