Courtney - Current Size 13mm (1/2 inch)
I have always had an interest in stretched ear lobes ever since I was a quirky preteen, but growing up I was always told horror stories about lobes being pushed too far and ripping in half, jerk friends putting padlocks through someone’s tunnels and throwing the key away. The biggest issue I heard about was the smell. I was always told that, no matter what a person did, they would always have an intense odor that would never go away.
It was not until I was older and moved out on my own that I would contemplate actually starting my stretching journey to awesomeness. I started doing some research in my early 20’s and got comfortable enough to buy an acrylic tapper set from amazon. There was no turning back after that. As I stretched, the first time, it started out incredibly well. Each couple of weeks I would go up a size and it went through like butter, that is until I got to the stretch between 8g and 6g. This stretch is a difficult one to fight with because it is a big jump. No matter how long I would wait in between attempts I could never get it all the way through. The only person I had to ask my questions to was a guy my husband worked with and he would never give me any advice other than, “just don’t do it!” Being stuck at an 8g really frustrated me because- 1) this was the first blow out I ever experienced and 2) I only wanted to go up to a 00g, I was getting so close to my goal.
My (goal size) decision was based on research I read that said if I stayed at a small size like that, then one day my lobes could go back to normal if I ever decided to take them out when I was a “real adult”. Finally, I found my answer and used the taping method. Wrapping layer by layer of tape on my plugs until the next size taper would again slide in like butter. This method did make the experience take longer than I had originally thought it would, but eventually after a year and a half of trying I hit my goal and was just so relieved, proud, excited, just happy I had FINALLY done it! Since then I have gone up to ½ inch and love where I am size-wise (for now).
After I got to my 00g goal I used silicone tunnels to make that last stretch to ½ inch and honestly loved how it felt to do it that way. It did not hurt me at all, and I would just leave them in until I felt it would be safe to change the jewelry. Currently, I am stretching my second holes and finding similarities from my first time and differences as well. The second holes in my lobes feel a little more resistant to the stretches as I get closer and closer to my goal of 2g. Once again, I got stuck on the 8g to 6g stretch but this time I got a suggestion to use a pulling/tugging method. Every day I would gently tug on my lobe until there was enough elasticity to get the tapper through. In my experience, it did not help at all, I got yet another blowout, a small infection this time on both ears, and decided to go back to my tape. Now let me clarify, we are not talking about the regular old tape, the tape that worked for me the best was the PTFE Sealant tape on amazon. It sticks to itself very well without sticking to everything else.
Body modification such as ear stretching is my way of relaxing, I can not speak for others, but once I get that new stretch out of the way I have this calming relief that just washes over me. No matter how crappy of a day I had, I know I accomplished at least one thing that day. I cannot tell you what the future holds for me in my journey to ear awesomeness but what I can say is I will always enjoy and love the memories I have experienced throughout this journey.
The thing that I am most thankful for this go-around is the support system I have found in the Facebook group, Ear Stretchers by Two Feathers Plugs. The members of this group are willing and ready to help answer questions and give advice! I can safely say it is my favorite group to be a part of because of those wonderful folks.
My recommendations for new stretchers are always, always, always keep your ears clean, ask for advice if you can, do your research beforehand, TAKE YOUR TIME it’s not a race, and above all else enjoy the experience.