When Dori Gray got her lobes double pierced in third grade, she wanted more.
Gray, a freshman studying journalism, now has 10 piercings and said she enjoys them because they are low commitment.
“I got more into piercings the summer before freshman year,” Gray said. “That’s when I got my cartilage, and then a few months later I got my double cartilage, and then it spiraled off from there.”
Piercings are often viewed as a form of expression, like tattoos or dyeing hair. People who are interested in piercings tend to want more after they get over the initial fear of pain.
Stephanie Hutter-Thomas, a professional body piercer and doctoral candidate studying the psychology of body art, wrote in a Refinery29 article that people often take pride in their piercings.
"After conquering the anxiety of successfully receiving and healing that first body piercing, it becomes more exciting to choose the next one," Hutter-Thomas said in the article. "The more exposure we have to a particular chosen event or stimuli, the less frightening or outrageous it seems because we slowly become desensitized."
Thomas Green, piercer and tattoo artist at Thunder Bunny Tattoo, 26 W. Stimson Ave., has been piercing since 1998 and said he has seen people often wanting a multitude of piercings.
“If you get something on one side of your ear, then you gotta get something on the other side,” Green said. “Once you get that initial, ‘Oh, that wasn’t so bad,’ then you want to start getting other things as well because it’s not going to kill you.”
Green said the most popular piercings change over the years, but right now the daith piercing is the most common. That piercing passes through the innermost cartilage fold. Other piercings, like the navel, will always be popular, Green said.
“(The daith piercing) helps with migraines, and once that came out on the internet, I was doing 10 to 15 of them a week for a while,” Green said. “It comes and goes. Like eyebrows, we almost never do eyebrows anymore. 15 years ago, I was doing eyebrows like crazy.”
Gray said piercings are a way for her to express herself, and getting pierced is similar to a hobby for her.
“It’s something fun to do,” Gray said. “I’ve never really taken one out but you know that if you don’t like it, you can easily take it out and it’s just little sparkles. You can add to your look, and so many different piercings can fit so many different personalities.”