Between the ages of 19 and 21 I was in my first ever relationship, shortly after having sex for the first time ever (and kissing someone in that way for the first time ever — happened the same night I had sex for the first time, which I do not at all regret: go big or go home).
He was the same sort of guy that I have ended up dating for the past seven years since my dating life began: cis, heterosexual, geeky and/or nerdy. He was also my introduction to kink — you can read more about that aspect of my relationship with Victor in this post.
Something it took me a while to realize and express, after our relationship ended, was that I never asserted my boundaries firmly with him, and he took that as an invitation to run roughshod over my wishes. I wouldn’t classify him as an abuser as I would some of my other exes, but I would say the relationship was abusive and toxic — for both of us, probably, though I daresay the effects on me have lingered far longer.
One of the biggest things that happened during those two years was me giving up my bodily sovereignty for him. I’m not talking about just having sex; I’m talking about having sex when I didn’t really want to. Engaging in sex acts that I didn’t really enjoy. Engaging in kink practices that were contrary to my nature, to the point where I convinced myself for years that I was submissive. Convincing myself to do things that would please him, even they were things I really didn’t want to do — namely, two piercings. (If piercings squick you out, you may not want to read the rest of this post. I’m not terribly graphic, but I do mention them.)
I got my right nipple pierced and my tongue pierced when I was with Victor. I had never wanted those piercings before in my life. When I was 18, I had gotten the only piercing I’d ever wanted — a nose piercing. I still have it, and it’s still the only body piercing (not including a planned extra one on the right earlobe for Brighid) that I ever want to get.
The tongue piercing I removed during the relationship — my tongue had started to swell and burn almost a year after I’d gotten the piercing. I may have been eating too many french fries while I worked in fast food. Anyway, it scarred, and there is an ugly white lump on my tongue now.
The nipple piercing I got because he wouldn’t stop pushing me to get it. I said no several times, but he wouldn’t listen, and finally I convinced myself that it would just be the best birthday gift for him ever, and I went and got one and it was excruciatingly painful.
Here is where I note that he never actually got me anything for my birthday in the two years we were together.
I’ve had that nipple piercing for years. I think I kept it because part of me hated to think that I’d wasted money on it; or perhaps part of me thought that someday I’d grow to like it.
I never really have. All it’s been has been a yardstick for how badass I am, and I’m tired of using it that way. I don’t need a yardstick for how badass I am — that’s readily apparent — and at any rate, this nipple piercing shows me being the exact opposite of badass. It shows how I gave up my sovereignty to a dude because I’d never learned how to assert my own boundaries.
(I still haven’t learned how to assert my own boundaries, but I’m slowly getting better at realizing what they are, and then, eventually, talking about them with the Ogre, Danny, my mom, and close friends.)
On Wednesday, I removed my nipple piercing. I’d been thinking about it since the weekend. I’d been getting prods and pokes and messages that it was time. Specifically from Morrigan. She told me that so long as I kept the piercing in, I was basically saying that I still could not assert my boundaries. I still could not re-assert, reclaim, re-take my own bodily sovereignty.
So I took it out. I took it out, and I announced to the universe that I am ready to be my own person. I am ready to assert my gorram boundaries, godsdammit, even if I have to do so with a sharp and pointy object in my hand.
This is Morag’s body, and it will never get any tattoo nor piercing that Morag does not expressly approve of first. This is Morag’s body, and it is zir land, and it is a weapon in service to the Morrigan, and so long as I serve the Morrigan I will assert my boundaries: my body is mine. I choose what happens to it and when.
This is Morag’s body and you can pry it from my cold, dead fingers.