There's no doubt that I stan for Rihanna.
It should be a sin to be that breathtakingly stunning. Let's not forget her skin is also damn near blemish-free. Seriously, what is this woman's skin regimen?
Do I even have to mention how I'd give my right ovary to have a guy look at me the way Drake trains his eyes on this Bajan bad gal?
I'm not alone in my love for RiRi. Women already fawn over every part of Rihanna's look. But, ever since her two-part music video for "Work," they want Rihanna's nipples, too.
As a reckless 18-year-old, I wanted body jewelry identical to the pop queen's. However, the thought of a 12-gauge needle puncturing my tits sounded excruciating and stopped me in my tracks. I opted for a sternum piercing instead.
Even though I never took the plunge myself, enough of my friends have squeezed my hand through the pain of a piercing for me to understand that rocking rings on your nipples is no small feat.
There's a lot you should know before you go there, and I'm here to share. If you decide to go for it, have a long and thorough talk with your piercer so you know exactly what's expected.
It will hurt, but only briefly.
Even if your pain tolerance is as high as Rihanna on 4/20, the piercing will be painful. Like any piercing, it has to puncture the skin, which causes some discomfort.
Depending on your threshold, the pain can feel like anything from a firm pinch to a pretty uncomfortable experience. Why else do you think some women only get one?
Don't psych yourself out, however, because the pain won't linger too much. Infinite Body Piercing Inc describing it as a "really hard, quick bite." Expect to go braless for about a day afterward.
Another note: Nipple piercings aren't like earrings. Expect to have a professional piercer's help changing jewelry, and note that nipples without any jewelry will close up rapidly.
Beware, knitted sweaters and mesh tops.
Fact: Rihanna can wear anything. She's unafraid to toss her bra to the wind and pull on a mesh crop top, even if her tit jewelry gets caught in the fabric.
However, for mere mortals, the items in your closet can be your nipple piercing's worst enemy.
Snagging your chest jewelry is like stubbing your pinky toe at three in the morning; it's immediate agony. If you do snag or rip out your nipple piercing, quickly clean the area and try to get the jewelry back in.
Not brave enough? Head back to the shop and let a pro piercer handle it.
Good hygiene is key.
Remember how much it hurt when your ear piercings got all inflamed when you were 12? Imagine that feeling in one of your body's most sensitive areas, but only for a day or so.
Make sure to keep your piercing clean, using either pre-mixed or DIY saline solution and soaking one to three times per day. As with most piercings, expect a bit of crustiness for the first few weeks. If you're a workout junkie, make sure to clean your nipples after spin class.
Sex is fine, but make sure to keep hands and fluids away from nipples until they're mostly healed. You don't want to take any chances.
Good sleep and a healthy diet help recharge your body's immune system, allowing your piercings to heal properly. In nine months to one year, the piercing will be fully healed.
Nipple sensitivity should skyrocket.
For many, piercings almost immediately make nipples more sensitive to the touch.
My friends' piercings have heightened their sexual sensitivity and helped get their breasts some extra attention in the bedroom.
Breastfeeding is totally doable.
For the most part, it's safe to breastfeed while wearing Rihanna-like boob jewelry, but you must plan accordingly.
Get your piercing 18-24 months before you plan on getting pregnant, according Breastfeed Support. Or, if you're currently or recently breastfeeding, wait three months after weaning before getting your nipples pierced.
While it's mostly safe, damage to the ducts could occur during the piercing, resulting in a lowered milk supply, latch difficulty and leaking milk. Breastfeed Support says most women find it easiest just to remove the jewelry six months into their pregnancies, as the sensation from the nipples can lead to early contractions. Or, just buy longer jewelry.
If you're not crazy about losing your piercings, try a piercing retainer in place of metal barbells.
You'll need confidence like a goddess to pull them off.
Not all your naughty piercings can be shown off to the world (I get it), but nipple piercings are the type of jewelry that can be proudly and tastefully exposed. Take a sip of Rihanna's self-assurance and give your nips some indecent exposure. She's never ashamed to let you say hello to her little friends.
Not every woman can go braless with A-cup ease. Still, even wearing a bra that's a little on the thin side may show off the imprint of your new additions.
Nipple piercings aren't taboo, so show them off, especially if you've gotten them done in the name of The Navy.
Go forth and work.