The shop I work for is a bit of an oddity – we not only pierce and tattoo people but we also sell the supplies and piercing kits to do it yourself.  I get hit up all the time with the same question: Can you teach yourself to body pierce or tattoo?  Well, there isn’t really a clear answer on that one.  It really depends on YOU.  I mean, either you are a smart, self-motivated perfectionist (like me :)) or you aren’t, and if you aren’t, I suggest you don’t quit that lawn-mowing job just yet.

I began my career buying a starter body piercing kit online that had videos and information on how to get registered with the health department.  I began poking myself first, and then talked a few of my loved ones into being guinea pigs.  Even though I didn’t know what I was doing yet, word got out and before I knew it I had everybody and their sister coming at me for piercings.  (FYI: You’ll find there’s never a shortage of takers in this world when the word ‘free’ is involved – and with the country’s economy on it’s ass, there’s more out there than ever that will let you practice on them.)  Once I got the hang of it I apprenticed myself at a shop and put the fine-tuning on the now world-famous Pokee technique.  About the only people that are going to tell you that you can’t do it yourself are the guys that see you as a threat to their livelihoods – they would rather have you doing shit work for free at their shops, sweeping floors, getting donuts, making coffee and cleaning up bloody messes, rather than doing what you should be doing with your time – piercing.  Even if you don’t mind being exploited like a sweat shop suzy and get an apprenticeship, you’ll still need to get your own starter body piercing kit so you’ll have the right equipment for the job. (Click on the link to go to the one I got mine at.)

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

That’s all I got for now,


Is This Pokee?


4 thoughts on “Can You Really Teach Yourself To Pierce?”
  1. You are my hero . I am too self motivated & positive to let anyone put me down saying I can’t learn to pierce on my own (cause that’s what everyone is telling me) . I would get an apprentiship but with them being so much money (I do work full time but don’t make allot) id rather learn on my own with the proper materials & motivation & patience . thank you so much for sharing your story .

  2. I have a question as to what is the next step? I’m not in a position to apprentice, but having been on the receiving end of many piercings. I bought a kit, took a blood borne pathogens class and was certified in line with OSHA requirements. I’m fairly good with a needle at this point, the only things I’m not comfortable doing are male genital piercings, certain surface piercings, microdermal implants, and certain female genital piercings (such as a triangle piercings). What do I do now? I haven’t worked in a shop so I cant become a member of the APP, and no shop will hire me without an apprenticeship. What should I do?

  3. An apprenticeship with a master body piercer is ALWAYS the recommended way to learn piercing. You say you are not in a position to apprentice yourself to a piercer, yet you are serious about learning are asking the next step. The truth is, as with anything else worth having, you will have to make the decision to learn piercing at some point and with that, make the sacrifice in time and money necessary. It sounds like you are very close to being proficient in basic piercings already and may just need some fine-tuning and supervision to finish your learning.

    The best advice we can give you is to keep looking for a shop or a piercer (not always located in tattoo shops) that will take you on as an apprentice, or work out some kind of arrangement where he/she will supervise you until you are comfortable with your skill level. As you know, getting a shop to take you on as an apprentice will involve doing some non-piercing duties (such as cleaning the shop, running errands, etc.) but that is all part of the process. Good luck with your pursuits and keep us informed on how it’s going.

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