Nasty, Nasty Clients!
“The customer is always right stinky”

This article is part one in a four part series of stories from piercers about all-too-common customers from hell. Click here to jump back to the main page of the article series, or continue on reading for this part.

Two girls come in from one of the islands off the coast of Vancouver to get their hoods pierced. They were really into the ‘hippie groove’ — they lived in a bus and only ate organic food. We get into the piercing room and the first girl goes, no problem, she’s trimmed and super clean, but then the next girl goes, not trimmed at all (which is not a problem but it can mask unhygienic conditions) and just stinks like she hasn’t showered in weeks (which I’m sure was the case)... I continue my job and I get most of the hair out of the way with my hand and then I see a vagina just caked in ‘cottage cheese’... it took me twenty minutes to clean her with Technicare and paper towels — cotton swabs couldn’t do the job — just to be able to pierce her... oh well... they both left really happy which is the most important thing to me...

Between the normal “oh I have to clean my ears before I get them pierced?” stories, I remember very well a client coming in for getting an ampallang. After having told him everything about the procedure, cleaning, aftercare and so on, we went to the piercing room. As he dropped his pants on the bench I stopped breathing... I’d never seen or smelled somebody like this before or after. You ever heard people joking about a “cheesy” foreskin? This man smelled like a closed fish shop and his penis looked like he dropped it in cottage cheese. I told him (friendly) that he could go home get a good shower and then come back. He never came back.

One of our customers, an Irish Catholic priest, who had not washed his genitals in probably living memory, came in for a hafada. It took almost three days to get rid of the rank smell from the treatment room. I had cleaned him using Phoraid iodine based cleaner which was a very gentle but effective antiseptic. He cam back again a year later, and that time I used Jeys (carbolic acid) cleaner. There was never another visit after that.

I once had a client who I’m pretty sure had several untreated STDs. I was doing a Prince Albert jewelry change and was turned around to open my packages and heard him get up. I heard a bunch of shuffling and from the corner of my eye I could see him trying to quickly peel all of the dead flaky skin off of his penis. I told him that I had to get something from the hall and quickly left the room. In the hall I put on a medical mask and came back into the room again after washing my hands. All I can remember is this disgusting penis covered in open sores and flaky dead skin and trying my damnedest not to throw up. I quickly changed the jewelry for him and let him leave. I spent the next thirty minutes disinfecting the bed over and over.

I went to do a hood piercing on this slightly overweight woman, and we got everything all set up and got her in the chair. She had her pants around her knees and I had to explain to her that she was going to have to drop them to her ankles and slide at least one leg out of the jeans. After a moment of thought she proceeded to do so. When she spread her legs I got a blast of the worst smell in history — the only way I could describe it is to compare it to the old “Ren and Stimpy” cartoons, where when something smelled so bad you would hear the sound of a tugboat horn blasting in the background... BaaaOOOO! I went over the procedures one more time, held my breath, and went in and did the piercing. When it was all over with the woman went to bend over and put her pants back on. She grabs one pant leg and goes to slide in her foot and exclaims. “Oh my Gawd! I am so sorry, I had no idea my feet smelled so bad. I’ve been walking around all day!” I just looked at her and smiled and said that I hadn’t even noticed...

One woman, in for a standard hood piercing, had such an advanced yeast infection that it was literally dripping out of her. The smell was nauseating, even with a mask on. I told her to come back after she had gotten it cleared up, as she was in no position to heal anything. Didn’t she know her pussy was sick? Why show that off? Another fella, in for paired dydoes had such bad genital warts that I couldn’t even find a place to pierce that didn’t have a wart on it. His penis looked like cauliflower. How can you possibly think your penis is okay when it looks like cauliflower? He also clearly hadn’t showered for days, so between the rotting crotch smell and the overwhelming visuals, I couldn’t fuck my boyfriend for a couple of days.

I had a guy who came in for genital work and he was uncut. I was getting everything ready and prepping him, and when I started cleaning the area I could notice a bit of a smell. No biggy... But then when I pulled his foreskin back I almost threw up. The smell was not human. It was like he had been fermenting cheese in there, and to top it all off there was dirt and shit all over the place. Needless to say he didn’t get any work done by me that day.

When I was apprenticing, one woman actually queefed on my bosses face. I kid you not — he was down there, and I swear I saw his hair blow back. After she left he spent a good hour gagging and coughing like he had a hair ball. He just couldn’t get the smell out of his sinuses and hair — he could taste it. It was so bad he had to go home and shower.

I had a rather overweight client come in for an ampallang. When he dropped his pants and hopped up on the table, I realized that that I had to reach into a urine soaked hole to grab the head and yank his penis... that just barely came out of the hole.

Probably the most disgusting repeated hygiene offense would be the lack of attention spent to the navel when bathing is concerned. Some of the smells that I have experienced coming from there have brought me to tears. It’s amazing how some people just don’t realize their navel needs the soapy love too. I chalk this lack of tummy respect to a mental deficiency that is closely related to the “hair person”. You know, the person throughout school or such that would do their hair sans the back. Their hair looks great but they never, ever recognize that they have a back to their head. Out of sight out of mind syndrome if you will. And you would think that these incidents would be with unkempt people in general but that’s not true. A majority of these navels come from women who you could tell dedicate a good portion of their day and life to keeping themselves looking good. It just boggles my mind. But you learn to deal with it and when this type of client comes in and you get a whiff of the funk, excuse yourself for a second, head into the back room, swipe some speed stick across your top lip and sniff that sucker till the deed is done.

The absolute worst hygiene problem I can remember was when one of the homeless guys passing through our town came in to get his Prince Albert jewelry changed. It literally makes me nauseous to think about it even though it was a year ago. The smell was atrocious, similar to that of the sweat and urine smell you find around dumpsters. I have bad sinuses and I wear face masks, and my eyes were still tearing up. That was probably the fastest jewelry change I’ve ever done. It’s really a shame because the guy was totally cool and probably had amazing stories to tell, I just couldn’t hold my food down while he was there though.

I once had a client that looked very clean, and even smelled nice, and had fresh breath — all that kinda stuff — come in for a navel piercing. She was a big girl and I thought, okay, I have to see if I can safely do this navel before we go anywhere so I brought the woman into my room. When we were back there she lifted her shirt and I gloved up and tried to inspect the area. As soon as I moved her skin I got a waft of a wet dog kinda smell. The smell got worse and worse. I had decided I wouldn’t be piercing this woman, but I had to know where that smell was coming from... I spent an extra couple seconds looking at her stomach. I moved a roll up a bit and found a pile of white goo. It looked like cottage cheese. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. I almost vomited. I told her that her navel couldn’t normally support a piercing (which was true) and I told her that if she found someone that was willing to do her navel she should be very careful. She left and her smell stayed. I tried spraying everything down, but nothing would work at all — even straight bleach! I felt sick from that smell for the rest of the work day and I couldn’t work out of my normal room because of the smell. I still get little twangs in my stomach thinking about it today.

I had this lady that came in that was very pretty — she comes in all the time to have me do ear piercings on her. One day she came in and wanted to have her hood done (I do a lot of them and she knew it). Have you ever seen pudding that sat out in the air for a while and it gets that yellow tint? She looked like that and chunks of I’m not sure what fell on the floor.

I had a woman in her mid thirties comes for a genital piercing. I got everything set up and ready to go. I ask her to remove her underpants, jump on the table, and put her legs up in the stirrups. As soon as she does this, a stench permeated the room. I reached over and discreetly put on my face mask, which I start gagging behind. As I reach in to start prepping, something white flicks off the area and at that moment I realized that she had a yeast infection. Nastiness!

I had to change jewelry in this girls hood. She was very cute on the outside, but when I went to change the jewelry it looked like someone had spread cream of wheat all over her genitals... gross...

I pierced double monroes on a client with all of three and a half teeth once. The best — and ironic — part was that he requested two inch long curved gold talons to give the impression of fangs!

One of my returning clients decided to get her hood pierced, but she didn’t choose the best time. She came into my shop to get it and tells me, “I just got back from a 36 hour car ride from Chicago, I feel like I need to wipe myself off.” She did need to! I had to hold my breath when I got within a foot and a half from the area.

While I think most piercers have ran across the occasional hedge that needs to be trimmed, or butt-crack that needs a good washing, the worst hygiene problem I’ve encountered was a session during a hood piercing. Once she was on the table and went to go spread her legs, I got a blast of a smell that nearly floored me, but the visual was the worst part. This stringy white and yellow shit was all over her cooter, and as she spread her legs, it stretched like a spider web. It was nasty. Stinky crotch goo.

A woman came in with who I think was her boyfriend to get her tongue pierced. She was super nervous the whole time, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve only had a hand-full of people get sick after a piercing, but I’ve never seen anything like this before. She walked out of the room, went into the waiting area, stood near the window, turned around to (what I hope was to) run to the bathroom, and lost it. Projectile vomiting. She ended up painting the wall a rainbow of colors only stomach bile can produce. She was pretty ashamed... Clean up wasn’t fun. With a spray like that, you literally have to wash down everything, not just the wall it (mostly) landed on.

I did a navel piercing on a girl who wasn’t very clean. She came back into the shop about two months later with the nastiest infected navel I have ever seen. She had obviously not washed it but maybe once a week since getting it pierced, and she had also gotten baking grease in it about a week earlier. You could smell the infection from about five feet away. The entire time she was there I was backing up and telling her to go see her doctor.

Unlike some piercers, I don’t care if I encounter a tampon string, as long the person cares enough to wash up a little before the piercing. What grosses me out most consistently is piercing the tongue of a heavy smoker. I can handle the bad breath, but seeing somebody with really bad teeth or a yellow tongue is disgusting. On an unrelated note, when some people get nervous they fart, and I can’t even count the number of otherwise pretty, skinny, young girls who cut a silent but deadly fart! It’s quite funny, if it wasn’t so gross. And there’s yet another reason I wear a mask for all piercings.

I had a guy come in for a PA that had gonorrhea, and didn’t tell me until he pulled it out to make sure he was “equipped” enough for it.

I had a female client that had come into studio to get her hood pierced. Our disclaimers ask if you are on your period. She definitely was on hers, with the added bonus of having shit herself as well. She was quite sure that this was cleanest time for her to do it.

Living in a small, southern Vermont town, people seem to have extremely bad hygiene in general. We’ve had obese people that don’t shower come in during the summer, which gets pretty rank. Doing tongue piercings in this locale is what made my boss stop piercing altogether; he couldn’t deal with the filthy mouths these people had. It seems like every time someone comes in for a tongue piercing, their mouth looks like a cemetery: white stone, open space, white stone, open space... And people seem to think I have a fucking dream job.

We had a female piercer working once that had an opportunity to perform a hood piercing one day. The client was... how should I say... ‘Of the earth’? The piercing was performed and aftercare was covered. The piercer grabbed her tray of supplies and brought everything into the clean room to set it aside. In the meantime, the client hopped up, threw on her clothes and left quickly and quietly. When the piercer returned to the piercing room, there was a nice shit-stain where the girl’s ass had been!

I had multiple customers who where too filthy to pierce. I have worked in Amsterdam in the red light district, so junkies and alcoholics where a weekly task, but the most common hygiene problem was the inside of the navel — black crusts that people forget to clean or do not see.

A man came in to get his tongue pierced and even after rinsing his mouth with Listerine, cleaning his tongue with Technicare, and scrubbing his tongue with gauze, I still couldn’t get the plaque, tar, and slime off his tongue.

A woman came into the studio asking about having her inner labia pierced. She asked if she had to take her pants and underwear off (really, I should have known right there) and when I informed her that she did, well, she was a bit hesitant. As she undressed, I started setting up. All of a sudden I could smell something foul... I mean like an old slaughterhouse, moldy gym socks kind of smell... she then informed me that she was on her period and hadn’t been able to shower or change her pad in almost three days... I gave her money back and told her to go buy some pads and a shower somewhere. Just the thought of it still makes me gag!

I once had a girl that came into my store who wanted a horizontal as well as a vertical hood piercing. She was a very large girl, wearing very tight spandex pants in the middle of the summer. Since she was a regular client I figured she would have been wise enough to clean up before the piercings. WRONG! After she removed her pants, I had to leave the room and get some fresh air. I did both of her piercings, probably only breathing a dozen or so times. I’ve never knew somebody could stink that bad. Not even Technicare spread inside of my mask could kill the smell.

There was a lady that came into the shop that I was working at one night that wanted to get her vertical hood pierced. When we went back into the room and were getting ready to do the piercing I noticed that she had probably the worst case of herpes that I have ever seen... not so much that she had herpes, but that she was so how do you say, not very well groomed at all. It looked like she had been wearing the same underwear for a month.

I’ve had a few clients who are just all-around dirty, some who’ve been so bad that I’ve turned them away because of it. What I think is the worst is when someone wants their navel pierced and has so much build-up inside of it that it seems like there are wood chips inside. The smell that goes along with that isn’t pleasant.

One day I had to do a genital piercing on a female who was well over three hundred pounds. I refused to do the procedure because when I approached the area and began “prepping” it I was greeted by an odor that made me almost fall over sick, along with an incredibly curious discharge. It also appeared that the client was unable to properly “wipe”. After confronting her and advising a check up she informed me that she had sex earlier that day...

I had this guy coming in for a PA... He was not circumcised, and the foreskin was tight. As I was pulling the foreskin up this smell coming out from under the skin was rancid — the whole head was covered in white smegma, and top it of he got an erection, and came all over his stomach... I’m just lucky I guess.

I had a woman come to get a hood piercing done at a studio I used to work at. We had a large piercing room, and I was at one end washing my hands when she took off her pants to sit on the OBGYN table at the other end of the room. The smell almost made me gag from across the room. I put on a mask and tried to hold my breath as much as I could to do the piercing. She didn’t appear to be dirty or anything, she just had a horribly noxious stench. As I was doing the piercing, one of the tattooists was out in the hallway and started bitching at the counter girl asking if she used an old stinky mop to mop the floor or something because the whole place stunk! It was really hard not to laugh when I heard that since he had no idea what was really stinking up the place.

I once had a female client come in for a genital piercing, and when she took her knickers off and got up on the bench for me to clean and mark her up I literally couldn’t get within a few feet of her without gasping because she had such an eye-wateringly strong “low tide” odor. She had copious amounts of thick greenish discharge all over her vulva, and I of course told her there was no way it was advisable for her to get pierced until she had her infection treated and to go to the gynecologist — immediately! She honestly didn’t realize that any of that (the stink or the massive discharge) might indicate that she was in less than perfect gynecological health!

I had a woman come in for a horizontal hood piercing. As soon as she removed her pants (not her underwear) I became aware of a fairly foul odor. Once the underwear came off, my entire room smelled hideous. I ended up ducking into the room of the tattoo artist beside me to get some deodorant to put under my nostrils. I also borrowed his green soap. I sprayed her whole crotch down with the green soap solution and wiped clean. It took me two soap applications to get her to a point where I would work on her. I ended up giving her a very detailed and extensive lecture on aftercare and personal hygiene. She came in a few weeks later for a quick check on healing, and I was pleased to note her hygiene was much improved.

When about to do a tragus piercing once, I went to prep the area and there were about two years of wax inside the ear canal. I swear I could have spooned it out. It almost made me lose my lunch.

I had a woman come in and ask me to look at her navel. She said she had been pierced at another studio and was having some problems. I brought her to the piercing room, had her lie down on the table, and before she even lifted her shirt, I could smell it. She had let an infection get so bad that it looked as though the flesh was rotting away. The smell was atrocious.

Vagina cheese makes me gag every time, and of course half the time they don’t know what the different parts are called... I guess if they don’t know they have it, they wouldn’t know to clean it. Probably the worst though was this guy who came in for a guiche piercing after working outside in the sun all day. I actually turned him down, because the swamp ass was unbearable. I told him to come back on a day when he hadn’t been working all day or when he could take a shower first.

I found a tick on a client once when I was about to pierce their bridge. It was engorged with blood... It was gross.

I’ve had a couple of girls come in for genital piercings while on their periods and try to hide it by going to the bathroom getting rid of “the evidence” and end up bleeding all over my table... Dental bib and drape sheet aside, a genital piercing is a pretty good ab work out — I guess they didn’t account for that!

One client was so rank — you could smell his B.O. throughout the shop... I actually had to burn incense to relieve the stench. The same person shat himself during the piercing session... very, very foul...

This did not happen to me, but to another piercer at our studio. A forty-something, large, middle-aged woman came in to get her hood pierced. The piercer took her back, cleaned and marked her, and as he was about to pierce her, she blurts out “I gotta fart!” and proceeds to, while he’s down there! He silently finished the piercing, called my name, and gave me “that look” from the room, so I went over her aftercare for him, and found out what just happened...

I once did a VCH on this woman whose ID said she was 5'2" and 150 pounds. She was really more like 250, and it seemed like she couldn’t reach to wipe or wash. The smell was so overpowering, the piercing room reeked for three hours after she left, no matter what I tried to use to kill the smell. What’s worse, between the sweat — SoCal in July — and other bodily fluids leaking, the stain never came off the table!

People ask me regularly the same question about female genital piercings. They say, “have you ever had a girl who smelled down there?” I tell them I have developed a secret art of breathing over my shoulder so I avoid it ever being an issue — I usually do it as I am reaching over my shoulder to the tray for tools, jewelry, or the needle. One time however I reached over my shoulder and took a breath to find something that smelled disgusting there, in a place I felt was safe — it was this girls feet!

A guy in the shop was tattooing a heavier-set woman. She was laying on her side as he was tattooing her midsection. He asked her to twist and stretch her body upward a bit more to stretch the skin. As she stretched, a McDonalds Coke straw fell out of one of her side folds and onto the floor — she didn’t even know it was there.

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