Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ear stretching

So this post will cover my personal stretching experience. I've only stretched my ear lobes. I've also had little problems doing it. My current size is 4g (5mm) and 8g (3mm).

Why would anyone start stretching? Aesthetics: people like the look of them. This was me. I liked the ornate designs that were only available in larger sizes. Also, if you can't wear most metals (I also fall into this camp. There's only a handful of hospital-grade surgical steel designs). Other people fall into the "I wan't to get another piercing but I don't know what."

by the way, don't even think about doing this if you've got fresh piercings.

If you're stretching because you like the designs, there are a number of sellers that are making this jewelry for normal earlobes.

You could also try stirrup earrings (which are still larger (14g), but if you regularly wear heavy earrings, you might be able to wear them.) If you want to be able to live in both normal-earring world and the stretched ear-ornate designs, 14g could be as far as you need to go.
If you like wearing small post earrings, stretching isn't for you.

If you are deciding to stretch, deciding how far to go can be an initial concern. I stretched for about a year (2004) to get to 4g. The decision to stretch my second holes came later. I've stayed at 4g since then and don't have a desire to. It's proportional to the size of my lobes (the hole diameter is pretty equal to the space around it. Same with the 8g--I've got about the same 3mm space around.

If you want to wear tunnels with normal earrings, I was able to do that at 10g with a single flare tunnel. Here are two examples:

 These tunnels are actually silicone earskins, the thinnest tunnel on the market. They make your ears look even larger because they are so thin. Here, I was easily able to fit an 8g hoop (that's the size of my second holes). I'm wearing normal pentagram earrings through the 8g earskin...there's plenty of room.

Here the 8g is a screw-on back, which is why the hole is so teeny tiny. If you're stretching to have big tunnels, screw-on tunnels will definitely disappoint you. single-flare metal plugs (the larger hole in the pic above) are your best bet if you want a larger tunnel without using earskins.

If you want to wear weights and spreaders, then you will need to go even larger. The smallest size I've seen is 8g, but those are meant to be worn with larger lobes.

diablo organics

If you keep going larger, the only things you'll be able to wear are plugs and tunnels. These are the sizes where you can stick your arm through.

So, I recommend stretching with steel tapers, which have a long gradual slope. Some recommend the taping method, but tapers worked just fine for me. 

I spend the entire weekend going up a size. Friday I push it until it stings, then stop. Then throughout the weekend, I go a little further. For some of my sizes, I didn't even feel anything--It slid through easily. But if it hurts for longer than a few minutes, abort the mission. Listen to your body. If you went to far too fast, take the taper out and start all over. It's a mistake to leave it in there thinking your ear will heal with the taper inside it. It won't. and you'll just fuck your ear up. To see the lovely gallery of people stretching too fast, go see the stretching tag (Warning: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC PHOTOS!) on

To be clear: There should never, ever be any blood. You should never tear the skin. This isn't supposed to be painful. Grab some loose skin (like between your thumb and forefinger) on your body and pull hard...that's what it's supposed to feel like--like I don't know, stretching your skin. Also, if you stretch your skin and tear it, you've now got a fresh piercing and are at risk for infections.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't wear organic materials (wood/horn/bone/etc) in newly-stretched ears, and you definitely shouldn't wear anything weighted.

Once you've stretched to your size, keep the tapers nearby. Sometimes, if you haven't worn large-gauge jewelry in a few days, your holes will shrink and then you have to restretch all over again. This was the few times I did hurt myself because I thought, hey I've been at 8g for months's only been a few days. If something's bleeding or hurts, switch to glass or metal (which is nonporous) and go down a number of sizes.

what my 4g and 8g lobes look like with nothing in them

Do you have any stretching tips? Let me know in the comments.


  1. I am glad you decided to post about this! ^_^ This is informative and it's great you remind people a couple of times that stretching is not suppose to hurt. These days people are a bit accustomed to the "everything right away" mentality and they do not have the patience for stretching safely.

  2. Yeah always better to go slow. I have 10mm holes in both ears, in the second holes for some reason, but once I'd started i didn't want to switch to 1st holes and they have to look the same on both sides lol so I wear normal poles in the 1st 10mm in the second and fake 5mm plugs in piercing 3. I really love the look of hooped earings through tunnels too, nice pentagrams! But yeah it took me 3 or 4 years to go up to my size now and I'm perfectly happy with it.

  3. I have lost most of my interest in body mods, but ears loaded with multiple piercings still make my heart melt, these pictures are soo pleasing to view :D

    Oh and I swallowed the Awful mods blog in one read

  4. OUCH stretching! I had to go from a 16g to a 14g on some of my cartilage piercings years ago and it really sucked. You do so many neat things with your piercing jewelry, I love how you change it up so often!