Once you have your jewelry and other materials, you can begin the stretching process! One of the best times to stretch is right after a hot shower, when your skin is most elastic and pliable.
Begin by washing your hands, and have your new jewelry and taper ready. Massage some of your lubricant into your ears, and begin to push your taper (small end first!) through one ear. Pay attention to how your ear feels! If you encounter any type of pain or strong resistance, stop immediately! You should never feel pain during a stretch, as it is a sign that your ears are not ready to move on to the next size. Some light resistance or a slight discomfort while stretching is expected, but you should always listen to your body and never get impatient.
Align your jewelry with the large end of the taper, as if it were an extension of the taper itself. Finish pushing the taper through your ear along with the jewelry, and you're done! Repeat this process with the other ear. You may find that one of your ears is stretchier than the other, but don't risk hurting one ear because the other has already been stretched! It's fine to stretch each ear at different speeds, or to temporarily downsize your stretchier ear until the other has caught up.
At larger sizes, you may find it helpful to use a different method of stretching, called taping. The taping method involves wrapping small layers of teflon, PTFE or bondage tape around a piece of jewelry and reinserting it into your ear. By adding new layers of tape over a period of several days, the diameter of the plug can be increased gradually, allowing for a very safe and comfortable stretch. This method is mostly recommended for stretching to sizes 6g and larger, as the process is much more difficult with smaller jewelry. However, you can begin taping anytime you feel comfortable with it!
Continue to Step 4: Aftercare
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