Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, even on different parts of the same body. What one person thinks is their most painful piercing might be another person’s least painful piercing. Part of a piercer’s job is to make this potentially uncomfortable experience as comfortable as possible. The actual piercing (pushing the needle through the body part to remove a small piece of body tissue) happens quickly, and by the time you feel the pain, the piercing is usually over. There can also be some pain as the piercing heals. The area around the piercing wound can be swollen, red, and sore for the first few days, weeks, or even longer, depending on the location of the piercing wound.
Jewelry insertion, which is the second part of the piercing process, is usually more a feeling of pressure rather than pain. The anticipation or general uneasiness you might feel while waiting to get pierced is usually the worst part of the whole process for most people. It is important to remain relaxed and still for the duration of marking the area to be pierced, and the piercing itself. Take long, deep breaths, and do your best to relax your entire body. Your piercer will coach you through the process.