What Does it Feel Like to Get A Lip Piercing?

lip ring

Lip rings

Fun. Edgy. Glamorous. There are lots of words we can use to describe this mod. But if you’ve never had a lip ring, it might be a scary thought to head into a piercing studio to get your lips pierced. What exactly does it feel like to get a lip piercing?

If you’re about to get your lip pierced, odds are you’ve had a piercing before. You know that the piercer is going to sit you down in their chair, mark you up, and push a needle through your lip. It’s going to hurt. But how is it going to hurt? Does it burn? Is it more of a quick, sharp sting? Will my lip balloon up to comical sizes?!

There are lots of different ways to pierce your lips. There are the typical labret, monroe, and madonna piercings, done on either side of the lower or upper lips, respectively. There are also “bite” style piercings, which are symmetrical pairs of two or more labrets and monroes (e.g. snake bites – two labrets; cyber bites – a centered labret and a philtrum/medusa; spider bites – two labrets on one side, close in proximity, etc.). There is also the medusa piercing – done in your philtrum above your cupid’s bow, as well as the jestrum, ashley, and vertical labret, all done vertically through either the upper or bottom lip.

For a complete list of lip and facial piercings, check out our Facial and Lip Piercing Dictionary!

The truth of the matter is that, whether it be a lip piercing, navel piercing, nipple piercing, or eyebrow piercing. Everyone’s body is different. Every piercing shop is different. Every piercing professional is different. No two experiences are going to be the same. That’s why we reached out to five (5) Body Candy customers from around the country to give their experiences on what it was like to get a lip piercing. Hopefully, through their testimonials, you’ll feel better about heading in yourself!

Note: some names/faces below have been changed for individual privacy

vertical labret

Rita W. – Warwick, RI

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Ever since I started my piercing journey with stretched ears, I have always wanted a vertical labret piercing. I was a little hesitant of what my boyfriend would say, but I asked him one day and he said it was cool and would go with me. So that finally gave me the confidence to head out and do my thing.

When I got to my local studio, I said hi to my piercer Steven (we already knew each other). He already knew I was coming because I called and asked about vertical labrets earlier in the day. Lucky for me he told me he had lots of experience doing them, so I felt comfortable going to him for the actual piercing.

He brought me back to his cubicle and it was already set up and clean, which I very much appreciated. He sat me down and spent 4 or 5 minutes lining me up with a toothpick and some purple ink. In hindsight, I appreciate the extra time he took to make sure everything was centered before he pierced me.

Pretty soon, he had my lip clamped and asked me to take a deep breath in. He pushed the needle through the bottom of my lower lip and through the top of my lip. It burnt for like 5 seconds and then it just felt warm and blood-rushy.

I could tell my lip was a bit swollen for the rest of the day, but I took that opportunity to have some frozen smoothies!

Labret piercing

Gabrielle S. – Exeter, NH

I wanted a pair of snake bites because I think they look tuff! So I called up my piercer and scheduled an appointment for later in the week. The anticipation was killing me but

Once I got there, I got right into the chair and he started lining up my piercings. Since snake bites are a pair, he repeated the process on the other side of my lip. It looked like a tiny purple permanent marker.

The needle was kind of a sharp quick burn the first time through. But the second one stung a lot more. I’m not sure if it was the adrenaline or what but OMG there was a big difference from one to the other.

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I also have nipple piercings and some ear piercings and I would say the first lip piercing was worse than my lobes but not worse than my nips or cartilage. I’d say the first one was a 4/10 and the second one was a 7/10 on the pain scale.

lippy loop

Jason C. – Seattle, WA

I have always felt more comfortable with piercings and a new lip piercing was on my short list so I went in for a walk in one day. The staff at the desk asked me what I wanted and I said “a lip ring but with a horseshoe” and they said ok it will just be a few minutes. I waited for about 20 mins until the piercer came out and said she was ready for me.

After introducing herself, she sat me in her chair and started talking me through the whole process. She put on gloves, set everything out on her tray, and then cleaned up my lip. She asked my preference where I’d like it placed and I said “in the middle of the right side” so she marked it with a dot and asked me how I felt about it. At this point I was ready to get it over with so I said “sure, let’s do it.”

She clamped up my lip so that the dot was in the middle of her clamps. And through that needle went. It was kind of painful, but nothing worse than getting a shot. I’d give it a 3/10 on the pain scale.

It was a little weird to get used to talking afterward, especially when my lip was kind of fat from the trauma. But it’s totally fine now, it doesn’t bother me at all, and I love the look.


Abby Y. – Gulf Shores, AL

I think philtrum piercings are so striking and I’ve always wanted to have an opal labret stud to wear in mine. I had a waitressing job for a while that wouldn’t let me have any facial piercings outside of my ears, but once I left, I decided to treat myself to the medusa (and maybe a few other piercings) like I always wanted.

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For me, I just had a feeling this one was going to hurt. I already had gotten a few helix piercings before my piercer moved onto the philtrum, so maybe that contributed to the pain but. I would say my medusa is up there with one of the worst piercings I’ve gotten so far, pain-wise at least. It’s actually my favorite piercing in general, and after a few days, it wasn’t swollen anymore and the healing pain was essentially non-existent.

If I had any advice for anyone, I’d say go in and get your philtrum as a standalone piercing instead of doing multiple piercings in one session like I did. I think you’ll walk away in a little less pain. But no regrets here!

labret piercing

Kyra T. – Oklahoma City, OK

Ever since I was a scene kid in the 2000s I’ve always loved the lip ring look! I’m not in my twenties anymore but I’ve had my lip ring for over 15 years now. I don’t care what anyone thinks, I love the way it makes me feel.

My lip ring is just one labret, but I’ve worn it in many different ways. Lippy loops, horseshoe rings, labret studs. I even tried a septum clicker in there but I decided against it lol.

Anyways, I remember my lip piercing, even though it was back in the mid 00s, since it was such a memorable experience for me. I remember sitting back in the chair and the girl making some nice small talk. She clamped my lip and through the needle went. It wasn’t bad at all. But I know I was just so excited to get one the pain seemed so minimal in comparison.

I think it was like a 3/10 for me so nbd. I took some ibuprofen at home and that was that!

Tell us all about your lip piercing experience!

These aren’t the only Body Candy customers whose voices we want to hear. Do you have a lip piercing? Did you like the piercing studio you went to? What was your piercing after care and healing process like? Let us know what you think of your lip ring in the comments below!