'Pierce' is a term that's often found in news reports about gun battles, stabbing incidents, and other types of unwelcomed invasions of one's body by another individual. So how is it that the same term is used to describe the ancient and modern day practice that many people regard as beautiful, expressive, and even empowering? I think that although being attacked and physically violated is very conceptually different from adorning one's body, both experiences share some common ground. How can this be? Well, ask any survivor of a stabbing, animal attack, or extreme sports injury if there has been any positive consequences of their ordeal, and you will find the answer.
For the very reason that the idea of being attacked is frightening, it is also empowering. Those who survive a traumatic experience often emerge from the initial shock of their experience with a sense of pride and hope at the thought that they have just 'survived' one of life's most difficult events. Once one has gone through the worst of what life has to offer and survived, there is often an overwhelming sense that any other difficulty that comes one's way will be easily conquered.
Now to apply these sentiments to body piercing. When looked at it in comparison to attacks upon the body, body piercing is merely a controlled version of such. The adrenaline rush of being attacked is present in piercing, but it is accompanied by excitement rather than fear. Also, there is the same sense of pride and hope when a piercing is finally complete. Just as the wounded show off their 'battle scars,' piercees proudly display their marks. And just as attackees are often given hope by their experiences, piercees may come upon a new sense of power over their bodies, indicating that one does have control over one's own life, and can overcome any obstacle encountered.
So just maybe one of the reasons we become pierced is to experience what would normally be a terrifying experience, but in a more controlled fashion. In this way, we reap the benefits of a traumatic event minus the trauma that often accompanies it. I don't know, just an idea. It seems to hold true with myself as a piercee, but that's just me. I'd be very interested to find out if the same is true for my readers. (Hint hint comment comment :o) )