Ten minutes later and caffeinated, I’m in a chair at Infinite Body Piercing. Lizzie presses plump the left nipple at the entry and exit points (two dots) marked with precision. Banded forceps clasp the nervy bud. And in a single rhythm, she glides the gleaming, stainless-steel hook of a needle through until pain is released. She is a scientist of pain. Holding up the 16-gauge golden hoop to behold its absent center before adjusting its coordinates over my heart. “Soak the piercing in sea salt and distilled, tepid water at least once a day for six months,” she says, handing me the corked apothecary bottle of crusted crystals.