Geoff and Rhonda started piercing in 1986 and back when they started the modern piercing industry in Australia was not even conceived. There was no such thing as registration for Body Piercing, and for the most part they taught the council what was needed and provided advise to the health officers and the department for communicable diseases. The general public did not know what the art of Body Piercing was and the early years were spent educating people that body piercing was possible. You could actually pierce more than just ear lobes. Many people said it was just a fad and that it was not going to be popular yet Geoff and Rhonda had a vision. After lots of letters and discussions and after setting up studios in both Surf Coast Shire and Warnambool. They slowly saw the industry was growing. They set up first studio in Victoria (probably Australia) to be approved and registered as Body Piercing Premises. It took a lot to get this recognition and to get the skin penetration act to acknowledge body piercing as a separate industry to Tattooing.
This was before ebay and online shopping, it was before the internet and google. They had to work out what to do and how to do it safely with limited access to information, limited tools and almost no actual body jewellery. Importing magazines like “PFIQ”( Piercing Fans International Quarterly, which was published by Jim Ward from 1977 to 1997 in America and was not available in Australia and latter “In The Flesh” (A piercing Magazine that had a short life in the late 1990’s) Rhond and Geoff consulted with enthusiasts from all around the world. In Australia they were the first people to see this as a separate industry and not just something to be done in the back of a Tattoo shop or Hairdressers. While in recent times jewellery shops and alternative shops have emerged with quickly trained staff and short cut procedures, it is horrific to see the one day or even one week courses that spit out piercers into franchise shops with no idea what they are really doing and just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Remember that most professional Tattoo Studios and Hairdressers don’t do Body Piercing and All Professional Piercing Studios don’t sell costume jewellery, clothing, hairdressing or bongs.
Back in the late 1980’s, Geoff and Rhonda went to a stainless steel manufacturer and ask them to make a “taper” this was to be a small piece of stainless with one end 1mm and the larger end 1.6mm with small dent in the larger end. The salesman in the office listened to the request and asked, “What do you want this for?” They explained that they wanted it for Body Piercing to which his reply was. “What is Body Piercing?” the reply was a common explanation to them, “You know – like ear rings but in other places like nose, navel etc.” To that the salesman opened the door to the workshop and stuck his head through and called to the workers behind the door, “You are never going to guess what I have out here! There are a couple of freaks …” he then shut the door behind him and left them standing in the shop. Several minutes went past and the realization that he was not coming back set in.
This was not the only time that they would be called freaks or made to feel that they should not be practicing this art form. Their first studio was at their house and was quite the challenge to set up. The council, while quite happy for the Tattooist in the shire to operate in is “pool room / bar”, he had merely done a Tattoo for the health council worker and was registered. However, body piercing was a different story.
*First there was an application for a planning permit which involved advertising the proposed room in their house in the local paper and letters to all the neighbours – being on a farm this was very few. However, the council then found that there was
A) a ‘lack of parking” on their 5+ acres for people to attend by appointment.
B) Body piercing would adversely affect the amenities of the local environment.
They were therefore refused a planning permit.
The administrative appeals tribunal where the council compared the piercing studio on the farm with an application for a brothel in a suburban area in Melbourne overturned the council and found that, “While it wasn’t his cup of tea, there was no reason to deny the application.” So, finally they had permission to set up the room and have it approved. The next hurdle was the council health officer who did not have any idea about body piercing and was determined to make the room like an operating theatre. With separate sinks and hands free taps, with flush mounted lighting and laminated walls to 2.4 meters, coving and all of the modern set ups that you see today which were a first compared to most Tattoo shops at the time. They even had to provide a contract made out with a company to have the infectious waste removed.
Being set up to far higher standards than any other premises registered for skin penetration set the bench mark and started the change in standards for all tattoo and hairdressing premises.
But that was not all, once set up the council health officer was not convinced and so he brought in the local Medical officer, a Doctor who worked for the shire, he scrutinised their techniques and procedures before telling the health office to give approval. Then to their shock after all of that the registration certificate turned up saying “Hairdresser or Like establishment – skin penetration.” It took a few more years and a lot of letters and phone calls to actually be recognised as a Professional Body Piercing studio.
When you come to a Body Pleasure Piercing Studio you get the best of 37years of research, the safest and most up to date techniques and jewellery that have been tested and proved to be effective and give the best results and fastest healing times.
Geoff and Rhonda have not stopped learning and evolving within this industry for the past 37years and are a wealth of knowledge and experience. Their staff are mentored and trained for a minimum of 2 years before being classed as professional and the training doesn’t stop, they continue to fine tune their skills and knowledge on a daily basis.
In 1997 they had noticed that some people had allergic reactions to Surgical steel and so started to import Niobium as a safe alternative, Titanium had just come onto the market. Geoff was also making jewellery and when he started to make Niobium jewellery they imported an anodising machine and were the first studio in Australia possibly the world to do onsite/ in-store anodising of niobium jewellery. They still offer this service in their studios to this day with the introduction of titanium.
By the end of 1997 Titanium was becoming more widely available and one of their manufacturers increased their range of titanium so the experimenting started. Titanium versus Surgical. Titanium was winning and the piercings Geoff and Rhonda had done with titanium healed faster than those done with surgical steel with less complications. Geoff and Rhonda decided towards the end of 1998 to change all of the initial piercing jewellery to Titanium and started to phase out surgical steel from their range. At first they changed because of their own observations about what healed faster and so then started to look into why Titanium healed faster. Titanium actually has a side effect in the body to promote healing of the cells and also does not release any Nickel into the body. In 1999 the EU Nickel Directive was introduced to stop nickel strike caused by contact with metals such as surgical steel that release Nickel. It was also found that surgical releases more nickel into open tissue and so is generally safe to wear in healed piercings but not new or unhealed piercings.
In 1998 Geoff and Rhonda were invited to do piercings at the Sexpo exhibition in Melbourne, at the Melbourne Exhibition Building. This had never been done before and so to get a temporary Health Approval was unheard of. This involved many discussions with council and getting the hiring company who supplied the furniture for the event to make a hands free tap was a challenge. They complained that they would never have the need to hire out a hands free tap again and that they could not see the point of it. Now there are many portable hands free taps and setting up for an event is so much easier. During the event they wanted someone to get a piercing on stage and so to cover health regulations Rhonda let Geoff pierce her navel on stage. This was done in front of 5000 people at the event and was also broadcast live over the internet as the very new “live streaming” to the net was being trialled at the event. This was to our knowledge the first piercing to be live streamed on the internet and was watched by over 20,000 people worldwide.
Since their first studio, Geoff and Rhonda have set up over 9 locations and dealt with many councils and Health officers. They have advised the department for communicable diseases who write the regulations and have helped to introduce legislation on age limits to regulate the industry. What started as a hobby and an interest in the 1980’s
Each studio has been set up better and more efficient than the last and they have an enormous range of jewellery from manufacturers all over the world. One of Geoff and Rhonda’s long term goals has been to destigmatize the industry and to make it safe, clean and accessible to anyone and everyone. With their range of jewellery, huge knowledge-base, their studios are set up to be inviting and relaxed and to cater to the die-hard piercing enthusiast, the B&D and S&M scene and the absolute novice even the parent wanting their childs ears pierced safely will feel comfortable.
Information provided by Body Pleasure Piercing is based on their 37+ years of research and practice, it is not self serving or pushy they provide honest advice and help people even if it is to advise them not to purchase something, they only want what is best for you and your piercing. Because Geoff and Rhonda started this as a hobby which grew they have always had an honest approach, they are passionate about providing every client with a safe and gentle piercing in a non-judgmental and relaxed environment. All staff are trained to assist every client with a no pressure sales policy.