Rudy Hardie is an M.F.A. student at SCAD. He hopes to begin a career as an actor/producer upon graduation. Prior to SCAD, Rudy spent nearly three seasons in the National Football League as a defensive end for the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts. Rudy is also a lifestyle photographer. When he’s not writing scripts or working on short films for class, Rudy spends his time as a part-time personal trainer and full time mentor.
They’re Just Nipples
“It’s only going to hurt if you’re a pussy.”
I winced slightly, withholding my “pussification”, took it like a champion, and instantly became the rebel most girls in undergrad yearned for in their deepest, darkest corner; I finally became the guy with the nipple piercings. What Sarah, the plump lady from Piercing Experience, failed to tell me was that a man piercing his nipples was like an open invitation for all women to rub them. There was the two-fingered double-tap girl, the split-fingered vertical rub girl, and of course there was the infamous video-game calloused thumb girl. I became “King Nips” along with several other unheralded monikers, like “Genie-Nipples”, and what’s important to note is that I didn’t ask for any of them. I simply wanted to pierce them and be done with it, but now I’m the oversized guy with the genie nipples who has to hide his proverbial headlights protruding through the muscle shirts he enjoys wearing.
I will be the first to say that I love my piercings. I love the fact that since voluntarily impaling them, they’ve become extremely sensitive to the touch, something that I’ve never experienced before. Apparently, cramming two inches of a stumpy, steel rod through your flesh can cause a positive reaction throughout the body, not to mention unofficially inducting you into the ranks of “badassness”. Peculiar celebs Tommy Lee, Dave Navarro, Dennis Rodman, and Axl Rose all share the stamp of badassness, and I was their newest inductee. I am a badass, and it feels pretty damn good (double entendre anyone?).
Nipples can’t be that important, can they? I’ve always believed that a man’s nipples were anatomically useless, so if they chose to pierce or lop them off, humanity wouldn’t suffer one bit. I never knew that they would be a major identifying trait for a person. “You know Rudy, right? He’s the tall, black guy with locs and nipple piercings. You’ve seen him around, haven’t you?” I’ve never called a friend and used similar jargon but identify an odd body part. “You know Sarah, right? She’s the short, white girl with the Princess Leia buns and the dead eye. Surely, you’ve heard of her.” Exactly, it doesn’t work for her, and neither should it for me.
The first time I went to the gym with my newly acquired accessories, I put on the lime green Under Armour shirt I typically wore because quite frankly, it hugs me in all the right places a shirt should fit a man. Everything went as normal as usual until I glanced in the mirror during my workout and saw that I resembled Pamela Anderson rather than The Rock. All I could see were my nipples, and it helped me realize why I got so many uncomfortable looks from some of the men around me. The problem was that I wasn’t sure if they were looking at me judgingly or if they were giving me the-oh-so-unfamiliar male seductive eye, because I’ve never been good at identifying whether men in the gym wanted to spot me, or just spot me. Needless to say, I went to the locker room, put on a black shirt, and continued my workout.
It didn’t stop there though. Just last week, I texted my buddy James—an overly muscular yet jolly asshole who lives in Washington, D.C.— to wish him a happy birthday and to thank him for being a great help to me. He never fails to live up to the aforementioned description.
Me: Happy birthday, buddy! I also want to thank you again for opening up your place to me, man. That was huge.
James: No problem! My brothers will always have a place to lay their head. I’m sure you would do the same for me.
Me: Without question.
James: Exactly, Satellite Nips.
Me: As long as we’re clear, Silverback Calves.
Damn nipples. I guess I should’ve expected that response, seeing how the first message I got from him after he found out I got them pierced was “So do you get cable with those things? Ouch.” I once heard that you should always love the people that make you laugh, and he never fails to provide a good laugh, regardless of how shrewd or shortsighted it may be; I have to love him.
I must admit, my nipples have never gotten this much attention before, and although they protrude unabashedly through anything I wear, I think they need a break from the world.
No longer should I expect to hear that my nipples were victims of serial slumber rubbings nor will they be regarded as the topic of discussion amongst my peers. My nipples not that important, not to me at least; but I will say, “Satellite Nips” is pretty damn funny.