When I was growing up, getting your ears pierced was something of a right of passage to being an adult.  You had to wait until you were 16 years old.  Not at all sure why that was, but I think it was.  
I had found some cute 14k gold posts and my friend Karen (who was thinking she was as snarky as a doctor) was all set with the needle, alcohol and cotton balls.  I had kept an ice cube on each of my ears to freeze them.  With the first ear, she just pushed the needle through, put the earring in, mopped up the blood and all was fine.  But with the second ear, she pushed the needle through, got up, went into the bathroom and promptly fainted!  It didn't hurt me at all, but when she came to, she said the “pop” sound it made coming out the other side of my ear did her in.  I think she went on to be some kind of teacher.