I have that thick little cartilage nub on the side of your head done (Tragus) I went online and looked up experiences. Everyone I know said they cried....I read experiences online that said things like it felt like getting punched in the head....it was excruciating....I passed out from the pain.
I went in terrified. The piercer set up, got me ready(Cleaned my ear, clipped back my hair..the usual) and then clamped my ear. I was sitting there my face all scrunched up (Mind you I have other piercings and thought they were painless) but I was waiting for that "Punch to the head!" HAHAHAHA He told me to open my eyes and look in the mirror. I did and sure enough there was a curved needle sticking out of my little tragus. It was PAINLESS! It was nothing. And thats a thick piece of cartilage. I've met others that said it was painless and some that cried like a baby.
The only bad thing, I didn't sit down long enough afterwards, and when I was talking to my tattoo artist about my appointment, I got SUPER dizzy, Super Hot, and he made me sit down for a little. It happens when I get pierced or tattooed (which I find both totally painless).
I will suggest you get it done by a needle at a qualified piercing shop. Those guns they use at the mall can't be steralized properly, they're used on repeat customers (Hello hepatitus Hiv? ) and I've had them done on my lobes. It hurt more to have those done (supposedly painless) that it did to repierce my original holes that closed up when I was 2. They were scarred over, and i punched through a keloid, using a push pin. That didn't hurt. Those guns basically force a starter earing (its about as sharp as a toothpick) through the skin of your cartilage or ear lobe. It tears the skin. It can also break the cartilage in your ear causing ear collapse.
Needles are basically razorblades in tube form. They're hollow, take a little piece of skin out, and make a nice neat hole for the jewelry to go through. Its a lot safer, and doesn't damage your skin/tissue/cartilage as much. And I only paid $30 for my tragus. Just find a reputable tattoo/piercing studio, and talk to your piercer (Be comfortable with who's piercing you) and then ask them to do your piercing. Most will cut you a deal on multiple piercings (Its $20 for one lobe where I go) but its only $30 for both.
DO NOT USE A GUN WHATEVER YOU DO! I don't care who's had a good experience. Needles are pitched after each use, opened new infront of you, and I wouldn't recomend getting two if you haven't had it done before. Get one. Keloids can happen to cartilage piercings and they're hell to get rid of. If you get a double in one sitting, although you'll pay more for an individual piercing, it would be safer to go with one at a time. Let the other one heal up before getting another.
Good luck. And if it does hurt, it wont last long. I was sleeping on my piercing three days later with no pain. It did get sore again and thats common ...my tattoo artist said his would hurt on and off for three years.
pierced cartilage...thick piece of cartilage pierced