Tapers are bad for your ears. They cause a lot of stress if your ears aren't ready for the next size. I never use tapers. Just put the next size of plugs in. They always go in fine for me. I'm at a half inch and have had no problems. And if you're going to use tapers, DO NOT use shitty plastic/acrylic. Use stainless steel or glass. Acrylics are so bad for freshly stretched ears.