Fisting Just Got A Lot More Fun

rachel-implants-1.jpg

It was my friend Rachel’s birthday a few days ago, so she sent me a few photos to celebrate. Her microdermal horns are well healed, as are her arm implants, but the implants that accent the top of her hands are new work.

She’s asked that I keep the name of the practitioner private due to the negative atmosphere toward heavy mod artists these days… on one hand, implants, tongue splitting, and other mods are at an all time popularity-high, but at the same time, a new wave of uncertainty in regards to “medicine without a license” and other charges hangs over this community. Especially with prominent individuals on some modification forums promoting the idea that going after practitioners is a good idea — which I find deeply offensive — it’s probably a good time to go back to the oldschool method of having clients “screen” for artists and operating through word-of-mouth recommendation chains.

rachel-implants-2.jpg

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

43 thoughts on “Fisting Just Got A Lot More Fun

  1. It pretty much sucks that you have to keep the name of a good artist private…I’m not saying it’s bad that she asked you to, it’s just shitty that the risk of something bad happening to him/her is so great that they can’t even ger the recognition they should have. Anyways, looks good.
    I wish there was a different shot of the hand implants though, they’re kind of hard to see in this.

  2. What is more offensive? Encouraging people to speak out when procedures go wrong or silencing them? How about offensive being promoting “practitioners” when they have a horrible reputation for how “dirty” they are and instead of informing the community, it is hidden and becomes a joke to those “in the know”.

    That is what I find offensive.

  3. It would be nice to see regulations put into place that would allow plastic surgeons to preform these implants for the sake of body sculpture without risking there license because some 60 year old ass on the board of directors doesn’t agree with it. Then it would encourage people with good reputations to go back to school, get their PHD’s and do it in a licensed medical facility. Also it would give them to prescribe medication to help during the healing process which would further reduce the risks of getting an implant.

  4. I have been thinking about this issue lately in regards to any work, regardless of how ‘heavy it is’ so long as it involves anything that could be construed as practicing medicine. Think it’s a wise idea to tread carefully for the practitioners in this community, it can only go so mainstream before someone finally thinks A) “I can sue this person and make a crapload of money”, or B) “These people who do this are breaking the law and should be made an example out of.”

    I agree with the concept that bad work should not be hushed away, but it’s a sensitive issue isn’t it? If people still want the option of going to unlicenced practitioners for work a plastic surgeon wouldn’t do because of the implication for his own rep, then the way I see it, ultimately it must come to one of two paths: These ‘heavy’ mods; a larger audience become privy to the body-mod type pactices and laws, certificates and bunch of beaureaucracy is implemented. Or, it goes back a few steps, practitioners become more secretive, and clients will be taking risks on their own, without the same legal implications..

    Or I could just be babbling on incoherently, making a complete twit of myself.

    Peace

  5. I thought that the title was “FISHING Just Got A Lot More Fun”… I didn’t see any fish or poles or hooks, so I was confused… Then I realized how confused I really was ;-)
    “Implanted for her pleasure…”

  6. Anyone who modifies somebody where there is a potential for serious injury to occur should be licensed. This may be an unpopular belief but the risk potential with surgical modifications is high and you don’t need to look far to see shoddy work.
    Being secretive about such things could mean legislation imposed and involving the power being taken away from the ‘surgeons’ and put in the hands of bureaucrats with little interest in the growth of the community.
    For me this is an argument similar to that which occurred when tattoo artists required licensing. There were plenty arguing that it would destroy the practice and that artists would not be able to afford to run their premises.
    What we need is protection for the customers requiring modification and I only see that happening if those doing the work are protected and governed by legislation that requires them firstly to adhere to very high sterility standards and secondly licensed to do the work they wish.

    Heavy mods are a stage further on than standard piercings yet still we see horror stories of people piercing themselves despite the wealth of information available. All it takes is for one person to attempt a tongue split or eyeball tattoo with serious consequences for things to get seriously bad for us all.

  7. Rachel – What is actually offensive is that these “practitioners” with a horrible reputation for how “dirty” they are only work because they have a demand for their services. What needs to happen in the community is that people are informed of what to look for when choosing a “practitioner” and become accountable for their decision rather than singling out individuals to blame. No different than when you are getting a tattoo. I don’t think I would be far off in saying a fair percentage of issues are caused post-op but I also agree that some issues are caused by poor practice.

  8. Lane, theres far less real risk to plastic surgeons than plastic surgeons just won’t do mods for a variety of reasons. Some of those are economic. If mods cost relatively little compared to surgical precedures (ie. not thousands of dollars) then why would surgeons even pay attention?

  9. although im not really a fan of alot of implants or microdermals personally. i can respect others choices to get them.
    that being said, i think its really shitty for an artists work to go unrecognized because of fear of legal action… wtf is that? i mean, this girl got what she paid for, im assuming everything healed fine, it looks like the artist did a great job, the client looks happy. who’s to say what constitutes “medicine without a license” anyways.
    i think i will have to agree with the oldschool word of mouth statement.(in the off chance i decided to get a heavier mod).
    this is a crazy complex subject… im nowhere near qualified enough to comment really. i think ill just dumb down my brain into this. good, clean working artists should recieve due recognition for a job well done. but that leaves me thinking about what should be done about the poor artists with high rejection rates or unsanitary conditions or what have you.
    bah… its a slippery slope my friends. ill leave it to some one smarter.

  10. Rachel: I agree 100%, but I also think SlakKa has a point: the “dirty” ones are the ones who are most easily accessible to those who aren’t part of the “scene” already…

  11. I don’t think that BME should give a pass to people who are knowingly misleading our community. I’m also not the one who hides or refuses to post the “bad”. It is not always sunny. There are good and bad. If we’re here to document, why are we only showing the “good” sides? I don’t have a problem saying “hey, this is a bad idea.” Some people do.

    I’m tired of hearing the defense of “they’re not doctors, they don’t know what they’re doing” when something goes wrong. Or blaming the client, which appears to be the line that’s used all the time. At the time that most people are getting work done, they’re never told it’s the first time someone is trying a procedure or that the person about to implant them was smoking a cigarette while carving their implant. They are led to believe that their practitioner is an expert.

    We are here to educate as well as document the history and the community at large. How can we expect anyone to move forward and advance ourselves if we’re letting everyone off the hook for reasons that consist of little more than baloney.

  12. just an FYI: A lot of the concepts of plastic surgeons not doing this stuff is very North American based…There’s Aussie medical practitioners here that would gladly do a tongue split,etc for the right price…And I bet in Asia (Thailand,etc) you can easily find medical practitioners to do it as well.

    The North American as well as the European standards.

    Personally I say its doing the community a service being public about which “artists” fucked them up….a clear view of the consistency of artists will show who’s good and who shouldn’t be doing it.

    Because there’s definitely some out there that shouldn’t be doing it.

  13. I remember speaking with Ritchie Yorke about the music industry and bad press certain bands recieve, he said something along the lines of ….when bands are moving forwards down roads never taken before, it’s very easy to stab them in the back.

  14. While I encourage individuals to write balanced and fair experiences about their body modification adventures (and to do it given enough time to reflect of course), I think it would be a VERY unfortunate turn of events if BME started to hunt down specific practitioners because of perceived problems with them. Amateurs hunting down amateurs would turn into a fiasco, and it’s been my experience — having been caught in the middle of these a few times — that in every one of these situations the specifics are never very clear… To say nothing of the fact that when people are hurt and angry they tend to have a bias that’s deeply unhelpful, as understandable as their feelings may be.

    My focus will continue to be on education on the subject and the procedures, rather than witchhunts, blame-games, and name-calling of a personal nature. ModBlog and BME have always shown all sides of the story — thus BME/Risks and numerous entries and articles on the subject over the past 13+ years — but personal dramas need to be kept out of it.

    And really, anyone who believes that an underground practitioner is an expert hasn’t done their research! This is a rebel artform, and it’s going to have casualties, and if people don’t want to accept that, they should stick to safer things… Think of it as riding a motorcycle versus driving a minivan.

  15. Free and open discussion about issues and complications that arise from dangerous procedures is not the same as going after artists. A practitioner should be willing to stand by his work, and thus be prepared to take criticism along with compliments.

    And clients need to be discerning when choosing practitioners — absolutely. If anyone is operating under the idea that these are not dangerous procedures, then they’re delusional. But just because someone wants a nipple grafted to their forehead and is aware of and ready to deal with the potentially negative consequences, that doesn’t mean some fucking wannabe rock star needs to step up and actually do it.

    The defense of “experimentation” should be fucking over at this point. When real experiments are conducted, those involved tend to see them through to the very end — they don’t just hop on a plane to the next city on their tour and leave some poor bastard to drain his own abscesses. Responsibility lies with the client to an extent, of course, but to say that practitioners can get away with this shit under the guise of “Buyer beware!” is fucking ludicrous.

  16. I really like to see pictures and hear stories of well-healed modifications. I also like to see images and hear stories of poorly done or poorly healed modifications. Especially with “heavier” modifications because of the risks involved, I think it is important for people to submit images of modifications gone-wrong or share stories of bad experiences, and people do not do this as frequently as they share good experiences. One thing that BME does very well is inform people of the dangers associated with certain procedures, with information about what to look for in a practitioner, what to expect during a procedure and what to expect during healing, so people should be able to enter into situations knowing what they should look for in a practitioner or being able to tell if something is not right. Too often people are so eager to get something done that they dont do their homework or they go to the first person they hear of who will perform a certain procedure, or they arent willing or able to travel to a reputable artist, etc. And people who dont know what theyre doing are always around because there is a demand for their services.

    (I had an artist pierce me once who had never done the particualr piercing before because i assumed he knew what he was doing, he was working at a reputable shop, after all, and he didnt mention that he had never done the piercing before and his portfolio wasnt updated so it wasnt available yet… nothing went wrong, but when i found out I 1. was angry because I felt id been mis informed about the skill level of the piercer and 2. felt stupid for not noticing obvious things that should have told me to go to another piercer).

    I appreciate that BME makes available images and information of well-healed and well-done “heavy” mods because it is important to have these examples and stories to teach others about the procedures, information sharing is a very important part of learning. It would also be nice of there were more information about the darker side of heavier modifications and unqualified practitioners. A lot of responsibility lies with the person choosing to get the mod, but practitioners who are unqualified should be respinsible for the damage they cause. But this post is getting too long, im cutting it off.

  17. This is messed because it turns an artist into a criminals. ” An unjust law is no law at all” I am not sure who said that. Plastic surgeons in the US I don’t feel will ever start doing small scale implants or tongue splitting because it simply isn’t worth there time. If they could start charging a couple thousand dollars a split then hell yeah they would start doing it. When I started looking into heavy mods I called a bunch of plastic surgeons around my area and they just laughed at me, Sad but true.

  18. I’m not even going to get into my personal, firsthand accounts of heavy mod work gone horribly wrong (to the point of nearly killing someone) and getting hushed up (and getting my business slandered to the point of comedy for my trouble) on BME for talking about it impartially and in an unbiased manner. I’m just going to say that any Aussies who want things like tongue splits DO have the option of having it done by a plastic surgeon who specialises in oral and maxillofacial surgery, Dr. Michael Zachariah – he is based out of Sydney, I know he travels to Darwin several times a year, and I know a few people who’ve spoken with him about getting tongue splits who were quoted a very reasonable price (especially considering it would be done with anaesthesia, in a hospital surgical theatre, and get all the post-procedure meds included).

  19. How about some “practitioners” growing a pair and doing an interview where they show two procedures that they’ve done, one where it went well and one where it didn’t. What is so hard about that? I would much rather see someone admit that they have had problems and have addressed them and know what went wrong instead of the client being blamed.

    I’m not even going to address the “spin” nonsense.

  20. I know this is a little off-topic, but since the subject of good v. bad practitioners (as far as safety goes) has come up, I was wondering about the FAQ sections for various procedures. Now I know it’s only common sense to look for a clean place, but I’m relatively new to the mod community and add to that I’m relatively tame. The FAQ’s, according to the lead-in pages, are out of date, lots has changed since they were last written. I’m in no position to try and point out the ‘Do’s and Don’t's’, but perhaps some of the more experienced modifiers/modified might be willing to update? I know I’d appreciate it as I do tend to check here to help me be sure whether my gut feelings are true or over-reactions. I’m sure others new to the community might use such info well also.

  21. Regardless of anything else that might happen, I would imagine that if BME would start targeting “bad” practitioners, it would create quite a bit of resentment from the professional community, which in turn would result in less and less cooperation with BME from their side. Even good practitioners would be wary of submitting their work to you, for fear of it not being up to YOUR standard.
    Like was said already, there is a difference between going on witch hunts and an open discourse about the dangers of extreme mods. And history has taught us that witch hunts aren’t an effective way of improving things, only driving them deeper underground.
    And as far as legislation goes, that depends on the people in power, which is at the moment an older generation much less open to our view of the world, and until the power shifts to younger generations I really don’t see much good coming out of this path. Yes sometimes good laws are suggested, but most of the time I only see people come up with draconian laws.
    I hope anything of what I said makes sense, even if it is a bit long winded.
    To the girl in the picture – love your mods! Those implants look so good and delicate, as if you were born with them.

  22. >>This is a rebel artform, and it’s going to have casualties,

    This is true and in a way being a rebel artform means that it will grow and mature outside of the mainstream in terms of legislature and control.
    However we have seen recently how quickly procedures on show here can make the mainstream almost the next day. As such as an industry we need to ensure that we challenge those who do the industry a disservice through shoddy work. Not by ostracising though but by considerate acknowledgement.
    We don’t want to be judged as a community by the mistakes that are often made but rather by the quality work undertaken by those at the top of their game. We should distance ourselves from the ‘cowboys’ and embrace the professionals.
    As for mainstream cosmetic surgery… you don’t want me started on that particular rant.

    :-)

  23. “This is a rebel artform, and it’s going to have casualties, and if people don’t want to accept that, they should stick to safer things… Think of it as riding a motorcycle versus driving a minivan.”

    That would be fine if these casualties weren’t charged for the privilege of being experimented on then shat on when things fucked up.

    The case of a well known practitioner having his flights and accomodation paid for, then at the last minute charging his client $700 for a highly sketchy subdermal procedure – and clearly and demonstrably not giving a fuck when the things started to reject – springs to mind. Yet he and all of his ilk are still defended on the basis of the personality cult when these accusations are made. Like “No way, X is a really nice guy”, as if a person’s social skills were directly proportionate to his or her ability to safely and responsibly perform a serious invasive procedure.

  24. By the way, I am paleblue on IAM, I just forgot to link my profile to my IAM page. Just so no-one can accuse me of being a pussy and not putting my face to what I’m saying.

  25. The only person suggesting that BME would be targeting mod practitioners was Shannon. No one else has said that.

    What should NOT be happening is promoting artists that are known for certain behavior and then excusing them because they’re “cool” or “pioneering”.

  26. Actually Rachel, it was suggested by “Dave” in post 11, Shannon only responded to that. And some of your posts seem to imply, perhaps not by design, that you think BME should operate in some way to out “bad” practitioners. If that was not your intention, then I apologise.
    No matter how much it seems that body modifications have gone mainstream, it is still mostly an underground artform that could be greatly damaged if we start waging wars on each other. It has taken many years to reach this level of acceptance of body mods, but it could regress very quickly if we let it.

  27. I don’t equate the HONEST and unbiased discussion of procedures that have gone wrong (in some cases horribly so) with “outing” practitioners. It’s not a witchhunt, it’s giving people who are seeking information on extreme modifications a chance to make INFORMED decisions, which they have absolutely no unbiased forum or way to do so currently. It’s not so much about “bad” practitioners as such, but literally EVERY practitioner has had at least one result that didn’t end up quite to plan, why are those incidents hushed up?

    In my opinion and experience, the ire and enmity from people who were on the receiving end of a really shitty outcome is often because they were deceived about the skill level or ability of the practioner in question, and the constant spruiking for these practitioners on forums like Modblog just salts the wounds of the (non-consensually) scarred and essentially gagged victims of these “artists”, and anyone talking about ANY kind of experience with an extreme mod artist in any way other than glowing, unmitigated praise is quickly informed that they are lying, missing the point of the spirit of body modification, or that the outcome is somehow their own fault; the artist is NEVER blamed and always excused for any errors in judgement or failures to execute the procedure as planned.

    I am a professional piercer, and as a piercer with ethics, I would not blame a crooked piercing on the client, even if they jackknifed in the middle of a piercing procedure – I would take responsibility for MY error (which is why my clients are paying me their hard-earned money) and re-do their piercing at no charge to them. I would think less of a professional piercer who blamed their errors on their clients. Clients sometimes move during procedures; as an experienced professional I am aware of that and generally can anticipate it and execute a perfect procedure no matter what happens, but I am human and I accept that sometimes I err. At the end of the day, the trauma I inflict is no more than a minorly invasive cosmetic procedure – why shouldn’t people playing doctor (or in some cases, G-d) be held to the same ethical standards?

    BME is quite happy to post every single experience written about bad piercings or tattoos and the artists/practitioners who do them, yet photos posted of extreme mods gone awry somehow never make it onto the main site, or they get filed away amongst 50,000 photos of that mod (good or bad) in a paid area of the site where most people will never find them, there’s no category for stuff that doesn’t work out (other than brief mentions on the risks wiki) and certainly no concrete information for people to read. I absolutely agree with Rachel that ALL types of outcomes should be featured and discussed publicly on BME – indeed, I believe that BME does a disservice to the body modification community at large by not already doing so.

  28. I have never implied that. What I want to see is equal coverage. Why pretend that everything is sunshine and roses? Why act like everything that is done comes out perfectly and no one ever gets hurt? Maybe you don’t have a feeling of responsibility but I do.

  29. While we’re all taking things with a grain of salt. It astounds me how/why if someone thought that a particular “artist” was life threatening, and had made a big deal about it publicly, WHY would that same person then six or so months later, have more work done by the same “artist”???

  30. rachel, i remember seeing alot of both the “good and bad” here on modblog.

    here are some bad from the risks section on modblog:

    i remember a post about, MRSA Infection in a Tattoo
    Thursday August 9th, 2007 @ 2:38 PM, Self-Induced Infection Leading to Amputations
    Thursday August 2nd, 2007 @ 10:48 AM, Ear Agony
    Monday December 4th, 2006 @ 11:44 PM, VCH Gone Wrong!
    Wednesday September 5th, 2007 @ 1:58 AM, Swollen Red Ink
    Thursday August 16th, 2007 @ 9:46 PM,Ouch! Bloody Venoms!
    Tuesday August 7th, 2007 @ 10:22 AM, Red ink can be a problem…
    Monday August 6th, 2007 @ 1:15 AM, Reconstructive Lobe Surgery
    Sunday July 29th, 2007 @ 1:34 AM, I can guess what that used to be…
    Friday June 8th, 2007 @ 8:57 AM, Tattoo Gone Bad
    Saturday June 2nd, 2007 @ 1:32 PM,

    :

    :

    i mean the list goes on. i think shannon does a good job of covering all aspects of the industry. good and bad.

    thanx, pete

    p.s.
    i love this website.
    i’d like to thank rachel and shannon for providing such a tremendous resource.

  31. i think that for now (while this is all illegal — at least in the US– i can’t speak for other countries because i’m unaware of their laws), people need to stop saying who did their work for them. it’s getting too mainstream and the government is catching wind.. which means more rules/laws. we already have enough of those. people need to quiet down about who did what for them. it’s obvious that med boards aren’t going to accept these things for a while and the select few people that want these things (or have these things/do these things for people) are most likely not going to stand up and risk their freedom/criminal record (or lack there of) for the sake of attempting to prove a point.

    so, for now, if someone REALLY wants heavy work done, they should do their research and find out who is safe and who is not.

    AND, if someone is solely (or even half) relying on what is posted in modblog to make their decision on who they want to cut them open and shove stuff in them or they are solely (or half) relying on modblog to see side effects/risks or what they want.. then they are risking their health and safety as well as the health and safety of whomever else trusts them to research these things properly. so, while i do think that modblog has done a fairly good job in showing both the good and the bad things that have/can happen with these procedures, it’s not a good source to make an informed decision off of.

  32. #34: Exactly Rachel. I’d be absolutely happy if artists would start showing a wide range of their procedures…Not just the good ones and ignoring the botched ones.

    Just like a piercer, or at least myself, I strive to take as many photo’s as I can…Often good and often bad so that I can utilize them and remember what not to do, ever again. Sometimes its just I’m unhappy with the placement/angle of the piercing,etc.

    But if these individuals don’t show a full range of their abilities, their consistencies won’t be displayed properly to those interested.

    Also I have to say there’s a lot of individuals out there doing these procedures that are literally telling the people they do work on, that its safe and ok. They are in fact LYING to the customers and not making them fully aware that this is a “underground medical procedure” and the pros and cons of these things.

    Hell I know people who are doing medical based procedures and having people sign waivers…Which is the stupidest fucking thing alive because if they sign the waiver for a medical procedure to be done, by a non-medical practitioner that puts them in a HUGE liability for practicing medicine without a license.

    I don’t want a witch hunt to happen…But I want the community I’m apart of to be safe…Not have their lives put in peril just so someone can earn a big chunk of change and live “the rockstar” lifestyle of a modification artist.

  33. Warren – I really hope there aren’t people at this level hiding cons from people… I definitely think some artists aren’t as communicative (or worse yet, informed) than others, but hiding would definitely be atrocious.

    One of the reason that it’s important for people to write experiences is not just to share information on the procedures, but to create a contact network of modified individuals so that when someone is thinking about getting work done they can talk to a number of people who’ve had the procedure they want and source out the best artist available rather than flying blind.

  34. Shannon sadly I’ve heard first hand accounts from certain individuals who contacted certain artists inquiring about procedures,etc and the artists simply said: “sure that’s easy” and did not make a 100% unbiased statement of the pros and cons

    I even know of artists just constantly PUSHING extreme/heavy mods on people.

    Definitely agree though the community on a whole needs to write more experiences and just privately network/research, etc, etc, etc amongst each other to show who’s providing consistent work… and who are the artists people should watch out for.

    People just need to network and be open and honest about the work that’s been done…

  35. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Happy Chanukah ModBlog!

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