Now that’s an explicit tattoo!

Well, I think my tattoo has healed enough and is close enough to done that I can post it here. This was done over four sessions by Shane Faulkner at King of Fools in Toronto (an amazing tattoo artist that’s done almost all of my work), and is based on a Tom of Finland painting combined with several pieces of artwork from BME/HARD as well. Anyway, it’s kind of tricky to take a picture of your own chest, but here you go:


Yes, I am also a fan of gay mermen

ModBlog returns for real tomorrow or Tuesday. I hope everyone had as fun a weekend as the dudes in my chestpiece!

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged , , , by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

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 LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

163 thoughts on “Now that’s an explicit tattoo!

  1. And I thought I was the only one who was into big bloody cock on my chest……What a humbling entry.

  2. what happened to tattooing your nipples? You wrote at one point that you thought it made tattoos look more complete, and I’d say yours would look better with them shaded in.

    not to detract from it, it looks great! just wondering.

  3. The work on the colours is wonderful. I do love very colorful tattoos !

    (you should have tattooed this tattoo on the representation of yourself on the tattoo… Infinite tatoo ^^)

  4. this just makes me smile so big.
    “hey what the hell are you doing in my barn?!?”

  5. Nice work …pitiful scene (in my own thoughts) for a chest piece …to each his own…

  6. I agree with #6, Shannon. You should definitely go for the nipples, as well…at least eventually. It looks awesome!

  7. That really is an amazing piece of work, Shane is a really good artist. The detail and shading are great.
    I love the way hes managed to blend all the different scenes into one amazing piece of art.
    Which painting did you model it on Shannon it would be nice to see where some of your idea came from?
    Its obvious you have put so much thought into what you wanted the end result to be.
    I agree with someone above it would be nice to see more of the art work on your right arm.
    Did you model any of the characters on yourself, if so which one:)
    Hugz x.

  8. to throw it out there–would any heterosexual ever get a homosexual scene tattooed on them? how about vice versa?

  9. i’d like to follow you around the beach photographing the expressions on people’s faces when they get a look at that.

  10. 26- I have my doubts but I needed to confirm with asking as many hetero men around, while they don’t see a problem with the art, most of them told me that to get it tattoed on you, it has to have a “deeper” personal symbolism… ;)

    Shannon- the obvious question, did you get that gay scene tattoed just for visual liking ?

  11. Well, I don’t really have a problem with “gay art” and homosexual motifs, but I don’t see this as a homosexual tattoo. Obviously it’s sexual in nature, but *I* don’t perceive it as homosexual. I’m a big fan of male pinup art as well, but I don’t see how that makes me any more homosexual than a woman who doesn’t skip over BMEgirls entries.

    To dig my hole deeper, I don’t think that male-male CBT has to have anything to do with sexual orientation, and I certainly know straight guys that are far more into playing with other guys in their SM lives than they are playing with women. I tattooed what *I* like… if other people want to read orientation into it, it doesn’t bother me, but they’d be wrong.

    Anyway, I’m only gay when I’m drunk.

  12. But most defiantly think who ever it is in the picture above is …lol moderator everytime I dial my babies number I get a click all the time.must be a bad connection(Oh it’s operator)hehehe

  13. I adore this tattoo Shannon, way to have the balls to be yourself (pun totally intended).

    The detail is just amazing, beautiful beautiful work.

  14. Great tattoo. There is so much color saturation that your chest just might be bullet proof now. I do not recommend testing it out though and I will not be held responsible if you do.

  15. I like it. I don’t see any homosexual images. Rather, I see an amazing chest piece. The shading and colouring are amazing, and it’s just over all a great piece.

    And I must say, the gay merman tattoo make me giggle. I like how the one merman has his penis right on his tail…

  16. The S&M same sex hard play is pretty interesting to me. Well on that one I couldn’t say it’s not also about orientation to me since I’ve been in relationships with both sex, but there’s something about same sex together that exudes either super masculinity or the opposite. I’m still trying to figure out if it does the same thing to people who only have one orientation or if visual pleasing images are just it, something we like to look at without a deeper meaning to it. Either way, very interesting subject.

  17. The chest and arm tattoos really compliment each other. I think that they bring out the other’s colors very vibrantly…

  18. It’s a beautiful tattoo, but I think it’s a stretch to say that there is no homosexual imagery here. I’d be interested to read a full write-up on your reasoning, though.

  19. Just out of curiousity – what about Nefarious? (Please don’t read any judgement implied or otherwise into that. We have a print of my favorite painting “Persephone” by Thomas Hart Benton hanging on the wall, which features a naked pin up-y woman with an old farmer guy leering at her.)

  20. also, I was just admiring the yellow. I hope it looks that saturated in five years.

  21. An excellent piece, Shannon. I’ve always been a fan of Tom of Finland’s work and it’s good to see a well worked contemporary version reflecting current body mods. Well done on having the balls to get such an open piece of work completed so well. Nice clear definition.

    I agree with #6 and #16 and a few others that it would look better with your nipples tattooed to let the tattoo flow. They taste the same, tattooed or not.

  22. I think it’d be a tragedy to tattoo over the nipples – they’re so beautiful!

  23. Gah, Shannon, why you got to be all sexy like that IN MY FACE?!

    Hot damn, man, you are Canadian temptation incarnate.

  24. The vividness of the colours is just awsome, and it’s a great tattoo…definately a conversation starter. Love it.

  25. You all noticed how it’s actually Shannon in the tattoo (the guy doing the cbt in the middle). Or at least someone with the same tattoos…

    Small piece of trivia I really liked about it!

  26. First of all, this is beaauuutiful. As others have said, the colours are incredible and the detail is astounding. It is a work of art.

    One small detail that I particularly like, though, is the tiny margin you’ve left between your chest piece and the collar piece. I don’t know what it is I like about that seperation so much, but it looks awesome.

  27. I wasn’t sure I was a fan until I’ve seen that pic … I like it!!

    Women have more trouble taking pics of their chest .. well I do *huffs*

  28. Looking at the piece, i always get the impression of seeing a ‘big brother is watching you’- tattoo… urging the main characters of the scene to live their dreams in a more ‘secret’ environment instead of ‘accepted, safe & relatively public’.

    But hey… of course i might be terribly wrong on that one hahaha

    Nevertheless: definitely an awesome tattoo & biiig congrats to both… the artist & the owner!

  29. i love the colors in this piece. i wonder how the whole piece will look like in a few years though ..

    & i don’t think the nipples need to be tattooed over :)

  30. Great piece! Nice shading, etc.
    But if it were me, I would ‘ve tattooed your nipples.

  31. That’s FANTASTIC… one of my favourite tattoos ever.
    The colours are amazing.
    If I was going to get an explicit tattoo, it would be homo-erotic CBT all the way… in fact the only reason I don’t HAVE a tattoo like that is lack of funds….

  32. i can’t stop scrolling back up to look at this…i wish i could think of some theme i like enough to cover my skin with in this large of scale…it’s marvelous

  33. Lots of us are *gay* when we are drunk. But this fine art work would make me feel gay when I’m sober. Beautiful scene, Shannon.

  34. Love your chest piece. It is very dramatic and provocative art. I agree the nipples need to be shaded or something else for it does take away from the impact of the awesome piece on your chest. Maybe just remove the nipples and tat the area when fully healed. Hmmmm.

  35. #72 Stretcher – The brand of pigment won’t make a difference if you don’t have a capable artist to put the pigment in properly. (not saying you don’t have a capable artist)

  36. I guess I’ll just throw it out there since no one else has (or those who have didn’t get their comments posted. Which could possibly be the same case for me.) I don’t like it. I’ll admit the colors are really amazing and vibrant but that’s it. For a while I thought it was a joke on all of us by shannon and his photoshop skills. Unfortunately I was wrong. But if he likes it then that’s what is important.

  37. erm, yeah….

    whatever floats your boat, i thought you were a pioneer for body art and modification, body beautiful.

    but alas, it seems to me you are out for simple shock value, blatant content, simply un-inspired. and not even your nipples, this is hard core, in the softest way.

    Each to their own, and sorry for the out burst, but only seemed like kissing ass was done so far…

  38. and…..

    how do you take your kid swimming?????

    AND, when do you explain to her what it means?

  39. redrobin – You seriously think BME/HARD is about “shock value”? Give me a break. That’s like saying that people have sex because they want to be involved in things that are too terrible to be put on television.

  40. I got the piece on my chest (versus, say, my leg) so that I could control who I show it too and who I don’t show it to. Obviously I’m not about to show it to kids!

  41. The “oh noes think of the childrens” crowd always amuses me. They seem to think that bringing up kids is all about token gestures – no nudie tats on the parent, the sight of a happy person suspending will kill their little minds, etc, etc.

    Actually, bringing up kids is all about a LOT of hard work, love and care. Considering the childhood Shannon is giving Nefarious (the paintings they do together spring to mind) she might possibly be well-adjusted enough to deal with one tattoo??

    She’s like 4 isn’t she? Well then, there’s no way she’ll know what it is, and if explained in an age-appropriate way, it won’t bother her one bit.

    Someone who can’t find simple beauty in sexual scenarios, especially one depicted so well, has some serious issues. I could make a very long list of every sexual/”shock value” painting by the kind of famous artists that fill the museums and galleries.

    So much “great art” is inspired by sex… blood… y’know all those primal urges?

    *bangs head against wall*

  42. “Someone who can’t find simple beauty in sexual scenarios, especially one depicted so well, has some serious issues.”

    You know, this is what kind of bothers me about IAM. Not enough to ever leave it, definitely not, but it’s a little irksome. You’re welcome here, and won’t be mocked, unless you think differently. (How ironic) I don’t necessarily think sexual acts like the ones depicted in Shannon’s tattoo are beautiful. I am a rather vanilla person in the bedroom and have a low sex drive. Does that mean I have some serious issues because I can’t appreciate the tattoo’s scenario?

  43. Jessica – Of course *you* don’t have to appreciate the acts in the tattoo!!! There’s nothing wrong with being “vanilla” and not *personally* relating to more unusual forms of sexuality (I don’t get the impression you’re saying people shouldn’t do it at all). People should have the sex lives that make them happy, not the sex lives they’re being told are cool/normal/healthy/freaky/whatever.

    I hope that people who don’t like the content can appreciate that the tattoo makes *ME* happy, but I’m very aware that the subject material is a big turn-off to many, and that’s fine, because the tattoo is not for them.

    I know there are people on IAM (and really, everywhere — I don’t think it’s an IAM thing) that would like to see very specific codes of behavior and expression applied (generally the ones they adhere to) on a subcultural level (and really, is this a subculture or a bunch of people not in a subculture with that being their binding characteristic?). Anyway, personally I think people should do what makes them happy, makes the people around them happy, and doesn’t hurt anything in the process … and if that’s what you’re doing, GOOD!

  44. (On the other hand, I kind of agree with Em as well, that one should be able to find beauty in expression of many different kinds, especially sexual expression — even if you don’t want to do the act yourself).

  45. It’s a nice tattoo and well done, but I can’t help think that the over whelming positive feedback is mostly because it’s Shannon’s tattoo.

    If it was anyone else….

  46. Leroy – I’ve occasionally posted stuff of mine anonymously to test that theory… I guess in this case we’ll wait for the tattoo to show up on some EN site and see how they respond!

  47. Shannon: this might be quite a personal question, but it’s something I’ve been wondering for quite a while about your tattoo, and I think it’s quite relevant.

    Is this tattoo simply a celebration of alternative sexual lifestyles, an artistic depiction of your fight for autonomy and freedom to do with our bodies as we wish? Or is CBT something you’re actually into yourself?

  48. I like the negative space around the nipples and at the ‘collar’ of the black work tattoo.

    I really really adore this tattoo, I probably already said that but fuckit.

  49. i love the art in this but have 2 questions
    1. whats the big red line coming form the man in the foreground, is that blood or some kind of cathider(sp?)
    2. way way way in the back ground there is a jar on a shelf, whats in that jar???

    great tattoo i am glad that it makes “YOU” happy =)

  50. As for all the people complaining about how he could possibly raise a child?

    It’s not THAT hard to keep your shirt on around your family. In fact I remember Shannon specifically mentioning that he was wearing his shirt in some of the Winter Swim pictures because his daughter was there and he didn’t want her to see it yet.

    Any situation can be handled with some responsibility

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  52. … I actually quite like how it looks with the nipple showing. It kind of bothers me when you can’t see people’s nipples, rather like when when you photoshop someon’s bellybutton out.
    Awesome piece, as well. I specially love the light+silhouette at the door.

  53. Gorgeous. Even if the subject matter is irksome to some, its a really well done tattoo.

  54. As far as sexual orientation goes, I’ve noticed that SMers can often be pretty flexible about who they do SM with. I know lot of people who identify as straight who will play with people of the same gender.

    In my own case, I can’t really speak too much to this phenomenon since I’m bisexual. But I’ve always thought that my real orientation, the real thing that actually matters, is that I’m sadomasochistic and a top. Everything else is pretty much window dressing.

  55. It’s a great piece, not my cup of tea, but I can really appreciate it. It’s cool that you’re that passionate about it. Your tattoo artist is amazing.

    Just curious though… what would a lot people be saying if it WAS NOT Shannon Larratt’s piece?
    Not to start anything, but it seems like on any other post on Modblog there is a handful of negative comments, why not this one?

  56. nicole – I’d like to think that’s because it’s a well done tattoo and most people understand the tattoos context? (As you pretty much said!)

    I don’t personally think that this tattoo would get a very different response if it had someone else’s name on it.

  57. You know I was just thinking….I’m not catholic but have two catholic art tattoos because I really really enjoy their art….I think this is pretty similar. Shannon, or anyone for that matter, doesn’t have to be or do what their tattoos depict if they just truly appreciate the beauty of it all.

  58. Its a really nice piece, but i wonder how long it will take for it to show up on stile project. lol

  59. This is Shannon’s bullshit attempt to try and make the rest of the world gay around him … ~_0

  60. Well when I saw the tattoo I really liked it because it had depth, it looked as if his chest was made of glass and through it you could see this amazing world. I really loved how detailed the background was, the amazing colors, I really loved the black bar which covered the man’s eyes (I thought it was unique), I loved the door with bright yellow color where it gave the illusion that it was a doorway to another dimension and I really loved the man standing in the doorway as it some how reminded me of characters from speed racer.

  61. To add to my previous comment I also really loved how the background is a wooden shed on skin, I like it because it’s dried wood on skin which is alive (I can’t explain it). I don’t know I just really like the tattoo, I guess maybe because it is very detailed and takes such a unique imagination to come up with.

  62. Shane is such an amazing artist and such a nice person. Seriously, can’t say enough great things about him! His work is outstanding. And that’s why he’s pretty much exclusively my artist too. ;)

  63. It’s the amazing yellow pigment in the doorway that I LOVE! The whole tattoo is provocative and detailed…but it’s that color and that image of the figure in the door that I cannot stop looking at.

  64. rori – I think you’re right, I wouldn’t say it better. One should do what makes THEM happy!

  65. Wow!!!! that’s pretty amazing/full on !!!!
    I like the effect on the band around your neck,Shannon (I dunno if it’s because of shaving,etc, but it kinda looks like leather in that pic) ….do you have any pics of the tattoos on your arm (i like the different colours on the sky part :P)

  66. Wow, that is incredible. The colours are so bright! Especially the light from the doorway.

  67. I, personally think it’s great tattoo.

    And, COME ON!
    Why the hell would we kiss Shannon’s ass so god damn much, that we can’t give him critizism if we want to?
    If I think it’s a crap tattoo, I’m going to say it.
    I don’t care if it’s Shannon, or someone else.
    I mean, why the hell would we do that?
    (No offense at all here, Shannon.)
    Yes, he runs thins site, and yes we all owe him big time.
    BUT, I don’t think he really would care if people told him they thought the tattoo was crap.
    He wont give any of us anything for sayin’ it’s great and wonderfull and he wont kick us out for saying it’s bad.

    And if I write any more, I’ll just be going in circles.

    My point is;
    Even though Shannon seem slike an amazing person, and I think alot of people agree, we aren’t so fucking blinded by his “awsomeness”, that we have become meere puppets.

    (Sorry for the spelling, I’m Norwegian ya’ know.:) )

  68. Its clear to see Shannon adores his daughter and would act responsibly around her.

    I disagree a little bit with you Shannon about the part you saying this would not get a different response if it was on someone else. People look to you as a bit of a guru in the mods world. Of course your work will get more interest than other peoples here.

    Rightly or wrongly people would look for perfection in your art work Shannon, and there is always someone whos going to try to be nasty.

    What ever the reasons you took for your design, enjoy it personally I think it great :)

  69. Amazing colours, awesome illustration.
    But damn, the picture itself is ugly.
    But hey if you like it, thats all that matters – you didn’t get it for me to enjoy!

  70. Wow great artwork Shannon….Amazing colours….
    And remember everyone its a tattoo, get over it

  71. I adore you, Shannon, and because I have a slight idea of what you’re like, I can take this tattoo and appreciate it. But, if I were to see this chest and not recognize it, be it I’d never seen you or it was some one else completly, my reaction would be to cringe and say to myself, “but whyyyy?”. I understand that you are a person who is art-oriented, and might take things for a little more than surface value, and I think that by knowing this, I am at piece with the artwork, and I don’t think it is out of place by any means. I would really like to see a few close ups of you right sleeve though. I love the colors and the characters.

  72. I am slightly embarassed that I spelled ‘piece’ instead of ‘peace’ in my last comment. Let’s just say it was a pun.

  73. you’re going to get lots of dirty pig men following you around when you take your shirt off! (i’m one of them!)
    great inkwork though.

  74. Not big on the content, but good god! That doesn’t even look like it was done on skin! Beeaautiful work.



  76. They’re gonna love you at the nursing home, dude. Issues much?

    Great entertainment value, to each their own, LMAO.

  77. By the way, nice Jim Woodring illo on your right arm. As a fan of his work I actually find that more disturbing than the bloody dick mutilation ToF stuff. But I see the connection.

    You are obviously living life to something approximating the fullest. Party on.

  78. That is seriously the most amazing work i’ve ever seen in my life. I’d really like to know the meaning behind the tattoo if there is one.

  79. It is one of the most beautiful tattoos I have ever seen… but I just don’t get it. Don’t know how old you are, but your tits will sag into man boobs soon…. ad when those colours fade… ugh that is gonna be quite awful.

    Still some of the best work I have ever seen. Bigger and better the tattoo with colours? The worse it looks over time…..

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  81. Anyone notice that the man in the picture doing the CBT on the guy in the foreground seems to have Shannon’s collar/around-the-neck piece??? I wonder if it’s actually supposed to be Shannon???

  82. Cmon now…the guy who started bme…did you really expect a kanji symbol and tribal armband?

  83. Congrats Shannon for underscoring the freedom of expression of body art, that both makes your spirit happy and bring amazement and fair debate with people around you, not to mention opening their minds that another man’s coffee is another man’s cup of tea.

    I love the different blue colors on your right sleeve, I love the sky and that tattoo bit of the sky is great… a nice alternative to blackwork.

  84. [ ]… you will want to focus on your upper arm/deltoid shoulder area and then work down from there. With upper arms you have the option of having your tribal extend all the way down the arm, to the forearm or even wrist. Or you can have it extend into your neck/shoulder or back. Or, you can simply keep your design isolated to the upper arm with the option for later possibly extending it…[ ]

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