DIY Mid-Foot Amputation

A friend of mine (who is very experienced in this subject) recently did this DIY foot shortening — and this definitely has to be the limits of what’s possible in a DIY setting. I hope it heals well (it’s two weeks old in this photo)! More pictures are in BME/extreme‘s amputation galleries.

PS. It’s quite an old interview, but you may want to read this interview about voluntary amputation (free link) if you’d like to learn a little more about the “why” end of things, or if you’re a BME/Video member, this video interview about ampuation (as well as a demonstration) is very much worth checking out.

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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 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.

136 thoughts on “DIY Mid-Foot Amputation

  1. I wish that i to, could be a wobbly motherfucker.

    Nahh on second thoughts id prefer to have an entire foot…

    Kinda makes me disappointed that my uncle who lost a foot not long ago would do anything to have it back, while there are people willing to remove theirs for fun. Self amputation like this sorta makes me think these people need some help.

  2. #3 there are people in the world who would give anything for a few bucks to get food into their childs stomach and think of the things you waste money on.. or the food you waste..
    I think it looks better without the toes anyways. toes kind of suck. I wonder how it is to walk without them though…

  3. is it a bit harder to keep balance?

    that looks insane….i cant even imagine how it must feel…it hurts like hell when i stub my toe ha

  4. #4, from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s apparently not too difficult to walk without toes once you’ve become accustomed to it. I have a friend whose entire foot was amputated after she developed some rare bone-related disease, leaving only the heel (in the end, however, the elusive bone disease turned out to be a false alarm. Way to go, doctor.) She doesn’t wear a prosthetic foot, and she runs around in platform boots like a chicken with its head cut off.

  5. I don’t know… just that I can specifically recall thoughts back from when I was a child. I would be riding along in the car, and fantasize about being in a wreck and coming out perfectly unscathed, except for my whole hand being chopped off. There were other fantasies about losing an eye. For some reason I reallllly wanted to either be one-handed or one-eyed! It had nothing to do with pirates, either, I swear! I just find it fascinating that I had these fantasies when I was a little kid, and that people can still have these till maturity and actually go through with it. It’s weird.

  6. I love this community. It’s all about the love, or not for each other. What 3 is trying to express is total perplexity at the notion of self amputation. I understand this perplexity, but to condemn that is more wrong than #3 thinking that foot shortening might be a little too extreme for him to comprehend. Lashing out for not understanding doesn’t prove your appreciation for somebody’s mod or their razor’s edge extremeness. It just shows that your bigotry is different.

    Honestly, I can’t take the high road here completely because trying to understand something this is something I can’t do. I just don’t grock the appeal at all.

  7. hmm.. that’s interesting.
    i’d be afraid i’d bleed to death.
    and how did they cut through bone?
    this makes me think of Saw.

    i love this site!
    it makes me feel more openminded every time i look at it.
    and i realize how closeminded some people here still are.
    you can’t control what other people do.
    live and let live.

  8. This guy does not need help, he needs attention. That’s why he cut his foot off.

  9. This is one of the mods I don’t understnad and one of the few I woulnd’t consider having (including nullification or other genitalia mods, I woulnd’t have even a PA right now…).

    But hey, to everybody her\his own. (I like to take into consideration that not so long ago people with, like bifurcated tongues or other “heavier” mods were considered to be mildly unstable. I just wonder if this has the potential to become more or less “mainstream”, given the fact that mostly it’s really permanent)

  10. I was wondering about cutting the bone, too, but looking more closely it looks like it was taken off to follow the joints.

    Somehow though, the thought of dislocating each toe in turn makes me cringe a little more, whereas driving a sharp chisel clean through the bone doesn’t. I think it’s from preparing meat, and revelling in that schlucking noise and popping feeling of dislocating leg bones… I can’t quite come to terms with applying the same sort of brute force to my own joints!

    Still, if you’re reconciled to it and looking forward to the result, it must be so satisfying to hear each pop off in turn. Any chance of a good n’ gory text account of this? I’m even more curious about the practical aspects than the motivation :)

    And finally, what became of the removed tissue? Appetisers? Ornament? A little set of phalangeal pan-pipes, maybe, or a small toe bone xylophone?

  11. 1-My take on amputations is that I could never do it, but its their body, and I’d never try and tell someone they cant do something to their own body.

    2- I’m suprised no ones said “they didnt get hugged enough as a child” yet. Plesently suprised, I hate when people say that.

  12. Ooh, or keep a toe in a bottle of vodka or something & challenge new guests to drink a shot…

    Hang a pair from your rear view mirror for luck…

    If there’s enough toenail, a big toe could be an awesome novelty plectrum!

    OK, I’m going to bed, no more dismembered toe uses tonight.

  13. I feel a don’t knock it till you try it kinda way on things of this nature when its voluntary, its not on my top 100 list to do but if it makes someone feel more whole with less then so be it.

  14. I’m glad I finally don’t seem to have Train Wreck Syndrome anymore. As much as I want to see that video interview, I simply can’t watch it as I find the subject revolting. Yes, to each his own but I can’t hear/watch/know/read anything about it!

  15. Good job! I am forever envious of people who can perform DIY projects, especially one of this magnitude. I hope that the wearer of this mod is happy about how well it turned out.

  16. My girlfriends and I always talk about removing the outside toe/bone of our feet so shoes fit/look better. I’d like to understand the gratification of this more. But it does look very well done.

  17. 1) Did this person cauterize the wound step by step as they went along?
    2) I always thought toes looked kinda weird, but I never thought about what feet might look like without them. Also, no more blisters! :)

  18. it amazes me how many of these posts there are and how many negative comments they’re STILL getting. move along people, damn.

    i really doubt he wants attention considering the high percentage of places that require shoes, which he can obviously still wear. i don’t get the impression that voluntary amputees stop conversation to say “hey! look what i did!” i’m pretty sure they’d get the same negative responses in person as they do here and who really wants to hear that shit?

    what i’d like to know, however, is HOW he did it. there had to be some serious thought and research put into an amputation of this magnitude. i can’t even imagine the process.

  19. Hmm, looks like they removed the phalanges, all of the metatarsals look like they are still intact. I wonder how this affects function, walking, running, and such.

  20. Xander – I was thinking it looked infected too. It also looks like his circulation is really messed up – his “foot” is almost purple. Nothing negative towards voluntary amputation, to each his own, it’s just that the end result doesn’t look very happy.

  21. to quote shannon

    the best explanation of why

    “I’m not sure that the line between adornment and nullification is that wide — it’s just a different path to a personal ideal body. You can build a sculpture by adding clay, or you can build a sculpture by chiseling away marble… You still end up with a sculpture”

  22. choosing aesthetics over something so dramatically important as the ability to move through the world without unnecessary difficulty is so incredibly, ridiculously, decadent. This guy has got zero moral high ground.

  23. I am not against amputations. In fact I think some of them are pretty neat. This is stupid to me though. He is going to be balance and possibly harm his back, his hipjoint and his knee because of it.

  24. I meant to say “off balance”.

    I wish you could edit stuff like on a normal message board.

  25. i truly hope he gets that checked. it could kill him. oh great…as the daughter of a nurse…now i am paranoid and worried!

    let us know how you are buddy!

  26. i have never replied on this site before but viewing this picture makes me really sad for humanity. a line has been crossed. and i dont really care what people will think about my reply, this is fucking wrong… i dont care about what motivates someone to do someting like this… this is no longer modification… this is just mutilation… and not in a good way… its just stupid… like another poster said… this is going to wreck the persons hips and back in the future… i cant understand why… “dude check it out i removed my own toes!”
    fuck… i find this worse than the crazy fuckers who chop their dicks in half or right off… its just wrong… bloody hell… i hope this fucker gets gangrene or some horrible infection or something… teach him a lesson…

  27. First off, I hope you’ve got some A1 antibiotics… if bacteria get into your bloodstream, you’re pretty much dead… or you’ll wish you were.

    Secondly: How can you give up the beloved flip flops!?!?! (Let alone 5 toes…)

  28. That is an amazingly clean effort. I am sure that the owner of this foot is very happy with the result, and my guess is that it has achieved the result that they were after. I can appreciate this experience (and the fact that they have shared their experience) fully knowing that I would not want it for myself.

    I love the quote of Shannon’s that Pauly Unstoppable posted, though I am more of an “add clay” kinda girl :)

  29. I think that is and the interview are super interesting. Like, I want to learn more, and hear from other amputees.

    #12 good point.

  30. personally not my cup of tea, because I feel removal of body parts isn’t “enhancing” its “taking away”… but each to their own. I hope it heals well and they are happy with the final outcome.

  31. Once again I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said. Not my preference blah blah blah. However, compared to some other amputation mods (I’m thinking mostly of the genitals here) I actually rather like this. Very clean, very sleek. Fascinating.
    I had no idea this stuff existed until I started coming here and the subject just enthralls me. Not doing to myself but the motives behind other peoples mods, of course. I found the easiest explanation to understand and convey to others (my mom) is that it’s not much different from transsexual/genderism.
    Some people would argue that reversing your penis is worse than losing some toes. Personally, I have no opinion. But I’m also pro-therapy so I wonder if he got counseling before deciding to do this. It’s highly recommended for gender reassignment surgery (if not mandatory?) so I wonder if voluntary amputation will be handled the same way by doctors if it ever becomes less taboo? Seems like a good idea.
    It does look a little red, I hope updates follow. That would be one bitchin’ infection.

  32. Pauly’s repetition of Shannon’s ‘Clay’ metaphor is flawed, but mostly because the original quote is incorrect.

    There are well documented psychological reasons behind the removal of limbs & digits etc that share similarities with self harming. They are often done to address feelings of lack of completion, itself a paradox. Others (Pauly etc) are often classed amongst those who have seen it done and wish to emulate the experience (copycat wannabe amputees).

    According to World Science “Another possible diagnosis would be body dysmorphic disorder, a condition whose patients are convinced they have a defect in appearance, Berger and colleagues wrote. Patients believe they have a misshapen, smelly, or otherwise defective body part. ”

    Either way it is widely different to the decorative element of tattooing/piercing etc where the desire is to compliment.

    I would guess that very few people on here are trying to create their perfect idea of themselves through tattooing and piercing to be honest.

  33. Paul (#52) hits the nail on the head: why did this happen? NoHand (in the interview) doesn’t really answer this most basic question either, beyond uninformative comments like he wanted to do it, he likes it, he thinks it looks good etc. I appreciate that our bodily urges can be hard to articulate, but most people think hard about our psychological motivations, and this is likely to be all the more so for particularly abnormal behaveour (no value judgement on my part implied).
    So how about some basic questions: for how long did you want to do this? How did you feel about your feet and toes before? Was it the bit removed or the bit left that you were focussed upon? Has doing this achieved a resolution, or a temporary cessation of the urges that prompted it?
    Finally, I’d like to draw attention to the difference between proximate and ultimate reasons. Pauly, I don’t for one moment think you intend to cut off part of your finger just because it looks pretty. That might be the truth, but is it the whole truth? After all, there are many, much simpler ways of making your or your environment prettier. I’m sure you have other motivations, whether you understand them yourself or not. Of course, as a random stranger, I have no particular right to know them.

  34. #55: “ut I’m also pro-therapy so I wonder if he got counseling before deciding to do this. It’s highly recommended for gender reassignment surgery (if not mandatory?)”

    Professionally(medically/surgicall) done or DIY, or a non professional doing this procedure…I think ANYONE considering amputation, needs to go through with “pretending” to be paralyzed, for at least a year….Much like how the gender re-assignment patients do.

    As the person wishing to take part in this amputation needs to understand, FULLY, what will happen afterwards…As well as learn to cope with the fact that they are now minor a limb, digit,etc. As well as to sort out those who might have the Body Dismorphic Disorder,etc.

    Not saying it can’t be done…But these are definatey life-altering changes of a serious degree..

  35. Digger makes a great point that reflects my own in that the motivations we believe we have for doing certain acts are in fact often either not understood or deliberately obscured.

    I have read a lot of Paully’s blog entries and it is clear that there are many factors at play rather than simply the desire to ‘look pretty’.

  36. the first thing I thought was “Damn, it looks infected”. The second one was “I would never do that”. As much as I am all for people taking control of their bodies-as much as we can truly do that-I still have grave reservations against this level of amputation. But hey, its not me risking the septacemia, blood clots and massive staph/bacterial infections. As long as I neither have to help him in any way physically or financially and he is willing to take care of his stuff and leave me alone, so be it.

    I still think its looks infected-and I’ve seen plenty of amputated limbs post-surgery.

  37. I agree with Wormster-uk. I think it’s too extreme and has, in my point of view, nothing to do with body adornment. But hey, whatever floats your boat !

  38. WTF? self amputation that is something I’ll never understand… I wonder what was wrong with his toes that he wanted to do something like that… But what the hell… it’s his foot

  39. Ouch.

    I was looking at my feet just yesterday and thinking how I’d prefer them without toes – but that feeling wasn’t as strong as this guy’s I guess, because I could never go through with that amount of pain.

    Apparently I said in my sleep last night “Without toes, my foot would look like a flipper. I’d be a fish.” Which is rather odd.

  40. no seriously. this is too much.
    did he have any problems with his foot?!
    really… intense…

  41. I don’t understand how people can come on here with an attitude that is conducive to thinking “WTF, why would someone want to do that to themselves?” This site itself is an outlet for things most people would find disquieting. If you’re aware of that, and don’t want to see anything like this, then simply don’t visit!

    I find the concept of amputation very interesting. I think one day I’d like to get rid of the top joint in my right-hand ring finger. But I’m not crazy, and I was hugged enough as a child :) IMO, amputation-seekers do things like this because they want to alter their bodies. To me, it’s no different from getting your tongue pierced.

    There doesn’t need to be anything ‘wrong’ with the body part, and people may not hate it. It’s just a personal preference whether you want to have a foot or not! :)

    - Campbell

  42. amputate yourself (or make something mod on yourself) is a very hard thing, and you have to be very focused and decided, and strong as well. who is able to make it has very strong mental health…

  43. Wow, this site never fails to amaze me! And my parents think my industrial is extreme…

    I don’t think I could ever do anything like this though… I’d be too scared incase I decided I wanted missing body parts back! (and I presume you can’t freeze them and stitch them back on!)

    But I would love to know how he done it, I mean, can you imagine cutting off your toes??? That must be pretty intense. Wow and wow again.

  44. reading his interview I switched back and forth between morbid facination, feeling like maybe I understood, and feeling like he was just justifying his serious emotional problems away. Correct me if I’m wrong but he does lose this foot doesn’t he? Is that not what it says in the interview?

  45. I totally understand the why, but I still cringe because I love fingers and toes…a lot,actually hehe

  46. to quote #68, campbell… “To me, it’s no different from getting your tongue pierced.”

    except a tongue piercing you take out and the hole will heal… your effin toes are gone forever… there is no reset button…

    whats next, sewing people together? DIY Siamese Twin Melding?
    no no no… i wanna see some one cut their own head off… that would be the coolest mod ever!

  47. Did anyone of you who are questioning his intentions (or otherwise judging this procedure) think to look in the BME Wiki for something that might help explain this to you?

    It’s really no different that any other mod. For example, what makes you want to voluntarily allow someone to cut into your flesh with a scalpel?

    Ultimately, it’s no different that anything else. Albeit, more permanent than most mods, but ultimately it’s from similar motives – it makes you happy.

  48. People really need to lay off this guy. I’m really not interested in psychological bull on why this guy cut off his toes, because the way I see it, now-a-days psychology can “prove” theres something mentally wrong with everyone. This guy decided to do this, and I’m sure he will walk just fine like this, and I’m sure he’ll be happy regardless of what you have to say about it because he did it for him, NOT YOU.

    Also, I’m sure your foot would be red if you just cut off the toes too, and I’m sure if he researched amputation enough to know how to safely do it, he researched how to take care of it afterwards too.

    Oh, one more thing (sorry for the legnth of this), I saw one person state that this is “wrong”, and that’s certainly not your judgement to make. Just because you dont accept something doesnt mean its wrong, it just means you dont like it. And wishing he gets really sick from this is pretty low and uncalled for. I wish him a great recovery and happiness with his journey.

  49. “i hope this fucker gets gangrene or some horrible infection or something… teach him a lesson… ”

    I laugh at the people who wish this person would get a bad infection – they’re basically wishing for him to die or come pretty close to? And these people are the ones who brand people on this site freaks…. makes yah think doesnt it?

  50. The BME Wiki is by no means a complete or impartial directory of body modification. It is based on the opinions of those within the scene, is completely biased and sometimes offers little in the way of evidence to back up its articles.

    The Wiki on amputation rightly puts quotations around some very key phrases and makes some startling generalisations. It barely touches on the psychology of self amputation and offers little in the way of non-partisan commentary.

    I am still waiting for Shannon (or even anyone else) to provided some contextual evidence for eyeball tattooing through history as none of my books or extensive histories of tattooing show anything of the sort.

    Be VERY wary of some of the info you take from BME as there are some areas that need stronger evidence to back up their validity.

  51. Siamese twin melding? Maybe, if it’s out there enough…!

    But seriously, it’s not all that hard to draw a line between mods that change look only, and mods that change bodily function. Crossing that line or not is an entirely different topic but I fail to see how pretending there is no difference in terms of future implications is more “open-minded” or “understanding.” It takes what could be a very interesting topic and pretty much flattens it and, er, cuts discussion off.

    Furthermore, it’s a public website, and now it’s getting quite well known, of course there will be people shaking their heads and wondering “what on earth…?” But then, that’s part of the attraction, isn’t it? (Motivation of the practitioners aside.) I mean, everyone’s seen pictures of split tongues now, they’re old hat.

    Only tangentially related, has anyone read a book “Out on Blue Six” by Ian McDonald? It’s a dystopian future sort of genre, but in it there is a group of people “Brothers of the Carnal Plenum” and they swap body parts, amputating and resewing them on. It’s fiction and futuristic so everything is always functional, but the “Siamese Twins” comment sorta reminded me of it. Maybe in the future it could be your own cloned arm.

    How about “Geek Love,” the cult of Artie?

  52. rule of the day kids: dont do anything unless Giles Wallwork says its okay (no seriously he reads lots of books how can he be wrong? ) haha

  53. Giles – I wasn’t trying to imply that the Wiki is in anyway impartial or objective… I realize now that my comment is fairly easy to interpret that way, but it was intended to be just another view/opinion on the subject, as it seems like the majority of people who are commenting negatively about this haven’t done much to gain any insight (be it opinion or factual) as to why someone would amputate a part of their body.

  54. >>80
    Well, the guy in the next post gave HIMSELF a nasty infection… on purpose! I’ll admit that one boggles my mind, if I wanted to have toes gone, chopping seems less overall pain, not to mention controllable.

    I mentioned above though, my father chopped half his foot like that in an industrial accident, but due to the nature of it, there needed to be skin grafts to close it, and the meantime lots of ripping off of purposely sticky bandages to remove any infected/gangrenous bits that can happen on the end. He says that was by far the worst part, it’s similar to what they do for burn victims. But if you’re dissecting off the toes all clean and leaving skin to close up with, it’s probably less of a problem. Accidents aren’t so clean, very often, if you’re talking a shop.

  55. #85 … yes that guy did do it to himself but thats my point he did it to HIMSELF- wishing that someone gets an infection just to learn a lesson shows what kind of moral standards they have.

    I would never do such things to myself but that doesnt mean I would wish for them to get sick or die? And if these people think that people who do things they want to do to themselves (not harming anyone) are freaks then let me get in the freak line- thank you !!

  56. I would not like the asymetrical-ness of having no toes on one foot and the normal 5 on the other. But i guess it does show the amazing contrast pretty well.

  57. no digger thats my only reason behind it

    though giles will come up with some long psychological excuse like always about how its not modification and i am only doing it because society is telling me i need bigger breasts, oh wait that was another thread

    but i just think its pretty, thats it

    the only other reason i could think of right now would be to piss everyone on modblog off (obviously not the real reason)

    the “clay” quote is only flawed by your standards (as well as a few others) what i cant seem to get is why people dont understand is there are different spectrum’s of modifications out there and that psychology doesn’t superceed everything else in th e world

    i am not going to get into this debate, as i try to keep out of most modblog debates anymore cause there is no reasoning with some people on here at all

    i understand that amputation is definitely out of the realm of most peoples understanding, there are things in body modification that i personally cant wrap my mind around

    however i don’t go off and condemn these people as lunatics and go off on rants about there mental well being and how they should be ashamed of themselves for cutting off a limb people who lost them accidentally would love to have back

    hey he cut off part of his foot, why do you even care anyway, is that your foot, do you know this person, in the big spectrum that is life is he going to effect yours at all……yeah i didn’t think so

    you don’t have to like it, you don’t have to get it, hell you dont have to even look at it, but its no ones place to say its not body modification or stop him from doing it

    and on a side note, i have had a psychological evaluation (which is a crook of shit anyway) about my want to remove the tip of my finger just because, and i was found to be in sound mind, and they saw no negative reason well besides they wouldn’t do it, that i shouldn’t be able to do it

    that turned out a lot longer then i wanted, i wont be posting again however so tear it all apart and call me whatever but i said my peace

  58. Paully – Just because you are unsure of the genuine reasons behind your modifications doesn’t mean that others are. Removal of limbs isn’t new and many scientists and psychiatrists have spent years researching the similarities between people who do it and their results are fairly wide ranging. Your attititude towards psychology (“crook(sic) of shit”) shows how much you really care for the reasons behind what you do.

    Why do I care? Well to put it simply I am classed alongside people who modify themselves but it is becoming more apparent that as the scene grows so does the level of irresponsibility attached to some of the protagonists involved. Shannon throws people who purposely infect their limbs for selfish desire alongside people with strong spiritual beliefs and fantastic works of body art together.

    I want to show the world that the body art scene is not infected by attention seekers, extremists, fashion victims, ignorant followers or those defined solely by whatever can be done.

  59. i hate condescending pricks like giles that think they know it all

    hey i watched a show on the discovery channel about people who feel the need to amputate something therefore i am the best! The show highlighed a few people who felt like they needed to amputate a body part and doctors said they were crazy so everyone who wants to amputate a body part is crazy!

  60. basically your an elitist and egotist

    if its not “up to par” with the body art you chose then its not body art at all

    and again there you go with the “genuine” reasons of behind modifications, i really find the fact you think people cant think for themselves extremely absurd, you can quote and rant all you want about psychiatrist say this and they say that etc etc, that doesn’t make you the know all be all of why I or anyone else wants modifications

    and i find it equally absurd that everything is so cut and dry that because some people do get amputations or any other modification because of some sort of psychological disorder, that means everyone does

    the world is not that black and white you cant define everyone by the same logic because we are all differnt

    i know nothing what i say matters anyway, its not going to get anywhere with the people its directed to because i think its obvious they are as pig headed and set in there ways as i am

    which i can admit, so i really am done now, well hopefully

  61. JLB – “i hate condescending pricks like giles that think they know it all

    hey i watched a show on the discovery channel about people who feel the need to amputate something therefore i am the best!”

    Hilarious. Actually I have been studying body modification for over 16 years but hey….

  62. Paully – Believe it or not people are not as different as you would like to believe. Despite the constant desire by some to be unique they remain creatures of habit and are often quite predictable.

  63. Why? Body Modification is a scene, and it has been for years. Hate to break it to some of you kids out there, but you didn’t invent the word ‘scene’ a year or two ago. It just refers to a ‘relatively’ small group where people share common interests. It was only a couple of years ago that calling someone ‘scene’ became a derogatory term.

  64. Two comments:
    1) I agree with whay Pauly is saying (and he is living up to his name)
    2) A question to Giles: How have you managed to study anything, much less body modification, for 16 years without ever opening your mind?

  65. Why are some of you dissing psychology? This is what baffles me. I feel like the only reason you wouldn’t talk to someone about motives is because you’re afraid you don’t actually have a good reason.
    Now, I’m not saying all amputees are ‘crazy’ or ‘freaks’ or whatever unfair term you want to use to shut down opposition. I am saying that removal is SO different from addition wouldn’t you want to make sure it’s the right choice for you? And I’ve heard you moaning about how ligit doctors won’t preform these operations, but you don’t seem to understand that they NEED to know why.
    It’s not some ‘black and white’ arbatrary thing. If you really want to take steps toward acceptance, you have to learn how to play the game. That means counseling and being able to articulate clearly why you need (not want, but need) this piece of you cut out forever. If you can’t do that, doctors will never listen to you and you get disasters like the post above.

  66. (co-posted to both forums)

    Amputation is the oldest form of documented body modification.

    The comment forums on these heavy modification posts are fascinating filters revealing who “gets it” and who doesn’t… It’s fine if people don’t want this type of thing for themselves, but whining about it reflecting poorly on your little tattoos is ridiculous, and really, it when I see these posts, I worry that they’re coming from people who will deeply regret those tattoos in the future because they’re conceptualizing them as a fashion statement rather than a state of being.

    BME is about body modification. Perhaps some readers would be better off with fashion magazines, which BME very much is not. Certainly there is a cross over, and fashion imitates and takes inspiration from body modification, but the foundation is NEVER fashion.

  67. Beardyface – Please explain. There is a massive difference between having a mind that can question and understand motives and one that simply accepts all without questioning.

    There are those who don’t understand the differences and just blindly accept and those who do know the differences and make their choices armed with knowledge.

    A more open mind will question values and beliefs and make an informed choice. A closed mind won’t understand the question but nod along with the crowd.

    Shannon – If people on here were truly into Body Modification as a fashion statement then they would be getting the latest modification crazes each time they became a viable option. No offence Paully.

  68. MaliceAlice- read my post alittle more carefully

    I have talked to both doctors and psychologist about my motives for both wanting to take off the tip of my finger and for my overall all sense of modification

    i have nothing to hide and will talk to anyone openly about my motives and ambitions for my modifications

    as i think is obvious from my personal pages and my online interviews

    when you “play the game” as you call it, they still refuse to do such procedures for fear of being ostracized by there fellow doctors

    i talked to a handful of surgeons and psychiatrist and even though they all felt i was of sound mind in my decisions professional, they all still refused to do heavier procedures and could not direct me to anyone that could

    and this is something i have been talking about for 6 or 7 years, not something i just thought up all of a sudden

  69. >>97
    I agree, it’s a scene. I would never claim to have invented the term.

    But part of being a scene, means it has some of the same “scene drama,” as other groups, including arguments over what is the real practice, arguments over different peoples’ motivations, pressure to be more “out there,” etc. Just like other scenes, now that, like it or not, body modifications (tattoos and piercing, anyway) have become, dare I say it, popular in wider circles. Sometimes it’s not to stand out, but to fit in. It happens.

    So, I find those aspects interesting, also, along with merely appreciating the articles and photographs.

    It comes up in the posts about the breast enlargements (are they just bodymods? Or not? They fit in, we stand out?), and in the posts where people have surgically removed the stretched part of their ears to undo it (how can anyone want to undo it, it’s as if it were a mere fashion!), among other threads.

  70. From the age of 12-17, I used to dream of being able to do what he has done to the point of obsession. Purely for the look and feel of it, no other reason. Now at 20, it’s just one of those impossible things that I would like to do to my body and has long been pushed to the back of my mind. Although seeing this incredibly clean photo of the amputation I desire has stirred very old and deep feelings.

    Your friend did a brilliant job Shannon. Love it.

  71. While I sit on the side of the fence that suggests that excising body parts is more of a psychological issue, I fully concede that that’s really just my opinion and in the end has nothing to do with whether it’s right or wrong to do. That stated, this is damned fascinating either way.

  72. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have the time to read ALL of the posts… but my issue with the foot has very little to do with questioning his psychological motives. Trying to get inside anyone’s brain and understanding motivations to do anything seems rather Sisyphysian to me. I care as much about why this guy decided to amputate his foot as I care about why he had Pop-tarts this morning instead of poached eggs. His decision. None of my business. Who am I to say what’s a “valid” reason to do anything?

    What I worry and wonder about is whether he considered all of the risks involved in the procedure, particularly going DIY. Infection is a risk with most any mod, but here, if he goes to the Emergency Room… Psych is GOING to be called. Did he consider that he might be 302′d for this procedure?

    Or the musculoskeletal consequences? I’m no orthopedist, but I would imagine this would adversely affect his gait and risks putting serious stress on his body structure.

    And Giles – I think it’s about time you came to realize that the scene **IS** infected by attention seekers, extremists, fashion victims, ignorant followers and those defined solely by whatever can be done. Can’t the rest of us gawk in peace?

  73. ok Im not here to jusdge .. and although Im ot into the whole amputee thing .. I would totally chop my toes off too if they looked as fucking nasty and putrid as his did before hand .. yuck ! look at thoes toe nails .. Talk about dermatifite infestation ! maby he would not have had to resort to this if someone had just givin him some Tough Actin Tenactin ! ..

  74. oops wrong thread ! I have no prob with your toe removal prossess ! good luck !

  75. SKylark – And Giles – I think it’s about time you came to realize that the scene **IS** infected by attention seekers, extremists, fashion victims, ignorant followers and those defined solely by whatever can be done. Can’t the rest of us gawk in peace?

    Well yes of course you can but at least allow me the freedom to voice my distaste at its current situation and attempt to influence attitudes.

    Shannon – Giles, if anything Pauly is the body modification foundation that fashionistas emulate…

    Are you sure? Nothing that Pauly (or indeed I) do is unique or original in any way but Pauly appears to have no defining barriers to what he does. He is defined by whatever mods can be done with little reasoning as to why he does them.

  76. Pauly – I have read many of your personal blog entries and have met several people similar to you. Nobody is pretending to know you but your personal profile is similar to others who have chosen extreme physical attributes throughout history.

    I think you are taking my comments too negatively to be honest.

  77. Giles – Let’s back up a second to comment #102. “A more open mind will question values and beliefs and make an informed choice. A closed mind won’t understand the question but nod along with the crowd.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but you’re pretty much saying that as long as forethought and, for lack of a better term, “soul-searching” are present, then body modification, to you at least, is acceptable?

    Who’s to say that this person hadn’t thought about amputating his foot for several years (or possibly decades)? And who’s to say that he hadn’t picked up medical/anatomy books to research the various details of the procedure/healing/aftercare/implications? If this were the case, would you personally find this mod more acceptable?

  78. Corky – My argument has never been about whether this act is acceptable, those were other people’s misinterpretations (no surprise there tbh). My argument has always been that these kinds of acts have strong documented links with Negative Body Image (again similar to those choosing breast augmentation). There are some very interesting articles and papers on the subject that go into the history and psychology of self-amputation.

    The root causes that crop up time and time again with acts like this are Gender Identity Disorder and Anatomical Dysfunction Disorder. Both are extremely well researched areas with many historical cases to draw upon.

    However these conditions can be more permanently addressed through structured support and counselling where the results are much longer lasting. Very rarely does a self amputee stop having such negative identity feelings once the act is over despite what the say to the contrary. Often further acts are done to maintain the initial feelings of euphoria after the initial amputation.

  79. Giles – You said earlier that you do not wish to be classed with the “attention seekers, extremists, fashion victims, ignorant followers or those defined solely by whatever can be done”. So, actually, you are implying a level of acceptability, or at least what you feel society finds acceptable.

    This type of view is, in my opinion at least, completely out of place on IAM (or any other similar site). After all, if body modification was truly 100% accepted by society, and no discrimination against those who are modified existed, I’d bet there would be far fewer sites like IAM. The point is that the general populous doesn’t yet view body modification (or at least VISIBLE body modifications) as “acceptable”, and as such, sites like IAM exist, at least partially, to give us a place where we don’t get those weird looks, or whispering behind our backs – a “safe place”, if you will (Shannon, correct me if I’m wrong for thinking this).

    So, even if you get what you want, and society only sees the modifications that are IN YOUR OPINION “beautiful aesthetic contributions” (taken from the other forum), there may (and likely will) still be an overall resistance to body modifications, at least for the short-term.

  80. Corky – BME is very much a place where people give “strange looks”. You only have to look at some of the sites that hotlink through to BME and see the responses there.

    The recent eyeball tattooing experiment was all over the net as soon as it was reported here. It had been evaluated, dis-assembled and ridiculed before many IAM members had even read about it.

    There SHOULD be a level of resistance to Body Modification if only to maintain a high level of quality and standard across the industry. It is in no way exempt from criticism.

    What is refreshing is seeing the growing tide of Modified who are challenging the idea of ‘everything is acceptable’ and are helping to enusre that body modification is not simply a free for all.

  81. I say to each his or her own and its no one else’s place to judge for their own modifications. Hell, I get asked all the time why I would put big holes in my ears. It makes me happy and feel more…complete, in a way. Why can’t some people just let it rest at that? Just a retorical question, no need to actually answer it.

  82. Giles, I really hope your ability to make intelligent observations rather than knee-jerk reactions, statements personal prejudices, and the belief that your borders limits should be everyone’s borders and limits, all wrapped up in snobbery, develops before you write this PhD of yours, lest you do us all a great disservice… although it’s been my experience that thesis writing is all too often about justifying the personal opinions of the writer, rather than honest research.

    And NO, there shouldn’t be a “resistance to body modification”, and in body modification, as I see it, and I think as most people genuinely into it see it, everything really is acceptable. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to do everything or like everything personally (I certainly would expect most people to have an “I would never do that” guttural response to mid-foot amputation), but they should have a broad enough understanding of what drives people to understand that when it comes to expressing ones life and living ones life through physical transformation and ritual, that there are no set limits of any kind, nor should there be other than subjectively… and I would hope that they would support other people in their journeys, even if they can’t immediately relate to them.

  83. Giles, you’re proving my point. Yes, currently there are those that give the weird looks, but it SHOULDN’T be that way, and it’s people like you who propagate that kind of reaction!

    I find it very interesting that your first response to my original post (about the BME Wiki) attempted to discount it’s usefulness due to it’s lack of impartiality. Yet here you are saying that there SHOULD be resistance to body modification in order to enforce a “high level of quality and standard across the industry”. Now, if you were referring to hygiene, I’d be all with you. But you’re talking about aesthetics. And, as someone who constantly refers back to psychology, you should be MORE than aware that everyone’s aesthetic sense is somewhat different. I’m sure you will say that we are all the same, and that I’m totally wrong, but if you genuinely sit down and think about it, our sense of art is defined by our experiences and how we relate to them, so, no. Everybody is not exactly the same. To some people, this body mod may be BEAUTIFUL. It just doesn’t happen to be to you, and since you can’t really psychologically explain this to YOURSELF, you have decided that he is an “extremist” or an “attention seeker”, which is rather bigoted, if you ask me.

    I’m done with this thread… I thought I would enjoy an open-minded debate, but now it’s just starting to piss me off.

  84. If someone suffers from extreme mental illness and fixate themselves on removing a limb because it is “evil” and having their arm/leg/finger removed will solve everything, should we support his actions for removal or help him seek a mental health professional? The man is clearly disturbed but his actions include something that could fall under the realm of body modification. Do we support anything and everything that someone does to modify themselves, even if it is harmful and only a product on mental defect?

    Just like we shouldn’t say that all willing amputees are sick, we can’t say that they all aren’t.

  85. The only thing I find worrysome about Pauly and his mods, is that I read a post on his IAM page where he said a dude told him he should get a transcrotal so he could fuck it, and Pauly said “OK, so now I’m looking into a transcrotal”. I don’t believe there was any “haha” or “lol” attached to it either, so I think he was serious. I also read in Tattoo and Piercing Magazine an article on Pauly where said one of the reasons he stretched his nostrils so big was because people told him he should. I think anyone should do anything (yes, anything) they want for THE RIGHT REASONS. I hope Pauly is OK, and he does his mods for himself, and not to make others happy.

  86. i never said i was getting my trans scrotal so someone could fuck it

    i have wanted a trans scrotal since i saw the one jon cobb did years and years ago on bme

    people really take things on the internet far far to seriously, the person that made the joke about fucking my TS is the same person i am on modblog with his penis in my ear

    did i stretch my ear so he could fuck it? of course not

    and in regards to my nostrils, thats also something i had talked about since i was in high school after seeing Pat Tidwells nostrils

    what you are referring to is when my now ex fiance talked me into buying some 1″ plugs when i was in canada, i was already going bigger but kept putting it off and putting it off till he just told me to buy them so i did

    i dont think if i was doing my modification for other people i would push myself as far as i do

  87. Pauly – Good to hear!! Then by all means – ROCK ON!! See, now I understand something better about Pauly. If more people on here were willing to listen people, instead of arguing with them, they might understand the other one a little bit better. When I first came to this site, I saw a fully bisected penis, and said “That is fucked up, pierce it, don’t cut it half!!”. As I am typing this, I have a 3/4 head split (basically from a standard trans-urethral apadravya forward) and am thinking of a subincision. You gotta crawl before you walk. If you want to walk, that is.

  88. this has nothing to do with the original post, but simply because it’s a giant pet peeve of mine…

    Pauly: your/you’re, their/there/they’re, to/too… teh list goze on…

  89. Wow, there’s been over a hundred posts on a thread about amputation (which always inspires a charmingly civil debate where people treat each other as equal and respected human beings, the goal of which is to see whose expert opinion, which is never based upon personal value judgments, reigns supreme and adequately explains the amputee’s particular brand of pathology), and Godwin’s Law is as yet unfulfilled.
    I’m stunned, it worked with the partial thumb amputation by the 53rd post…

  90. Hey Shanon, why did you give link to interview video, but did not give free access to it? My interest is entirily, let’s say, scientific, I am trying to understand what drives people to do what they do. And even is interesting what do they feel/think after they have done permament changes with their bodies, it is not a video game with save/load options

    I am kind of fan of the stuff you publish here, shame on me, but no way I will ever do anything like that on myself, that is why I won’t ever get access to the gals you have here

  91. Thanatos, almost everything I post here is totally free… I don’t think I need to apologize for not making BME/video memberships free as well. If it’s that interesting to you, help cover the bills for all this by getting a membership and viewing the full interview… If not, enjoy the free content…

  92. I did not mean to offend you, but as I understood, I have to have body mods to get membership, even if I am ready to pay

  93. i appreciate Shannon actually reading comments from previous posts and posting something that addresses the “why” issue. i raised a question about that in a previous post and it makes me feel good to be part of a website that actually pays attention to its readers. kudos to you my friend!

  94. hey all…I’m a llittle suprised to find a pic of my foot on here. A friend of mine who is on here gave me this link and said “hey…look at this guys foot”. “it looks like yours”.
    After reading most of these posts I have to laugh at all the ones who are trying to figure out why in the Hell I did this. All I can say is WOW……..some of you on here shouldn’t even be posting your negative comments about why I did this. Cmon….look where you are at!! you on a freakin body mod site and you are saying bad things about this? crazy….esp this comment:
    #“i hope this fucker gets gangrene or some horrible infection or something… teach him a lesson… ”

    I won’t go into detail about how I did this…but I can answer any q’s anyone might have. I didn’t do this for attention… I didn’t even want my pics posted!!!!!! but oh well. I’m not done with my foot..I love it and how it feels. but it’s a stepping stone for me to get what I want. here is another twist:) My wife, who supports me, is also an amputee. but not by choice. So how about those cookies???????

  95. I think a lot of people these days see body modification as a fashion rather than as a lifestyle or way of being, and get upset when those of us who are genuinely into it on a deeper level cross the lines of what society says is “cool”… Don’t pay those people any attention, they simply do not understand and I’m not sure ever will, because it’s just not who they are…

  96. I arrived here after a question from Giles in an email to me. I guess he found my blog on Google or something. He’s asked me permission to repost my response to him, which I gladly granted and look forward to see.

    One thing I’d like to point out is that those of us who have Body Integrity Identity Disorder are not in this for attention. I need to be paralysed. I’d rather be alone and paralysed than receive positive attention from thousands of people, and be able bodied.

    If you want to learn more about Body Integrity Identity Disorder, you may also be interested to look at this new site:

  97. Hope it’s not too late to comment. I think its great this guy did this. I think people who can’t accept this form of body modification are small and closed minded. Its body modification! Its their body, they can do whatever they please with it.

    This kind of amputation isn’t necessary. But neither are breast implants or tattoos. Why is one un necessary for of body modification more acceptable than the other? We don’t really look twice or as nearly as many questions like “WHY on earth would you do such a thing?!?!” when we see someone with a piercing, tattoo, or breast implant. Why not just accept that maybe this guy didn’t want half his foot?

    I’ve thought about removing half a foot. Only thought about it. More than likely I will not do it. However, I will be having my ring fingers amputated. Why? Because its my body and I can. Also some symbolisism on marriage and what a joke I think it is…plus wanting to be as close to nothing as possible. If I could be air, I’d be happy…but thats unrealistic, so I will settle with my goals of further amputation, head shaving, piercing gauging, and weight loss.

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