Self-Stabbing Ritual

In relation to the skewer pictures below, here are some current photos that are quite graphic on the subject. This particular photo set is from back in February, and since then the sender has healed without complication and submitted another set of similar pictures of a more recent ritual. Illustration of the depth of the cuts continues after the break.

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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.

68 thoughts on “Self-Stabbing Ritual

  1. that is really going to far/
    skewering is also till there.
    but puting a 10 cm knife in your body like that, not keeping an eye on making beautifull but just the pain (IMHO) is just to far

  2. Ralex – You know what’s funny, is a recent post on play piercing had someone (fuus I think) vehemently arguing the OPPOSITE point… that if you focus on aesthetics in a ritual, you’re completely missing the point.

  3. I love this set of pictures!

    It seems to be on the lower stomach (I think). I personally don’t think there’s something wrong with doing something like that, except if the motivation is something negative (like for self-harm).

  4. Wow. Even though it looks quite deep and probably hurt like hell I can only imagine the sense of enpowerment and feeling of adrenaline during and after it. This has really got my stomach twisting, and in quite a nice way.

  5. Shit like that should certainly be left to a medical professional. Like someone said, to each is own (and who knows, they might be in the medical field?).

  6. Was this done incredibly slowly? I would be concerned about the internal organs. Were none hit?

  7. But the point of some rituals, Shannon, is aesthetics. I’m not trying to say that you are a wrong, but more so that you can’t just put a blanket statement over something so specific like a ritual. Its circumstantial whether it is about pain or about aesthetics.

    There are rituals all over the world that involve pain as the primary element of importance. Flogging, skewering, etc. etc. in the Philippines would be one of the primary examples of pain-focused rituals.

    But then again, many African tribes use scarification as a ritual practice in which, although the process is painful, the outcome, the scars, are the primary goal. You could probably also reference foot-binding in ancient China and neck elongation among the Padong.

  8. My concern is less of self harm and more of the obvious health risk. Bloodletting is one thing but that wound looks pretty damn deep, and being in the lower abdomen only complicates it. I do hope they have immediate access to first aid.

  9. I would love to do things like this, but the obvious health risk is not letting me cut (when I do) more than a few mm’s deep.
    Kudos to the courage for the person willing to do this.

  10. On most sites you assume pics are fake and wish they were real. But on Modblog, the opposite of true. I was pretty much hyperventilating through those pics…

  11. ooooooof! very few things on modblog make me uncomfortable but thats done it!

  12. Shannon: I wasn’t *that* vehement…

    Sara: ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. That’s a silly enough comment when applied to modifications like tongue splits and scarifications, but when it comes to ritual cutting, it becomes totally nonsensical. What kind of a doctor is going to provide that as a service? And even if they did – that is NOT what people want out of this sort of experience. It’s really not a valid suggestion.

  13. Yeah, I remember seeing the first set of these, and wondering to myself, “Self, what exactly is her motivation behind doing this? What’s the purpose here?”

    Shannon, any chance of getting an interview, or even a post in the thread here from the, er…practicioner?

  14. As long as you’re aware where main arteries and organs are… no prob. If you don’t, now that could be tricky.

  15. When I saw the first photos, I thought the knife was longer. To me, it looks like s/he’s just stabbing through fat (small blade+angle). Well, I’m not saying that it’s not extreme, it’s really FUCKING INTENSE, but it may be less dangerous than it seems, in fact.
    I’m sure this person knows what s/he’s doing.

  16. ok so the guy healed after this with no problems you say. hahah can i conduct the interview with this person. one crazy person interviewin one i think is nuttier then me on a subject i wont ever agree with but want to understand. i hear people all the time say things are fine and healing but they are in total denial. like the people that try healin a rejecting piercing until it literally rejects from the skin and they still dent it was goin to heal. man i swear i need to start interviewin people i think are crazy but do it like a serial killer conductin and interview with a guy that collects ear wax.

  17. It’s not as deep as it seems like it is… I’m going to assume the angle was intentional and planned, because… even though the whole knife is in there, it’s almost parallel to the surface of the skin… not that I’m belittling the risk. I still don’t think it’s all that…. wise. I don’t want to start up another self-injury vs. ritual debate, because there is always going to be a lot of blurry grey between the two of those.. but…. I don’t know. These pictures bother me, and not on a visceral, shocking level so much.

  18. that’s lower abdomen looking down(I think)…and hitting at that angle through skin to musculature under it….yeesh,hope that doesnt get septic….yuk

  19. This to me is teetering with death…
    It is one thing to be into pain and the sensations of that pain, but are there not ( and I know there are) safer ways of receiving that pleasure other then taking the chance of killing yourself?

    This is a very scary type of cutting ritualistic or not.

    I’m not dissing this person… THIS act however really bothers me though…

  20. Except there’s no break! Or a break on the penis tat shots either. Not that I care, I’m just drawing attention to it. (:

  21. I’m going to have to agree with fuus on that subject.

    Does this person have a basic knowledge of anatomy or is the point to stab and live regardless of what you hit?

  22. I have see this person pop up on IAM and wondered if it was real or a joke. I wonder why the link to the page is not posted here as is usually customary. As the name of the IAM page suggests—-the wounds are in FAT. And she don’t call it a ritual.

  23. what are the chances of damaging something important? otherwise, im not bothered by this, ive always wanted to know what a deep cut like that would feel like.

  24. I have to agree with Lunar on this one as far as the stabbing through fat hypothesis. What an enormous, impressive, jealousy inducing and inspiring set of balls on this person.

  25. Seeing as the body part looks extremely flabby, i’ll say that it’s the guys tummy… and in that light, it’s not too bad seeing as he’s only cutting through mostly fat.

  26. I don’t know how I feel about this and I probably couldn’t make up my mind without more information.

    On a not-completely unrelated side note, how on earth do you define ‘ritual?’ I’m pretty immature about most modification culture things. The dictionary told me it was “an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.” I guess I don’t see how this fits as in the ritual category… Unless the person is obsessive-compulsive and the stabbing is ritualistic in the anxiety-relieving, counting steps, touching the door handle sort of ritual.

  27. yeah, this has really just gone too far, a line must be drawn, we are way beyond “to each his own”. sorry modblog i just can’t take anymore, words escape me.
    ~its been real

  28. Mh, if someone sticks a knife into the own stomach and names it a ritual, it is no selfharm? I don’t get that. May it be ritualized to the max, it is still a bloody mess with unpredicatable risks. Probably done at home, in secret, the wounds carefully hidden from everyone. Im not saying that this can’t be a way to deal with issues, for this person it may mean personal freedom, fun or simply be a way to survive, but hell, I’m concerned about the emotional and psychological wellbeing of this person far more then I can appreciate the effect.

    As a visitor here, I must ask myself: is it a good thing to be in a group that basically consumes, gets entertained, approves (or not) and does not have to deal with the consequences for the people who send in photos? Should’nt we be apalled because as it stands, we are empowering this simply through participation when we applaud the outcome? Or are we part of that experience, when this person can make photos and share her/his experience with this community, providing her/him with a save, controllable way to break isolation and so add something positive to the process?
    There is probably not a single answer to that question. :)
    My english is so bad, sorry!

  29. You know, sooner or later one of us is going to end up dead trying to be more extreme then the last :S And then it’s not fun anymore…

  30. im agree with #2 & am interested as is #38 on weather this is classed as ritualistic or the relief to a stress disorder or something similar…. also, just noticed #41, I agree!!!

  31. It’s really hard to get a sense of scale. Especially since I don’t even understand whether it’s looking down onto the stomach area or directly at it from another person’s vantage point.

    I would hope he’d checked to see there weren’t any major arteries or what-have-you underneath. Then again, the person there seems to be rather serious about what they’re doing, so I assume they knew the risks involved.

    The blood splatters are also really confusing… they don’t run in one direction… looks like he stuck his fingers in the blood…

  32. If someone puts hooks in their back and swings from them, how is it not self harm…? I think it boils down to motivation. I don’t want to be the one to draw the line between the two for others, and if they choose to share the images, I don’t have a problem doing so as well.

    I definitely understand that it’s a fine line though, and when you approach or cross that line, there are increasing “cons” over the “pros”…

  33. how come there is so much dried blood .. did the knife get re-inserted- or left in long enough for drops of blood to dry and cake.
    I am very much a supporter of honoring one’s right to explore their body and it’s limits- as well I find this sort of ritual a great sense of empowerment.
    So while I don’t have issues wiht the ritual- I am curious about the blood because to me it speaks to infection risk- and for me personally (and I know others will feel differently) these rituals are about control and owning my body and mind- but when infection enters in – somehow it sorta takes the situation out of my hands- hope that makes sense to others…

  34. I’m in medical school and I’ve taken gross anatomy and quite a few of the cadavers had a layer of abdominal fat that was much thicker than that knife blade. And from the pictures you can tell that this person has a thick layer of insulation (As I do too, I’m not trying to make fun of anyone’s weight). In the subcutaneous fat there on the abdomen there are no major arteries or nerves. It was one of the few parts of the body where we were told to simply strip it all off without cutting any major structures. Any muscles are under that layer of fat and the major artiers and nerves are under those muscles. I’m not a hundred percent sure but I think there would be a different quality to cutting fascia than to cutting fat (preserved bodies don’t feel quite the same as real ones so can’t tell for sure) and so you would probably be able to gauge when you had gone too far as I think the resistance to the knife blade would change when you were going through fat rather than through fascia and muscle (and having cut myself rather deeply before, I know that slicing through fat feels much different than slicing through the skin). Also, going in at that angle greatly decreases the risks because it does change the depth and the likelihood of striking muscle. Any deep puncture wound is risky because the risk of infection is greatly increased but just like any piercing, taking proper care of it greatly reduces those risk. All in all, the risks of this procedure seem actually quite small to me and as you can see by the large scar that is already there, the cosmetic implications are well known.
    As for explanation, and this is only mine from my perspective and I’m not saying they would be what the above individual was actually going for, but being an overweight person, I often feel as if I have no control over my body. Sometimes it feels as if it is not my own body and part of piercing and body modification for me is making my body my own. And as for cutting, yes I did a lot of it with a self-destructive impulse, but I have also cut to gain some measure of control over my body as well, to truly own it and to feel as if I had some power over this thing that so often felt like it wasn’t mine. But it also made me feel strong and over the years I would find myself cutting deeper and deeper just to see if I could, because it was a different kind of strength and endurance from those who run marathons and one of the only kinds I felt I had. Also, sometimes, I wanted to see what my inside looked like. It helped make my body feel less alien, less foreign, and more like a part of myself. If you’ve never felt dissociated from your own body, you might not ever be able to understand what it means to have to try to claim something that would fundamentally seem to be yours.
    Seeing these pictures makes me feel better, and while it may sicken and shock some of you, I know that urge and impulse and to know that I’m not alone means so very much. That is why I think someone would share these images. Not to gross you out or to gain some kind of fame or respect or congratulations, but to reach to others that reside in the same place, to try to find a community that understands, not one that blinks its eyes in horror. We are not here for your entertainment, we are here to find acceptance. So many times people lose sight of that and they don’t stop to think about the comments they make here. Think about a time when you wanted to belong before you start shouting about going too far and think about the times when people may have made that kind of stupid comment to you and how angry it might have made you feel. Not understanding something doesn’t make it wrong.

  35. #46 ErosAndMe – My sister is a doctor, and she described the fat in cadavers from when she was in school similarly too. I remember she was annoyed at being assigned a fatter one, just for it taking more effort to get around in there at first. Made me think, wow, I’m glad I only deal with computers.

    Also my mother cut her arm badly on a pot shard when I was a kid, and she was going around showing all of us (while getting us out of the bath so we could go with to the hospital) “look! You can see the layers” (my sister was thrilled, I was running away) but there too, you could see that layer of yellowy fat.

    Which is all to say, I also assumed as you did that this guy is cutting through a fat layer, so probably not TOO invasive.

    Still… not something I could ever do! I do wonder though, does he have to stitch up the wounds? I see he’s okay with the scars, but with things that deep wouldn’t you want to make sure to bind the edges, not to mention surely the bleeding would cause some inconvenience at least?

  36. No matter how I think about this, I can’t see any positive motivation for a ‘self-stabbing ritual’. This is surely the sign of a problem.

  37. i knew a someone who did soemthing similar to “self-stabbing ritual”…i say similar because it wasn’t a ritual at all, it was more of the need to punish oneself and stop dissociating hmmm

  38. hmmm….to each their own.but my god.thats so did he or she manage to not get incredibly injured?i’m almost impressed that they weren’t seriously injured.i’m curious to know what their motivation was? i mean,it obviously wasn’t a suicide attempt.just really,really extreme self-harm?just…wow.shannon, could you enlighten as to their motivation, or did they ask you not to share that?

  39. Im glad people have mentioned that its through the fat layer, so we have a realistic understanding that people with different body types (aka skinny/less body fat) would NOT be able to do this.

    But in saying that i’m fucking amazed, even though its through ‘just fat’ its still mega intense… would definately take some mental strength to do that to youself.

  40. wow, that is some SERIOUS boundary crossing….
    ok, so expressing negative emotion=self-harm,
    expressing positive emotion=ritual?

    i know someone like that too, sade

  41. Personally each for their own, but as my own this really makes me feel sick. It reminds me of my own past of self-harm and mutilation and close to suicide attemps. It hurts me to see someone whos obviusley hurting.
    How can people just stand back and watch ?
    Its a cry for help

  42. personally i’m for each to their own
    but i definately agree with the statement of ‘someones going to kill themselves tryin to top this’
    yes, the human body is miraculous for healing
    but i can really see a 13 year old girl finding this, decididing to copy
    and killing herself
    too easy done
    i dont think these pictures should have been posted on this particular site, maybe one aimed more at adults?
    thats just my opinion, though.

  43. I bet Shannon would defend someone who purposely aborted their baby so they could eat it. But only as long as they called it a ‘ritual.’

  44. Sorry, but that is really fucking dangerous. Assuming that this is a 10 cm stab wound in the lower abdomen of a female then there is a very good chance of perforating the colon, ovaries or uterus, or severing the fallopian tubes. Perforating the colon leads to peritonitis and, without immediate surgical repair, almost definitely death. Without even beginning to tackle the minefield that is self-harm, this is a really stupid idea. It really saddens me that this site is promoting such a blatantly dangerous activity without the warning that it has a pretty stong liklihood of leading to death. Yes, the girl in the photo healed without incident, but it doesn’t mean it’s a safe practice. Even if you heard about someone running across a busy motorway/freeway and surviving, would you do it?

  45. Well, it appears to be a chubby person… so, being chubby myself, if you sit correctly you’d be able to stab with full force in the correct angle and only hit fatty tissue. Which it looks like this person did. I’m not downing the pain or ballsy aspect, only relieving myself of any crazy thoughts that they may have damaged some organs.

  46. I’m not saying they did do themselves any organ damage (infact I’d think it was very unlikely seeing as she healed without intervention), but I found it worrying that this sort of behaviour is being promoted on this site without any warnings about the obvious and very serious danger involved. I personally think she was very lucky to not do herself damage (and I’m not talking about just organ damage, but also a deep tissue infection and other complications which are very likely to occur if this ‘ritual’ is carried out by inexpert hands and in less than sterile conditions).

  47. I havent read all the comments, and I’m sure people have debated this already.. but as a health care professional, I KNOW that that can be .. really dangerous. I wonder if she is getting more of a thrill from the danger aspect rather than the pain aspect.
    After going so deep, it just doesn’t hurt anymore.
    Even though she obviously has some fat-padding (which is fine), fat isn’t necessarily even through-out. If she even KNICKED her bowels, she could go septic in record time. If she goes any higher, she could hurt her stomach but most importantly, she ahs a big artery running straight down, around stomach level (abdominal aorta) that also, if accidentally knicked, could easily kill her.
    There’s a fine line between self-harm, cutting and the such and the act of purposefully causing harm for the purpose of either suicide or life-risk.

  48. Actually, this really interests me. I have wondered for a long time how much force it takes to stab someone. You see in the news all the time – “so-and-so stabbed their victim 50 times.” But what is that like? I guess if you don’t have a cadaver to practice on, this is how you find out.

  49. Fuuuck. For some reason I’ve always wanted to be stabbed in my lower left-front side. This is amazing to me.

  50. As many users have stated, there appears to be a fairly thick layer of fat on this person’s belly. The knife is also at a high angle. Even with the length of the blade, it appears to not have pierced the underlying muscle layer and certainly not into the abdominal cavity. That would certainly be foolish and could damage the intestines leading to an infection. If done correctly with a clean sharp blade, at this angle, there would only be the obvious pain, bleeding and mess. If the knife had been thrust straight in then it would surely have penetrated the abdomen.

    I have always wanted to stab my own belly for various gratification and other fetish reasons, having been fascinated with hara kiri over the years, but I have a knife that has only 5/8 in of the blade showing of a four inch blade preventing any additional penetration. I will be doing this on Monday the 23rd of July, 2012 and will make every effort to keep to the 5/8 in. I’ll be thrusting it straight into my gut at the full 90 degree angle with a lot of force. I’ll post the results here in video and pictures. As far as I can predict from my safety feature on my knife and with my 1/2 in layer of fat, I should only have the obvious pain, bleeding and satisfaction of feeling what it is like to be stabbed without the risk of real damage, save for a little scar.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  51. Hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is mí GF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    it is not dangerous!! Slowly push the knife into fat! Oblique angle pushing! The wound will heal quickly!!

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