Erotic Tattoos, Made 3D

“Summer has started in the Netherlands, so I’m wearing short sleeves and Dermablend on my hands and arms to cover my tattoos for work. It works sufficiently well, people notice that something is strange about the color, they may guess that it’s make up, but don’t know about the tattoos. Unless of course they ask about it, in which case I usually explain that it is to hide the tattoos, which is usually taken well.

What still shows are the bulges formed by paraffin injection to accentuate the female shapes of the tattoos (not advisable, I had bad experiences before, but anyway…). Their visibility is dependent on the way the light shines on it and the perspective, but they look pretty erotic to me even when covered.

People seem to avoid asking me what they are, but it is a bit on the fringe… freaky stuff!”

Read on to see what he’s covering up!

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Semi-Voluntary Amputations in BME/News [Publisher's Ring]

Semi-Voluntary Amputations

Between all-out voluntary amputation, like Jason’s hand amputation story, and medically-dicated amputation from injury or disease, is a grey area of semi-voluntary amputation where amputation is chosen — often pushed for — to solve a medical problem that would not normally require amputation. Doctors often resist it, but the amputees persistence at a “quality of life” argument eventually lead to surgical intervention. In this set of interviews (all of which I started with the incorrect assumption that they were purely voluntary amputations) we talk to three such individuals, one who removed a toe, and another who removed his leg, and a third who removed a finger.

- Shannon

BME: Tell me a little about yourself?

I’m a person who enjoys “foot art”. That is, bunions, overlapped toes, feet that look different, and toe amputations.

BME: So not an interest in amputation per se, but just different sorts of feet?

Yes… My foot fetish started, I think, when I was a kid, probably seven or eight years old. Since then I always looked, searched, and observed different shapes of feet and toes — the more “odd” a woman’s foot, the more curious I became.

BME: Tell me about your foot.

In my case, the second toe always overlapped my big toe, but over time it overlapped more and more. I went to a foot doctor and asked him to remove the toe. It wasn’t a medical neccessity, and I liked the way it looked [with the overlapped toe], but I had to stand at work all day for years and the pain overcame the desire… The next step was to have it removed.

BME: Was it hard to convince the doctor?

The doctor wanted to straighten the toe, but the result would be a stiff toe and the procedure would be eight to twelve weeks. I didn’t want a stiff toe and didn’t want to lose the time… So, we agreed on the toe amp.

BME: To what extent was it something you had to do, and to what extent was it something you wanted to do?

It’s like the chicken and the egg… I’d say both… The desire was always there to do it but this made it possible. I liked the look of my overlapped toe but it was time to move on to a toe amp… I guess it would be “wanted to do”. My wife also had it done and she didn’t mind, so, “What the Hell”…

BME: Your wife also has toe amputations?

Yes, she had it done twenty years ago, and she adjusted to her toe amps. She had similar, overlapping toes, and it was easier to remove them than deal with the pain and time to rebuild them… We’re very busy people.

BME: Does she know you have a foot fetish of this type?

Yes, she knows and we share my foot fetish. Her feet have bunions — at one time overlapped toes — and now toe amps plus extras…

BME: How do people respond?

Not many people know about my toe amp, but some people stare at it when I go barefoot or wear sandals, more so than they did when my toe was overlapped… Their curiosity excites me.

BME: What was the aftercare and healing from the procedure?

The doctor told me to keep it covered until the next visit, but I just had to look and take pictures. The healing process was fast, and there was no pain from the “get-go”. In about ten days it was all over.

BME: What does it feel like now?

It feels like something is touching where the scar tissue is. I like it a lot. My bunion also got bigger, because my big toe took the place of my second toe. I’d have preferred it if the doctor removed all the excess tissue where the toe was, because one gets a pressure sensation where the tissue was left, so I returned to the doctor a year later and he did that. It now feels and looks much better.

I always loved feet and what I have seen with foot modifications, bunions and odd deformities all my life, amputation is my favorite “fetish”.

BME: Tell me a little about yourself?

I’m a 51 year old bi-sexual man with some ink and other body mods. I’m Ex-US Navy Sub Forces — “Deeper Longer Faster” — and happily married to a RN.

BME: Tell me about your amputation?

The procedure was done by a doctor and was a trans-femoral (above the knee) amputation of my left leg. It was a very difficult procedure actually as there was titanium hardware in the bone from prior surgery. They had to make a step cut of the tissues, avoiding previous scar tissue as much as possible. The step cut, if you took the leg and looked at it from the side was cut to look like a step. This allows a thick flap of meat and fat to form a cushion and also a good closure of the remnant limb. All the major arteries needed to be tied off as well as the nerves being cut. Also, tendons need to be reattached in a fashion that will help you walk with a prosthetic. Trust me, a leg amputation is not for an amateur to do! Slip up and, well, you can easily bleed out very quickly and not have any real mobility even with a prosthetic.

BME: What story do you tell about how your amputation?

Well, it depends on the person (LOL)!!!

Mostly I tell the straight out truth short version. The long version is what leads up to me deciding to do this.

Roughly six years ago I was hit head on and my left leg was shattered along with numerous other injuries. I almost died. I had lots of pain and the left leg never really healed. Trust me, after being in a wheelchair or on crutches for almost five years it gets tired real fast, especially if you are an active person like me. I went round and round with various doctors and got the song and dance “it’s a viable limb,” meaning, “yeah, it’s alive, so what if it’s useless.”

Total bullshit — typical of the attitude in medicine today. Seriously, it’s a double standard in medicine. We can keep a limb alive even though it will never be useful again, so we will and let the patient go through hell. It even comes down to a double standard in other areas as well. Women can get lipo, boob jobs, or reductions hysterectomies… mastectomies, hey no problem, no letters from a psych… just “can you pay?” Yet if a man wants an Orchi, well, he must be nuts — better get two Psych’s to say hey it’s okay… bullshit. Medicine has ignored the most important thing — your quality of life and only you can say what is best for that, not some white robed geek. I was fortunate that my personal MD knew of a vascular surgeon who takes that into account, so no psych board. I know many other amputees who went through hell before they got the surgery they needed to get on with life.

BME: What was your aftercare and healing process like?

Very painful and drawn out. The burning sensation was enough to drive me up a wall. Healing took about eight weeks for the initial period, and total healing almost a year. Getting comfortable was the hard part, especially in bed. You need to relearn sleep posture. Aftercare was like any other major surgery but with an exception — daily checking the stub with a mirror, looking for wound openings and tissue break downs. The process also was getting used to showering sitting down. The first time after staple removal I tried standing up — it felt like the leg was still there and down I went. That’s the hard part. You still feel the limb even though it’s gone.

Aftercare involved eight weeks of PT to re-strengthen the limb and my back for normal posture, and then another twelve weeks learning to walk again with the prosthetic and also to straighten my back out from years in a chair.

BME: What does it feel like now and how do you like it?

It’s painful many days… I have what are called neuromas. These are nerves that were cut but have regrown into ball-like structures that are very sensitive to heat, humidity, cold, and touch. But truth is, I feel great. I can walk again and enjoy walking along the beach like I used to. I feel whole again.

Most days I am happy with my decision — remember I elected to do this — but there are other days I wish the hell I had my leg back.

BME: Anything you would do differently if you did it again?

Yes, I would have done it much sooner then I did

BME: Are you at all interested in other amputations? You mentioned an orchi (castration)?

For me where I am in life an Orchi is a viable thing from several aspects. First off, I am prone to epididymitis due to a series of injuries to my testes. Seriously I have had two bouts in the last year and the pain is very exquisite — not the nice kind any way. Second, my partner has a very low sex drive and, well, masturbation just staves off the itch only so long. Even though I am bi I am monogamist so relief outside of the relationship is both not in my character or realistic. There have also been six cases of testicular cancer on my fathers side of the family developing around the age I am now. So from one view it would be health insurance so to speak. I also have no need to reproduce with my son grown and moved away as well as my daughter being a parent as well. No need to be a dad again for this kid, LOL. From an erotic point I also find it appealing to have a large degree of control of my sex drive and also find the whole thing a big arousal. Body image comes in as well I really never have felt totally comfortable with my testes, or for that matter, my birth gender as well. Latent Transsexual I guess. Seriously, when growing up Westerns were the big thing on the tube and while my male friends always wanted to play the cowboy or gunslinger, secretly inside I wanted to be the one rescued.

Remember the era I grew up in SRS was a new thing with only one in the States at the time as far as we know Christine Jorgensen and Stonewall was a recent event.

BME: How did you decide to go through with amputation?

Almost five years getting my mind set right and it still was a hard thing to do. I mean, sure, mine was sort of driven by a health need, albeit I could have gone on without having it done, but it is not a thing to take lightly. I have seen some of the photos of folks taking chisel to a joint or toe or more, but I bet most of them did not think it through long term. An amputation is not like ink in that you can laser it off or remove the implant or jewelry. Once that part is gone, that’s it, game over, for that part of the body.

There are also many things to research before doing this things like “Phantom Pain” — for example your left toe hurts like you stubbed it but it’s not there. “Phantom limb” — your leg is folded under you sitting on couch but it’s really not there. Then there are neuromas — nerves that have regrown into a ball… very very painful! Then there are the looks you get. People staring, but when you catch them, they avert their eyes — they are sackless assholes staring like that.

BME: Would you call what you did a “voluntary” amputation, or something that was medically required?

It was a completely voluntary amputation. I wanted to try to have some form of normalcy again. I was hoping to end the pain I was in 24/7 and get off the pain killers that were fogging my mind. Plus the messed up leg was to me an eyesore on my body. I also couldn’t really do anything prior to the amp. It was pure hell sitting and not being able to take part. Well, I did get some normalcy back. I like my body again, but I still have pain… oh, well, trade offs… LOL.

I had to more or less kick and scream and brow beat people to have it done. The Doctors were not willing to do the surgery as it was not a life threatening issue and the soft tissues were healthy. The Femur itself had never healed completely. As far as they were concerned it was healthy for me to spend my life in a wheelchair or get around on crutches. It really took a lot of effort to get the amputation. With the exception of one doctor they had “ethics” issues cutting off what they perceived as a healthy (LMAO) limb.

BME: I definitely understand what you mean though on the pain issues — I had a surgery (bone tumor removal) that messed up the nerves in my leg, and while I’m physically fine, I’m in constant pain from it and have thought for a long time about whether it would be better to amputate it (not that a doctor would for me, and realistically, the phantom pain could easily stay after an amputation).

You could do the route that I took and keep telling your primary care MD that the pain is intolerable, pain med’s are not an option, and that it is affecting your overall quality of life. I was fortunate that when I relocated to this area and my new primary care MD is an extreme advocate of quality of life for the patient. Many MDs are still of the mindset that as long as the limb is viable they won’t do it even though the patient’s life is miserable. There are patient advocates around — a web search can help.

Phantom pain is a weird thing — it is totally different then what I even thought. Best thing I can describe is it feels like you stubbed your left toe yet the toe is gone on up to cramps and stuff in the limb like it is still there it is not in the remnant area but below that. Now what I have is different — that is the neuroma where the nerves have regrown into a ball. Phantom pain can be controlled and eliminated by several means from using a mirror to trick the mind to scratching or rubbing the non existent limb. Yeah it sounds odd, but it works and it can also be controlled with acupuncture. Besides, in 99% of the cases it is not a constant thing, and for most people well it stops after a while once and for all.

BME: How old are you?

I’m 25 years old and currently enrolled in welding school in Manhattan.

BME: What lead up to your amputation?

In june of 2005 I was working for Steinway and Sons, at their piano factory in Queens. My hand slipped into one of the cutting machines and cut across the tops of my knuckles on my middle and ring fingers, severing the tendons. I had surgery on them and regained most of the use of my ring finger but the joint on my middle finger fused due to the bone being damaged as well. About eight months later I had surgery on the middle finger again to cut out the fused part and try to get my finger to bend. After months of physical therapy, my finger wouldn’t bend. It was permanently crooked, swollen, purple, and painful. I was always getting it caught and banging it on stuff. There had been too much damage and it had sat too long without bending to do anything else. I went to see a different doctor, as the first doctor refused to amputate, and he immediately approved the surgery. It had been over a year since the accident. On September 19th of 2006 I had the finger amputated.

BME: How was your finger removed?

I had it amputated by a doctor in Massachusetts. They knocked me out and cut through the PIP joint (proximal interphalangeal joint). the doctor left a flap of skin on the bottom of my finger at the joint that he then pulled up and over the joint and sewed it to the top of my finger to seal it off.

BME: How was aftercare and healing?

Aftercare was easy. My entire right hand was bandaged for about six weeks. I wasn’t allowed to remove the bandage until I went back to the doctor’s. The healing was pretty intense — pain like I had never felt before and an incredible itching deep inside the bone. The first few nights were particularly rough. I had been prescribed vicodin, but it didn’t do anything and I pretty much laid there in bed cradling my hand until I eventually fell asleep — passed out. After the first couple of weeks it hurt less and less, but it was still painful, itchy, and very tender. Once the bandage came off, the stump was swollen about twice the size and I had to wear a little silicone sleeve over it to make sure I never accidentally bumped it on anything… which still happens a surprising amount considering it’s tucked away between two full fingers!

I also had ghost sensations. Pain was actually not all too common. The biggest ghost sensation I had was an itching in the tip of my finger. I’d always reach out to scratch it and then realize what it was, and there was nothing I could do to stop that. I did occasionally have ghost pain sensations and they are really easy to deal with. I couldn’t do anything to alleviate the pain so it didn’t matter that it was happening on a body part I no longer had. I also occasionally had the sensation of my fingertip touching something when the rest of fingers did. The first time it happened was when I went to pick up a glass. I distinctly felt my middle finger tip touch the glass as I wrapped my real fingers around it. It was a weird mental trip for sure. I had been expecting the other ghost sensations, but not that.

BME: What does it feel like now that it’s well healed?

Now it’s hardly noticeable. But to be fair, it was hardly noticeably as soon as the initial pain went away. My middle finger had been immobile for over a year before it was cut off. I was used to not being able to use it for anything, so once it was amputated I never had a period of adjustment. It was a relief once it was gone. I’m much happier now that it’s been removed. I see it as a positive thing and have fun with my stump. I have a tattoo on my side that is a portrait of my hand missing the finger, “MINUS ONE” is tattooed across my knuckles, and I wear the mummified finger around my neck.

BME: Anything you’d do differently?

I’d try to get it done a lot sooner — that year with it still attached was hell.

BME: Do you have any interest in further amputations?

Probably not completely voluntarily, but I do definitely have a much larger interest in amputations now. I’ve thought about cutting off the other middle finger to be symmetrical, but I doubt I’d ever go through with it. It’s kind of funny it happened. When i was in high school, an anatomy teacher I had spoke of a guy he knew from when the teacher worked in a hospital. The guy was a mechanic and had damaged his ring finger several times. It got to the point where his ring finger was useless and he had very little control over it. He ended up having his ring finger amputated all the way into his palm and had a four fingered hand, with no spaces or stumps. i always loved that story and thought it would be awesome to have a four fingered hand. That, and all the exposure through BME and people I’ve met with amputations — my landlord is missing the same finger as me, as well as part of his index finger. That all made it really easy to have my finger cut off.

Shannon Larratt

Johnny Thief Tattoo Interview in BME/News [Publisher's Ring]


Johnny “Thief” Di Donna (IAM/BME, MySpace, InkedNation) is one of the most skilled and true artists inking people in America right now, and has achieved huge success in a broad range of very mainstream fields without compromising himself to that mainstream. Whether it’s designing artwork for Guitar Hero 3 or tattooing customers at his shop SEPPUKU TATTOO in Savannah, Georgia, fronted by Downing Greek Gallery, his raw talent shines through, and he recently sat down and talked to us at length about his experiences as a tattoo artist.

* * *

BME: How did you get into art? Were you an artist as a child, or did it come later?

I have a belief that all artists are born artists. Oh, I know people can be trained and educated and then work in the arts, but there is more to art than wiggling a mouse or working a Spiralgraph™. That vision to see into other places, that insane burning desire to work through the night, that notion that if you don’t work, you could lose your sanity… these aren’t things that can be taught. They separate Artists with a capital “A” from the rich kids going to art school and thinking they’ll be gallery sensations by the age of twenty.

Art was always there, a God-given talent, and sometimes it’s strange talking about it in such analytical terms. It’s not unlike talking about, ‘How long have you been breathing, and who influenced you breathing from early on?’, y’know?

BME: How did you first get introduced to tattoos, and how did you decide it was something you wanted to do for a living?

I worked for fifteen years in various fields of art before ever tattooing. I spent years designing sets, screen printing, designing, art directing, offset printing, prepessing, and building art departments for gigantic corporations. My client list had been huge, working on everything from the 1996 Olympics programs for Reebok to sets for Saturday Night Live and everything imaginable in between.

I always loved tattoos, but I had moved from New York to Florida in the late eighties just before the tattoo renaissance would really reshape the fabric of the scene. Florida tattoos were horrible and I was poor, so no tattoos for me anyway. I had many opportunities to scratch, and I blew them off. People would stop me in the middle of the night, out in Ybor City in Tampa, wheat pasting flyers for concerts, and they would be like, “Man! You’re that guy! You do that fanzine! You’re the THIEF! Man, you need to do my tattoos!” And people would start taking off their clothes and explaining in detail what they wanted… which is alluring when it’s some killer babe. But, I’m checking out area shops, and this was back when Florida was in lock down, arresting 2 Live Crew for obscenity lyrics, arresting Michael Diana for drawing and things like that. I’m thinking, man, it must be really hard to own a tattoo shop, with all these religious freaks trying to close you down, and all the ostracization heaped on them, so without knowing how much that I was doing the right thing by them, I always turned down those kinds of offers.

Fast forward to 1999, when I’m putting my ex through school, and working fourteen hours a day to do it, while all my other friends are creating posters for bands and blowing up in the underground. Knowing that I was dying inside, my ex bought me a starter kit for my thirtieth birthday. One of my good friends was also an employee, Mike Martin, now of Engine House 13, a screen print shop in Columbus. Formerly a trained tattooist from Ohio, he was tattooing outlaw style in Myrtle Beach during the tattoo prohibition. He threw a party featuring nine bands, a custom hot rod show, and me tattooing illegally on anyone stupid enough to sacrifice some skin. (Incidentally, I still tattoo these people for free to this day as a thank you). We called it the Lo Down Ho Down, and there’s a poster we designed for the show published in the Art of Modern Rock (by Paul Grushkin and Dennis King, Chronicle Books), my tattoo baptism enshrined for posterity.

After playing around with it enough to get the fever, under Mike’s watchful eyes, of course, I realized that tattooing is no hobby. It’s a 24/7 lifestyle commitment. I started doing crazy amounts of research, and testing the waters. Did I want, at age thirty and with fifteen years of experience, to leave a $60K a year job with full bennies in NYC to go scrub someone’s toilets to maybe become a tattoo guy?

I interviewed Paul Booth, Shotsie Gorman, and Brian Everett for our online fanzine, the Black Market Manifesto. They’re great interviews, but I was really picking their brains about their career choices. I attended lectures at the Museum of Natural History on Body Arts through history, given by Hanky Panky, Don Ed Hardy, Chuck Eldrich, Lyle Tuttle, and a number of masters. I went to as many conventions as I could and started taking seminars. I collected more and more tattoos, and started trading work with some of the artists at their invite, one of which was IAM member Johann Florendo of Queens, which was really flattering.

I finally applied for a job with one of the top studios in the tri-state area and was hired. It was a devastating amount of work. But the cool part was, once I started getting my chops, the old corporate job was bought out and sold, and the new owners liquidated 90% of the spots. Tattooing provided me with job security, ha!

BME: What did your family think of you becoming a tattoo artist?

My family has no idea I’m a tattoo artist, I have not spoken to them since 1992.

My formative years were terribly abusive, growing up in NYC in the 70’s at the height of its crime wave, to underage parents who had no concern for me at all. Art and NYC go hand in hand; unlike other parts of the country, NYC loves an artist, the schools loved me because I wasn’t some thug or gang kid, and the only ones around me who hated me being an artist was my family. As a teen, I’d be kicked out of the house for painting, and forget it, when I started painting sets at a theatre, everyone was sure I was some sort of mezzafanuch… in fact, there was a point I had to sneak in to the city, as my drug addict step father forbade me from going, based on his illiterate fear that I would catch AIDS just by walking around the city streets and then infect and kill the entire family.

My parents would beat me for wanting to be an artist. I had to fight tooth and nail for it. It’s one of the reasons why I get so passionate about art and so nauseated at bad artists, or people who think being an artist is an easy ride for rock stars, doodling all day, banging painting models, and going to art parties all night long. Bullshit, my stint as an artist hasn’t just been a few resumes worth of work, there’s times it’s been an out and out war. I’ve also tattooed in places where it was illegal, add that to the mix, fighting the government for your right to create art, and you get an idea of why I have no problem tearing someone up for sucking.

BME: How did you learn and refine the craft of tattooing?

Oh, that is still actively going on, my friend. Tattooing is seriously difficult, more so than any other medium, it’s a consistent challenge every day. Obviously, you’re working on a living medium that differs from person to person. As an artist, sometimes you really need to turn off the creative and concentrate on the application. It’s a ton of technique, some real hard and fast science. The art part of it is almost an afterthought.

I made sure that once I was committed to the tattoo lifestyle, that I served a complete apprenticeship under a reputable master, (Mario Barth, back when he had only one Starlight Tattoo, in my case). Practice of course helps. Getting tattooed by masters and sitting at their feet and learning from them, of course, one of best ways to open your eyes and take things to the next level. I’ve been slack in that area: I was too busy making a lot of money for people who didn’t care about art or me. But now I work for myself, and this year I’ll be out of debt, and am starting to look to Europe and Japan to get work from my heroes.

BME: Who are your influences as an artist and as a tattoo artist?

My influences, jeez, there’s a book. I’ve had so many, it’s rough to condense it all, I’ve got interests as diverse as classical renaissance art to graffiti, and everything in between. Although I love inkwork, so I’m a huge fanboy of the Romitas, Miller, the Hernandez Brothers, Shawn Kerri, Rick Griffin, and anyone who can work only in black, and create a universe out of it. I love comics (Marvel, DC, horror, Japanese manga, punk, underground, independents) movies (sci fi, horror, foreign, film noir, animae, kung fu, samurai, monster, and really weird cult shit) art (nuovo, impressionism, surrealism, cubism, chiascurro, abstract, dada, low brow, pinstriping) posters (Mucha, Griffin, Kelley, Mouse, Kozik, Coop, Kuhn, Pushaed, Mad Marc Rude, and all my friends and peers) tattoos (Americana, Japanese, new school, grey, color bomb, whatever, it’s all killer)… and the tons of subcultures I’ve been involved with, like motorcycles, punk, ska, hardcore, zine publishers, literature, writing, sex and erotica… it all contributes.

And damn, there are more and more talented bastards coming out of nowhere every day. Who doesn’t love Filip Leu? He’s a genius and easily the best tattooist alive today. I love Jack Rudy’s ethics. Same with Norman Keith Collins (Sailor Jerry) and Paul Rogers… ethics are constantly being eroded in this field and we could still use some of those old school values to preserve the craft for future generations. Bugs was a huge influence on me for a lot of reasons, I also feel he’s really underappreciated in the scene. Mike Rubendall’s commitment. Niko’s realism. Grime’s next level shit. Adrian Lee’s vision. Chris O’Donnell’s structures. It’d be easy to go on all night…

BME: What are some tips that you would offer to new tattoo artists to become the best they can be?

For starters, never think this is going to be easy. No one ever became great because things were easy. You think Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man because it was easy? This is not a profession for the faint of heart, for slacker laziness, or for piss poor gimme gimme “I DESERVE IT” attitudes. My marriage ended and I will never work in any other field because of my decisions; I made sacrifices that this business demands. Turn off the My Chemical Romance and start acting like a fucking man. (Girls, you know what I mean!)

Second, forget about shortcuts. Scratching out of your house will teach you nothing. It will simply put money into the pockets of sleazy companies that will ship ‘tattoo supplies’ to your home. These companies are not run by tattoo artists, and their equipment is a joke; lousy ink, meat slicing machines, needles jigged by blind monkeys. The best companies will only ship to health department regulated legal places of business and will require you to prove it.

In NYC from 1961 to 1997, it was illegal in all five boroughs to tattoo. This was from one single trumped up case of hepatitis that came out of a prison. When you scratch, you are breaking zoning laws, health department laws, and biohazard waste disposal laws. In Chatham county, (Georgia) these fines can rack up to six digits and jail time. If you get caught scratching, you could reverse the laws and have an entire county or state go back to being outlawed. You could unemploy every tattoo artist in the state.

In the old days, which were not so long ago, apprenticeships were fucking hard. They were meant to be, they were supposed to weed out the fanboys and act like boot camp, college, and shock treatment all at once. In days not too long past, if you went to a shop asking to buy equipment, you’d leave with broken hands.

In Japan — (*cue the ‘Kung Fu’ TV show music*) — the old rules were as severe as everything else in their culture. You didn’t get a bunch of small tattoos that had nothing to do with each other, you would have one single master design you an entire horimono body suit. This suit may take years to complete, and the relationship and respect between artist and client was critical.

When seeking an apprenticeship, it was like that scene from ‘Fight Club’, which Chuck stole from the practices of Shaolin monks. A prospect would stand outside the temple, with no food, shelter from elements, or encouragement for days, being berated, screamed at, maybe attacked. If the prospect endured, he was allowed in to begin his training. Japanese apprentices shave their heads, like a monk… what they are doing is sacred to them. They move in and live with their sensei, their apprenticeship is 24/7. They will not tattoo for two, maybe three years at all. They will do everything from cook, clean, to anything asked of them. If they screw up, they are beaten.

They study the history, culture, and sacrifices of all who came before them. They will draw until their hands fall off, become master calligraphers, and water color painters. They will study ukeio-e woodblock techniques, and understand the full range of mythology and religion descending from Shinto, Buddhism, and Bushido. When they tattoo, they will be using instruments made and handed down for generations. When they graduate, they lose their old name. They are adopted into the family, and given a two part name: Hori, which means literally to engrave, and also a new family name… like Horiyoshi 3… Now a family member, they will work with that master for at least five years, as a tribute back to his generosity. He may work with that master for the rest of his life, or he may find his own path.

The artist doing the apprenticing is a world class master with decades of experience, who commands the respect of both an international clientele as well as artists worldwide. He has contributed to the industry in many ways, elevating the art form, improving technique and materials, and upholding the ethics, self policing the industry. This level of respect allows him to easily tattoo everyone from working class laborers to the highest level of Yakuza officers. When a hitman bows to you in respect, you are doing something right.

An apprenticeship will teach you far more than how to tattoo. It will teach you VALUE for what you have, and have been given, value for your clients sacrifice of blood and skin, and value for how hard it was to get to this place in history and to not squander it lightly.

BME: What are your favorite sorts of tattoos to do?

I just love to tattoo. I love the look on people’s faces when they are just blown away. Challenging pieces, photorealistic pieces, things that are just a bit over my head are great, they teach me to stretch and grow. I love tattooing complex designs that my old boss would say were impossible, like wood cut effects, or a color portrait, mostly just to spite him. But sometimes, tattooing is as much about the ritual and bloodshed as it is about the subject matter. You know, like when people need a tattoo as opposed to just want a tattoo.

I still love the basics of tattooing… I haven’t lost that first love of the gig. I get excited ordering supplies. I love unpacking a new machine or pouring out a bag of new ink caps. I love doing a first tattoo, a swallow, a sacred heart, a rose and a spider web… there’s still a rush from meeting someone you may never have met anywhere else, and having the chance, with a small clean tattoo, of changing them forever.

I’ll tell you something funny: I don’t think I’ve tattooed any of my other art on people, like my posters. Yet, I see it tattooed by other tattoo artists all the time. Someone a state over did a beautiful rendition of the winged girl holding a baby skeleton from my Godsmack/Deftones poster… I was jealous!

BME: What are your favorite sorts of clients to work on?

The kindred spirits, naturally… people who know who they are and why they are here. Strong individuals who come in, sit, get a fucking tattoo, a tattoo that is 100% who they are inside, now tattooed on the outside, and go out to kick ass. It makes you feel like an armorer, or an arms dealer.

BME: Least favorite?

Ugh. It’s getting worse. The dumbing down of America certainly has wrought some damage, huh? I hate tattoos of inclusion. When someone doesn’t know who he is and is getting something to belong. Not belong to something he created or revolutionized. Belong to some vapid institution or brainwashing that the arts have railed against for centuries. Someone who doesn’t know what it is he’s getting or why. Like all these nautical stars on emo kids, never knowing why the word nautical is there, on a kid who’s never even seen the ocean. A tattoo that brands you as a group and a follower, and not as the unique individual you are. I call them an anti-tattoo.

Or crosses. Ugh… I hate a cross tattoo. Nothing can be safer than a cross tattoo. Who’s going to get pissed at that? Praying hands. Doves. That Icthus fish. All Christian bumper stickers ripped off a pastor’s bumper. Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-Christian, quite the opposite. Remember that Jesus was crucified with thieves, it was a thief on a cross who was first promised the kingdom of heaven. But, you get someone who has to have the praying hands with the rosary beads and a dangling cross, with another big cross behind it, and a dove, and a banner with the word “FAITH” in it, you know, just in case we didn’t catch all that with the five other symbols in one tattoo… so, you’re tattooing this Bible bookstore nightmare, and he’s on his cell phone, talking to his wife. Then he hangs up and calls his girlfriend. WTF? Or brags about how he’s dodging child support. Or calls his dealer for a bump after the tattoo. These are all fakers who have no idea what they’re getting or why. But, they can go to Thanksgiving dinner, and instead of getting hell from grandma about their tattoo, she will most likely kiss it. I call bullshit.

The Bible is 3500 years old, 66 books long. It inspired people like Mozart and Michaelangelo, inspiring some of the greatest works of art in mankind’s history… In fact, there are portions of the Bible that indicate that the arts are gifts from God, supernaturally given to us by Him to glorify Him, like the artisans who constructed the temple of Solomon or the Ark of the Covenant, or King David who invented a number of musical instruments… the BEST you can come up with, endowed with all your faith and supreme being power, is bringing in your friend, rolling up his sleeve to show me his John 3:16 tattoo, and say, “I like this. Gimme one of these?” UGH! I’ve had guys ask for a cross tattoo, and when I ask where they’d like it, they roll up their sleeve and all they have is cross tattoos. They look like fucking Arlington National Cemetery!

An example, a kid came in, and he’s asking me about a tattoo. He’s like, “You know that verse, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’? That’s what I want, My Brother’s Keeper.” I’m like, “Sure I know that verse. Who doesn’t, it’s in the first three chapters of the Bible. It has nothing to do with being your brother’s keeper, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Cain said it to God after he killed his brother Abel, asking ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’. Now, if you plan on killing your brother, then by all means… ”

See what I mean? Here’s a kid who not only missed the point utterly, he has the whole lesson completely ass backwards. A country that is SO obsessed with God this and God that, but has no fucking clue what their own book really says at all.

So, no. I didn’t spent twenty-five years of my life creating art to help perpetrate ignorance. Sorry!

BME: If you could choose any three tattoo artist to be tattooed by yourself, who would you choose and why?

Horiyoshi 3, Filip Leu, and Robert Hernandez. Because they are the best in the world, and I can only imagine the wealth of knowledge I’d gain just by sitting in supplication at their feet. Then Paul Booth, Grime, Marcus Pacheco. Tin Tin. Boris from Hungary. I’d always get more Bugs work. These are cats operating on planes that grunts like me can only aspire to.

BME: What do you think about shows like “Miami Ink” and the mainstreaming and extreme popularity of tattoos? What’s good about it and what’s bad about it? If you were offered the opportunity, would you appear on such a show?

I hate these shows. I do not watch TV and I do not currently get any channels, but the premise of the shows is flawed at the base. It’s corporate assholes who own and dictate the show, then package it and sell it like it was cologne or motor oil. They have no idea of the legacy of our history, or how hard it was to bring tattooing to where it is today, and certainly weren’t there when we fought for legalization. When money is the focus, art dies. From what I hear about the shows, they are long on drama, short on education. And I can’t stand the idea of tattoo faux pas being broadcast nationally; like when they’re doing set ups without any gloves on, wiping fresh tattoos bare handed, or Kat Von D is brushing back her hair with bloody gloves and just keeps on tattooing.

And I know how cool it is to have Steve-O tattoo you, trust me, I’ve done stupider things with tattooing myself. We all have and still do. But why on earth present that to the public? That’s a right that tattoo artists have earned, to do retarded things like go to a convention and then tattoo each other in a dark room under the influence of various substances. Instead, here you have an unlicensed, untrained person tattooing on national television, showing how the tattoo community likes to break health department laws for ratings. STELLAR.

Here’s a killer idea on how to make tattoo TV work: Pick an artist every week, someone up and coming, but not like some megastar. Let’s say like an Aaron Bell, a respected cat in the community who throws down like a motherfucker, but isn’t the owner of several clothing lines or a chain of McTattooshops. Send this person somewhere they’ve never been to explore both the territory and then to seek out the indigenous tattooing. Like some tebori hand tattooing in Japan, get some work in Paris from Tin Tin, or on a beach in the Fiji islands. You would be exposed to a different culture every week, plus see tattooing permeating cultures globally, and have the benefit of a sharp tattooist to illustrate things to the layman. It’s win-win-win, and would be really interesting TV, without all the fake drama or star fucking.

Tattooing is thousands of years older than TV, movies and marketing. Please, corporate whores, stop dragging it down to the lowest common denominator.

BME: What direction do you think tattooing is going in and what does the future of tattooing look like to you?

Haha! I have an issue of ITA that is from 1998, with an interview of Aaron Cain by Dave Waugh, done while they’re on a golf course. It’s amazing. In the article, Dave asks Aaron the same question, and it’s comic how off he is on his answer. He had figured tattooing had hit it’s saturation point, and couldn’t possibly be more exposed. This was before any of the bike build off shows, tattoo TV, the glossy Madison Avenue magazines like Inked, or online banner ads for home mortgages being drawn by animated tattoo machines.

So you want me to go on record like poor Aaron? ;)

I say, I think it’s a scary time: two illegal wars, prison camps, sanctioned torture, trillions in debt, fixed elections, suspension of Constitutional rights, illegal wiretapping, unemployment, falling markets, devalued dollars, the class gaps widening… this country is more apathetic than its been in ages. How many laws do these polesmokers have to break before they’re dragged off to the Hague? Seriously, Dick Cheney could rape someone’s mother on TV, and there will be some fascist pundit justifying it and saying what a whore the mother was and she was asking for it. I have no idea what is going to snap these spoiled, fattened, apathetic losers out of their funk, but I fear it. It’s going to be a second great depression, war with China, or a nationwide Katrina. It’s going to get really bad before it gets better. Tattooing will of course survive. It’s watched things like the pyramids being built and fall into ruin, it will definitely have a shelf life rivaling radioactive waste. And tattoo artists will continue to thrive; during the last depression, the entertainment industries thrived, even with money so short. I just can’t wait until the mall mentality shatters so we can get back to caring more about people than we do about stuff.

BME: How do you feel about tattooing hands, faces, and other “public” skin? Do you do any screening of clients?

Sure. The first and only time I called the cops was on a nineteen year old who started trashing the shop when I refused to tattoo a skull and crossbones on his face. He was just out of prison on a drug charge, was a father already, was beating the mother, (also a client, who covered up his name on her neck after having it for all of two months) and had only one other tattoo. Instead of seeing where I was coming from, that it wasn’t worth the $50 I’d charge him for the tattoo to unemploy him from 98% of the jobs in this country… he felt I was ‘disrespecting’ his manhood and started throwing our portfolios around, screaming he’d burn the place to the ground, and that I didn’t know “who I was messing with”. I was pretty sure I was ‘messing’ with a 140 pound teenage ex-con, so I called the cops rather than snap his femur with my steel toes.

If the kid had some serious work gong on, some sleeves or a big back piece, and had a secure form of income, a trust fund, or a recording contract, then it may have been a different story. I take each client on an individual basis, regardless of the tattoo. I tattoo hands, fingers, feet, necks, and ears all the time. But the same ethics that makes us a quality shop doing clean work also makes us stop and exercise some small amount of social responsibility.

BME: How often do you turn people away, and why?

More and more as time goes on. We get a lot of people in and out who treat our shop like the food court. They want it fast and cheap and they want it now. When informed that the wait might be as long as thirty whole minutes, they stomp their feet and ask where the next nearest shop is. So, after showing them an entire portfolio of before and after shots, I send them on their way, and I don’t feel bad about it at all. We also get a rash of people who come in with a grocery list of things they need in a tattoo, several different subjects, a cover up, must go from hip to hip… no problem, until they tell us that they’re working with a $40 budget for several hours of work. Haha! Right now it’s just me and my amazing partner, Matt Lukesh, so walk-ins can only be done during the slow times. A LOT of people leave, thinking all tattoo shops are the same.

The only real subject matter I turn away are blatant racism or white power tattoos. I have zero tolerance for that shit. But luckily, our clients for the most part keep us interested. We get to do some tasty things and they’re usually somewhat open to exploring outside their boundaries.

I’m also sort of against all white tattoos, because I know how our own melanin will obscure even my best efforts and do not think I can deliver a quality product. And not a fan of black light tattoos. I don’t trust the company producing the ‘FDA approved’ inks, when you examine the release forms and find out the ink was developed for use on fish. Besides, how often are you in black light? Even the owner of a chain of strip clubs isn’t in black light enough to go through the pain and expense… more often than not, it’s a gimmick used by people who don’t know how to put in regular tattoo ink.

Although, to my chagrin, I use three colors from the Skin Candy line of pigment that are also completely black light reactionary, as well as looking great under daylight, and not one single case of dermatitis or reactions. D’oh!

BME: With galleries starting to exhibit tattoo and tattoo related art, do you think this is a good thing, and do you feel that tattoos are “fine art”, or are they “folk art” or “craft” or something else? How do they fit into the larger art world, if at all?

This is funny, because our entire front lobby is the Drowning Creek Rock Art Gallery, with a full display of screen printed concert posters done by Jeff Wood and his impressive roster of artists, from Coop, Frank Kozik, Alan Forbes, Jermaine Rogers, Mark Arminski, Stainboy, Jeral Tidwell, Jason Goad, and myself. We’ve had a number of signings out of the shop, a few art shows, and display some of our original art as well.

As a professional artist, you realize that the gallery scene is kind of a bogus creation. Gallery owners are quite often viewed as scum: many sell art for a 50% commission. 50%! Who else gets 50%? Loan sharks in Brooklyn are jealous of 50%! A lot of what makes a successful artist in terms of pay scales and exposure is a lot of whoring, ass kissing, and nothing to do with Art, capital “A”.

The lines are getting blurred in as much as you have so many more fine artists taking up the tattoo profession, but are not stopping their former careers either. So you have tattoo art that is without any debate fine art. And it’s the kind of thing that will never provide a proper answer. Throughout the ages, the greatest artists in history were rarely the most lauded in their times. Some were shunned by critics but had commercial success, some so far ahead of their time that they failed to hit in any way at all until far after their prime.

BME: Have you ever apprenticed someone? How did you choose them and what was the experience like (and if you haven’t — would you apprentice someone, and how would you choose them)?

I have not, I’ve only been tattooing eight years. I figure I have another decade before I’d be ready to take an apprentice. Most likely my apprentice will be the hottest barely legal Japanese girl ever born, a demon possessed nymphomaniac sado-masochist and exhibitionist, with a hardcore fetish for larger, older, ugly Italian men. Luckily, I do not show a bias in my selection process.

BME: If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what do you think you’d be?

I was born an artist, I was doing art for fifteen years before I was ever tattooed. This last year alone I also did a number of concert posters, DVD covers, one real painting, and our work was featured throughout Guitar Hero 3, on top of running a tattoo shop 90 hours a week for 52 weeks. I would love to have the luxury of painting more often, and be one of those guys who can bitch about the gallery owners taking 50% of a $25,000 painting.

BME: Do you plan on tattooing your whole life? Are you planning for retirement?

Yes, I will retire. When they nail me inside a pine box. Or how about we get all Charlton Heston on it? “I’ll stop tattooing when they take my tattoo irons from my cold dead hands!

That was pretty tough guy; right?

I have the words UGLY FUCK tattooed on my knuckles. I’m so in this for life. Sleep when you’re dead!

BME: Have you experienced physical problems from tattooing (back, hands, etc.)?

My partner does. The funny part is he is the skinny good looking one. He smokes like a fiend, eats only cheeseburgers, and gets winded opening a sterile pack of needles… he has all kinds of back pain, and is at his doctor weekly. Me, I’m almost three hundred pounds, the largest I’ve ever been… but my doctor declared that I’m “very healthy”, I have great blood pressure, clean lungs, and 20/20 vision. Thick rubber grips on my tubes and the occasional massage help keep carpal tunnel at bay. If I can get back in shape and drop this small child’s worth of extra weight I’m lugging around, I’ll be doing pretty well.

BME: Do you find being a tattooist helps or hinders finding “that special person”? Does it interfere or help at all with your social/personal life?

Being an artist is weird. I’m bitterly divorced… I’ll skip the play by play. When my clients tell me what a great catch I’d be, I tell them that artists aren’t stable people, artists cut off their ears.

I’ll be forty in December, I have a hell of a lot of notches on my belt, and yet I don’t know one goddamned thing more about women than I did when I hit puberty. I have a suspicion that they all work for Satan.

Although I haven’t really dated anyone in the scene who was a professional. I’ve hooked up with plenty of artists, but oddly enough they never wanted to hear about any of the things I’ve been working on, they just wanted a booty call. I guess as far as inspiration is concerned, my tongue has better uses than all this talking.

BME: What are your feelings about the rising popularity of scarification and other forms of body modification as opposed to tattooing, which has a much larger modern history?

I’m glad to see it. Apply everything I’ve said about commercialization and the superficiality of our plastic disposable mall culture to this question. Anything that gets us away from being drones and back to being actual humans again is just fine by me.

BME: How do you feel about scratchers and lower-end tattoo shops, and their role in tattoo culture?

I despise scratch shops. We just had two shops close here in Savannah, neither made it more than a year. One, the owner was a wannabe 1%er, a biker with no patch, who never tattooed, never drew or painted. Two of his artists left within days, the remaining artist had been fired from three separate apprenticeships from the worst shops in town. I’ll give you an example of the kind of shop this was. A cat walks in, knowing the owner deals heroin. He hates tattoos, has no tattoos, doesn’t want to see any tattoos, will never get tattoos. He scores, and asks if he can crash in the back and fix up, which he does. While out on the nod, the owner grabs a machine, and with no training whatsoever, just starts tattooing this guy, the same way you may draw with marker on a friend passed out drunk at a party. The guy comes to covered in scratch that looks like Helen Keller attacked him with a weed whacker… he can’t really go to the cops, how do you explain being tattooed against your will out on a nod? The shop is now closed, because the owner is in prison for drug dealing, weapons running, and murder one.

This is a story I have to tell in 2008?

Now, when I walk into the zoning department or city hall, and introduce myself proudly as a tattoo artist, is this what they think of me? Fuck that! Not to mention, that I’m sure there were days that we were sitting on our hands while they were rocking and rolling. They had plenty of clients all too happy to show up and get stoned… they would pimp that shop as the greatest tattoo shop that ever was. Except now it’s closed and the tattoos look like an experiment in flesh eating bacteria colonies. We live in a time when the Guy Aitchinson’s and Anil Gupta’s have raised the bar to staggering heights, yet these inbred assholes have helped keep people in the dark ages. It’s disrespectful… to all who came before them, to the craft itself, and to all the people they’ve scarred up. This, of course, is just one of the real reasons why we named our shop SEPPUKU. Death before dishonor, gaigin!

When the health department comes in for inspections, I yell at them for being too easy. All that yellow paper tells anyone is that I know how to mop and wear gloves. What I propose, is the TATTOO LICENSE ROAD TEST! Get some prisoners, or kids who want a $5 tattoo, like you get a $5 hair cut at a barber school. The instructor comes out in a bad polyester shirt and a clipboard. He is going to test you on cross contamination practices, skin prep, stencil application, client comfort, lining, shading, coloring, bandaging, aftercare, sterilization and biowaste disposal… you get three hours to put on a nice clean tattoo, some well done lettering, bright colors, smooth blends, maybe extra credit for real toothpaste whites or special effects. If you fail, you go back to apprenticing and try again in six months. A photo is taken of your first tattoo and is laminated on your license as a testament to your skill. Testing is done once every three to five years. Your license is copied on the client’s release form with a check box to prove they have seen it before you begin work on them.

Why not? The shit is medically invasive. It’s the 21st century. Tattoos are expensive. Imagine a body shop that painted cars like some shops tattoo. Not everyone needs to be Corey Kruger or Mike Rubendall… but if you can’t at least put in a clean rose and a dagger, find another career, please? If you want to suck at your job, go work for the DMV, people expect you to suck there.

BME: Are there any times you’ve regretted your career path?

That’s a tough one. I wrestle with it every day, as I’ve spread myself pretty thin. As I mentioned earlier I’ve been a set designer, a mural painter, an airbrush artist, an illustrator, a fanzine publisher, an art director, a screen printer, an offset printer, a digital artist, a concert poster guy, a wheat paster, a pinstriper, and a tattoo artist. All my peers my age are masters in their singular professions. For example, I have a passing friendship in Coop. He’s the same exact age as me, but whereas I’m only known in select circles and bust ass to make bills each week, Coop is world renowned and lives large in a Hollywood villa with his dominatrix wife and a garage full of hot rods. So it goes with most full time poster artists I know, and especially people who were tattooing for as long as I’ve been working. I started working in ’86, I still rent, I have only the slimmest of savings… if I had been tattooing for that long, geez, I’d love to think how far I’d have come.

Sometimes I wonder exactly how much tattooing played in my wife’s decision to bail. It’s been seven years, and I’m still just a mess. A MESS!

But on the flipside, I’ve had multiple careers, each one by itself is someone’s unattained dream. My resume is as long as your arm. I’ve gotten my hands dirty in such a wide variety of mediums and done some of them really well, a bit of a post punk Renaissance guy. Which is great, too. I’m a tattoo artist who can design everything I need from camera ready magazine articles to signs to business carsd to web sites, and is also in magazines, books, galleries and Hard Rock Cafes globally. This is no bad thing either. I never would be that one hit wonder guy, you know, like that shitty guy you hate so much but gets up so much for his specializing in fetish art, or some such shit. I’m glad not to be the ‘old school guy’, the ‘scary monster guy’, or the ‘hot rod guy’, or even conversely the ‘neo-classical guy’. I have some jazz in all kinds of fields of interest and can move in and out of them as a true professional.

I imagine at the end of the day, I’d like to be well off enough to have no limits as to what I want to do with my life; for example, except for Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, I haven’t been off the continent at all. I have a lot of traveling to do, both geographically and spiritually. I don’t like stuff, you can’t take it with you, it’s just dust, after all, but man, if I had the freedom to create art with a capital A, that would be amazing.

Give me some of that time I wasted on suicide, drugs and marriage, let me drop fifty pounds, and come back in five years and see what I can do. ;)


Shannon Larratt

Pain for Troy (BME/News Publisher's Ring)

Pain for Troy

When I first started doing videos in the 1990s, one of my first friends to help on that project was “Troy”, whose interests centered around a variety of forms of CBT (cock and ball torture), especially those that got bloody. There was no worry that this was a form of self abuse or actual “torture” though — this was very much a route to pleasure. After all, how many guys can cum while fucking a cactus?

In this brief interview we chat about the motivations behind his CBT adventures.

* * *

Tell me a little about yourself, Troy.

I am thirty-eight years old and work as a computer trainer and support specialist. My hobbies include creation of amateur video, music, reading, and creating and collecting auto-erotic art. I am single, bisexual, and have a few family members living pretty far away from me. I am only close to one of them.

Are you usually single? Does that influence your play activities?

Mostly I’ve been single. When I am, I can generally play around more and get more extreme.

Is that because you don’t have to worry so much about explaining bruises and such, or because things escalate more quickly if there isn’t a more “traditional” way of meeting physical needs?

Mostly the first of these. If I’m not needing to be concerned with hiding marks on my body I can do pain-play and go to the levels I want and need.


Do you still enjoy your activities when you have a partner, and do you involve them in your games?

To some extent, although I would like to find some partners more into hard CBT and bloodplay… Some of my partners have gotten into CBT and such to a certain degree — but most are reluctant to go to some of the extents that I like.

Can you be more specific?

Many Masters prefer heavy bondage and sex, and some whippings, even some kinds of CBT — all of which I also like — but not too many get into graphic brutalization of my cock and balls. Many shy away from blood games, which I like. It is very arousing for me to see my cockmeat, balls, ass, and nipples beaten, abraded, and needled until truly bruised, swollen, and bleeding. For example, I really get off on seeing my blood spraying out of my cockhead.

Cockhead Play Piercing

How would you characterize “what you are”?

I suppose I would categorize myself as a pain-pig. I get very aroused from being physically or mentally abused or in pain (either inflicted by others, or very often by my own hand). This has developed over many years. I do not have any mods or piercings, but get into heavy “play-piercing” as well as other forms of intensive CBT. Some of my interests include the use of clamps, catheters and sounds, and weights on my cock and balls, hot wax on my cock, balls, and ass, electrical torture, abrasion, flogging, nailing and needling of my cock and balls, and bloodplay.

While I’ve had these desires even since my early teens, I first began experimenting on myself about twelve years ago after seeing some things on the Internet and in some magazines.

What kept you from trying it earlier? Was it just a matter of having the feelings but not really knowing how to apply them?

That’s pretty much it — although the feelings and desires increased in intensity over time.

Why do you think that is? Just getting comfortable with farther limits, or some sort of other escalation?

Some of it has to do with getting comfortable with passing previous limits, and some is curiosity about how far I will decide to go. I am still on a journey of exploring the realms of my pain tolerances and limits for graphic abuse of my genitals. Some of it also has to do with seeing how far others go, and whether I wish to try to match or exceed them. Finally, it also is about always pushing my personal graphic art barrier.

CBT Play

I’m sure it was nice to know others were doing this to and that at least on some level it’s “normal”?

Exactly — seeing pictures and hearing of others experiences encouraged me to try things out, and gave me some ideas. I then wanted to work beyond some of what I saw and heard about and be creative with my “play”.

Tell me about how your play evolved over the years.

I started with simple things like snapping rubber bands against my dick, slapping it with a ruler, and running a toothbrush along the underside of my shaft and glans. I then tried some hot wax, and was surprised at how much it hurt the first time, feeling the sting of the burn on my flesh. I poured a few drops on my balls the first time, then pushed it to dripping on my cockhead a bit. I loved the pain sensations though — a real turn on, and knew I wanted to work up to more.

Urethral Hot Wax Play

I bought myself a small TENS unit that still packs a punch, and started experimenting with shocks through my dick, ass, and balls. I was trying out all kinds of things — clothespins (first a few, then many more), sounding q-tips into my cock (starting with one, then two, up to four), and really stuffing my urethra to the max until the pain was very high… fucking my cock with the q-tips and telling myself to take it.

Q-Tip Sounding Play

Next were the needles and nails. I saw a few pictures on the web and tried with a needle through my foreskin — there was some discomfort but not too much. I needed more. I began to tack my scrotum down to a board with small nails. Then I tried pushing a needle through my glans. It really hurt at first — I was determined to get the needle deep through the meat of my cockhead. Finally it was through. What a turn on it was, seeing that needle completely though my glans. When I took it out, my blood jetted out of my dick and I was mesmerized. I loved seeing my cock bleed as I jacked off.

Troy Candling His Nailed Nutsack

From there I just built up the intensity of all my play. I dripped wax right into my pisshole, totally covered my cock and balls, and poured wax into my asshole. I did intense q-tip fucks of my urethra, flogged my meat until it was very swollen and bruised, and nailed my cock to boards through the foreskin. I put a dozen or more needles at once into my cock and balls, shooting cum while bleeding, and trying to fill up bowls with the blood that gushed out of my punctured meat. I combined many tortures at once. The more I ravaged my own genitals, the more powerful and mind-blowing my orgasms were. I went from a couple small spurts to a number of long blasts — sometimes up to my face and past my head when laying back. The ultimate Viagra!

Blood Feast!

I think for the vast majority of people into CBT that’s the underlying drive — the quest for the ultimate orgasm… Am I interpreting that correctly for you as well?

Yes, that and getting off on having others see my cock and balls receive pain, and see creative treatment of them.

Any idea what got you into this in the first place?

As mentioned, I just had some of these desires even in my teens, and in my twenties I started to explore it more fully. After that, I kept wanting to push the envelope and see what I could work up to. Talking with others that have similar interests and comparing experiences keeps me wanting to explore more. I am not sure if I will explore permanent mods, or extreme damage, but I know that I will continue to crave pain, and see how graphic I can make the abuse to my cock, balls, and ass.

Having shot videos and being an artist, how important is the visual aesthetic of the torture?

Quite a bit — I like to present shocking and intense scenes of my genitals in many forms of CBT. The graphic (and sometimes bloody) scenes of my genitals hopefully arouse like-minded people — and I also enjoy looking at them myself later, to view the levels to which I’ve progressed, and decide where I’d like to go from there.

I look forward to seeing where this path takes you — thanks for chatting!

Hypodermic Needle Glans Skewering

Shannon Larratt

Inflated! (BME/News Publisher’s Ring)


I first met my friend “Anon” when he sent me photos of his mineral oil injection which had, as they always do, gone terribly wrong. In his early thirties, his interests centered around body inflation of all sorts — saline, air, water, pumping, and more — but he had catastrophically deformed genitals thanks to his body’s response to the mineral oil. After hiding it, untreated for half a decade, he met the woman who was to be his wife and eventually had to face the wages of his fetish with her.

Ultimately, his story is a love story, and with her support, he went through a difficult repair process and now enjoys his fetishes with borders that they can both enjoy without risk.

Anon’s deeply damaged genitals prior to surgery


* * *

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Montreal, Canada area and am a strictly heterosexual male, married, with no kids yet. I came from a normal family — you know, we ate dinner together every night — not super happy and close knit like the perfect families you see in the movies, but we were all pretty much normal and content. I was always more reserved and kept to myself growing up, with no girlfriends until I met my wife five years ago…

I breezed through high school and then did one semester of college. I didn’t really like the way the teaching structure was set up: “Ok, class, read pages 100 to 975, do the exercises on pages 976 through 980, and if you have any questions ask me later” — a quote from almost all my teachers… If I wanted to teach myself everything, I would have gone to the library. I dropped out and went to work and had several jobs over the years until I found I had a talent and passion for computers. Now I work in the IT industry in a corporate environment.

What body modifications have you undergone?

The only permanent “mods” I have are one nipple ring in my right nip, and a huge asshole from regular stretching.

I had tried genital beading a short time after having read an article in Penthouse. I didn’t know how so I just cut slots in the skin and pushed the beads in and taped up the holes. After a couple days, the holes hadn’t healed and were starting to look bad, so I got scared and opened them up. I hadn’t used stainless steel so the beads were turning black… I popped them out, washed everything, and let it heal.

I now have skin graft scars on my entire penis and scrotum except for the knob. The graft was the result of that stupidness with mineral oil…

Why did you inject mineral oil into your genitals? It almost always turns out badly when people try that… I hope it wasn’t after you saw it on BME!

I decided to do this on my own but it happened in two steps. Once, before I had heard of BME, I wanted to do something to make my dick bigger a little more permanently. Thinking of the different things around the house, I came up with the bright idea of injecting mineral oil. The reasoning was “if we can drink it, I can inject it.” Thing is, I didn’t know at the time that mineral oil is used to help with constipation — the body can’t absorb it so it gets expelled…

The first time I only used a little — maybe a couple of CCs. It made a small bump on the top of my cock about an inch long by 3/4 inch wide and 1/4 inch high, roughly oval in shape. I got scared at that point and stopped. The lump sort of flattened, like a saline injection and stayed sort of soft for about a day, getting firmer and firmer. It stopped changing texture after a day or two and didn’t move in any way, shape, or form after that.

When I did the major injection I was twenty one or twenty two and it was several years after the first injection. I hadn’t had a girlfriend (or sex) yet and my dick was all lumpy. I was depressed and looking for a way out, either up or down — I don’t think I cared. I started obsessing about my dick and I can remember thinking that if I made it bigger and smoothed out the bumps, maybe I would get some confidence back and find myself a woman… Vacuum pumping was temporary, as was saline, and I came back to the oil… It had worked the first time, so I did it.

The same state came over me again where my hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, and I was not in control anymore… the little short circuit in my brain that pushes me do do all these things was more there than I was I think. I injected some oil into my cock and it looked good, so I injected more… I was hard as a rock and I could really see what it looked like — nice and fat and smooth. It looked normal, but really fat, like after a good pumping session. I was in a trance and just kept thinking how I wanted to be bigger and injected a whole lot more into my sac, at the base of my cock. It didn’t hurt at all — none of it. I don’t know if it was the euphoric state I was in, or if mineral oil just goes in that way. I massaged the oil around to make it even and by then was so primed up I had to jerk off. I had no other choice: I had to cum…

In all I think I injected 500cc into my sac and maybe 250cc more into my dick…

Over the next couple of days the euphoria wore off pretty quickly. I was sure I was going to die because of this. Not because it looked bad at first or anything — I just sort of had a premonition… Because of my state of mind at that point I just said “ok, shit happens” and let it go… The appearance deteriorated over the first week, sort of stopped for a while, and then constantly got worse and worse…

The problem is, my dick, like every other guy’s on the planet, isn’t erect 24 hours a day. Because I had filled it up while hard, my skin was stretched out over the length of my erect cock. When I go soft, I am about half the erect length, and the oil and stretched skin had to go somewhere… the best analogy I can think of would be grabbing your cock at the base and pulling the skin towards the knob. It sort of bunches up around the head, right? Imagine this now with 250cc of oil under the skin. The oil wanted to stay long and flat because it was hardening, but my soft cock was trying to pull back into my body like usual.

It took about a month but I finally wound up with a sort of doughnut shaped bulge of skin around the head of my soft cock. The bulge took up the whole length of my dick between the head and the base. It wasn’t lumpy, and it stayed smooth, but it was very firm and not pliable. It was permanent, and when I got hard, the skin didn’t change shape or stretch out. It pulled the skin from the base of my dick outwards. I was the same length hard as before, only half of my dick stayed inside. Think of my previous analogy — when you pull the skin of your dick towards the head, the pad at the base sort of pulls up along your cock, right? Same thing was happening to me. All the time. The skin that had been injected didn’t move, didn’t slide, or bend — it was just stuck to the outer half of my dick. Because the skin didn’t move this caused two complications.

First, because I had also injected into my sac, the joint between dick and sac was no longer very flexible. Erections at night and from masturbation pulled out my dick, but the skin under there couldn’t handle it and eventually split. The split grew wider and deeper until I was scared it would cut into my urethra. It never healed over and no matter how often I washed it, it was constantly seeping puss or lymph… the split never cut into the urethra but it wound up covering a third of the diameter of my dick.

The second complication was caused by the same problem — getting hard was pulling on tissue that had no give but was aggravated by being soft too. The skin just below head of my dick and where the shaft attached started to split as well. The head of my cock was slowly being pulled under the skin, but there was no give there either. The skin split on top of my dick too, just below where the glans ends. This pocket went about half way around and was about 3/4 inch deep, and because it was very hard to keep clean, puss and lymph would build up under there. The pocket broke through eventually and made a second hole in the surface skin. That hole slowly tore out along the whitish scarred lump until it totally separated on that side.

All this took about five years to evolve. It wasn’t painful, but it was gross. I had to put folded up paper towels in my underwear to keep the oozing under control, and it always stank.

What did you tell the doctors when you eventually decided to have it treated?

What did I tell them? The truth. I wanted them to fix it and I wanted everything to work so I had to give the docs all the info they needed to do the job right. I actually had several doctors… In Montreal there are mostly teaching hospitals so I saw just about every intern there — they don’t see stuff like this every day I guess! My actual doctors though consisted of three of the senior urologists and the senior plastic surgeon.

They started by removing most of the mass from my sac as much as they could. I had an epidural and sedative for this part and I actually started to wake up during the operation. All of a sudden I could feel them pulling on my genitals. It was scary for a few seconds until someone gave me another shot of sedative and I fell asleep again. This took a while to heal, and there was a complication because the drains were taken out too early so I had a build up of blood in my sac. They had sent me home to rest and I would go in a couple times a week for follow up. The blood clot finally forced open the sutures, so when I went back in they had to rinse out the holes to break up the clot. I was told to massage out as much of the clot as I could every day in the shower after irrigating the hole with saline from a big syringe. The first time, about 125ml of clotted blood came out. I was resigned to all this so it didn’t affect me too much… well, when the sutures split I freaked out a bit, but afterwards I was sort of detached — clinical about it all.

My wife didn’t look too much because she’s squeamish, but she was always there to support me. Luckily, I had continued doing inflation play after injecting the oil which had stretched the tissue, so there was enough healthy skin to leave me a good sized sac. The scrotal results were encouraging, and it was time to remove the rest of the mass from my dick. The doctors had no idea if I would still be able to function afterwards — at this point I could still get hard and ejaculate — so the wife and I went to a fertility clinic to set up a sperm bank. We found out that I was producing no live sperm… no sperm at all in fact. There just seemed to be some immature sperm but nothing else. That hurt. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted kids but to have the option taken away like that hurt both of us…

The penis operation was sort of like a breast lift. They cut a vertical incision in the skin above my cock to where the base was supposed to be and pulled the shaft back up to that point. They stitched the skin together around the base to close it up. Then they removed all the injected skin on my shaft, which is to say, all of it. There was no original skin left on it at all, so they took a slice of skin from my belly in the crease where your pants button up for the graft — a free tummy tuck. The plastic surgeon had never done anything like this before so this was her best guess. She wrapped the strip around the shaft from the base towards the tip and stapled the sides of the strip together to form a sort of tube. They put it in a cast and sutured the knob to my belly button. The cast was to keep the graft in place, and it was stitched to my navel to keep it stretched out.

I was in the hospital for two weeks I think, but I can’t really remember because I was on morphine. The pain was excruciating. I would get erections at night, and at first I was happy it still worked, but getting hard in the cast pulled at the graft. I can remember waking up writhing in pain from my hard on, and hitting the plunger for more morphine from the automatic drip. I would fall asleep only to wake up later writhing again… I asked for something to keep me from getting hard, but they said that kind of medicine restricts blood flow and wouldn’t be good for the graft. It was a week before I could get by without the morphine, and a week after that they sent me home.

I complained to the nurse that the cast smelled funny before leaving and she told me that it was because I couldn’t wash properly, but the next day I was delirious and running a fever. My wife rushed me back to the hospital where they took lots of blood for tests, and discovered I had a systemic infection. About an hour later the plastic surgeon showed up and took off the cast. She started grumbling under her breath and started to remove bits of skin and staples. The skin was brown and looked like leather. When she was done she said something like “it’s all messed up” and stormed off.

I was scared shitless. I thought my dick was going to fall off! Turns out that 80% of the graft had failed — only a fifth of it was still alive. Apparently they had me under observation in the urology wing, but the nurses didn’t recognize the signs of the graft failing. They kept me for another week to cure the infection, cleaned up my dick, and sent me to the local clinic for daily follow ups. The failed skin had to scar completely and the grafted skin needed a chance to heal. I had to take baths every night in water and use bleach to clean it.

When it was finally healed enough to try again the plastic surgeon used another technique. She took a patch of skin off of my thigh, a rectangle about 4 inches by 6 inches which was only the surface layers of skin though, unlike the first strip which had the complete epidermis. A sort of waxed gauze was used as a bandage that gave support, but was not too rigid. This graft worked much better with about 80% surviving this time, and then back to the baths and cleaning, until the grafted skin spread to fill in the gaps. In all it took about four months.

All this time I had a catheter through my belly, directly into my bladder to urinate. Even that caused problems. Because I was being seen by a plastic surgeon and not a urologist, they forgot to have the catheter changed. After four months, mineral deposits had formed on the tube in my bladder and the doctor couldn’t get it out. This caused more complications, pain, and worry… The funny thing about all this is that I am a hairy guy. Why is that funny? The first graft came from my belly, and since it was the whole thickness of skin it included the hair follicles — I now have a couple of spots on my dick that I have to pluck once in a while. If I don’t, my wife complains they tickle her throat!

After the initial healing was done, we were super happy. I could still get hard, and could still ejaculate and orgasm. My dick was short though — skin grafts shrink while they heal, so I only had about half my original length. But, at least that half could be used for what it should be — SEX!

A friend of mine who had similar graft work after cancer almost totally lost sensation in the shaft. Did you lose much sensation?

I lost a lot, but not all of it — maybe 60%. I am really happy that none of the oil made it into my knob! I strongly suggest pumping for your friend. It engorges the skin with blood, and the swelling helps the tissue expand.

I guess if the oil had gotten into the glans, you’d probably have lost it, and if you’d gone deeper, into the cavernosum, you’d need an implant to get hard?

Yup, that’s what the docs told me, but the implant wouldn’t work. No glans, no skin, and no cavernosum — nothing to put an implant in! It would have come off… ugh… I get chills just thinking about it…

How was the healing?

I had trouble sleeping… The catheter and bag meant that my bladder hadn’t been used to hold piss for four months, and it shrunk. Also, because the skin grafts were tight and inflexible, being basically scars, erections at night were painful if they lasted too long. I’d have to get up to piss every hour or two, making for short nights… When I finally got back to work, bus rides turned into my worst nightmare. Almost every day I would get on the bus only to have to take a piss five minutes later and by the time I got to town, the pain from holding it in was terrible. After a while though things got back to normal.

I started pumping both my cock and balls again, and have done some inflation. The pumping actually had an added benefit too. Pumping my cock actually helped stretch out the grafted skin! When I get hard, I actually have almost all of my original length and the skin is much more supple. I also went back to the fertility clinic for more tests and found out that I am now producing 40% live sperm, 90% of which are “fast”, which means that I could reproduce naturally without too much difficulty!

That’s excellent news. Do you mind telling me about the first time you had sex after your penis was fixed? What was it like?

The first time we tried, not long after the operation, sort of flopped. We were both too nervous… but the second time, we both came — it was a very special moment for us. We had loved each other for a long time and had not been able to have sex… sure, we did other things but it was not the same.

All in all it turned out very well. The graft is more supple but doesn’t slide up and down like normal dick skin, and I think this is a good thing… for my wife. She really likes how it feels. I’m sort of like a real, living, textured dildo!

Think you’ll every try a permanent expansion again, this time with something a bit safer like silicone?

No — I will never do anything like that again. Pumping is the only thing I do to it now. I think the fact that I’m with my wife, coupled with all the pain I had to endure have knocked back that uncontrollable urge, so I won’t get carried away… in any case, my wife likes it the way it is!

* * *

You’ve mentioned pumping and inflation — let’s talk about your play activities.

In my case, “play” has always been private and sexual in nature. Everything I ever did to myself was either to make something bigger, or to get off. Simple as that. These things turn me on in one way or another. Don’t ask me why though because I couldn’t tell you — the only guess I can come up with is that it is genetic.

Part of me actually thinks it’s quite normal, and that most people just keep it repressed.

Normal? I don’t think so. Some people may keep these urges repressed and that’s not good, but I tend to think that there is no “norm”. Everybody’s brain is wired differently — simple as that. That’s why we have violent people and passive ones, leaders and followers, mathematicians and poets and race car drivers. It’s rare that one person is really good in more than one situation. I think the same goes for our appetites and urges as well…

So you literally think it’s genetic I guess —

My first cock pump was stolen out of my dad’s drawer — washed before use of course — and he had some other stuff in there too… we are of German descent on his side, and if you think about it, where does most of the hardcore kink on the net or on video come from? Deutschland. 1+1=2, I guess…

I don’t suppose it’s something you really talk to your parents to, but do you know the extent to which he was into these things? I wonder…

No, we didn’t really talk about it but he had needles and elastic bands and tubes, and a dildo too… he knew that something was up. When he gave the “sexuality speech” to my sister and I, he told us about the time he put a hatpin in his dick when he was in puberty and it got stuck. He had to go to the hospital to get it removed. The point of the story was to get us to ask questions instead of doing something stupid… I wasn’t much of a talker I guess…

So how did it all start for you?

The first “weird” thing I can remember doing goes back to just after I hit puberty. I had taken a latex rubber glove from the first aid kit and blown it up in my pants. The sight of my “balls” blowing up, slowly getting bigger and bigger was a real turn on for me. The pressure of the inflated glove pressing on my cock and balls was also really nice.

Around the same time I had seen one of the James Bond movies where Bond kills the bad guy at the end by putting a compressed air pellet in his mouth. The villain blew up like a balloon, floated up to the ceiling where a spike burst him. I don’t remember which episode it was and I’m not sure if I saw the movie before or after the glove but these two things are what kicked off my obsession with erotic play in the inflation-expansion-stretching fetish domain.

Over the years I have “played” by sticking things up my ass, always deeper and bigger, always trying to get in a little bit more — I love being fisted by my wife! I also love things in my mouth… the dildos I used up my ass also went down my throat, after being cleaned. Never real cock though — as strange as it may seem, I have absolutely no homosexual tendencies, repressed or otherwise… I have inserted condoms and balloons into all my different orifices and blown them up. I have pumped my cock and balls. I’ve done saline and air inflation of my cock, balls, and breasts. Deep sounding. Multiple piercings of my nipples, cock, and balls. At one point I even bought several six foot diameter balloons — the same ones you can actually get inside. My current play favorite is body inflation. Using either air or water, I slowly fill myself up until my belly is completely distended.

I’ve never tried that — what does that feel like? It’s basically like an enema but with a lot more volume?

That’s it exactly, a high volume enema with air or water. This one definitely isn’t for everyone… if your intestines can’t take it, you can’t do it even if you want to! This goes back to my main fetish of inflation, getting bigger, and swelling. It’s also the physical sensation that goes along with it — sort of a double whammy… Think of it this way: you have a thirty foot long balloon in your gut called intestines, and the more you fill them up, the bigger you get!

Is it different depending on whether you use air or water?

The process and feeling are unique to each. With air you just stick in a hose and start pumping until you’re full. You have to go slow for a couple reasons though — to allow your intestines to relax and expand (otherwise you get cramps), and if there is a plug of shit in there somewhere it gives time for the air to seep around it… And you go slow to avoid too much pressure — if you burst your intestine you’re probably going to die from it. Also, from my experiments with inflation in other body parts, air can infuse tissues which is probably not a great idea.

Water is different in that it makes a big mess… I usually do it lying down in the tub. Again, low pressure is the key to getting big, but because water is denser than air it won’t seep around any plugs. This means you have to fill up some, let out the water — and anything else — and start again, and usually you get more in every time. I think it is also safer because it won’t permeate the tissues like air does. It won’t compress though, and it also tends to come out right away since it’s harder to hold in.

In both cases the best position for filling is on your back in an almost seated position. Lying flat stretches out the stomach too much and you don’t bulge as much.

And what does it feel like?

The sensation is incredible… you can feel both air or water slowly seeping deeper into you, filling you up, pressing on your bladder, stomach, belly, and diaphragm… slowly pressing your belly outwards, getting tighter and tighter — I have actually had to take shallow breaths because of the pressure. The sight of your belly blowing up combined with the tight, blown up feeling is a real trip! With air it is lighter and gives a rounder, more pronounced belly. Tapping on it when you’re really full sounds almost like a balloon — hollow… Water feels much heavier, and when you’re full, you’re full… because of the weight it tends to spread you out more width-wise than in height. You’re not going to look nine months pregnant — more like you’re pushing out your gut as far as you can. Obviously the more you do it, the bigger you’ll get too. At first it can be a little disappointing because you can’t hold too much. You really have to be able to relax and let it flow.

Getting the air or water out again is also different. When I use water, it all comes out in a few minutes. The whole process, including several inflations, can take an hour or so combined. Air on the other hand takes a lot longer. Since you can’t really move around when you’re full, you had better pick a good spot. The best thing to do is roll over on your left side and just fart until it all gets out. It usually takes me twenty minutes to get the air down to a “normal feeling” pressure, but it can take hours to get it all out. I guess air is better if you want to have sex or masturbate while filled because you keep it in more easily and can do it pretty much anywhere. Water is good for solo sessions.

* * *

After all the problems you’ve had, what do you think keeps you going?

Sometimes I just really get the urge to blow myself up… A raging need to inflate, stretch, or pierce something and get off by doing it. I have toned down my activity now that I’m married, but it always comes back to getting bigger and getting off. My wife isn’t really into this stuff but she tolerates it, and even participates sometimes when I get the urge!

That’s good — I know a few guys who’ve actually gotten divorced because their wives weren’t able to understand their needs in this area.

She doesn’t really like most of the things I do but won’t put her foot down if I feel like scratching an urge, even if she doesn’t understand why… She doesn’t stifle me at all, but having her in my life and knowing that she doesn’t want me to get hurt keeps me grounded and within safe limits… before I met her I was obsessive about my fetish. It was compulsive and dangerous I wound up in the hospital a couple of times…

In any case we love each other enough to be able to let these things slide…

I think it’s quite normal for guys’ masturbatory play to amplify when their partners aren’t around or they don’t have them. I know that’s the case for most of the people I’ve interviewed!

I hear you — If I wasn’t married and I didn’t have to go to work every day I would probably need a football to plug my ass and have a beach ball sized nut sack! I actually still fantasize about that, even after all I’ve been through… injecting saline, or inflating day after day until my scrotum is several feet in diameter… and doing my gut until I’m huge is another fantasy. My biggest fantasy though would be to blow up my wife. Nothing permanent — this is a fantasy — but blowing her tits and belly up like balloons while fucking her… mmmmmmmmm…

My wife is actually a little modded herself… she had breast implants done last year, so she has a little bit of an idea of what’s going on.

Her breast implants were for her own reasons I assume?

I brought up the idea but she had always said she wanted to be bigger — it was 100% for both of us. She actually wants to go bigger now… again for both of us, but this time she was the one who suggested it. Now that I think if it, she really got hot for the idea after I blew up a couple of balloons in her bra under her clothes. We had sex like that and the sight of herself in the mirror with those big tits turned her on.

* * *

When you were young, after doing the inflations in your underwear, what did you try next?

The next thing I can remember is sounding. I would take a 1/4 inch tube and stick it in all my holes. At first I would push it up my cock, using a little spit for lube and working it up. Feeling it go in deeper and deeper was a real turn on. The more I would do it, the further I would go too… all the way into my bladder! A couple of times I would blow air or water into myself this way, filling up my bladder to its limit. It felt really weird, seeing the air bubbles coming out of my dick while expelling the air.

What does it feel like? Is it just like having to pee or is there more to it? Is it a head trip or a physical sensation?

It’s not quite the same as having to pee — I never had to pee that bad! It sort of burns a bit too, but it’s not a super experience physically so I would have to say it’s more of a head trip related to the inflation fetish… It’s probably dangerous too — I don’t think kidneys would react to well having air forced into them.

And you actually did inflations in your urethra as well?

At first I wanted see how much I could blow up a condom in my cock. The pressure would build and I could feel the condom stretching inside my urethra bit by bit… after a couple of tries I could see my cock expanding a little from the pressure. The cool thing about condoms is that they are clean — if not sterile — and very smooth and very stretchy, and also start stretching with little force. A condom blows up easily while you really have to strain to get a balloon going. This means that once the condom is blocked off by the walls of a body cavity, it won’t exert much pressure on anything before stretching off wherever it has room. Being so stretchy and smooth, it can expand like this quite some way. You just have to be careful because they burst more easily.

Once or twice I actually pushed the condom all the way into my bladder. Once the end of the condom was in my bladder — trust me you can feel it — I would blow into it gently. I could feel the condom expanding, stretching out my bladder, until I felt like I had to piss. I could also feel it stretching out the opening of my urethra. While I was doing this I would be so turned on — heart pounding, light-headed, and euphoric. I would only see the excitement of it… after another intense orgasm, the blood in my cum brought me down to earth fast, blood from my urethra being stretched out and torn. Pissing really burned afterwards too, but I have always seemed to heal quickly though and this discomfort only seemed to last a few days. Because of the risk of a condom bursting inside me, I started inflating condoms and balloons in my ass instead.

But you started the ass inflation games with earlier dildo play?

All of these fetishes sort of developed along with each other, and as each one got more and more extreme I would incorporate the others in and develop them as well… I first tried anal insertion using the tube in the shower to blow some air up my ass. I had done an enema so I felt clean enough to start playing up there with my fingers — slowly I would try to get more fingers in. It was a bit painful but it didn’t hurt — it felt good! I wanted to see how deep I could go, and what it would feel like, so I grabbed what I could — the toilet brush! I was still young at this point, and didn’t have any money, and not much sense. It went in fairly easily and I worked it in deeper and deeper. I could feel it hit my intestine where it turns over to the side — a weird sensation, but in a good way. I said “what the fuck” and sort of twisted it to the side so I could get in deeper. I manged to push it in the rest of the way — about fourteen inches of plastic handle was up my ass! You can guess how I felt now, so I masturbated there in the shower with the toilet brush handle up my ass. From then on my parents started calling me “Mister Clean” because I was always in the shower!

As time went on I started working, and I bought several dildos in different sizes, from an average sized dick up to a big chunk of hand molded rubber roughly square, 3×4 inches in size… and even that wasn’t big enough…

I always started with a nice long enema to get myself cleaned out — shit is not one of my turn-ons! I would go lie down in bed and stretch myself out. At first the stretching consisted of putting the dildo and as many fingers as I could up my ass, and later it would be two dildos and fingers, then three… Eventually I was able to fist myself and I have big hands! I bought a Long John Silver dildo — about a foot and a half long and three inches thick — and would ride it for hours. I even used my handyman techniques on it — I had cut out a hole in the dildo near my anus and put in a dissected vibrator, sealed the hole up with melted rubber, and went along for the ride. After a while I wanted even more so I went out and bought “the chunk”… the sensation was amazing, being totally stretched out. I would bring myself to “anal orgasm”, and my intestine would spasm pushing out the dildo — it was like cumming but ten times stronger. Even this wasn’t enough though.

At this point I started experimenting with bigger inflations in my ass. I would inflate condoms as big as I could get them, and I used those cylindrical balloons as well. Not the small ones clowns use to make animals, but the bigger ones. I was blowing them up just to the point where it started to hurt, each time filling up more and more. Feeling the balloon push deeper into my belly, I would masturbate that way with the balloon filling me up. The spasming of ejaculation uses some of the same muscles as clenching your ass so the feeling of being stretched and trying to clench while cumming was mind blowing.

When I finished I would push out the balloon to see how big I had gone that day — by now my ass was huge, but for part of me, it wasn’t enough. I wanted to stretch myself out more… Ingenuity to the rescue again! I melted down the Long Dong Silver dildo on the kitchen stove. At night while my parents were sleeping I had made a plaster mold of a Pepsi Super Gulp bottle and filled it with the melted rubber. Long John wasn’t enough, so I melted down another dildo the next night and I wound up with a big bullet shaped hunk of rubber. I was hard as a rock and dripping with the thought of forcing this thing up my ass — “force” being the operative word! After the standard enema and a little warm-up I tried… and tried. It wouldn’t go all the way in to its biggest point. Did I stop? No, I grabbed a chair, put the dildo on it and sat down. I used my weight to force it in slowly. In a bit, out a bit, in a little more… god, that thing was huge! It took me several tries on different days but I finally got it in. I came so hard I almost passed out! That thing was taking all the free space down there and making more, pressing on my prostate and everything else. I kept at it until I was able to use it like a normal dildo, pushing it in by hand.

I still wanted more, so I made another mold. This one was a vase that was about the same size as the Super Gulp but I used some “lifelike dildos” made of softer rubber… softer because I wanted this one this one to be inflatable. Same process — mold, melted rubber, but I put a thick, three foot balloon inside which was about 8 inches and flat when deflated. I hooked it up to a bicycle pump and really stretched my ass out! This one looked a bit like a giant butt plug — pointy, bigger in the middle, and narrower at the base… the balloon was right at the biggest point which was also about as deep as I could get it inside me. I would start with the chunk, then switch to the plug, again forcing it in with my weight, and then I would start pumping. It was painful but the sensation of stretching out and building up the pressure was intense — I can’t really describe it… just orgasmicly intense! I could feel the plug actually pushing on my pelvic bones… it was amazing being stretched this much!

This became an obsession — I always wanted to get bigger and bigger…

And you were doing vacuum pumping and inflating as well?

Yes, standard stuff. I couldn’t make any permanent growth, but I would get really fat, filling up the tube. I always used my mouth do create the suction so I could go harder than with a hand bulb. I used to blister myself all the time but I wouldn’t stop — the pressure was too exciting. I would burst the blisters as they would appear to keep them from getting bigger and keep pumping… Once I had more blisters on the end of my cock than skin. I couldn’t even masturbate afterwards, it was so sore. I am not a masochist though… pain doesn’t turn me on, nor does inflicting pain. It’s just that sometimes I can turn the pain from some areas of my body off, or change it into pleasure when I’m in the right frame of mind. Nipples, cock, and nut sack — that’s it. Anything else doesn’t do it for me…

After pumping my cock I tried to pump my balls but couldn’t really do it well with a standard pump. This is before I started working, so I didn’t have money to buy anything bigger… I tried to make some pumps out of stuff around the house but I couldn’t get anything to work. That’s when I said to myself, what if I blew my nut sack up like a balloon? It’s “empty” like a balloon and stretchy, and pumping takes a long time anyways — so why not? How to do it though? I got out one of my hoses and a needle I used to blow up footballs, and a stainless steel nail. I cleaned everything with alcohol, put the needle on the end of the hose, punched a hole in my sac with the nail, and pushed the needle in.


It doesn’t really hurt to tell the truth. Sort of a prick and pop, and it goes in. I usually poke around for an area that is less sensitive — in general I don’t feel pain like most people do either… I remember in school we did an experiment where the teacher stamped a small grid of twenty-five squares onto our arms. We then used a needle to poke our skin to see how many squares we felt pain in. Most people felt pain in about 80% of the squares. I only actually felt pain in about a tenth.

Anyway, so you’re sitting there with a needle in your nut sack and a football pump.

My hands were shaking I was so wound up, and I can remember thinking “this is probably not a good idea”… but that other part of my brain that seems to take over when I get an “urge” said, “fuck it, blow” and I did.

The sensation was really different. First, because the needle had a relatively large diameter I was able to inflate much quicker than with, say, a syringe. I could feel the air spreading out under my skin while my sac expanded. It sort of tickled. My sac didn’t blow up like a balloon like I thought it would either — I could see the air spreading out under the skin, raising up the surface like Bugs Bunny digging a tunnel. When the air had raised the surface of my sac evenly I really started to swell. The first time I got to about the size of a big orange. I could feel the air pushing into the cavities where my balls dropped down from as a baby… I was hard as a rock and ready to cum. Then I started to feel the air pushing into the pad of skin around the base of my cock, under my pubes, and I came back down to earth. I hadn’t tied anything off so the air was spreading up into the skin of my belly.

Still excited, I pulled out the needle and watched as I deflated… a little. Then it stopped. Now I was a little worried. I had thought the air would all come back out… not! I pressed on my balls, squeezed them to force more air out, and that worked. I inflated again, this time using a bit of string to tie off my sac. Because I was tied off I could go bigger and use more pressure… I was shaking in the grip of a kind of euphoric madness I guess, and I couldn’t stop inflating and deflating myself. At the biggest, I could see the color of the skin changing to a sort of yellowy orange as air bubbles spread between the different layers of skin. I was the size of a big grapefruit and the skin was so full it was shiny. I jerked off to one of the most powerful ejaculations in my life. Then I came back to myself a little and started pushing out as much air as I could.

I only managed to get out about half — the air had permeated my skin and wasn’t coming out the hole! I was a little worried, but my logic was “if they can operate on people and let air in I’ll be alright.” But later that evening I got the shakes and felt sick. As if I had a fever, but I didn’t… after two days the feeling went away but my sac was still huge.

That’s really frightening — have you ever dragged an infection into your scrotum from air or saline play? I know a couple guys that have come very close to death because of how quickly these types of infections can escalate.

I wound up in the hospital twice with an infection. The first time was really bad. I had tried using water to inflate and was poorly prepared, and when the water didn’t work, I used air. The swelling went down, and then came back, red and hot. I wasn’t feeling very good by then and in the shower one morning about a week later I was massaging my balls when the original hole opened up and some purple yellow puss spewed out. That scared the shit out of me and I got my parents to take me to the hospital.

You’re lucky you didn’t die! Seriously!

I had a general infection at that point and could have died had I let it go any longer. I told my parents that I had fallen on the back of a chair while changing a light bulb. This had caused the swelling and a shaving cut on my nuts caused the infection — I told them that I was too shy to tell them about the swelling. The second time I recognized the symptoms sooner and took myself to the hospital…

On that second air inflation, how long did it take the air to eventually dissipate?

Three weeks of wearing loose clothes and tight underwear — loose clothes to hide what I’d done, and tight underwear to press the air into my system a fast as possible. From what I could find out, the sick feeling I experienced was a form of shock. Of course, my logic at this point said, “I lived, I am healthy and healed, so I can do this again!”

I did, many times… too often to count. The sick feeling got less and less every time I did it, but was always enough to make me feel weird for a few days. The biggest I ever got was about the size of a cantaloupe. I have also inflated my cock using a syringe needle — like vacum pumping but instantaneous. I even used so much pressure — with a bicycle pump — that the air was forced under the skin of my knob a couple of times. It was completely inflated, so light tapping on it made a hollow sound like a balloon that’s about to pop. Feeling the skin of your cock being filled to the limit like that is intense! The yellowing was definitely air bubbles, and the sensation was twice as strong in the knob because of its sponge-like nature. I jerked off my now-fat cock and came hard as usual, but it itched like crazy afterwards, especially the knob.

I know there’s no truth to the “if you get air in your bloodstream you’ll die of an embolism” warning, but did you ever worry that you weren’t just going to have a problem afterwards, but actually drop dead on the spot?

I was in the hospital once and the nurse was giving me an IV and there was a tiny bubble in the line. I asked her if it was dangerous and she said no. Air in your bloodstream can kill you, but you need to inject it directly into an artery going to the heart, and you need enough of a bubble to cause cavitation in the heart’s ventricles — it’s impossible to do this inflating your sac. I also came across a procedure or two on the net where doctors inject air into body cavities to perform endoscopic surgeries, and saw a news article where a woman working in a balloon shop fell on the compressed air canister, punctured her skin, and inflated her ass and one leg! Apparently she felt the same shock reaction I mentioned.

I guess it was that shock sensation that made you try out saline instead?

Yes — by now I had an Internet connection so I did a little research and found BME! Wow, there are others like me? Cool! I found the saline section — Eureka! There were no side-effects mentioned, and it was able to be absorbed quickly by the body naturally. What could be better? The only problem was that I was still at home, couldn’t order it, and in any case, was leery of ordering stuff off the Internet and injecting it into my body… I went to the drugstore to see what I could find. All they had was saline for contact lenses… I figured if I could put it in my eyes I should be able to inject it, right?

I built a drip bag by cleaning out a 2 liter plastic bottle and putting a hole in the bottom. I forced a length of vinyl tubing into the hole and sealed it off on the outside using hot glue. I flushed it out with alcohol, filled it, and started… Nothing happened. The needles I had were all very small and needed pressure to get the liquid through in enough quantities to make a visible difference, so I cut the nozzle off of a bicycle inner tube, leaving a circle of rubber around the base. I drilled a hole in the bottle cap the size of the nozzle, put the nozzle through the hole and screwed the cap on the bottle. The cap pressed the rubber circle enough to create a seal so I was in business. I hooked in the bicycle pump and started building up pressure slowly. I could feel the saline infusing the tissue but it was too slow. I couldn’t see it happening so I increased the pressure. I could now see the saline going down in the bottle and see my sac filling up. It was way different than the air. Air is not at all painful — it sort of tickles going in — but this was more invasive, more like it was forcing its way in and it hurt — real pain, not a “feel good” pain… But I wanted to see myself bigger, so I kept at it.

That day I made it to 500ml. My sack felt really full and heavy when I stood up, and it pulled at my abdominal flesh and muscles. The heavy feeling was extremely erotic, but then it started to ache… and spasm. I don’t know if this was caused by the type of saline I used, the speed I infused at, or if it is normal but fuck it hurt!

It was probably the type of saline… You also get a lot of pain if you use water rather than saline.

I laid down on my side cradling my sac for what seemed like a couple of hours until the pain subsided. It went completely away, leaving me with a huge heavy sac full of saline. I started playing with it, fondling, feeling the weight, swinging it between my legs. This actually forced the saline a little lower into my sac and made it look more natural. Again, I was completely aroused… I guess by now I don’t need to explain what happened next!

I tried this several times, again going bigger and bigger. The druggist where I bought my saline started to look at me funny I was buying so much. The biggest volume I ever reached using saline was over a liter and a half… My sac was completely stretched out… shiny and transparent looking. When the pain subsided and I could enjoy the experience I was ecstatic. I was huge and heavy — really heavy! The skin of my sac was super sensitive and it was stretched out so much. It was actually pulling the abdominal skin above my cock down over it. I couldn’t even walk straight I was so big… I noticed that the weight of so much saline was forcing its way down, stretching my already filled-to-the-limit skin even more. What looked like stretch marks formed under my sac, red lines racing across the underside… I didn’t care though, I was huge!

After a shower, I dried off and waddled back to my room. I took off my bathrobe — the only way to dress if you want to hide something like this by the way — and I noticed some moisture between my legs. The weight of the saline was actually forcing it to seep out through my skin! I lay down to take off some of the weight and I played with myself for hours that day while my body reabsorbed the saline. It was an unforgettable experience. I stopped using saline after that though — it hurt too much to be worth it. I tried using hot water to pump several times and got so-so results, but it took too long to get to a good size. Part of the trip is seeing myself grow, not just the results of eight hours of pumping.

* * *

You mentioned earlier that you did some permanent piercing as well?

I have made pincushions out of my knob and nipples — always for the same reason: bigger, bigger, more, more, more! I had read stories about how piercings in erogenous zones increase sensitivity and I said, this is for me. I sharpened a bicycle spoke with a file and polished it until it could cut paper — if you haven’t guessed by now, one of my jobs back then was at a bicycle store. I numbed my nipple using ice and stuck the needle in, and realized that nipples are really tough! I had to re-freeze my nipple three times before I got all the way through. I then put in a ring, bought at a piercing shop, and discovered why people use tapers to get the jewelry in. This was a learning experience though, and the pain of the piercing wore off in a couple minutes, leaving me with a swollen, hyper-sensitive nipple. Being sensitive anyways, it was really exciting. The feel of it, all tight and pulsing was somehow very erotic for me. In the weeks that followed, I moved on to my other nipple, then a frenum piercing.

I went back to the shop and bought a couple heavier gauge rings, wondering how I was going to get them in. I used my trusty bicycle spokes to make homemade stretcher rings. Each time I stretched it was just as sensitive as the first piercing… each time I was so aroused I had to jerk off. Eventually the skin under my knob couldn’t take it any more and split, leaving two little stumps. I wanted to do my cock again so I pierced myself a Prince Albert and stretched it out one ring at a time, up to 2 gauge. It felt great! Feeling the weight hanging off my cock, pulling at it all the time was another unique, intense sensation in among a multitude of unique, intense sensations! I could force my little finger through the hole to the first knuckle. In the meantime this had inspired to do more piercings… My left nipple got the same treatment as the PA, although I stopped at an 8 gauge. My right nipple had four homemade studs through it, one horizontal, one vertical, and two others making an ‘X’ behind them. My knob also got more metal, eventually working up to several ampallangs. I couldn’t wait to heal them… I had to jerk off… the feel of the metal rings and balls in my hand, and the sensation of them pulling at the holes was so intense… I should have waited to heal though, as I wound up in the hospital with another general infection! All the piercings came out after that, but I recently redid my nipples.

* * *

You said your wife fists you and that she’s generally supportive of you, but how did you first tell her about your fetishes?

Well, she doesn’t really like what I do, but sometimes I get her to participate. The fisting for example — she didn’t want anything to do with it at first, but I convinced her to try… she wound up liking it. She likes the fact that she can bring me to such intense orgasms, and actually, the most intense orgasms I have had were from her fisting me. Usually she is in complete control too. When she’s halfway to her elbow up my ass she can make me cum or not — it’s up to her. If she doesn’t stop when I tell her to, I just keep cumming… it’s very intense. She has even said she’s a bit jealous that she can’t cum like that.

When I met her I was badly scarred from the injections — I hadn’t sought out treatment for the mineral oil until after I met my wife. We met, fell in love, and when we were in bed for the first time I didn’t have any choice but to tell her. I choked up and had trouble saying anything… I was scared she’d dump me… remember, this was my first and only relationship.

Wow, that must have been incredibly terrifying…

Tell me about it! That’s the thing with my wife though. I was totally at ease talking to her as opposed to being totally clammed up… this was tough but it was do or die.

I had manged to keep it hidden from her up to that point and put her hand on it through my shorts. She asked to see it and I showed her. She was freaked out, but nowhere near as much as she could have been. She was coming out of a bad relationship so it turned out to be a mutual healing process for both of us — literally in my case. I helped her get her mind out of the past and she helped me get treatment.

Shannon Larratt

Martin: Genital Evolution (BME/News Publisher's Ring)

Martin: Genital Evolution

I first met Martin in the mid-nineties when he began experiments in “cock skinning”, a radical sort of circumcision where large amounts of tissue are removed from the shaft of the penis, leaving tightened and scarred skin. While this was not his first journey into body modification, it began a series of heavy duty DIY changes to his genitals that continue to this day — he’s been subincised, closed that subincision, opened it up again (and repeated that more than once), injected hydrogels, reshaped his scrotum multiple times, cut his own suspensory ligament, and more. Thanks to a bullet-proof immune system and the apparent ability to heal almost anything, his adventures just keep escalating.

Please be warned that this interview is extremely explicit and deals with highly risky activities, both in terms of the pictures and the modifications discussed.

Martin’s Subincision… One of Many!

* * *

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m thirty-six now. I was born in Austria, but have lived in the UK for most of my life. I am single and probably always will be unless someone comes along who accepts me for who I am — but I’d much rather be in a relationship. My parents have moved abroad and I have one sister that also lives abroad as well, so I am basically alone here in the UK, although I do have some close friends. I am gay and was very late in accepting it and coming out — I was thirty when I finally came out. I live alone at home with two dogs for company.

As for work and everyday life, I am self employed in the electronics trade — repairs to TV and video equipment. It’s a bad career to be involved in, and I would not recommend anyone else starting up in this business since it’s becoming less profitable every year as things become cheaper to replace instead of repair.

So you came out with extreme mods before you came out as gay — I guess it was easier accepting your interest in genital modification than your interest in men? Has it been doubly hard striking up relationships because of the genital modifications?

I have always been shy and have the fear of rejection, so even before any mods, I’ve never had the courage to ask anyone out. In those days it was only women that I was wanting to find, because that was expected of me by my parents and I could not accept the fact that I was gay. I knew that women never turned me on sexually, but men on the other hand did turn me on. Only the really cute ones — the ones where you could see their package in their tight jeans… it was always the genitals that really did it for me.

I have to admit that once I circumcised myself, it did make me even more shy to show my cock, and also, when I first circumcised my cock I did not know about the term ‘circumcision’ and I didn’t even know that other men were circumcised — I thought I made my cock different from everyone else’s! In those days I did not have access to any pictures of cocks and I had never heard about removing foreskin. In school showers all the boys had foreskins. Another thing that bugged me was that my circumcision scar was very defined. You could see the pale inner skin suddenly change to the darker outer skin, with a ring joining the two together. That made me feel embarrassed because I thought that people would know that I’d cut my foreskin off, but since then I’ve found out that that look is very normal in a circumcised penis.

Do you think your life would have turned out quite differently had you come out at a much younger age?

In a simple answer — yes! If I had the guts to say I was gay before I did any cutting, I might have just gone out and enjoyed myself among other gay friends. I might never have had the thought of that hole in the foreskin, and I might never have made that hole, and then never have had cut the skin, making me not get addicted to cutting in the first place…

If I had left my penis well alone as I was when I was born, I’m sure I would have had more courage back then to go out looking for a female relationship and might have gotten married… my genital mods have definitely changed my life, but I don’t really know for certain how much of a change it’s made because I will never know how differently my life would have evolved had I not cut my cock.

You mentioned that you run an electronics repair business — do you think your interest and talents in fixing electronics are related on some level to your interest and talents in “fixing genitals”? I know it’s a bit of a goofy question, but I was actually asked a series of questions along these lines myself by some TV show because I was customizing cars and had some in my yard when they came over to film.

Funny you should ask that — no, it’s not a daft question at all. There could well be a connection there. Since I was I kid I’ve always been into electronics and anything technical. When I got a transistor radio, the first thing I did was take it apart to see its workings. Everything I’ve had I’ve always pulled apart or tried to modify to make it work better, like modifying coils in TVs and radios to see what effect it had… That could also be why I’m interested in my cock, taking it apart and seeing how I can make it feel and function differently.

Ever since I can remember, I was always fascinated with my genitals. Even as a kid before puberty I used to play with my cock, making it go hard and tying rubber bands around it to make the veins stand out. At that time I could not pull my foreskin back and I didn’t even know what a foreskin was — all I could see was the very tip of my glans through the end of my foreskin. I remember my mother giving me a bath. She tried to pull my foreskin back but because it was causing me pain, I didn’t let her, but as the years went by and I entered puberty I started exploring my cock more by tugging on the foreskin, making the opening get wider and wider. I was always too scared to pull the foreskin right back, just in case it got stuck there, or worse yet my glans would fall out — the stupid thing was that I thought that my glans was a separate ball that was only held in place by my foreskin!

That’s pretty funny… I’m surprised how early your interested started to show. I think most people see it coming out about the time of puberty. Maybe that means it’s really hardwired in your case!

I remember when I was six years old I had a very strange thought… I saw my dad doing a job with concrete around a pipe, sealing it in a floor, and I had thoughts of filling up my pants with concrete so I could no longer access my cock. I thought concrete was so permanent that nothing could break it open after it went hard. I imagined myself wearing concrete pants for the rest of my life — an early thought of chastity I guess!

One day in the bath I decided to play and experiment again, and this time I pulled as hard as I could to got my foreskin right back. I held my hand out under my cock just in case the head fell out so I could catch it, but when the skin went back, I was so amazed at how the glans was attached and how very sensitive it was. This made me start off new experiments and I discovered masturbation a few weeks later — it was totally unexpected, but the first orgasm I had I can still remember today. It was so good that I haven’t stopped ever since that day.

For several years I just masturbated, but I always wondered what else I could do to turn me on. I knew that it was my dick that turned me on the most. I tried to look at girls, but they just did not turn me on sexually, although young men very much did… Not by their faces — I was more turned on by their cocks. I admired the bulge they displayed in their tight jeans. Back in the 1980’s tight jeans were very commonplace and it was fantastic to see guys wearing tight jeans as long as they showed a bulge. In those days I was twelve, and always promised myself that when I grew up and my cock was bigger I too would wear tight jeans to show off my bulge — and yes, that’s exactly what I now do, and always have. Seeing my cock bulge out of my tight jeans is more of a turn on for me than anything else.

Back when I was fifteen I saw a pair of leather punches — I don’t know why, but looking at how they punched a hole in a strip of leather made me want to punch a hole in the top of my foreskin. I never did but the thoughts of having a hole in my foreskin seemed to stay with me. About two years later I was getting bored of masturbating with the same old cock and wanted to make my foreskin pull back further but the frenum was in the way, so one night I got a very sharp pointed kitchen knife and pushed the point through the inside of the frenum and cut it through in an out-and-upwards direction. Because I still had a foreskin I put tissue paper over the cut and closed my foreskin up over it, but it hardly bled at all and it was healed within about a week.

What did it feel like? Was the cutting a part of masturbation, or were the two separate?

The cutting was a “now or never” spur of the moment thing in the bath. I was having a bath and had that thought about making a hole in my foreskin again, so I quickly decided to do it before I changed my mind. If I would have cum, I would have changed my mind — if I masturbate before the cutting, as soon as I cum the cutting thoughts are gone until next time. I actually use it as a way to slow me down and keep me from cutting myself too often.

It’s interesting the role that orgasm plays in it. I know a lot of people who even stop going to orgasm — almost, but not quite there — to avoid losing that feeling, and some even feel bad about the cutting after they cum…

If I manage to cum just after a cutting session, I do sometimes feel bad for having cut myself because the erotic excitement is gone, but my biggest piss off is after a major cut and I have to avoid erections in case of bleeding or popping stitches, and sometimes I have to wait for ten or fifteen days before I can masturbate again! It’s the downtime I hate, but the excitement of a newly modeled cock is so erotic, and that’s another reason why I alter and cut my cock.

I guess that was how I first started to get interested in modding my cock. I never intended to cut it anymore but then I guess I was already becoming addicted. I think as well because I didn’t have any access to touch and see anyone else’s cock back then, I just wanted mine to feel different.

So you did end up eventually making that hole in your foreskin?

The thoughts of having a hole in my foreskin never left me, so one night when I was alone I decided to try making a hole, and I cut a small hole from left to right in the area where I could see the ridge of my glans under the skin. When I made this hole I was so turned on at the sight of seeing my glans through the hole that I pushed the glans out through it… That looked really hot, and my proper foreskin opening was now all wrinkled under my shaft and a problem then started. I got very erect and my glans swelled up, and because the hole was too small, it began to strangle the glans and was becoming very painful. No matter how much I tried I just could not push the glans back out from that hole, so I had no choice but to insert the blade from a pair of scissors between the cut hole and the original hole, and cut through that skin. As soon as the blade cut through it, the tightness went away and a strange kind of looseness came, because suddenly the foreskin no longer had any tightness to it when retracted. It was hanging off under my head, which felt sort of uncomfortable but looked really fantastic, seeing my glans with no foreskin trying to slide over it. That said, it was very untidy looking, so one day I thought of trying to repair the skin by opening up the cut edges and sewing them together again, but when I did try that, it was far too painful and I gave up…

I knew that I could not leave my cock looking this untidy — after all, I was only eighteen back then and was planning to have relationships. I decided to cut off that lose hanging bit of foreskin, which really hurt, but after it was off, I knew that I wasn’t finished because there were still other areas that needed tidying up. From there on I spent several times cutting bits off to neaten my circumcision scar. Then came a day when I wanted to cut more skin off, mainly because I found it such a turn on to remove skin from my penis. The problem I had was that I didn’t have any loose skin left. I was already very tightly circumcised, but the desire was still with me to cut more skin off. I decided to cut all the skin off my penis shaft — the loosely attached skin that slides along the shaft when masturbating. I made a circular cut around the base, and another cut just behind the head, and then a long cut joining the two cuts. I slowly lifted the skin off as I was cutting it free from the shaft.

Did you ever have problems that needed medical attention back then, or ever get caught in any way? I had to go to the emergency room once, and it was a very embarrassing experience!

Luckily no, not back then. I was always ready with a whole roll of toilet paper just in case it bled too much. The circumcision was very manageable. The only problem I had was when I was cutting it off — I was sitting on the edge of the bath for nearly three hours trying to cut the lower part of skin off and my parents were due to come home very soon! That cutting was giving me so much pain I didn’t know how to finish it, but luckily I had the idea of going the the freezer and scraping ice from its internal walls into a cup and adding water. I dunked my cock in the iced water and that made it much more bearable and I managed to cut it off before they came home and clear up the bloody mess in the bath.

Lucky! Getting back to the cock skinning, what did you do after you cut the skin free?

When I was finished I was left with a raw shaft, and it was wet and bloody. I became erect and found that my skinned shaft looked so erotic to me — it was sort of whitish pink in color and it looked hot, but worrying at the same time, seeing my shaft skin start at the base of my cock for only about half an inch, then stop, leaving an opening in my body for my raw skinned cock to protrude from.

Martin’s initial cock skinning

It took a good eight weeks to heal over fully, with a new scar-like replacement tissue. The trouble I had was the fact that during healing it pulls together, and I was left with a much smaller cock than before. I knew I would never be happy with that so I thought that if I reopened the wound where the new skin joined the remaining old skin, I would pull the edges apart and wait for more new skin to grow in between. This did work and I repeated it twice, and was left with a penis that was about the same as the original length but the skin was totally immobile. The new skin is attached directly to the shaft and has no movement at all to it.

How does that feel in comparison? Is it still like that or did it separate and loosen over time?

In the beginning the shaft was extremely tight. It was a bit like an hourglass because of the tight bandaging I did to make the new skin heal tightly, but after a few months it softened up and became more normal in shape. The new skin is still tighter than normal skin, and even today and there is no gliding motion anymore. Before skinning it I could feel the shaft meat under the skin, and I could feel the ripples in the cock meat under the skin as I moved my fingers up and down it. I could see all the veins bulging through the skin, but now all that’s no longer possible. It bothered me to start with, but I’m now so used to it that I don’t even think about it anymore

The photos make it look like you’ve got no worries in the size department — were you aware of that as you were growing up?

It’s only since I’ve been sending pictures on the Internet that I’ve been getting responses saying that I’m quite big. For me I’ve always seen myself as being too small, but that’s only because I wish I was huge. I’ve always imagined myself having a cock that’s so big that I have trouble getting dressed — it’s an obsession for me to wear tight jeans to show a big bulge. It gives me confidence knowing that my dick is big enough to show through my clothes — if I don’t show a bulge, like if I wear baggy jeans, I feel less confident in front of others, especially if I’m among other guys and one or two do show a bulge… it makes me feel even smaller and underdeveloped.

After the skinning, how did you get into the subincision and other mods?

The skinning took place in 1992 and I didn’t do much after that anymore until 1997, when I got my first computer. The first thing I looked for on the Internet was for information about self-circumcision, mainly to see if other people also did it, and I stumbled across BME and I immediately bought myself an extreme subscription. That was where I first saw subincisions and bisections, and since then it’s been the green light and the inspiration I’ve been looking for to continue with my genital mods.

Before that, were you at all aware that other people were doing it as well?

In those days I was not aware that others did any kind of self cutting. I thought I was totally alone with it and felt like a freak because of that… I was very relived to find out that I was not alone anymore, and better yet, because the Internet is two way interactive, I’ve managed to chat and contact several others. It’s just a shame that they are all so far away.

Did you ever try “lighter” stuff along the lines of pumping or saline? Or was it always cutting that was the turn-on?

When it comes to non-cutting mods, yes, I’ve done several, but because they don’t last, they are not as exciting. I have pumped with an electric pump — it was a paint sprayer compressor I modified to suck in air through a tube. The vacuum was so strong that I filled my tube in two sessions, but after only a few sessions it was hurting too much in an aching sort of way, so I gave up.

I also used the compressor as an inflater — I attached a needle on the end of the tube and inserted it under my shaft skin and inflated my cock. The base was tied off tight, and I left the pump on until my cock was about to explode — it was so hard including the head. The thing that made me quickly turn the pump off was the fact that I could hear cracking noises in the head! The skin was about to rip open! I could not feel anything because I had injected anesthetic first.

Martin’s cock being inflated

Releasing the pressure

I got a large needle and stabbed my cock from all directions. The air hissed out of my cock, along with bubbles of blood. While I was tied off, after I had squeezed all the air out, I got a pair of scissors and inserted one blade in my piss hole and the other along the top center of my glans and I split it through — there was no blood and no pain, so I suddenly had a split head! I inserted a tube down my urethra and wedged tissue between the split, and then tightly bandaged the head up and released the band at the base of my cock to allow the blood to flow in again. Amazingly, it didn’t bleed at all… It went red, and soaked in blood, but it never ran or dripped with blood, so that was good.

Martin’s head splitting

I know it was a stupid thing to do — I knew it when I did it — but I thought I’d take the chance because I wanted to see how big I could inflate my cock. Yes, I was stupid to have done that, so don’t tell me I was because I know anyway!

I’d love to hear the stories of of your subincision and how you came to close it up.

Back in 1987 I was in the airport in Austria waiting for my flight, and that was the very first time I had ever thought about subincision. I didn’t know even that it was possible, yet alone knew that others did it — it was a thought totally out of the blue and I even remember where I was when that thought came to mind. I didn’t call it a subincision, I called it a gutter! I never did it for may years after, but I did decide to experiment with that thought, and one night in the bath I decided to lengthen the piss slit. I did this by tyeing off my cock, putting ice on it to deaden the pain, and got a blade and cut myself a meatotomy all the way to the rim of the glans. I was amazed at how easy it was, and the fact that it was even possible to do. It healed quite quickly but I found that peeing standing up was bad — it sprayed everywhere and I hated that, so after one year I decided that it must be possible to close it up.

I opened the healed sides — back then I didn’t have access to anesthetic so I used freezer spray, a spray can that’s used for cooling electronic components when tracing thermal faults. I sprayed it on my meatotomy edges and my glans became white, hard, and frozen on the two sides of the meatotomy. I quickly got scissors and sliced a chunk off the glans from either side. By then it was thawing out and becoming soft again, so I brought the two sides together and taped it up with surgical sticky tape. When the feeling came back it hurt so much I nearly cried… After that, peeing was done very slowly so as not to put too much pressure on the wound, and after a few days it had knitted together and it was totally healed in about two weeks.

It wasn’t until 2000 that I decided that I wanted a meatotomy again, mainly because I then knew that others also did it, so I decided to reopen my meatotomy again, but this time I stopped about a centimeter into the shaft. It was amazing to see the inside of my cock again, and because I knew others also cut themselves I knew I wasn’t a freak to cut myself, so I just continued to cut.

Returning to the first thoughts of a subincision back in that airport, when I stumbled across pictures of my first subincision all my memories came back to me. I just could not believe that someone had actually done that to their cock… Back then I had promised myself not to cut my cock anymore, but every time I looked at subincision pictures, particularly the full subincisions, I knew I wanted one on my cock one day too. After I redid the meatotomy, I left it to heal, always knowing that I wanted to extend it further. A few months later I cut it further using a clamp-and-cut method. I did this twice more and I loved the feeling of how my urethra fell open wider each time — the feel of air hitting the sensitive tissue gave me a real hard on, and I came after only a few strokes!

Closing his subincision

By the end of the year I had a full subincision and I loved it, but one night I was having a bath and I had the thoughts of extending my sub further, and as I got the blade near it, I wondered if it was possible to repair it again. I opted for the latter, and in an attempt to be “normal” again, I used injectable anesthetic and removed a strip of skin from each side of my sub and then sutured it all together. During the next few days peeing was rather painful and I had to control how hard I let the pee flow — it’s really difficult to trickle out pee when you’re bursting to go! But, after a week it was knitted together enough to not rip apart anymore. I left my entire shaft tightly bandaged so that erections didn’t put too much strain on the rejoined area.

Martin’s closed subincision

But that closure didn’t last, did it?

No — I have reopened it again, and this time it’s all the way to the scrotum. I plan on splitting the scrotum again as well and taking the subincision between the balls.

I assume everything you’re doing is cock-related? No changes to any other body parts at all?

I am only interested in modifying my cock. Other body parts don’t turn me on in any way, although some look cool on others… but for me it’s only my cock.

Let’s keep talking about your modifications… What came after the subincision?

A year after that I did my next extreme modification. I was not happy with the way that after my tight circumcision and skinning that my scrotum was pulled up covering more than half the length of the under side of my cock shaft. I had this idea to cut the scrotum away from the shaft to try and make it hang lower down.

I’m going to guess this story begins with “I was in the bath”…

Yes — I was in the bath and my scrotum was loose and floppy from the heat of the warm water. I injected anesthetic into the area that I was going to cut, and I then got a long blunt object (the handle of a screw driver), and I pushed this handle on the left side of my scrotum as far back as possible and felt for it bulging through the scrotal skin on the right side. Once I was happy with the position, I got a blade and cut from the right side through to the left, using the handle as a base to cut against. I cut until the handle pushed through to the other side. I suppose it could be classed as an extremely deep scrotal or lorum piercing.

Martin’s scrotal release

I then got a pair of scissors and inserted one blade through this hole and out the other side, and then slowly began to cut in an outward direction along my shaft. This was totally painless, and once I cut through, my scrotum fell downwards, exposing the tops of my balls and the raw underside of my penis. It did bleed quite a lot, but with compression, it stopped after about thirty minutes — I think I must have cut a big vein!

I then sutured the scrotum together joining the left side to the right, but left my penis raw above it. It took about two months to fully heal, and I did regrow about half way up the shaft again, but it was definitely lower down than before. I wanted it to be as low down as possible, so I decided to repeat this cutting procedure a second time around. Once it healed the second time, my scrotum was hanging very low and virtually between my legs. I liked it that way a lot but I wanted more and decided that I wanted to split my scrotum so I’d have two independent balls hanging.

How did you perform the scrotal splitting procedure?

I used the same technique of using the handle of a screw driver as a cutting guide behind the scrotum and I cut to it from the front. My goal was for maximum separation, so I made sure that I cut as high up the scrotum as possible. This time however I did not cut the scrotum in half — I decided to wait until the hole I just made healed, and I inserted a thick tube through that hole and formed a ring out of it, holding it together with a cable tie. After about three weeks it was time for me split the scrotum in two, so I removed that tube and had a nearly healed hole at the base to cut out from. I injected anesthetic again, and used scissors to cut from the hole downwards. After the final snip my two balls fell apart — I could suddenly hold them, one in each hand, about six inches apart!

I loved that new look and feel, but there was one problem after it had healed — because my scrotums were so small, they tended to shrivel up when cold and my balls would disappear up next to my cock leaving two empty scrotums that looked like two bits of loose skin. I wanted to keep my balls down in the sacks so I decided to do more cutting.

Martin’s split scrotum

The next cut was an attempt to make the neck of my left scrotum only thick enough for the cord of the testicle. This was a bad idea, but I did it anyway, not thinking about the consequences. I felt for my testes cord and pushed it to the outside edge of the sack. Then I made a hole in the neck of the sack right next to the cord. I left that hole to heal, using the tube as I did when I split the sack. After it had healed I cut the scrotum through the hole towards the center horizontally, leaving just the part that had my cord running through it. There was blood everywhere and I had to call for an ambulance as I could not stop the bleeding — that was the most embarrassing day of my life! But it healed quite well and my left testicle was now hanging in a scrotum from a thin neck, sort of like a pendulum between my legs… But after a few months, due to cold weather, it managed to squeeze past the narrow neck and up next to my cock, so it didn’t work as planned.

How did they react to you at the hospital?

An Indian doctor came to check me over, and saw what I had done. He said that if I cut too close to the cord of the testes, that the thin scrotal neck could swell and strangle the cord and I could loose that ball. I already had it in my mind that I was going to loose my left ball, but the doc then said that there was no point in suturing the wound together, because I’d already done a good job of that. I was surprised, and he looked at my then partial subincision and asked if I did it. I told him I did and he said that I would have problems with it later in life — I don’t know what he meant by that. He wanted to keep me in on an IV drip, but I refused and dismissed myself. They gave me a packet full of pills and I went home and was at work the next day.

How did the ligament cutting happen? DIY is certainly a better deal than paying $3000 or so to have a plastic surgeon do it…

I injected the area with anesthetic and pulled hard on my penis in a downward direction. When I felt the pubic area I could feel ligaments through the skin tensioning up and it was these ligaments that I planned to cut. I got a blade and made a hole just over the area that I could feel the ligaments through, and I cut that hole about half an inch across and dug the blade in on one side of the tensioned ligament and cut towards it. I could hear the tearing sound, and once I cut through it my cock suddenly felt longer and I could actually see it drop lower down!

Martin’s DIY ligament cutting

It was one of the easiest mods I’ve ever done. I sutured the hole shut and I was even able to masturbate the same night! I had bruising for about one week but I gained just over one inch when soft. But it still wasn’t enough.

Wow, I didn’t realize that it was that “easy” to do… Did you gain any hard length as well, or just when soft?

Yes, I found it the easiest mod ever, but I didn’t notice any more length when hard. I did notice however that my cock hangs lower down… I never did any stretching, although I should have, but having said that, I didn’t loose any length that I gained and I now can no longer feel the ligament under the skin anymore.

Has it changed things like angle of erection and so on as well?

My angle of erection was pointing down long before the ligament cutting because of a lot of manual pulling downwards on my cock by hand at every available moment. Every time I had to go to the toilet, I always ended with a real hard pull on my cock in an attempt to stretch it — there was a time I could put the head in my mouth, but I stopped pulling on it because the results were too minimal. That’s why I opted for the ligament cut. Maybe I might try pulling on it again soon, as I might get more length now that the ligament is cut.

What other things have you tried to increase the size?

I had heard of Hydrogel and was given a contact address to obtain some. First I wanted my cock to look normal again before I injected it so I decided to close up the full subincision.

This was my second-time-round subincision, as I had already closed it up before and then cut it open again. I removed a slice of skin from along each side and sutured the two sides together, but this time I left a hole right at the base in order to pee through so my pee pressure would not disturb healing on the rest of the sub. After it was healed I had to close that hole in the base so that I could pee from the end again, and I removed a ring of skin from around that hole and sutured that open ring closed. For the first few days I was very careful not to pee too hard, and within a week I was able to pee standing up again. I managed to close my subincision down to a 5mm pee hole in the glans!

Opening up his “mostly” subincision

After my sub was closed again, I decided that I wanted my scrotum back as a whole so that I could inject the hydrogel into it and get a big round bulge, but I had problems with my left sack when trying to join it to the right one. I cut open the right sack until it was fully open in the area that was originally split, and then I tried doing the same with the left one but the narrow neck where the cord was running through was so close to the testicle that when I cut it open, my testicle popped out and fell in my hand, hanging from its cord. It was out of its internal sack too, and started to give me stomach cramp pains. I started to panic because I could not push it back in, and I fumbled about for several minutes in pain and finally I pulled my stomach in while breathing — that tends to pull the balls up. Luckily my testicle pulled up into the mutilated scrotum, and I quickly sutured the two sacks back together again.

Martin’s scrotal split reversal

It has healed surprisingly well. You wouldn’t think that my sack was ever split if it wasn’t for the scar along the center.

Then it was time for the hydrogel. I ordered 250ml and have used most of it. I’ve injected it into my shaft under the skin and it’s made my cock very thick, but I’ve also tried injecting it into the scrotum, but it seems to make lumps instead of evening out. It feels like I have three balls… I wasn’t happy with that, so I removed it from the scrotum again.

Were there problems due to the way your skin is attached so tightly?

No big problems — although it was not possible to inject along the bottom of my shaft because it was my closed subincision, so there were no skin pockets under there at all. Along the sides and on the top was loose enough for injecting the gel.

You ordered the Hydrogel from China I guess?

Yes, I did, but recently I have heard of something even better, apparently it’s a filler that’s made up of small spheres, like micro beads. The Hydrogel is good, but I can squeeze it back out if I wanted to — I’d like something that can’t be removed! I find the permanence of a mod so erotic. To get the Hydrogel out all I needed to do was make a hole in the area with a needle and squeeze it out like a tube of tooth paste.

But now you’ve opened your subincision up again?

I’ve always loved the look of subincisions and after repairing mine I was missing having it, so after nearly two years of having it fully repaired I decided to reopen it again. I have since cut it right up to the scrotum, and it’s longer than the original full sub I had by about an inch.

I like the feel of the exposed urethra so much so that I wanted to feel it all the time, rubbing in my pants, but because my sub is more of a deep groove I needed to find a way to open it out flat. I decided to remove a length of shaft skin from along the top of my cock. I cut off a sheet of skin that was about an inch and a half wide by three inches long, and I brought the edges together and sutured it, making my sub underneath open out really tight and flat when soft. I then wrapped my cock tightly in tape and dressings so that erections wouldn’t pull the sutures apart. After about two weeks it was time to test the results. I removed the dressings for the final time and let myself get fully erect — wow, that was rather painful to start with. The sub was so stretched wide open, it was shiny and very tight, and when soft my sub is now totally flat and fully exposed permanently. It feels great in my pants when walking about, but the skin has loosened up a bit since, and now there is no way that I could ever re-repair my sub. It’s now permanently open.

Martin’s top cut

It’s not going to end here. I plan on doing lots more in the future, and my next plan is to re-split my scrotum, because as with my sub after repairing it, I now miss the feel and look of having two balls. Next time I plan on first making a transscrotal big enough to push my cock through. I’m also very seriously thinking about a fully split penis — I would want it split so far back that when hard I’ve got the split starting right at the pubic area.

I can’t wait to hear what happens next. Thanks for sharing your story, and I look forward to talking to you again!

Shannon Larratt

Ashley Crawford: Post-Gender [BME/News]

Ashley Crawford: Post-Gender

“Body modification is a personal choice. Primarily, my genitals are the site of erotic pleasure rather than a symbol of my identity or politics. My primary interest in changing my genitals is to enable me to do new and interesting sexual things.”

Those of you who are regular ModBlog readers and BME members may remember that about a month ago I posted — I think for the first time — photos of a cervical piercing. I interviewed Ash Crawford, the piercer who’d done this DIY procedure on themselves, about the piercing, thinking that would be the focus of our conversation, but the interview soon moved into a fascinating conversation about post-gender existence.

A twenty-six year old body modification artist and sex worker that’s spent most of their life in various parts of England, Ash began as a tattoo artist six years ago, later moving into piercing and scarification, and has recently opened their first studio. As a tattoo artist Ash specializes in extensive cover-up work and enjoys combining large scale blackwork with scarification, as an alternative to white-over-black tattooing. A life long interest in body modification first expressed itself doing DIY genital piercings a young teen, and then visible piercings and tattoos after leaving school at age seventeen, aiming for full below-the-neck coverage.

As an adult, Ash became increasingly interested in body modification that blurs the line between male and female — for six years modifying secondary sexual characteristics through steroid use (testosterone) and more recently a bilateral mastectomy. Ash has been making her primary sexual characteristics increasingly ambiguous — not “more male”, but something that seeks a perfect balance between both, with each as prevalent as the other, in order to deny the limiting factors that come with traditional gender roles. As a post-gender human, Ash sees this transition as healthy and liberating, and believes that this view of gender will become increasingly common.

* * *

BME: Let’s get right to it — how would you describe the cervical piercing procedure?

Difficult. It took a lot longer than most piercings. I was doing it all by touch. It took ten minutes or so just to dilate my cervix enough to get the clamp positioned correctly. I used a canula needle, which helped a lot because with these it is possible to shield the point of the needle with the canula until it is positioned correctly and also to insert jewelery in the opposite direction to the way the needle went in. Originally I pierced with a straight barbell and one end sat inside the womb most of the time. I found that when I leaned forwards the ball would “pop” out of the womb, which was distracting and slightly uncomfortable, so I changed the jewelery to a curved barbell which enabled both balls to sit outside the womb at all times and this seemed to solve the problem.

After the procedure there was some cramping and light bleeding from the womb, similar to menstruation, for a couple of days. Due to steroid use it’s been a long time since I menstruated, and I rather enjoyed the novelty of the experience!

While the clamp caused some discomfort and mild pain, the piercing itself was completely painless. I don’t say this lightly. I don’t have a high pain threshold at all. I struggle with the pain aspect of getting my body mods done, and I previously believed that all piercings hurt to some extent.

However, the sensation I felt during the needle insertion was like a deep pressure. It reminded me of getting fucked really hard with something big… Definitely pleasure rather than pain.

BME: How has your cervical piercing healed?

It healed incredibly quickly, and with no action on my part other than abstaining from vaginal intercourse for a couple of weeks. The nice thing about internal piercings is that you just leave them alone and they heal themselves — you don’t even have to worry about the cleanliness of anything that comes in contact with them because nothing will, provided you abstain from penetrative sex for a while.

Sadly I had to lose the piercing when I asked someone to change the jewelery over to a segment ring for me after approximately six weeks. Mainly I wanted someone to do a visual assessment and confirm that the size ring I’d chosen was correct because too large a ring would be holding the cervix open to an uncomfortable degree, and also, to be honest I’ve never put a segment in a segment ring “blind” and I wasn’t confident that I could. This other piercer had trouble and ended up creating a new exit hole with the jewelery which was at approximately 90 degrees to the original. I ended up with a very shallow surface piercing (which I removed) and a lot of swelling which prohibited me fitting jewelery in the original hole.

I am definitely going to re-do this piercing. I was sad to see a couple of comments on ModBlog along the lines of “there is no reason for doing that except to show off”, because I can honestly say that it was one of the most enjoyable piercings I have ever had. I am not ashamed to admit that [im]proving my piercing skills was one of the benefits I gained from this procedure, but it was not the primary motivation. A few comments were also made speculating on any past or future pregnancies of mine. For the record, I have borne one child, who is now seven. I have no plans for more children in the foreseeable future, but if this changes I see no reason why retiring the piercing before attempting to get pregnant would not solve the obvious problems it presents in relation to pregnancy and birth.

BME: What were the motivations behind the cervical piercing?

Having already gained a lot of pleasure from my g-spot piercings (the first of which I did for myself around six years ago) and been delighted with the fast healing involved, I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to get my cervix done too. I had been intermittently asking around for a piercer who was experienced with this type of piercing, as originally I thought I would be unable to do it myself. A couple more years’ piercing experience and no luck finding someone who had done the procedure before lead me to decide that I had as good a chance of getting it right as anyone.

I wanted to feel more connected with that part of my body and to be more aware of it during sex and orgasm, and the piercing fulfilled these goals totally. With the piercing in place, I became physically aware of the action of the cervix during orgasm, which I had only had a theoretical knowledge of previously. I did feel a slight “pinching” type of discomfort during and immediately after orgasm, most noticeably in the first week, and to some extent for the entire duration of wearing the jewelery.

It was not severe enough to cause me any worry or distress, and would always pass completely a minute or so after orgasm.

BME: Wow, you have a g-spot piercing as well?

I was probably being incorrect in calling it that. It’s more over the g-spot than through it.

There seems to be more tissue on top of mine than most people’s I have felt. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a hymen piercing, but the point of it is to facilitate foolproof location of the g-spot. An average sized fingertip fits snugly between the two balls, and voilà, you’ve got the right place! I’ve had a few, one of which I stretched up to about 8mm until it split. The inside of the split feels fantastic!

BME: I guess it’s sort of like a subincision in that it’s exposing more nerves to direct contact… I assume these atypical piercings have given you much broader insights into your own sexual identity both on a philosophical level and on a physical level?

I’m not so sure about that…

The fact that I thought about these piercings, that I thought they would feel good, and that they did feel good, would seem to reflect a higher level of body-awareness than I have had in the past. In turn, they have changed my body and given me new sensations to be aware of, so in that sense they have increased my awareness even further. They have been positive and perhaps improved my relationship with my body a little, but I wouldn’t claim any deep insights as a result of them.

BME: Your cervical and g-spot piercings were done DIY and by touch — is DIY an important part of the process, or is this something that you could offer others on a commercial level?

With certain clients I would consider doing internal piercings, but there are a number of issues.

The main thing to consider is the anatomy of the individual. My “g-spot” piercing works because I have a larger than average bump there. On some people it would be physically impossible to do the same piercing because there is not real protrusion there to pierce. With a cervix piercing, a client would need to be able to achieve good dilation of both the vagina and cervix and also be able to use their pelvic floor muscles to push and hold the cervix lower down in order to make it more accessible. They would need to demonstrate an understanding of the potential dangers of trying to sustain a pregnancy with this jewelery in place and commit in writing to remove the jewelery before attempting a pregnancy or at the first sign of any unplanned pregnancy. They would also need to understand that placing oneself at risk of STIs with this in place would mean an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, where an infection travels into the womb.

The second issue is my relative lack of experience with these particular piercings. You wouldn’t consider someone to be fully trained and experienced in, say, navel piercing just because they did it on themselves one time! It’s a tough one, because of course you always need to start somewhere. I feel fairly confident that I could get it right a second time, with the right client. Is there any room for being “fairly confident”, as opposed to 100% confident, and still being ethically able to offer something like this to clients? I really don’t know. I guess it would depend on the client and where they were coming from.

One further concern with the cervix piercing is the invasive nature of the procedure. Of course I am used to dealing with genitals as a piercer, but with no other piercing would it be necessary to put my hand inside a client’s vagina. This piercing is a difficult one to do; it’s not quick. When I was doing myself I was in there for maybe ten minutes. A person doesn’t expect to go see a piercer and get digitally penetrated for ten minutes! I’m sure I could decrease the time taken significantly as I gained experience and refined my technique, but still… Of course, this level of contact would be appropriate since the procedure requires it, but I would still have some concerns about how it might make the client feel. It’s important never to touch a client more than they feel comfortable with.

BME: You’ve had more traditional genital piercings as well I assume? How would you compare them?

My first genital piercings were in the hood and labia, and these were for decorative purposes rather than enhancing pleasure, which was satisfying to me at the time. In the last few years I have had somewhat higher expectations of my piercings and have retired the ones that don’t work for me in terms of sensation. I have recently retired my vertical glans piercing after almost two years because that one had always felt slightly uncomfortable, and I figured after all this time that was as good as it was going to heal. I had a horizontal glans piercing before, and that was just terrible — I only kept that a couple of months. I kind of knew that one wasn’t going to work for me, but when I turned up for a vertical glans piercing the piercer was convinced that it would be better horizontal, so I went with that. I guess it works for some people, but for me it got in the way of how I like to be touched so I couldn’t have an orgasm while it was in. I get some sexual pleasure from my fourchette piercing. Both the internal piercings have been less painful and faster healing than any of the others, as well as feeling good, so those are my favourites.

BME: What are the considerations in piercing a testosterone enhanced clitoris? How does the anatomy change from a piercing point of view as it develops?

I’d consider a testosterone enhanced clitoris to be a small penis for the purposes of piercing. Piercing a clitoris is normally a very fiddly procedure, but after a few years on T it’s wildly different. If you are talking about an otherwise unmodified organ then there are some differences that prevent a full range of male piercings being done, but you can still do a lot of them. After a metoidioplasty with urethral relocation the organ is generally indistinguishable from an average penis apart from its size. However, I would be hesitant to do any piercings to a surgically extended extended urethra, as these have a nasty habit of healing shut. I would be concerned that the healing stimulated by the piercing might encourage this to happen, although if the surgery had been performed many years ago I would be less worried than if it was newly healed. If a client came to me with that sort of anatomy I would advise them to seek advice from their surgeon. Piercings like the apadravya and ampallang can be performed with less worry on a metoidioplasty like mine with no urethral relocation. Alternatively, a type of PA or a reverse PA could be done which might give the appearance of exiting at the urethra, especially if stretched, but would actually be exiting the glans from a normal piercing type hole. This could be useful if the client wanted their penis to pass for normal as much as possible in the context of sex or general nudity, but was not worried about using urinals.

BME: Are there piercings and modifications that are uniquely suited to people who are living in a post-gender body?

People with a post-gender identity or outlook aren’t necessarily perceived to be transgender and may not have any sort of transgender body mods. Even among transgender people there are such a range of bodies and minds, I don’t think it would be possible to say X piercing will suit people with X identity. However, a couple of piercings come to mind as particularly suitable for FtM-spectrum people wanting to make the most of their testosterone-enhanced cock/clit: the triangle, one or more of which can act as the first step toward a metoidioplasty, and the glans piercing which is much more suited to a larger organ than an average sized clitoris. This piercing can provide additional stimulation to a partner during intercourse — very useful considering the size difference between this sort of organ and an average penis — and possibly to the wearer as well, although I wasn’t so impressed with it myself in that respect.

BME: Has the steroid use changed your perception and sensation sexually? That is, does your mind interpret female anatomy in a male way now? Or is that just a gendered misconception about sensation?

It has changed my anatomy, which has in turn changed my sex life. I am a lot more focused on my clitoris now that it is so much larger. It seems like my most important sexual organ now. Sex used to be mostly about penetration for me, but now being penetrated seems like an optional extra, even though I still love it. It’s something I do less frequently, when I want to have a longer sex session and get turned on, but not necessarily come.

I had never had a proper orgasm before I used steroids, and then about a year after I started taking them I learned how to have one. This has had a really major impact on my quality of life in general, not just because I feel so much more relaxed and happy when I have regular orgasms but also because it quickly toned up my pelvic floor muscles and thereby cured the stress incontinence I’d suffered from since my child was born. I don’t know that I would never have learned to orgasm without taking steroids, but I definitely think the anatomy I have now is more easily satisfied than the one I had before. That benefit, which was unexpected, has actually been the greatest one of all.

BME: You mentioned earlier that you self pierced your genitals as a kid. I did the same, as did a lot of people who are now into body modification seriously as adults… Was it just sort of a gut instinct to do so, or was there a context for it?

I’d say it was an instinct. I don’t remember knowing about anyone else having genital piercings so I can’t explain where the idea came from.

Nobody knew, not until I was a bit older anyway. I don’t know how I would have explained it if someone had found out. I suppose I’d have said it was decorative, because in my mind that’s what piercings were always for, and I hadn’t ever heard of another reason. I was mainly aware of ear piercings, which I had always resisted having. It was expected of me as a female to have a piercing in each lobe. One example of this is that on several occasions I received earrings for pierced ears as a birthday present. People just assumed I had it done. I resented what I saw as an attempt to make me modify my body to suit society rather than myself. So, a hood piercing was my very first body modification. It’s hard to know why I chose that area specifically — I think it was just because nobody would see and I wanted it to be my secret for a while. I don’t think it was anything to do with sex at that stage.

BME: Do you think the motivator is more nature than nurture?

People are extremely varied in their motivations. I wouldn’t attribute a reason to serious enthusiasts in general.

In this topic, as in general, I lean more towards nurture in nature/nurture debates. In my case there was no big, obvious thing that lead to my love of body modification, but I am more inclined to think my life experience gave me a number of subtle pushes in that direction than to believe I was born with an inbuilt desire to modify myself. That said, body modification is something humans seem to be turned on to quite easily, in general. There are few, if any, cultures whose people never practice any form of body modification. So maybe the potential to be attracted to body modification is inbuilt in all of us to some extent.

BME: How did you initially come to decide that you wanted to undertake an female-to-male gender transition?

The concept of “a” transition being “one” that I wanted to undertake doesn’t seem very accurate to me. People talk about “a sex change” like it’s one thing, but in fact the term usually describes a collection of different body modifications, and in my opinion each of them deserves to be considered individually.

Using steroids was the first thing I did that would clearly be classed as transgender body modification, although I had been collecting tattoos that some people interpreted as masculine for several years, so perhaps that counts too. There were two main reasons for wanting to take testosterone. I was getting into weight training at the time. I was impatient to feel stronger, and I knew that taking steroids would help me achieve that. That was the main reason. I had done my research and I knew that taking testosterone would make my body a lot more masculine. I was ambivalent at the start — some of the androgenic effects took me a long time to feel at peace with. But at the same time there was an attraction to the idea of looking less feminine because I knew that having such feminine body often made people treat me in a way I didn’t want to be treated. I think that many people have rather low expectations of what girls and women can achieve in certain areas of life, and that sort of attitude has always been very frustrating for me to confront.

BME: In regards to the “masculine” tattoos, do you mean because of their design, or do you mean tattoos being interpreted as masculine in general?

I think it’s just a prejudice that being heavily tattooed isn’t feminine. It was reaching a certain level of coverage that seems to do it rather than the designs themselves. Particularly getting my hands done — so many people interpreted that as a very masculine thing, which seems really bizarre to me. I never thought of my sleeve and hand tattoos as being a transgender or masculine thing when I got them done. I only started to think about them that way later when I was being assessed as a transsexual so I could get a steroid prescription. My extensive tattoos were taken as a clear signal that I was already doing my best to live as a man, as was my short hair and the fact that I only had one lobe piercing at the time. This was an incredibly strange experience, because I’d had that stuff for years and never thought of it as being gendered. The whole thing was so easy for me because my body modifications happened to fit the psychiatrist’s gender stereotype. It’s pathetic really, cause I know a lot of people way more transsexual than I am who are having the opposite problem. At some clinics, trans-women who wear trousers are being told they aren’t committed enough. Most women wear trousers these days for goodness sake!

For a lot of people there is a strong sense that the most important thing a woman can do with her body is to present and modify it to be as attractive as possible to straight men. People don’t frame it like that of course — they try to imply that these efforts simply amount to taking care of ourselves and making ourselves feel good, but a lot of what mainstream society expects women to want from their bodies is extremely narrow-minded and heterosexist, in my opinion. For example, I often hear people debating the acceptability of large tattoos on women. Some people say it is “disgusting” and other people say “no way, women with big tattoos can look really beautiful and feminine…” This can of course be true, but what strikes me about this sort of conversation is that neither side have been able to step outside the paradigm where it is taken for granted that all women want to look feminine so that people who eroticise femininity will find them attractive. To some extent taking steroids was very reactionary. I was so sick of being told via advertising, popular entertainment, and the attitudes of people around me that one of my main concerns in life as a young woman should be to look as pretty and feminine as possible so that guys would fancy me. But then, of course, not to actually fuck all these guys that fancy me, and certainly not to take money for it, because nobody likes a slut or a whore. Riiight… so what is the point of all this looking pretty again? Looking deliberately masculine was very appealing in the sense of doing a big visual Fuck You! to a society which shames women who are not young, thin, large-breasted, free from body hair, and all that bullshit.

Before using steroids I’d get cruised almost exclusively by straight men, and that meant that my sexual relationships were always based on the heterosexual butch/femme dynamic. Even with guys that I liked and who seemed to basically respect me as a fellow human, I struggled to create egalitarian relationships under the burden of such a restrictive social script. Having a more masculine body was a way to opt out of that dynamic and to attract more sexual partners who would be open to other ways of relating.

To some extent, I had internalized a lot of the messages I’d been given about female masculinity being unacceptable. Even though I felt oppressed by those messages and was reacting against them by deliberately making myself masculine, there were often moments when I felt disgusted by the changes. I suppose what made me stick with it was that my androgenised body really worked for me in terms of changing the way people viewed and responded to me in social, romantic, sexual, and professional contexts — basically, in every area of life. While there were some changes that were negative, in general the changes were positive.

My main memory of being feminine was how patronizing people can be. For example, when I had not used testosterone for long and was still quite feminine, clients would often treat it as a joke or at least some sort of a big deal that there was a female tattoo artist in the studio. I remember one guy asking, “how did you learn to be a tattooist — did your boyfriend teach you?” I came back with “how did you learn to be so patronizing — did your boyfriend teach you?”… which I still look back on and feel happy about, because you know how often the witty responses don’t usually come to mind until its too late!

In a sexual context too, everything changed for the better. Suddenly I was getting cruised mainly by bisexuals, and they didn’t have this dumb way of approaching sex like too many heterosexual men I’d met. That idea that the woman may be reluctant and the guy’s job is to persuade her to fuck anyway by introducing the idea gradually or just by being persistent… How disrespectful! Of course I’m not saying that all straight people are like this or that all queer people are great at respecting each other’s boundaries, but in my own life I’ve noticed an obvious trend there. These days, I get cruised by bisexuals of all genders, dykes, and the occasional gay man, and it’s very rare for me to encounter someone who doesn’t accept that yes means yes, no means no, maybe means we should talk about what we both want and see if it matches up, and most importantly that having casual sex means we are both sluts and that being a slut is no bad thing anyway. These aren’t difficult concepts to grasp — why can’t more straight boys understand them?

I have now learned to accept, and even perhaps to love, all the changes to my body. To some extent it just took time to adjust, but it has also helped to have had so much love, lust, and general positive energy directed toward my body and mind by all my friends and allies over the last few years.

I was offered a bilateral mastectomy on the NHS [National Health Service] about a year after I started using testosterone, which I accepted. This is not a modification I would have pursued for its own sake. The main motivating factor was the knowledge that if I went along with the standard transsexual script — that I wanted to look as male as possible — then I’d get my steroids free for the foreseeable future. The other thing is that there is a lot of breast cancer in my family, so I was always half expecting to loose my breasts eventually regardless of any transgender issue. It was a more a case of “do I have this done now or in middle age?” than “do I have this done at all?” Basically I feel pretty neutral about this modification. I didn’t hate my breasts but I don’t miss them either.

I guess the interest in becoming more genitally intersex just stemmed from the amount of clitoral growth I got from using testosterone over the years. When you’ve grown something that gets almost big and hard enough to fuck with, then I think most people who were comfortable with that would become fascinated by the possibility of making a few changes so that they could choose to take the insertive role in sexual intercourse more easily.

BME: “Post-gender” as a concept, versus a more delineated switch of gender role is very interesting to me… how common is that concept?

I’ve noticed that a major genderqueer/post-gender scene here in the UK seems to be very much based around the fringes of the sex-positive dyke and bisexual scenes and there seem to be a large number of people there on the FtM spectrum, probably because a lot of those people used to identify as butch dykes. However, there are some very vocal post-gender spokespersons on the MtF spectrum too. Kate Bornstein is a big name among those of us who like our gender theory good and radical. Also, genderqueer people on the MtF spectrum have been hanging around the gay male scene for years. Maybe those communities have developed a slightly different language and set of priorities around transgender issues, but interesting things are still going on there.

Post-gender is absolutely not a transitional point between genders. That phrase implies that there are two proper genders to travel between and post-gender is somewhere you stop off on the way. The gas station of genders, if you will. Not a proper sort of place in itself. I see post-gender as a useful viewpoint for looking at society in general rather than a sort of half-way place between genders at which individuals can choose to reside.

For me personally, the basis of a post-gender identity is being aware that nothing is essentially male or female other than the reproductive organs, and that even these can occasionally be other than male or female; for example, they can be intersex. Anything else that appears to be gendered just seems that way because of stereotype and social convention.

Most aspects of behavior and appearance can be a gender signal to some extent. For example, for an androgynous person, having long or short hair can make the difference between being read as male or female. Yet hair length is weakly gendered, and will only be noticed as a gender signal in the absence of stronger ones. If stronger signals are there, a man can have long hair or a woman short hair without being considered transgender. Long hair may be traditionally associated with women but it isn’t an essential part of being a woman. It’s optional.

OK, so let’s take a more challenging example: Breasts. Most people think these are fundamentally female.. but are they really? If so, how did the concepts of “man boobs” and “bitch tits” ever come to exist? Why does the body modification called “male chest reduction” exist? It’s not just FtMs having this done! Of course there is a major trend towards men having less fat on their chests than women, but what we have come to accept as normal and acceptable does not include all of the body types that exist naturally. This is why increasing numbers of women are having breast implants and increasing numbers of men are having liposuction on their chest.

BME: I’ve actually had this procedure done because I was teased most of my life about it and wanted to move to a more stereotypically male body that I felt more comfortable in.

I’m not knocking these types of modification, I’m just pointing out that the physical characteristic of having a substantial amount of fat on the chest occurs naturally in some men and does not occur naturally in every single woman. So, having breasts or not is a gender stereotype rather than an essential part of gender. A man could have a quite lot of fat on his chest, or a woman very little, and neither would be considered transgender if this was the only way they deviated from their gender stereotype. They might be considered unattractive and made to feel bad about their chests, but there wouldn’t be a real sense that they were something other than male or female.

Post-gender is about realizing that gender performance is elaborate and complex, but when you strip it down to its component parts, there’s nothing really there. Almost nothing about a person is truly gendered, although most things can be, in context. Post-gender means choosing not to “do” gender. People will still see gender in you because we are all raised to see gender in everyone (and you can choose to play with those perceptions) but as a post-gender person you have that awareness that gender is not a real thing. A haircut is just a haircut and a chest is just a chest. You bring that awareness to the way you think of yourself and interact with others.

BME: Do you think this awareness is possible for everyone? Or is it possible that having this awareness is a physical impossibility for a majority of people?

I don’t see why it would be a physical impossibility, but everyone has different views about the world and this is not currently a popular one. That’s OK. People are different and that’s what keeps life interesting. As long as people can refrain from being horrible to each other, it doesn’t matter if they have different opinions.

BME: What insights does it give you about the world to be able to have experienced life from multiple hormonal foundations?

While a change in hormone levels had all sorts of temporary effects, I got used to my new base-line hormone levels and now I experience a full range of moods and have the same personality I’ve always had. Well, as much as anyone has the same personalty after gaining several years’ life experience. I think when people say things like “men are more sexual and more aggressive than women, and this is because of their hormone levels” they are hugely overestimating the role of biology in the behavioral traits of men compared to women. I think these things have far more to do with socialization than biology.

I’m not saying that hormones have no effect on the mind-body. Clearly they have many effects. However, these are frequently blown out of proportion by people who want to justify their differing expectations of men and women in work, social, or sexual contexts. I have always believed these sorts of arguments to be spurious and prejudiced. My experiences of steroid use have given greater foundation to this belief.

BME: I’ve heard these arguments often most strongly from inside the transgender community as well — is there a philosophical rift between transgender and post-gender?

The transgender and transsexual communities are very diverse, and there is a lot of infighting over issues like this. I can understand why. There are a lot of transsexual people who only believe in two genders, and that they got the wrong sort of body to go with their inner gender. It’s threatening to hear someone say that inner gender doesn’t exist — it probably feels like I am undermining the importance of their transition. I’m not trying to do that. I respect their reality, even though it’s not mine. Someone tells me they experience God, I say cool, I don’t, but hey, maybe you’re right. Someone tells me they experience gender identity, I say pretty much the same. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that my reality is the only one or even the most valid one out there, but it works for me. When someone’s beliefs mean that they feel justified in doing something that harms me, then I guess that’s the time to start arguing about the truth. Other people’s transition or gender identity doesn’t do that. It’s only if they start telling me what to do with my gender and my body that it becomes an issue. Les Feinberg made a very wise statement on this subject: “My right to be me is tied with a thousand threads to your right to be you.” The same society that gives transsexuals a hard time when they don’t pass is responsible for giving me a hard time when I don’t look unambiguously male or female, and for the same reasons.

An interesting thing to consider is that what seems like a massive difference in identity may be simply a matter of semantics. For example, a few months ago I was chatting to someone who wanted to start taking testosterone because they felt like they might be a man in a woman’s body. I asked them to tell me more about that experience in detail. When we broke it down, we realized our motivations for wanting to take testosterone were virtually identical. The person experienced a huge dissatisfaction with the way they were treated because they had a female body and preferred the idea of being treated like men usually are. In addition, they wanted to have a stronger, stockier body because they thought it would feel more comfortable to be in. I can relate to all that; it was just the “man in a woman’s body” label I don’t understand and wouldn’t want attached to me. It’s helpful when people can put aside their differing labels for a while and concentrate on what they have in common.

BME: With testerone being the first major undertaking you took, to what extent did this shape the further ones? I remember being struck in the “You Don’t Know Dick” documentary by people who’d started taking testosterone commenting on how much it affected their view of the world — do you think the testosterone changed your course (or accelerated it) in any way?

Definitely. It started with taking testosterone and this lead to the other modifications.

I definitely wouldn’t have agreed to have the bilateral mastectomy if I hadn’t enjoyed taking testosterone so much. When I got diagnosed as transsexual and my name went down on the waiting list, I told myself I’d just take the steroids until I got a date for the operation and then say I’d changed my mind. I didn’t want it done. However, I had such a positive experience with the testosterone that when the time came I decided it was worth losing my breasts to keep getting the prescription. I didn’t realize at the time how easy it was to just buy testosterone at gyms, on the gay scene, and even online. Perhaps I’d have made a different choice if I knew, but I am actually really happy with the way it worked out. After the operation my chest felt weird — I could feel bone where there was flesh before and I hated it. I’m not bony anywhere else! I compensated for the loss of soft tissue by doing loads of pec work in the gym. After a couple of years I had pretty much the same measurements as before, only it was muscle rather than fat. It’s hard work to maintain (in fact I haven’t maintained it of late and need to get my lass back in the gym!) but I love the muscle more than I’d loved the breasts. Having something you’ve worked hard for it always more satisfying, isn’t it?

The testosterone lead to me becoming more intersex and I’ve started doing a metoidioplasty to enhance that effect. That’s not something I could have done, or would even have thought of, without having the testosterone first. My clit is trying its best to become a dick under the influence of the testosterone. If your dick was attached to you all along its length you can probably imagine how frustrating that might be sexually. It seemed obvious that if I cut the tissue away I’d have better sexual function. Only after I had done it did I read that doctors offer a similar modification to FtM transsexuals. Surprisingly, though, it actually seems smaller most of the time now I’ve done that. Before, it was stretched out full length and held in place, but now it shrivels down to nothing when its not erect.

BME: Finally, and I worry that this question is almost offensive in nature, but since you say you never experienced an orgasm until you started taking male steroids, do you think your life and view of gender would be different if orgasm had come to you easily “as a woman”?

I think the biggest difference would probably be that I wouldn’t appreciate it as much. How many able-bodied people in their late twenties think “wow, it’s just so wonderful to be able to do this” when they jerk off? Not so many, I bet! In all aspects of life, it’s easy to take the little pleasures for granted when they have always been there.

I don’t see it as being a major issue in my life. I like sex about as much as I did before, and I still enjoy lots of sex that doesn’t include orgasm. Orgasm is not the most interesting or rewarding thing about sex, in my opinion. I can’t see how being orgasmic at an earlier age would have affected my non-sexual life or my view of gender very much, if at all. Who knows, though… Sometimes in life the little things affect the big things in ways you could never have predicted.

BME: Thank you, Ash, for one of the most enlightening conversations I’ve had in a long time!

You can also visit Ash at the following websites:

Thanks again to Ash for a wonderful and eye-opening conversation.

Shannon Larratt