The Rituals We Have

Right off the bat I’m putting the warning out there.  This post features SI cutting, so if that is triggering for you, don’t read it.  The images will be behind a clickthrough, so they can be easily skipped.

Alright, with that all said, let’s get on with this post.  I wanted to post these two pictures as they have an interesting dichotomy.  While both are recognizable as SI photos, the two are very different.  Keep on reading to see what I mean.

The first image is one a lot of people will instantly recognize.  A hand holding a blood covered razor blade, with drops of blood going down the drain in the background.  While we don’t see the cut, we know there must be one there.  The image is raw and simplistic.  The bare bones of SI laid out in a single frame.  It calls to mind all the other images we associate with ritual cutting.  The shallow cuts across the arm, leg or stomach; The faint scars of cuts from the past.

And then we have the second photo.  In stark contrast the the brightly lit first photo, this one is in the dark, with only a sliver of light shining through.  Smoke hangs in the air with an ephemeral presence, while the woman below lies looking up.  On her arm are the marks from the razor, those tiny cuts repeated over and over again.  Why she cuts is unknown, but it is something deeply personal.  The photo is almost a violation, like the light, exposing her cutting and her secrets to the world.

The photos, in a simple way, define the two sides of ritual cutting.  The raw action of the blade, coupled with the emotional release.

Special thanks to ChaChuck for sending in these photos.

If you’re looking for more information regarding self harm, this website can help.

Self Preservation or Self Harm?

Before I get into this post I want to post a quick warning, while these scars were created by a professional, they do resemble self-harm scars.  If you feel that viewing them may be a trigger to you, then you’re advised to skip this post and move on to the next.

Alright, now as I mentioned above, these scars were created by Arseniy Andersson for a client that wished to have scars that resemble self-harm scars.  The reason is that the client wanted to avoid military service in Russia, which evidently is avoidable if you can prove that you are a danger to yourself or others.  I think this is the first I’ve personally seen a scar used in such a manner.  The closest comparison I can think of is people getting scarification pieces that resemble dueling scars although in this case the scars aren’t meant to show off toughness, but rather to avoid army duty.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.  Do you think this is a legitimate way to avoid service?  Do you think he’s exploiting his knowledge of self-harm?

Drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity…

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
— Hunter S. Thompson


The cutting part of this scar/tattoo tribute to the godfather of gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson was done by Tony Snow. Tony is currently out in my neck of the woods guest spotting at Fatty’s with Hannah. A mere twenty minutes away from my shop and not even a visit. For shame you bastard.

Self-injury Awareness Day

For those that may not know, today is Self-injury Awareness Day.

Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is a grassroots annual global awareness event / campaign on March 1, where on this day, and in the weeks leading up to it, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organizations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.

You’ll note at the end that today isn’t about passing judgment on others, but to just encourage awareness about the truths behind self-harm.  As such, I’ve selected a photo from the ritual cutting gallery to share with you.  As we do with all ritual cutting photos, it will be behind a clickthrough so those who choose not to view it have that choice.

Of the many photos in the cutting gallery, this one seems well suited for today.

A slice of life

ModBlog is the part of BME that is meant to showcase all aspects of the community, by highlighting exceptional modifications, significant moments, or sometimes just a little fun.  Sometimes this also means ModBlog will cover topics that can be controversial, but most of the time, things are pretty mundane as most of the community has been around long enough not to get shocked by certain things.  The reason I’m mentioning all this is because when I found the image for this post, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that images of ritual cutting can evoke some strong emotions from people.

One of the main points that is brought up is that an image of a cutting can trigger the behavior in others.  Let me assure that is not the purpose of this post at all.  I want to take a quick moment to look back on something Shannon said a number of years ago.

Now, I understand that I tend to take a somewhat no-compromises or radical stance on these matters rather than seeking out the safe or mainstream stance that most people feel is “reasonable” (and I appreciate how one could come to the opposite conclusion), but I really do think it’s important to be honest about this being much more about politics and cultural bias than anything else. Ignoring the fact that it’s very difficult to make a compelling objective case that differentiates cutting from play piercing, suspension, pulling, and other ritual that’s rarely decried, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to triggering, the whole site is a giant trigger for those who are prone to being influenced by peer pressure.

One of the reasons I know this is that if I post a particularly nice serious of photos of a modification, I’ll almost always receive an influx of that particular modification over the next little while, as people see the pictures and decide that it’s something they want to do as well. How many times have I seen comments along the lines of “this makes me really want to suspend” or “this makes me really want to get another tattoo” and so on? Even in a culture that’s steeped in the concept of individualism, the truth is that a significant percentage of people are deeply influenced and “triggered” by the actions of others.

Again, I’d strongly urge people who are not able to take responsibility for their own actions (let alone control their own actions) not read BME (or at least the sections of BME that they’re not comfortable around) or other “triggering” media and get the help they need so they can be happy and self-empowered individuals. I’m sorry if some people feel that makes light of their mental illness, but I’d like to keep BME focused on people for whom body modification and ritual is a positive force, not those who see it as a mental illness.

Now, with all that said, let’s take a look at the image.

This particular shot was sent in by Sarah_B. who you may remember from her knee suspension a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I selected this image is because it shows a side of her that you didn’t see in her previous photos.  When someone is featured on ModBlog we normally only get to see a small slice of their life, a moment in time that was significant to them at that time.  Which brings us back to my opening remarks.  ModBlog is here to open the window into this wonderful community.  We’re open and sharing about moments that can be extremely personal and revealing.  This community, as wide ranging as it is, covers so many aspects of modification, even those that to some may be controversial.  ModBlog isn’t here to pass judgement, it is here to share with you, the readers, the stories and images from all corners of the community.

Now obviously this isn’t the most graphic cutting image that’s been shown on ModBlog, but sometimes simplicity can be just as important as shocking.

The mosque that bleeds

I was out of town last week and had my modblog post set on auto pilot. While I was gone Ron sent me these pics of a mosque cutting he recently did. Don’t fret, I will spend today perusing the gallery and checking my emails looking for the best mod content (or things that makes me laugh)  to post here.


For two more angles, keep on keeping on.



The Bones Of All

Hot on the heels of our esteemed religious coverage from earlier this week, Andrea at White Light Tätowierungen in Berlin, Germany, sends in this photo of a cutting she did months ago, well along into the healing process and looking pretty fantastic, yes? Yes. Sure, the Owl God is nowhere to be found, but He’s always there in spirit, hootin’ the night away, swooping down to swipe rats and beetles out of the soil for all of eternity, amen.

Tattoo Hollywood, BME’s first tattoo convention, is coming to Los Angeles from August 21-23, featuring contests, prizes and some of the best artists from around the world! Click here for more information.

See more in Misc. Cuttings (Scarification)

Damned To Be One Of Us

Ahoy-hoy, folks! Let’s kick off this Wednesday (or “Hump Day,” as the ancients called it) with this series of photos documenting stabbylove‘s new scarification piece, cut into place by Australia’s entry into the Mr. Universe pageant, Wayde Dunn, while at Wicked Ink in Penrith, Australia. Up top? That’s immediately following—obviously. Post-jump, more procedural and healing shots, because that’s what we do.

Here’s your future, ModBloggers.

Wayde goin’ to town.

Three weeks later.

Three months later.

Tattoo Hollywood, BME’s first tattoo convention, is coming to Los Angeles from August 21-23, featuring contests, prizes and some of the best artists from around the world! Click here for more information.

See more in Misc. Cuttings (Scarification)

Hustling The Freak

See, now, this is why I stand in firm opposition to “medical science” and the like, as my beloved Owl God teaches: Here is a man who, somehow, survived his own autopsy, which is surely, inarguably a miracle. Unless, of course, he is now a zombie, which would be vile trickery of the highest order. SHOW YOUR FACE, LIVING DEAD FELLA.

(But really, this intense and finely executed scar was done by none other than John Durante while taking a break from gridskipping in Des Moines, Iowa.)

Tattoo Hollywood, BME’s first tattoo convention, is coming to Los Angeles from August 21-23, featuring contests, prizes and some of the best artists from around the world! Click here for more information.

See more in Skin Removal Scarification (Scarification)

Meat And Mass

Our old pal Brian Decker has been getting quite a bit of play on our hallowed pages here lately, but man alive, he has just been on a tear the past little while, has he not? Last week we saw some impressive implant work from him, and now he checks in with this gorgeous “Arabic henna style” cutting on the hand/wrist/forearm of Heather, who we just saw the other day as well, covered in blood or something equally great. And, of course, we’ve got a few more shots after the jump, because that’s how we do it around these parts.

Tattoo Hollywood, BME’s first tattoo convention, is coming to Los Angeles from August 21-23, featuring contests, prizes and some of the best artists from around the world! Click here for more information.

See more in Brian Decker (Scarification)