13 Tongue piercings… and climbing!

I got a message from Heather Simone this morning asking me how common multiple tongue piercings were, and I totally brushed it off — “psshaw! lots of people have two tongue piercings, get over yourself!” and she replied with something like “oh, because I have THIRTEEN OF THEM and I wondered how common that was…”

Of course I was, like, “THIRTEEN?!?! Well why didn’t you say that in the first place!”

I don’t think thirteen is a world record, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are less people with ten or more tongue piercings in America than there are States in the Union (although that’s a bad metaphor as she hails from Leighton Buzzard, England) — Heather’s piercings are much, much more unique than I’d given her credit for.

I asked her to tell me a little more about them, and she tells me that initially her plan was to get six of them, in a cross shape, but by the time she hit that goal she was totally addicted and now the design motif is something closer to “where will they fit?” The piercings are all done in 14ga, and as she’s gotten more of them she’s had to start putting smaller beads on the bottom to keep it all comfortable.

Her first six or so tongue piercings were done by “varying artists” that she “barely remembers”, the next few by Blue Jigsaw, and since then — the most recent four — are self done. I asked her if her speech or anything else is affected by having so many, and besides the healing period (“and sometimes not even then”), the answer is no.

In addition to the twelve vertical bars, Heather also has a rare horizontal tongue piercing, done about ten years ago by Mark Stubbings — it actually took her a year to find him after first seeing horizontal tongue piercings on BME and deciding she had to have one. That said, of all the piercings she says the horizontal was the most trouble, including biting through the PTFE bar that she initially wore in it — but it settled down and it’s still there, making this project all the more unique.

As to how far she’ll take it? There’s no upper limit, so she says it’s really just a matter of how many seeing how many she can fit without it starting to majorly affect eating or speaking!

In addition to the picture below (which she adds looks a little off because some of the bars are longer than they need to be), you can see videos of her 6th tongue piercing, her 7th and 8th tongue piercing, as well as her 9th tongue piercing on YouTube.


EDIT/UPDATE: Dominick Arduino, piercer at Starlight Tattoo (starlighttattoo.com) in New Jersey just topped Heather with this photo of one of his customers (who you may recognize from the BME galleries due to the distinctive jewelry — and remember, they can key your car with their tongue if you say anything bad!). This photo, taken last year, shows it with sixteen piercings — sixteen spikes capable of turning fantasies into nightmares — but since then they have added two more (and I am sure will do more after that). I’ll update with a more recent photo when I am able.

sixteen tongue spikes

Yes, it’s a tongue corset

I know, I know, you’re probably looking at this saying “this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen”, but let me give it a little context. Piercer Daniel (of Los 13 Tattoo in Sao Paulo) did this on his friend Fernanda Tsukada at the 2º Encontro Internacional de Tatuadores e Body Piercings do Brasil in July, hoping to win first place in the exotic piercing category… a desire which he achieved, taking home the gold medal or whatever it is they gave as recognition — the most important part being the motivation to continue creating unusual and gorgeous body play. Now, for those that think this is silly, I want to point out one very, very important thing: 99% of the corsets that are done are not done using jewelry that is suitable for long term wear. They are temporary projects. So why is it any worse to do it on a tongue, where at least there won’t be any long term scars left by the game, plus you can bet you’re giving the wearer and the public something they’ve rarely seen before? So what do you think… Is this over the line? Did we cross the line a long time ago? Or are you like me, and you deny the existence of the line entirely?


Let it snow

Those of us who grew up in a climate that allowed for snowfall can probably remember a time when catching a snowflake on your tongue was a rite of passage.  Sure it may seem childish and silly now, but I’m willing to bet back when you were bundled up in your snowsuit, barely able to move your limbs, the sheer joy of trying to catch a big fluffy snowflake was the highlight of your day.

Judging by this photo, I’d say Chiiby was definitely one of those kids who loved to catch snowflakes.  Now with his horizontal tongue piercing, he’s got multiple targets to try to land a snowflake on.

The piercer for this particular tongue was Yohann from Angel Tattoo in Nice.

In other news, water is wet

Every day I get a large number of news stories in my inbox.  Some from ModBlog readers (Botexty, Quinnchick and Nexizydrate, I’m looking at you), but mostly from google news alerts.  The problem with google news alerts is sometimes I’ll get stories that are unrelated to mods completely.  To give a quick example, every day, for the past few months, I’ve gotten at least one story regarding the casting choices for the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  While the original films are fantastic, I just want the US ones made so I don’t have to hear the latest Hollywood casting gossip.

While I do get unrelated stories all the time, I do get quite a few stories that are relevant, and some that are ModBlog worthy.  Then, every once in a while, I get a story that makes my eyes roll.  This is one of them.

Tongue piercing was a ritual tradition of the Maya and the Aztecs, ancient and — apparently — gap-toothed peoples. Now the dental cause and effect has been established: Those who choose to pierce their tongues run the risk of developing a gap between their teeth, says a report from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Lets just stop right there for a moment.  A study was conducted to find out if someone put a piece of metal in their mouth, and over the course of several years of constantly pressing it against ones teeth, it would cause dental problems.

The case study, led by Sawsan Tabbaa, an assistant professor of orthodontics at the UB School of Dental Medicine, involved a 26-year-old female patient who had developed a large space between her upper front teeth. She’d had a barbell-shaped tongue stud inserted seven years earlier.

The patient reported “playing” on a daily basis with her stud  — a term commonly used by people with tongue piercings to describe the habit of pushing the metal stud up against and between their upper front teeth. Over time, the patient’s front teeth separated, creating a gap large enough to permit her stud to push through.

The article basically goes on to pretty much state the obvious.  It’s almost as if these people had never thought that metal + pressure = tooth movement.  I wonder if they could invent something that could move the teeth to fix them.  Like a metal bracing or something to slowly adjust the teeth over time.

Unfortunately this article will probably be cited repeatedly by people condemning oral piercings, not realizing that with proper care and awareness, the chance of a problem diminishes greatly.

We here at ModBlog feel much differently about piercings.  Well, today is state the obvious day right?  Anyway, here’s an recent addition to the tongue piercing galleries.  The uploader is “9jlt-ajaaah”, and it was submitted to us from Tallinn, Estonia.  I think the image sums up how I feel about people who think reporting the obvious can count as news.


I Just Stare

Hey, it’s our returning champion, babylovedoll! (Previously.) This shot is part of a set for the brand new issue of Nickel Empire, Alive on the Inside. “Support sideshows,” she says, “and buy the magazine.” Hey, you heard the lady.

(Photo by PalinOptika Studios.)

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