Miscellanea

May 5, 2009

I want to point out a couple of items of interest today:

Listen: Angel Podcast

Jordan Ginsberg at BME has written a review of The Piercing Bible, and  interviewed Elayne Angel in podcast format.  The podcast is kinda long, but worth listening to.  Angel talks about the book, about Katrina and moving to Mexico, and most interesting to me, a lot about modern body piercing history.  You can find all this at BME here:  Elayne Angel Podcast and Book Review.

Donate: BME Scholarship

Speaking of BME, they are urgently seeking donations–even of $10–for the college scholarship they give to one deserving member, based on essay submissions.  Times are tough, of course, and always pretty tough for college students, but this is a worthy cause. Here’s a message from the scholarship administrator:

I’m sending you this message because right now, the BME Scholarship Fund really needs your help. With two months to go before we award the scholarship, we have $109.58 sitting in our account. Several people who have given us a lot of help in the past have agreed to donate again this year, but even with their support we’re still going to come up short.

We need your help.

If you can help out with even a $10US or $20US donation, or become a major donor for $25US or more, it would go a long way to help us help a bright, hardworking college student make their dreams a reality. In addition, those who give $25US or more to the BME Scholarship Fund will also have the opportunity to help us read all the essays, judge the applicants, and help us select this year’s winner.

You can find out all about it, and make your donation, at www.BMEScholarship.com.

ETA:  Okay, I donated $25.  Paypal makes it easy.  How about you?

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The Piercing Bible

April 19, 2009

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Just Get It!

Let me introduce you to the best reference a pierced consumer could have: The Piercing Bible, a book by Elayne Angel.

There’s nothing else like it out there, and no one but Angel could have written this book.  I know she has worked very hard on it, and I am bursting with pride for her.  It’s a fantastic book for everyone interested in body piercing, and I do urge everyone to pick up a copy.

In the interest of disclosure, I had a small part in the conceptualization of the project.  I knew we needed a book like this, and I’m so excited to finally have it. I’m not going to do a “review,” because I can’t be unbiased, although I plan at least one more  blog post on the book, more content-related.  For right now, allow me to introduce Ms. Elayne Angel, piercer, author, a pivotal figure in modern body piercing, and not the least to me, my friend.

***

Cloud: As a bibliophile, I loved your blog post about greeting your book for the first time:

I opened the box and lifted the book–hefted it really, to feel its pleasant and considerable weight. Smiling, I took a look at the front and back covers, then thumbed through the whole thing and heard the sound of the paper, then took a big whiff  of the fresh paper and ink.  I did everything but lick the thing.  I wanted (needed, even) to experience my book with every possible sense I have.  What a delight!

Cloud: Let me ask you:  Are you sure you didn’t lick it?  Just a little when no one was looking, hmm?

Angel: In all honesty, I was tempted, but I did not lick it.  At the time, I was in New Orleans, staying with friends–so I didn’t have a lot of private time with my new book.  I will admit that I took more than just a whiff, though.  I suppose it would be accurate to say that I briefly huffed the book.

Cloud: I know exactly how hard it was to find a publisher and I know how hard you  worked on this.  Are there any thoughts about the process you’d like to share?

Angel: I’m glad I never set out to make writing my “day job,” that’s for sure!  People keep asking me what I’m going to write next (as if it is a foregone conclusion I’ll write another book).  I can’t even think about that right now!  Completing this book (while meeting the harsh deadlines my publisher demanded) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever tackled in my entire life.  When I talk about “blood, sweat, and tears” being involved, I’m not speaking metaphorically.

One of the greatest challenges was dealing with the  illustrations. The artist is a wonderful woman named Jennifer Klepacki, and we’ve become fast friends through the process.  But she was in Connecticut, and I was in Mexico, so creating the drawings over that distance was pretty crazy!

Because the book’s budget limited the number of illustrations I was able to include, quite a few piercings had to be drawn on one view of anatomy–for example male genitalia with 10 different pieces of jewelry in it.  I’d send her perhaps 7 or 8 different photos of piercings that needed to be incorporated into one drawing, along with written instructions on relative jewelry sizes, piercing placements, and so on.  She’d draw up a draft, scan it, and email it to me.

Quite quickly I realized that no matter how much detail I put into writing about the way an illustration should look, words alone would not suffice.  So I started to print the drafts, and draw on them myself, and then scan them and email them back.  I am artistic in a variety of ways, but drawing has never been one of my best skills, so this really caused me to stretch my capabilities.

Sometimes we’d go back and forth dozens of times until I was satisfied.  Jennifer was fantastic about doing whatever it took to get to that point.  What a trooper! Also, as soon as we began the project, the publisher cut four weeks off of the deadline, and they wanted all 23 illustrations done in a month!  That was one of the more difficult (but ultimately rewarding) parts of the process.

Cloud: I can’t draw worth a damn, either.  We can create pictures with words, but artists are visually oriented.  These are technical drawings, which need precision, but they are quite wonderfully done.

Angel: Here’s another story: My editor Lisa and I bounced different versions of the manuscript back and forth many, many times. I can’t even count how many edits it went through.  It honestly seemed like the book would never be done.  So after months of passing it between us, I ecstatically sent Lisa the final version (on deadline).  I wrote her a thank-you note, and flew out the following day to see my family in California.  I’d gotten up at 4:00 in the morning to make my early flight, and spent a long day traveling.  I had a nice dinner with my folks and was exhausted and ready for bed.

I decided to check my email for just a moment before turning in. And there it was: my manuscript, along with a note from my editor asking me to spot-check the cross-references.  Because the material is so interrelated, there are about 143 locations where the reader is sent elsewhere in the book for more information on a subject:  “See page 47 for details.”  This is one of the last things in the process, because every edit causes page numbers to change.  But I’d already checked this once or twice, and given my corrections; I couldn’t believe I had to deal with it yet again, and while I was bleary-eyed from travel.

So, I randomly checked a cross reference and it gave the WRONG page number.  There I was, in the middle of the night, rechecking every single cross-referenced in the book.  I’m glad I did; three of them were wrong! Of course, then I started to wonder what else was still wrong.  It could drive a person crazy!  Apparently it is common that changes are made after the first print run, and errors can get corrected at that time.

Being a perfectionist is great characteristic for a piercer, but in a writer . . .

Cloud: Was there any part of the book you had to fight to include, or that gave you particular trouble?

Angel: The publisher and I wrestled over the cover quite a bit.  At one point I was so distraught, I regretted having signed the contract.  Ultimately we settled on the current cover, and I’m pretty happy with it, except that the color isn’t nearly as purple as I would have liked.

I don’t want to give a negative impression of my publisher.  Ten Speed Press is fantastic, and I feel that the whole team there worked really hard to make The Piercing Bible as good as it could possibly be, and I’m very appreciative of  everyone’s efforts.

The end-notes were a bitch or organize, because the publisher’s program doesn’t work with the formatting for automatic endnotes in the Microsoft Word program that I used.  I had to manually put in special codes for their placement.  Then, edits caused things to get swapped around and I’d hve to re-do them.  I wriestled with those damned end notes for what seemed like a lifetime!

Cloud: What do you have planned for the official debut?

Angel: The official debut is coming up at the annual conference for the Association of Professional Piercers in Las Vegas the first week in May.  We’re having it at the Tropicana this year (a change from our many years at the Riviera).  I’ll have  booth and will sell and sign books and I’ll be selling my poster there, too (pictured here).   The publisher is making some postcards for the book, and I’ll have those also.

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Cloud: I hope it goes smashingly for you.  I had hoped to attend the conference this year, and perhaps volunteer, but as you know, conference can be exhausting even without being post-op!  The Tropicana better treat you guys right–it’ll be great to be down at that end of the Strip. Are you planning any other appearances at conventions or events to publicize the book?

Angel: While I’m at the APP Conference, I will discuss book signing/guest piercing opportunities with my colleagues from around the country.  So, those plans have yet to be made, but I’ll be happy to keep you and your readers posted.Following the Conference (on May 16 at 6 pm) I’ll be having a book signing in Los Angeles at an alternative gallery:  Antebellum Gallery.  http://www.rickcastro.com/antebellum/antebellum2.html .

Cloud: Please do keep me informed about appearances.  Every little bit helps, right? You’re probably watching the Amazon.com reviews pretty closely, and so far they’re great, but have you received feedback yet from other piercers?

Angel: No, the book just started shipping a matter of days ago, so I figure it will take a little more time–there are over 300 pages after all!  I’m kind of surprised that anyone had time to actually read the whole thing and post a review already.

Cloud: That’s exactly what I’m doing, and what Noah [Babcock of Evolution in ABQ] told me–you have to set aside time to read and study it because it’s so dense with information!  And yet it’s very readable at the same time.

Angel: I’m looking forward to hearing whatever feedback people have.  So far, it has all been good, but I’m sure piercers are apt to be my harshest critics (of the content, anyway).  The book IS on the conservative side, but if it wasn’t, then the non-piercing communities (like healthcare professionals, educators, legislators, etc.) wouldn’t take it seriously.  A very important goal of mine is for The Piercing Bible to be accessible and acceptable to these other types of people.  There isn’t a single other resource that has the potential to encompass and educate such diverse audiences.

Cloud: Oh, I entirely agree.  Just waiting until the nurses and health care inspectors get hold of it–they should be falling on it like mana from heaven!  When the APP does outreach to these professionals, it seems like they’re so hungry for good information.

Angel: Even though I clarify that the content is largely based on my own opinions in the book’s disclaimer, “Substantive research studies, statistical analyses, and other definitive resource materials related to modern piercing are in short supply; therefore, the information, practices, and procedures described in this book are largely based on my own extensive, clinical experience.  I’ve integrated industry standards where they exist, but there is still preciousl little that is truly standard, so my opinions are a primary component of many chapters.”  I won’t be suprised to hear from piercers who disagree with some of my perspectives.

Cloud: Me neither.  How many piercers does it take to change a light bulb?  None; the light bulb never gets changed because they can’t agree on the proper procedure!   Although piercing procedures don’t have quite the same history and mystique that tattoo procedures do, do you anticipate anyone saying you are giving away “secrets” or something?

Angel: I doubt it.  I don’t think piercing has suffered from that same affliction that has impacted tattooing.  Jim Ward always shared his information (and created a magazine to help: PFIQ), and I’ve always shared whatever information I’ve had.  Since we were part of the foundation of the industry, I think that helped to set a precedent for a more open sharing among piercers.

Cloud: There seems to be a great deal of interest in and thirst for knowledge about piercing by people in Mexico and Latin Amerca–any plans to translate the book into Spanish?

Angel: I certainly hope so! That’s part of the deal with the publisher, so hopefully the book will sell well enough in the US that they’ll decide to proceed with versions in several different languages.  Everyone can help:  buy a copy if you don’t have one already!

Cloud: I’ve bought a couple extra copies for gifts!  As I’m sure you know, my area of the border and many areas of Mexico have experienced increased amounts of horrific violence related to drug wars–have you seen any signs of unrest in your area?

Angel: No–the Yucatan is almost like another country.  We aren’t anywhere near a border, and our areas is not at all affected.  Actually, the Yucatecos don’t consider themselves “Mexicans” at all.  It is very different here.  They have their own culture, customs, cuisine, and so on–all quite different from the rest of Mexico.  in fact, people always tease us when we travel to the US:  “So, what do you want to eat?  Mexican food?  And they’ve always surprised and think we’re joking when we responde, “Yes! Please!”  We don’t get Mexican food here of the type we’re accustomed to from living in California, and we miss it!

Cloud: I’d send you some green chiles if I could.  Are you missing doing piercings?

Angel: I must be, I keep dreaming about doing piercings. In fact just last night I had a dream I was guest piercing in a studio in the UK.  My client wanted a genital piercing, but we were all together (two tattoo artists and me) in one big room.  So I was trying to position the table so my client could have as much privacy as possible given that we were in plain view of everybody.  Hmmm.

I have done some piercings when I travel, and now that the book is done, I’d like to do more.  I’m probably going to be dong some guest piercing/book signing engagements in the US and maybe elswehere.  I’ll keep in touch and let you know my plans as they develop.

Cloud: So, now that the this project is done, I’m sure you heaved a big sigh of relief.  What’s next?

Angel: Now that The Piercing Bible is available, the next phase is publicity, marketing, and promotion. I want to let everyone know about the book so that anyone who needs the information gets to read a copy.  I could spend all day, everyday, on the internet working on that!  I also help my husband with his business.  Somehow, I stay busy ALL the time, even though I don’t have what you’d call a “real job” at the moment.  I’m enjoying life very much, and I plan to keep on doing that!

While I have “the floor” so to speak, I wanted to let everyone who reads your blog know that you were totally instrumental in getting this book to happen, and that I truly appreciated all the time and effort that you put into it.  You do deserve a lot of credit and I hope you know that I freely give it to you.  Thanks, Cloud, for getting theat whole ball rolling.  Your contributions are part of what helped to make The Piercing Bible what it finally became.

Cloud: It was my pleasure to contribute in a small way. I’m not surprised at the dream, either–your empathy and sensitivity to a piercee’s needs are among the qualities that make you a great piercer, so this must be your equivalent to “naked classroom” dreams.

Thanks, Elayne, for talking to me about the book, and I wish you fantastic success with it.  Now you can literally say you “wrote the book” on body piercing!

***

So, there you have it–my attempt at journalistic greatness by interviewing the much greater Elayne Angel!  Go, pick up a copy of The Piercing Bible at Amazon, or ask you bookstore to carry it.  You won’t be disappointed!

Note: As I’m writing this, there’s a knock on my frontdoor.  The mailman, with a surprise delivery.  What is this?  The return address was from no one I knew, but the size and shape reminded me suspiciously of . . . The Piercing Bible!  With a special message from Angel.  Completely aside from the utility, uniqueness, and detailed content about piercing, this will always be a special book for me.  I’ll keep my other copy for reference and for mark up, but my autographed copy goes into the category of life treasures.

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Today’s the day!

April 1, 2009

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The Piercing Bible, by Elayne Angel, is now available for shipping at Amazon!  Here is the link:

The Piercing Bible on Amazon.com (pic above is copied from there.)

This book will be the single greatest resource for piercees and piercers that I know of.  Angel is one of the foremost professional piercers in the world, and her knowledge and expertise shine through all of the detailed information contained in the book.

I’m proud to say I had a hand in creating the concept for this book, and I know all of you will get a lot out of it.  I’ll do a review when I receive it, but it won’t be unbiased.  I cannot tell you how excited I am!  Just buy it!


Book Review: Kat Von D High Voltage

March 27, 2009

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Diary of a Rock and Roll Girl

High Voltage Tattoo, by Kat Von D is a homage to music, art, and of course, tattoos.

I’m not a body modification groupie (really!), but I do love books. I saw this book in the bookstore and had to have it; at  $20 from Amazon, it was an indulgence, but I have to say it’s  a cut above any other celebrity tattoo book I’ve seen.

For one thing, it’s written by an actual tattooer, with actual useful information from someone who clearly loves the medium, and not just a rehash of celebrity tattoo photos.  That’s very refreshing and makes a huge difference in the enjoyability and utility of the book.  For another, it has a stylish, fun, and thoughtful layout which is a pleasure to hold and peruse.   As you would expect from a tattoo book, there are gorgeous photographs throughout, but there’s also enough text to satisfy my reader’s soul. At first I thought the book might be ghost written (I mean, when would she have the time?), but the text is just a bit less polished than the presentation, written in a gushing, enthusiastic tone, so I think she did indeed write it.  I think the book is just like Kat–stunning, flashy, thoughtful,  and a bit of an overachiever.


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“High Voltage is My Church, the padded yellow table that I work on is my altar, and this book is a Love Letter”

I don’t know what you think about Miami Ink, L.A. Ink, or Ms. Von D. herself.  Personally, I’m somewhat put off by those shows’ focus on memorial tattoos and other “meaningful” tattoos because I don’t think that all tattoos (or other body art) necessarily need a “reason”  other than “I like it.”   Nevertheless, I think she has made a valuable contribution to my bookshelves.  Although this book is certainly a part of the glossy commercialism of tattoos currently in vogue, it’s also a personal look at one person’s involvement in, and love for, tattooing.

The first part is an autobiography, or even a diary, which chronicles  Kat’s upbringing and influences.  She gives us a history of her artistic endeavors and her initiation into the tattoo world, her work in a succession of studios, and finally her television work and the establishment of High Voltage Tattoo studio in Los Angeles.    There are some interesting tidbits in here; for instance, she describes getting tattooed by Jack Rudy from 11 pm to 6 am on what must have been a very memorable night!

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Next, she takes us on a tour of her body.  Yep! With detailed information about all her tattoos.  You can see this in the pic above.  She takes us through a section showcasing  various tattoo styles and themes:  Angels, lettering, memorial tattoos.  Her preferred style, and the one she is best at (in my opinion from looking at photos of her tattoos) is black and gray portraiture, and this style is emphasized throughout the book and in the choice of tattooers and collectors she highlights.

There’s also some really unique and wonderful content. There’s a section on tattoo machines, for instance. I never before considered that a tattoo machine could be “beautiful!”  The book also includes sections on tattoo myths and tattoo etiquette.  There are good tips for getting a tattoo (bring references of artwork that shows the style you like, not just of the specific tattoo you want to get) and descriptions of how to fit a new tattoo onto the body with existing tattoos.  There’s a great step-by-step pictorial detailing the creation of a large tattoo on Nikki Sixx, “Making a Complex Tattoo,”  showing the progress of an angel as it is planned, outlined, and shaded.

In keeping with the book’s themes of art and music, Ms. Von D. not only includes her playlist (which I’m sad to say shares nothing with mine), but an entire section devoted to her inspiration and muses, as well as a section on international artists.

Although there are some negative comments about the tattoo community, (“I broke up with the tattoo world”) she still talks enthusiastically and sometimes with awe about talented tattooers.  Ms. Von D.  is respectful of tattoo art and culture, and her passion for the medium comes through clearly.  If you like books and tattoos, this is a perfect combination.


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Kat Von D put Beethoven on my iPod!

I swear!  Ms. Kat Von D is a Beethoven fanatic; and while reading this book for review, Symphony No. 9 magically appeared on my iPod.  I didn’t put it there–it must have been her!

Can’t leave off the links!

Kat Von D’s official web site:  www.katvond.net

Kat Von D on MySpace:  www.myspace.com/katvond

High Voltage Tattoo:  www.highvoltagetattoo.com

Shop like her:

www.rokkclothing.com

www.tonysshoes.com

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Guide to Getting it On

February 10, 2009

419pos80h8l_sl160_aa115_The Guide to Getting it On:  For Adults of All Ages

By: Paul Joannides, Psy.D.

If you’re looking for a good sex manual, this is it.  This hefty tome (992 pages!) really does cover “everything you ever wanted to know about sex.”  And some you didn’t.

It’s now in the 6th edition, and just keeps getting bigger.  Written in a wry, smart, and appealing style, with line drawings throughout, it covers a wide range of sexual activities and related topics, such as birth control, circumcision, explaining sex to kids, men’s underwear, and sexual health in general.  It’s got some really great chapters, and information, and some really strange ones; e.g., Barbie the Icon. It’s basically a compilation of every fact (or theory) about sex out there from a variety of sources (without attributing the sources), and the author is not shy about expressing his own opinion.  Therein lies both the book’s strength and weaknesses.  It baldly states that “vanilla is the Guide’s favorite flavor,” so although very comprehensive, useful, and interesting to read, it has to be said that the content on piercings,  bondage, kink, et al. is rather weak.  Plus, the book uses the pseudo-word, “vajayjay” which I loathe!

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Among the tidbits for Pierced Consumers:

In a section addressing painful intercourse, it says: “One of the top experts on vulvar pain recommends using fresh olive oil for lube.  Almond oil and grape seed oil are also on some physician’s lists.”  So, you can use up that leftover oil for piercing aftercare.

There’s a whole section on soap for feminine hygiene, something that concerns many piercees, in the chapter about “Vulva Care–Keeping Your Kitty Happy.”  It’s a dilemma:  You want to be clean, but you don’t want to use a lot of perfumy soaps that could mess up the balance down there.  The need to keep piercings clean, both during the healing stage, and during the life of the piercing, leaves some girls scratching their heads over what soap to use and how to clean their piercings.  Here’s what the Guide states:

Do not overclean the puss.  It only needs soap once a day at the most.  . . .

Do not use liquid body gels or cheap washes because it’s “‘basically like douching with those chemicals.” . . .

Let’s say your kitty is a persnickity little puss who doesn’t like soap every day.  Unless your gynecologist says something to the contrary, you should still clean her with water.  Part of the reason for her not doing well with soap might be the kind you are using.  Consider trying a high-quality, low-pH soap like SebaMed between your legs.  Your vulva and vagina are a bit acidic, with a pH of around 5.2.  However, most bar soaps are alkaline, with a pH of 10 or higher.  Some women who have struggled with vaginal infections swear by the lower-pH soaps. . . .

Avoid Run-Off from Above:  Shampoos tend to be h arsh and perfumy.  Make sure the shampoo and conditioner don’t stream between your legs and through the lips of your vulva when you are rinsing them from your hair.

It goes on to say not to use powders, lotions, or feminine hygiene sprays. I agree that piercees should look for a product that works well for them, and it’s worth looking at the pH level.   Male piercees don’t seem to have the problems with soap that females do, so there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding washing section.  Read my post on aftercare and soap here.

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And the chapter on piercings:

Nestled between “Rape and Abuse” and “Threesomes” is “On Needles and Pins:  Piercings, Tattoos, & Sex,” the chapter on piercings and tattoos.  In keeping with current trends, this chapter is greatly expanded in this edition.  Most of the info in the chapter is pretty good, but as an experienced piercee, I do have some serious issues with it.  The author, Paul Joannides, is a nice guy with whom I’ve interacted a little bit on another forum where I recommended his book.  Fine.  However, the author obviously is not pierced himself, and it’s very apparent that all the information comes from third party sources.  That’s okay–no one could possibly expect one person to have first-hand knowledge of ALL the sex stuff in the book.   What I don’t like however, is the negative and somewhat uninformed attitude of the Guide.  For instance, the book implies that only students get pierced and emphasizes the risks.  There are risks associated with piercing, of course, and it is responsible to address them.  However, I would have anticipated that a writer about sex, no matter how vanilla, would be more open minded than to say:  “if nature wanted you to have extra holes through your nipples or between your legs, she would have put them there. ”

The second jarring note is the vocabulary and sloppy editing.  Several of the terms used took me aback.  Now, piercing terminology is tricky, but the book uses the term, “AP” for an apadravya which I haven’t come across in common usage, and also refers to a “magic cross,” a term for a penis pierced with both an apadravya and an ampallang.  Haven’t heard of that one, either, but it’s in the BME Encyclopedia, so what the hell.  “Ring tossing” — apparently a term for dislodging a diaphragm with a piercing during intercourse–isn’t, though.   One section quotes an experience on BME and appears to confuse which piercing it refers to.  Further, there are aggravating misspellings, the most serious of which is “naval” for “navel” throughout that section!  (And we hate that, don’t we?)

It really tries, I think, but there’s such a mix of good and bad (or maybe, less-than-good) information, so I’m left wanting.   It’s a pretty thorough treatment, but with some glaring omissions. There’s no mention of the problems people have with partners if one person is into piercing and the isn’t, for example, and there’s no sympathy for or understanding of the allure of sexual piercings.    It’s nice to have a published treatment of sex and piercings, since they are often (but not always!) connected, but I can’t say The Guide to Getting it On “gets it,” at least on this topic.  I’m  holding out for The Piercing Bible, coming to your bookstore soon!

Despite its shortcomings when it comes to treating piercings, I still highly recommend this book.  I guarantee you will have a good time reading it, and an even better time trying some of the tips out.  You can buy it here on Amazon:  Guide to Getting It On.


Modern Primitives

January 12, 2009

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It may not have started it all, but it sure gave body modification a big boost.

Time and again, you will find piercers and piercees say they became fascinated by body modification after reading Re/Search publication’s “Modern Primitives,” released in 1989, V. Vale and Andrea Juno, Editors. (This post is specifically about the book, leaving the broader topic of modern primitivism for a later post.)

As we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary, the publication of this book is considered to be a pivotal moment in the history of modern body modification.  It introduced a wider audience to the pleasures, pains, and motivations for body modification, as well as to the expression of connection with tribal peoples and roots as an antidote to the sterility of modern life.

Written largely in interview format (ah ha! That’s why I’m doing it wrong), with various essays sprinkled through it, it featured active figures, both collectors and artists, involved in tattooing, piercing, branding, and other, more esoteric forms of body art, including: Fakir Musafar, Don Ed Hardy, Raelyn Gallina, Lytle Tuttle, Vyvyn Lazonga, and Jim Ward.  These people attempted to put into words their feelings about their art and modifications, as we continue to do, and expressed their frustration with modern commercial standards of beauty.  “We fight against the standards imposed by TV, magazines, and plastic surgeons . . . “(Wes Christensen, p. 80)

Among the articles of interest for piercing enthusiasts are:

  • Fakir Musafar: The fact that Fakir got the first spot in the publication was no accident, as he was one of the main inspirations, and the coiner of the term, “Modern Primitive.”
  • “A Fashion for Ecstasy; Ancient Maya Body Modifications” by Wes Christensen.
  • The interview with Jim Ward, “perhaps the most active piercing artist.”
  • Genesis & Paula P. Orridge, which includes many piercing pictures, and a full nude of Sailor Sid Diller.
  • Raelyn Gallina, who indelibly linked body piercing to women’s spirituality, reclamation, and recovery.
  • Sheree Rose, a photographer who documented the BDSM scene, whose interview featured  and an uncredited photo of Elayne Angel’s ass and labia piercings (p. 112).

Whether you resonate to the idea of modern primitivism or not, every piercing enthusiast should know this book.  And it still available at Amazon for under $15!


What’s The Point?

December 30, 2008

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The Point is the Association of Professional Piercers’ main member publication, and it’s an invaluable resource for anyone interested in body piercing.

All the issues can be found in .pdf format on the APP’s website.  Go to:  For Piercers and Their Advocates->Publications->The Point.

Since they are in .pdf format, they take a while to load, and you have to scroll down to read the articles, but they’re worth it!

Take a look!

For more resources on body piercing, take a look at my Books & Refs page.