This is a little page, mostly because I don't have much in the way of body art. Well, not yet, anyway. But I've been interested in tattoos, mehndi, piercings, body painting, and other modern and traditional means of decorating the human body for many years. So this page is about my own body modifications and may include related information as I find it and get the time to add it to this site.
Almost all of my piercings are in my ears. When I was in middle school, I got my ears pierced at a local department store. That lasted for about 6 months, until I decided that I was tired of them and they were too girly, so I let them heal up. Then, when I was in college, I decided that having pierced ears was an okay thing, so I got them done again. Then the two-holes-in-one-ear fad came around, and when I was visiting Mom for winter break, she offered to pay to have an extra hole put in one of my ears, so I accepted. That was hole #2 in my left ear. Then about a year later, I got one of my lesbian friends who was a jeweler and who worked at a wonderful crafts store in Atlanta to pierce my left ear again. That was a special one. Then the Spring after I moved up to Boston, I got a second hole in my right ear, and a few years after that, I got a fourth hole in my left ear. Every now and then I think about getting another hole or two in my ears, but I haven't been inspired to do it yet.
When I broke up with my former handfasted partner, I decided to get my nose pierced to mark the event. So I got my good friend Jennifer to do the deed for me. She had done hand-tooled tattoos and piercings for other friends, so I felt confident in her ability to pierce my right nostril without mishap. I marked where I wanted the hole with a pen, then gave her one of my starter stud earrings from a previous ear piercing to use. She sterilized it, put on latex gloves, sat me down in a chair and gave me a big rock to hold onto, stuck one finger in my right nostril, and pushed the stud through my nose. It hurt like hell when it happened, but the pain went away very quickly.
The healing process for my nose piercing was very different than the process for my ears. It took much longer, and was more difficult to keep the piercing clean and healthy using the same techniques I'd learned for my ears. I was afraid that I'd have to give it up and let it heal closed when Juli Moon, a fabulous tattoo artist I was doing some office work for at the time, suggested that I get a captive bead ring for my nose and that I use an antiseptic ointment like Bacitracin instead of alcohol on it. That did the trick! The ring was smooth and moved easier in my nose, and the ointment lubricated the ring and kept it from irritating the wound. So, thanks to Juli, I still have a hole in my nose. These days, I keep a fairly subtle blue rhinestone stud in my nostril. It's a stud that was designed for nose piercings: instead of a detachable stud back like post earrings have, it has a long post that curves around in a spiral so it holds the stud in place and doesn't interfere with breathing, scratching, and other normal activities.
So far, I only have one tattoo. It's a bracelet of lilies and roses around my right wrist, which I got in honor of the Tarot, and to help me maintain a balance of energies in my daily life. I got it done in one two-and-a-half hour sitting in April, 1999 at Juli Moon's studio in Seabrook, NH. The day after it was done, my whole wrist was swollen and scabby. Fortunately, this was relatively normal, and after a while the swelling went down. I had the worst time restraining myself from picking at the scabs as the skin beneath them healed. Eventually, they came off on their own, revealing a beautiful tattoo underneath. A few months later, Jennifer and I got together to touch up the tattoo and make the roses redder and the lilies whiter. It still needs a bit of work, but I love it and am very satisfied with the way the tattoo turned out.
There have only been a few occasions when I've gotten painted, henna'ed, or drawn on. Nonetheless, these temporary body art experiences have been quite powerful. When I can get them scanned in, I'll post photos of me in ritual body paint and of what happens when you let Jennifer near you with a skin scribe pen (a gentian violet marker, commonly used by surgeons to make incision marks).
While I've occasionally gotten questions about the number of holes in my ears (mostly people ask me why I have so many of them), I get far more questions and comments on my nose and my tattoo. By far the most common question I'm asked is "did that hurt?" (The answer is "Yes. When someone jams a pointy piece of metal through your nose, it hurts. And when someone scratches ink into your skin with needles, it hurts.") People also ask me where I got it done (my friend Jennifer did it), why I did it, and how long it took to heal (about a month for the nose piercing, and about 2-3 weeks for the tattoo). But most everyone has made favorable comments about my more notable body art, which makes me happy. Not that I would change them if people didn't approve, but it's nice to know that my body mods are appreciated by someone other than me.
As of 4/7/2000, these links are ephemeral, and there's no telling when they'll manifest here. Sorry, but keep checking back if you're interested. In the meantime, you can go look at my gigantic list of links.