Monthly Archives: September 2001


This is not a story that I wrote. It's a story from about three years ago on bme/HARD. Thought some of you might find it amusing:

I had my PA for about two years when I ran into trouble for the first time. My PA is a 3/4″circular barbell. One of its advantages is that I can remove it myself for short periods of time, like showering after using the gym at work. My girl likes it, too, because of the two large balls. She says they are very stimulating during sex.

My problem began during a hot session about six months ago. Both of us like anal sex, and that night we were really going at it. All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my cock. I stopped for a second or two, then thrusted again. I felt something weird was happening, and when I pulled out, sure enough, my jewelry was gone! When I told my girl, she went ape shit on me! She started crying and yelling to get it out. I told her to calm down, and that I would try to find the ring.

She was so upset, that I decided to get some K-Y Jelly, and try to retrieve my jewelry. I slipped my finger up her ass as far as I could, but I couldn't even feel it. I had her bear down, but still nothing. Now she was becoming hysterical.

She told me she wanted to go to the ER. She refused to believe that this was no big deal, and that nature would take care of the problem. She kept saying she wanted it out right away. I couldn't stand the thought of going to the hospital in the middle of the night, and explaining what had happened to the nurses and doctors. Then an idea struck.

I told her to relax, and that I would be right back. Luckily, there's a 24 hour drug store not far from my place. I got what I needed and returned to find my girl wrapped up in the covers, still crying. I told her that before we went to the hospital, there was one thing I wanted to try. I showed her the Fleet Enema box bought, and that started a new round of protests and crying.

At first she refused to even hear about it. She said she never had an enema, and was scared it would hurt and she was also worried that the ring would tear her when it came out. I reassured her as best I could, but I told her she had to have it before I would drive her to the ER. She finally agreed, and I gently gave it to her in bed.

After only a couple of minutes, she began yelling that she had to go. I made her hold it for a full five minutes, then I helped her to the bathroom. I won't go through the messy details, but you can imagine what happened. I did get my jewelry back, though, and we avoided the stares and giggles that we would have had to endure at the ER!

We laugh about it now, but it was a pretty bad that night. Now I check to make sure each ball is tight each time before the action begins.

Another call to action

The vote is on I believe Tuesday, so this one is urgent. As I linked in the diary entry below, New York is attempting to re-ban tattooing. Click here to read the bill.

If you're in New York, you can click here to find out who your representative is — contact them directly. If you're not in New York, you can contact the writer of the bill, Sam Colman at 845-624-4601 or 518-455-5118 or via email at Below is a copy of the letter I sent to him and almost every other assembly member as well. Feel free to adapt it for your own purposes:

Dear Sam Colman,

Cc: Assembly Members

In regards to Bill A07900 (sponsored by Colman), regarding the prohibition of tattoo studios operating within a one thousand foot radius of schools, parks, playgrounds, churches, and places of recreation, I raise my strongest objections.

While I do believe some level of legislation is needed to ensure that body modification studios meet minimum standards to ensure public safety (for example, the use of an autoclave to sterilize tools), I'm not at all sure what you are attempting to achieve with this prejudicial law.

The requirement for tattoo studios to keep distant from schools and parks achieves nothing positive. Laws are already in effect banning children from being tattooed, so you are only left with the concern that studios are showing minors "adult material". Why make this specific to tattooing? Ignoring the fact that I have never seen a tattoo studio present public advertising that is somehow inappropriate for minors, targeting this advertising specifically to tattoo studios is grossly prejudicial. This is a matter of public decency law and needs to be applied to all business. In addition, it is a law that should be applied to the nature of advertising, not to the entire existence of a business.

You also raise the concern that tattoo studios should not be located near drinking establishments. Again, ignoring the fact that most tattoo studios have strict policies forbidding their artists from working on anyone suspected of being intoxicated, why is this specific to tattoo studios? I am far more concerned that there are parking lots located within 1000 feet of practically every drinking establishment. This doesn't force the parking lots to be banned -- it simply enacts laws forcing people to drink responsibly. Why not simply enact a law banning a tattoo studio from tattooing drunks, rather than enacting an unfair law that penalizes thousands of responsible business owners.

Finally, my point of largest concern is the banning of tattoo studios near churches. This is a very dangerous and frightening first step -- the law should never be dictated by the moral objections of religion. A church has the authority to tell its congregation to avoid tattoos, but attempting to force its doctrine on the rest of the community is not only unethical, it is illegal under the constitution. Additionally, as a minister in the legally recognized Church of Body Modification, I am deeply concerned that this law in effect sanctions one religion in its attempt to commit an act of genocide on another. Would you allow the Catholic church to ban Buddhist temples within 1000 feet of them?

In any case, I hope you understand that while I'm sure this law is well-meaning, it is far too broad. If there are problems that you have identified with a small percentage of tattoo studios (such as the inappropriate advertising, or unethical tattooing of drunks), please do institute laws to protect the public from them. But dont create laws that protect people from dog bites by killing every dog. Dont create laws that protect people from building bombs by eliminating science classes from school. Tattoos are a positive influence in the lives of millions of Americans (one in ten Americans are tattooed), and ultimately, something that they have a right to pursue, and something that tattoo studios have a right to offer responsibly.

If you would like assistance or advice on drafting a replacement law, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Rev. Shannon Larratt
Minister, Church of Body Modification
Publisher, Body Modification Ezine

If you'd like it, here is a list of email addresses of other members which you can CC to. I don't know how many will read their email before the vote, so PLEASE call your local representative as well, if not Colman himself.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Time for more phone calls!

Oh my! I'll post more on it tomorrow, but New York City is voting on September 11th to pass a bill that will ban tattoo studios from operating within 1000 feet of churches, schools, bars, or parks.

Hmmm…. What if the studio is a CHURCH?

Sleep alert

Normally I go to bed between 2 and 4, and then get up a little after 9. I slept alone a night ago, it wasn't bad, but I didn't really sleep as well as usual. To catch up, now that I have company again, I slept until after one in the afternoon!

We're continuing the server move today, so while waiting for that to happen, I was flipping through some old piles of hatemail and threatmail… I came across this 1997 gem from Joe Christ:

So, last chance, take down the Dickless in Babylon site, or be ready for expensive legal action. It'll cost my household less than a week's pay to get an injunction to shut down your whole site.

Needless to say…

I was also flipping through some old editorials, and wanted to take this opportunity to update one called “Do the Math”.

  • 1.8% of Americans have Hepatitis C, a blood-borne terminal disease with no cure.
  • According to recent studios, tattooed people are nine times more likely to have Hepatitis, implying that something in the range of 15% of tattooed people have it.

After these basic facts, let's assume that one of the following happens:

  • The autoclave is malfunctioning for some reason, or isn't being used properly (for example, overpacking it), or even worse, isn't in use at all.
  • The jewelry you're being given has been handled by staff or customers, potentially exposing it.
  • After piercing you, the piercer touches the sharps container and doesn't change gloves.
  • The autoclaved bags have been improperly handled and contaminated.

There are a thousand other things in a studio that doesn't pay the utmost attention to detail. Let's assume that in a busy studio that isn't careful, you could come into contact with pathogens from the blood of up to fifty people.

0.8550 x 100 = 0.03

Therefore, if you are pierced in a dirty but busy studio, and the numbers I've presented are about right, you have a 99.97% chance of coming in contact with Hepatitis C infected blood… and that doesn't even include the myriad of other diseases out there.

Even if you don't agree with all of my assumptions, a dirty studio acts almost like “compound interest” — the odds just grow exponentially.

Be safe; check your studios for cleanliness! The following tips on picking a good studio are from an article I wrote in 1998:

  • Do they have an autoclave and has it been spore-tested? Ask to SEE current test reult — if they have it, they'll probably proudly show it off. Do not accept excuses like “the gauges tell me all I need to know” (gauges can of course malfunction), “we keep the tests at my mother's house” (yeah, right), or “the strips on the autoclave strips are a good enough indicator” (they're not — those will tell you that a cycle has been run, but don't guarantee sterility).
  • How is jewelry in the display case handled? Neither customers nor staff should be handling it without gloves on — if they do, it could easily get contaminated. The counter-top can also serve as an agent for cross contamination. Think of the following scenario: A customer takes jewelry out of their own infected piercing and places it on the counter. They then examine three rings from the display case, choosing one of them. The others go back in the case. At this point both the jewelry in the case and the counter-top are contaminated. Another customer buys those rings and gets Hepatitis…
  • Also watch the reception and piercing staff — do they touch their own piercings and then touch jewelry, tools, etc.?
  • How much dust, dirt, stains, etc. do you see? Everything should be spotless. If you walk in and things are not perfectly clean, walk right back out again. If there's a layer of dust in the piercing room, you know it has not been cleaned in a while.
  • This might seem silly, but how does the piercer smell? The personal hygeine of the piercer reflects on his professional hygeine.
  • In the piercing room, what is done with old jewelry that gets taken out of people? If you see bins of contaminated jewelry sitting in little containers around the edge of the room, walk right back out again.
  • Do ALL tools (and needles) come out of autoclave bags? What happens with them after they are used? Used needles should be placed in a biohazard container (generally a red or yellow tub) after a single use, and used tools should be placed in a sterilizing fluid (preferably in another room) to keep spores from forming. They need to be scrubbed before re-autoclaving. If used tools are placed on any counter-tops, these counter-tops will become contaminated.
  • Does all jewelry come out of autoclave bags? If not, how is it sterilized? Chemical sterilization is only sufficient if (1) it is done for long enough [generally a minimum of 15 minutes], and (2) the jewelry was previously bulk-sterilized and has not been contaminated in any way (as discussed above).
  • How are these bags of jewelry and tools handled? If the piercer contaminates the outsides of the bags, they MUST switch gloves after opening the bags, otherwise they risk contaminating the tools (and then you) as they take them out.
  • Does the piercer have an adequate concern for and understanding of cross-contamination? As soon as they touch a contaminated (anything that's not sterilized) surface or object, they need to switch their gloves. This is ESPECIALLY important when it comes to the biohazard surface. It's the absolute most dangerous object in the piercing room.
  • If you have the time, sit in the studio for as long as you can and watch how other customers are treated. Let them risk their lives before you risk yours.
  • Finally, remember that anyone can “talk the talk”. Everyone knows exactly what they need to say. The important thing is whether they actually do it. Even if they've answered all your questions right, watch them VERY carefully. It's your life that's at risk. Be paranoid, and don't be afraid to demand a refund and go to a better studio if you're not happy with what you see.

Attention Church Ministers and Members

In an attempt to define its doctrines (or come to a decision on a lack of it), the Church of Body Modification is asking its members (and non-members as well I'm sure) to post and let us know how YOU feel body modification and spirituality relate. This discussion is going on in Rev. Steve Haworth's forum. Click here to go there now.

Here was what I wrote:

On a personal level, body modifications have helped me face my fears and assert who I am. They've helped me grow and confront — and succeed in — the world without any hiding of my real identity. That said, these are personal improvements. They're wonderful and probably helped save my life, but they're not spiritual.

On a community level, body modification has helped me to realize that I am not an island, and that I have family everywhere; others with the same drives and quirks. It's helped me form deep bonds with people all over the world, and knowing this has given me strength to stay true to what I believe is a healthy path in life. Again, these things are wonderful and definitely helped save my life, but not fundamentally spiritual.

On a spiritual level, it has allowed me to make the fundamental statement that I am not only MORE than my body (ie. a body and a spirit), but that the SPIRIT has the power to mold the BODY and through that, the rest of the world. In addition, by strengthening the bond and communication between BODY and SPIRIT, it allows me to communicate astrally with others. (That sounds kooky, I know, but what I mean in simple terms is that it gives a spiritual bond with the rest of the community).

Many people, after being suspended, describe a feeling of “tuning out” everything else while the suspension was happening, and becoming deeply rooted in the entirety that makes up “them”. Afterwards, they describe a sensation when they close their eyes of being able to reach out and touch thousands of souls at the same time. I believe we exist in some sort of “ether” (again, for lack of a better word), and that our bodies take up a substantially smaller amount of space than our spirit does. By strengthening the bond between body (which includes mind and traditional consciousness) and spirit, we become one with other “aware” individuals and are truly able to become part of a community of spirit… not just some flesh circus where we're simply animated slabs of meat attempting to procreate.

For a long time I thought these feelings might be some remnant of years of psychedelic induced astral projections, but since we've been hosting suspensions, I've heard so many people say exactly the same thing that I have become utterly convinced that it is a universal fact that we all can connect with.

I know that the personal and community things I've mentioned are fairly universal. I have faith that the spiritual one is universal as well. I also don't think it's a dogma that is particularly alienating.

Anyway, please do go to Steve's forum — even if you don't agree with everything, it'll help clear up many misconceptions about what the church is trying to say and achieve. At a minimum you'll gain some personal insight into the feelings of the core ministers who have all been deeply instrumental in forming the church.

I'd also like to go on record and say publicly here that even though it looks like Rev. John Gomes and I have been at each other's throats the past few days over our slightly differing feelings on what the Church's policies should be, that we are still fighting the same battle on the same side. I continue to have enormous personal respect for John, and without ministers willing to argue these things in friendship, the church wouldn't be able to define itself and grow.