I was going to save this post for the actual 20th anniversary of Erik’s tongue splitting, but seeing as how today is his birthday…
I had imagined, fantasized, and dreamed about split tongues since childhood. I would often sketch faces or characters with forked tongues. I was drawn to idea both aesthetically and for the potential sensual aspects it implied. However, I thought it to be simply an idle fantasy and not something that would eventually be so easily achievable. By rumor and second references I began to hear about people splitting their tongues through methods like cutting between multiple piercings and similar efforts but I could find no hard evidence or first hand accounts. I discovered BME in late 1996 and saw similar information and reports to the ones I had already encountered. But then there was an update in BME Extreme that included notes from an Italian gentleman who was splitting his tongue via cutting and cauterization. There were no pictures at first but this was a great motivator. I began to consider how I would split my tongue and beyond simply researching anatomy I realized that consulting an oral surgeon would probably be the best route – if I could find one that would talk to me about such an esoteric topic. I was in luck, I first began by searching for oral surgeon that performed voluntary adult frenectomies (sometimes call tongue lengthening) and figured that I would first discuss getting this procedure and then bridge into the subject of tongue splitting. The first place I called was the office of Dr. Busino and after a positive conversation with the office secretary I broached the subject of doing something ‘more unusual’ and was soon talking with the doctor himself. Dr. Busino was very open-minded and interested in my ideas and so I set up an appointment to consult with him at his offices. 1
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Erik ‘The Lizardman’ Sprague’s tongue splitting. While his wasn’t the first documented forked tongue, Erik’s surgical bifurcation, performed by a Maxillofacial surgeon, is certainly one of the most significant nodal points in the popularization of the procedure.
If you look at the BME Encyclopedia on it’s founder Shannon Larratt 1 under the subcategory of “Personal Body Modifications” it lists his blackwork forearm tattoos as the result of a dare. While I know the stories behind quite a few of his tattoos (coverup of matching symbols, a love of homoerotic S/M iconography) I can’t say I was privy to the story of being dared to get heavy blackwork half sleeves.
Shannon sent this 4×6 print to me sometime in the 1990s to be published on my spcOnline site.
I received these Polaroids in the mid 1990s from a gentleman I met through Ken Schein’s UNIQUE contact group; at the time I was considering a frenum piercing with the intention of settling on a larger gauge. It would take me almost another decade to finally go ahead with it, an initial 2g frenum performed by piercer Sean Philips, but that paled in comparison to my pen pal’s astonishingly enlarged piercing.
The 7/16″ x 8″ bolt mentioned in the annotation is being used as an ad hoc urethral sound.
I’ve been slowly working on editing an 8mm video sourced from the original cassette of RS having his bisected penis/scrotum reworked by Dr. Ronald Brown into a vagina for the last few weeks. It’s a daunting process, two hours of video with each uncompressed clip ranging from 10gb to 45gb that’s taxing the limits of my steadily aging MacBook Pro. I never met RS in person; our interactions were through honest to goodness pen and paper correspondence, so I never had the opportunity to ask him why, after years of self surgery fully bisecting both his penis and his scrotum, he decided to have the while works turned into a vagina, but I’m willing to bet the answer is as simple as ‘because I wanted to’ or ‘because I can’ which I’ll gladly take.
Dr. Brown explains in the tape that the procedure he uses relocates glans tissue to provide a functional clitoris, and erectile tissue from the shaft to allow for outer labia that engorge when erect. One of the benefits of Brown’s outlaw surgeries was that he could deal in experimentation; if he had a patient who wanted a penectomy he could offer them a free procedure in exchange for their consent to perform it in stages, allowing him to hone new techniques for his SRS patients.
I wrote about the leftovers from RS’s surgeries back in 2008 on BME/NEWS: The Curious Case of the Human Shiitake. It seems that the photo attachments are broken, but it’ll give a little backstory on what happened after the procedure that’ll hopefully be worth a laugh.