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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.
Client: Jack Yount
Subincision self done
Perineum tattoo Sailor Sid
Scrotum amputation Dr. Ronald Brown
Urethral re-route: Dr. Ronald Brown
Stomach tattooing: Bud Pierson
Year: 1994 (March)
Location: Zephyrhills, Fla
Due to complications with the teflon coating on one of the stainless steel balls implanted in Jack Yount’s scrotum (he had been castrated and had his testicles replaced with steel) he suffered an infection that turned gangrenous necessitating the amputation of his scrotum. The scar that starts just above his flame tattoo and runs up his shaft is the healed results of the amputation.
His penis had been subincised and his glans split/pierced and the hole that’s visible in the center of the flame tattoo was where his urethra was rerouted to via surgery. His justification for the urethral relocation was difficulty in urinating due to the increase in penis size from silicone injections, but his later experimentation with growing breasts via HRT (and injected silicone) opens up the possibility of different reasons for the opening; Jack kept some of his modifications shrouded in mystery.
On ethical responsibility.
While I’m still not certain how to progress with video content on the site, I still edit captured footage for archival several times a week. I’ve always consciously shied away from posting any of the ModCon footage for several reasons- firstly because I truly believe that ModCon existed only for attendees and that our shared experience should have never been released outside of the group, but also because the content I have is straight up procedural footage. I was against the VCDs and DVDs circulating during their original release but I’m at least comforted by the fact that not many are floating around these days and as such they’ll never be used as a how-to guide for the next Instagram superstar. But what about other content?
As I was working on an archival project today I was becoming excited to share it with Sacred Debris readers. Edited together content from several silicone enhancement procedures (scrotum and penis) with an amazing monologue from Dr. Ronald Brown about his background and how he came to be the famed/reviled Modification Doctor and World’s Worst Surgeon.
It’s great stuff, especially Brown’s truly genuine concern for clients who’s needs fell outside of the medical status quo, particularly those who were seeking SRS.
But it’s also an up close look at the mechanics of silicone injection on a professional level.* In the year that we’ve been online, searches for some variation of silicone injection have accounted for 10k+ visitors, so there’s clearly a market for the procedure and very few people performing it.
Those who do offer it are often worse that Dr. Brown; peddling their services to anyone who can afford it and using non-biocompatible materials like mineral oil and even cement. Most of these butchers are working in the transgender community and not on modification fans looking for the kind of work shown in the video, but technique is technique and this would be Silicone 101 for folks looking for an instruction manual.
I’ve wrestled with this before- where does my ethical obligation lie when it comes to putting this sort of content online? Would I feel differently if it were a subincision procedure? Scarification? An implant? Obviously I think there’s room for a sliding scale of good idea/bad idea but where should the line be drawn?
I love posting the before & after interviews with the clients who’ve had these procedures done, but I’m just not sure that anything would be served with this kind of content being included here on the blog. Behind a walled garden like /extreme over at BMEZINE, maybe, but certainly not here.
What do you folks think?
I know we don’t get a lot of comments here, but if you have thoughts on this, let me know. And defend your position; if you’re a piercer who feels that it’s ok to show procedurals, would you film a piercing start to finish for the Web?
These are the things I think about at 4am.
*One could argue that, with the dangers associated with silicone enhancement there IS no professional level.
Preservation is why this site exists.
Taking aging media- photographs, negatives, slides, documents and videos- and making sure that they’re preserved for posterity has been more than just rewarding- it’s been fun. Seeing old faces, hearing the voices of people long since gone from my life and being able to share them with people who care about them has been worth all of the time spent on SD over the course of the last month. With the recent addition of increased storage space I’ve been able to start actively capturing new content for archival/sharing.
It’s been disheartening to see the condition that some of this stuff is in. Magnetic VHS tapes have a life expectancy of 8-12 years in optimum conditions and some of these have been passed around from owner to owner for years, being played in machines that aren’t running at 100% and generally being considered as a transitory item not a piece of Bodymod history. This update’s video comes from a 23yo VHS tape. Next week’s video update is from a 30 year old tape. I’m torn between editing the videos to remove the damaged segments and leaving them intact with the understanding there will be parts of the video that are going to not play very well. In the case of today’s update there was no way to remove the damage without editing out Jack’s introduction; this will sort of set the tone for future updates. It’s better to have poor quality material than lose out on what makes these videos special.
This video was from one of Jack Yount’s 1991 visits to the Mexico clinic of Dr. John Ronald Brown. Dr. Brown was known in some circles as The Modification Doctor, and in others as The World’s Worst Sex Change Surgeon. Despite a horrible reputation, Brown had a large and devoted clientele from the US and Europe who would make the trip to his clinic for GRS and modification work, which often came with complications but still found clients returning for more work or to fix existing projects. While the quality of his surgical was questionable, Brown believed in what he was doing and truly felt that it was a divine mission to help affirm physically how his clients felt inside.
Jack would often bring small groups of surgical devotees with him on his trips to Mexico as well as arranging with the Doctor to make house calls in his Zephyrhills, Florida home. This trip saw a eunuch having his scrotum removed, a castration, a 1lb stainless steel ball being inserted into Jack’s scrotum and finishes up with Jack having the top of his glans surgically split. The stainless steel ball implant- the third in Jack’s scrotum- ultimately caused serious complications that resulted in the amputation of his scrotum. While nothing was ever confirmed the theory was the teflon coating covering the balls cracked, causing abrasions inside of his scrotum which led to infection and ultimately gangrene. I’ve captured the entire tape for archival but I’m not sure what level of graphic content is appropriate for this blog nor the level of interest readers have in that sort of thing. Use the comments section and let me know what you think.