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.
I received this tracing along with a direct photocopy of JJ’s hands in September of 1997 after striking up a friendship with him through the UNIQUE mailing list. I had started collecting hand tracings a few years previous to our correspondence and when I asked him for tracings of his hand he happily obliged, adding the drawings of his reshaped bone structure on several of them. All of his amputations were self done.
I received a hand tracing from a self amputee for the first time in 1994 when a pen-pal from Kentucky who I had met through Ken Schein’s Unique included it in one of our correspondences. I had photographed several amputees by that point and was aquatinted with several others through mail exchanges but I had never thought to ask for a tracing of their altered anatomy.
My friend, it turned out, had been making hand tracings to swap with other amputees and admirers and with that in mind, I began asking my other amputee friend to document their modifications via tracings, including my friend Roger (Stonehenge, Toecutter, Subtracting) who sent me his in December of 1997.
No doubt influenced by the popularity of RE/Search Publications classic Modern Primitives, the publishing group responsible for the Outlaw Biker family of magazines released IN THE FLESH in the early 1990s, covering body modifications that fell outside of the spectrum of ‘just tattoos and piercings’. Unable to show the kind of explicit content allowable in independent publishing, In the Flesh was at best PG-13 rated so when they first exposed the world to ‘Stonehenge’- they relied on tracings and text to share the story of one of the most interesting characters I’ve met in my years in the Body Modification Community.
Stonehenge (who’s photos would make their debut on my spcOnline site under the name ToeCutter, and later Subtracting) used amputation as eccentric body sculpting; cutting his fingers and toes off at alternating joints to reshape his hands/feet as well as self tooth removal to make his smile ‘look like a jack o’ lantern’.
Most of these procedures were done without the aid of anesthetic; in the documentary with him shot/edited by Shannon Larratt of BME he walks the viewer through his technique which includes a tourniquet, ice water soaks, a chisel and eating liberal amounts of yogurt before the procedure. He didn’t use suturing after a ‘subtraction’ instead favoring using prescription pill bottles to protect the wounds.
In this photograph, taken in the early 2000s at the NYC Tattoo Convention at the Roseland Ballroom, Stonehenge/Toecutter/Subtracting was showing me the small piece of bone sticking out of the end of his most recent amputation, which he planned to remove with ‘dental tools’ he purchased at a flea market.
In the Flesh magazine went through two different launches but never had the longevity of it’s (significantly inferior) main competition Tattoo Savage 1 My copies are missing.
I’ve been unable to reach Toe for several years and all attempts to locate him have been unsuccessful.
- Published under the Easy Riders imprint through Paisano Publications; still in print. ↩
This article originally ran in 2000 on the spcOnline site and is being republished for archival purposes. It should not be considered a how-to.
At a very early age, I found myself thinking about what would it be to have a finger missing, and I use to tie my fingers back and even at the time glue them down.
When I turned 16, I could no longer do that cause I had a job and did not have the time to play with my hands, so I decided that I would go for the real thing. So one evening as I was helping my manager close the store where I worked at, I closed the gate on my index finger and it just came right off, very little blood until I saw my hand then the blood began to really come out. Well, that night I became a finger amputee, and the feeling was, this is right. I knew then that my desirers were not false, these were true feelings, this is the way I am supposed to be. My family just saw it as an accident, and that was fine they were upset and I had to play the roll.
A few years later, I still wanted more but I wanted to do my own, in a controlled situation, where I knew how long, how much bone to clip how to stitch so on and so on. So I did some homework and at the age of 22 I did my middle, ring and thumb.
I know that to some this is not what is call NORMAL, But this to me is as right as anything anybody would want. Some people want Large Breasts, Some Men Want to be Women, Some Women Want to be Men, and there is nothing wrong with that. Why? Cause from birth this is the way they feel and this feels right. And so is this for me. Unfortunately you can’t go to a hospital and say I would like to have these 2 fingers taken off and get it done. So I do them my self. But there is a safe way of doing it and you really need to find out how it is done with as little loss of blood as possible and I do recommend that if you are going to do something like this, make sure you are ready.
The right tools.
1. Need to have all the right tools.
2. Everything should be sterilized
3. Practice on something other than your self. or someone else.
4. Numbing the finger would be best. there are many ways, choose what you feel is right for you.
5. Get sutures to close the wound to avoid infection.
6. If possible in case anything goes wrong, make sure you know where the nearest hospital is, and then have a good plan for what has happened cause you will get arrested or even put into the LOONY bin, and we know that we are not crazy.
7. Most important, if in any way you can, please, please, please make sure you have ANTIBIOTICS because if you should get an infection, how will you explain the missing finger or fingers and the stitches.
But most of all if all, what you really wanted was a finger or two gone and you get an infection you could wind up with an arm amputation, and it may not be what you had in mind.
Like anything in life look before you leap, I know of several whom have amputated a finger then after it was done, THEY WISHED THEY NEVER DID.
So be sure cause to tell you the truth, they don’t grow back.
To: ****@***.com (shawn porter)
From: ***********@*****.com (RK)
Subject: thumb and big toe amputation. October 1997
Recently I heard of a fellow who decided to amputate his big toe. There have always been warnings. There is an artery there. You could end up in the emergency room of the hospital. It will affect your balance. You will join the school of funny walks from the Monty Python Flying Circus. Don’t do it!!! BE CAREFUL!!!!
Curiosity killed the cat and Satisfaction brought him/her back. Well, when one experiments with amputating a big toe or thumb, there is little room for experimentation OR if you are alone you could get in big trouble! I heard that fellow one did not end up in the ER and fellow two did. Fellow three ended up in the ER without even amputating a thumb or big toe. He only did a regular finger.
What is the problem. Foolhardy me- I decided to go the route and do my own experiment. My only minor goof was that I did not have the number of a car service in case I got into trouble. WHAT IS THE TROUBLE??? Excessive arterial blood that is probably the major problem. I was a boy scout and their motto is be prepared so that is what I did- I got prepared, at least that is what I was TRYING to do.
How can one cut off a portion of big toe and not bleed to death?? Here is a list of my preparations and what I was going to do:
The farther out on the thumb or big toe one amputates, the smaller the arteries get so I decided to only amputate to the first joint. The further back you go the bigger the artery. By allowing for that short stump I was allowing room for my next secret weapon of caution and preparedness. In case there really would be excessive bleeding I decided to have light rubber tourniquettes. I placed a wide rubber band on my thigh, two narror rubber bands (postal size) on the intep arch, and a wide rubber band on my two middle two stumps and the big toe back of the first joint.
I got all my bandages, and tools ready, and ate my yogurt 30 minutes before operation. I took my two pain killing pills 30 minutes before operation. I got a bucket of Ice Water ready, because I numb the big toe. Of course I scrubbed and used alcohol on me and my tools.
The moment of decision came, and I started to numb the big toe. It took longer than the smaller toes. Finally, I positioned my 25mm chisel, and hammer and discovered that I could have used a wider chisel, which I didn’t have. Thunk, thunk, thunk, it took a couple more but I did go through with it, but it did take gathering up some courage, after all, I have never dealt with an artery. Would all my preparations work??
At a certain point of going through with the chisel was a spray of blood a little like a little water pistol. Immediately after going through and lifting my foot and noticing that my big toe was now seperated, I started pressure with 75mmx75mm bandages. If I would have not used the rubber tourniquettes, I might have excessive bleeding, but I didn’t. The blood was about the same as my other toes. Eventually I rested, although I did not sleep well. There was more shock than other toes.
The next morning I went to work and while at work, after 12 hours since the amputation, I noticed that after all my bandage changing, the bleeding had stopped. I hardly limped when I came home from work. It will probably take 4 weeks to stop completely limping and 8 weeks to heal over the scab. It may take even longer due to the larger size of the big toe. Would I do the other big toe?? I probably would because I know that the bleeding can be controlled. I had been walking up to one mile, (1-1/2 km) not using the ball of the big toe and I don’t think I will be limping, but my gait will lose it’s spring.
In order to control the bleeding, I stopped taking aspirin and other anti-inflamatory medicines which thin the blood. I eat a lot of beets, tomatoes, and drink grape juice to aid the blood, so I did quickly coagulate.
If any of you have further questions, feel free to email me and I will answer any questions you have. Right now I just have three stumps on my left foot and the big toe and 3 stumps on the right foot.
Yours in more and better stumps,
This article ran in 1997 on the spcOnline site. Toecutter’s emails were always presented as-is, with the grammar/spelling errors intact. In 1998 he allowed BME’s Shannon Larratt to visit his NYC apartment and document a self-done fingertip amputation procedure. The video is wonderfully surreal, a perfect video portrait of Toecutter.
I ran into my buddy Roger- AKA The Toecutter AKA Subtracting at the 2001 NYC Tattoo Convention at the Roseland Ballroom and snapped some updated pictures of his feet. One of the most common bits of ‘wisdom’ that always seemed to circulate around toe amputation was that if you were missing enough toes you wouldn’t be able to maintain balance and that walking would nearly impossible. Roger, wearing nylons that day, decided to take his shoes off and jump up and down and spin around to prove his nimbleness.
The last time we spoke he mentioned he was going to remove the last remaining (big) toe; unfortunately I’ve lost touch with him (with all of his known email addresses bouncing back) so I don’t know if he ever ‘finished the set’.
When the Body Modification world was much smaller and more spread out, devotees were rarely able to meet in person. Travel was usually prohibitively expensive, particularly international destinations. People kept in touch with letters, audio and video tapes and the occasional and often times incredibly expensive long distance phone call.
Before ever meeting in person, Sailor Sid Diller and Alan (Mr. Sebastian) Oversby knew each other quite well thanks to exchanging letters and audio cassettes. Sid’s UK trip would help bridge the International gap in the Body Piercing/Tattoo community-and he’d leave with a few souvenir tattoos from Sebastian.
Sid interviewed Sebastian for Issue #4 of PFIQ.
Consider a piece of body jewelry.
Not some piece of mass produced low quality mall kiosk belly button ring with vibrating dolphin charm, but a beautiful handmade piece of wearable art made by an artisan company that takes pride in producing the finest jewelry available. Each piece takes time to be realized, created and quality checked before it moves to the next step in the chain- the folks who pack it up with care and send it to you knowing that you’re sitting around your mailbox counting the seconds until it arrives.
It’s a process with a lot of moving parts that works well in harmony and leaves both ends of the transaction happy.
Consider Sacred Debris.
Today is our one month anniversary. In that time, we’ve had almost 10,000 visitors. The most popular post for unique page views was Evolution of a Subculture: ModCon, the most traffic from a referring link was from Luis Garcia’s tumblr and we’ve had contributions from myself, Allen Falkner, Ron Garza and Luna Duran. During our first month I think we’ve managed to set a tone for what you can expect in the coming weeks.
As readers, you folks have left 214 comments on the 21 posts we’ve created. One of my main worries in starting a new project (with SPCOnline and Scarwars.net under my belt) was that it would be a one sided thing. Our team (which is mostly me right now) doing all of the work and having nothing to show for it in the end. I’ve been pleased to see that level of interaction- of community- with the Sacred Debris project. It may seem to be an afterthought, but discussing the articles really does make a difference. It shows us that the content is being read and appreciated, that there’s a market for something as incredibly niche as Body Modification history. The reblogs on tumblr, twitter and Facebook are also incredibly helpful in bringing visibility to what we’re doing, so keep that up. We’re going to be doing random contests for comments and reblogs- tshirts, original photographs from the SPC archive, posters- so there’s going to be some fun stuff coming (starting tonight with the ‘Do you remember your first PA’ contest) so stay tuned.
That brings us to the little button beneath this post. DONATE. Both sides- reader and editors- working together.
We’re never going to do a ‘hard sell’ on donations; this is not a paid site (our PG rated videos come with google ads and we may accept paid ads from reputable shops/jewelry in the future, but there will never be a fee to view content) but the site does cost money to create and maintain. At the moment, our server space and bandwidth is being donated but we have no escrow account if that were to ever change. Given the explicit content of our site we can’t run on WordPress.com’s servers, so should we lose our server we lose our site.
Then there’s the hardware.
To date, most of the videos I’ve added- of Body Modification icons like Jack Yount, Ed Fenster and Til of Cardiff- has been content I’ve previously captured for other projects- videos that were sitting on DVDrs unedited. Capturing new content means needing storage space. Capturing an hour long video (such as Sailor Sid’s Guide to Safe Piercing) at full resolution for archival clocks in somewhere around 30-60gb depending on the settings. When they’re uploaded they’re considerably smaller, but to preserve these tapes for future generations requires storage- more storage than I have.
We also need to purchase- or arrange donations- for a variety of media players including mini-dv and 8mm, as well as negative scanners for old analog 35mm print archival.
Last but certainly not least is time. With my current setup, adding a 10 minute video to Sacred Debris takes as much as ten hours to get online. Sorting the tapes that are often unlabeled. Scanning them from start to finish to make sure that all the content on the tape is accounted for. Importing it into my macbook. Cleaning up or removing audio, editing it down into a usable movie when then has to render and get uploaded before I sit down to write the article that accompanies it.
As a reader, you then sit down, watch a five-ten minute video, possibly leave a comment, share on social media and wait for the next update.
My hope is that the folks who care about this kind of content will want to see the project continue and will throw a few bucks into the hat to keep it going. If every viewer who checked us out in the first month would have dropped $1 into the pot- we’d have a workable budget for years to come.
So. I’m asking you folks for a little help.
The donation button is here in this entry as well as on the sidebar of the main site. If you see an update you really love and think it’s worth a buck or two… please feel free. Trust me, every little bit helps.
Thank you all so much for a great first month, and here’s hoping for more where that came from!