Conversations with Luna: Todd Bertrang


Since the 1990s, Todd Bertrang has been one of the most controversial figures in the Body Modification community.
An innovator with initial  large gauge piercing, an advocate of herbal aftercare and unarguably the main practitioner responsible for the upswing of consensual female genital modification/nullification in the 2000s, Todd has been praised, vilified and even imprisoned for his  highly sexualized body modification practices.

Luna Duran sat down with Todd on 04.27.2013 in Philadelphia to discuss his techniques, career and ideologies. In this clip he talks about homeopathic aftercare and being at odds with more traditional piercing techniques. Todd’s sexual proclivities have often overshadowed his contributions to modern piercing; but his techniques and aftercare have been successfully used by scores of piercers in the two decades since he developed them and regardless of the controversy he often causes still remains an enigmatic figure that’s always sure to inspire debate.

For more information on Todd, Shannon Larratt’s 2008 interview with him is an excellent primer:

Todd Bertrang interview on BME, 2008



lunaduransacreddebrisLuz de Luna Duran is a Professional Body Artist currently living in Richmond, Virginia. She is known as an established practitioner licensed in Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics Tattooing. Her reputation and standards have allowed her many opportunities to travel and work in reputable shops. Fueled by a passion for self expression, she is tireless in her quest for the safest practices and highest standards. She seeks to enrich her experience in the field while recognizing the importance of knowing where these practices originated; thereby learning their greater significance in human experience and history.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.


  1. Seeing Todd at the Stay Calm event surprised us all, truth be told. I’ve been talking to him online since 1995 but had never had the occasion to meet him, so when he strolled up and introduced himself we were all blown away. I was really glad that Luna had the forethought to grab a camera and chat with him.

  2. It’s a tree bark, the spelling of which escapes me. I’ll check with Sean Philips. I know he used it successfully.

  3. It was just brought to my attention Luna published this. Don’t forget to add in Arnica and Red Clover to your mixture of herbs with the Quachalate and Lavender. VERY important.

    1. me too, natural herbs allow the body to heal naturally but in a way that speeds up the body’s normal healing process’ for the optimal result

  4. Very interesting to watch and listen to. I am a big fan of using herbs for healing and feel that we are doing a disservice to our industry not trying methods that have been used for countless years. This inspires me to get back in the kitchen so to speak.

    1. I vehemently said the same for many years. For that I was ostracized and a few BME chat people took it upon themselves to lie to the FBI so I went to prison. I hope the community is now ready to truly take piercing’s and mods where they need to go to grow and stay alive.

  5. Hate being at work and not able to watch the video without disupting the workflow.

    I am so going to watch it when I get home.

  6. I didn’t know Luna ever actually got around to this interview, this is awesome. Hearing Todd speak about everything with us at lunch that day was amazing. Cuachalate as well, was wonderful to use.

  7. FINALLY managed to get around to watching this video. So glad I did and it brought back so many memories of talking to Todd about herbal healing on BME Chat. As my instructor during my apprenticeship made lavender based aftercare, but was using improper lavender. 😉

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