Kinsey’s Ampallang 1979 (NSFW)

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Two years ago tonight I was sitting in front of this same laptop, staring at a similar WordPress window, watching the clock as I fussed over what was to be the inaugural post of the soon to launch Sacred Debris blog, checking for spelling mistakes and making sure the flow was right. It’s been a good run so far, and as I look into the third year of the project I’m still not sure what the future is going to bring and which direction I’m going to take it. That’s not a bad thing, really, and if you can’t reflect on that sort of thing as a new year starts, when can you?

I think we featured some really amazing content in 2015; resurrecting my 1998 meeting with Shannon Larratt was a highlight for me, having not seen the footage I shot since the 1990s brought back a lot of great nostalgia from when things were different in the community. Not better, just different. Talking to him about people with tongue splittings being in the single to lower double digits is really a nodal point for how much things have changed in the last decade and a half-ish. We could have never dreamed that body modification would become so casual and something you take for granted that people just have.

I was elated to discover a long thought lost 8mm video conversation I recorded with PFIQ/Drummer artist Bud Larsen. It’s been one of my big regrets, losing the media from my visit to meet him in 2001 and finding the tape in a mislabeled case was a blessing and while I wasn’t the best interviewer in the world represents what may be Bud’s only formal interview.

I also recorded new content for the blog this year, with a still to be edited oral history with Jack Yount’s apprentice and former Silver Anchor General Manager and Bravo! Body Jewelry owner Mike Natali and a shorter oral history with retired tattoo artist and gay erotic writer/editor J.D. I have a lot to learn about recording oral histories, but I really hope to do more of it in the year(s) to come.

I want to thank everyone who’s supported the blog for their kind words, tips and reassurance that it’s worth it to keep my head in the past. Without you folks all of these photos and videos would just be data; your support and interest breathes life into it and keeps me going.

For our last post of 2015- The Ampallang. It’s a serious piercing that even the most devoted piercing fan has to think twice about. My own ampallang lasted less than two weeks; long enough for me to endure the unique sensation of having a barbell going through the glans of my penis and long enough for me to realize it just wasn’t for me.

These photos date back to 1979 and feature Kinsey M. having his ampallang pieced by an unknown piercer. Jim Ward suspects it may have ben performed by Jim Anderson, but without a clear face shot it’s hard to tell. Notice the bandaid on the piercer’s finger; it was likely there to provide a little cushion on the fingertip to help the needles- which weren’t nearly as sharp as the ones we use today- go through the tissue a little easier.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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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.

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