Late to the party


Consider this as the safe for work counterpart to the recent NSFW T&P Parties post; a few friends sitting around, showing off their tattoos and body piercings when polite society was a little less welcoming to that sort of thing. Tattoos were generally kept below the collar and above the wrist and piercings were easily hidden or removed, like the two piece septum tusks that Sid and the fellow on the far left are wearing.

This scan is from the water damaged photograph pile.


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. This is pretty cool, even if I am still trying to wrap my mind about why pierced folks had not a good reputation in the 70’s tattoo society.

    1. I’ve seen similar things happen with the Gay Leather community, Jude- it’s called ‘mainstreaming’ when an already marginalized group (say, the heavily tattooed) feel that something fringe (say, body piercing with it’s obvious sexual overtones) will reflect poorly on them so you make a division of ‘us and them’ to let the mainstream know that you think it’s weird, too.

      That most of the original piercing pioneers were gay or kinky… there was probably a further divide by straight tattooers who were discreetly or overtly homophobic.

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