Pubic Tattoo: Hans of Denmark


Things have been fairly quiet on the front end of Sacred Debris lately, but behind the scenes archival and preservation have been clicking along quietly with the final few piercings in the Safe Guide series digitized and edited. I was really happy with the quality of the footage on that tape and my attempts at color and contrast correction to remove the yellowing have been promising; I’ve kept two versions of every piercing procedure from the VHS Cassette- original and altered- so I’m free to move on to the next archival project, which will either be a castration procedure labeled ‘Jim loses his manhood’ or footage from the 1991 Paris Tattoo Convention. The former may end up in the Sandbox, and the latter on Occult Vibrations. Depends on how usable the footage ends up being.

hans of denmarkAs a palate cleanser between video updates, the above is a photo of the incredible Hans of Denmark, who made frequent appearances in the 1980s body modification periodical circuit with his enlarged piercings and full body tattooing. This photo dates back to 1978 and was taken by Sailor Sid Diller on his first London visit and features Hans’s pubic tattoo outline by Alan ‘Mr. Sebastian’ Oversby.

In the 70s I became interested in tattooing and piercing. I began by having a small design placed on a discrete part of my body by Svend, a tattooist working in Nyhavn. It was then difficult to get your ear pierced so I decided to do it myself. Actually I’d been experimenting with needles when I was young and discovered that I liked the sensation of inserting pins and so on into my skin. However I couldn’t discuss this with anyone as they’d simply think that I was a crazy kid so went to the libraries and read as much as I could on African scarification rites and anthropological studies on body deformation….Later I went over to London and met a tattooist, Dennis Cockle, who tattooed my torso with large colorful designs and another man, Mr. Sebastian, pierced my penis. Now this was something else altogether, when the anesthetic wore off I could hardly walk. 1 

Hans went on to be almost fully tattooed from neck to toes and was famous for his enlarged piercings which included an 1″+ apadravya piercing. I have photos in my scanning queue of his finished pubic tattoo, those will be included in future updates.


  1. Body Art # 7, Interview with Chris Wroblewski. 1989 Publications Ltd.

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. I know Jim Ward featured it in Hans’s PFIQ article, and it may have ended up in Modern Primitives- I’ll look and see what I have of it.

      And the castration stuff will probably not end up on the site. It’s a HUGE bandwidth pull.

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