Tag Archives: PFIQ

Mail Call

10346362_10205313162736072_1248252913514474697_nToday wasn’t quite the horrific Snow Day that local meteorologists called for, but with 1/8″ of snow on the ground I used it as motivation to do a little cleaning around the house, starting with unsorted boxes in my closet. Years of correspondence were lost in one of my moves (from Florida to Philadelphia, I’d bet) but there are still a few boxes of mail that were saved from that fate so after a trip to Target to buy more Rubbermaid bins I took to the task of sorting twenty year old letters and hopefully making headway with the creating of a filing system.

Some of the highlights so far:

A letter from the editor of ‘Epidermal Intrusions’ which was intended to be to Modification what PFIQ was to Body Piercing. My name had been given to the editor (Rhalan) by Steve Haworth, who I wouldn’t meet in person for another year. We exchanged a few letters before the project eventually lost steam and was canceled before ever going to print.

Keith Alexander’s followup letter to the APP after sending in his membership application (circa 1995/6) with detailed counterpoints to issues raised by the fledgling organization with typical K.A. passive aggressive charm.

Open Letter to 1996 APP Conference (Orlando) attendees, possibly from Keith. It’s unsigned.

5″x7″ original print of Jack Yount from  photographer Stefan Richter.

Postcard from Jack Yount from a vacation to Southern California.

Well- here I am trying to be discovered. All the do is undress me and then they faint. Such is fame. Went to the Gauntlet this A.M., Sorry but it didn’t do a lot for me. Poor rep by people I talked to in the shop. Was in Mexico, San Fran and now L.A. Will be back next week. Tell the family I said “High”. -Jack

 

Letters from ‘Toecutter’ written in his typical ‘stream of consciousness’ style.

UNIQUE contact list mailings.

Photos of Tom Brazda doing ‘lo-bretts’ on Shannon Larratt, mailed from Stainless Studios.

While it’s made me sad that I’ve lost so much correspondence over the years I was pleased by how much was still around; I’m going to start scanning the letters and postcards tomorrow so they’ll never be lost again.

 

April 1978- Frenum Loop

78frenum2SDAs I mentioned in a previous post (see recommended posts below) it was fairly common in the early days of Western piercing culture to for piercees to wear a frenum loop in their frenum piercing; a ring measured to be flipped up over the coronal ridge of the glans of the penis which upon erection acts as an ad hoc cock ring.

Some men went fancy, adding beads and texture to their loop. From Jim Ward 1

One of my more colorful clients was a Hungarian doctor who showed up on my doorstep one day. I was still working out of the house at the time, and he’d been referred to me by the Pleasure Chest, a sex shop that had recently opened in West Hollywood.

Dr. C was impeccably dressed in a suit and tie and had the bearing of a European gentleman. He explained that he wanted a frenum piercing. This was accomplished without a great deal of fuss.

I must confess I was a bit more nervous that usual. Although clean, the house and furniture were shabby. He was, after all, a doctor, and I was concerned that he would be uncomfortable being pierced in such an environment. Still, I brought out a clean bath towel and spread it on the couch for him to lie on. I laid out the bagged and sterilized equipment on a stainless tray. When I was finished he complemented me my technique as well as the cleanliness that I observed. It was a particular validation coming from him.

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With casual European sophistication the good doctor told me that he and his wife were no longer sexually active. He had a young girlfriend who he particularly wanted to keep satisfied. To that end he commissioned me to make a cast gold frenum ring that would incorporate two penises and a ball on top that would stimulate her clitoris during intercourse. He quipped that he wanted to penetrate her with three penises.

Dr. C was quite happy with the finished piece of jewelry. Unfortunately he didn’t feel comfortable wearing it all the time, especially at the health club. Consequently he took it on and off frequently. Eventually the post would break off, and he would bring it to me for repair. The last time this happened he brought it in and chatted amiably about what a wonderful device it was. I told him how long it would take for the repair, and everything seemed satisfactory. I never saw him again. Whatever happened to him I never found out. After holding onto the piece of jewelry for several years, I eventually sold it.

This photo was dated April 1978 and originally ran on the spcOnline site in 1995.

PFIQ #31 Cover

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I was putting a bunch of material together for an academic research request on ‘women in early western body modification’ this week which included this scan from PFIQ#31 (1988) featuring side art by the late Bud Larsen.

The demographics in the 70s/80s skewed towards males (primarily gay males) but going back through the old PFIQs while gathering up information, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of female representation included. Issue 31 was almost 50/50 with female and male piercing content including a wonderful photoshoot featuring Krystine Kolorful by legendary photographer Diane Mansfield.

As I told the researcher (who I’ll ask to share her final project with SD readers) the early days were much more dialed into sexuality than aesthetics, so most of the representation was (pleasantly celebrating) sex positive which made the older issues a lot more fun than the later ones in my opinion.

Happy Birthday, Jim Ward!

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It’s such a rare thing in the Body Modification world to be able to legitimately claim to have been the inventor of anything; we take for granted that some things have no definable origins and that if someone says they were the first at anything, there is probably someone somewhere who did it years before them.

Except for Jim Ward.

While Jim didn’t invent body piercing, it’s impossible not to think of him as the architect of body piercing as an industry. Before Jim and his Gauntlet there was no such thing as Professional Body Piercing. It was an underground thing with some practitioners knowing more than others, working discretely out of people’s houses, T&P parties, hotel rooms and the back rooms of Leather shops.

Jim changed everything when he opened the Gauntlet’s first retail location in West Hollywood in November of 1978. He invented the concept of the Body Piercer as a profession. Through trial and error he and his staff which would go on to include such luminaries as Elayne Angel, Paul King, Keith Alexander (Gauntlet NYC) and Jon Cobb (Gauntlet NYC) contributed techniques and standards that would revolutionize the culture of body piercing. His PFIQ would be the blueprint for those of us who document our community (my use of Who’s Who is a direct homage to my favorite section in PFI) and his book RUNNING THE GAUNTLET has become an indispensable tome for people interested in the roots of our culture.

Jim is also a damn nice guy who is very kind and patient to the scores of people who’s influenced, always taking the time to help out when he can by answering our many questions and offering presentations at the APP conference in Las Vegas.

So happy birthday Jim, and thank you for all you’ve done for us.

From the SPC: Sid’s UK Invasion

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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.

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Do you remember your first: Nipple Piercings

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A few weeks ago I posted a picture of the first PA piercing performed by piercing pioneer Jim Ward. While getting everything together for an expanded version of the purple hanky article I came across this photo…

In the spirit of ‘do you remember your first one’…

This is Fernando. He was the infamous Leatherman who’s pierced nipples were the first that Jim saw in person. According to Jim’s invaluable book RUNNING THE GAUNTLET:

“At this point in my life I had never seen or heard of anyone with pierced nipples even in the pages of National Geographic. That was soon to change. One weekend night I went to the Village to hang out at the NYMBC. Standing shirtless by the bar was a hunk of a man. Even in the subdued light there was no missing the glint of gold on his muscular chest. His nipples were pierced. I learned that his name was Fernando and that he was something of a local legend. Though I was never fortunate enough to enjoy the intimate pleasure of his company, he at least let me know that once again I was not alone.”

That feeling- of not being alone- was very powerful in the early days of Body Modification, before finding others ‘like us’ was a mouse click away.

Do you remember the first time you saw someone who was pierced/tattooed/modified it it made you feel connected to something bigger? Share the story!

Taking a day off to rest..

.BUD

Tuesday is generally reserved for video updates, but today is going to be a day of rest here at Sacred Debris; a day to lay down in bed watching True Detective and smothering my pre’ance Julia with birthday kisses. Everyone needs a rest now and then- just ask Viking Navaro (pictured above.)

Bud has long been one of my favorite ‘old school’ modification figures; one of the original ‘Modern Primitives’ who had a very striking aesthetic for his generation. My collection contains quite a few photos (prints and polaroids) of him to be scanned.

But that can wait for another day.

Jack Yount- Piercing World & PFIQ

When the modification world was much smaller and technology not yet a common tool for instantaneous global  communication, trading video tapes through the mail was one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your modified friends. For the price of a camcorder (which in the 1980s could be as much as $900) you retained a higher level of anonymity and safety; there are some of us who still get chills up our spines thinking about taking a roll of film containing a bloody subincision or castration procedure into the local drug store, having to find a connection to develop the film for fear of exposure or worse.

They brought to life- with color and sound- the modified wonders that had appeared in magazines like PFIQ, Piercing World and Body Art and allowed a community that felt alone, spread all over the world, to feel connected.

Jack Yount and Sailor Sid Diller were both passionate about corresponding with other body modification devotees, keeping their friends the world over up to date with what was going on in the scene. These tapes were snapshots of a very specific part of the early piercing community.

This one features Jack- in a rare PG rated appearance, talking about Pauline Clarke’s newly launched Piercing World Magazine, the current issue of PFIQ and a funny conversation with some South Florida auto-mechanics.


Jack Yount

This article was originally published on BME’s Modblog, 05/10/2013 and edited 01/11/2014.
While it’s my goal to treat Sacred Debris as a history repository, I’m not a writer. An oral historian, perhaps, but not a trained writer who can separate themselves from the stories they write. I’d love to be able to offer you a historical snapshot of who Jack Yount was, with references and footnotes- but to me, Jack is a memory, the simplest thought of whom brings a smile to my face. He had a sweetness in his voice that made all of the extraordinary things and people he introduced me to seem totally conventional. So you’re left gleaning what you can out of my initial interaction with someone who became one of the most significant figures in my life.

 

Rasmus_Nielson-1-797321Jack was born John Andrew Yount on Sep 15, 1926. When he was nine years old, his parents took him to the circus where he saw the infamous strongman Rasmus Nielsen 1. Rasmus was a circus sideshow performer; a three-in-one blacksmith, tattooed man and strongman. Had that been all, he may have still influenced young Jack- but thankfully Rasmus had set himself apart from other tattooed men with the addition of tongue, septum and nipple piercings which he hung weights off of to the shock, horror and delight of 1930s circus goers. Seeing Rasmus swing weights from his pierced nipples never left Jack and in the 1950s while attending college Jack read about a student at a rival school who had spent a summer in Europe studying and ended up traveling around with gypsies. When he was finished with his semester abroad they threw him a party and pierced his ear which made a splash in the local papers. A friend of Jack’s who had served in the Navy decided that they “we’re not going to let them get away with all this, are we?” and Jack and twelve or so of his fellow students decided to pierce their left ears.

stanley-kubrick-1940s-new-york-photographs-07Six months later Jack, remembering Rasmus, figured that if piercing his ear didn’t hurt.. maybe his nipples wouldn’t either and with that in mind used a darning needle to pierce his nipples. Earrings were inserted and with that, Jack became a piercer. Word discretely got out and Jack began piercing friends, and then friends of friends. By the time I met him  he was already a Master Piercer with thirty years of experience, working under the name of Mr. Jay.

I was a teenager then; fifteen years old with a few tattoos that my mom had lied about my age for me to get. Piercing was something I had experimented with when I was much younger but at the time there was no real outlet for. There weren’t openly advertised piercing shops unless you lived in San Francisco, LA or some other big city and here I was smack in the center of Florida, not old enough for a driver’s license but still wanting pierced. While at Bud Pierson’s ANCIENT ART tattoo in Orlando I inquired with Bud about piercing. Not spooked by my age he said that yes, he did occasionally do it, but didn’t like to, and why don’t I just talk to Jack Yount about it? He lived closer to me than Ancient Art, and I think you two would get along. Bud scheduled my tattoo appointment to coincide with Jack’s, and soon I was to meet the man who influenced my life in ways that I still can’t fully articulate. I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I walked into the room to see Bud tattooing the very upper inner thigh of a cotton haired 63 year old… that wasn’t it. The first thing I noticed was that Jack looked like he was someone’s grandfather. The second were the 00g rings he was wearing in his stretched and tattooed nipples (which were easily 1″ by then). The third was that he was wearing a lycra thong that contained a penis bigger than a coke bottle.

Obviously I knew right then and there that Bud was right. We would get along just fine. I introduced myself, telling him that Bud had recommended him for piercing, and I know it’s weird that I’m only fifteen but my parents are right outside and if he were to talk to them they’d give consent for sure…Jack waited patiently for my breathless run on sentence to finish up, smiled and said “Why don’t you all come out to my place in Zephyrhills. We’ll make a day out of it.” And we did. That first visit, my parents came with me. I can’t really express the surreality of my folks- my Dad a farmer who’s nickname was the Gator and my Mom a tiny spunky Southern Baptist- in a house filled wall to wall with homoerotic art and giant framed portraits of naked pierced and tattooed men. Needless to say- they fell in love with Jack too.

jacknipplesMy first piercing from him was my nipple. This was a different time and place than the modern standard of Body Piercing; Jack worked out of his home. He’d offer you sweet tea, maybe an eskimo pie and even injectable anesthetics. “Piercing is brutal. It’s better to feel a small prick than a big one, right?” Jack did almost all of his piercings with 2% xylocaine injections beforehand. He also started most piercings at a minimum of 10g and larger if the customer asked.

While my parents sat by the pool, Jack showed my brother and I his ‘modification album’. By this point I had already tracked down every available PFIQ, Body Art and Piercing World Magazine I could get my hands on but this… this was the holy grail. Somewhere along the road, Jack had developed an interest in ‘Modifications’. I had never really heard the word in that context before; this was when the most extreme thing anyone had ever seen was Carl Carroll’s bisected penis in Modern Primitives, and here’s a whole album of things that made that look like a starter set. “This- that’s my friend Rudy. He has 1000cc of silicone in his bag. The Doctor did this last visit. Oh. That’s my friend Bill. We split his cockhead a few years ago”. Every consecutive photograph blowing my mind with Jack smiling, telling us personal anecdotes about the men in the album. It was surreal in how quaint it was. It never felt weird or creepy which considering the circumstances could have easily been the case. By the time we left Jack’s place we had made a new friend and followup appointments for  PA piercings. Thankfully Jack didn’t make me bring my parents for that one! As our friendship grew he started introducing my brother and I to a collection of modification marvels; men with penises and scrotums so full of silicone they had to have custom pants tailored; men with perfectly surgically formed vaginas who weren’t transgendered; eunuchs, nullos, amputees… every visit to Jack’s house was special.

jackmodifiedJack himself had an impressive selection of surgical body modifications:
He had been castrated; he had his suspensatory ligament cut. He had large amounts of silicone injected into his penis (which was also subincised with a surgically split/reshaped glans) and scrotum (which contained several silicone coated stainless steel balls) and chest which was also augmented with estrogen therapy to help grow breasts. His left index finger tip had been amputated and he was tattooed from neck to toe. Before amputating his scrotum he was having issues with conventional toilets, so he had his urethra rerouted between his scrotum and anus and towards the end of his life he ever started stretching his ear lobes.

Through Jack I met his apprentice Mike Natali- who also went on to be a big influence in my life- as well as Brian Skellie  and countless others who helped shape the person I’ve become.  I learned about art and culture, music and gardening. Jack became family, a surrogate grandfather who not only taught me how to split a penis but how to be an adult. He quietly influenced a generation of modification fans via his influence on me and my connection with Shannon/BmeExtreme. He passed away in Hospital in Copenhagen Denmark on Jul 15, 1995 at the age of 68.

I’m not sure what he’d make of modification today with it being more aesthetic than sexual and more public than private, but I’d give anything to be able to talk to him one more time, about my life and my adventures in a world he helped introduce me too.
Thank you Jack, for everything.

As always, if anyone has any followup questions they’d like to ask about Jack- throw them in the comments section.

For more on Jack: BME/News SPC video of Jack. 

The Art of Pierced Penises and Decorative Tattoos Part 2

When Doug Malloy’s “Adventures of a Piercing Freak” was published by Calston Industries 1 under the title “The Art of Pierced Penises and Decorative Tattoos” it had to, by extension, contain tattoo content. This chapter was most likely not written by Doug and contains ‘stock’ images of tattooed men, including photos of Mr. Sebastian, among others. One of the photos features a meatotomy, making it one of the earliest examples of western genital cutting I’ve seen in print.

 

TATTOOING AS AN ART

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Mr. Sebastian, 1982

As readers of this book have no doubt noticed, most of the illustrations in this book show models who, in addition to being pierced, are also extensively tattooed. The art of tattooing is almost as old as piercing and the two seem to go naturally together. In modern days, tattooing has attained great popularity among both sexes with modern transistorized tattoo machines, not only is it almost painless, much more intricate designs can be achieved.

Many artists, who work also and other artistic mediums, have taken at the art of tattooing in recent years, which adds to the artistic designs that can be applied to the body. Not too many years ago, the only extensive tattoo designs that could be seen were on freaks in circus sideshows,  many of whom often had their entire body is covered with tattoo designs .Today in addition to the type of tattoos seen in these page,s many people choose to have small tattoos placed on strategic or intimate parts of their bodies. Gay men have been known to have small ‘flying’ cocks for the back of thighs with the head pointed to the anus.  Women often have small flowers or other more feminine designs placed on the breasts or near their vaginal openings.

Tattoos are no longer considered only for the butch men or masculine women. People from all walks of life now have tattoos as part of their permanent bodily adornment.

The only real problem with tattoos is that they are permanent. Only plastic surgery can remove them, and even that process leaves a visible scar. So if you decide, as so many others have to have a tattoo put on your body, think long and hard before you go ahead. It is something that will be with you for the rest of your life. Make sure that the design is one that will always please you, and as an added precaution have a placed somewhere on your body so that it will not always be visible.

A tattoo in an unexpected place can be both a surprise and a sexual turn-on to your selected partner. But a word of warning is also an order: tattoos can also be a turnoff to many people. The choice, of course, is yours and we suggest only that if you are considering a tattoo, that you think long and hard about it and choose not only the design but the tattoo artist carefully.

It can be an expensive decision as well as a lasting decision, depending on the intricacy of the design you choose and the number of colors that are needed.

Don’t, as many people have, make your decision on the spur the moment and head for the nearest tattoo parlor. Make your decision in the cold light of day and with a sober and clear mind shop around. Visit several tattoo artists, watch them at work if possible and ask your friends who they consider to be the best in the business.

Notes:

  1. Calston Industries, Sherman Oaks ,California