I spent some time this week cleaning up my ‘unused clips’ folder and decided to breathe a little life into some outtakes from the Safe Guide to Professional Piercing series. This footage was cut from the Prince Albert segment; the client had been marked for nipple piercing but decided last minute not to have it done at the same time of his PA with a post-script scene of him being shaved….
Famed UK Body Artist Alan ‘Mr. Sebastian’ Oversby infamously owned a pillow stuffed with pubic hair and Jack and Sailor Sid were often seen in their videos collecting contributions for it.
I’m not really getting much feedback positive or negative on the ‘Safe Guide to Professional Piercing’ series, so I think this will be the last one that goes up for a while. This installment features Sailor Sid Diller piercing Jack Yount’s scrotum in the traditional ‘hafada’ placement. Unlike previous Safe Guide videos, Hafadas finds Sid wearing gloves during the piercing. The videos provide no off-camera context as to why they wore gloves for some procedures and not others, but I’m sure they had their reasons. It’s hard to say.
Before the 1993 release of the Aerosmith video for their song ‘Cryin’ 1 the navel piercing wasn’t one of the more commonly requested piercings due in part to the “if it protrudes, pierce it” credo that most piercers followed at the time. The first time I remember Jack Yount talking about navel piercings he called them “risky” because of the chances of migration or rejection and while he could be talked into performing the piercing would do his best to steer the client towards something a little more practical.
This excerpt from the 1984 tape ‘A Safe Guide to Practical Piercing’ features Jack doing a navel piercing on Sailor Sid Diller at Sid’s Silver Anchor Tattoo Studio.
Like our other archival videos, this clip features piercing and sterility techniques that are no longer considered safe practice and is presented solely for preservation and discussion. It should not be considered a how-to.
Cryin was released in October of 1993 as a single from their April 1993 LP Get a Grip. The video, directed by Marty Callner, starred Alicia Silverstone, Stephen Dorf and Josh Holloway, went on to be a massive hit for the band, spending twelve consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts and earning the Video of the Year award at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. In the video Silverstone’s character has her navel pierced by an influential West Coast body piercer- the influence of the video created an instant trend worldwide. ↩
Thirty-one years ago, before the piercing scene evolved into the piercing industry the term piercer had a much looser definition than it does today. Over time it's come to represent someone who's served a formal apprenticeship and has spent years honing their craft; who's taken advanced learning opportunities like Intensives and technique classes at the annual APP Conference and Expo, someone who can discuss sterility at a level that would humble a physician, and who can absorb knowledge from their peers as freely and easily as they share it with the generation of piercers who’ve come after them.
When this video was filmed, being a piercer meant you poked people with needles so they'd have shiny nipples and genitals, and tried to do it as safely as possible.
Finding a professional piercer back then was easy, since there were only a small handful in the world. But unless you lived in California (where the Gauntlet was located) or were part of a group like the Leather/SM culture, having easy access to a true professional piercer simply wasn't an option. So sometimes you had to make do.
Today's piercers would be horrified to find photo illustrated step by step instructions for an ampallang or clitoris piercing- but 30 years ago they were made readily available in PFIQ- who's PIERCE WITH A PRO feature covered almost every basic (and some advanced) piercing imaginable and went on to spawn several instructional videos.
Some knowledge was deemed to be better than none. So was the case with 'A Safe Guide to Professional Piercing' featuring piercing by Jack Yount (then going by Mr. J) and filmed by Sailor Sid Diller. Out of context this video looks like anything but professional piercing- highly sexualized, a lack of sterility and technique that will make you cringe- but one has to consider the time (gloves weren't commonly worn in 1984) it was filmed and the community that both Jack and Sid were part of (the highly sexual gay leather scene) to fully contextualize the footage.
The tape was distributed to piercers on Sid's correspondence list who were primarily working in leather shops or home studios.
As with all of our archival content, this video contains outdated piercing and aseptic technique and should not be considered a how-to.