If you look at the BME Encyclopedia on it’s founder Shannon Larratt 1 under the subcategory of “Personal Body Modifications” it lists his blackwork forearm tattoos as the result of a dare. While I know the stories behind quite a few of his tattoos (coverup of matching symbols, a love of homoerotic S/M iconography) I can’t say I was privy to the story of being dared to get heavy blackwork half sleeves.
Shannon sent this 4×6 print to me sometime in the 1990s to be published on my spcOnline site.
Are you tattooed everywhere? Genital tattoos have seemingly slipped in popularity over the course of the last few decades. Flip through photos from the collections of Jack Yount, Sailor Sid and Mr. Sebastian or the pages of Jim Ward’s PFIQ or Fakir’s Body Play & Modern Primitives Quarterly and you’re likely to find as many people with erotic tattoos as without. It’s a shame really, and something I hope to fix in my own tattoo collection sooner rather than later.
Bob had his penis tattooed in the early 1980s by Cliff Raven; this photo sees him displaying it after a bit of vacuum pumping.
The process of getting a guiche piercing was, without a doubt, the funniest thing I’ve ever done on all fours involving a surgical marker and a sharp implement. Those who’ve been around the piercing scene long enough to remember the knee/chest method of performing a guiche will likely also remember the ‘winky spot’ portion of the procedure. Jack Yount performed this guiche piercing in 1986 at a Knoxville, TN tattoo convention. I’ve been trying to find out more info on who did the client’s tattoos but so far no luck.
The tattoo community was a much different place back in the 1970s when this ad for Cliff Raven’s Sunset Strip Tattoo Studio ran in the pages of the venerable DRUMMER magazine; being an out, gay tattooer was a much bigger deal than it is in 2017. Despite a clear lack of diversity and a culture that was considerably less evolved than I like to think we are these days (though watching the news has me wondering) Cliff was able to maintain the respect of his peers through clean, solid, built to last tattooing. In the last few years I’ve been lucky to see a handful of 30-40 year old Cliff Raven tattoos that have stood the test of time. Attempts have been made to capitalize on his name- including a clothing line and branded wine- but to date, thankfully, nothing has materialized.
While he excelled in tattooing traditional Japanese subject matter, I’ll always have a soft spot for his muscle boys and homoerotic imagery.
Tattoo by Alan Oversby; 1970s. Scanned from the original print.
A few weeks ago I was tagged by multiple friends in a Facebook post from a tattooer who’s been doing male pin-ups; archetypal poses gender swapped with big bearded beefcake. The comments ranged from amused to aggrieved with almost everyone agreeing that it was ‘about time’ that someone was doing them.
Of course, there’s really nothing new under the sun. Male pin-ups, particularly homoerotic ones, have been around for a lot longer than social media. Cliff Raven, Sailor Sid, Phil Sparrow, Alan Oversby… anyone who was tattooing a clientele that appreciated the sexuality of tattoo culture was likely to have done one.
Though they weren’t always as explicit as this amazing piece by Sebastian. It dates back to the late 70s and still packs a punch.
Sacred Debris Sandbox members should check out the FB group for a much raunchier part of the design!
I could be wrong, but I think that the heavily tattooed gentleman in this (amazingly candid and charming) photo is Rufus from Rochester who’s made a few appearances here on SD. It’s hard to tell. Either way, the black graphic back piece blast-over caught my attention and put the print on the fast track to the Sacred Debris update queue. Continue reading
According to my end of year (2015) poll, the majority of Sacred Debris readers work in some capacity at piercing or tattoo shops. So I’m not sure that a NOT SAFE FOR WORK tag is entirely necessary (if you work at a piercing shop that has issues with you looking at photos of Jack and Sid, you should probably find a new job) but tellingly enough when I use it I get greater reach on the post. Continue reading
I meant to post a little blurb on the SD tumblr back in June when I read that Tom Leppard had passed away but never got around to it. Luckily our friend George in the UK was kind enough to send over a clipping of Tom’s obituary which was a perfect reminder.
Tom- born Tom Woolridge in 1930- was a career soldier who transformed himself through tattooing into The Leopard Man of Skye. Living a solitary hermit’s life in a small hut without electricity Tom would kayak into town for groceries and supplies, begrudgingly appearing at tattoo conventions to make extra income. We have some photos of Tom in the SD archives that will eventually make it onto the site.
Rest in Peace, Tom.
Late 1970s- Jim Ward performs a vertical nipple piercing on Rochester’s Rufus Dreyer. Rufus appears occasionally in photos in my archives- his appearance distinct with a full body of dense tattooing, a grey Van Dyke beard and flipped up septum tusk- but I’ve not been able to find out anything about him other than his name.
Jim can be seen using a thimble to push assist in pushing the needle though the tissue; the needles available at the time weren’t as sharp as our modern options and every little bit helped.
(Thanks to Jim for helping me identify Rufus)