In the late 1950’s-early 1960s, Alan Oversby, known in the tattoo and piercing community as Mister Sebastian, got tattooed by George Burchette with what he believed was the first set of pubic wings. He came up with the idea by sketching shapes that fit nicely into the triangular shapes he was drawing and found that wings were not only aesthetically pleasing but that they also visually elongated the penis.
This photo, taken in the late 1970s, features a client with tattoos and piercings – paired pubic and reverse Prince Albert- by Sebastian.
Back in December of 2015, we posted a few photos from this series- Sailor Sid Diller tattooing a flame on the perineum of Jack Yount 1 – but this one somehow slipped through the cracks. 2
This would have been taken in the mid to late 1980s, performed at Sid’s Silver Anchor location. Jack would go on to have a urethral reroute opening in the center of the flame- “a waterhole to put out the fire” as he put it in Charle’s Gatewood’s Erotic Tattooing & Body Piercing Vol5.
“Raven” was in San Francisco for a brief time on 9th street. I got there when he opened and decided to get the “wind god” tat. He said I was lucky because it was early and he was still fresh and awake after breakfast and not worn out by some of the difficult people that he had come in and bust his chops.
He also gave me a choice of by the hour or a given price. I took the given price and he said it was a bargain because he was fresh and full of energy, as you can see he was, and his work has stay bright after all these years. I believe it was 1982-3. -JD
The first story JD told me, as I was setting up our interview at an Ybor City Pizza shop, was about the time he found himself making an ad hoc tattoo studio out of his van, having discovered a bar full of carnies in Tampa who wanted tattooed. With a mischievous twinkle in his eye he described the good natured degenerates, tough guys and hucksters who joined him in the back of the van, getting skulls and names and roses added to their arms and chests. Continue reading →
During the mid 1990s I was occasionally contracted to attend tattoo conventions on behalf of bmezine.com; while content was being contributed to the website, BME’s editor Shannon Larratt figured that targeted content- particularly the kind that was often photographed in hotel rooms on a more discrete section of the modification community- would be worth the cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms and an incredibly humble per diem.
This being the age before digital cameras were in common usage, all he asked was that I try to get at least two rolls of film per event. Forty-eight images. Before it was a community driven site (a process which started with the password wall on BME/extreme and took hold with the creation of IAM.BME in 2000) the acquisition of content was king at BME; if people didn’t have dynamic images to view, they’d move along. Having strong photos to hook viewers into sticking around long enough to encourage them to share their own was a major focus of the boom-years of the site.
This photo was taken on one of those sponsored trips, on the convention floor at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Portland, Maine. At the time, facial tattoos and body piercing were frowned upon at some conventions, so a gentleman like this was a welcome sight.
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.