Uncovered: Velvet Talks June 1982

The Golden Age of adult cinema 1 (and it’s siblings, adult magazines) was, despite it’s often lurid and prurient content, conservative. It traded in archetype- the perky blonde, the intense brunette, the fiery redhead-all American good looks and not much in the way of self-expression. When you did see a tattoo, it was small or discrete. Performers with large tattoos were anomalous, 2 with producers fearing that it would ruin the “girl next door” fantasy that their 8mm loops (the VHS tapes) promised.

Being tattooed or pierced was subversive in a subversive genre.

One of the first (or at the very least most well known) adult performers to proudly display pierced anatomy (and it not be sold as a fetish) was iconic actress/producer/director Annie Sprinkle. Her 1982 meeting with Fakir Musafar was published in the pages of PFIQ magazine from Fakir’s perspective, and in Velvet Talks from her’s.

The cover promises BIZARRE PHOTOS: ANNIE SPRINKLE GETS PIERCED, and bizarre for the time they were. The article opens with the tattooed and pierced genitals of Jim A, another familiar personality from the pages of PFIQ magazine, photographed by Sprinkle/Fakir friend and iconic photo-anthropologist Charles Gatewood and goes on to document Annie’s labia piercing by Fakir.

The article is sexual by nature; confidently and proudly so. The rest of the magazine’s content seems stiff and posed; typical fantasy factory smut that was made to be enjoyed and forgotten, but Annie’s writing transcends the source and provides charming documentation of a very real group of friends meeting for the first time, exploring piercing and sexuality together at a time when the two went hand in hand.

Photos © Charles Gatewood for Velvet Talks, 1982

Copies of Velvet Talks (June 1982) can occasionally be found on eBay and Amazon.com.


  1. The Golden Age of Porn: 1969-1984. Wikipedia
  2. Stephanie Green, aka Viper.

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 outside of academia. 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.

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