Ritual cutting

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Tuesday April 29th, 2008 @ 1:48 PM

Filed under: Other

Hi there,

I’m well out of the cutting woods (pun intended?) but now, four years on, I become more and more upset and self conscious about the scars it left on a daily basis. I rarely take off my hoodie or cardigan, even during a hot Australian summer. I can’t fucking stand to even look at them.

I used to worship the ritual cutting section of BME - the sort of things I would see on there would set a benchmark… it was almost a competition in my head. My older brother ended up blocking the whole site (no idea how he did it!) because he was scared to death. He gave a shit. It made quite a bit of difference, but I think I was just more angry that he was barring me from being in a virtual place that I felt comfortable.

Looking at some of the photos on there, it makes me really worried about the younger visitors to the site… or even anyone who has a history of doing it. It may trigger them to fuck themselves as it did me. I was looking at the photos earlier… and it did affect me, it brought up both happy and fucking horrible memories.

I know the whole speel “no one is to blame but yourself”… but do you guys ever feel somewhat guilty or accountable for providing a medium for this shit? Don’t you think that somewhere on these pages you should have some information on where to go to talk to people, to figure out some coping mechanisms?

Who knows how many of the people who have uploaded photos of their gashes have since died.

You may shrug this off or get defensive. I hope you don’t.

In other news, I get lost for hours in the tattoo section. Love it.


First of all, let me preface my reply by pointing that I am a body piercer, and have absolutely no formal training or qualifications to speak on the subject of SI, and while I have friends who are recovered (and recovering) from SI, I have no personal experience on the subject. If I phrase anything incorrectly, please forgive me and be assured that it’s just my own ignorance on the subject, and that absolutely no offense is intended.

You might be surprised to learn that there are people here who agree with you, myself included - I absolutely see a difference between ritual cutting/intentional scarification and rather a lot of the images submitted that are plainly self-injury. Now, I’m not saying that images of cutting shouldn’t be on BME (which is all about documenting all aspects of body modification), but I do think that a lot of people who self-injure view those galleries as possible inspiration and that SI is not in any way a mentally healthy place to be in and help should certainly be offered to those people. That being said, the internet is a big place and I think that people who go looking for images will find them somewhere, and that it’s not BME’s responsibilty to remove any images to protect people from finding them. I do very firmly believe that it is BME’s responsibility to put images likely to trigger SI behind click-throughs on Modblog, but that request has well and truly fallen on deaf ears (and all of those links are triggers to the max, by the way), much as any sexually explicit images are put behind clickthroughs on Modblog - however, that opinion is not shared by Shannon and not only does he refuse to consider the repeated requests to do so, he has, I feel, taunted the people making those requests by joking about the posts being triggers in their titles. I think it’s sad that anyone finds it funny or a laughing matter - as you know, it is a symptom of a dangerous illness, and shouldn’t be perceived as a healthy way to deal with issues (most people who self-injure will say that it’s not terribly effective at helping them to feel better, any feelings of satisfaction are short-lived at best and often become quite habitual and compulsive).

I do hope that anyone reading this who does self-injure will realise that they need help and reach out for it - to a family member, a friend, a loved one, someone who can help you and support you while you get the professional help that you need to understand and overcome SI. You CAN stop and wellness is within your grasp. There are lots of great websites full of information that can help you (Here’s just one of the good ones I found, and here’s another with lots of ways to resist the urge to cut, and this is a thread on an Australian forum with lots of links to get you started), a simple Google search will get you headed in the right direction. Good luck!

(And if anyone wants to go berko at me for replying to something off-topic on AskBME, well, I suppose all I can say is I have a history of taking these sorts of queries seriously and replying to them to try and help people - 1, 2 - and if your issue is that I am obviously disagreeing with Shannon, well, the opinions and values expressed by me on AskBME are my own, obviously, and do not necessarily represent those of BMEZINE.COM LLC, PsyberCity Inc., and/or Shannon Larratt. I was selected by Shannon to join the QOD staff, I should hope he’d respect my opinion even if it disagrees with his own. )

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45 Responses to “Ritual cutting”

  1. Lori,

    I’ve been consistently impressed by your answers to AskBME over the years. Thoughtful and informed opinions like yours are the reason I keep reading. Thanks so much for what you do–and keep doing what you’re doing.

    kw on April 29th, 2008 at 3:10 pm
  2. Thanks, Lori. You’re awesome, you know? =)

    To the person who asked the question: We’ve asked for trigger warnings to be placed on the Modblog and other such things, but all we got was ridiculed and laughed at by Shannon. It’s not something he particularly cares about, unfortunately, and it’s a shame to see such professionalism from him.

    It is triggering on various places through BME, so please make yourself safe.

    Take care!

    Dimruthien on April 29th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
  3. While I am not sure i agree that “triggering” posts need to be behind a cut, I do agree with you generally and i think that overall you present very intelligent, well-thought-out opinions on modification issues. And I do agree that joking about triggers isn’t funny.

    Basically, you will have my support for as long as you continue to be a voice of reason in the modification community. People like you are needed here.

    AeChei on April 29th, 2008 at 4:12 pm
  4. As the Manager of Moderation & Content Management at a company that deals with online social networking sites, I personally see dozens of SI pictures & experiences posted on a daily basis. Each of those pictures and/or experiences are suppressed from public view (ie; you’d have to go straight to the person’s blog to read the post or the picture would have to be sent privately through messaging, rather than being displayed out in the open as would most other posts & pictures). The person posting those pictures and/or experiences is also sent a message with information about a national suicide & crisis hotline that is open 24/7 and is toll-free. There are a few websites that also provide this sort of service.

    While I understand that BME does not necessarily have the resources to do this sort of thing, I think that the glorification and/or poking fun of SI triggers is shameful behavior. At the very least, BME should respect those who are attempting to recover from a condition that has a negative effect and put such pictures behind a click-through, as you stated. This is very standard procedure for most websites with mid-to-large levels of vistors.

    Jennifer on April 29th, 2008 at 4:36 pm
  5. As a former SI-sufferer, I agree with the OP and with Lori as well. It’s very true that people who are intent on finding SI support or inspiration will find it regardless of click-throughs and warnings– but that does not mean that such precautions are useless or unnecessary. When I was younger, I actually derived SI inspiration from material that was intended to help / prevent the affliction. People who are habituated should be encouraged to seek professional help and even more importantly, support from the people closest to them.

    I admit that I found some of those link titles to be embarrassingly childish; SI can result in serious harm and death. Some people laugh and poke fun because they are ignorant of the psychological effects of SI (no, they are NOT the same as modification). Putting triggering content under a click-through is extremely common on various sites, even for milder political and ethical debate. Personally, as a recovered sufferer, I have no interest in seeing peoples’ self-injuries under a category that was originally intended to showcase an art form. It seems a simple task to insert warnings, and it is rather disappointing that BME’s proprietor will not comply.

    metanomaly on April 29th, 2008 at 6:16 pm
  6. Lori-

    I absolutely agree with you about this. I think that there is a definite line between ritual and self injury, and some of the things you linked to certainly crossed that line. I believe they SHOULD have some way of keeping some of these ideas further to get to, and some things shouldn’t be included at all. While BME should be a supporting community, you shouldn’t glorify self injury or anything like that.

    I don’t really have much else to say on this, but I believe that some things need to be looked at more closely before being published on here.

    Milana on April 29th, 2008 at 7:09 pm
  7. First of all, as I’ve said before, if someone is mentally ill to the point where they can not control their own actions, they should be seeking help, not reading BME. This applies to all parts of BME.

    Seriously, if you are unable to take responsibility for your own actions, DO NOT put yourself in harms way by reading BME.

    BME is intended for healthy individuals who enjoy a positive experience in body modification and ritual. I do not believe that the site should be geared toward people for whom body modification/ritual is an illness.

    The REALITY is that when we’re talking about “triggering”, the piercing sections, tattoo sections, and so on are far more triggering — it’s just that fewer readers see being triggered in these areas as a negative thing. Singling out the cutting section is largely a game of POLITICS, not genuine concern for the underlying problem that people are deeply influenced by the actions of others. I feel very much that pretending that what amounts to “peer pressure” is a problem unique to the cutting section of the site is a mistake.

    Shannon on April 29th, 2008 at 7:46 pm
  8. [...] was a post over on AskBME today in which the criticism was re-raised that I don’t soft-censor cutting images due to [...]

    ModBlog - What is triggering? - Body modification and ritual blog sponsored by BMEzine.com on April 29th, 2008 at 8:51 pm
  9. BME is intended for healthy individuals who enjoy a positive experience in body modification and ritual. I do not believe that the site should be geared toward people for whom body modification/ritual is an illness.

    …says the guy who posted an interview with a man who allegedly eats shit out of diapers hoping to acquire HIV+ status.

    candy call on April 29th, 2008 at 10:44 pm
  10. I’m with ya, Lori. I’m a big believer in not treating people - ANY people - with kid gloves, because people are responsible for their own actions. At the same time, however, poking fun at people with issues is immature and simply wrong. SIers have the choice to avoid the ritual cutting gallery and, thus, avoid the triggers therein, but those people shouldn’t have to avoid the entire Modblog just because a few triggering posts were not placed behind click-throughs.

    Amber on April 29th, 2008 at 10:45 pm
  11. It’s tacky, to not let comments you just don’t like through. I had no idea he acted this way.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    So, you posted this here to gain support for a Shannon VS Lori war? Seems silly. You have your stance, she has hers. No need to repost so a bunch of people will say, “Oh, yeah Shannon, your so right.” Silly to use Modblog for your own personal validation.
    comeon on April 29th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    comeon on April 30th, 2008 at 12:05 am
  12. All comments are moderated on AskBME, to prevent spam and obvious trolling (we even have to approve our own comments!), and I can’t speak for the other contributors to AskBME on this, but I’ll certainly approve any comments that don’t agree with me - I always have in the past!

    I think Shannon’s Modblog post and reply in this thread is interesting and amusing, considering that I haven’t even disagreed with his choice to keep the ritual cutting galleries publicly viewable (as opposed to, say, putting them on BME/Extreme or BME/Hard, which require passwords and memberships to view) - I really can’t see how putting obvious SI-triggering posts on Modblog behind click-through warnings could possibly be construed as “censorship”, and as I’ve said, I don’t think that mocking mental illness is particularly funny (and considering I’m rather known for my own tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, no one can imply that I am dour and humourless - but how could the titles of some of the Modblog posts I’ve linked to be construed as anything OTHER than “making light of mental illness”?). A hell of a lot of people self-injure, and quite a few of those people are actively trying to stop - I don’t understand why it’s so hard to comprehend that those people really should at least be given a choice about viewing material that can trigger them, and I don’t feel that they should have to avoid Modblog (which is primarily about actual, intentional body modification - e.g. piercings, tattoos, scarification, etc) entirely.

    And no, Modblog isn’t Shannon’s personal blog, he has at least two (1, 2) personal, publicly-viewable blogs that people can either read or avoid if they choose, although they are about as body-modification-oriented as my own personal diary - which is to say, not very or at least not consistently. Modblog is a part of BME and is designed to direct traffic to the main BME site (and probably to sell more memberships), and I don’t see how it’s unreasonable to think that Modblog should be run as an ethical, responsible part of the business (see comment #4, above), rather than a personal blog.

    Well, at least Shannon admitted that posting images on Modblog promotes more of the same, sometimes-ill-advised behaviour, he’s never conceded that point before when us whiny, conservative piercers have objected to various bad-idea piercings and procedures being promoted on Modblog. It’s a start!

    Lori St.Leone on April 30th, 2008 at 1:00 am
  13. I understand Shannon’s point of view in that yes, viewing the piercing/scarification/tattooing etc. sections can also be a trigger, but there is much less of a stigma surrounding intentional modification than there is surrounding self-harm.

    Personally, I’m not affected by images of others harming themselves, but I understand that some people are and I know that I used to be - as the asker of the question stated, they felt a need to compete with them. And for that reason there needs to be at least a warning prior to entering the ritual cutting section of BME, or as suggested, making it only accessible by members. While we can argue and say that if people find these images triggering they should avoid it, we know that not everyone will.

    Rini on April 30th, 2008 at 2:06 am
  14. I don’t see why a compromise isn’t possible here. Leave the galleries as is. They document a form of modification, whether that modification is SI or ritual is neither here nor there. As far as “triggers” go, why not leave the relatively “light” ones (where there is perhaps less blood or a difference in context (more ritual than SI maybe?) or whatever) and place those photos that are “harder” (again, more blood and gore, maybe more SI than ritual?) behind a click through. If it is considered acceptable for the “Guess what/where?” click-through series and the sexual content on ModBlog to be placed behind a click through, why not simply the more gory images. I used to have SI issues and have had situations occur where I felt like something was a trigger. I don’t feel this way anymore but I can certainly understand both sides. Is there a reason something like this couldn’t be implemented? I don’t think that whole sections or galleries require regulations or warnings, unless warnings would be placed at the top of all galleries (which might be a good idea, especially if the warning linked to the BME encyclopedia or to an outline of risks or something). I don’t think that all the cutting pictures need to be behind click-through either. Just the ones that are “heavier/darker” (more blood etc.).

    Stephanie on April 30th, 2008 at 2:47 am
  15. The golden rule I’ve heard for censorship is that pretty much everything is game unless it’s clearly slander, and UNLESS YOU’RE HURTING YOURSELF OR OTHERS. Some of the things on here are clearly self harm, and could be potential triggers.

    Milana on April 30th, 2008 at 3:08 am
  16. I have no issues with the galleries, honestly. Leave them as they are if that’s what you wish. I just don’t think that self-injury (which is a symptom of mental illness or trauma, not a mental illness on it’s own, by the way) is a body modification. I cut for years and I didn’t do it to modify my body.

    It’s like reasoning with a brick wall anyway.

    Dimruthien on April 30th, 2008 at 5:30 am
  17. I must say that I’m surprised with the discussion that’s happening. It’s great to get people thinking, I guess. I have a lot of respect for everyone who has left a comment, for Lori… and even for Shannon.

    However, I turns me off that the moderator/owner (?) posts a blog that doesn’t even quote my post, or put it into context it was paraphrased in an almost negative way.

    “First of all, as I’ve said before, if someone is mentally ill to the point where they can not control their own actions, they should be seeking help, not reading BME.” - This sounds a little ridiculous to me. Yes, a disclaimer or click-through (which I actually had to google because I didn’t know what everyone was talking about!) isn’t going to make a difference, but the whole hands up ‘hey man don’t look at me’ thing seems pretty ignorant to me.

    I guess what a lot of people don’t understand is that people who have a serious problem with cutting will search for images of what they get relief from because it makes them feel warm. It’s like a junkie whose dealer is M.I.A - Cutters will find photos of gaping cuts with exposed yellow flesh dotted with blood anywhere. Google image search it. Would someone feel at home, accepted and validated on page 2 of a google image search? Fuck no!

    I was cutting long before I knew BME was around (as someone also said in response to the moderator’s blog), then when I found the site it got worse. And worse. It made it ok. There wasn’t anyone saying to me “this isn’t cool at all”.

    Also, tattoos .. triggers? Come on now. If there’s anything to laugh and poke fun at, it’s that. That’s an embarassment. QUICK I have to go get a tattoo now. No shops open? Fuck it, i’ll just get some pen ink and a safety pin and do my own coy fish. NOT THE SAME THING. People don’t get tattoos for the sake of feeling pain.

    At the end of the day, we’re talking about people not fucking POLITICS. you really can’t remove yourself from the fact that some people who can’t cope and find themselves in the deep end want/need to slice up their skin to make things bearable for a while by saying ‘hey! take responsibilty for your own actions, don’t look at BME’ Fucking hell man, I’m not talking about censorship. When did I ever say that? I knew that BME’s response would be defensive.

    It’s about ’social responsibility’.

    ‘Shannon’, it’s about compassion. Your skin must be ice cold.

    Sarah Dee - The one who posted the question on April 30th, 2008 at 8:34 am
  18. “I feel very much that pretending that what amounts to “peer pressure” is a problem unique to the cutting section of the site is a mistake.”

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding what “triggering” means here (I’m not a self-harmer, at least not in the narrow sense that’s being discussed here), but I didn’t think it was anything to do with peer pressure (Peer Pressure: Pressure from one’s peers to behave in a manner similar or acceptable to them; source: thefreedictionary.com).

    I assumed the issue was that viewing images of SI triggered a desire to SI in current or recovering SIers, in the same way that addicts or recovering addicts of other behaviours or substances often find viewing others indulging in the behaviour/substance, the substance itself, paraphanalia associated with the substance or behaviour, or images of these things triggers a desire to perform the behaviour/use the substance. This is not generally due to a peer pressure-type mechanism - it is not because the individual feels persuaded by others, or wishes to be like others or to fit in. In my addmitedly fairly rusty knowledge of neuropsychology/psychopharmacology it is likely because it activates specific neural pathways which trigger the craving. (As an example, if you are a smoker or ex-smoker, you are likely to find that seeing someone else smoking, smelling smoke, reading about smoking, seeing a packet of cigarettes and so on, can make you want to have a cigarette).

    I am aware that peer pressure can play a huge role in SI behaviour, and in addiction, but this is generally during initiation of the behaviour - although it may assist in maintaining it, there are other factors at work and I belive this is what is being discussed here. I am also aware that SI may or may not be (or be viewed as) an addiction, but in cases such as discussed here, where the viewing of related images triggers a compulsion to SI, I belive it fits into this category.

    Whilst I cannot disagree with Shannon that “if someone is mentally ill to the point where they can not control their own actions, they should be seeking help, not reading BME”, this seems a rather naive ideal. I am also aware that it is very difficult to draw a line between what is SI and what isn’t, especially as some people would regard the majority of BME-related activities as SI, and that BME chooses not to draw a line at all; I also agree that BME is not a nanny (although that has just given me a highly amusing mental image). However, I do not really see what the issue is with putting obviously triggering images on Modblog behind a cut - perhaps it isn’t really BME’s responsibility, perhaps it will by drawing a line open the censorship can of worms - but honestly, it really wouldn’t hurt anyone to do so and it appears that enough people would be in favour of this. There is already the precedent of putting ‘adult’ images behind a cut; is this really so different?

    joker on April 30th, 2008 at 9:25 am
  19. I think it’s very naive to believe that putting cutting images behind a “click me, this image is so exciting it’ll trigger you” warning is going to stop triggering from happen. I’d suggest that it would actually make it MORE likely to happen.

    The images should either be accepted as a part of the site, or banned completely.

    And, as I said, the reality is that when it comes to “triggering”, the SI-esque images are only the politically obvious tip of the iceberg.

    Shannon on April 30th, 2008 at 11:56 am
  20. Shannon, I refuse to believe that you really don’t grok what everyone is saying, and this deliberately-obtuse schtick doesn’t suit you. I sincerely think that you just don’t like what you perceive to be people telling you how to do things, and I also think you have personal issues with modern psychology and the treatment of mental illness based on your own words about your experiences in the past. And yes, I am quite aware that there are people in this world who consider all forms of body modification self-harm, including tattoos and piercings, but you know that’s not what anyone here is talking about. You know as well as I do that the difference is intent. And you can argue that some people get pierced/tattooed/whatever because they like to feel the pain or they find it cleansing, and that’s fine and perfectly valid - it’s still not self-injury in the definitive sense of the word.

    To insult people recovering from SI by claiming that they can control their compulsions if they really want to, and that it’s not your problem if people have issues with SI and want to enjoy the many other aspects of BME besides the “ritual cutting” is just ridiculous, frankly. Nobody is saying OH EM GEE DON’T POST IT, most people here are just asking for the basic courtesy of being given a choice to view it or not on Modblog. And as I and so many others have mentioned in this thread, you already put the hardcore sex/violent stuff behind a cut, anyway - it’s not like it’s that big of a deal or you don’t have the knowledge of how to do so, you just don’t wanna.

    Regarding your allegations that a click-through just makes it more tantalising and therefore possibly worse for people who SI, if you were actually concerned about not making it seem more alluring and tempting to self-injure, you probably wouldn’t actively support people for doing it and provide them with a wonderful place to be accepted and validated for hurting themselves, let alone reward them with coupons for IAM or BME memberships for submitting new pictures of their fresh wounds.

    If I really wanted to set you off on one of your shrieking tirades about censorship, I’d point out that genital piercings have a lot more to do with basic body modification (I can’t speak for other piercers, but I do one hell of a lot more genital piercings than I do, say, surface piercings or microdermals) and should be publicly viewable (at least to a point, like every other gallery of piercings on the site), and that “ritual cuttings” should probably be in BME/Hard. I could also take the piss out of your anti-censorship stance by pointing out how totally caught out you’ve been for censoring any and all Modblog comments that don’t agree with you wholeheartedly. But as much you seem to view everything I say as a personal attack against you, it really isn’t. I just don’t agree with you on this subject.

    Lori St.Leone on April 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm
  21. This isn’t about click-troughs, this is about picking a fight. You can’t say ‘this isn’t a personal attack’; this has personal all over it. Also, getting mad that modblog has Shannon’s personal touch (or editorial slant, whichever term suits you’re perception) and saying ‘he has enough blogs already and should post his personal shit there’? This isn’t you personal blog either, you know. Remember how awesome it was when bme wasn’t run by Shannon? Yeah ha ha ha. But seriously, putting cutting pictures behind a link doesn’t change why you don’t like them. It’s clear you don’t like them because you see them as an offensive reminder, not a trigger, to those who used to cut. It’s also clear you don’t like being taunted by modblog titles, and you’re also still butt-hurt about the “whiny conservative piercer” comments too. Oh one more thing… after reading the initial question and response a few times, I think they were written by the same person. Yes I am accusing you, Lori St.Leone, of making up a question for you to answer that would start trouble. Maybe I’m right, and maybe not.

    James on April 30th, 2008 at 3:23 pm
  22. *laughs*

    OK, Jim, well spotted, you totally caught me out. I make up all the questions on AskBME, actually, in my copious free time. And it’s all to serve my vicious plan to take over the world, one post at a time. Uh huh.

    This post isn’t about me, and it certainly isn’t about “picking a fight” (and it is fairly pathetic that not only do you choose to interpret someone disagreeing with Shannon as “picking a fight” with him, but that you don’t even have faith that he can fight his own battles and you pack up your knife to come to the gunfight yourself as his champion). For the record, I’ve never been the one asking Shannon to modify how he posts cutting pictures in the first place - I just agree with those people and the first time I’ve said word one about it was when I posted my reply to this question.

    I have never self-harmed in my life, hence my unfamiliarity with the terminology and disclaimer as such at the start of my response to Sarah Dee (although golly gosh, I’ve learned a lot about it in the past 24 hours, and I do have a good friend who is recovering from SI who has explained a lot to me about it). And if anything’s clear, it’s that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, and are completely incapable of reading and interpreting intelligent discourse without imposing your own preconceived ideas on the outcome. Oh, and that I don’t cherry-pick and post only the comments that suit my ego, either.

    ETA: I don’t even edit the queries for spelling or grammar when I reply to them - and I’d also like to note that as one of those annoying heebs who peppers her colloquial speech with Yiddish, I assure you I know and use the correct spelling of the word “schpiel” (as the OP did not). So don’t be a putz! ;)

    Lori St.Leone on April 30th, 2008 at 3:42 pm
  23. Jim, I don’t think Lori was attacking anyone.
    This is a serious issue about people who can’t control their SI, that need help, and yet look at these sites to get promotion that their SI isn’t harmful to themselves.

    Thank you for providing links in which people can go to have support and help. This was an eye opener as I have seen the cutting before, skipped over it, and thought nothing more than the fact that the people in the pictures were just trying to receive attention I wasn’t going to give them. I would like to believe that once receiving these pictures, the person would not post these pictures, reply to the person who sent the pictures explaining they have a serious problem and need to seek help. I do not feel that SI is something to brag about or show on BME.

    Miaoudeminou on April 30th, 2008 at 9:22 pm
  24. That’s because it’s not. It’s a serious problem, and people who SI are often in serious amounts of emotional pain they cannot release. SI is a -temporary- relief. It does not solve problems. It will start to be ineffective, so people then take it to the next level to regain the level of relief. This is a deviancy cycle, and will repeat itself as many times as it can before the person either kills themselves, or recovers from the underlying issue.

    It’s not something that should be encouraged or promoted. I mean, of course, promotion in the sense of “Hey kids, aren’t these photos of someone cutting themselves up like a goddamn Virigina Ham sooo pretty?” (Ignore the Girl, Interrupted reference. It’s just such a great analogy!) If promotion is going to be done, it should be about the seriousness of SI, and what can be done to promote healing and recovery.

    Most SIers I know (and I know a lot) cannot stand pro-SI stances, and really loathe promotion and glamorization of a problem that has effectively ruined their lives. Yes, it can and does ruin lives. I, and several others I know, have lost jobs due to our scars, or failed to get a job. We’re sneered at on the street much more so than people with body modifications.

    Education, awareness and support is needed. Promotion of dangerous behaviour is not.

    Dimruthien on April 30th, 2008 at 11:09 pm
  25. Conversely, “most SIers I know (and I know a lot)”, actively do take a pro-SI stance.

    Don’t assume that your stance is the only correct one or the only one that others share, and therefore has to be enforced for everyone. Just like the BME tattoo galleries are a place for people who take a pro-tattoo stance, the BME cutting galleries are a place for people who take a pro-cutting stance.

    Shannon on May 1st, 2008 at 11:58 am
  26. Well done Lori. <3 I wholehearted agree with you. Why cant the SI images have click thingies, is it really that hard to do or that much to ask?

    vixstar on May 1st, 2008 at 3:04 pm
  27. Hey Shannon, If I send you pictured of my sister’s suicide can I score some sweet BME Hard coupons? It is definitly body modification after all… And dont worry about putting it on a click through, I’m sure there aren’t any unstable people viewing modblog - and if there are? ehh, fuck em. It’s their fault for being here in the first place even if they are, as you put it, “unable to take responsibility for your own actions”.


    Quality on May 1st, 2008 at 3:43 pm
  28. #27… that’s not really constructive.

    Shawn Porter on May 1st, 2008 at 7:41 pm
  29. 27- <3

    And I’m sorry for your loss.

    Miaoudeminou on May 1st, 2008 at 9:46 pm
  30. #25 - Doesn’t mean your stance is right either, Shannon, as much as you censor Modblog comments so that it appears you are 100% right all the time. What was that about your anti-censorship stance? Oh right, it doesn’t apply to you.

    #27 - Fucking amen. I’m sorry for your loss, but an excellent point.

    Dimruthien on May 1st, 2008 at 10:03 pm
  31. Shannon will never be swayed by concerned viewers. He will never change his ways. If we truly dislike the way he is conducting business and presenting the modified community, we need to abandon this ship, we need to stop supporting the site.

    If it’s not that important, I don’t know what we should do… Any suggestions?

    Qwas on May 6th, 2008 at 8:10 am
  32. lori-
    i respect you for speaking your views, and putting them forward in a constructed and helpful way, to allow lots of people to voice their opinions aswell, without compromising their comments =]

    i thought i’d better add my 2p worth

    1-si is indeed the result of mental illness, or past trauma, as i well know (i am still recovering, after 12 years cutting and 3 years since i last cut.), and is therefore…

    2- NOT an easy problem to recover from, and often it will never leave people, as i fear it will not for me.

    3-showing these images on MODBLOG(no not on the site, the problem is with modblog) without warning was disturbing as hell for me. it brought back a lot of pain, and anger, but also triggered me, but lucky enough i have a big enough support base around me, and all sharp knives etc are still locked away.

    4-it is not the fact that the images are there, but for there to be no actual warning for what is shown is sickening, that you would allow and want people recovering from si but interested in (positive)body modification to be shown these images without warning, and to possibly regress from their treatment completely, now i find that incredibly cold on your part. at least with a click through we have a choice.

    5- i am not saying that si’s would not just click on the link anyway, as i know they would, but to be given the choice, as a recovering si, i would find it a lot less inhumane than to allow something that could very easily cause serious injury or even death

    6-i find the way you poked fun at the pictures disturbing…. would you point and laugh at someone in a wheelchair or recovering from drug addiction? i hope not.

    to add my humble opinion, i find the fact that you allow your obviously big-headed bias towards being the “best” and most “hardcore” despicable and extremely childish. if i had known when i had started cutting where it would take me i would never have done it, and i wish i had never seen a lot of the images i searched for on bme, however i still do not feel these are a problem, as i find them an art form, and i was actively looking for them, not just stumbling across them.
    i also know that although these pictures will not necessarily start someone cutting, it goes a long way in endorsing it, and glorifies it something cronic to those trying to realise it is not the way to go anymore.

    also, i find it embarrassing when my 3y.o daughter asks what i did to get my si scars, and “when cut yourself” will always be a question that from her i cannot answer, however i do not discourage her from looking at my scarification(entirely different thought process), or others’, or for that matter sitting in my friends tattop/piercing shop for as long as she wants, i would however have a problem with her sitting near someone obviously as immature, insensitive, and small-minded as yourself.

    and dont have a go at me for being personal-it is to a lot of people.

    tilly on May 14th, 2008 at 5:05 pm
  33. If it’s any consolation to anyone sympathetic to the requests of those in favour of putting questionable posts on Modblog behind a click-through, from what I understand, that WILL be happening from here on in. Shannon is no longer running Modblog (or BME).

    Lori St.Leone on May 14th, 2008 at 6:58 pm
  34. Hooray! :)

    Dimruthien on May 15th, 2008 at 4:54 am
  35. Not to resurrect an old posting for nothing, but;
    People who suffer from, and see SI as an illness, really shouldn’t have anything to do with permanent bodymod (I’d rather not get into explaining analogous substitution behaviors and co-morbidity, but if you’re interested please do look it up or contact a licensed therapist). It appears that in a substantial way cutting (and most scarification) is seen with much of the same stigma tattooing once saw. No one seems to question that for some people it is a valid and important form of bodymod but the issue is complicated by the fact that it can take the form of a mental illness and has a very high rate of “buyers remorse” so to speak.

    ModBlog has used click-throughs to keep nudity off the main page but wasn’t this done more to keep people from inadvertently displaying nudity on a public or work computer, as apposed to shield any segment of the community from the content? For me it’s not an issue of moral obligation so much as it is of BME being a place that is free from stigmas and judgment. That a part of the community must have its pursuit allied with mental illness is bad enough, but to open claim it is something which should be obscured or hidden by click-thourghs treats it as something negative or pornographic, and only makes it seem as though BME is treating it with the same sort of stigma as the non-mod community.

    I for one would rather see cutting relegated to BME/Hard if that’s where it must be to be treated with the same level of respect and consideration as other uncensored (I do not consider it censorship per se but only use the word for want of a better one) materials.

    If anyone has actually read this comment (posted more than a month after the fact) thank you for your time; I would have said something sooner but I’ve be away.

    honestcancer on June 11th, 2008 at 12:47 pm
  36. honestcancer, there’s a HUGE (and obvious to everyone except, it would seem, you and Shannon) difference between scarification (or even ritual cutting) and self-injury cutting. And giving people the CHOICE to view it or not by putting it behind a click-through does NOT equate to censorship, FFS.

    Lori St.Leone on June 14th, 2008 at 9:31 pm
  37. Not to make more issue of this than is necessary but hey thats what the internet is for…

    The only salient difference is motivation. The photos in question do not express that motivation, one would be hard pressed to differentiate an image of an instance of SI from an image of ritual cutting (never mind that the majority of SI never takes the form of cutting at all). I simply resent (perhaps needlessly) that, practices that are essentially no different than much of the rest of what is featured should be treated any different.

    Once an effort is made (for noble reasons I’ll admit) to shield a group from what would be, for them, negative stimulus, precedent is set. Without blowing things out of proportion; let me just ask; where will the line be drawn? How soon is it till photos of tattoos or tattoo procedure are hidden because some segment of the community has an addiction to tattooing?

    If you could tolerate me enough to read this far Lori let me just say, thank you. I do understand the reasons behind this, and I do accept that perhaps it is the best solution. Only after all this, I do feel as though my segment of the community is being a bit slighted, though I know it was not anyones intent. I can’t help but feel angry that anyone might look at pictures of what I (and a great many others) do and be driven to SI, or think that is what we are engaged in. It only seems that with all the consideration being paid to SI’ers a little might have been paid to those of us for whom similar behavior is a legitimate and positive thing.

    honestcancer on June 15th, 2008 at 12:24 pm
  38. “I do understand the reasons behind this, and I do accept that perhaps it is the best solution.”

    Excellent, then drop it. Nobody is being slighted in the least; you are choosing to take offense and reading desperately into something that isn’t even about you.

    And incidentally? Motivation is almost ridiculously easy to interpret from the pictures.

    Lori St.Leone on June 15th, 2008 at 7:30 pm
  39. If it is easy to tell the mental state of a person simply from images of them then please (use your magic powers for good and become some sort of super-hero therapist (sorry couldn’t resist)) consider simply excluding images of exhibitionist SI sufferers. If this is really all for their benefit then why not do what would be called for rather than just provide narcissistic supply?

    At issue here is not SI, or mine, or your personal feelings, it is a matter of what BME has become. It was once an edge community where far flung enthusiasts met, that era gradually ended and has closed now fully. By treating users with kid-gloves in this respect the site, and it’s community, is being forced into taking a large step backwards. I suppose I would have liked to see more discussion on the subject by those of you in positions of power.

    As you suggest I will drop it here, but in closing let me just say once again thank you for bothering to rail against this old fool. It seems Usenet shall once again reign supreme.

    honestcancer on June 15th, 2008 at 9:06 pm
  40. *yawns*

    Lori St.Leone on June 15th, 2008 at 10:03 pm
  41. I have noticed that there is a lot of descrimination against people who have cut themselves. I think that there are many components to what is known as SI, and being ill is only one of them.
    When I started cutting myself it was to borrow strength for dealing with an impossible situation. I went from being smooth skinned, to being the bearer of of a half sleeve of big scars in about half an hour. It was an innocent act. It transformed me.
    Now, half a lifetime later, I am professionally branded to mark the end of that particular journey. But it was all one journey.
    I don’t think that tattoos are quite the same as scarification and branding, because they have an esthetic that is more than scar tissue. All scarification has no dressing to hide the pain of what created it.So I am not, not necesarily anyway, including tattoos in the meaning of my comment.
    For scarification and branding through, there is very little diffeence between that and SI. When I would cut, I would always be wondering, can I bear this? Am I big enough to survive? The cutting was a way to show that I was.
    As with professioally done mods. I think that because there is a lot of negative attitudes towards cutters, the body mod community wants to distance themselves from it, and more closely associate itself with the tattooing world, which, I feel, it actually has less in common with.Si is often an act of desperation, and scarification usually isn’t (I think) but each are still bloody, painful, possibly artistic, and a rite of passage.
    I’m tired of the negative attitude people have toward my scars. I can cope with it though, until the scar community starts directing the same snobberey at me. Like I said, my self done cuts-my scars/my professionally done brands–my scars. All about strength and weakness, fear and triumph. Different measures of each, but the same damn journey.

    angie on October 9th, 2008 at 6:47 pm
  42. For scarification and branding through, there is very little diffeence between that and SI.

    I disagree. There is a huge difference between scarification/branding and self-harm. Why? Self-harm is done to yourself, whereas professional scarification is performed by a practitioner ON you. Besides, they’re completely different things in my book.

    Dimruthien on October 22nd, 2008 at 1:41 am
  43. “First of all, as I’ve said before, if someone is mentally ill to the point where they can not control their own actions, they should be seeking help, not reading BME.”

    This is the typical mindset of BME types…too mentally sick to see the statement is a contradiction in terms. If you are to the point where you cannot control your own actions, how the hell you going be seeking help?

    Anonymous on July 5th, 2010 at 8:17 pm
  44. This isn’t really addressing the purpose of your post, but my eye was caught by the mention of not wanting to ever take off your hoodie.

    I don’t know how deep your scars are, but can you tattoo over them? That’s what I did, and now I am SI free, and have the freedom to wear short sleeves.

    lindseh on May 4th, 2011 at 5:42 pm
  45. Terrific post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

    Roberto on April 12th, 2013 at 12:59 am

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