Silicone beads

Sunday January 24th, 2010 @ 1:32 PM

Filed under: Uncategorized

Hi there, I am wanting to get some small silicone beads implanted into my chest, and cant find anywhere that sells them in the uk. Does anyone know where I could find these? Thanks

The practitioner who’s putting them in you should have an idea where to get them…. I know of a few people in the UK who do silicone implants, so going to a professional will get you what you’re looking for.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 7 Comments

Used tattoo gear

Sunday January 24th, 2010 @ 1:30 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

I have a friend who just bought new tattoo gear and said he would sell me his old stuff for pretty cheap. Is it safe to buy a used tattoo machine?

Is it safe in the hands of someone who isn’t a tattoo artist? Probably not.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 2 Comments

From PA to Dolphin

Thursday January 21st, 2010 @ 2:03 PM

Filed under: Male Genital

I have a 2 gauge PA that I would like to turn into a dolphin. I would like the dolphin to be at 2 gauge as well. Is it acceptable to pierce this at 2 gauge? Would/could I pierce at 4 gauge and immediately taper to 2 gauge? What would be the proper way to go about this? Thank you.

Your current PA is more than likely angled towards the head, whereas a pa used for a dolphin would need to be angled towards the body. In my experience the best means of dealing with this would be to pierce the new piercing at a 4 and downsize the existing PA to a 4 as well. Doing so will provide a little wiggle room for the old PA to adjust to the new angle. Stretching both to a 2 should be fairly easy after it’s healed up.

To answer your specific question, yes you could pierce at 4 and stretch immediately to 2, but that doesn’t address the angle issue with the standard PA you already had.

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Posted by Sean Philips | Permalink | 1 Comment

Pin-Up GIrl

Tuesday January 19th, 2010 @ 8:37 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

My question requires more of an opinion based answer, then a factual answer. But I would prefer the opinion from someone who deals with body art on a regular basis, so this is the place I have come.

I want to get a pin-up model tattooed on my upper outer thigh, from just below my hip to just above my knee. Generally, you would see pin ups tattooed here who would appear to be ’standing’ as the person stands. however, the tattoo I want (which is based on a picture of my mother, therefore altering it is not really an option), she is laying down, so her feet would be nearest to my knee, and she would appear to be ‘laying down’ when I am laying down.

does this seem like an awkward placement??

Awkward, maybe.
I’ve seen it done quite successfully a handful of times (well, not with your mother’s portrait. that would be an amazing coincidence) so I know it’s possible to look great.

I have a friend who’s thighs are tattooed so that the images are right side up when she looks at them with her knees drawn up; standing they’re upside down. They look awkward, but she loves them, and that’s all that matters.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Comments


Wednesday January 13th, 2010 @ 2:57 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

Is there any specific way to find an apprenticeship? I have a portfolio and there a lot of shops in my area but I’m not sure what the best way to approach someone looking for a job and I don’t want to get scammed. I have found one before through a mutual friend but I cleaned the shop for months, learned nothing and had to leave when the guy starting hitting on me. He had only asked me to work at his shop because he likes young girls. I’m tired of hearing that the tattoo community is secretive and people are unwilling to share their knowledge etc. etc. No one I know who actually tattoos’ acts secretive and if no one was getting any apprenticeships then where are all these artists coming from? There’s a tattoo shop on every other street corner, these artists have to be coming from somewhere.

In the future, learning to tattoo will probably end up like learning to cut hair; you’ll pay for classes and end up getting your tattoo license and with luck be placed in one of the “tattoo shops on every corner”.

Until that point… these are the basic questions that need to be answered;

1. Why you?
You need to understand the amount of people who, on a weekly basis, walk into all of those tattoo shops and ask for an apprenticeship. Most of them have portfolios. Most of them have drive and determination. What sets you apart from them? What do YOU have to offer that everyone else who comes in doesn’t? What do they/don’t they see in you?
You’re asking them to train you to DO THEIR JOB. The likely hood that you’re going to be at their shop forever is silly, so other than a fee for apprenticing, what are they getting for training you to compete with them on a long enough timeline?

These are open ended questions; I can’t hope to answer them but it certainly goes to why it’s so difficult to obtain an apprenticeship.

2. Do you have a relationship with an artist at the shop?
Not a “relationship”, but… have you been tattooed there? Have you referred people to artists in the shop? Have you brought money into that shop or are you just picking them out of the phonebook?
You mention that the artists you know aren’t secretive, so try asking them to recommend you to the shop they work at as an apprentice.

3. “I’m tired of hearing that the tattoo community is secretive and people are unwilling to share their knowledge etc. etc.”
And tattoo artists are tired of people thinking that they are entitled to apprentice. You’re working against a system that’s been in place since the late 1800s; rules of protocol have been set up and stuck to. And while they’re slowly changing… you’re not likely to get too far with people who believe in that system by telling them what YOU think if it. I know artists who’ll make you learn how to use jigs to painstakingly make your own needle setups. You’ll do it over and over again until you get it right and as a reward for FINALLY getting it perfect, they’ll give you a box of presoldered needlebars and a slap on the back.

The best way to get an apprenticeship is to realize that NOTHING worth having is just handed to you. I have a friend that was a “counter bitch” (he even had a shirt that said that. In bright pink letters) for years before finally getting that apprenticeship. He worked his ass off to get a career that will be his for the rest of his life. He wasn’t tired of being told how secretive the tattoo world was; he was motivated enough to earn what he was given.

Build up a relationship with an artist. Bring them clients. Bring them your drawings. IMPRESS them. Put into tattooing as much as you hope to get out of it.

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Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | 6 Comments

Question about ear pointing mod

Friday January 8th, 2010 @ 5:51 PM

Filed under: Uncategorized

I have always wanted to modify my ears so that they are somewhat more pointed - like the elves have in the LOTR movies.

Arwen is the top picture, my ear is below that. I’ve tried to show what I’d want in there: when I press *very* slightly with my fingers (like when holding a ping pong ball) it’s enough to shape them like that.

But I don’t know how to make this permanent. Looking for information I found many pictures of ear modifications - pointings - that look like the bottom picture. They all have this cropped look and a “thick” triangular point. I definitely don’t want them to look like that; and besides, I’m not sure if cutting is necessary to obtain that subtle effect that I want.

So I emailed body mod studios and some artists, but to no avail.

I’ve mailed with Lukas Zpira today because a studio in Amsterdam (where I live) referred me to him asking him all these things: how the procedure worked, what I could expect; If there were any other ways of altering the shape of the ears apart from cutting .. like stretching or using little implants or what have you.

His response was that he could do what I asked but didn’t give details or any pictures of the result of his proposed procedure.

It really puzzles me that it is so hard to find answers. It even makes me feel that my asking all these things is somehow “not done”: no-one seems to do it. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any body mods at all - not even a tattoo? That people who are used to these things are a lot easier?

I would really appreciate any help. I have read from others that Lukas Zpira is considered a good artist - but I feel that I need to know a bit more before letting anyone do something so definitive to the only pair of ears I’ve got.

It’d be great if anyone could answer these questions -

- is it possible at all to create the sort of shape that I have in mind - permanently?

- since I need so little pressure to shape my ears into that shape: can’t it be done much easier than with cutting and stitching?


With the folding method in which ear pointing is most commonly done by most artists, it can be difficult to achieve a more subtle point. The more drastically pointed ears tend to be more commonly seen in this case. There are other ear pointing methods which can achieve a more subtle point, but are not commonly seen. I think that this will change in the future.

Here is some preliminary info on caring for newly pointed ears. This will help them to hold their new shape:

Ear pointing requires much care and caution through healing, as neglect can invite the ear to not hold it’s new shape. If you are very careful and follow aftercare instructions thoroughly, it will be much easier for your ear to hold it’s new shape and heal into place permanently. Aftercare includes keeping your sutures in for 10 days, not putting pressure on your ears for a minimum of 3-6 weeks, as well as re-enforcing the points with closure tape for extra support during that time. Secondary to this, the next biggest risk (as with any body art) is infection. You must keep the freshly sutured wounds very clean and dry throughout your initial healing period. Antibiotics can also be a proactive measure that can be taken to avoid the chance of infection. You would need to see your doctor for a prescription in this case.

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Posted by Russ Foxx | Permalink | 4 Comments

Apadravya Risks?

Wednesday January 6th, 2010 @ 4:25 PM

Filed under: Male Genital


Is there a danger of becoming impotent or somehow not getting your penis as hard as usual during an erection because of a apadravya piercing? My doctor who is a professional urologist said that there is a theoretical danger for both of these conditions.. I’m really interested in getting the piercing and this is my only concern to not getting it. The piercer who I’d get it from is one of the best piercers in Finland (Jussi from Circus Mundus Absurdus) but he has done less than ten apadravyas. Is there a way to measure/feel where the corpus conversum is located? Thanks for your reply and merry christmas!

There is a theoretical danger that I could be killed by the Ebola virus in the next 20 minutes. Fortunately, theoretical is about as far as that danger goes. Now, first things first…I’m not a doctor. So, if you decide to take my information over his, do so at your own risk.

However, a quick glance at an anatomy book and you will see that, while the corpus cavernosum do extend somewhat into the glans of the penis, they do so on either side of the urethra. Since an apadravya piercing passes though the urethra, it would be pretty difficult to puncture the cavernosum. Now, while puncturing the cavernosum COULD lead to reduced erection rigidity, even that isn’t terribly likely, as I understand it.

As always, your mileage may vary, and pierce your wiener at your own risk.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

Allergic Reaction?

Wednesday January 6th, 2010 @ 4:19 PM

Filed under: Ear


I’ve had my helix piercings happily stretched to 0g for over a year. Last night I changed from acrylic plugs to single-flare stainless steel tunnels with black rubber O-rings on the back. This morning the left ear was fine but the whole posterior part of my right ear was very, VERY itchy and the area directly around the piercing was red, hard, slightly swollen, and the O ring left a sore indent in my skin. I removed the right tunnel, cleaned the piercing, and put my old plug back in which made it stop itching very quickly.

I would assume this is some sort of reaction to the new jewelry, but wouldn’t I have the same problem on the other ear as well? I bought both tunnels together so they should be the same material. Should I attempt the switch again in a week or so? Is it possible for only a portion of the body to have a sensitivity to rubber?

Thank you!

It would be pretty unlikely to have just one of your ears freak out due to a reaction to the o-ring, but anything is possible. It’s also possible that one o-ring was a slightly better grade than the other, thereby making the problem not as a apparent on the other side. I would assume that your acrylic plugs use o-rings to keep them in place. If so, perhaps you could try wearing the steel eyelets with those o-rings. Or, even better, try switching to clear (silicone) o-rings and see if that helps.

If switching o-rings doesn’t help, then you may be having a problem with the tunnel itself. It could be a sensitivity to the material, although again, a reaction on one side, but not the other, isn’t likely. There is also the chance that the eyelet on one side has a polishing or manufacturing defect which is causing the problem.

Unfortunately, you may have to try a couple of different things in order to effectively troubleshoot the problem.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 7 Comments

Area-Specific Tenderness

Wednesday January 6th, 2010 @ 4:14 PM

Filed under: Male Genital


I was wondering what might cause part (not all) of piercing to be sore/tender.

I had my PA done early September at 14ga, and as of early December I am at a far more comfortable 6ga. I currently have a 6ga 1″ curved barbell which is kind of too long (should be 1/2″, I think), but still okay. The piercing is to the best of my know

My problem occurs most often after I have just woken up (not related to morning wood). The piercing does not hurt on its own, but if I lean on it, or touch it, one side of side of it is tender. The other side is fine and dandy. I don’t what’s going on. My jewelery fits snugly when dry and moves very easily when wet, so I’m not sure if it’s a gauge problem.

In order to try and remedy this, I slept one night without the barbell, and in the morning I popped in my 8ga ring. Still sort of tender. I re-gauged the piercing to a 6ga later in the day. Now I’m a little more sore than before.

Any ideas as to what might cause the tenderness?

I’d really rather not go back to the 8ga ring, higher gauges = way more comfortable.

If you are wearing a 1″ barbell, and you actually need a 1/2″ barbell, there is a good chance that the extra length on the jewelry could be causing the problem. Even if you need something that is longer than a 1/2″, jewelry that doesn’t fit a piercing properly can definitely cause irritation/soreness/pain. It could be that your jewelry is getting twisted/pulled while you sleep, causing the soreness. While there is actually more jewelry to get twisted than a curved barbell, the ring may work with your body differently than the curve, thereby reducing how much soreness you have.

A trip to a local piercer might be in order so they can help fit you with an appropriately-sized piece of jewelry. You shouldn’t need to switch back to a smaller gauge.

Good luck!

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

Bridge Piercing Rejecting?

Wednesday January 6th, 2010 @ 4:09 PM

Filed under: Surface/Unusual


About 2.5 years ago, I had the bridge of my nose pierced. Healing went well and the bruising and soreness healed quickly. However, after about a year of having it, I got a new job which didn’t allow facial piercings, so I switched the barbell to a PTFE barbell and simple wore no balls on the ends. I tried not to change it very often, and kept the PTFE barbell in most of the time. However I love my piercing and wanted to show it off when I got a chance, so I did change it occasionally, which would make it sore. Anyways, I eventually quit that job and again my piercing went back to being fine. Finally, to my question: my piercing still gets crusties, after having it for almost 3 years, and I experience discomfort when I touch it sometimes. I am deathly afraid that the piercing is rejecting, and want to catch it and remove it before I end up with hideous scars. Is it rejecting or simply migrating? It has already migrated slightly from the original placement, but nothing too drastic as I write this.


Blake (US)

Like so many questions we get here at AskBME, this is a hard one to answer with certainty without being able to see your piercing. My suggestion would be to go see a piercer in your area who you trust. They should be able to let you know if your piercing seems to be rejecting or migrating.

While many people find that their bridge piercing heals quickly and doesn’t act up, it’s also not uncommon to have the experience you are having. So, the soreness and crusties could be a sign of rejection, but they could also just be a sign of your particular bridge piercing being being finicky.

Let a professional check it out and give you an opinion based upon what they can actually see.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

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