First cut is the deepest...or is it?
First cut is the deepest...or is it?
In the summer of 1995 I got my first piercing, a nostril ring, which made me feel kind of special. Half a year later I got my first tattoo, which was a huge rush. Since then I've been pierced several times, although a lot of them have been abandoned for various reasons, and I've also spent numerous hours under the tattooing-gun. Today I've got a bunch of piercings amongst them a 6mm septum and 20mm stretched lobes, as well as lots of ink. Every modification of my corporeal form have given me some sort of rush, some more than others, slowly but steadily bringing me towards my desired appearance. But still I felt I wanted something more, a new experience, something special-a new kind of high. Enter scarification.
A lot of people around me don't understand my will to alter my form by ink and needle, so me expressing a will to be scarred was received with mixed emotions from both friends and family. But nevertheless I stood my ground, researched the various scarification-techniques, drew up my desired design, chose where it should go and started searching for someone that would put the scar on me.
The design I chose was rather simple, as a scarification needs to be, and I wanted it made like a band around my right middlefinger. The method that appealed the most to me was cutting, and I thought it would be a good idea to rub the cut with something to make it scar even better. A helpful individual on the internet gave me the tip to use red wine vinegar, which should produce a pinkish scar with a kind of white center. This sounded good to me, so vinegar it would be. All I needed now was an experienced cutter and I would be ready for cutting.
Malmouml, the city I live in, although being the third largest in Sweden, is not that big and as you might understand there aren't that many scarification-artist around. But there is a piercing-studio which I knew offered both cutting and branding, Barbarella Bodypiercing, so this is where I decided to go to consult with their cutter(s).
I met up with Joakim of Barbarella Bodypiercing at a local tattoo-convention and discussed the cutting. Unfortunately we came to the conclusion that the design probably wouldn't last very long. It would disappear with time. So we discussed some alternative designs and decided that I'd contact him later on when I'd chosen a new design that followed the guidelines we'd discussed. During this conversation I also decided that I wanted to try branding as well, but that's another story entirely.
I went home and did some heavy thinking and came up with a new design. Very simple cuttings on my middle- and ringfingers in the shape of triangles, possibly complimented by a single line cut along both the index- and pinkyfinger. From what I gathered this would probably work and I decided to go for it. I also decided that, considering how personal a thing this was for me and the simplicity of the design, I'd do the cutting myself - my own little bloodritual.
For this I needed some supplies. First of all I needed a scalpel and this I got from a friend who's a biology teacher. He simply knicked one of the scalpels they use at his school for dissecting frogs, along with lots of spare blades. The other supplies were even easier to get; swabs for the bleeding I got at a local pharmacy, red wine vinegar I bought at the supermarket and I also purchased some nice incense for burning before, during and after my cutting to sooth me. Now I was all set and all I had to do was wait until I was in the right mood.
Then it arrived, the 26th of December, from now on cuttings-eve to me. At the strike of midnight I started with the ritual. After lighting the incense and clearing my head of all other thoughts I took out the scalpel. I was really psyched and when I saw the glistening blade I felt the adrenaline start to flow. It was really going to happen tonight! I had already drawn the design onto my fingers with a pen, so I grabbed the scalpel, took a deep breath and let the blade sink into my skin. There was almost no pain at all. I wanted this so much my brain had totally blocked any signals that might cause me to stop. So I followed the lines I had drawn, cutting finger after finger until the design was complete. There was much more bleeding than I had expected, but not really that much. Now the cutting was done and I unscrewed the cork on the vinegar-bottle and poured the sour liquid onto my bleeding fingers. Wow! That really stung like nothing I'd ever felt before. I rubbed the vinegar into the cuts twice and then took some salt and rubbed that in there as well. It stung like crazy and I could hardly sit still. Then I just sat there, breathed slowly and, while mumbling to myself "I did it, I did it", just stared at my handywork until the worst stinging had gone away and I'd stopped bleeding. I then went into the bathroom and washed the blood off my hands, all the while feeling very proud of myself. When the adrenaline rush had finally gone away I watched some TV and then went to bed.
In the days that followed I picked at the scabs at every given moment and applied vinegar into the cuts as well. I also rubbed the cuts, after removing the scabs, with a toothbrush to irritate the skin even further. After a week or so I'm now finding that the scars will probably not be as visible as I'd hoped. I suppose I didn't cut deep enough and I'll probably have to re-cut it in the future. I'm not particularly saddened though, because this time around the actual experience was more important than the design itself, and the experience I am very satisfied with.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 March 1999