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Smileys were just the beginning...

My first body mods (other than the traditional boring ear piercing) came about due to peer pressure. All the sixth and seventh grade girls were carving their boyfriend's or crushes names onto their ankles. My first cutting was very shallow, done with a razor blade. Then smiley faces became popular in my circle of friends. We would take a lighter, light it for about a minute, and then press the top of the lighter onto our skin to give ourselves a smiley-face shaped scar. These mods were as extreme as most of my peers would take it. Cutting was seen as a mental problem and real branding was unheard of.

My cutting began out of depression. I had no endorphin rush or anything...each cut hurt like hell and I did not enjoy it at all as I did it. It was only afterwards, as it throbbed later that night, that I felt the happiest. I liked the scars; I fancied that they made me look tough, a hard-ass.

After discovering the BME website, my cutting stopped. I wanted to feel like the people on the site. I wanted to connect with myself through body mods; I wanted to feel the pleasure in the process. I wanted to find the spiritual side of scarification. I knew that I could do none of these things if I kept cutting out of depression and grief. A month ago, I made my first real cut. I felt an inkling of what everyone claims to feel. It was an enjoyable experience but I wanted more.

When I used to burn myself with the lighter, it was shallow burns. I would hold it against my skin for about two minutes to make sure I made use of all the heat. The time took forever, it was a sharp sting and soon the surrounding area would ache. I liked the burning experience more than cutting. After reading other stories about brands and seeing pictures, I decided that a brand might be the best thing for me to do.

I wanted an X. And it had to be somewhere where my parents could not see it. I didn't really want it to be noticeable to my boyfriend or my best friend, both who freaked when they saw my cut on my ankle. They didn't understand why I wanted to hurt myself. My boyfriend was convinced that I was drunk when I did it, he doesn't believe that I could stand the pain to do that to myself. (He also thinks its near impossible to do a number of things mentioned on this site like meatonomy, genital piercing etc. while sober...not very open-minded at all).

The day before I performed the mod, I went to a concert with him and a group of my friends. He was playing with my lighter while we were sitting on the lawn drinking. I jokingly told him to give himself a smiley face. To my surprise, he asked me how he should do it. I flicked the lighter and when it was hot enough I handed it to him and told him to press it against his skin. He did and pulled away but after a few more times, he did it. He asked if he could burn me and I said yes and he said that it turned him on...so maybe there's hope for him yet ;)

Anyways, the next day, I noticed that only the smile had come out decent. My smiley was lacking the eyes! I looked at it a little more and realized that I could incorporate it into an X with a few strikes.

I took a paper clip and twisted the ends off so it made a sharp v shape. I thought I would make the X out of two V's. That way it would be a little bit different than the usual crisscrossing of two straight lines. I bent one of the edges up so I could hold it with pliers. I sterilized the clip with rubbing alcohol, not really worrying too much about infections. I held it over the lighter and noticed that it was turning black. After 15 seconds I was ready to make the strike. But didn't. I chickened out and waited a few seconds too long. When I pressed it against my skin it had cooled enough not to burn all the way down, just to make a shallow surface burn. The feeling was incredible though.

I put on my Staind cd and prepared to do another strike. I held it over the flame for 20 seconds, passing it back and forth slowly. Then before I could hesitate I pressed it against the inner part of my arm, near the elbow. A wave of pain almost caused me to drop it but I held on. Those three seconds where there was actual pain were forever. My eyes were closed and the room seemed to spin for a second. Along with the pain came a huge rush of emotions that only intensified as the sharp stinging of the burn disappeared. I can't even begin to sort out everything I felt during the brand. I held it there until the metal had cooled. I pulled it away and noticed the redness of the surrounding area and how beautiful it looked.

My plan had changed. I no longer wanted the X. I heated up the end of the clip and made 3 more strikes, 3 dots forming a triangle around the v-shape.

This occurred about a week ago and I have been scrubbing the scabs off with a washcloth. My boyfriend and my best friend both have seen it and hate it, which is disappointing and depressed me a bit. This brand was a great experience and very meaningful to me and I really wanted the two people closest to me to understand why I did it. They won't even try to understand. I realized that different people have different views and I know that scarification shocks and disgusts most of society so I have accepted their opinions. And I'm trying not to let their disapproval get to me too much. My brand is for me so as long as I'm happy, then that is all that matters.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Jan. 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+room
Location: florida

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