I love Virginia so much, I'll carve it into me.
When my piercer first started experimenting with cutting (or scarification), I was adamently against it. I thought it was lacking the tough look of piercing and the aesthetic beauty of tattooing. I'm always interested in letting him experiment with modifications on me, though, so I did some research. After I saw the work of xPUREx, I changed my mind. His work is amazing, and the visual effect is much different from tattoos. Scars look like a natural part of the skin, not bright and bold like tattoos, and the detail you can achieve is shocking. So after a bit more persuation, I gave in to Burgh's suggestion of cutting the state of Virginia onto my ribs, just under my left breast. This was after discussion the shape of a bicycle or a triple x, but I am not a messenger, nor am I nailed hard enough to the x for a straightedge mod.
I was born and raised in the same city, and I'm proud of it. I've got the area code tattooed on the inside of my lip as well (757 represent!). Doing just the outline seemed the easiest (and therefore least likely to get fucked up) idea, since there wouldn't be any large pieces of flesh removed. The idea of that is still scary to me.
The placement was a great idea since the shape of Virginia naturally makes a cup on top, so it would sit under my breast just right. I'd heard though that both your armpit and ribs are painful spots to get tattooed, so I was a bit worried about that. Not to mention Burgh had only done a handful of cuts, so despite his piercing skills, his inexperience in cutting was discomforting. It is difficult to gauge depth and make perfectly straight lines, and I would hate to have a horrible scar marking up my torso.
I rolled into the shop (Blue Horseshoe Body Piercing) around 7. It was empty, thankfully, since Burgh was the only one on duty and it would take some time. He estimated only about 15 minutes, but it ended up taking about an hour and a half because he is [thankfully] a perfectionist. He set up and I took my shirt off. (Didn't want to get it all bloody, after all.) He papered my chest so I could feel less naked, although my left breast still needed to be exposed. (Not only is Burgh a perfectionst, he's also professional, so I was not embarrassed a bit.) He used what looked like a small X-acto knife or triangular shaped scalpel, and I reckon that's what it was. He first carboned the outlined onto my side, pressing so firmly that I nearly fell over, so as to ensure it wouldn't fade out during the cut. He wore a surgeon's mask since his face would be so close to me. His confidence and prep work made me happy and confident as well.
He did the bottom line first. Straight and quick, it wasn't any more painful than a tattoo. Probably less so. He went back and recut some bits to make sure they were even, then proceeding to the bumpy mountainous northern border. The pain didn't start to come until he got near the armpit. Around Washington DC was a bitch. He finished as quick as he could, and recut a bit once I stood, which I didn't mind much. Anything for good results.
The healing was probably the worst part. It was bloody for the first few days, and then just terribly sore. For the next two weeks, I couldn't wear a bra because of where it sat (luckily, my tits aren't big enough to really merit one). I had to keep it constantly wrapped with plastic (Saran) and coated with Vaseline mixed with just a bit of sugar. (The sugar helps to rough it up for a better scar.) I had to wash off the Vaseline + sugar every four hours or so with antibacterial soap and reapply it. This was the most hassly bit because I ride a bicycle to and from work, so carrying the supplies to clean it, and having to clean it in a public restroom, made it difficult to be scheduled and sanitary. An open wound isn't anything to fuck about with, though, so I tried my best. The tape from the Saran caused my skin to dry up and itch, and eventually rip, so I had to constantly change placement. (Burgh helped me rewrap it once, and the fucker put the tape right over my nipple.)
Now that it's healed, I think it's the most beautiful thing. It still itches a bit during weather changes like any other scar, but it's a small price to pay for having my home on me forever. In pictures it make look like just a pink tattoo, but it is always raised, so that even in the dark I can trace its outline.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 March 2006