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Starburst Scarification

ever been able to figure out my enthrallment with body modification. Nothing in my background would indicate that I would be one of those people drawn to modification, and my siblings seem to lack the same inclinations as myself, so I am left to wonder... Perhaps it is from that documentary I saw on body modification almost a decade back when I was still young and impressionable, or perhaps it is just related to my fascination with blood, or but then again it could be a purely tactile matter. There is a scar running down my shoulder from a surgery some time back, and since that time I've discovered certain pleasurable side effects. This discovery further fueled my desire for scarification modifications. I discussed it with a friend, someone I trusted, someone I thought might be willing to experiment with me. And of course their medical background helped. The design was easy since this was to be our first experiment in cutting--a starburst of three straight lines, with six triangles interspersed between the lines, placed on my right hip. It is a simplified version of the tattoo on my left hip. The supplies we'd gathered were: an autoclaved scalpel, betadine, latex gloves, cotton pads, a ruler, a towel, some non toxic dye and toothpicks, and surgical spirits (witch hazel, I believe). One Friday night we cleared an area of her apartment, cleaning the surfaces there as best we could with bleach. Then the realization of what was about to happen to me hit... there was a moment when the adrenaline started pumping and my bodies flight or fight self defense mechanism came into play, and I eyed my friend blocking the door with some feral intentions, before realizing that my pants were already off and it was far too cold outside to chance making a break. So suitably calmed I took a few deep breaths while my friend took some time measuring both my hips to find the matching placement on the right one. After cleaning me off with betadine and using the toothpicks dipped in dye she made her marks. It was time for the cutting to begin. I was on my side, on a table with the supplies on a metal tray beside me, she was standing beside the table, by this time gloved. She pulled the flesh taught with her left hand and applied the scalpel with her right. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would, just a dull pain, and movement. She described it to me while she was doing it, how my body felt resisting the blade. She said it was like a zipper being undone, there was even a sound to it. From BME we learned that the ideal depth of a cutting is 1/16th of an inch into the flesh and that is what she tried for, choosing to err on the side of caution. The three lines were easily done although a small amount of trouble later arose at the apex with it taking slightly longer to heal. The triangles were a bit more involved, the tiny outlines were done using the very tip of the scalpel blade (I am still amazed at my friend's skill) to the required depth but then the little triangular piece of skin created was removed. When all was finished she blotted the blood with cotton pads and cleaned it with the witch hazel, which stung. Cotton pads were secured over the finished cutting (roughly circular with an inch and a half diameter) using medical tape. The rest of the night passed in an intense adrenaline high. My friend taking care of me, and getting me home since I wasn't really in the mood to drive afterwards. I awoke the next morning to find the cotton of my bandage firmly attached to my leg via dried blood. That was gently removed with warm water prior to my shower. From that time on the wound was just left open, being cleaned twice daily with Dial Soap and irritated with a clean toothbrush to encourage light keloiding. It is now healed, exactly as I'd wanted it to be, a faintly pink design, aesthetically pleasing and highly sensitive. I know I will have more scarification done, being relatively pleased with the results of this first experiement, but at this time I am not sure what. The experience was intense and in its own way beautiful. Were it possible to relate the level awareness brought to you by having something so primitive and powerful done to your body, I would do so, but there is nothing in my past experiences that even comes close to approaching that moment. I know there is a stigma placed upon cutting, since it has most often been the domain of self loathing teenage girls, but what they were doing to punish their bodies, I was having done to celebrate mine.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 Nov. 1999
in Scarification

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Artist: A+friend
Studio: Her+Apartment
Location: irrelevant

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