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How I learned to love my belly.

I woke up yesterday with no idea what I was about to endure. I went to work like every other day and had a great time there. I laughed with my coworkers like every other Tuesday afternoon. I began to get a bit nervous around noon for my 5:00 appointment with Tania.

By 2:30pm when I was finally off from work I was incredibly nervous, well, nervous for me. I don't usually get nervous until I am up there on the table and then it isn't even a big thing. I left work, went to the bank, shaved my pubes, grabbed a quick meal, and headed up to Philly with my best friend, Maura.

We arrived at Infinite at 5pm but Tania was still getting her bits tattooed and wouldn't be around until 6pm. That was cool. It gave us time to walk around. Maura ended up getting a migraine 20 minutes later so we went back to Infinite and sat down while her medicine kicked in. When Tania arrived she was totally cool. She rubbed on the pressure points of my friend to make her migraine feel better and then taught me how so I could do it while she was setting the room up for my cutting.

When I went into the room we ended talking a bit about healing and then marking me up. I didn't really have any questions other than irritation and what I should do. I was told to wash my wounds with dial soap, slather them in vaseline, and apply saran wrap for at least 8 hours a day. This keeps them from scabbing and therefore prolongs the healing and scarring. Also, every morning in the shower I was told to use a clean toothbrush and irritate the wound. I need to scratch off all the scabs and just generally piss the thing off.

After I understood all of this it was time to begin with the bloodline. The bloodline is just a shallow cut on all the lines to begin the design. Later Tania would go in and open up each line by angling her scalpel in different ways. The bloodline was okay. My skin has great elasticity and therefore opened up pretty nicely even on the bloodline. I sat incredibly well for this part. Tania said that it would be the worst of it due to all the nerve endings but I imagined going into a fresh wound would hurt a bit more. I was right.

The pubic area was the hardest part. I could feel her cutting through my hair follicles and it killed me. It felt about 50 times worse than plucking or waxing but still had that same feeling of hair being ripped from the source. We actually couldn't do the whole pubic area at once. She would do a few petals and then go up and do something else because I just couldn't handle it. I tried to keep a check on my breathing but that didn't seem to make things a whole lot easier. Thank god Maura was there. She kept up a conversation with Tania and tried to keep my mind off the pain.

Before I go into the hard part. Here is something that I didn't know about cutting, which might have changed my mind. You never EVER get used to the feeling of a scalpel cutting into you. Eventually with tattooing or even suspension you get used to the pain and it only becomes a dull ache. No. No. With cutting each angle is a bit different and it feels like someone is constantly cutting you open.

After the bloodline was done I had six or eight circles that needed to be dermal punched out. I'd say each one was only like 3mm but I feared the dermal punch even more than the scalpel. I don't know why. I was once again right. I could feel her twisting the punch to get my little piece of skin out but I was so swollen at that time that it wouldn't work. She ended up punching me in each place and then using a pair of clamps and a scalpel to cut under the pieces and pull them out. That hurt. She then told me that if I wanted a break, now was the time. Maura and I walked to South Street and I got an ice cream cone to keep my blood sugar up.

When I got back and Tania began cutting I felt the most intense pain of my life. She started on of the petals on my pubic area to just get it out of the way. Some of my endorphins had left and I was in agony. After we finished that petal we ended up doing the little side leaves and I took that well. Everything else past this point is downhill. It got worse and worse. By the third hour or so I was really considering why I had chosen such a large piece and once she had done everything but three tiny little side leaves I considered telling her to just leave them closed.

I am glad I did it. I am especially glad Tania was my cutter. She made the experience incredible. If I ever decide to get branded I will most likely fly up to Vancouver and have her work on me--she's just that cool. Also, next time she is guest piercing in Philly I will get her to do my triangle. She swears that any woman is capable of having their's pierced and is confident in her ability to do them so I think I might just have her do mine.

This is by far the most intense modification experience I've had. I have never sat for a tattoo longer than 2.5 hours (mainly because I don't have enough money to get anything big yet and also am not 100% sure about the larger pieces I want and tattoos, like herpes, are forever). I am amazed that I sat through it. I learned that I'm not as tough as I thought although still tougher than most.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 Aug. 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Tania+Bystedt
Studio: Infinite
Location: Philly

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