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Tony Grist

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Body Art [Jul. 14th, 2008|09:23 am]
Tony Grist
 "Oh my God!" says Ailz.

"What?" I ask

"It's A vertical clitoral piercing."  She calls me over to her monitor to view it- though I'd rather not. She's on one of those sites.

"Oh Jesus!" she says, moments later

I trek back across the room. This one has multiple piercings- and the whole genital area is enclosed within a tattoo of a carniverous looking flower.

"I'm not sure about that," she says. 

Me neither.

Ailz does have a tattoo- a tiny butterfly on her left shoulder- so small you could mistake it for a birthmark. I don't and I never would. Two reasons.

(Please understand; I'm not trying to get at anyone. I often admire other people's tattoos. This is just about me.)

First I have a bit of a phobia about needles. That's self-explanatory, I think

The second goes deeper. I can't think of any image I wouldn't quickly get bored with. My enthusiasms are fleeting. I move on. This year it could well seem like a good idea to have a portrait of Balzac incised on my biceps, but next year it almost certainly won't- because I'll be reading someone else.  I don't want to become a walking billboard for yesterday's alliegances. 

And there's a third- now I think of it: tattoo art is just not good enough. It mostly comes out of a book- which means it's mass-produced- like wallpaper. Also it's mostly kitsch. If the Chapman brothers did tattoos I suppose I might be tempted- but then again, no, because (a) they'd charge too much and (b) it would still involve needles. 

"Ooh Tone, come and see!" 

Not more piercings, please.

Ah, no. This one is much more up my street. And it's in the Daily Telegraph (classy!) These ghosthunters were walking over the battlefield of Naesby and they heard clunking sounds and then one of them snapped a picture of a ghostly soldier walking out of the trees...
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2008-07-14 09:20 am (UTC)
I sometimes think I'd like a tattoo, but a) I'm a great big coward, b) I wouldn't be able to give blood for 6 months afterwards.

I also have the same problem as you over what to pick. I favoured a small curled-up cat for some time. Now I fancy either the Gilera motorcycle logo (even if I switch brands, the years I spent with the Gilera have been happy ones) or a pawprint.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 09:36 am (UTC)
Not being able to give blood for 6 months would be a side benefit as far as I'm concerned.

A motorcycle logo gets my approval. That has style.
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2008-07-14 09:50 am (UTC)
You don't think it's too commercial?

I thought of having the logo shaved into the back of my head for the Milan motorcycle show, but didn't get round to it. I'm sure there'll be another occasion.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 10:13 am (UTC)
Too commercial? No, not if you really, really love the brand.

Wearing it as a hairstyle is safer though. It's the foreverness of tattoos that worries me most.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 09:38 am (UTC)
I don't suppose you could give me a link to a really artistic tattoo site, could you? I'm always happy to have my prejudices challenged.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 01:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

Some impressive stuff there, but I think it's kinda creepy to go round wearing your children's faces on your arms.
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[User Picture]From: rosamicula
2008-07-14 10:38 am (UTC)
I've gone right off my tattoo already.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 01:23 pm (UTC)
Oh dear!
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-07-14 11:26 am (UTC)
Clitoral piercing? Seems more of a serious issue than a tattoo. Yeow! Why oh why would a person do that to herself? And to think that there are organizations devoted to ending the barbaric practice of female circumcision in other countries!
What a strange world we live in....
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 01:25 pm (UTC)
Well you can undo a piercing- and only be left with a scar- but circumcision is irreversible.

Not that I'm advocating either.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2008-07-15 02:19 pm (UTC)
I imagine what was meant was, “vertical clitoral hood piercing”.

Important distinction, I think.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-15 02:38 pm (UTC)
You're right, of course :)
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2008-07-15 03:16 pm (UTC)
I've known two bearers of hood piercings, one intimately. To my eye, they were aesthetically pleasing and, for reasons perhaps best not elaborated upon, rather handy, I thought.

Personally, I have no piercings, no tattoos, and have never been tempted to get them, either. I bear my scars, inside and out, with a certain pride and feel no need to add to their number.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-15 07:07 pm (UTC)
I've never come across one in the flesh. I suppose it's not so very different from an earring.

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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-07-14 02:44 pm (UTC)
I have 4 1/2 tattoos. All of them are original artwork (nothing from books). All of them are of things that I knew were have permanent meaning for me.

However, one thing is, people do change. so each of my tattoos has a lot of thinking and planning and consideration behind it.

I have never regretted a single one... not for a moment.

But I do understand your reservations. If you don't feel like there is something that you need to express for a lifetime, then don't do it.

Also, your fear of needles is valid. Tattoos HURT. They hurt different people different amounts, and the amount of pain received is directly related to the position on the body. My last one has about 8 hours of work into it, about $800 of money so far, and will still require another 6 hours and $600 to complete. This is no small investment in time, money and pain.

It is not something that you do because everyone else does.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 04:48 pm (UTC)
I've ever wanted a tattoo, not even back in the days when I quite fancied a career as a pirate.

I suppose it's about making a statement, about reinforcing one's own identity. Or is it? Not having ever wanted one, I'm not sure what the motive would be.

I like looking at other people's though. My son keeps acquiring new ones.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-07-14 11:39 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine being without them. When I got my first one, at 35, I had a recurring nightmare where something kept happening to it.

Tattoos are mostly an internal process for me, anchoring myself in place and in time, than about what other people think.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-15 09:01 am (UTC)
Yes, I think I understand.

I have a couple of pieces of jewellery I always wear. I reckon they serve a similar purpose.

Edited at 2008-07-15 09:03 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: mamarose
2008-07-14 03:48 pm (UTC)
I have seen a lot of original and amazing tattoos. I have thought about getting some, but for many of the reasons you have stated, I haven't. Mostly, it's that I've changed over the years, and designs I loved in my younger years would no longer interest me.

Over the years however, I have had artist friends draw all over me, so I can enjoy the look of tattoos for a few days, with NO NEEDLES!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-14 04:50 pm (UTC)
Now that's the best of both worlds.

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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2008-07-14 06:14 pm (UTC)
I have drawn on people for this purpose! It's fun. :)

My art has also been tattooed on people, however, which I... think I find flattering, if somewhat astonishing. :)
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From: senordildo
2008-07-15 05:42 am (UTC)
"I don't want to become a walking billboard for yesterday's alliegances" is a terrific line. One other objection is that the human-body is simply a piss-poor canvas. Skin is not the ideal medium for representational art (it's perhaps better for non-representational art, but few people go in for that sort of tattoo anyway). Our flesh is wondrous enough as it is--I don't see the beauty of carving ink on it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-15 09:07 am (UTC)
One thing you can't capture on flesh is flesh tones- oddly enough.

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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-07-15 04:30 pm (UTC)
"Ooh Tone, come and see!"


Laughing Out Loud.

Thanks for this.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-15 06:22 pm (UTC)
I get called Tone a lot.

And To-to.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-07-15 06:37 pm (UTC)
I vote for To-to. That's a wonderful name. Reminds me of wizards.
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