Body Modification 101

Attractive brunette woman who is into body modification with multiple tattoos across her arms and chest

Body modifications have been around almost as long as we’ve had bodies to modify. Historically, they’ve been used to connect and identify with groups or sub-cultures, as a rite of passage, and to uphold certain aesthetic standards, but in a kink context body mods take on another element.

Even if you’ve chosen to avoid what we perceive to be the most common body mods, like piercings or tattoos, chances are you’ve still modified your body in some way. Tanning, body building, and dieting all fall under the banner of body modification, but due to the general acceptance and vast appeal, they seem less confrontational than many others. For this article we will look at modifications with a kink component, that is how they can be used for kink play, or how the modification itself is fetishised. 

Tattoos

If you’ve had a tattoo and enjoyed it, chances are you’re saving up for your next one. We used to joke about ‘addictive ink’ but neurochemistry has shown us that the reason we go back for more has more to do with the endorphins we enjoy throughout the process, and the empowerment we feel once our ink is imbedded. This is not to say everyone who enjoys being tattooed is a masochist – some people don’t find the process painful. However, we do need to acknowledge that what the body goes through while being tattooed is very similar to that which a masochist goes through when getting a spanking – a highly sensual experience from which the body needs to recover.

There are tattoos created in an entirely kink context, most often to show signs of Ownership or affiliation. It is not uncommon for slaves to have tattoos – either a barcode of their official slave registration number, or their Owner's name or initials, and occasionally you may see more unique designs, like tattooed bite impressions, or kiss marks. Tattoos are also used by members of a kink ‘House’ (or chosen family) to show their affiliation with that particular House, with everyone having the same (or similar) motif to represent their affiliation.

Body Piercings

While piercing may not have the same endorphin release as tattooing, it does give us a lot more to play with.

  • Septum/Nostrils: can be clipped or tied and used with a leash to lead someone around.
  • Nipples: can also be used in with a leash, or the piercings can be lightly weighted.
  • Labia: piercings can be tied back to expose the clitoris, inner labia, and vaginal opening, or tied together as a form of chastity. Light weights can also be used on labial piercings.
  • Prince Albert: another great one for the use of a leash. (The one time where being ‘led by your dick’ is actually the whole point!) 

Body piercings are great for use in rope play, and you can get quite creative. The main thing to keep in mind is the risk of tearing if you play too rough, so it’s best to just go for a sensual and aesthetic scenario, rather than anything too sadistic. And when using weights start small and build up, and don’t put weight on anything pierced and healed at less that 14 gauge. The smaller piercings have much more risk of tearing your skin than bigger jewellery. And remember, the bigger the number, the smaller the gauge, so 16, 18 and 20 gauge piercing should not take additional weight. 

Scarification 

Similar to other long-term modification to the skin – like tattoos and branding – scarification in a kink context is generally done within a D/s dynamic to represent ownership or other strong bonds. Scarification outcomes are variable and can have unpredictable outcomes – a practice that works well on some people may not be as effective on others. Scars are dependent on the development of keloids (thickened raised skin caused by an excess of collagen throughout the healing process) and due to the individual nature of collagen production scars develop in an array of ways. The most common form of scarification is skin removal via cutting, and you can bet the receiver has some masochistic tendencies and experience with cutting, knifeplay, and/or blood play. 

Branding

When we think of branding we most often associate it with strike branding – heating a piece of metal and pressing it onto the skin. Historically it was used to claim ownership of slaves and livestock or as a form of punishment. With advances in technology there are now several ways to brand with use of lasers, cauterisation tools, or extreme cold by putting a metal brand in liquid nitrogen.  

In a purely kink context, brands are often used in the same way as tattoos and have the same historical link to Ownership. In Master/Mistress and slave dynamics brands are generally used to bond the couple not only through the activity itself, which most will say is only momentarily painful in application, with a resumption of pain once the endorphins wear off and the body begins to heal itself. 

Branding is also an activity favoured by heavy masochistic players. Not only is the searing pain of the brand embraced, but the pain of healing a burn is ongoing for a time with is a happy reminder for these players of what their body has been through. In addition, there is long-term scarring to admire and reflect upon.

Dental Modifications

Many people have dental mods – plates, braces, whitening – so how can it be kinky? 

Well some people like to bite. They like to bite hard, and they like to inflict pain when they bite. The fetish is called odaxelagnia, and it refers to sexual arousal through biting or being bitten.

Teeth sharpening and shaping is nothing new. In fact the earliest evidence goes back to the Early Pre-Classic period of 1400-1000 BCE. These days not only is teeth shaping used to create a certain look (eg. canines filed to a vampiric point) it’s used as a sensual tool, mostly in Primal Play.   

Body Modification as a Kink

There are certainly people out there who like to collect body modifications and are not only keen to try the next big thing, but are trailblazers in the body modification world. They dream up a modification they want and find a way to make it happen. Certainly not all of them have a fetish for body mods – for some it is just their business – but there are a good deal of highly modified humans who enjoy the process on such a deep, personal level that it becomes part of their kink lifestyle. Pushing the limits of body mods IS their kink; seeing what their body can tolerate, and doing so in private with knowledgeable and like-minded friends (rather than a ‘professional’ as such) brings them the connection and flow of any other kink scenario. 
 
With so many body modifications being long-term or even permanent, it’s important to be mindful that this fun and sexy time can also carry real risks, including infection, unexpected prolonged pain and even regret. Make smart decisions with trusted partners and avoid anything you feel uncomfortable with. Even the slightest trace of coercion can result in a modification you’re ultimately unhappy with. It’s your body and your rules.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and we’d love to hear about your body mods and how they fit in with your kink lifestyle. 

Don’t forget you can list “Body Modification / Tattoos / Piercing” as a sexual interest on your profile and use the Advanced Search to find like-minded members.

And check out our guide to genital piercing.

5 comments

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  • SouthChange

    SouthChange

    More than two weeks ago

    My main body modification is to turn from vertical to horizontal for sex.

    Reply
  • triXXXi66

    triXXXi66

    More than a month ago

    I Have been shamed on this site for my inner labia piercings by some idiots who have no idea. Thanks to the change to making R photos not available to see without asking most don’t get the viewing pleasure now.

    • Photos in private gallery

      Beachball001

      More than two weeks ago

      Intimate piercings are beautiful and sensual. Please don't let silly people get you down. I bet your piercings look great!! 😊

    Reply
  • BloodSlut

    BloodSlut

    More than a month ago

    Yes!! Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
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