If you've ever wonder about how a specific piercing or body modification, then chances are you've visited BME (Body Modification Ezine), the web's most popular site on body mods and body art. Shannon Larratt is the owner and founder of BME, which has been running since 1994. Along with being the proud owner of many modifications, piercings and tattoos himself, Larratt also publishes, edits and designs this popular site.
Recently, Larratt gave LovetoKnow Tattoos this exclusive interview.
LovetoKnow (LTK): Why was BME started?
Shannon Larratt (SL): I needed a place to share the things I was going through and to talk about the things I was doing to my body. It was 1994, so there wasn't anywhere on the web that could be done (although the newsgroup rec.arts.bodyart was an important resource). When I started the site, I encouraged other people to do the same (ie. send in pictures and stories about what they were doing so I could add them), and what started as basically a personal homepage very quickly snowballed into a massive "communal homepage" where we realized that we weren't alone in who we were, but were a massive community of people.
LTK: What purpose do you think the 'zine serves in the body modification community?
SL: It's the only site that's absolutely inclusive of all forms of body modification and body play, which I think is a very important stance to take. While I certainly think there's a place for things like tattoo sites and magazines, I believe that these are more about fashion, art, and culture (which is important and valid as well of course -- I'm in no way suggesting there's anything wrong with sites that choose to focus on tattoos), than about the heart of body modification, which I believe is very broad and difficult to lock to a single genre. The site also doesn't shy away from the sexual aspects of body modification and body play, which is essential, because when it comes to this type of self-expression, it is my belief that sexuality is a driving force.
LTK: What are the most popular areas of your site?
SL: I don't know what the most popular areas of BME are, because I don't really focus on trends or hits or marketing or anything like that... Those things are important for a mainstream site but, as big as it is, BME is still what I'd consider essentially an underground zine. I try and have it be a genuine expression of the life of the people who build it.
Personal Body Modifications
LTK: What sorts of modifications and ink do you have personally?
SL: I have extensive tattooing over my entire body (a combination of large-scale blackwork and bright colour in-between), face and genitals included, scarification across my chest, arms and face, a partial subincision, a split tongue, a tattooed eyeball, magnetic implants and have had hundreds of different piercings and other modifications that are more temporary in nature. I'm sure a bunch I don't remember as I write this. All of these have been documented on BME of course.
LTK: What are your favorites when it comes to piercings (location, etc)?
SL: I don't really have any favorites in general terms, but for me, my favorite modifications are my magnetic implants and my split tongue.
The Future for BME
LTK: Where do you see BME going in the future?
SL: I hope BME will stay true to what it's always been. While of course it will have to evolve with technological options and so on that will allow us to add new features from time to time, I'm very happy with BME as a general concept and I don't think it should change.
Contacting Shannon Larratt
Shannon Larratt can be reached through BME, but a better option is to poke around the site to learn much more about the world of body piercing and modification. Some parts of the site are 18+ and may not be safe for work, so be sure to heed all warnings before entering these parts of the site (which generally include genital modifications). No matter what you are planning on getting done to your body, chances are it has been featured on this site.