How did I begin? A moment while I go steal my note back from Rapscallion to reinspire the line of thought I was following.
The aforementioned friend of mine wrote a piece on fashion and its projection of self. (A topic that it notably discussed in David Lodge’s Nice Work, by the way, ma demoiselle). I responded with a comment about my 14 gauge stainless steel hoops, which she was surprised to learn that I wore.
Fact is, I have had one ear pierced since I was 15 and both since I was 19. I actually chose piercings and self-expression over the military. I had my tongue pierced the end of my first semester of freshman year and subsequently dropped out of Air Force ROTC. I kept my tongue piercing for five years, but threw it away on a whim one night. Quite honestly, kissing is much more intense and sexy without it. I would take it out on occasion while making out and every time, (no matter who I might have been kissing at the time), the whole experience just went up a notch on both sides. I miss it at times, but still prefer the pleasure of kissing a woman without one.
I took my earrings out for about 4 years, as I was not allowed to wear them when I worked for the English as a Second Language company in Japan. I’m not someone who changes accessories daily. They’re either in, or they’re out. With the exception of going up a gauge last month, I haven’t taken my earrings out since I had them put back in this September. Unless I’m required to do so for work somewhere, it’s likely I won’t for a very, very long time. I am considering going to 12 gauge earrings, possibly 10, but I would have to see how they looked before I made a permanent decision. It’s unlikely I will go wider than that.
I also have a tattoo on the back of my neck just below the collar line of a dress shirt: the Chinese phonetic kanji for Morgan. In Japanese it is pronounced Makkon. They have no meaning together in either language. One character means “root” and the other is a symbol representing an ancient deity.
This is my only tattoo, though I am currently in the process of working with an artist I am friends with to draw my next and make it an original piece instead of the stiff piece I cobbled together from various designs I found on the internet. It’s going to be rather large, at least in my terms. The centerpiece is a yin yang containing the kanji for yin and yang instead of the dots. Where the white dot would be, the kanji for “light” will take its place and where the black dot would be, the kanji for “shadow”.
Sprawling out from the sides of the yin yang were originally two tribal “wings” of sorts, but I believe we’re working to modify them into two tribal wolf heads that represent Rome and Reme, as I named the wolves of positivity and negativity. A tribal “dragon’s” tail will wind down from the base of the piece along my spine. Ideally the whole image will be reminiscent of a dragon in flight as seen from above, without actually having any draconic details.
Rapscallion commented that she thinks that tattoos and piercings on blokes signifies something raw, primal, and sexual. (She’s British.) Her thoughts lead me to think about how I see tattoos on women. I find myself drawn to them, particularly to the satisfaction of curiosity, I wonder what the whole thing looks like? and always to the art and meaning. My tattoos, the one I have and the one on the table, both are pieces heavy with years of thought, search and the weight of decision. I have a friend who had two Lego men with empty speech bubbles tattooed on his arm so people could write in them at parties. It’s his body, but a hard choice to understand. Every piece of mine has meaning or aesthetic value.
I like women with tattoos, even to the point where I don’t find anything tacky or disturbing about what we call “tramp stamps” here in America. It certainly depends on the tattoo, but if it weren’t attractive, there wouldn’t be such an overflow of them that it became a cultural phenomenon worthy of a name. Personally I think the majority of people who gripe about tramp stamps are much like people who gripe about their “shame” bands. Foolish. If you enjoy something, enjoy it. I enjoy women with a tattoo on the small of her back, assuming the tattoo is well done and attractive in the first place.
Only one lover I’ve had was tattooed and she got hers after I got mine, on a whim. She walked into the parlor with whatever friend was encouraging her to make a bad decision, picked out something she thought was cute and had it permanently set onto her foot. It ended up looking like a bleu cheese moon and star, suspiciously like the star of Islam. She later had it redone and covered after her father pointed that out.
I can only imagine what it would be like then, to lay in bed by the side of a woman with a tattoo like one I encountered recently, which ran from the crease of her pelvic bone, all the way up the side of her ribs to bloom at the top. I know myself well, and I would spend hours tracing every line of ink with my fingers, just as I would her curves as I lay on my side and she on hers. I would be entranced, enchanted, and learn each twist and curl as if I were memorizing the words of a song. I would learn it in moonlight, beneath harsh fluorescence, in the sun on a summer-lush lawn or sandy beach.
It is an experience I would like to have, and a certainly find my interest piqued when a woman has one. Frequently it’s only my curiosity that seeks to be sated, but on occasion I more drawn to someone because of her art. I suppose though, as I am in all things, I’m rather picky about what I admire. I’m drawn to women with taste, and whether it’s is her fashion choices or the art she’s chosen to canvas on her body, I’ll always prefer the ones whose choices will be just as attractive 20 years from now as they will in six months.