Yvan, also known as member QueerYvan, is a historian of sexuality. In an ongoing series, he shares some of his favourite fetish encounters (in a whole lot of detail), as well as occasionally fill us in on the history of kink.
I saw him across the room, walking up the steps to the toilets to the back part of Lab.Oratory. The space was full of numbered, nameless men, writhing against each other, fucking and sweating and moaning, but he stood out amongst them. He looked magnificent: a grey beard and fierce dark eyes, tall, slim, thick steel rings in his nipples and his cock, covered in a complex pattern of black tattoos. I had to follow him.
When we started talking, it was about tattooing. He asked if I had heard of Alex Binnie, whom I knew as the legend from Into You in London. He told me he had all of his work done in the 1980s, heavy black marks that covered his body, some adapted from other cultures in what was a new form of this art, before tribal tattooing became the emblem of the so-called urban primitivism. The work was as impressive as he was. We admired each other and our respective ink, me recognising something of myself in this older man. His taste, how he had dedicated his body to his aesthetic vision of what he imagined a man could be; I liked everything about him, even his voice. But his ink made him one of the most exquisite specimens of a man I've ever seen. He embodied what I want to become, in the space where I want to exist. I imagined him when he was a man younger than me, embarking on this journey of pain and creativity to make his body his own.
* * *
When I became seriously interested in tattoos, it was inseparable from my nascent explorations into BDSM. My body became a tool for investigation as well as its focus, exploring my limits, testing my reactions to pain, my sublimation of agony into eroticism, seeking new paths to pleasure, not definitions of my desires. It became a work of art, a way of knowing that departed from academic reflection. I marked my body to define my voyages into this landscape, to remind myself of what I wanted to be and what I had done. Everything is black and red, right from the start: a Scandinavian pattern that marked my exit from bohemian-bourgeois life; baise moi written across my arse in someone's messy hand; a black X cover-up on my back that crossed out my former uninteresting choice (a shitty tribal tramp-stamp); an enigmatic piece by Volko Merschky and Simone Pfaff from the Buena Vista Tattoo Club; sleeves by Yonah Krank and Sven von Kratz, a growing bouquet of irises on my left foot by Delphine Noiztoy. I also have graphic red ink rubbings all over my left side made in BDSM sessions with a scalpel, a needle and a bottle of ink. My best work is Delphine's long black line that traverses my body, from my toes to my neck, covering my right nipple. It defined who I wanted to become, a line that cut off my old life and let me create myself anew, fucking who I wanted, fucking how I wanted, dancing as often as I could in the best clubs in the world, swaying like a ribbon in the wind. My tattoos are inseparable from this process of becoming.
First pain, then pleasure. My nipples used to be uninteresting to me, nestled in my hairy chest, hiding from the phallocentric pleasure by which masculine sexuality is defined and limited. Lovers never touched them, and nor did I. But then I read about pierced nipples in a Playboy magazine and decided to pierce my own. It was one of my first forays into turning pain into pleasure, forgetting being caned at school by men more powerful than myself. Taking control of my body was an investigation that would change my life, even if the lessons took a long time to sink in. A twenty-year-old me stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a hypodermic needle and walked out with messy fingers and a stinging chest and a deep self that I'd discovered something within myself by penetrating my own body. Now, several repiercings later, they are 4mm barbells which let me give-in to the tortures that make my heart beat. One black nipple, one pink, both sensitive to the pain of being stretched and caned and hung with weights that swing when I'm being fucked or tied up and whipped. These are some of the many ways that the sexual body can be performed in the BDSM world.
* * *
Back downstairs in Lab., an alchemical space where the dark depths are searched for a purity that shines out of the anonymous intimacy, allowing new forms of life to emerge.
-- Nice ink, a man said. I've seen pictures of you before.
-- Your Recon profile.
He'd read my stories, and had a sense of the sybarite I am.
-- Can I touch you?
Of course, I agreed.
He put his hand on my neck where my black stripe finishes in asaha pattern, where the lines thicken, melding together solid black at my collar bone. From here he followed the path of pain that Delphine carved into me over several years, from the intense blackening of my side, to the long stretch of my leg, to the delicate asaha reverso on my foot, fading to tiny specks on my toes. His fingers softly explored the whole length of it, pausing to feel the thickness of my nipple piercing, continuing, counting the time to his next move as he studied a thin sliced of me, past my hairs, past my cock, descending onto his knees as I lay back on the bench to watch him.
He paused to take off my boot and sock to admire my foot. He breathed me deep into his nostrils, and started exploring me again, this time with his mouth. He took my tattooed toes - that had once burned with pain at the intensity of her stinging needle - in his mouth, swirling his tongue delicately around my sweaty feet. He traced over my ankle with his tongue pressed flat, tickled my hairs all the way up my leg until I put my hand on his head to stop him, my cock resting against his bearded cheek. His lips were still pressed to my groin, where the line had been most painful, the sensitive skin holding a memory of an agony that sent me into shock the night after the first and hardest tattoo session. He breathed in my scent.
I put my fingers in his mouth, and then put my cock inside. I wasn't very hard, so I told him to work on me. I held my hands on the back of his head and rocked my hips, my soft cock starting to swell against his tongue. For minutes I gripped him like this, feeling drool dripping down my balls, feeling him clench and start to struggle as my cock grew. This made me hard. I pulled myself out a bit to let him breathe, then pushed back in, standing up properly so I could fuck his face harder. He held my wet balls in one hand and guided me in and out of his throat, my hands above my head holding onto the framework of the bench where we had met. When I came, he held my balls tight, feeling me drain into his throat, too deep to taste. He stood up to kiss me, beard wet and reeking of my dick.
I took his hard cock in my hand and started to wank him. He was wet with precum.
-- Touch underneath.
There was nothing remarkable about his prick's appearance until I reached under the head and found a bifurcation that ran down his urethra about one third of the length.
-- Can I suck you? I asked.
He was enthusiastic in his response. I guess I was, too, as I'd never sucked a modified cock beyond a Prince Albert. It felt the same as everyone else, except for the deep groove that exposed his urethra to my tongue. I held his dick in my hand and licked him there, listening to him moan, tasting his salty precum with each stroke. He clearly loved it, lost in reverie. I kept going, losing myself in my focus on his body exciting incrementally. I could feel his balls getting tighter, his cock started to smell of his impending orgasm. I was on my knees, looking up, fucking the slit of his cock with my tongue until I felt thick wads of spunk spurt out over my lips and beard while I sucked and swallowed him. He came heaps. It welled-up warmly under my tongue, basic and sticky. I watched his face while I swallowed, my fingers soaked in semen. I wiped it out of my beard, inadequately.
After, we discussed how he did it. He told me that he used to have a PA, which had awoken the sensations in his urethra when he rolled the bead back inside him and tugged on it until he was leaking and on the brink of ejaculation. After that, he got into sounding, and found the way his cock felt inside was what excited him the most, so he decided to open it up. It sounds horrifying, but it's a minor incision from the urethra to the surface, leaving his cock to get hard and function as always, but with access to millions of accessible nerve endings that made him crazy with bliss.
-- You know the feeling of inside your cock when you pee? It's a hundred times more intense than that.
Ever since, I've been tempted to modify myself. Cocks are so tied up with our conception of masculinity - further exploration can make them interesting beyond this narrative. How we use our bodies for pleasure is socially constructed - bound by ideas of pathology, propriety, aesthetics: by things we are told are 'normal' by experts and law-makers. If we listen to our bodies, we can resist normality and explore ourselves. This is what sexual body modification taught me.
My next-desired corporeal alteration is to have my cock and balls tattooed by Touka Voudoo at Stockholm Alternative. Everywhere, the cock is treated as sacred, from straight sex performing toxic masculinity to gay massive dick worship. But the way I play with my cock and balls, and those of other men - tying them up, stretching them, squeezing them, teasing them, making everything more sensitive and swollen before release - has taught me that fucking is only one way to play with the male body. To take the penis out of this reductive schema, I want to put my cock and balls in Touka's expert hands, to turn my body into something other, aesthetically different, to make people wonder what it felt like to be tattooed there. I'm seeking a different masculinity, one constructed through deliberate reflection and physical ordeal, not trapped in existing conceptions of the body, requiring power to prop up a simple conception of pleasure. A self-made body, constructed by the exploration of its limits and the pleasures such transgressions entail.