Is there such a thing as too extreme regarding body modification?
Voice your opinion on the Round Table topic in the Reader's Response section.

young mod enthusiast, staff member of Modified Mind.

Yes, there is a point at which modification becomes too extreme, but I don't think it's amputation, or implanting, or anything you might immediately think. I think the point at which modification becomes too extreme is when we no longer treat our bodies with the respect they deserve. I think that, right now, we are on the crest on the wave - everything is possible, and consequence free. We have to face the fact that sometime, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next year, someone will very publicly injure or kill themselves in the pursuit of extreme modification.

When I was pondering this, one of the things that stuck in my mind was something from the "rants" section of SPC,

"It is more dangerous for an unqualified piercer to do a tongue or ampallang than it is for a master piercer to pierce a so-called risky or dangerous piercing on an informed client."

This just about sums up what I feel constitutes too extreme - piercers attempting things beyond their experience or skill level, or enthusiasts asking too much of their bodies. And, of course, my personal pet hate, those who seem to always be in search of the next, better, more extreme procedure, who always want to do something more extreme than anything that has gone before. Extremism for its own sake is going too far.

retired staff member of BME's QOD. Interviewed on Modified Mind, BME, & BMERadio.

I think that is something that depends on the individual. I can't say that there is anything that is too extreme for everyone. There is always going to be someone out there that doesn't see it as such. I think that if anything there is such a thing as irrational, or ill-attempted, or over the top. But even these are dependant on the individual. It's one of those things that doesn't even have a real constant, there are still those out there that view facial tattoos more harshly than implants, or even facial scarring. I've even had a eunuch balk at the fact that I had my face tattooed. It's just one of those issues that is completely dependant on the other person's perception of what goes beyond their opinion of too far.

moderator of the BME mailing list, photographer/reviewer for Modified Modified Mind. Featured in BME/Art.

An interesting question, and one that I think will change as easily as the wind. Going back to the days when I first became interested in the modification scene, what was considered extreme then, is more than common place now. Large gauge lobe stretching, once the domain of a few, has now become populated by many. This has in turn created both good and bad reactions. Good in the sense that the modification community gets noticed, and in some ways accepted by the "normal" society. Bad, because as well as positive attention, a lot of negativity is targeted at us.

Although I find it hard at times to understand people's personal reasons for getting some of the more extreme examples of modification, I reserve the right to let them do what they feel is necessary to get to where they feel more comfortable. For what I thought was going to be an easy question to answer, I am finding myself lost for words (this does not happen often, let me tell you...)

I personally do feel that there is too extreme as regards body modification, but I have a great problem in going into depth. I cannot say, for example, of what I feel too extreme is. I feel this relates back to what I earlier said about the development of community. When I first glanced a split tongue back in 1997 or so, I felt that this was pretty damn extreme. As I began to look at it, read about it, and finally start to see more of them, I guess I began to get complacent. A split tongue is a split tongue. Extreme yes, but not as extreme as it once seemed. The same goes for implants. When I first came across the work of Steve Haworth, I was shocked. What the fuck is this..? But, once again, after reading the material that I could find in relation to the matter, my opinions changed. As stated before, I still consider implants to be an extreme form of body art, although the impact of these has not diminished in the least, as a combination of the intricacies of design, and the overall impact on the body, continue to amaze me.

A while ago, I think it was 1 or 2 questions ago to be sure, the Round Table was asked to respond to the tricky subject of amputation. Although I have read a lot more about this in recent times, and listened to the BME radio piece, I am still at odds as to whether this may be the limit that I previously spoke of. I am not going so far as to call the people who participate in this activity as freaks, it is just that I, personally, do not see the (or feel) the mindset behind such an artform. One thing that I have learned from this community is that of acceptance. Acceptance for that which others have chosen to do, and for what they help to bring to us as a community.

mod enthusiast, assisted in Loco interview for Modified Mind.

This is so vague of a question. Extreme as in society? If that be the case, any modification is too extreme for society today unless the majority has it, then it becomes the norm.

Extreme as far as the mod'd community, I highly doubt it because there are mods that are done now that are considered extreme.

Extreme as far as a health concern: now that is a possibility. if someone were to decide on getting a full body piercing (as in a piercing that would go through the chest and exit from the back), I would consider that too extreme because of all the internal organs that might be affected. Those type of mods I would consider too extreme because they have the ability to hinder the body's natural ability to function properly. Other than that, I don't think any mod would be extreme to get.

former staff member of BME's QOD, moderator of the BME mailing list, apprentice at Stainless Studios in Toronto. Interviewed on Modified Mind.

I think I'll go with the theory of relativity here - it's all relative. There are many people who've successfully done some very extreme things that for all intents and purposes, are just that. Things like amputation and urethral reroutes and the like do appear to be quite dangerous. But with the proper training, you see that for the most part such practices are not so terrible. Of course, there will be horror stories and of course you people reading this at home should not attempt any of this, but as far as technically speaking, many extreme procedures are terribly simple. The worst part of performing an extreme mod is the biggest variable - the person you're performing this for!

I don't see a problem with people chopping themselves to bits. They have the right to do what they want to do. Yes, I do fear that many of these procedures are not performed with adequate levels of cleanliness, but that hasn't stopped many a successfull amputation.

As well, there will always be people pushing the boundaries of what is extreme. As for the public's perception of extreme, most of that has to do with the visual impact of certain procedures, not the inherent risk of infection or bodily harm. It all depends on who you ask, I suppose.

staff member of Modified Mind. Featured in ear scalpelling video on BME.

In a lot of ways, I see most body modification as too extreme, but not in the way most would think. I feel that any mod can be perfectly acceptable on a case-by-case basis of who's doing it. I do feel it's too extreme when the person doesn't really want it, or doesn't know what they're getting into (even with a simple tattoo).

It's all a matter of what's right for you, and where your boundaries lie.

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