Updated: FEBRUARY 15, 2021
Body modification is an umbrella term for one's deliberate alteration of their body, such as tattooing, scarification, receiving skin implants, and piercing. In the broadest definition of the term, body alteration may include ear piercing, plastic surgery, and male circumcision.
Body modification is also sometimes known as body alteration.
More About Body Modification
Body modification may be undertaken for a number of reasons. Many people enjoy the look of body modification or want to appeal to others who appreciate body modification. Body modification can be used to demonstrate one's membership in a group or as a mode of personal expression. Historically, body modification has also been used to mark rites of passage or to show one’s religious beliefs.
Some people undergo body modification to enhance their sexual pleasure or the pleasure of their partner. For example, people may pierce their genitals to increase sensations during intercourse, or their tongues to give better oral sex. Clitoral hood reductions help expose the clitoris so that it receives more direct stimulation during sex. There are also some people with body modification fetishes, including fetishes for specific types of body modification like piercing. These people may feel aroused during body modification procedures or seek out partners who have undergone such procedures.
Fans of body modification often say they feel a rush during the procedures which is intensely emotional and even spiritual, and some individuals can even become addicted to this rush. They typically feel proud of their modifications and excited to show them off to other people. This is one of the key differences between body modification and self-mutilation. While people who self-mutilate also modify their bodies, they often do so with a sense of shame.
While many people love body modification, some others view it as disfigurement or mutilation. Those who undergo frequent body modification procedures may be viewed as showing signs of mental illness, such as body dysmorphia.
There is a significant risk of transmitting or contracting diseases such as HIV or hepatitis B or C if body modification is not performed under sterile conditions. Infections may also occur. Body modifications requiring surgery can even carry a risk of death if performed by unqualified practitioners. For these reasons, you should only undergo body modification at licensed premises.