Heyyy, it's been awhile, no? So I've finally finished college, and I'm not gonna lie, it feels pretty weird. I'm working at a chain restaurant right now trying to recover from a semester of grabbing a few hours here and there at my Fitness Center job, and it's actually really awesome. If you're a dedicated MSOM reader, you know how much I enjoy working in food service, and how difficult it's been for me to get jobs serving with all this gawshdarn metal in my face. Granted, I have to wear a retainer in my vert labret and tuck my septum up into my nasal cavity at this place, but I get blazin tips and work with some absolutely ridiculous characters.
I've already made friends with a few kiddies from the restaurant, and it's no surprise that I found myself sidling up to the visibly modded folk before pretty much anyone else. One chick has a vert labret like mine, as well as gauged cartilage (maybe a 2?), which is really quite impressive in my eyes considering that my experience with cartilage gauging actually made so dizzy I had to sit down for a few to recover. Another has snake bites and slightly gauged lobes (4?), as well as some beautiful roses on her back. And one of the cooks has this fantastic forearm pinup that I absolutely adore. So, despite being a bit shy on my first few days working there, I had no problem striking up mod conversations with all three. It's just that once I see mods on a person, I can't keep away...it's almost as if I'm drawn to them by some invisible modtastic force. Which got me thinking...
Ok...get ready...this is deep...and awesome...and should totally be exploited more than it already is...
Mods are a self-contained dating service.
Picture this: You walk into a bar (insert "walks into a bar" joke...) and the bartender is this gorgeous brunette wearing a teeny lil tank top and jeans she prolly had to butter up her thighs to wriggle into. Down at the other end of the bar is another brunette bartender, pretty cute, dressed in a loose tee and jeans. She sports a ring in her lip and some massive plugs in her lobes, plus a few other ear adornments as well as a full sleeve of colorful, high-quality ink work. If you're modded, I can almost guarantee that you'll go for her section, even if it means waiting a few extra minutes to get served.
Modders just seem to be automatically attracted to one another. I've experienced this phenomenon over and over again, whether it be in the form of my own affinity for modded ladies and gents or through catching a glimpse of someone else checking out my mods or those of a fellow modder. We just can't get enough! Even if I try to stop myself from doing it, my eyes are immediately drawn to anyone in my age bracket rocking mods.
I guess you could say it's just the subculture that brings us together, like punks dating punks, but I think there's something more complex going on when it comes to modders. For example, certain mods can also be the one thing that turns you off from a person. If I meet a guy who seems pretty cool, intelligent, decent looking, well-dressed, blah blah, but he has a "sick tribal," ink that looks like it may have been scratched on by his cat that time he got into the pens, or ONE ear gauged, with the taper still conspicuously peeking out from behind his ear...oh my gawsh, I just remembered I have to...do...something. Byeee.
So really, I think the attraction stems from something much more innate than a simple affinity for a recognizable subcultural style. Think about it, body modification has been practiced for thousands of years...we've basically been adorning our bodies with art for as long as we we've been doing art, period. Maybe it started out as someone acting on a whim. Maybe it began as a symbolic act, a way of visually displaying some intangible event or personal characteristic. But regardless of its origin, as modding becomes more prevalent in a particular society, it gets assimilated into the aesthetic sense of that society. At first it's new and exciting (or appalling to some), then eventually it becomes commonplace, so much so that it almost comes to be expected as much as we expect people to be clothed in public.
So, with all the mod blogs and photos and stories I peruse every day, always discovering unique and stunning mods, have I altered my definition of beauty? I'm gonna go with an unequivocal "yes" on that one. All those effing pristine faces in the fashion magazines I so love don't stand a chance against the ladies of suicidegirls.com. And, as tacky as they may be, the Juicy perfume ads that feature a completely studly modded dood make Calvin Klein's tighty whitey boys seem so...boring.
Ok, so I'm hanging out at a porn shop in Provincetown, right, and this really attractive dood walks in. Bridge piercing, gauged septum piercing, gorgeous stone plugs. Jaaackpot. I scope him out for any indications of gayness, and really can't tell. Shit...he's looking at me...dammit I've been staring...just pretend to be playing with the dildo...and then suddenly I hear, "Hey, I like your face." I shoot him a smile and a thanks, reciprocating the sentiment. I was so jazzed that someone had actually just said that to me! I had thought it in my head so many times, but never actually said it. Sure, I had complimented people on particular mods, but never a comment so blunt yet on point with how I feel when I see a face full of shiny stainless steel (or titanium, whatever floats your boat).
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think modders have a very unique conception of human beauty. Mind you, I know quite a few modded folk who date complete plainskins...but at the same time I guarantee that they have wandering eyes when a fellow modder strolls by. "Sorry honey, I really liked her dress...so, have you put any more thought into that tattoo you've been contemplating?"
Although we already have Inkednation and BME's IAM, I predict the arrival of ModMatch.com in the near future. Sure, old school face-to-face meetings are always an option, but if you don't live in an area with a thriving mod community or are afflicted with the social awkwardness that results from spending too much time as your Second Life avatar, a modder e-dating service would be a great alternative. Plus, if Myspace is any indication...it might evolve into a free version of suicidegirls! Yup...this needs to happen....