Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not exactly what I had in mind...

So I got an e-mail from Inkednation today promoting some new site called TattooLovers.com - yes, a modder e-dating service. In light of my last post, I was pretty excited to check it out...and oh what I found when I did. The first suck-tastic thing about it is that it's akin to one of those "Want kewl ringtones for your cell? Just 99 cents a month gets you unlimited tones! Please note that "unlimited tones" is not meant to imply that you will receive an unlimited number of new ringtones from our service per month but rather that you will enjoy hearing the first month's ringtone for an unlimited period of time. Please also note that you will be charged an additional $27.99 per month simply for providing us with your credit card number, you idiot." Yea, basically they give you a "Free 3-day Trial," but in order to get it you have to give them a credit card number, and agree to pay...get this...$29.95 every THREE DAYS unless you cancel. Or you can just go for the bargain package and get one 3-Day membership for ONLY $2.95 - but you'll be charged $24.95 every three days after that unless you cancel...Umm, I'm gonna go ahead and predict that the site owners aren't exactly as invested in hooking up modded folk as they are in robbing them. Ok, suck factor #2 >> On the very same page where one would potentially sign up for membership, there's a photo of some dude who's apparently wearing makeup on both his face AND arms, in the form of two smudgy, drawn-on tats, and a cute blonde with stellar eye makeup but an OBVIOUSLY fake tattoo. Yes, that's right...they couldn't even get models with real tattoos. Makes you wonder...who the fuck is running this thing? Ugh, they're not even nice fake tats...they're both that terrible breed of American tribal that serves to dissolve my interest in an otherwise decent catch.
Also, I know they can't exactly regulate who joins this thing...but searching for photos of "singles in my area" yielded a disappointing crew made up mostly of plainskins or individuals with a single tattoo. For me, "tattooed" doesn't necessarily equate with "modified." Being modified is a lifestyle, a state of mind, or at least in my eyes it is. I want someone who can talk to me about their tats and the meaning behind them without using the words "pretty" or "badass." I want someone who feels that modding has changed their life. I want someone who has fun with life and their body, customizing it, adorning it, appreciating it's uniqueness. Sorry, end personal ad... But my point is that you can't expect to just throw together a site like this and have it be successful. BME's IAM seems to have gotten it right...members have to submit photos of their mods to gain membership, and must renew that membership every three months. No leeches allowed. They have IAM:CRUSH2, but I'd love to see an independently run site with the same basic format specifically aimed at bringing together modded singles/swingers. Ya know, true subculture, not this cookie-cutter dating service with the word "tattoo" in the title bullshit.
Personally, an e-dating service, even a modder e-dating service, would be the last resort in my search for a partner. But if it were done well, and didn't involve fine print and crazy hidden charges...I just might check it out. Who knows, it just might help me find my knight in bulging arm implants. Sooo, someone wanna get on that? Thanks :o)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"I like your face"

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....