Sticky Fingers

Back in December, I decided that it was time for me to begin a new body modification project.

I have a number of piercings, microdermals and tattoos. When I was in college I had a surface piercing project whose photos appear every so often in random places. It went down my inner wrists and I had intended for it to work as a permanent corset piercing. Sadly, they all rejected. I have a couple microdermals currently in my left wrist that I plan to continue adding to at a later time. But this was not that time!

I’ve always been fascinated by magnet implants; the way people talk about developing a new sense where they can feel magnetic pulls to even just the fun parlor trick-ness of it all. When it came out a few years ago, there were certainly documented problems that made me less likely to be one of the first test subjects, so I waited for a while. By now, it’s been pretty smooth sailing and I figured it was time. Photographer Kate Black joined me at Pure Body Arts to hold my hand and document at the same time, while Brian Decker implanted them for me on Dec 24th.

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This gives you an idea of what’s inside me. Attached to Brian’s finger is a sample he uses to let people play around with. It’s about the size of a piece of graphite lead. He has a fully healed finger magnet that it’s sticking to. We discussed two different size options and placements, with the pros and cons of both as I fiddled around. We ended up placing the larger magnet into my left ring finger, a smaller one into my right.

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This is me, slightly skeptical of what I’ve gotten myself into. The best things in life never come easy.

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The freshly sterilized set up along with the thread for stitching myself back shut, scalpel blade to poke my finger open, the magnets chilling in PurKlenz.

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Poking my finger open.

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Gotta get them magnets in there. This is the bigger of two magnets.

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And now that it’s in there, we seal it shut. It wasn’t a terribly bloody procedure, though I certainly didn’t help by drinking the night before. I’m terrible sometimes.

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Right hand getting that good stuff in there!

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In response to the inevitable “did that shit hurt?” questions, an example of the many unattractive faces I made.

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And best of all, at the end, a gif of the needle being attracted to my newly magnetized fingers.

Thus far, I’ve removed the stitches and everything sealed shut with no infections. The week of having the stitches was the worst, as any time I tapped my finger it felt like an electric shock zapped me. Once they were removed, the tenderness went away. It’s been really interesting monitoring the way my body has been regenerating from day one. I was told to expect swelling and lots of pain, but I was pretty good with ibuprofen, no swelling and just making sure to keep my finger elevated otherwise I’d feel a bit of throbbing. At this point  I can tap around with my fingers and use them fine, although the insertion spots still feel a slight bit numb, like I have very thick callouses on the tips. Applying pressure to the finger is still a bit tender, so I have been running around with my ring fingers tucked in when doing manual tasks – I had gotten to the point where I’ve modified my speed typing to exclude using my ring fingers and I’m at nearly my old speed that I don’t even notice I’m a bit slower. Growing out my finger nails to use those for poking anything instead of the actual finger tip also helped.

I’m still exploring the new sensation in my fingers. I can feel a slight vibration from somewhere inside my computer. I get a funny feeling when my finger is on my dining room table with the tempered glass top and wrought iron base. I can lift parts of silverware about an inch off the table before they fall back down. And it should get stronger over time.

I am a goddamn mutant now and it is fabulous.

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