By: JOACHIM OSUR
I noticed that Daisy was different the moment she walked into the consultation room. She had two small studs on the top of her nostrils, a bigger one under the lower lip and five in each of her ears. She also had a prominent tattoo on the left hand and a smaller one on the right.
“I am not sure whether you are able to help me,” she said, interrupting my scrutiny of her body art, “my husband is pushing me to the extremes..”
She had been married for two years. At the time of marriage she had three studs in her ear and one on the nose and the small tattoo on her right hand.
“I just wanted to look unique and beautiful. Little did I know that my body art is what attracted this man to me!” She exclaimed.
Once married, her husband convinced her to add a nose stud, to get a bigger tattoo on the left hand and to put a stud on the lower lip.
“And you will not believe what else!” she added while averting her eyes, “I have rings on my nipples, another on the belly button and a tattoo on my back!”
The source of conflict between Daisy and David at this point was that the man was now demanding for a ring on the clitoris.
I asked Daisy to bring David to the clinic the next day and she obliged.
SOURCE OF SEXUAL GRATIFICATION
A brief talk with David revealed that his wife’s the body art was the source of his sexual gratification. By touching the studs, rings and tattoos David got aroused sexually.
In fact it is the body art that attracted him to her. He convinced her to get the additional art after marriage to enhance his sexual satisfaction. The more body art Daisy had, the higher the sexual attraction and gratification David got.
It is important to note that for most women body art is for beauty and self-confidence. Beauty and self-confidence are important ingredients for initiating and growing relationships and intimacy. People who feel ugly and lack self-confidence are unlikely to have intimate relationships. On this front, therefore, body art is important.
On the other hand there are communities that do body art as a rite of passage. A number of African communities, especially from western Africa and South Sudan tattoo their faces for this reason.
Other communities make a big hole in the ear while others remove one or more teeth. As long as the meaning is well-understood and agreed upon in the community it is all acceptable.
Yet still there are people who do body art as a sign of rebellion to social order. Criminal gangs have previously used body art to identify each other.
Most other reasons for body art are individualised, e.g. some people add an art to mark an important milestone in life, e.g. getting a university degree, a new job, etc.
Others do it for religious reasons while still others do it to conceal a scar or other body deformities. Previously businesses have paid people to carry a tattoo of their brand. Whatever the reason may be, most body art is permanent and has to be well-thought-out before execution.
But the case of Daisy and David was a special one. It was a case of body art being used as sexual fetish. A sexual fetish is an object, art or body part that arouses one sexually when observed, touched or rubbed.
A fetish is not a sexual organ but in itself results in sexual satisfaction. In some cases it is an important component of a sexual encounter without which the sex cannot be complete. In fact some men will not get an erection unless they indulge in their fetish.
“Now that is me!” exclaimed David, “I can’t get sexual arousal without the physical touch of Daisy’s body art and the more she can have, the better for me.”
Given the pain that one has to go through in getting body art and the fact that most of it is permanent, a couple has to openly discuss and agree on the extent to which they should go if one of the partners has a fetish for body art. Like in any other activities, communication and consent by both parties is critical.
It is also important to involve a health worker in discussing body art to ensure safety. There have been cases of infection following body art. Some of the infections such as HIV and hepatitis B are life-threatening yet totally preventable if body art is done under hygienic conditions.
After several meetings with David and Daisy, the couple agreed to spare the clitoris and make use of the art Daisy already had. Ten years later today, their marriage stands and intimacy has not suffered a single blow as David continues to enjoy his fetish within the limits agreeable to Daisy.