Archive for May, 2015

Part 158 – The History of Sex – Tattoo You

Posted on: May 29th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

When did tattoo’s get so damn hot?  A quick scan around your local cafe lets you know that any taboos that were once held have been completely abandoned.  These indelible tribal marks – these status markers – now simply beautify our bodies.  It isn’t exactly surprising that this shift occurred in the West – a place where individuality is everything.

Way back in the mid-20th Century, the art was only connected with rowdy sailors or prison tats – the domain of people living on the fringes of mainstream society – sailors and circus folks.   The mother of all marks – the heart – was created by the grandfather of all ink masters – Sailor Jerry.  Norman Collins, who had learned from the Japanese masters in Honolulu, worked on Naval servicemen who didn’t know whether they ever come back from the war.  His bombastic style invented a new artform.

.  sailor-jerry-tattoos

After the war, upgrades in tattooing machines meant more detail and accuracy in the designs.  And this meant that another outlaw group, bikers, started to adopt the idea.  This was an easy way to mark yourself as unfit to climb the social ladder.  By the late 70’s and early 80’s, getting tattooed and pierced became a mark of punk culture’s disdain social mobility.   IN the 90’s, ink went mainstream and the ‘tramp stamp’ became a thing, followed by tribal tattoos on men and shoulder roses and butterflies on women.  These gender divisions would also blend and new themes like Hindu markings began to crop up.  The trend in the 21st century sees younger and younger mainstream teens getting tattoos.  Tattoos are now the popular marks of celebrities, star athletes, and rock stars and this has clearly driven the media’s titillation for tats.  

It is undoubtedly connected to sex.  In a 2012 study in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine called Tattoos, Piercings, and Sexual Behaviors in Young Adults, researchers focused on 120 healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 35.  Participants with tattoos had the most sex partners.  Here are some more of the findings:

  • People with tattoos are more sexually active than those without.
  • People with piercings were more likely to have a regular partner than those with tattoos
  • People with piercings have sex more often than those without
  • People with body modifications are more likely to have sex in places other than a bedroom.

Echoing our current understanding of sexuality, there is a lot of support for body art these days, even among those who aren’t into it themselves.  As the artform chips away at mainstream views of what is sexy, we are reminded about the origins of the word itself.  The word evolved from the traditional way of applying ink to the body and describes the sound the needle makes as it repeatedly breaks through the skin: the tapping noise was heard as ‘tatu’.  The mainstream acceptance of the tattoo itself as a symbol of sex in modern culture didn’t break through all at once but rather slowly, over time, it worked its way onto the skin of culture little by little: Tatu…tatu…tatu…tatu…tatu…

If you’d like to investigate more about the subversive history of this art form, check out this wonderful article and slide show about the role of women in the history of tattoos.






Hello and happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  My weekend was full of fun and celebrations with friends and dear ones whom I haven’t seen in a while, and with friends whom I’ve known before but met in person for the first time.

During my travels I always love to drive around, take in the surroundings and nature, and listen to some good tunes.  This time I was listening to LA based duo Rhye.  Even though the song Open is not new (it was published in 2013), I still love it, just as I love reading old and new books alike.

More details about my weekend and travels tomorrow, today just enjoy the day and good music.


Rhye, Open:


We’ve heard the term sex addiction in mainstream news, seen it in pop culture or Celebrity Rehab, and likely scoffed when a popular actor or athlete gets caught cheating and claims sex addiction as the reason- but is it legit?

Psychiatrists and Sexologists have varied opinions on sex addiction, or also known as hypersexuality, and many seem reluctant to acknowledging it as a clinical classification.  In 2013, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was published and omitted the inclusion of sexual addiction as a legitimate mental disorder.  Although Hypersexuality was a proposed addition to the manual, a lack of current research on the diagnostic criteria of compulsive sexuality saw it cut from the current edition.

Although not a psychiatrist, Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor and has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.  She says:

“We numb shame, but you cannot selectively numb emotion.  We try to numb fear, shame, grief; we say, I don’t want to feel this so I’m going have a beer.  When we do that, we also numb happiness, joy, gratitude, and then feel miserable and looking for purpose and meaning, and it becomes a cycle.  We need to ask, why and how do we numb?”

It’s a more empathetic approach rather than clinical, but speaks to the humanity of any kind of addiction, hypersexuality included.  And perhaps this is where the problem arises when trying to categorize a behavioral addiction pathophysiology; the diagnostics simply do not exist yet.

Sex addiction has been a term since the mid-1970s, and yet there is still a noted amount of controversy surrounding it’s identification in a clinical setting.  There have been debates over the definition and existence of sexual addiction for decades, and it looks to continue this way.  So although the DSM may not officially recognize sex addiction as a mental disorder, it does not mean it does not exist.

Addiction manifests itself when a person lacks or cannot access the internal tools to process trauma or pain or conflict, and must turn to external sources.  So the question is not why the addiction, but why the pain?  What is that person trying not to feel?  What are they trying to numb?


Back in January, I blogged about someone I met several years ago on Twitter. (‘It’s My Call’, January 27, 2015) I will be heading down to California on Thursday to see some very dear family friends in San Francisco (my favourite town) and then to Sacramento to see another longtime friend/sister who I’ve known for a lifetime. It will be during my stay in Sacramento that I will finally meet (for reals) my Twitter ghost, the person I arbitrarily connected with online for a writing collaboration years ago, but who I know is real.

This is nothing like meeting someone on a chat site and then going to meet them. This is not something that was created for an episode on reality television nor a story fictionalized for a book. This is a totally random act of creativity, reaching out to a wider community, and trust. Mostly about trust.

I didn’t have to answer his call for a collaborator years ago, and of course at the time I wondered whether it was even for real. But something said ‘what do you have to lose?’ so I took a chance. I’m not saying take risky chances or throw yourself out there on the internet. Use your intuition, your sensory skills. This writing collaboration felt safe and once we began, I knew my new friend was to be trusted.

And so our writing journey began and I hope will not end any time soon. I believe we are the real writers – the ones who keep putting words to paper to voice to the outer limits. The ones who keep it going – together – unafraid to share and collaborate because by doing so, our work becomes richer, stronger and so much more powerful.

See you soon, GB




Hello and happy Monday!

I’m starting this week energised and with a large to-do list, but I believe everything is doable, as long you have the will, the inspiration and drive, and I’m lucky to keep the juices flowing!  I’ve recently discovered Ibeyi, a French-Cuban musical duo consisting of twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, and I’m listening to them a lot lately, I especially love the song below, River.

I’m drinking Tamaryokucha green tea and starting off my week!

How about you? What are you listening, drinking, writing? Let me know in the comments below!