I don’t know whether wishing his penis bon voyage would have taken him places or not, but the guy is now doomed to be living off his ‘suitcase’. MSNBC’s The Body Odd reports:
The 21-year-old Iranian man found himself between a rock and a hard place after he got a tattoo in Persian script reading "borow be salaamat" (good luck on your journeys), and the first initial of his girlfriend's last name ("M").
The tattoo artist used a handheld needle and caused damage. The reconstructive surgery did not work. Result: A semi-permanent erection.
There is no pain and he can get a “relatively normal erection”. Was it worth it?
I don’t have any particular opinion about body inking and piercing; in fact, I find some mild tattoos and piercings attractive. So, where does one draw the line? Is it cultural or personal? When I got my nose pierced way back when I was in college, quite a few people asked me if it had to do with being a Muslim. Later I was told it was against Islam. For me, it was just a shiny little thing on my nose and carried no baggage of anything other than personal whim.
Yet, in many ways it is more exhibitionistic than the Iranian’s private part. Esoteric tattoos and piercings do reveal personality as well as projection. If I see a person with her/his whole body covered with flora, fauna, faces, symbols, verses I would cease to notice the human behind these externals. One might well ask, don’t we wear clothes that could be considered different? That is where one conditioning revolts against another. Clothes may give away what we are to an extent, but do not take away from us. Even the big name labels are about us. Colourful works of art on skin may draw greater attention, but they strip us of identity. It does sound strange and in fact contrary to what the purpose is – an in-your-face assertion of a self-inflicted ‘wound’. Or, of the self as an art installation.
This could be seen as body mutilation too. In some tribes, parts were burned and marinaded to form an embossed jewel on the skin. Then there are instances of neck stretching, corset waists, tongue splits, and even colouring the whites of eyes and embedding crystals on teeth. How much of it is a fad and how much a need to be part of a group or to carve out a separate identity? Most of those who overdo it are seen as ‘weird’, and it may be the desired goal. But what if they tire of it? One can give away clothes, what does one do with skin, teeth, eyes?
In the case of those who have such embellishments in secret places, we cannot see them in the manner of the rest. No one but they or those they are intimate with would know. So, how can it be projection and the rest? It is probably a niche, a standing apart while doing what the rest do. It is a beguiling hush-hush thing that is often stated to be hidden, or the hiding is the statement.
The Iranian has to live with a phallus which is all dressed up but has nowhere to go. A bit like a travelling salesman who has nothing to sell.
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Image used for representative purposes: www.verparacreer.net: