The whatever forum last night got into “first internet experience” so I thought I'd try and remember mine. I've been BBSing (and running BBSs, usually under Wildcat) since about 1984 or 85, but those were not on the Internet and I never really got that into pseudo-net tech like FidoNet (I was more interested in porn, programming libraries, and warez), although I was a DATAPAC user, primarily to talk to distant friends. In the early 90s I got a CRS Online account, which was a big BBS that had tried to tie USENET feeds into their forums.

I was able to read USENET fine, but I couldn't post to it, and I really wanted to take part. Toronto's first ISP was just opening (Internex Online) and when I went in to sign up I got the distinct impression that the person working the desk was hitting on me on account of my stretched ears (1″ ears were pretty rare in early 1994)… Anyway, I joined rec.arts.bodyart and on August 8th, 1994 made my delurk as follows:

Well, this is my official delurk... hopefully I have my server/editor figured out. I just got a rook done today and a 10ga PA about 2 weeks agon (all healed up)... I also have various small piercings (ears, nipple, frenum - misplaced) and an earlobe that I have managed to get up to over 1" and rising. Also I have a "full body" brand - from my hip to my forearm. Some questions: 1) What are the logistics of a large (4+ ga) piercing in the conch? (2) What is this metal OSMIUM - is it part of a joke, or is it a real metal? (3) How much does an ampallang hurt in comparison to a PA, and can I have both a large PA and ampallang? - like 0+ ga (4) Did this post arrive successfully?
  shannon larratt

Yeah, I was a real newb, but not long afterwards I was already posting info files. Can you tell it's an obsession with me? Check out the very earliest version (August 11th, 1994) of the Ear Piercing 101 diagram… gotta love ASCII art:

Places to pierce your ear:
   /          __------__
  |          / _-----__ \
  |        ,/ |     4  | |   1 is a rook (top-inner fold)
  |* *     +  |--1__   | |   2 is a tragus (triangle-thing)
  |/       __ \     \  | |   3 is a daith (innermost fold)
  /  _.      \ `3-_  | | |   4 is a conch piercing
 |___/      2 | --   |  ,'   5 is a lobe piercing
   |___      /     __/  |
   |__/        ---'    ,'
   |         .    5   ,'
   |          -_____-

On August 12th a better version was posted:

             ,-'              `-.
           ,'   ,------------._  \
         -'     |        4     `. `.
             6 ,'--._         4 |  |
             ,'      `1.        `. `.
             |          `-.      |  |
             `-.           `.    |  |
                `-._        `.  4`. |
          ,-----.3_ `--.__   |    | |
          `-.      `---.     |    | |
           2 |            4 ,'      ;
            ,'          ,--'       ,'
         ,-'        4,-'          ,'
         |    4  ,--'            ,'
         `------'          5    ;
                       5       /
       -.    5    5      _,'
         `.            ,'
          |       _.--'

1 is the rook (topmost inner fold of the ear shell)
2 is a tragus (that triangle)
3 is a daith (in the fold of cartilage tissue just above the ear opening)
4 is a conch piercing (yes, all the way down are still considered conch's)
5 is a lobe piercing
6 (i think) is called a helix.

Not long after that (only August 15th) I was already trying to get a magazine or book rolling:

Is anyone out there interested in starting an e-zine dedicated to piercing and bodyart? It's a project I would like to get started... I have access to a 1200dpi scanner, and lots of equipment, and have various piercings of my own I could use, but obiously I need help... If anyone is interested please email me.

For a first issue I would like to make a sort-of-FAQ with photos (among other stuff) - something that newbies could ftp and would answer a lot of question - but I don't want to use magazine pictures so I would need people to mail me pictures or email me scans of stuff... not just finished piercings but procedural photos if you have an unusual piece of pierce. (I will probably use photos of having an 8mm dermal punch put through my conch.)

At about the same time I was running super early versions of what would later become the MegaSurvey; on September 9th, 1994 I posted some early results:

General Piercings:
 ear         (61%)|**********************
 nipple      (51%)|******************
 navel       (17%)|******
 septum      (17%)|******
 tongue      (11%)|****
 eyebrow     ( 5%)|**

Male Piercings:
 pa          (35%)|*******
 frenum      (21%)|****
 ampallang   ( 5%)|*
 hafada      ( 5%)|*
 rev pa      ( 5%)|*

Female Piercings:
 inner labia (16%)|**
 clit hood   (16%)|**

Originally the magazine had been planned as an email newsletter with attached photos, but then it shifted over to being an FTP site (remember, this was before the days of Netscape; only Lynx was used for browsing and Mosaic was a prototype with limited penetration). On October 15th, 1994, I announced that the site was up:

OK - This is a confirmation of the FTP site for piercing that is STARTING to become active. It's address is:
and it's directories are:
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart - main directory
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/incoming - uploads of all types
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/ezine - the ezine when it starts to exist
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/ezine/incoming - incoming articles, submissions, letters
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/pictures - pictures, JPEG or GIF usually
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/text - text

CURRENTLY, these directories are mostly empty, but hopefully will start to fill up soon.
 shannon larratt

ps. if you want to subscribe to the ezine, mail me...

However, that course of action didn't work that well, and I don't really count it as “officially” launched at that point — it was just a small collection of photos really. The web started taking off as well, so, on December 7th, 1994, the following post was made:

Subject: Body Art Magazine / WWW Site

Ok, well the magazine is much more on its way! The initial pictures from the first issue are available on my WWW site.

There are a bunch of pictures: hand web, large piercings, stretching, implant surgery, eyebrow... they are 1200dpi colour 24bit scans, all 640x480 in .jpg format - check it out. Text will be there soon too...

 shannon larratt

So that (BME) is “my first internet experience”. Beginners luck I suppose. I'm sure folks like Barry (maybe Keith as well but I'm not sure) who pre-date me on RAB probably get a chuckle out of remembering those days… given that Barry almost got me shut down for slander — but that's another story!

Anyway, feel free to post your “first internet experience” story in the forum…

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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