I bumped into Dave and Lesley on a very sunny day in Clifton Village in Bristol, outside the Boston Tea Party cafe. More accurately I accosted them and asked if I could interview them.
They have been married for twenty years and have one child from this marriage and eight children in all. They come from Kingswood in Bristol.
They both love tattoos and have extensive coverage. When they first met over twenty years ago Dave had a panther and a couple of eagles tattooed on him, Lesley none. But for their wedding they had matching tattoos on their legs to celebrate the event. Looking at my notes, I realise I may not have clarified something quite important as Lesley told me she had her first tattoo only ten years ago. Were they living together umarried for ten years first? I will probably never know now.
They share a deep friendship and love for each other and tattoos are obviously a big part of their relationship. Dave says when Lesley has a tattoo he gets jealous and wants another for himself, yet they go together to get tattooed and discuss everything amongst themselves. One of their daughters got her first tattoo, on her stomach, when only fourteen. She has now gone on to get many more tattoos, as her parents have.
Lesley's sleeve she describes as a summery thing with the intials of her children contained within. Dave's second sleeve, shown below, he had done only two years ago at Skin Deep in Bristol. Getting names tattooed on them is a big thing. Dave also has his children's names on his leg.
Not content to have Lesley's name tattooed on his leg a picture of his wife dominates his backpiece. I asked them if they weren't worried by the adage that tattoos last longer than relationships, Dave joked that if they split he would have a gun tattooed on his back directed at Lesley's picture. Lesley calmly and quietly said there was no chance of them ever splitting. It was hard not to believe them, as they seem so much in love with each other.
Dave says the tattoo above on his calf will be his last. Lesley laughed, saying that Dave always says that. She is in no doubt that she will get a lot more ink yet, though is not interested in getting a bodysuit.
They are not interested in getting neck or face tattoos as they think they are far too limiting. Dave is a window cleaner and would worry about his business and deterring some clients. Lesley hopes her daughter doesn't get neck tattoos.
Both of them are sun worshippers and I commented that ink fades in the sun and anyhow a tanned body stops the tattoos standing out as they do on a pale skin like mine. They didn't care. They love the sun just as they seem to love the world and each other. I left them feeling envious of their relationship. Two happy people.
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This is how I look after being on hormone treatment for 18 months and after two lots of facial feminisation surgery. I have also had a lot of electrolysis on my beard. I have been transformed. And there is still quite a way to go yet. You can see some of my tattoos peeping out from the top of my dress. It seems evident now that my quest for a full body suit is linked to my gender dysphoria. I am not trying to suggest that everyone who gets a body suit suffer from dysphoria. Not at all. But in my case I think it is just one of a number of things I had been doing to change my appearance completely. Now my focus on being tattooed has dissipated as I continue my transition with my mind devoted now on my gender reassignment surgery scheduled for August of this year, 2020. Once my transition is finished then I must finish the work currently in progress on my legs. You can follow my transition via my YouTube videos. Just search for Zoë Genevieve Perry.
My mind is focussed on just one kind of extreme body modification - heavy tattooing. My body appearance has changed drastically in the past five years. But what are other people's body modifications of choice? One is a practice known as "tight lacing", in which the users of corsets embark on reducing their waist sizes to as small at 17 or 18 inches, if they can. It's not something that grabs me but Lacie here ( www.staylace.com ) has dedicated herself to the practice. There are others like her who take it very seriously. It's a fetish and not necessarily permanent. If you give up regularly wearing this special kind of corset then you will eventually revert to normal. I have no plans to embark on this myself, but before I pass any judgement must reflect that what I am doing to myself is even more extreme. The images here are truly eye catching. I have never knowingly met anyone who is into tight lacing yet there is a big community out there who do it.
These photos were taken by Susanna Ahvalo from Finland and were shot in Vilnius. Susanna is a professional photographer and there is nothing pornographic about her work. I am always happy to have some professional photos taken of my tattooed body. Had they been taken later this month you would have seen my left leg with its new tattoos. Ah well, I can't have everything.