About two weeks before Eroticon, I saw this tweet by Mister Gryphon:
Anyone going to #eroticonlive in a few weeks want to be a branding model?
Now, I do have red hair (colored) but I can be so damn blond at times. I thought that Gryphon meant that he would help with the branding of a company, you know… improve the logo and such.
Okay. Go on. Laugh.
I will wait…
My email exchange with Gryphon cleared things up and all of a sudden I was about to have something done that I have been curious about for a long time. Of course I, like so many others, thought that branding is being done with a red hot iron, the same way they did cattle. Gryph explained it as follows:
The idea is that we transfer a design onto you using standard tattoo transfer methods, after which I shall use a flame to heat up a striker (or rather, steel poker with a diameter of 0.8 millimetres) and I will make a series of ‘dots’ along the lines of the design. This will sting a small amount at first, but you’ll get used to it after about 30 seconds. These little burns will scab over, and after the scabs have fallen off, the resulting ‘scar-dots’ will have joined up neatly into a line.
With regards to the permanent(ish) remark, the permanence of a brand depends on a whole lot of factors, but mainly three:
– Your skin type and complexion – The darker your complexion of skin the less likely it is to fully disappear.
– The aftercare regime – This most of all determines whether or not a design will stay on you forever, or for six months
– The width of the striker (poker) – If wounds are under 1mm in diameter, generally the human body just ‘pulls them closed’ and there will be minimal scarring. Any wound above 1mm in size will be more likely to result in a permanent scar.
Generally though, I can’t guarantee that the design will fully disappear so I always recommend that people don’t get brands if they couldn’t live with the design being permanent.
Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous about the branding. I always need to plan ahead and my biggest concern about the whole thing was which knickers I would wear!
Need time for a laugh again?
Just before the kink demonstrations were about to start, I went to change. I took off my tights, put on bright red lacy knickers and put some lotion on my legs. I was as ready as I could be. For the next fifteen minutes, I was part of the audience while someone else was branded. Then it was my turn. You know how it us when you’re not feeling nervous at all but your body sort of betrays you? That was me – feeling perfectly fine but with sweaty palms.
Gryph had all designs drawn on transfer paper. Once we determined just where the design should be (mirrored to the tattoo on my right leg) he transferred the design to my upper left leg. The bright blue ink, on my white skin, reminded me of when my tattoos were done. Gryphon changed the steel poker and then struck up the flame.
The first time the poker touched my skin, it burnt, but not as much as I thought it would. It literally touched my skin, pressed down and was gone again under a second. Gryph heated the poker again, did two dots on the line, heated the poker again and did three dots.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
And you know what? I was. I could do this. It was nowhere as painful as I thought it would be. Gryph explained that he would first do the outline of the butterfly. Then he would do the body of it and only then the lines on the wings. The reason for this was that if I couldn’t sit through the entire thing, I would still have a nice design. I appreciated this thinking a lot!
Around me people were watching. Some stayed for the entire proceedings, others moved to other demonstrations. New people that joined to watch the branding, asked me whether it hurt.
“Much less than when I got my tattoo,” became my standard answer, and this was true. It hurt a hell of a lot more when I got my tattoos than when Gryph did the branding.
Some wanted to know if you could smell the burning.
“Yep,” Gryph said, “it smells like burning hair.”
Even though I was more or less sitting right above it, I couldn’t smell anything.
I have no idea how long Gryph was busy. It was over almost before it started. Okay, not really, but it was over quite quickly. Granted, two or three times towards the end of the branding the big toe on my left leg twitched when he made the dots on the design. I think this was part of my body processing the hurt and telling me that I was getting tired.
The things I remember the most about the branding are:
- How calm I was. As the branding progressed, I got even calmer, to the point where I just sat smiling at everyone and reassuring them that I was really okay;
- Remittance Girl coming to stand close to me and telling me how lovely she thought it was;
- My sweaty palms (despite my calmness);
- The disappointment that it was done;
- Gryph telling me that I have great thighs;
- How proud I was afterwards (even in the hotel for drinks that evening) to show everyone my butterfly. I had to be very careful just how I lifted my dress, because I wasn’t wearing any knickers. You see… we still had a photo date with another couple for later the evening.
Aftercare of the branding is done the same way as with tattoos. I have to keep it moist with Bepanthen or something similar. It’s to keep the scabs soft. Now I am honest that I have only started using the Bepanthen last night. The reason? We just didn’t have time to go out to get Bepanthen from Boots and frankly, I don’t mind if this means the butterfly will be more permanent. I didn’t get branded because I want the design to disappear.
Now, I normally sleep on my left side. When we go to bed, I lie on my back for a while, then turn towards Master T, which puts me on my right side and once I really want to go to sleep, I turn over on my left. Now that very first night when I did this I immediately gasped. It hurt! I eventually drifted off to sleep but each time I turned, I felt the pain. Not pain that kept me awake, but it was definitely there. Also when I bent over or sat down. Bending my legs reminded me that what I had on my leg was essentially a burn mark. On Sunday the blue ink of the design was still visible, but on Monday almost all of it was gone.
I am incredibly happy with my design and with the experience. Even if the mark might not be permanent, I am happy I have done this. If you are thinking of having a branding done, please get in contact with Mister Gryphon. I’m sure he will be able to do exactly the design you have in mind!
Oh, and when this is entirely healed, I will do another post on it.
© Rebel’s Notes
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