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rec.arts.bodyart: Welcome & Netiquette FAQ

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Archive-name: bodyart/netiquette
Last-modified: July 12, 2005
Posting-frequency: yearly

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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This FAQ is not actively maintained by Heidi Anderson <heidi@>.  Much of it was originally written by Lani
Teshima-Miller.  It may be out of date.  Parties interested
in assuming maintainership of this FAQ should contact Heidi
at the address above, with a subject line (in all caps)
"RAB FAQ DO NOT DELETE", lest your email be lost amongst
hundreds of spam emails.  This FAQ will be posted only once
per year as of July 2005, until such time as someone else
takes over mainaining and establishes a new frequency.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server: <>.

The FAQ's are also available on thw World Wide Web at
<> and at the RABbit Hole, the
official home page of rec.arts.bodyart, at

Welcome to rec.arts.bodyart! We're glad you're here! Please take a
moment to read this file, as it will help you (and other RAB readers)
understand the standard etiquette (netiquette) for this newsgroup.
This file is posted weekly.

Information provided in this file:

1. About rec.arts.bodart
     1a. What is rec.arts.bodyart? (includes the charter)
     1b. What isn't rec.arts.bodyart?
         1b-1. Is RAB moderated?
         1b-2. Can I post about bodypainting here?
     1c. What types of readers do we have on rec.arts.bodyart?
     1d. Where can I get the FAQs?
     1e. Does this group have a webpage of its own?
     1f. Is there a mailing list, archive site or listserv?
     1g. Are there any other related newsgroups?
     1h. Are there any bodyart chat rooms?
     1i. What is the RAB Survival Guide?
     1j. A brief history of RAB
     1k. What are/were the Lydia awards?
2. Posting to rec.arts.bodyart
     2a. Netiquette on Usenet
     2b. Netiquette on rec.arts.bodyart
     2c. How to title your message
     2d. Acronyms and vocabulary
     2e. Trimming postings to save on bandwidth
     2f. Using attributions and quotes
     2g. Delurking
         2g-1.  What is a slug/tail/ears?
     2h. Getting advice from RAB
         2h-1.  Using RAB to do research for your school paper
     2i. Meeting people and making friends in RAB
     2j. Posting binary files on RAB
     2k. Advertising on RAB
     2l. Related newsgroups.
3. The REALLY FREQUENTLY asked questions
     3a. Will it hurt?
     3b. How much will <insert mod here> cost?
     3c. Why are you so mean to me?  I only asked a question!
            or, Why are you all a bunch of assholes?
     3d. Will you email me pictures of <insert flash tattoo here>?
     3e. Where can I get pierced/tattooed that won't card me?
     3f. Is betadine/ bactine/ peroxide okay for aftercare?
     3g. I just got my <insert body part> pierced and now it is
              red/swollen/pus-filled/etc. What do I do?"
     3h. Will my piercing jewelry set off metal detectors?
     3i. Can I still breast feed after getting my nipples pierced?
     3j. What's wrong with piercing guns?
     3k. Where can I find the kanji for ______?
     3l. What is SETI?
     3m. Can I get a tattoo that is designed to fade in 5 years?
4. Minors accessing RAB
     4a. A word of caution to minors
     4b. Advice for concerned parents
     4c. Suggestions for working with disapproving parents



The original charter of the newsgroup:
 Rec.arts.bodyart (RAB) is an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup for
 discussing "bodyart." Bodyart here refers to tattoos, body pierces,
 brandings (on humans; not on animals) and cuttings, although other
 modifications that involve some *permanent* form of body alteration
 for decorative purposes also qualify. While temporary tattoos and
 standard jewelry may be discussed here, they would be discussed in
 the context of permanent bodyart.

Group consensus over the years has helped the newsgroup's original
charter evolve to include the following:
o No posting of "personal ads" (SWM looking for 20-30 yo SWW, etc.);
  there is a newsgroup called alt.personals.bodyart for this, as well
  as the BME personals at
o No posting of advertisements of businesses (those related to bodyart
  should contact <> for inclusion in the
  Purple Pages Directory, posted on RAB). "Grand Opening", "Special
  Event" or "help wanted" announcements for bodyart-related events/
  establishments are fine.
o No posting of any graphic or binary files. Gifs or jpgs of bodyart
  should be posted on, with a short
  text-only announcement on rec.arts.bodyart as a pointer.  Or, put
  your pictures up on a web page and post the URL.
o Classified "for sale" announcements by individuals (NOT businesses)
  are okay, but are limited to bodyart-related items such as tattoo
  magazines, or body piercing jewelry. Please put "FS:" at the
  beginning of the subject line.  No ads for used cars or concert
  tickets, please. Those interested in buying/selling on the Internet
  should read the "How to Buy and Sell on the Internet" FAQ, posted
  to news.answers.
If you post one of the above, expect to get personal email from
RABbits telling you not to do so. Persons who continue to do so
purposefully and/or maliciously will have their service providers
contacted regarding this unappreciated behavior.

RAB offers a community and sense of belonging for those interested in
bodyart. There are many regulars on RAB who, through their
personalities, serve as jester, shaman, den mother, baby, grumpy old
man, executioner, etc. etc.  Most of all, those on RAB are living,
breathing, ALIVE people who love to celebrate their bodies through
decoration. Welcome!

One of the reasons RAB is so unique, is that it allows lay people to
learn and discuss the topic of bodyart----without the traditional
constraints of social class, geography, or age. While there are some
readers who are professionals or shop apprentices, this is one of the
very few open forums in the world where bodyart enthusiasts can speak
openly about the subject. There are *NO* commercial interests or
ulterior motives in RAB.

It is STRONGLY recommended to read the various FAQs prior to posting a
query. Your question may already be in the FAQ--in which case you look
like a novice just asking it again. Both the tattoo and piercing FAQs
carry a list of (recommended) shops in different geographical areas.
Check to see if your area is represented.

RABbits: When sending private email to posters regarding their
off-topic, or netiquette-less posts, *PLEASE be polite*! There is
no reason to be rude or personal, especially if the error was made
because the poster was a beginner. We would like to provide a warm,
welcoming environment.


          1b-1.  IS RAB MODERATED?

This newsgroup is not moderated. This means inappropriate or off-topic
posts are occasionally posted on RAB. However, the noise level is kept
down thanks to the continued vigilance of RAB regulars ("RABbits"),
who will privately email those who do not follow netiquette. This
means you may get email regarding an inappropriate post. Please do not
take these personally; we are just trying to provide a safe-space
community where we can feel free to talk about bodyart. If you have
any questions about what might be appropriate or not, please ask.
We'll be glad to help you.


Short answer, no, please don't. If you would like to discuss
bodypainting, please post to The exception to
this is the discussion about henna, which stays on your skin for a
long time. Some people assume we discuss bodypainting because
"bodyart" *can* include bodypainting by some (i.e. _Body Art_ magazine
in the UK covers this subject). Since rec.arts.permanent-bodyart is an
overlong and clumsy title, the founders of this group chose the simpler
newsgroup title.



There was a time when the majority of RABbits were related to
university institutions, or to computer jobs or companies. This
has changed in the few years, with most new readers who have
accounts with Internet Service Providers. Be warned: It is more
difficult to learn the true identity of a poster for this reason.

It is impossible to determine the average age of our readership. We do
have some minors, while many are in college. However, there are quite
a few readers who are in their 30s and 40s, and older. Basically, age
is a non-issue on RAB.

There are, however, some groups associated with certain types of
bodyart. Some pierces (nose, cartilage) may be common among the
younger "grunge" set. Navel pierces are the height of hip for the
trendies.  Cuttings have been popular among lesbians, while body
piercing has been popular with the gay/les/bi/transgendered pop-
ulation. For this reason, RAB is *very* GLBT-friendly.

There are now a number of professional body piercers tattoo artists
who read and post to RAB regularly, or at least have email access. A
note to professionals: RAB is a forum for all readers, and clients/
customers have just as much a voice on RAB as piercers and tattooists.



This "Welcome & Netiquette FAQ" file is posted weekly on
rec.arts.bodyart, and monthly on rec.answers and news.answers.  The
tattoo FAQs, alternative bodyart FAQ and body piercing FAQs are posted
monthly in RAB, news.answers and rec.answers. If your system doesn't
retain posts in RAB, check in news.answers or rec.answers.

PLEASE NOTE:  The maintainers of some of the FAQs do not post as
frequently as they are supposed to.  Be aware of this, and that
the copy you locate may be somewhat out of date.

If you are reading a printed copy of this, or are reading this in any
format other than in the original posted in rec.arts.bodyart,
news.answers or rec.answers, this may not be the most recent copy.

The tattoo and piercing FAQs are approved for distribution through
news.answers and rec.answers -- this means that you will now be able to
retrieve them using the following methods as well.  Hopefully the other
FAQ maintainers will also get their FAQs re-approved, so that all r.a.b
FAQs will be automatically archived.

There are several FAQs available for perusal:

 o Tattoo FAQ: A very comprehensive multi-part FAQ that
   includes extensive information about tattoos and tattooing.
   Maintained by Stan Schwarz <>
 o Piercing FAQ: A very comprehensive multi-part FAQ that
   includes extensive information about piercing.
   Maintained by Anne Greenblatt <>.
 o Alternative bodyart FAQ (brands, cuttings). Maintained
   by Shannon Larratt of BME <>.
 o Purple Pages Directory FAQ (Professionals on the 'net).
   Maintained by Sara Mitchell <>
 o Welcome & Netiquette FAQ.  Maintained by Heidi Anderson

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQ's are also available on the World Wide Web at
<> or <>




     The RABbit Hole

Maintained by Kate Pohjola <>, the RABbit
Hole's URL is:  All links to updated FAQs, as
well as links to RABbits are available here.


     The Body Modification E-Zine (BME)

Maintained by Shannon Larratt <>, BME's URL is:



While RAB is an international forum, it can be somewhat US-centric at
times, particularly when all one wants is a recommendation for a
professional in, say, Germany.  There are a couple of options for
Euorpeans.  In 1999, uk.people.bodyart got it's start; for more info
on that group, check out their webpage at
The German-speakers also have their own group, de.rec.bodyart.

As mentioned above, RAB is not an appropriate place to post personal
ads.  However, alt.personals.bodyart is a perfect place to do so,
although it tends to be overrun by porn and spam.  There do exist long-
term couples who met through this newsgroup, so it might be worth your
while to post an ad or wade through the junk to find someone else's.

Also, RAB is for discussion of permanent (or at least, long-lasting)
modifications, and as such is not the place to discuss bodypainting,
which has it's own newsgroup,



There are several forums for chat about bodyart:

BME ( has both live chat and BBS chat.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) has a number of options
 On EFnet, #bodyart, #ink&steel, #piercing,
 On DalNet, #bodyart-uk
 On UnderNet, #tattoo


     1h. Is there a mailing list, archive site or listserv?

There is no bodyart listserv. Most news sites expire their articles
after a week or two, although some are even shorter than that.

If your site doesn't allow you access to the rec.* usenets, or you do
not have a full Internet gateway, you will not be able to participate
in the discussions. If this is the case, we suggest you look into
private online companies that provide full 'net access.

The FAQs for the group are archived (see the next question), and
Google <> archives all (well, a significant
subset anyway) Usenet posts, but there is no independent r.a.b
archive site that I know of.

As of August 31, 1998, Emily Tessier <> has
created a mailing list for bodyart professionals.  The list is (C_PAT stands for Concerned Piercers and Tattooists)
and anyone interested should email Emily for inclusion in the list.
It is unmoderated, but is restricted to professionals (over the age of
17).  As of February 5, 2000, this list still exists.



A humorous FAQ written by much-loved and much-hated longterm RABbit
yttrx.  It may even be of more use in understanding the ways of the
group than this document.  Though pithy, it nevertheless contains
much truth.  It used to be found (but no longer is) at



 [To conserve space, I have hacked Chris' original post, entitled
  "Reflections,"--and by doing so, have taken out much of the
  emotional impact it had on me initially. --Lani]
 [I edited a bit as well, removing a few parts that weren't
   relevant to the history of RAB. --Heidi]

"Reflections," from Chris Wayne (

RAB is now over six years old--I never thought it would last this
long.  In 1990, I got on a primitives mail-list, which a gay friend
pointed me toward. I wondered why most on the list seemed to be gay
(I am straight and a Christian). I wasn't really sure what "Modern
Primitives" was.  While I noticed the ritualistic aspects, my
interests lay more in the actual art of tattooing (not yet piercing).
I do have an open mind and being a tattoo enthusiast, I guess my
friend thought I'd fit in.

I was curious why the GLBs should have all the fun. Why was there no
primitives newsgroup? Karl [MacRae] said there wasn't one because it
would probably open people up to unwanted attacks and stupidity--but
I thought I'd give it a try.

Karl gave me his blessings. In November I called an RFD [Request For
Discussion] (now a CFD [Call For Discussion]) on creating a new group.
What came of the few responses was a name (rec.arts.bodyart). I wanted
it to be apart from the primitives mail list, which included all the
different permutations--with focus on the actual art and not necessar-
ily the ritual, and general enough to have a wide appeal still fit
into the philosophy of Modern Primitivism. I was looking for accept-
ance and education, to teach people that it's OK to accept those that
are different, and that tattooing is not disgusting. The CFV produced
a close vote, but in March 1991, RAB was created.

At first, those on the prims list were cautious for fear of getting
dumped on--but there hasn't been any of this bashing on RAB Here's an
open forum that doesn't care what your color or orientation is, or
even if you're not tattooed and can share in a common passion on
neutral ground and have no fear of being bashed. I wanted someplace
to hear about all aspects of tattooing without having to worry about
someone harassing the people. I think that this group is a beacon to
the rest of the Internet, showing that there's nothing sinister or
evil in tattooing and that criminals, queers and bikers aren't the
only ones that get tattoos. Being tattooed does not make the person;
getting tattooed reflects who the person is--good or bad.

Karl, Jeff, Lance, Ray & Barb and many others no longer here, migrated
over from the prims list and became the local experts. They were
willing and capable of answering any question. Mostly, only those that
had tattoos would post questions, but eventually as word of this group
spread, those that were just curious were reading and posting questions.
Interest grew. "Where can I get tattooed?" "Where can I get pierced?"
"What should I look for?" "How much will it cost?" And of course "Does
it hurt?" The Internet was being introduced to Modern Primitives and
being educated that tattooing is not a fad or trend, but a commitment
(a conscious decision) for life, the courage to be different--to stand
out.  Then came Lani and Ardvark and their FAQs, which are posted on
other important, mainstream groups. These FAQs even help some people
along the three steps of acceptance in getting a tattoo :-)

 1) I never want one!
 2) It looks good on someone else, but I still don't want one.
 3) I want one!

There isn't a session that goes by that I don't see someone asking
about getting their first tattoo or where the nearest shop is, what
questions to ask and what to look for. There are also RAB socials,
get togethers at conventions, and even a wedding invitation! There
are discussions on why we get tattooed and how a tattooed person is
perceived by the public.

People are now getting tattooed because they're getting more familiar
with this art form, and the fear of an unknown is removed. Their
inhibitions and preconceptions are being changed. People are
understanding what it means to be tattooed. I guess there are still
those that think that getting a tattoo is a fad or kewl (cool), but
that's their problem. If everybody is getting tattooed--that's not the
reason to get tattooed. Everybody eats and makes love, but that's not
the reason we do it. I don't think anybody would call sex a fad--I
believe that getting tattooed fills a basic need.

Unlike most groups that are for just discussion, RAB is also a
support group with a sense of community. Truly, one can find
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations in this group.



For more information on the beginnings of the RAB Lydia Awards,
please go to Lance Bailey's Lydia web page. The URL is: These were awards for various
categories of posts to the newsgroup, and the event was only
held twice, in 1994 and 1995.


2.  Posting to rec.arts.bodyart


If you are new to usenet newsgroups in general, read the 20 or so
posts in newsgroup news.announce.newusers for proper net behavior,
or "netiquette" before you consider posting at all. In particular,
the following postings are especially useful for new users:
        A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
        Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
        Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
        Hints on writing style for Usenet
        Rules for posting to Usenet
        What is Usenet?

If you cannot find these topics in the newsgroup, you can get copies
of them via email by sending a message to
containing any or all of:
     send usenet/news.answers/usenet-primer/part1
     send usenet/news.answers/usenet-faq/part1
     send usenet/news.answers/emily-postnews/part1
     send usenet/news.answers/usenet-writing-style/part1
     send usenet/news.answers/posting-rules/part1
     send usenet/news.answers/what-is-usenet/part1

Other good sources of usenet information are the newsgroups
news.newusers.questions (be sure to read its weekly FAQ before posting
a question yourself), and news.answers which contains most of the FAQs
posted to each newsgroup, including the rec.arts.bodyart FAQs.



If you are new to rec.arts.bodyart, the rest of this Welcome FAQ
should be read thoroughly before you consider posting to the group.
You can save yourself alot of time and heartache by being well-
informed, and learning the ways of the group before jumping in.  It
is generally recommended that you "lurk" (read without posting) for
awhile before making your first post in any newsgroup, and RAB is no

As far as RAB netiquette goes, be prepared to be flamed if you:

 -Post an empty message because you don't know what you're doing.
 -Post the same message more than once because you don't know what
  you're doing.
 -Do not quote the message you are responding to.
 -Top post
 -Post a message in all caps (because caps are usually reserved for
  use with acronyms and for emphasis, when you post with the CAPS LOCK
  key on, it looks like you're screaming).
 -Post a classified ad.
 -Post a personals ad
 -Post a binary file.
 -Post in HTML.
 -Post in a language other than English.
 -Post a question that is already answered in the FAQ (frequently
  asked questions) files.
 -Ask for information to be emailed to you because you "don't have
  time to follow the group".
 -Use a .sig that is more than 4 lines long.
 -Post private email to the entire newsgroup.
 -Flame someone else on RAB without knowing who the other person is
  (e.g., there may be an inside joke you're not familiar with yet).
 -Post a commercial message with very little relevance to RAB
 -Post messages that contain various "isms" (i.e. sexism, racism,
  homophobism, religionism, and otherisms.) because of ignorance,
  stupidity, or malice. In particular, threads on "left vs right lobe
  piercings and whether one means you're straight or gay" types of
  posts can get heavily roasted, especially if you emphasize that one
  is better than the other simply because of your sexual orientation.



If you want to post a query (instead of replying to one), try to be
as descriptive as possible in your subject heading. A subject like
"Tattoos" or "Body pierce" don't help readers, since RAB *is* mostly
about tattoos and body pierces. A better heading might be something
like "Need a piercer in Atlanta, Georgia" or "Infection with eyebrow



People save bandwith by using acronyms for oft-used phrases. There are
some terms you may encounter on RAB that you may not see in the "real"

:)       The colon and close-parenthesis characters are used to show a
         smile (tilt your head to the left and read sideways. Other
         smileys include ;) :-) 8-)
<g>      grin, used to indicate humor
AFAIK:   As far as I know
BB:      BarBell
BCR:     ball closure ring, used in Europe instead of CBR
BH:      Butt-Head or Better Half
BME:     Body Modification Ezine (
BTW:     By the way
CBR:     captive bead ring
CBB:     circular barbell, or curved barbell
FAQ:     Frequently Asked Questions. Most newsgroups have FAQ files to
         help lessen the amount of traffic.
FWIW:    For What It's Worth
FYI:     For Your Information
ga:      Short for "gauge", measurement of the thickness of jewelry.
IDTS:    I Don't Think So
IIRC:    If I remember/recall correctly
IMHO:    In my humble opinion
IMNSHO:  In My Not So Humble Opinion
JTYLTK:  Just thought you'd like to know
JTYMLTK: Just thought you might like to know
LITHA:   Leave it the hell alone.  A method of healing piercings.
LMAO:    Laughing my ass off
MOTOS:   Members of the opposite sex, as in soc.motos
MOTSS:   Members of the same sex, as in soc.motss
Ob:      Short for "obligatory." A person who posts something remotely
         related to a newsgroup topic may add "Ob..." at the end of
         their post so they put in an obligatory word about the
         pertinent subject.
ObBodMod:See above, as applied to a note about body modification.
OT:      Off-topic (also sometimes used for On-Topic)
OTF:     On The Floor
OTFL:    On The Floor Laughing
OTOH:    On the one hand; or, on the other hand.
PA:      Prince Albert. A pierce through the urethra of a penis. For
         more info on PAs, please refer to the body piercing FAQ.
         There are many terms specifically regarding body pierces but
         this one seems to come up most often.
RAB:     Rec.Arts.Bodyart
RABbit:  One who hangs out in RAB
RANA:    Daver, the king of the RANA's, has not told anyone what this
         stands for, to my knowledge.  In any case, RANA awards are
         given by Daver most Fridays (starting Feb, 2000, and continuing
         sporadically throughout mid-2000), to the funniest, lamest and
         bitchassiest posts of the previous week.
ROTFL:   Rolling On The Floor Laughing
RTF:     Read the FAQ, often put at the beginning of posts directing
         a reader to the FAQ.
RTFFAQ:  Read the *friendly* FAQ.
SO:      Significant Other
SSS:     Surgical steel. Commonly used for body jewelry.
TAFN:    That's All For Now
TTFN:    Ta-Ta For Now
TTYL:    Talk To You Later
WTF:     What the f*ck
YMMV:    Your mileage may vary.
blank:   One who has no bodyart.
Celtic:  A style of tattooing that incorporates the delicate knotwork
         designs of the Celts (pronounced with a hard "K" and not a
         soft "S" as in the basketball team).
Conch:   The "bowl" of your ear.
delurk:  To post a first message in a group, or to post an
         introduction to yourself and/or your mods, or to post only
         very infrequently in between "lurking".
Flash:   Tattoo designs that you find stapled to the walls of tattoo
         studios. The opposite of this would be a custom design you
         bring in on your own.
Frenulum: The web of skin that connects your tongue to the bottom of
         your mouth.
Frenum:  A specific type of piercing on the penis.
Gun:     Either a tattoo gun (modern tattooing machine) or piercing
         gun.  In RAB, tattoo guns are good, piercing guns are B-A-D
         and should be used only for earlobes.
geoff:   To geoff someone is to cause real-life implications for
         bad on-line behavior.  It was widely believed that the infamous
         Dawn lost her job after Geoff informed her bosses of her

         to post inflamatory material from her work account.  (The truth
         may be more along the lines of "she quit", but the term lives

Lurk:    Lurking. Reader of RAB who doesn't post. The act of
         "delurking" involves a reader who posts for the first time,
         or once in a great while.
mary:    code for anatometal.  Barry of Anatometal coined the term
         himself, I believe, to prove that he wasn't here just for
         the free advertising.
munch:   meet + lunch.  A gathering of RABbits.
mink:    meet + drink.  A gathering of RABbits.
navel:   Please note spelling.  It is not "naval".
Niobium: A type of metal that is "electrified" to produce any number
         of combination of rainbow hues. Also an inert metal used for
         body jewelry.
penis wrinkle:  An insult once wielded by an inept self-flamer that
         became a favorite in RAB.  Now used to refer to a poster that,
         in the process of trying to defend zirself after doing/saying
         something particularly stupid, ends up digging zirself deeper
         and deeper into a hole.
perforink:  Combination of perforate and ink.  One who is perforinked
         is both pierced and tattooed.
plonk:   Sound of someone being dropped into a KillFile.
Septum:  The tissue between your nostrils. Site of a pierce.
Sludge:  The name of the ASCII slug with which delurkers were once
         greeted by Jay "Golgotha" Eaton.
slug:    Refers to an unpierced tongue.  Denise Robinson once made
         the comment that kissing someone whose tongue was not pierced
         was like licking a slug.  Ever since, slug has been used
         synonymously with tongue.
Squick:  Verb: To gross out, feel revulsion. has been
         cited as its origin, and comes from the sound made when one
         copulates with the space between the 2 halves of a brain
         after a hole has been bored into the skull (trepanation or
Tat:     Short for "tattoo"
tongue:  Please note spelling.  It's not "tounge".
troll:   Posting deliberately inflamatory remarks to a newsgroup for
         the sole purpose of stirring up controversy or trying to see
         how big a thread will ensue.  Obvious trolls, like "you are
         a bunch of sickos" should be ignored.
Tragus:  The triangle of cartiledge in the front of your ear.
Tribal:  A tattoo style that's sometimes confused with Celtic. Often
         called "blackwork," involves geometric primitive designs.
Uvula:   The little dangly piece of flesh that hangs down the back of
         your throat.



Some people pay for their online time. If you are posting a response
to another person's posting, try to trim down their quote. This gets
worse as people quote upon other people's quotes, and so on and so
forth, until the quotes alone fill up a few screens. The reader can
go back and read the original posting if s/he wants to. Posting a
response to someone else's long posting, with just a short "I agree
entirely!" is a waste of bandwidth. Refrain from posting something
like this unless you have something more to contribute to the
discussion. But if you MUST, then at least delete the bulk of the
quote. Try to indicate that you are omitting parts of the post by
using the mark of ellipses, etc. (i.e. [...], [extraneous stuff
deleted], [snip snip]).

Please delete other people's signatures.  And keep yours to four
lines or less; this is standard netiquette.



If you are publicly responding to someone else's post, please
include the name and email address of the person you are referring to,
as well as an appropriate amount of their post to which you are

Rules 2e and 2f can be summed up with: "Please quote the relevant part,
and ONLY the relevant part, of the post to which you are replying".


     2g. DELURKING

As the statistics indicate, there are apparently tens of thousands of
readers of RAB. With only an average of 150 posts per day (many by the
same people), the number of "lurkers" who read but don't post is very

You can "delurk" by the simple act of posting a message, whether it is
in response to a thread, a simple question, or an introduction (telling
us who you are, what bodmods you have, or what you JUST got or will soon
be getting).

If you mention that you're delurking, you'll be welcomed into the
RABbit community by others, including Heidi Anderson, who changes the
subject heading to read "Welcome! Re:..." There was some debate as to
the benefits of these welcome postings, which used to be done by
former RABbit Pirate Nick Baban. The consensus is that it helps to
keep our family spirit. However for those who have no desire to read
such posts, please include this subject heading in your killfile.

           2g-1. What is a slug/tail/ears?

From a post by Heidi Anderson:
>Well, once upon a time in a newsgroup much like this one (oh, heck,
>who am I trying to kid, it *was* this one), a RABbit named Pirate
>Nick began welcoming delurking newbies.  At first, it was a blast of
>the love hose with which they were welcomed.  This eventually gave
>way to an ASCII pair of RABbit ears (examples to be found in
>dejanews).  Years passed, and the fearless Pirate moved on to have
>a Real Life (tm), i.e. he disappeared from RAB.  Others welcomed
>newbies in their own special ways, and then the slug appeared.
>Golgotha and myself both began welcoming newbies with ASCII slugs
>(Gol's being far superior to mine, and it was dubbed Sludge, and
>had it's own fan club.  The slug story is another altogether...).
>Sludge disappeared. Months passed.  I started welcoming newbies
>again, this time with RABbit tails.  Who knows how long these will

The tails didn't last more than a few months, but the welcoming of
newbies is a tradition which hasn't died.  Hopefully there will always
be someone around to greet the newcomers.



While RAB offers a forum for discussion, many posts originate from
people who have very specific questions.  Most on RAB are not
professional tattooists or piercers; their advice usually comes from
personal experience or shared information. If you have a serious
medical concern, you may want to see a medical professional. The
advantage to posting on RAB regarding a medical inquiry is that there
are many here who have already gone through the same problem, and may
be able to suggest a bodyart-friendly doctor in your area. Don't
forget that professional, experienced tattooists and piercers are also
good sources for queries regarding infections.

Please use the resource of the RAB FAQ to do some basic research on
your question before posting to the group.  BME ( is
another source of information.

         2h-1.  Using RAB to do research for a school paper

If you need to do a school paper on bodyart, your most important step
is to go to the various libraries in your community. One can easily
perform bibliographic searches on tattoos and body piercing, and can
find many citations for articles in both popular and academic media..
Basic questions about the history of tattooing, etc. should be done
on your own at the library.  Start with the major encyclopedias.

Before you post a "survey" to RAB for your class paper, please think
very carefully about the validity of such a survey. Unless you are
studying the behavior of bodyart enthusiasts in an electronic
community, you will be obtaining your data from a very skewed
population. Depending on the thoroughness of your data, your teacher
may not consider it valid. Remember that regular readers of RAB see
quite a few surveys posted here--most people are pretty jaded because
posters don't follow up by posting their findings, or make their
papers available online via email to the survey respondents.



Do you live in a rural area where it is difficult to meet other
bodyart-friendly people? Are you tired of being rejected by your
dates, who find your tattoos and/or pierces repulsive? Looking for
others who can relate to your desire for bodyart?

Rec.arts.bodyart is a *GREAT* place to meet people and make friends
who understand and relate to your interests!

However, you might be wondering *HOW* it is you can actually meet
these people. Whatever you do, do *NOT* post a personal ad. This is a
no-no in rec.arts.bodyart. The readers of RAB decided that personal
ads didn't belong in the newsgroup, because there are many other
newsgroups (in the alt.personals.* hierarchy) that exist specifically
for this purpose, including alt.personals.bodyart.

Where does that leave a lonely person? Here are some suggestions!
1. Go to the tattoo conventions and meet people (but you have to be
   very friendly and outgoing).
2. Become great friends with your tattooist, and volunteer to work
   there cleaning floors and you'll meet others.
3. Read and post regularly here on RAB, but have something to say.
   Make sure you follow netiquette. Don't turn other readers off. Try
   to let your personality show through.
4. Attend a RAB munch (success rate is higher if you do #3 first).

First of all, the way you meet people is NOT to barge into an ongoing
cocktail party and say "Hi! I'm so and so and oh boy, I'd really love
to meet a nice person with a nose ring from Oregon!" Do THAT, and the
Oregonian with the nose ring is liable to hide behind others! :{
This extends to the newsgroup environment as well.

What you should do is to read the newsgroup regularly. If you find
threads that are of interest to you, pipe in with some interesting
comments of your own!  What I mean is, don't just say "I agree!", but
include some of your own opinions. If you start posting occasionally
(and I recommend you get yourself a nice four-line .sig file so people
recognize you), people will start warming up to you as a regular and
you won't feel so much like a stranger. That *doesn't* mean post 50
posts in two days.  That means post at least weekly with something
significant to say (or something funny; that's always good) that
contributes to the ongoing discussions.

After a while, you'll feel comfortable being a regular--enough to
where OTHERS may email you with private email.  Otherwise, YOU can
send private email to others whom you think you connect. If you *do*
connect, you can continue with the private email and take your
friendship from there.

With most RAB couples/friendships, they started by knowing each other
online, and taking it to private email from there, *or* by meeting
in person at a munch.



Rec.arts.bodyart was set up as a discussion-only newsgroup, and is not
the appropriate place to post pictures (gifs, jpgs). If you would like
to share your photo, please post it to,
with an announcement to RAB informing posters of your gif/jpg.  Or,
put it up on a web page and post the URL.

Many sites carry If your site doesn't
carry it, talk with your sysadmn about getting it. Even if you have
been refused, you are not allowed to post gifs to RAB.



If you are a bodyart professional, please contact Sara Mitchell
at <> about inclusion in the Purple Pages
Directory. In the meantime, please refrain from posting ads in RAB.

If you work for a bodyart-related company or shop, you are encouraged
to participate in RAB as with everyone else. If you wish to let your
professional affiliations known, your best bet is to include this
information in what is called a .signature file. The standard accepted
length of .signature files is four lines of text. Feel free to include
your shop name and URL in your .sig.


3. The REALLY FREQUENTLY asked questions

     3a. Will it hurt?

Yes. No. Maybe so.  There is no good answer to this question besides
YMMV (your mileage may vary).  It is dependent on any number of
factors, including but not limited to: your personal pain tolerance,
the skill of the bodyart professional (tattoo artist or piercer), the
quality of the needles, the body part in question.  Most mods hurt at
least a little, some hurt alot.  The definition of "little" and "lot"
is solely up to you, and you are going to have to decide for yourself.

     3b. How much will <insert mod here> cost?

Please call your local shop for an estimate.  The answer depends on
the shop, the artist/piercer, your local economy, the size of the
tattoo or the type of jewelry, and the price of tea in china.

     3c. Why are you so mean to me?  I only asked a question!
            or, Why are you all a bunch of assholes?

This gets asked quite often.  RAB has developed a culture that has a
low tolerance for twits.  If you find yourself asking this question,
instead ask yourself "have I been a twit lately?  did I just ask a
group of strangers to do my research for me or choose my tattoo for
me?  did I ask for info to be emailed to me since I can't be bothered
to look back at the group for the answer to my question?  did I just
ask a question that gets asked on a weekly, or even daily basis and/or
is answered in the FAQ?  did I post a binary when this is clearly a
non-binary group?"  etc, etc, etc.  People who immediately go on the
defensive and start lashing out at the regulars are the most likely
to ask this question.  So, don't be a twit, and read the FAQ, and
you'll surely find that RABbits are not, in fact, all assholes.

     3d. Will you email me pictures of <insert flash tattoo here>?

No, we won't.  Go to a tattoo shop and look on the wall.  Go to a
library.  Go to

     3e. Where can I get pierced/tattooed that won't card me?

While you might be able to find such places, consider this: is a shop
that is willing to break the rules regarding working on minors going
to be reliable on other, more critical issues like cleanliness and
sterilization?  The "professionals" willing to work on you without
carding you or asking for parental permission are probably hacks and
scratchers, and you're much better off waiting until you're legal or
getting permission.

     3f. Is betadine/ bactine/ peroxide okay for aftercare?

While betadine, bactine, and other similar products were once
recommended for use on fresh piercings, they are no longer.  Peroxide
was never a good idea, since it kills healing cells; don't use it.

     3g. I just got my <insert body part> pierced and now it is
red/swollen/pus-filled/etc. What do I do?"

See your piercer.  And next time, follow his or her aftercare
instructions (unless your piercer is Todd Bertrang...)

     3h. Will my piercing jewelry set off metal detectors?

For the most part, this will not happen.  There are isolated incidents
where someone or other has set off a detector that is set to be
particularly sensitive, but the majority of the time pierced
individuals sail through metal detectors with nary a problem.

     3i. Can I still breast feed after getting my nipples pierced?

Yes.  Please see the site put together by Denise Robinson: (no longer available)

     3j. What's wrong with piercing guns?

So many things, where do I begin?  Lish Daelnar has written a piece
on the subject, found at

     3k. Where can I find kanji?

     3l. What is this SETI business?

Back in 1999, RABbits were helping to find ET with Seti-at-home.
See  There was a
rec.arts.bodyart team.

     3m. What about tattoos that fade in five years?

There is no such thing.  It doesn't exist.  It's a lie.  It is
physically/biologically impossible.



Please be aware that in most areas, at least in the United States and
Canada, professional tattoo artists and body piercers will not pierce
or tattoo minors. There is no national law regarding this, though, as
each locality and/or state/province has its own regulations.  It is
your responsibility to be aware of the laws regarding piercing and
tattooing in your area.

It is impossible to monitor which of the RAB readers are minors. In
fact, we can't even tell who the minors are unless they announce it
to the newsgroup. The general consensus on RAB is that it is far
better to help minors make informed decisions about what to do to
their bodies rather than deny information to them and risk them
damaging their bodies permanently.



Unmoderated usenet newsgroups are completely open, and it is
impossible to control who participates. Just as you can participate
in RAB, so can opportunistic adults who may prey on minors. Although
the numbers are very small, pedophiles or child molesters may lurk in
the newsgroup, hoping to develop a relationship with you. Please use
common sense in protecting yourself.
  -Do not give away your home phone number or home address.
  -Do not give people personal information that will help them track
     you down.
  -If a person wants to meet you, meet in a public place and do not
     go alone.

The following link offers some suggestions for online safety.

If you are in high school or secondary school, you may be quite
mature.  However, the law does not reflect this. Please be aware that
if you reveal your minor status on RAB, and then ask for information
about piercings, some people on RAB may decline to help you. Please be
aware that much of the information you may be seeking is available in
the piercing and tattoo FAQs (, or
at BME (



If you are a parent, please don't be alarmed that your child is
reading rec.arts.bodyart.  It's a great arena in which your child can
obtain factual information about body piercing and/or tattooing which
otherwise may not be readily available to them in any other manner. If
you don't want your child to have access to this newsgroup, please
discuss this with your child and their account system administrator.

It's important to know that just as it is your responsibility to
protect your child from things in your material world, you also need
to be responsible for protecting your child from inappropriate adult
material online. Please consider learning about the Internet with your
child, and help your child learn why some areas may not be safe or
appropriate for them to visit.

1997 Link for parents to consider:



If you're a minor interested in getting bodyart, the idea of tattoos
or body piercings can be a very frightening thought to your parents.
These pointers may be useful in having a discussion about bodyart with
your parents or guardians.

 If your parents are Internet savvy, point them to the RABbit Hole
( and show them the rec.arts.bodyart FAQs.

 If your parents are uncooperative due to lack of information, you can
provide them with articles currently available in the mainstream media.

 If your parents are against your getting bodyart because they think
you would suffer permanently from a passing fad, you can offer a
compromise.  Offer to wait six months, and pay for your bodyart with
your own money.  While this may seem like an eternity, it may also be
long enough to convince your parents that your desire for bodyart is

If your parents are dead-set against piercing and/or tattooing, then
the best thing to do is to wait until you are at least 18 years old
and/or on your own.  Many people on RAB have personal experience with
this situation, and the consensus is that "it's not worth the grief--
just wait a couple more years."

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

        Welcome to the wonderful world of rec.arts.bodyart.
                 "Poke around and think ink!"

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends the "What is rec.arts.bodyart?" file.

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