This is the permanent or semi-permanent deliberate alteration of the body for non-medical reasons. This can be for reasons such as spiritual (e.g. self-flagellation), various social (e.g. tribal markings), extreme BDSM or aesthetic.
It can range from socially acceptable decoration (e.g. pierced ears), to the religiously required (e.g. circumcision), to rebellious social statement(e.g. tongue splitting), to corporal punishment.
Controversy arises from the idea of attempting to artificially beautify the natural form of the body, often leading to charges of disfigurement and mutilation. Extreme forms of alteration are occasionally viewed as mental illnesses, or as an expression of unchecked vanity.
Unlicensed surgery performed outside of a medical environment can often be life-threatening, and is illegal in most countries.
Here we will focus primarily on the sexual body alterations most commonly practiced in Western society.
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