As a piercee it is very interesting to know more about the history of piercing. Eventhough many of our blogs and articles there are references to piercings
in history , they are primarily focused on many (hundreds or thousands) of years old artifacts. However, the piercing culture as we know today is not very old at all and actually stems only from the 70 ' with the founding of piercing and tattoo shop ' Gauntlet Enterprises .
The punk scene is often cited as an important component in the overall process which has led to the piercing culture as we know today. While it is absolutely true, their influence begins in the 80 ' . Before this there were other groups that have caused the actual kickstart of the current culture, which include the Gay Scene, SM scene and other alternative sexual groups. These groups were the first groups to experiment with their sexual orientation and exhibit this with their piercings. ( One of the remnants is that men with only one earing are gay. This was often the case in the 70's, however nowadays this no longer applies, of course. )
Thanks to a select group of gay men, (who also had an enthusiasm in the world of SM ) who had a very strong interest in piercings, which evolved to a network and ultimately an to an entire organization that caused our current piercing culture to truly gain a foothold. Richard Simonton (aka Doug Malloy ) and Jim Ward, in particular have provided perhaps the most important part ; America's first piercing shop .
Jim Ward has been working with piercings throughout his life. When he was 32 (1973) he mastered the art of piercing and developing and designing body jewlerry. He then meets Doug Malloy (who uses this pseudonym because homosexuality , SM and such matters were not yet socially accepted) who is highly successfull the business world. As Malloy was impressed with the knowledge and skills of Ward he decided to give him the financial means for him to start a business from the home of Jim Wards.(1975) This small home business becomes so succesfull that they decide to open America's first specialised piercing shop in 1978 on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood called ; Gauntlet Enterprises
Over time, their audience has changed from the local community to well known socialites such as musicians, models and actors. These important people came by more often, which had led to an increased popularity that has spread to the general public. Gauntlet continued in the piercing scene until they due to a variety of causes 20 years later they went bankrupt.However the piercing world was probably never have become what it is today without these men as they have shown the world the current trend of piercings.