The splitting of the tongue is a modern practice that seem to illicit either an observant curiosity or a horrified recoil. It’s hard to estimate how many people have done this modification but features appearing on headlines news and in the “weird news” categories on the internet news wires suggest the number is slowly growing. This is often described as an “extreme” modification as the procedure done or healed poorly can result in impediments to speech and the ability to taste.
A split tongue generally refers to the vertical bifurcation of the first two inches or so of the tongue, forward of where the tongue attaches to the floor of the mouth. Healing apart, the two halves must then be “trained” so that they can move and function as one or as two. Once healed, people with this body mod have forked tongue tips that they can flutter at will.
I first read of this modification in Fakir Musafar’s “bodyplay” magazine, as told to Fakir by a young woman named Dustin who had done this to herself. The procedure she thought up and did to herself is the least surgical and bloody of all methods I have read about to date. She had a piercing in the center of her tongue and looped monofilament line through the piercing and over the end of her tongue. By tightening this loop slowly over many weeks, she split the end of her tongue in two down the middle. She reported to Fakir that it took three months to learn to control the two halves of her tongue so that they could act in conjunction or independently.
Since that article came out, many more people have worked out ways to perform this body modification. People turned to their dentists and plastic surgeons for more information, and some medical professionals adapted surgical techniques to produce forked tongues. Tongue splitting has now also been done with scalpels and some surgeons have adapted the use of cauterizing lasers for this body mod. You will find dentists, plastic surgeons and body piercers all performing this alteration. If you decide to commit to this radical modification for yourself, decide if you wish to go with a medical professional or piercer, and then try and find whomever has the most experience doing this type of procedure.
Doing this modification on your own or with a professional will still carry risks of damaging nerves that can effect speech or taste, or leave the tongue with a permanent feeling of numbness. Any infections or problems with healing should be dealt with swiftly, getting formal medical attention. Also, this is not a body mod that can be reversed easily. Surgery and skin grafting is the only way to get the two healed halves of the tongue to go back together.
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