Elayne Angel

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Elayne Angel
Born Elayne Steinberg
August 6th, 1960
Los Angeles, CA
Residence Mérida, Yucatán[1]
Nationality American
Other names Elayne Binnie, Elayne Greene, Elayne Levine
Occupation Body piercer
Known for an originator of the popularizing of body piercing in the early 1990s[citation needed], wife of Buck Angel[1][2]

Elayne Angel (born Elayne Steinberg, August 1960) is a professional body piercer.

Early life and education[edit]

She was born Elayne Steinberg on August 6, 1960.[3] Angel attended Canoga Park High School and Chatsworth High School. In 1982, she earned an associate's degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Los Angeles Pierce College.[4] She has a certificate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.[5]


Angel became interested in body piercing after a casual encounter with a woman bearing a nipple piercing at a Renaissance Faire in 1981. Through her encounter, she became involved with and employed by Gauntlet, the first, and at the time only professional body piercing studio in the United States. While employed by Gauntlet, she worked at the Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco branches. She was the first recipient of a Master Piercer certificate, from Gauntlet founder Jim Ward, which she received on December 1, 1992.[5] Her technical contributions to the field of body piercing include the invention, naming and popularizing of several placements, including the fourchette and the lorum piercings.

In December 1993, Angel opened her own studio, Rings of Desire, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Rings of Desire was the first body piercing studio to receive state licensing from the Health Department in Louisiana, and the only licensed body art business within the French Quarter.[citation needed] Angel has been involved with the crafting of regulatory legislation regarding body piercing in Louisiana, and the training of the professionals who enforce those laws.[citation needed] Angel distributed the research study for doctors at the University of South Alabama on the relationship between female sexual satisfaction and vertical clitoral hood piercing.[citation needed] Positive results were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.[6]

While in New Orleans, she established, with Justine Roeg, a store catering to accessories for small dogs called Chiwawa Gaga.[7]

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Angel closed her New Orleans studio and relocated to Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. In March 2009, she published The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing. It was released by Random House. She currently[when?] guests spots at piercing studios around the US and gives talks and workshops on piercing practice around the world.

Involvement with the Association of Professional Piercers[edit]

Angel is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) and served two prior terms on its board of directors in the position of Outreach Coordinator and Medical Liaison.[citation needed] She is now serving her third term on the Board, and is again the Medical Liaison for the organization. In 2012, she was the president of the organization. She has edited their newsletter "The Point", authored a variety of brochures that have gone on to be industry standard for piercing care, taught workshops internationally and attended and participated in yearly APP conventions.[citation needed]

Her modifications[edit]

Angel is best known for her large tattoo of angel wings on her back. The lower right wing is interrupted by a heart with a banner across it reading "slave". This design, which was the inspiration for the logo for her studio, was registered as a U.S. service mark (No. 2,645,270, issued November 5, 2002) and was done by Bob Roberts of Spotlight Tattoo in Los Angeles, California in 1987, it has since been cancelled due to the registration not being renewed.[8] After receiving the service mark for this design, the circled "R" was added to her right buttock by Joey Galiger in Los Angeles, California, at the advice of her attorney.[9]

Her entire lower body has been tattooed with fish-like scales and fins, giving her a mermaid-like appearance from the waist down. This was done over an eleven-day period by artist Juli Moon at Juli's Bed and Breakfast in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Symmetrical tattoos of flowers and vines extend from her wrists to her biceps, done in 1991 by her former husband, British tattoo artist Alex Binnie. Small flames were tattooed over her eyebrows by Cap Szumski of Timeless Tattoo in Atlanta, Georgia in January 1998. She also has small tattoos of flames behind each ear, which were also done by Galiger. One of her recent works, done in 2005 by Walt Clark of NOLA Tattoo, is a miniaturized version of the vines and flowers from her arms, which covers both hands. Her most recent work was also done by Walt Clark, which is a set of sinuous snake-like designs from her hairline to the top of each shoulder.[citation needed]

Over the years, Angel has had a variety of body piercings, including multiple (5) tongue piercings, various genital piercings, nipple piercings, navel piercing, ear piercings and facial piercings.

Perhaps her earliest appearance in print is an uncredited photo by Sheree Rose featuring her then incomplete wings, in the seminal publication Modern Primitives, published in 1989.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Angel has been married three times.

Her first husband was porn director Ernest Greene (also known as Ira Levine), who is now porn star Nina Hartley's husband. Angel and Greene married in Century City, California on February 14, 1987. They divorced December 19, 1988.[citation needed]

On October 28, 1991, Angel married English tattooer Alex Binnie in London, England, United Kingdom. They divorced on November 13, 1996.[citation needed]

Angel married trans man porn actor Buck Angel in New Orleans on November 17, 2003.[11]


  1. ^ a b http://news.bme.com/2008/07/24/a-man-without-a-cock-or-country/
  2. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/logan-lynn/pornographic-activism-the-rebranding-of-buck-angel_b_3364429.html
  3. ^ Running the Gauntlet Jim Ward,2011
  4. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/authorelayneangel
  5. ^ a b Running the Gauntlet
  6. ^ "Ovid: Search Form". Pt.wkhealth.com. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ http://www.chiwawagaga.com
  8. ^ "Latest Status Info". Tarr.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  9. ^ "ELAYNE ANGEL". Skin Deep 152. Big Tattoo Planet. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Modern Primitives, V. Vale and Andrea Juno,eds., Re/Search Publications, 1989, p 112
  11. ^ http://nypress.com/man-or-woman-you-decide/

External links[edit]