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Professional piercer Michele Mancini, 28, got his ears pierced and stretched when he was just 15 years old, and went on to cover his body in extreme piercings and tattoos during his late teens and early 20s - including a one-and-a-half-inch-wide lip plug and forehead stud.
Now he has 41 piercings on his genitals alone - 19 silicone ribs and 22 beads - along with cheek, nipple and nose piercings. He also underwent a tongue splitting procedure to make it resemble that of a snake.
Mancini, from Naples in Italy, said: "My first direct experience with body modification was when I was fifteen years old.
"I had a girlfriend who had piercings and little stretched lobes and I was so attracted that I wanted to learn more and more about it.
"I got my earlobes pierced and after some months I started to stretch them and then also got my septum pierced."
Mancini originally studied at university to become an accountant, but later realised he didn't want to 'die in an office', opting instead for a more practical career.
For the average punter, Mancini's modifications would have cost several thousand pounds, but as a piercer he is able to barter his way into getting almost all of them done for free through friends.
He has even done some himself, and has also roped in his mother to help.
Mancini, who says the most painful piercing was one through his penis, continued: "I don't have a favourite piercing as I love everything I have done to my body.
"Each one makes me feel more comfortable in my body and has meaning.
"I haven't spent much money on my piercings as I always prefer to barter with friends and I do a lot of it myself, but I have spent a lot of blood.
"At first, my mother was against me getting body modifications for different reasons, such as me being too young and finding it difficult to find a job when I grew up.
"When I was twenty-one, I started to modify myself frequently and she started to accept it.
"Sometimes she has even helped me when I needed a hand piercing."
Mancini, who is currently single, believes his body modifications haven't had a negative impact on his love life, saying partners tell him they find it sexy.
He has also created his own OnlyFans page, where he posts naked pictures of himself and his piercings.
He said: "To anyone that wants to start a relationship with me, it is very obvious that body modifications are a big part of my life, so it's never really been a problem."
Mancini advised anyone thinking about modifying their body should think carefully about it, but said he finds it's a good way to express himself.
He added: "You can never turn back, so think about what you want to do with your life because any regrets are no one's problem but your own.
"But life is just a game so have fun as you only live once.
"I plan to get more modifications in the future, as my entire life is centred around the discovery of my body."
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