A 31-year-old gay man is opening up about his experience getting black market butt injections when he was 20, and his story is predictably horrifying.
“I was in a phase of life in which I felt very confused,” the man tells Refinery29. “I was becoming comfortable with being gay but, all of a sudden, I felt all this pressure about my appearance.”
The man first learned about butt augmentation by his adopted mother, Debra. She encouraged him to book an appointment with her doctor, a Colombian woman who only charged $6000 for a “J.Lo booty.”
“Debra dropped me off and went to the mall,” he recalls. “I walked into the back room and it was the doctor, her nurse, and her daughter — who I think was an apprentice or something. They asked me to pull my pants down, and they sat there talking in Spanish about my ass.”
He continues: “I’m not sure if what they used on me was FDA-approved, but they made sure I knew it was permanent. They told me that it was like Sculptra, but permanent Sculptra.”
“They used a syringe with the widest gauge I’d ever seen,” he says. “They picked the spot at the top of my butt and laid me down on a typical medical table with the paper and everything. I was awake during the entire thing.”
The man describes the injection as the worst pain he’s ever experienced.
“It felt like someone was pulling a tendon under my ass, like they were shredding my butt muscles. It hurt so bad, I started uncontrollably screaming and crying.”
In the days proceeding the surgery, his butt was completely numb. When the feeling finally returned, he was sore for weeks.
“They told me not to expose the area to really high heat for a while, not to turn on my heated seats in my car, or go to a tanning bed,” he says. “Even though I can feel the stuff inside, you can’t feel it by touching my butt; it’s like it was injected under the muscle.”
The implants looked fine for a while and provided the added boost of confidence he was seeking. But now, at 31, they’re not looking so great.
“As I got older, I gained weight and the fat on my butt sort of formed around the filled area so that there is a divot the size of a palm on one of my cheeks,” he says. “I don’t want anyone to see my butt when I’m naked, because it’s misshapen and it kind of dips in weird places.”
Other unforeseen challenges have also arisen.
“Sometimes, if I sit for too long, like if I am driving or flying, my butt goes numb, and not a normal numb–it’s a weird numbness that I never had before I got it done,” the man says. “I have to constantly shift my weight from side to side.”
“When I expose it to tanning lamps,” he continues, “my butt turns bright red where it’s filled out, like the gel is heating up and warming the skin from the inside or something.”
The man admits he’s “terrified” of what other long-term side effects may emerge.
“I was worried about the material making me sick in the beginning, and then I figured I was in the clear, but now I’ve heard things that make me think I could still be in danger,” he says. “The reality is that I’m really scared … I mean, I don’t even know if they can remove it.”
“I have no fucking idea what is inside my body … I’m just really, really scared.”