What started with a single prick in 1999 quickly became a way of life for Deutsche Telekom employee Rolf Buchholz. On his face alone, Buchholz now has 170 rings and studs, 94 of which are on his lips.
More piercings can be found on his nipples and around his bellybutton. It is, however, Buchholz's nether region which boasts the most metal, with around 270 piercings currently adorning his genitals.
Piercings quickly became a passion for Buchholz, who over the past decade returned time and time again to "Deep Metal" piercing studio in Dortmund. Each time he would leave with several new pieces of body jewellery.
"I'm often asked why I've done this," said Buchholz. But it seems it was neither for himself nor for the reaction provoked in others. Unable to give a concrete answer, he answered "I don't know. There's no real reason behind it."
Another common question Buchholz faces is whether the piercings hurt. No stranger to pain, however, he is covered head to toe in tattoos and has dozens of implants under his skin. Several hundred piercings were, therefore, no problem.
Buchholz has travelled far and wide on the hunt for body jewellery, and has recently returned from London where he received his Guinness World Record certificate. "I don't have problems at airports though," he said. "The security scanners only go off occasionally."
And despite Buchholz's fascination with body accessories, he's never had a problem with relationships. "Kissing's fine" he said, even with a heavily pierced tongue. Currently he's single, but has found his piercings to be a hit with potential love-interests as he has "always got something to talk about."
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His colleagues at Deutsche Telekom in Münster have witnessed Buchholz's transformation from the beginning, as when he started work he didn't have a single piercing. "They've all become used to it," he added.
Buchholz's love affair with "Deep Metal" is being put on hold for now, however, as he does not have any new piercings planned.