Tiew, a 47-year-old migrant with bleached hair and mahogany skin, remembers the night when razor blades lacerated her vaginal walls. After amusing a largely Western audience with bizarre tricks - using her vagina to extinguish a candle and her pelvic muscles to shoot out ping-pong balls - Tiew prepared for her grand finale. Offstage, she implanted a wire tightly coiled with steel razor blades into her vaginal cavity. Tiew planned to extricate the wire as she gyrated around a pole in front of her inebriated audience.
But suddenly, the Royal Thai Police flooded the stage with light. Alarmed women groped for their clothes, customers proclaimed their innocence, and the brothel's manager escaped through a rear exit. Completely naked, Tiew raced down three flights of stairs into Bangkok's notorious Patpong District. The blades sliced her open like a gutted fish. "I didn't know a person could feel so much pain," she remembers.
The full article is only available in print in the August 2010 issue of Ms. Magazine.