A Brief, And Unexpected, Mourning

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I have always wanted to eat fire.
Me, con fieroIt’s a strange hobby to want to have – but I’ve never done it, out of a combination of “lack of teachers” and “severe danger.”  The concern is not burning your lips – you will do that, on a regular basis, blistering your gums.  (Fortunately, thanks to the heavy blood flow in your mouth, it heals quickly.)  Nor is it the drinking poison, which you also do on a regular basis, since you’re swallowing trace amounts of naptha.
The big concern is inhaling at the wrong time.  Suck in a surprised breath and you cook your vocal chords, sear your lungs.  That shit is permanent.
Still, I’d always wanted to try it.  The one book I’d ever found on the topic, a fifty-page pamphlet, didn’t really provide enough information for me to feel comfortable doing it on my own.  So when, stumbling around Amazon, I discovered a comprehensive tome on the topic had finally been written, I immediately downloaded it.  And after making my way through it, I can’t recommend The Professional’s Guide To Fire Eating enough – it explains the danger and the nature of the tricks quite thoroughly.
If I was a normal person, I’d probably start learning straight away.  My love of BDSM-related fireplay has had me handling a lot of fire lately – I’ve got the torches, I clearly have zero fear about setting myself on fire, and I have the experience to understand what’s heated and what’s not.
But there’s one danger I’d never thought about:
The heat ruins your teeth.  Cracks your enamel. Most fire eaters need major dental work by the time they’re fifty.
I’ve had major dental work.
For those of you new here, I spent five years without front teeth because I had severe gum disease.  It took five years of various gum surgeries to build up my gums to the point where they could hold implants, and now I have a row of artificial teeth.  Exposing those to fire could ruin them, putting me in the hock for another $10,000 round of painful surgeries.
So.  It’s a stupid hobby to take up, I agree.  I probably shouldn’t have done it anyway.  But now I cannot, and I feel a strange sadness for a thing that I’m now ready for, but cannot do.


  1. alexander
    Nov 19, 2012

    clay or polymer teeth protectors?

  2. Collarsmith
    Nov 21, 2012

    From what I understand, basically you’re blowing out and aspirating fuel up into the outgoing stream of air from a supply held in your mouth. If you don’t mind looking a bit mechanical, what you’d be doing with your mouth is basically a big perfume sprayer, and something like that would be easy to make. Basically a T of tube, with the leg of the T in a bottle of fuel. Blow through the crosspiece hard enough and the airstream will suck fuel up the leg and mix it with the air. I’m picturing some sort of mouthpiece with a nozzle and a hose leading down to a water bottle full of fuel. Here’s a link to someone experimenting with homemade sprayers:
    I also seem to recall something of the sort in the movie . I think it was the band Rammstein doing their song ‘Feuer Frei’, and one of the singers was using some sort of gizmo to help him breath fire. I found a music video of the song that shows the gizmo. It looks like something kludged together from a ball-gag harness and some weed burner parts. He lights the end of it at the 2.19 mark, then fires it off at 2.31, 2.38, 2.49, 2.51 and 3.03. The 2.38 mark gives a decent closeup of the gizmo.

    I’ve enjoyed your writing, just thought I’d give something back.

    • alexander hollins
      Dec 10, 2012

      That’s BREATHING fire. Eating fire is putting the flaming torch in your mouth and closing your mouth, extinguishing the flame. It is often followed by breathing the flame using another torch, but not always.


  1. Presenting….The 2012 Annual Greed List! | Ferrett Steinmetz - [...] glad you are not learning to eat fire!” my dad gushed.  “I mean, I’m sorry you can’t breathe fire…

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