From SPIT-TOON to SPIT-TAN — Tampa’s Dark (And Dangerous) New Beauty Trend

A bizarre new trend has emerged in the Tampa, FL area, leaving the local community both bewildered and concerned. Known as “spittanning,” this fad involves individuals, mostly women, seeking a sun-kissed glow through a rather unconventional method: using the spit from tobacco-filled spit cups and spittoons to stain their skin.

It all started innocently enough, with a few daring souls sharing tales of how the tobacco residue in the spit gave their skin a golden-brown hue. Soon, word spread like wildfire, and what began as a quirky experiment turned into a full-blown trend. Social media platforms abuzz with photos and hashtags like #SpitTan and #NicotineGlow, as the word continues to spread more and more women are seeking the coveted “spittanned” look.

A spit-tanned girl poolside in Tampa

“I collect all my friends’ spit cups and then rub it all over myself in the shower,” said 18-year-old Marla, showing off her perfect, copper-toned skin. “It gives me an even tan with better color than an orange spray tan.”

Behind the veneer of novelty, however, lies a darker reality. Health experts warn against the dangers of exposing the skin to nicotine, tar, and other harmful chemicals found in tobacco spit. Dr. Allison Greene, a dermatologist at Tampa General Hospital, cautions, “Rubbing tobacco-laden spit on your skin can lead to allergic reactions, irritation, and even more serious conditions like dermatitis or infections.”

Despite these warnings, the allure of a quick and supposedly natural tan has led to the formation of a clandestine market for spit. Some men have taken to social media to advertise their “spit tan services”, offering to both sell you their spit or spit on you directly. This underground trade has raised concerns among local authorities about the legality and safety of such practices.

Horatio, a 22-year-old, self-proclaimed “spit tan practitioner” who advertises his services through social media and on sites like Escort Alligator Classifieds states, “I can barely keep up with the demand, I’m spitting on four to five women a day, six days a week. And my jaw is killing me!” Last week alone, he earned more than $3,000 with tips, spitting his tobacco juice all over his mostly female clientele and massaging it in.

What’s even crazier is that they loved it.

“Not only does it give me a great tan,” said 21-year-old Virginia after leaving a $100 an hour “spit-session” at a St. Petersburg hotel. “It was somewhat of an erotic experience to have a man spit all over me as he chewed tobacco and then rub it in.”

As the trend gains momentum, concerned citizens and health advocates are urging the public to think twice before succumbing to the allure of “spittanning.” Instead, they recommend safer alternatives such as using sunscreen, visiting certified tanning salons, or simply embracing their natural skin tone.

For now, the fate of “spittanning” hangs in the balance, as Tampa residents grapple with the consequences of chasing the perfect tan at any cost.

What next? Shit tanning?

—SM

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