The point of departure for this discussion on pain and identity is an examination ofover 6,000 photos of self-injury, taken from an Internet site. The central issue isself-injury in the form of skin cutting. With a perspective derived from discourseanalysis and feminism, these images are analysed as semiotic and linguistic entitiesthat communicate important messages from bodies in a postmodern society.Notions of the sublime, obscene and other conceptions of limitlessness are centralto the understanding of cutting and the images of it. A discussion of ElaineScarry’s definition on pain leads to an understanding of pain not as a physicalsensation but as a semantic state of chaos, of disorder and trauma. Cutting could beseen as a means to (re)create order and as an expression of anger and resistancewhich has a hidden political potential. Cutting by women also challengeshegemonic notions on femininity. By using psychoanalytic theories of the skin’simportance for identity, the article ends with a suggestion that the actual placewhere identity is constituted is the skin. This theory gives an understanding as towhy skin is being cut as a way to re-establish order when the subject is threatened.