Getting A Tattoo
Now that you have paid for your first tattoo, you have your hand crafted and original design in hand, and are in a sterile environment…It’s time for initiation!!! Are you excited? Looking back on my previous article “Will my first tattoo hurt?”, if you are scared, just know that we all were. It is a feeling of the unknown and for humans, most of us anyways, the unknown can be scary.
You have asked all the people you know with a spot of ink on them what it feels like and does it hurt I’m sure. Again, we are all different. Some tattoos will sting, some will tickle, others will hurt a little, and then there are some that will hurt a lot. But we survive and keep coming back for more, and more, and more!
There is a certain love and sense of accomplishment when a tattoo is completed. An adoration if you will, a rite of passage and a piece of your life you took head on, overcame, and quite possibly gave you a glance at the beauty you have within yourself. Just remember that in this process of beautification your must try to SIT STILL! As long as you sit still your little bumble bee won’t turn into a piece of bumble-poo.
Remember to breathe when getting tattooed. Also, especially if this is your first tattoo, eat before you sit in the chair. Bring a sugary drink with you and a snack to munch on through the session you are embarking on.
These little tips will keep your blood sugar up so you don’t pass out if you are scared and keep you hydrated if you are stressed and tend to sweat. Personally I have come to associate my tattooing experience with a good excuse to drink sugary carbonated beverages and eat junk food!!!
Along with the food tip, remember it is okay to ask to take breaks. Do not force yourself or think that you must sit in the chair from the beginning to the end of your session.
You made it!! Your first tattoo is done and you cannot stop smiling. The tattoo artist you spent that entire time finding perfected your tattoo to a “T” and you could not be happier.
Now, here comes another golden rule in the body modification culture..”ALWAYS TIP YOUR ARTIST!”. Just as you would tip a stupendous happy hour waitress that bowed to your every wish and whim for the last two hours, with a huge smile on her face the entire time no less.
Tipping is crucial for tattoo artist. This is their bread and butter and the appreciation they get once a tattoo is completed. They created perfection atop your skin that will last you forever and they should be rewarded for such an accomplishment!
Will It Hurt?
Now remember, pain is not all about the studio, it is also largely based on where on the body the tattoo is to be placed. As you will grow to know, some places are more sensitive than others. This means the tattoo may take longer because of twitching, irritation, and possible squirming. The hot spots for highest sensitivity are the ribs, feet, shins, groin, neck, and the middle of the spine. Generally the places with closely surfacing bones, tendons, and ligaments are the most sensitive.
So just know that a tattoo on the arm will not be the same pain as a tattoo on the ribs. Also, areas with a high density of nerve endings will surely be more sensitive, which are the areas of closely surfacing bones. Not to our surprise research has shown that women have a higher pain tolerance than men. Most studies point this fact to women having the ability to withstand the pain of child birth. Men may be stronger but women can take more of a beating in the tattoo chair. Many relate tattoo pain as slapping a sunburn, the dull pain of a bee-sting, or slapping a rubber band on your skin.
Some people think that drinking before getting a tattoo will give them “liquid courage” or keep the pain from being noticed. These both may be true but NEVER drink before getting a tattoo because when you drink you are actually thinning out your blood which will make the working surface of your tattoo much, much more bloody and harder to work on for the artist. The blood will push more ink out than anything and you will end up having to go back for a touch up very soon.
A good tattoo studio will not let you get tattooed after you have been drinking. Another blood thinner is Aspirin and the like, so stay away from those products as well. If you need to, you can always break one session up into multiple sessions and just work on small amounts of the tattoo at a time if that helps you with any over drawn discomfort.
There are products on the market that will aid in the pain relief of the tattooing session. Remember to only use products from reputable companies. The creams and gels that are put on the skin prior to the tattoo session usually do not last very long and cannot be reapplied during the process. They are a waste of time and money unless you are only getting a tattoo that will take one hour.
Other products that are used during the tattoo process such as H2Ocean’s Nothing Soap can be used for much longer results and a better tattoo experience. Do not use pain relief products which contain epinephrine as it will make your skin leathery and harder to tattoo. In the end a tattoo is painful but worth the pain if the artwork turns out as expected.