Tattoos and do they hurt
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
This is the first question in this FAQ because it’s usually the first question that people ask. The answer is yes. Having needles pierce your skin *does* hurt. But what you *really* want to know is, “How MUCH does it hurt, and can I handle it?”
It’s not nearly as bad as what you might imagine. The pain comes from the cluster of needles on the tattooing machine piercing your skin very rapidly. This sensation, however, doesn’t feel like the poking pain of an injection--it’s more of a constant vibration. You will be amazed at how quickly your body releases endorphins, (pain killers), which dullens the pain significantly.
The pain will also vary according to where on your body you get worked on. Skin right above bones (collarbone, anklebone, etc.) tend to be more painful than other areas. In addition, certain types of needles seem to hurt more than others. I personally
think the needles used for outlining produce a sharper, more noticeable pain, while the needles used for shading seem to be much more like an electrical buzz (nearly painless).
Remember, you are volunteering for the experience. The amount of pain will depend
on your psychological attitude.
NOTE: Do not drink alcohol or take illegal drugs for pain relief purposes prior to your tattoo sessions. Both aspirin and alcohol thin your blood and promote excessive
bleeding. Aspirin also decreases the clotting of blood, which will slow down your healing as well. In addition, artists do not appreciate dealing with drunks and is illegal in many states.
Should i get a tattoo in the first place?
Your reading this may mean you’re already interested in getting a tattoo, or may know someone who is. In a survey of 163 tattooed men and women, a third of them had regretted their tattoos
! While most of this FAQ discusses the process once you’ve decided to get one, let’s pause for a moment.
*Why* do I want one?
People get tattoos for different reasons. Is it to please your partner? Is it because you want to belong to a group that has tattoos? Do you identify with a certain subculture
known for tattoos? Do you want to show your independence, individuality or uniqueness?
These are all valid reasons, and why many people get tattooed. However, because of the permanency of your tattoo, try to look at yourself in five, 10, or even 20 years. What will you be doing at that time? You might be a free-spirited college student now, and a web of vines on your wrist would look really lovely. However, are you planning to work in a very conservative field after you graduate? Will others look at your tattoo in a bad way?
Will you have to hide it with long sleeve shirts? Are you *willing* to wear long sleeve shirts if the environment is negative?
Do you want a tattoo of a tiger because your partner’s nickname is “Tiger,” and you love the way s/he scratches your skin? Do you think you’ll be with this person in five years? If not, how will you look at those tattoos designs? With fond memories, symbolizing
a special period in your life? Or a shameful or painful reminder of somebody
who hurt you and didn’t care for you?
You’re a headbanger (or a nose-smasher, ear-bopper or whatever) and you *REALLY*
want a tattoo all over your arms just like Axl Rose, but you can’t afford a professional artist so you get your friend with the mail-order tattooing machine to do those designs for you? Or perhaps you get spider webs tattooed all over your hands (or your face, which has happened) because you want to be “different” in school. What if you decide to “straighten out” and get a real job; train as a chef or something, and then no restaurant hires you?
*GETTING IT REMOVED* is *NOT* easy, and is *NOT* cheap. Expect to pay $1,000 to remove even a fairly small-sized tattoo if you’re looking at laser surgery. Expect to have a noticeable ugly scar if you go with a non-laser technique. Expect to pay for every penny out of your own pocket because health insurance companies
will not pay for tattoo removal. There may not be a laser surgery specialist in your area. Then think of all those laser-surgery doctors who are going to get rich off of a person’s foolishness or lack of careful thinking.
...Maybe tattooing isn’t for you.
...Maybe you shouldn’t get that $10 tattoo your friend’s been telling you he’ll give you, in his garage.
...Maybe you shouldn’t let your buddies tattoo your hand with India Ink and a needle at this weekend’s party.
...Maybe you should get a tattoo on your back instead of on your hand.
...Maybe you should get a tattoo on your left wrist so it can be covered by your watch if you have to...
...And maybe after reading this FAQ, you’ll think carefully about it, and make some informed, wise decisions about what to do with your body.
*Tattooing can be beautiful.*
*Tattooing can be exhilarating.*
*Tattooing can open a whole new world for you.*
...but make sure to do it *RIGHT*.