Tattoo Pain Scale

Man and Woman Feeling Tattoo Pain"Are you feeling what I'm feeling?"

The "Tattoo Pain Scale" shows how varied the human body can be when it comes to tattoo pain. Obviously, this is a kind of physical trauma that is being transmitted to the brain, and the severity of that pain depends on many factors.

Oh, and guess what? Men and women have some different pain-zones...and there are also differences on how high they rate those they share. For all our similarities, we are NOT matchy-matchy when it comes to physical pain.

As for the differences in placement, I can tell you from my own experience that getting the under-arm portion of my partial sleeve got A LOT MORE of my attention than the rest of the work around the outside of my upper arm (I had been reading a small paperback book...then suddenly I couldn't concentrate or get through a single page!).

Here is what we will cover:

  • Men's Tattoo Pain – Top Ten,
  • Men's Anatomical Tattoo Pain Chart,
  • Women's Tattoo Pain – Top Ten,
  • Women's Anatomical Tattoo Pain Chart,
  • Eight LEAST PAINFUL Spots for Tattoos.

It should come as no real surprise that those areas with the highest density of nerve endings can be very sensitive and prone to more tattoo pain. Just think of the parts of your body where you get the most stimulation from being tickled or, ummm, those adult activities...and you get the point.

Add to that all of those areas of the body with bone or joints close to the skin


Most Painful Spots...

Here are the Top Ten spots (and not everyone agrees with them, or the order in which I have placed them) for the Tattoo Pain Scale that men and women report are the most susceptible to pain:


Men's Tattoo Pain Scale
~ TOP TEN ~

Men's Anatomical Tattoo Pain ChartMen's Anatomical Tattoo Pain Chart
  1. Genital/Anal regions
  2. Head and Neck
  3. Underarm
  4. Eyes (in and around)
  5. Behind the Ear
  6. Knee (both sides)
  7. Spine
  8. Ribcage
  9. Elbows (both sides)
  10. Shoulder (bony part)

Although you may see some guys "John Wayning it" much of the time, the process of getting a tattoo is not a pleasant, feel good experience (okay...maybe some guys say they dug the whole pain thing. Their story and I guess they'll stick to it). 


Women's Tattoo Pain Scale
~ TOP TEN ~

Women's Anatomical Tattoo Pain ChartWomen's Anatomical Tattoo Pain Chart
  1. Top of Foot
  2. Genital/Anal regions
  3. Ankle
  4. Breast (Nipple area)
  5. Head and Neck
  6. Under Arm
  7. Ribcage
  8. Tailbone/Spine
  9. Lips
  10. Eyes/Eyebrows

Women may have a higher tolerance for pain (I mean…delivering a baby? Sheesh!) but that doesn't mean they won’t feel tattoo pain. You can be sure there are many tears shed in a tattoo shop from those ladies brave enough to choose their ink placement on one of the aforementioned areas of the body.


Eight LEAST PAINFUL Spots for Tattoos

Heart Tattoo on Butt

Luckily, there are several LESS PAINFUL placement options available, and that may be something for a first-timer to consider for that first tattoo (cuz, as I've mentioned, most people aren't satisfied with just ONE).

These tend to be more-or-less the same for men and women (see the green areas on the illustrations above): 

  1. Buttocks 
  2. Calves
  3. Upper Arm (outer)
  4. Lower Arm (outer)
  5. Upper Back (not on the Spine)
  6. Abdomen
  7. Thigh (outer)
  8. * Pectorals/Breasts (not the Nipple area)

* Pectorals/Breasts: This ONLY applies to pecks and "ta-ta's" that are well cushioned with muscle and/or fat. Skinny, relatively flat-chested peeps (men and women) should think twice...getting inked in this area will be much more painful for them!

No matter which way you decide to go, TAKE HEART!!! Any of the pain you will experience is NOTHING compared to what peeps went through before modern times (see my History of Tattoo page).


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