For those who have never had the "pleasure" of experiencing Tattoo Pain, the prospect can seem a little daunting...and in some cases it can (and is) a show-stopper. Who wants to voluntarily pay someone to do something painful to them?
Pretty much anyone you talk to who has had it done will tell you that it is well worth it, in the end. The way I put it is this: Like skydiving, getting a root canal or having sex for the very first time, it is never really what you expect...and you will survive just fine and dandy!
THE SHORT ANSWER…YEP!
Okay...a little more on that. There’s really no way around some pain and/or discomfort when getting your ink done. It is, after all, a process that involves the continuous puncturing of your skin by a machine that delivers its needles many thousands of times over (10-15 punctures per second) to a relatively small area on your body.
THE LONG ANSWER…DEPENDS.
The pain-levels cover a very wide range...from mild discomfort all the way up to being damn near white-knuckle excruciating.
You've probably heard all kinds of horror stories about peeps just passing out or crying like a baby, but that is usually the case with those who show up in bad health, hungry, thirsty, hung-over and/or tired – any of which will cause an increase in any natural anxiety that a "newbie" might already be feeling.
So, that "wide range" I mentioned depends on the following:
The severity of tattoo pain depends on MANY factors...to include:
The biggest factor of all in tattoo pain is how the human body transmits physical trauma from each area to the brain. In some areas of the body, the tattoo machine doesn't have far to travel along the surface for the pain levels to spike or fall considerably. Even within a relatively small tattoo, the pain can change drastically from one part to another just a few inches away.
For more on this, as well as...
...go to my Tattoo Pain Scale page.
For a clear outline on the "Dos and Don'ts" for Tattoo Pain, go to my page on Tattoo Pain Relief.
Here are some examples of what people have said about this…and this is about as close as you can get to a true description:
· Bee Sting ~ Dull, throbbing just under the skin.
· Burning ~ Like a low-heat curling iron pressing against the skin.
· Slapping Sunburn ~ Dull pain like when somebody smacks it.
· Snapping Rubber Band ~ More than a throb, less than a burn.
Any tattoo shop worthy of your business, and any tattoo artist worth his/her salt, will put a hold on their services and ask you to come back another time if they think you’ve gotten your drink on before coming in.
No, it's not because of your winning personality on the buzz...there are very practical reasons for this.
Read this section on Prepping the Body to find out why that liquid courage is actually a bad idea...and for other steps in getting some pain relief, check out my Tattoo Pain Relief page.
In the scheme of things, it really isn't that bad if you choose the location on your body wisely and/or break it up into a series of shorter sessions. Do you honestly think that tens of millions of people who have gotten multiple tattoos are all masochists? Not very likely…we just go back again and again because we love to get the work done and the pain is not only manageable and temporary, but totally worth it!
Hey Tattoo Fans!
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