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talk to me about tattoos

73 replies

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 16:19

Not whether you like them or not (if you hate them, there are plenty of threads trashing them I'm sure!) - but the pain.

I really want a tattoo, I've wanted one for years, I've just turned 30 and I feel now's the time to do it. But I am SHIT scared of the pain. My pain threshold is low.

Those of you who have them - I know it depends on where you get them and how large they are, but how much does it hurt? I have heard people compare them to being scratched by a cat. I have high tolerance for that as I have two cats with claws sharp as needles who like to knead me painfully at any opportunity.

I don't mind needles, I'm ok with blood tests and injections.

Any tips/experiences welcome!

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cheeseislife8 · 03/06/2019 16:24

Depends where it is. Anywhere where there's a thin covering over the bone (point of ankle, ribs etc) is more scratchy but other than that it's not nearly as bad as you'd think. I was so nervous getting my first and it was a bit "Is that it??". I had a 6-hour back piece done and it was actually quite nice maybe I'm weird but everyone is different.

The best thing is just to relax! And maybe start small to test your tolerance

le1la · 03/06/2019 16:25

Mine is small, about the size of one of those brownies/crispy squares that you get in a box of 20 from the supermarket. It's on my side, on my ribcage, directly where the band of my bra can hide it.
It's designed to look like a sketch, so she went over some lines a few times (or drew lines very close to each other) to get that sketchy effect. That bit was by far the most painful - it felt like someone had cut me, then was cutting inside the cut. Eventually, the pain stops - it's like the whole area gets hot and numb and it's just uncomfortable. The shading was absolutely fine though - that was really easy and didn't hurt at all.

cheeseislife8 · 03/06/2019 16:25

I've just read that back, just to say I didn't start with a huge back tattoo! Different occasion

limesoda · 03/06/2019 16:26

I have a medical alert one on my inner wrist and the pain was absolutely fine. I am a bit of a wuss. It hurt most on the bone but the artist was very good at building up to that, as I expect most are.

The itchy part of the healing process was quite annoying, but nothing terrible either.

Thegirlhasnoname · 03/06/2019 16:26

It depends how big you are thinking (so longer on the table) and where you are wanting it. I’ve got quite a few and actually fell asleep when the top of my back was done so they can be relaxing in my experience😂

Freakingouttt · 03/06/2019 16:29

Massively depends where you are planning on getting it.

I have my whole arm done. It only really really hurt on the inside of my elbow and on the underside of my upper arm.

I have one on my side hidden by my bra strap. That was quite painful.

I have one on my hip. Was fine

One on my shoulder blade, didn’t hurt at all.

Find somewhere with a bit of coverage. My tattooist says he’s never had a woman tap out of a tattoo in 22 years. Countless men have though!

I don’t think it’s like being scratched by a cat, similar but not as sharp. It’s a bit like labour where it doesn’t start out hurting loads but builds and builds. If you only get something small it won’t get to that point!

Picklypickles · 03/06/2019 16:51

I've had 10 of them and I'm a complete wuss! The ones on wrist/foot/tummy hurt more than ones on arms/shoulder blades and legs. The pain is sort of like a burning kind of sensation I would say.

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:00

It’s a bit like labour where it doesn’t start out hurting loads but builds and builds.

God that's not encouraging as my labour was so awful I'm sticking at one child. Grin

I was thinking of getting a palm-sized one either on my forearm or on my calf. In colour.

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Rarfy · 03/06/2019 17:03

I've got a small one in the inner crease of my elbow. About the size of a golf ball.

I was scared of the pain so bought some emla cream. A few seconds into the tattoo I said to the tattooist oh it's wearing off now I can feel it a bit. He started laughing and said almost as soon as the emla cream is uncovered and wiped over it wears off Grin so it didn't hurt much at all and apparently is in a sensitive area too.

QueenofallIsee · 03/06/2019 17:05

Wrist and rib hurt when you go over the bone, thigh piece was a breeze (I have fat to spare there)

freshasthebrightbluesky · 03/06/2019 17:08

Mine is on the back of my shoulder and it just felt like someone was digging their nails into me. It wasn't at all painful otherwise and I'm terrible when it comes to anything painful!

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:08

According to google the forearm, outer arm, shoulder, bum and calves are the least painful areas.

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exWifebeginsat40 · 03/06/2019 17:09

oh, i have a LOT of tattoos.

worst for pain is definitely feet/ankles. worse than childbirth, in my considered opinion!

other than that, my fingers were a bit painful, but nothing unbearable.

i do have a ouija board tattooed across my hands/fingers, so obviously every so often i have to do the standard ritual expulsion of demons/sad lost spirits etc.

that aside, i’ve had no problems whatsoever.

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:09

My sister said hers didn't hurt at all (inner arm) and my best friend said all three of hers were excruciating (thigh, shoulder, hip).

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MalloryLaurel · 03/06/2019 17:09

I have a medium size tattoo. I used numbing cream to take away the hot feeling of the needle. I had a one hour session, then a two hour session. It felt like a cat scratch, until he did the highlights right at the end of two hours which was like an abrasive sponge rubbed on a graze. But I have an incredibly low pain threshold. I faint easily too. I was fine and after I got an invincible feeling and felt amazing!! I listened to music which helped as well. But for that small amount of pain I have a tattoo which makes me happy every time I look at it.
After it felt like really bad sun burn.

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:10

Google also tells me that numbing cream is frowned upon.

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CodenameVillanelle · 03/06/2019 17:12

I have three and I didn't find any of them painful. It is scratchy and every now and then you get an ouch moment but the feeling is nothing at all like a cat scratch. I was amazed at how not painful it was! I have one on my thigh, outside of my calf and breastbone.

YesQueen · 03/06/2019 17:12

@thehappyegg check with the tattoo place. Mine is happy for me to use ametop gel but hates EMLA. It's never affected any of my tattoos and I have had 5hr+ thigh ones
For me it's like an irritating cat scratch on sunburn

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:13

I'm quite disappointed that it's nothing like a cat scratch, I'm pretty used to being scratched by cats Grin

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CodenameVillanelle · 03/06/2019 17:15

Me too! Cat scratches are MUCH worse! A tattoo needle isn't ripping the skin the way a cat does. It's very shallow.

BobbinThreadbare123 · 03/06/2019 17:18

It's a weird pain. I have no childbirth comparison or indeed, cats, but it's a hot pinchy type of hurt. As soon as the needle is off, it's gone. I've got quite a few and the worst was a low spinal site. Having a cup of coffee first helps.

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:20

Better or worse than a Brazilian wax?

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MiddleClassProblem · 03/06/2019 17:22

It felt like a prolonged injection being dragged for me but then part of it I didn’t feel at all. For me when it was painful it was the kind of pain you grit your teeth with rather than anything more, if that makes sense?

BobbinThreadbare123 · 03/06/2019 17:22

I've never had a Brazilian wax either. I promise I'm actually a person!

thehappyegg · 03/06/2019 17:22

I'm just so pathetic, I don't even like getting a scale and polish Blush

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