Getting A Tattoo: How Painful Can It Be?


First of all, I would like to warn you that I am not a tattoo artists, tattoo experts, nor am I a woman with 200 tattoos on my body. To be honest I had just got my first tattoo 3 months ago. But weeks before I went for my appointment, I went online everyday to do a research about all things tattoo, especially on how painful it would be. So here I am writing, so that you can somewhat find this blog through Google when you’re nervous and freaking out, minutes before you leave the house to go to the tattoo studio.

So “how painful is getting a tattoo?” was the very subject I was most obsessed with. As a tattoo virgin, you have absolutely no clue on how painful it would be. Yes, some people say getting a tattoo is going to hurt. But how hurt can it be? And most importantly, what kind of hurt? Is it like a slice? Is it like a stab? What should I expect?

My very first tattoo, one minuter after it was done.

My very first tattoo, one minuter after it was done.

Let me ask you girls one thing: have you ever had a brazilian wax? Yes? Well, THAT hurts! Compared to that torture, getting a tattoo is nothing! I remember I was really nervous when I parked my butt on the chair seconds away from getting my first tattoo, my hands were cold, and I felt scared mostly because I didn’t know what to expect (especially when a friend had said the night before, ‘it won’t hurt! it’s just gonna be like someone poke you with the tip of a knife’ and I was like ‘what the fuck? you think being poked by the tip of a knife doesn’t hurt?!?!). So I just closed my eyes, prepared myself for the worst, took a deep breath, then suddenly I felt tickled. Wait, what? Yes, tickled. I don’t know if it was maybe because I had expected a somewhat severe pain that when the needle started working on my skin it didn’t feel that painful to me, or was it because it was not THAT painful, but my first impression upon having an electrical needle gun poking under my skin was more of a tickle than a torture. It’s a little like getting your eyebrows threaded, but in loooong strokes and for long hours.

Of course after 1 minute I started to make faces and clenched my fists because after a while it did become painful, and in some areas it hurt more, but if I have to rate the pain of getting a tattoo, from 1-10 I would give it a four (4). Of course it all depends on which body part you will be tattooed, how long you will have to be under the needle (mine was done for 45 minutes, but a friend of mine spent 4,5 hours for her first tattoo) and how the design is. I got my first one on my back, a little below my shoulder. It was one of those places that hurts less. Matt got one on his side neck and he said it was so painful that he had to tell the artist to stop for a little while. So I suggest for a first timer just pick a place with thicker skin, or on the area where you have thicker fat, not directly on top of a bone. Miami Ink has a “map” of which body parts hurts more and which ones hurt less. You can check it here.

If you’re still freaked out, try this trick I did. Well it’s not actually a trick, it’s more of a “mental exercise”. Just think about Justin Bieber, or Miley Cyrus, or those other little kids that has several tattoos on their body. If kids and pussies can do it, well hey! It can’t hurt that much, right?!



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