Sweet and Sexy: All About Tattoos – From Choosing Your Dream Design to the Finished Tattoo

Why Tattoos?

The most common question many people ask is why anyone would want to have their body permanently altered. That’s a very valid question. Let’s hark back to ancient times, when men in tribal societies used to have colorful tattoos painted on their own bodies to signify the transition from childhood to adulthood. Some get tattoos to set themselves apart from other tribes and villages as well.

Coming back to the present time and we see the same, albeit different rendition of similar markings adorning the bodies of sailors, biker gangs and teens alike. Many have their cliques’ logos and insignias permanently stamped on their own body to announce their ‘undying’ devotion to their chosen brotherhood or group. Teenagers, on the other hand, see these permanent markings as the ancients used to: a primitive desire to seem ‘grown up’ and to make themselves standout from the rest of the crowd.

Getting, or thinking about getting a tattoo, all comes down to whether one wants to remain exclusive or desires a more inclusive persona. What used to be the property of outlaws, sailors and biker gangs now seems to be a popular form of body art for a large number of people. Maybe you’ve also thought of getting one of your very own, but have you really thought it through? There are a couple of things you need to know before you decide to get one:

So what is a Tattoo?

A tattoo is basically a puncture wound made deep into your skin that is filled with ink according to the image you want inscribed. The ink isn’t injected into the top layer of the skin (epidermis) that keeps shedding, but into the second and deeper layer of the skin (dermis) which is very stable. This is what makes them permanent!

What’s a Tattoo machine?

Believe it or not, this art used to be done by hand. However, today most tattoo parlors use tattoo machines to inject the ink into their clients’ skin which is a handheld electric instrument that uses an ink filled tube and sterilized needle to get the job done. The tattoo artist uses his/her foot to activate the machine which makes the needle do jumping jacks on your skin while driving the ink (about 3 millimeters) into it. In other words, the needle is literally sowing the image into your limbs, but uses ink instead of thread to do it.

Does it Hurt?

Remember when getting a tooth pulled used to be the most painful experience? Ever wonder why some people could grin and bear it? It’s because they don’t feel the pain as much as you do. This applies to tattooing as well.

Yes, getting an image stamped permanently on your body can hurt, but the pain may vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. Some people describe it as getting a mild case of the ‘tingles’ while some say it feels as if you’re receiving multiple shots.

The amount of discomfort can also depend on where you’re getting the tattoo placed, as well as the expertise of the artist you decide to go to. If you want to reduce the pain then, it’s always best to go to an experienced tattoo artist. You’ll be happier and pain free in the long run.

Safety First!

Still want to get that tattoo you’ve had your eye on? Then get it done safely! Remember, a tattoo is basically a wound you have had inflicted on your own skin just like any other slice, scrape or any other penetration. It may look a lot cooler but there is always a chance of getting an infection or disease if it’s not done properly or in a sterile environment.

If you plan on getting any bodily alterations done, then it’s always a good idea to check whether you’re up to date with your immunizations (like hepatitis and tetanus shots).If you already have medical problems like allergies, heart problems, diabetes etc or if you’re pregnant, ask your doctor about any precautions you should take to avoid any mishaps.

How much does it cost?

You get what you pay for when it comes to tattoos. Don’t go to tattoo parlors that offer ‘great deals’ cheap. You’ll be crying all the way to a doctor or to a real artist to have it covered up! Looking for and paying for quality never hurt anyone and it will also save you from an unnecessary amount of pain as well. Additionally, the cost of this process will also depend on the size and placement of the tattoo. Therefore, try and think about where and how large you want your own to be beforehand, if you don’t want to regret it later.

Where should I have it placed?

This makes us come to the next big question on every tattoo enthusiast’s mind. Where should you have your tattoo placed? For this you have to decide whether you want to show it off or not. Most beginners have one placed where no one can see it. Women usually have them stamped on their lower back, thighs, shoulders and upper arms since these body parts are usually covered by clothing.

You can even have some tattooed on the inside of your upper arm or on your rib cage to make them more subtle. However, do so at your own risk since these areas are extremely sensitive and could mean a lot of additional pain if not done properly. Remember, ALWAYS go to a professional tattoo artist if you want one of your own. Expressing yourself or your group is all well and good, but no one looks good with permanent painful expressions on their faces.

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