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In recent years the art of inking one's body has become very popular.  There are TV programs devoted to the subject, we see grandmothers sporting their tattoos, and more and more people displaying full body tattoo art.

Why does one decide to get a tattoo?  Is it a decision taken lightly and impulsively or is it thought about long and hard?

What makes a tattoo beautiful and what makes a tattoo grotesque....or can such a distinction be made :?
 

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Good question! I have two tattoos - one is of a cat on my ankle, and one is of a rabbit (Thumper) on my arm. For many, many, many years I was very much against tattooing just because I didn't think it was right to permanently mark one's body (also for religious reasons). I'm not sure at what point I "converted", but I decided that small, "polite" tattoos in places that are easily hidden when the situation dictates would be acceptable. I got the one on my ankle first - I was 18. The following year I got Thumper. I want a turtle on my foot, but I'm having a hard time finding a place that does feet where I want it. For me, it's key that I can hide all of them for job interviews, functions, etc - basically when it's not appropriate for them to be visible.

I don't understand the point of putting a tattoo where no one would see it - the small of your back seems popular. Maybe someone who has one there can shed some light on that. I also don't like large tattoos that are in poor taste (which I realize is subjective), or were poorly done so you can't even tell what it is.

I guess in this day and age, although costly and painful to remove, tattoos really aren't as permanent as they used to be. I would not put one somewhere that I couldn't cover (I've seen them on hands, wrists, neck, etc...) but that's me.
 

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Hi TSOW! Very cool question :cool:, it will be interesting to see people's answers.
Why does one decide to get a tattoo?
I decided to get one because I love bright colors...and well...before the tattoo my skin was all one color and now I think it looks more decorated and colorful.
Is it a decision taken lightly and impulsively or is it thought about long and hard?
When I was a teenager I decided that I wanted one and then on my 18th birthday I went and got it. I had always known that I wanted a rose but when I got to the tattoo parlor I impulsively decided to add a dragon for more color.

I would probably get another one if it weren't for the excruciating way-worse-than-I'd-imagined pain. But while I was in there getting it a guy with tons of tattoos told me that the first one is always the worst...he said after that, they're easy!
 

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Well I can add something to this topic. I also have a tattoo on my right back shoulder of the drama or happy/sad masks. I got it when I was 19 and I have never regretted it. I got it because yes it was colourful (one mask light blue and the other one pink) and also because of the feeling that I was always wearing a mask and not showing my true feelings and also the fact that my true inner self was in conflict where my moods kept fluctuating a lot (and still do). I did not tell my parents about my tattoo (thank heavens it can be hidden well) until about a year later as they are/were dead set against tattoos. I guess by the time I told them it was a little late to do anything. They always told me that I could not get a tattoo as long as I was living under their roof so I waited until I moved out, got the tattoo and never thought of the day when I would have to move back home. At least I didn't defy them and get it while I was living home (at least that is my rational). My mother keeps saying to me that if she had the money she would pay for me to have it removed...not going to happen. I think that it signifies/reminds me of a certain time in my life.

I personally did not think that it hurt that much however the colouring (when the needle goes faster) did hurt more than the outline. As for getting another one....I have seriously thought about it however I really don't know what I would get. I did want to get something to represent my grandmother (who was the best friend I ever had) but I don't know what. I am sure that I will come across something and know it when I see it.

Nancy
 

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I realize several members of my own (extended) family disagree with me but my feeling about tattoos and body piercing is that it's a lot cheaper to stay home, stab yourself with a blunt fork, smack your head on a cupboard, and relax with a couple of aspirin in front of a really annoying infomercial. For those who like the thrill of risking blood poisoning, a good substitute is home renovation.

They always told me that I could not get a tattoo as long as I was living under their roof

I am amazed at how many parents still say such things to teens. It's meant as the ultimate threat, whereas many teens just think, "Wow! You mean I can get a tattoo AND move out? I never thought about that! Bonus!!".
 

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I know, I couldn't believe that my parents said that to me. I just thought perfect... once I move out then I will get the tattoo I want. It basically meant that I had more time to figure out the one that I wanted.

I also thought that your description was great Dr. B.

David Baxter said:
I realize several members of my own (extended) family disagree with me but my feeling about tattoos and body piercing is that it's a lot cheaper to stay home, stab yourself with a blunt fork, smack your head on a cupboard, and relax with a couple of aspirin in front of a really annoying infomercial. For those who like the thrill of risking blood poisoning, a good substitute is home renovation.
 

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Then you could get a tattoo and T-shirt combo where the shirt says, "My parents kicked me out of the house for getting this tattoo" on the front and "I'm no longer with stupid -> " on the back... sort of the Value Meal of tattoos. :D
 

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A T-Shirt....great idea, I wish I would have thought of it. ;)

Nancy
 

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I think the pain of getting a tatoo would be enough for me not to want one! I would take the option of a t-shirt! Easy to wash and wear! I will add if I was a little younger I may have wanted one back in my younger years! :red:
 

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Have there been documented reports about long term concerns with certain types of tattoos? Are all tattoos equally safe or does one have to select certain techniques or certain qualifications for tattoo practitioners?

How does one deal with explaining one's tattoo when entering an intimate relationship with a new partner?
 

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Well, you should definitely check out the establishment of where you're getting your tattoo. I'd be concerned if he pulls up a milk crate to sit on while doing it! Of course it should all "look" clean, but they should also open all sterilized products IN FRONT OF YOU!!

There are no licensing bodies for quality - only the local health and safety for uh, health and safety. A good thing to do is talk to people who have one, and you're impressed with the quality, and go there.

I haven't heard any long term reports, but hey - everything's attributed to cancer these days so it probably promotes some form of cancer in some way, shape, or form. The only thing I've heard is that they can affect an epidural a woman is receiving during delivery, if the tattoo is in the spot where the epidural will go (some doctors won't insert it for reasons that I can't remember).

As for explaining it - I've never had to, but I can't imagine why you would have to. If a tattoo is going to make or break the relationship, well, it probably didn't have a good chance to start with.
 

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all tattoos equally safe or does one have to select certain techniques or certain qualifications for tattoo practitioners?

There are differences, all packages have to be opened in front of you to ensure that they have not been used previously and the practitioner has to maintain sterile technique so that his germs is not presented into your bloodstream.

There was a young lady here who died from a tattoo because she got an infection into her bloodstream which turned into sepsis.

Anyway, the human body is a beautiful thing. I am sure that your body is beautiful with or without it.

The only one I would get is my lover's name but I don't have one, so I have no worries! Steph :)
 

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Have there been documented reports about long term concerns with certain types of tattoos?
I don't know about documented, but my main concerns are fading, stretching and sagging! :) Actually that's why I got it on my shoulder because I thought that was location on my body would change the least. I have heard that it is recommended to get a second application over the first one for the best results or to brighten the color.
How does one deal with explaining one's tattoo when entering an intimate relationship with a new partner?
I just said "see what I just got?" and that was the end of the explanation! I could see that it would be much more awkward to explain if you had a tattoo an ex's name or some symbol of an old relationship or something like that though.

I agree with BG that a really good way to find a place is ask people who have nice ones where they got them. I would still check credentials and everything but generally I think it's pretty obvious from looking at them which tattoos are done professionally and legally and which ones aren't. But, like I said I wouldn't go on solely on that. I think that the ones that are done professionally and follow all the guidelines are really quite safe. Alternately, I think the tattoos that are not done professionally are really quite unsafe.

I realize several members of my own (extended) family disagree with me but my feeling about tattoos and body piercing is that it's a lot cheaper to stay home, stab yourself with a blunt fork, smack your head on a cupboard, and relax with a couple of aspirin in front of a really annoying infomercial.
That's pretty funny Dr. B. :roll: :D Are you including your son in your (extended) family?
 

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I have tattoos and a navel piercing. I have an arm band it has flowers on it all the way around and I have another tat on my upper right shoulder and its a butterfly and then on my upper middle back I have one with a heart with wings and some kind of flower with a design from one side to the other on my lower back and the last one is a butterfly with some celtic around it. I think that I posted pictures of all of my tats on the members avatars?

I think that a yucky tattoo is when your putting god awfull demons scules dragons, and when your body is completly covered in them.

On the other hand if you don't over do it i think they are fine. I have girly ones and I love them. think about what you really like what represents you. Don't ever rush in to geting a tattoo, remeber they don't come off!
 

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Steph said:
The only one I would get is my lover's name but I don't have one, so I have no worries!

What about one that says, "This space for rent."? ;)
 

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  • I realize several members of my own (extended) family disagree with me but my feeling about tattoos and body piercing is that it's a lot cheaper to stay home, stab yourself with a blunt fork, smack your head on a cupboard, and relax with a couple of aspirin in front of a really annoying infomercial.

That's pretty funny Dr. B. Are you including your son in your (extended) family?

No. Just some nieces, as far as I know.

*cough* Phoenix *cough*
 

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How much do people pay for their tattoos and do you really get what you pay for?

Is there a difference in mindset between body piercing and tattoo? What about tongue piercing...eyelids...private parts :? :shocked: :confused:
 

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For piercings I draw the line at ears and nose. I'm not into lips, eyebrows, tongues, cheeks, belly buttons, and anywhere else people think of getting them. And I find it very difficult to try and have a conversation with someone who has more piercings than the ocean has fish....

My tattoos were both under $100 - but that was 13 years ago. They would probably be far more expensive now.
 

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How much do people pay for their tattoos and do you really get what you pay for?

I paid $140 for mine (and it is about 5 x 2.5 inches) and that was about almost 7 years ago to the month(oh my gosh I'm getting old! :eek:). I think it was definitely worth it and I would be willing to pay quite a bit for good work. I think that generally you get what you pay for, and for something so permanent I think it's worth the extra money. At the place I went it was $20 on top of the tattoo price if you wanted to get it anywhere other than legs or arms.

Is there a difference in mindset between body piercing and tattoo?
For me it was a similar mindset for both.
What about tongue piercing...eyelids...private parts
I've never heard of eyelid piercing but I have seen people get that space between their eyebrows pierced. I believe that tongue piercing is supposedly for sexual gratification but I think that it has become much more mainstream and that isn't necessarily the most common reason now. I think that genital piercings are often for sexual pleasure. I have heard girls say that they would sometimes get an orgasm just walking around with a piercing like that.

I had a good friend (we kind of lost touch) that ended up being a professional body piercer. He was the sweetest, most gentle guy, but he was very in to the punk scene, had many many piercings and eventually went through a phase where he was collecting road kill. I'm not really sure what was up with that.

Are you thinking about getting something pierced TSOW? ;)
 

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Are you thinking about getting something pierced TSOW?

David's blunt fork plan has captivated my imagination 8) I suppose for color, one would have choose a rusty blunt fork :p

Does anyone watch the TV programs devoted to body art and has any of these inspired you to go out and get one?

Has anyone ever woken up the next morning with second thoughts and investigated tattoo removal? Can an unwanted tattoo be removed?
 

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