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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Denison chapter.

If you’ve been considering getting a tattoo, you’ve probably been back and forth about where to get it on your body. I’m here to tell you about what might be the best places to get a tattoo, from my own personal experience! Keep in mind that everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so spots that might have been more or less painful for me could be the complete opposite for you! With that, let’s begin!


Inner Forearm:


This is where I got my very first tattoo, and it wasn’t bad at all! It felt like a consistent stinging. My tattoo is placed approximately 3 inches away from my wrist, and continues until 1 inch from the crease of my arm (4 inches in length, total). Once my tattoo artist made his way up closer to the crease of my arm, the more painful it got since that skin is a little thinner and softer. But, it was tolerable. I didn’t need to take a break, and the tattoo was done within an hour. 


Pain Rating: 2/10


Back of Arm (Above Elbow):


This is a place that I never really expected to get a tattoo, but this placement also wasn’t that bad pain-wise! I have a 3 inch tattoo there, in full color. This hurt a little bit more than the one on my inner forearm, but it was still tolerable. This felt more like a pinching sensation, and since that skin is softer, some spots hurt more than others. I want to note that getting color tattoos tend to hurt more, because in order to get highlights and correctly shaded colors, the artist has to go over the already tattooed skin, which might cause more pain. This tattoo was also done within an hour!


Pain Rating: 3/10


Above Knees: 


I have one full color tattoo above both of my knees. I got both of these done in one session, and I’d say that those tattoos were, at the time, the most painful ones I had gotten. When my artist tattooed closer to my upper thigh, that’s where it hurt the most. This didn’t feel like a stinging or a pinching, but more just like I was being tattooed. At some point, my legs were slightly trembling from the stress they were going through, but nothing too crazy. These were done within maybe 2 hours. 


Pain Rating: 5/10


Side of (Entire) Thigh:


I’d say my thigh tattoo, which is my biggest tattoo and most recent, was the most painful tattoo that I’ve gotten. It covers the entire side of my right thigh, from the side above my knee, to my hip, and carries over slightly to the back of my thigh. I sat for a total of 6 hours just doing the outline, to give you an idea about how big it is! The meaty part of my thigh didn’t hurt much, but once my artist got closer to my hip where the thin skin is, and the back part of my thigh…whew. That’s when I had to do some breathwork! I sat like a champ though! 


Pain Rating: 7.5/10


Lower (Lefthand Side) Back:


I probably sound like a crazy person when I say that this area tickled when I got it tattooed. I didn’t get this tattoo professionally done, but it was so hard to keep still with how it felt. Some parts hurt, but overall it’s a super sensitive spot to get tattooed. So, if you’re ticklish, and want to get this spot tattooed, you just might want to reconsider. My tattoo in that spot is fairly small too, so if you want something bigger, it might be more difficult to stay still for a long period of time. 


Pain/Tickle Rating: 3/10


There are many places that I don’t have tattooed, but from what I know, I recommend getting one on the inner forearm or the back of the arm, above the elbow. Those are where it hurt the least for myself, and I’m confident that it will be a similar experience for you. 


Good luck finding the placement of your first or next tattoo!

Olivia Mize

Denison '22

Hello! I’m Olivia, a student at Denison University, born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I'm majoring in Anthropology & Sociology with a Studio Art minor. I enjoy watching movies, painting, and drawing.