3 Women Discuss Losing Their Tattoo Virginity

With the stigma surrounding tattoos decreasing, it seems that more people are open to the idea of getting one. I think I have more friends with tattoos than without them now, and the old idea that having tattoos is “unprofessional” has become much less relevant. Still, deciding to get inked for the first time is a big decision and it can be hard to know what to expect! I asked three women about what their first tattoo experience was like and what others should expect for their first time.

Where did you get your tattoo? How much did it hurt?

J: I got my tattoo on the inside of my right forearm. It didn’t hurt, but some areas were uncomfortable to go over.

N: My tattoo is on the inner side of my right calf. That specific area wasn’t the most painful, still a pretty uncomfortable feeling though.

C: My first tattoo is on my foot/ankle and it was about a seven out of ten for pain.

How old were you when you got your tattoo?

J: I got it at eighteen.

N: I was eighteen when I got my first tattoo. I went with my best friends from high school and we all got matching art.

C: I got my very first tattoo when I was sixteen years old for my birthday present.

Why did you get your tattoo?

J: I got the Scorpius constellation outline because I love space and astrology.

N: My friends and I got the Cora’s sun logo because we just like it there. It started as a joke while we were eating breakfast there during our prom weekend and six months later we still wanted them. We’re also all somewhat impulsive and love each other like crazy so we wanted a small piece of each other on us forever.

C: All of my tattoos have meaning or a memory behind them; I want them all to have an important significance to my life in some way. The swallows on my foot represent love and care for my family and friends. The seven birds are for my mom, dad, myself, two for my sisters and then one for all of my family and one for my friends.

Were there any issues preventing you from getting it?

J: I put off getting a tattoo for months because both my parents hated the idea but it also freaked me out. I ended up getting it without telling them.

N: The only issues concerning the decision were financial. Otherwise, no problems.

C: Fortunately, there were none. My parents signed off for my first tattoo, so they were okay with me getting it. I have wanted tattoos for a while, so I wasn't really nervous for them. My mom and other family members have tattoos of their own so they were all okay with it.

How did you feel during the procedure? What was it like?

J: There were no issues during the procedure. The artist was very kind and professional during the whole process of drawing up the tattoo. It took under an hour from start to finish.

N: During the procedure I felt pretty calm. The artist was very talkative and friendly and made me feel comfortable with the whole experience. The pain was manageable by just focusing on breathing.

C: I have been lucky that there have been no issues with my tattooing appointments. All my artists were super friendly and professional. They have redrawn, adjusted size and adjusted placement for me many times. During the process, they ask if you need a break or if you want them to go slower. My artist made small talk with me to distract from the process as well.

What kind of comments have you gotten on your tattoo since getting it?

J: Everyone has been very positive. No bad comments yet but I still haven’t told my parents.

N: Most comments I’ve received have been concerning whether I think the tattoo was a responsible idea or not. However, these comments are irrelevant to me and I love my tattoo.

C: I have never received any negative comments towards my specific tattoos, but it has more been generalized negative comments on having tattoos at all. Some comments I’ve heard are, “you should leave the world the same way you entered it,” “jobs don't like people with tattoos,” and “you have a lot of tattoos, you need to stop.” I choose to ignore these comments because at the end of the day, it is my body and I will choose to do what I’d like with it.

Closing Remarks?

C: Remember it is permanent, so placement is important- tell your artist a thousand times if you need it adjusted in any way. Tattoos are like drugs; they are addicting, and you can't just have one. Do your research on studios and make sure it is safe and up to date. If the studio or artist makes you uncomfortable or uneasy in anyway, just walk away; I have done it twice. Your safety and happiness with the tattoo are the most important parts. I think everyone should lose their tattoo virginity at some point... because you never forget your first! Enjoy your ink!

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.