I Did My First Stick n' Poke Tattoo: Here's What Happened

Okay let’s get one thing straight – I know nothing about tattoos. Seriously, I don’t. Tattoos actually mildly scared me for my most of life. Let me set the scene for you: when I was eight I had a dream that I got a SpongeBob tattoo and I woke up mortified. Really, I would seriously say that that is the scariest dream I have ever had. The thought of having something on my skin  forever and never being able to change it really freaked me out. I also bought into the stigma that people with tattoos are inherently bad people, which may I add, is totally wrong. Anyways, I remember one time my parents wanted to scare me and they told me they got a tattoo. I locked myself in my bedroom for hours and it seriously felt like my life was over. With all of that being said, do you understand why it’s kind of ironic that I, of all people got a stick n’ poke? 

As I grew up, I sort of began to love tattoos. I would watch tattoo videos for hours and at one point, I would even pretend to be doing those tattoo tag videos. Are you confused? Okay. Let me set the scene for you: 12 year old me is standing in the shower and all you can hear from the outside is, “this is my pearl tattoo. I got it because I love oysters!” I would even draw little tattoos on myself every day and would try and trick people into thinking they were real. Here’s the dilemma: I really cannot have huge tattoos. I want to become a lawyer and I know that tattoos can be huge deal breakers. Besides, I can’t really see myself with huge pieces, so I have decided to fill hidden spots of my body up with tiny tattoos.Listen, there are so many celebrities whose tattoos I absolutely adore. If you aren’t familiar with these peeps tattoos, seriously go take a look.

1. Anwar Hadid

2. Hailey Baldwin

3. Harry Styles

4. Kylie Jenner

5. Rihanna

So, what exactly is a stick n’ poke? Well, to put it simply, it’s a tattoo you give yourself. I don’t want to give the exact details on how to do one because I don’t want this to be an article that promotes them. If you really are serious about getting tattoos, I recommend that you to go get it done professionally. Sure, stick n’ pokes can be a fun, spur of the moment idea, but if you want a tattoo that looks good… maybe skip the stick n’ poke. Not to mention that the risk of infection is very high when it comes to stick n’ pokes. Tattoo artists know what they are doing. Come on! They have sterilization kits and everything.

I know what you’re dying to know. How did it go? Well okay, let me explain it to you. A tattoo that I have wanted for the longest time is a tiny “J” on my inner ankle. Go look up Kylie Jenner’s “LA” tattoo; that’s what I have except it’s a “J.” People always ask me what it stands for so I’ll tell you. It stands for Jose, Jose JR., Josephina and Jane, which are the first initials of my grandparents and uncle’s names. I love them so much and they are people who I will never regret having inked on my skin. However, sometimes when people ask me, just to get a reaction, I say it stands for Justin Bieber.

So, how did that tattoo go? Honestly? Perfect. The lines came out so clean and people are usually pretty surprised when I tell them it’s a stick n’ poke. It’s very dark and looks like a real tattoo. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so this tattoo did not hurt in the slightest. People always say stick n’ pokes hurt more than regular tattoos – well, if that’s so, bring on the tattoo gun! Seriously, I had no problems with the healing of this tattoo and I have no regrets whatsoever. It Is perfect.

The next tattoo I got I did right after my “J.” I was like “woah, that one turned out perfectly, bring on round two.” So this tattoo I got on the same spot on my inner right ankle. This time, I got “NYC” tatted.  I know what you’re thinking, are you from NYC? Well, to answer your question, no, I’m not. I got an NYC tattoo because my family and I have been going to NYC every year since I was a kid. Heck, my mom and dad even got engaged in NYC. I can say with confidence if you dropped me off in the middle of New York City right now, I would be able to make my way to my favourite gyro shop… That’s beside the point. I got this tattoo in commemoration of my parents because I remember growing up that my parents would always tell us they wish they could have lived in NYC. Every time we went, they always said, if you work hard you can live here, too, so that has always been my dream.

This stick n’ poke turned out far from perfect. At first, I thought it was infected until it started to scab. The tattoo took me three hours, which looking back now should have been my sign to stop. I assume that there was not enough ink on the needle, which created a scar as opposed to a tattoo. It doesn’t hurt and I really am not bothered by it at all. As soon as it heals I’m heading right over to a real tattoo shop to get it done professionally. No biggie.

In all honesty, the experience was pretty cool. You win some and you lose some. I have gotten to the point in my life where I’m not so caught up in vanity. So what, I have a scab that says NYC? It’s a funny story and it was hell of a good night. My tattoos represent letting go of my fears and taking a risk, which is something I need to do a bit more. Besides, they give me a reason to shave my legs when I’m feeling lazy so I can pin roll my pants and show them off.

For my future tattoos, I’m hoping to stick to the ankles. I’ll be getting a “Kill Your Darlings” tattoo to commemorate the movie, but also to the beat writers as a whole. I’m hoping to get a cute line work rose and some other city related tattoos. Hell, I might even get Harry Style’s lock, just because he’s a cool kid. Be safe kids. But also remember, it’s not that deep…