If you are reading this article, It only means, that you are planning to get a tattoo. Well, congratulations! You just came to the right page. Actually, when you are still deliberating about getting inked or not, the first question is always—“How does it feel?”
First, let me ask you some questions.
- What do you expect to feel?
- Are you expecting to feel being jolted?
- In pain?
- Or to feel nothing?
Obviously, most of us will expect pain. And you are right! If you will ask Google regarding the feeling of being tattooed, you will get this answer:
“It feels like a touch of pain coupled with an annoying, intense vibration and the sensation that someone is dragging a needle across your skin. Because that's exactly what they're doing!”
No Pain, No Gain!
This is the cliché proverb that tattoo enthusiasts use. The thing is that pain is highly subjective. It all depends on the tolerance of each individual. What is moderately painful for you, can feel very mild for one and debilitating for the other.
Knowing that pain is highly subjective, how can we prepare ourselves and to set our expectations? This is the reason why I wrote this article. I will be describing various types of pain that is being felt by different people who are being tattooed. I had them describe the pain so you will get an idea on how and what to expect during the procedure.
Different Kinds of Sensation While Being Tattooed
1. It feels like your skin is being scratched/scraped with a very sharp object
This is the most common feedback. It is very similar to the description of Google as well. The thing is, tattoo artists/technicians tend to go over the same area over and over again while completing the design.
2. It feels irritating in the long run that you want it to stop
Okay, people will tell you it’s painful, annoying and irritating. Like how? In what way? So when you get your tattoo, you can feel scratching pain and the sharpness will progress depending on the design of the tattoo and how often the artist runs the needles through the same spot.
After some time, your body will adjust to the pain and instead of a sharp pain, it becomes an irritating one. You know how it feels when there is a screeching sound over your ear? That’s one way to describe and compare how annoying it gets after some time.
3. It gives a stinging sensation
This holds true, especially during the first few strokes. It is not too sharp like a blade, but it stings that will make you uncomfortable (and some in a state of pain). This is common among people with high pain threshold.
4. It feels like a sharp blade is slicing/puncturing your skin
This is similar to the stinging sensation, but sharper and more profound. It now really feels like you are scraping/scratching your skin with a sharp blade.
5. It feels like a sharp burning pain
When the sharp pain is mixed by the sensation of a stinging pain, it almost feels like burning. Have you ever been stung by a bee and it burns? That’s how I describe this sensation. It also feels like a shot of antibiotic that is given through an injection!
6. The pain feels jolting and vibrating
This feeling is similar when you are having a tooth extraction or tooth filling. It’s when the dentist’s equipment is drilling over your teeth and it’s painful on a different level. The pain feels like a jolt that radiates from your bones to your head.
7. Dull pain
This is one of the best state/phase of having your tattoo done. You have already adjusted to the pain and it already feels dull, tolerable and manageable. People can get to this phase easily and some don’t even reach this phase.
8. Numbing Pain.
You are lucky enough if you get to this phase. Your body has already adjusted to the stimulus of pain that it does not recognize the pain any longer. This is the addicting feeling of euphoria for all tattoo enthusiasts.
What Can You Do to Minimize the Pain?
Reading through all of these descriptions may look and feel scary at first, but once you actually just relax and go for it, you’ll know that it is really not that bad. Here are some things you could do to minimize the pain during the procedure:
1. Have a positive mind-set
If you are so anxious and nervous, you are releasing hormones that will make you more sensitive to pain. So instead of magnifying the pain, just relax, keep calm and take it as it is.
2. Get into the most comfortable position
You can bring your pillows and experiment your most comfortable position. Depending on your preferred tattoo site, you can be lying down flat or prone, or also in seating position. Make sure that you are comfortable enough to last in the same position for hours.
3. Play in the vibes
Playing your favorite music will keep you relax. It is also a good coping method to take away your focus from the pain (pain anticipation) and put your mind elsewhere. You can also watch TV.
4. Be well prepared
Have a good sleep prior to your appointment, Eat healthy and make sure you are in your optimum health condition so that stress and other factors won’t decrease.
This is the last resort. Most tattoo enthusiasts and even artists/technicians do not recommend it for both safety reason and for the love of tattoo.
Having a tattoo can sound scary to some people. Pain is expected. However, think of all the tattoo enthusiasts who love having more tattoos. It’s all about the mind-set and your willingness to take a little pain to show and express yourself.
Pain is always part of our daily living and you can never do away from it. What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!