When considering your first tattoo, you probably thought about a lot of different things. One of the those things was most likely: does getting a tattoo hurt.
Yes. Yes it does. You are being stuck with needles, so there is no way around it – you will feel it. Maybe it will just feel like a heated scratch or just annoying, but you will feel it. And for some people, though rare, the pain is unbearable and they can’t continue. But these situations don’t happen often.
How much a tattoo hurts, however, depends on a number of things, including the spot on your body where you get your tattoo, the size and detail of the tattoo, how many tattoos you’ve had previously, your personal pain tolerance, the equipment used, and even your gender (not so fast, tough guys – ladies tend to tolerate the pain better).
Where do you get a tattoo if you want it to hurt less? Any point that has a lot of strength and structure – typically a bonier spot – like your back, shoulder, or legs. Soft spots, like your stomach or inner arm, are going to hurt a lot more.
Have a fear of needles? First, I have to ask: why are you considering a tattoo? You know they aren’t licked on by kittens, yes? Tattoos involve needles. If you are afraid of blood or needles, tattoos might not be the best choice for you. But I would like to point out that tattoo needles only go about 1/16 of an inch into your skin, which is only 1.5mm; that’s less than the thickness of a dime. And most people don’t bleed during a tattoo, unless you are taking blood thinners or have been drinking (don’t drink before a tattoo).
The best thing you can do if you are worried about how much a tattoo hurts is to educate yourself. Talk to your artist, get clear on your design and where you want the tattoo. The more information you have about what you want, the less the threat of pain will bother you. And honestly, it probably won’t hurt anywhere near what you think it will.