Does It Hurt? – The Eternal Dilemma of the First-Timer

People who have never been tattooed before will often wonder before they sit down to get the work done whether the process will be painful. In fact, the fear of pain and of needles are two major reasons why people decide not to get a tattoo done. When looking at another persons tattoo, almost always the first question someone who has never been tattooed will ask is “Did it hurt much?”. The answer to this question is not straightforward – it depends on the person, for a start.

First of all, how do you define “much”? For most people, getting a tattoo is no more painful than – for example – having your hair brushed by someone else. It is less painful than being scratched by a cat, and more painful than a light scrub with a bristled brush. If you really want the tattoo, then the pain is more than bearable. The needles used to put the ink underneath the epidermis are sharp, of course, but they are also very short. It is not like a long series of vaccinations.

Of course, the above may not apply to everyone. Everyone has a different pain threshold and we all have our Achilles heel, too. Some people who lift weights for a living will wince for an hour if they cut themselves shaving. Some people who have multiple piercings, even in sensitive areas, will turn away at the idea of childbirth. Different things hurt different people too much, and in the end it is a matter of how much you value the end product.

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