paintat So a lot of people without tattoos ask the question, ‘Just how painful is it?’

The reason they don’t know is that it is a very tough question to answer. But i will give it a shot.

Also it is important to know that where you get your tattoo makes a difference – while inside of the arm has some degree of pain to it, i can quite imagine it is not as bad as the guy i heard who got his eyeball [not even kidding] tattooed or the guy who got his, well, let’s just say some places are more painful than others.



The best way i can describe it is as a series of moments of discomfort [for the most part] interrupted by dots of pain. The kind of pain one would get from jabbing a needle into the inside of one’s arm [if you had a tattoo like mine]. So there for a second then gone. Then back. And there again. Now back to discomfort.

Or to put it another way: Irritating, irritating, irritating, sore, sore, sore, irritating, irritating, sore, irritating, irritating, irritating, irritating, sore, irritating…

Christina used two different kinds of needles on me – the first was the outline and the second was more for shading. i definitely enjoyed the second one a lot more.

During the first 5 to 15 minutes of the tattoo process [which was about an hour or just less than] i was in ‘Never again! What was i thinking?’ mode, but then you get used to it and during the last 15 minutes i was starting to plan my next tattoo with a vengeance.


The part i was, and am, most scared of though is the next couple of weeks, waiting for it to heal. Washing it four times a day with lukewarm soapy water and trying to navigate the different advice from everyone else who has had a tattoo, while just trying to stick to what my tattoo lady told me.

And hoping i don’t get to the itchy part – have been having nightmares where i completely scratch off the scabbing that is meant to happen as the tattoo heals. Woergh!

But, in the four days that have passed since then, it has mostly been a dull throbbing or sensitivity. So comes and goes a little. Definitely not huge pain but a little sting’y.


Getting a tattoo was definitely not as sore as i possibly imagined and probably not anything near to childbirth [yes, people with tattoos and children?] but it was not for the absolutely faint of heart.

The pain and irritation is probably not worth it for a whim, but definitely is for something more meaningful…

I took a LONG time [years] in getting mine and largely because i could not settle on the right idea but i would definitely advise that as the biggest thing – don’t get it if you’re not absolutely satisfied with the design. Don’t settle for a bad tattoo. It is with you for life, or at least until you can afford good laser surgery.

But a good one? One with deep meaning and significance to you? i am all for that.


[To return to the beginning and the question of is it okay for a Christ follower to get a tattoo, click here]