I am tattooed. I love the look of them against my pale skin and the significance of each one. But most of all, I love the experience of being tattooed. The prick of the needle and the intimacy of working with my tattoo artist as he permanently marks my body.
I remember the first time I met him. I walked into the tattoo studio which was clean and well lit in my “barefoot princess” printed Lilly Pulitzer tube top dress, laceless white Sperry canvas slip-ons and favorite french blue Kate Spade leather handbag. To say that everyone stopped and stared would be an understatement.
As I introduced myself, my hand shook slightly but visibly as I handed my phone over to him for my design. Then I waited three anxious months for tattoo day.
Now, during those intermittent three months I thought of the many ways someone can fuck up your tattoo but I went into the day with excitement and some fear about what the pain would be like. I reminded myself that I pushed two kids out of a small hole and that I could handle anything other than a stubbed toe. I don’t think he knew what to expect from me either as he shook his head a few times when I would ask my “silly” questions.
As soon as I felt the first prick of the needle and heard the buzz of his machine, I was hooked and all trepidation vanished. I loved the heat and the pressure on my skin. I loved his pressence so close to me and the trust we were building as he took my idea and etched it permanently into my right hip.
I enjoed the sound as he would switch from high to low speed and how the needle felt either shallow or deep on my skin, my pale skin turning black from the excess ink and slightly red from the heat. The feel of him rubbing lotion onto my exposed hip and cleaning that excess ink off and patting me dry with a shop towel.
I was so relaxed by that motor’s hum, the constant prick and the warmth that I had to replicate it. So I expanded my toy collection over time to include a Wartenburg Wheel and Violet Wand. In many ways, the wand probably emulates the experience best for me and I will likely use it tonight as I was just tatted the other day and I have to scratch that itch.
I now have five tattoos, all done by him. They are tasteful and discrete. We are already planning number six and I look forward to repeating those pleasurable sensations all over again…