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"Getting a tattoo [help please]", 26th Oct 2016, 4:33 PM #1
T_Deines

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Ok so, for about two years I've wanted to get a tattoo.

I've near settled on a design (the part that took the longest) and found a local place to get one.

Then I stumbled against probably the worst thing I could have read.

That some may throw up due to nerves or adrenaline rush.

Now, normally this wouldn't concern me due to all the crap I put myself through, but I'm also an emetophobiac. I'll normally do anything to avoid such. To the point now after near finally having an idea of what I want and where, this happens. I was ok and now that I know its a possibility, it won't leave my mind now. :/

There's things in life that used to make me so nervous I thought I was going to be sick like flying, dealing with the government, etc. But I tend to only have that feeling an hour before said event and then when its time I seem to be ok. Times where I wasn't was probably when I'd get some serious dental work done. I've been traumatized. They now let me blast tunes in my ears to keep me calm. Or use laughing gas. Something to that effect. (I had my mouth really cut open by an orthodontist)

My questions are for those that have tattoos.

What are the chances of this happening?
Did it happen to you?
How did you keep chill?

Hnnng.

For those that are here that don't have tattoos...

Methods of keeping calm in high pain situations?
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26th Oct 2016, 4:53 PM #2
Epiale

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No tattoos myself, but some really... delicately placed piercings that hurt like a bitch despite my pretty freakishly high pain tolerance, and I know a lot of people who have tattoos.

Honestly puking isn't common. It tends to happen with people who come in already freaking out, and people who, stupidly, eat a ton before sitting down to get some massive tattoo in some insanely sensitive area. Typically just eat something light, take your mind off whatever's making you most nervous by listening to music or finding something distracting (maybe bring a friend to talk to), and you should do okay.

One thing you could absolutely try is getting your first tattoo in a less sensitive area, so the pain is less likely to be strong enough to have a dramatic effect like puking. Maybe just take the most simple idea you like, and try it on a place like the arm. (I know im planning a simple constellation dot tattoo as my first just to get an idea of what that specific pain feels like) Don't jump right to something along the spine or rib-cage, or anything that uses the color white (apparently freakishly painful compared to other inks). I know it helped me stay a lot calmer getting my more painful piercings having experienced less painful ones first, and even then it felt more like "oh this isn't THAT much worse" than anything. It also gives you a chance to adjust a bit, and calm your nerves.

Aaaand if it makes you feel any better I puke incredibly easily, and the most painful thing I've been through didn't make me sick. Puking in response to pain seems to very much depend on the person, and if you don't already have some history of it, it's super unlikely that'll be your bodies first natural response.
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26th Oct 2016, 4:59 PM #3
lirvilas

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Eps has good tips.

Also:
-Bring something to distract you... for me it's a good thick comic book like the History of the Universe.
-It is OK to knock out a piece over multiple sessions! That six hour BS you see on TV is insane; I personally tap out after an hour and a half, maybe two.
-Stay hydrated.
-Might be prudent to have someone dropping you off/picking you up from the studio.
26th Oct 2016, 5:38 PM #4
T_Deines

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My pain tolerance is pretty good.

From personal experience the most painful thing I've ever experienced was a second degree steam burn on my hand. I didn't take pain medication as most mess with my liver.

Being on fire wasn't great either, though, location was probably a key factor as to why one was more than the other.

I've also faced things like being kicked by a horse, frostbite and fights. Thing is, there's no build up to any of those. They just happened. I think the fact that I wasn't ANTICIPATING pain, it was less painful (mentally).

epi:

Yeah, I think what I'd ultimately like to do is have it between meals and just have a lot of glucose infused beverages at hand.

My plan was either upper middle back or lower arm. I haven't made up my mind. They also are single color.

While it doesn't make me feel better to know that (the sensation is miserable), I appreciate the thoughts. <3 I learned that if I anticipate less, I probably won't do bad at all..? I could try to find someone to go with, but I haven't made any friends here yet. xD

lirvilas:

Ooo they let you do that? Bring a book?
This is true... How long in between would the sessions be? Cause doesn't the healing process need to commence pretty fast?
Yeah. Hoping if I plan at the right time, I'd not be having public transit. This is a factor I'm still hashing out.
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26th Oct 2016, 5:51 PM #5
Jackarais

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Pain is certainly part of the process. I've only got one tattoo so far, but I accepted that it would be painful, and that helped me get through it. I got some symbols on my inner forearm. Most of it was relatively painless, just felt like little pricks. But the closer the artist got to the elbow, the more intense the sensation. Your inner elbow is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. When you start hitting sensitive places like that, the gun can bug your nerves and tendons! So pain frequently shot down my arm, tickling my hand. My arm was pretty sore for a week or so afterward.

The artist told me that most tattoos get done without much fuss. Though, if you're getting a back tattoo that goes near/over your spine, your nerves could get bugged the same way mine were. He said people getting spine tattoos tend to jerk out or twitch unexpectedly because the gun is so close to the spine. But it's okay! The artists know and expect this. You might not though! :)

My tattoo was only one 2hr session, so I can't give you any advice on that. I did go back for a correction a couple weeks later, so even though it had healed over a fair bit , he could still work.

If you're really nervous, maybe start with something small, to get a feel for it. Either way I think you'll do great and your tattoo will be awesome. Good luck! :)
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26th Oct 2016, 6:14 PM #6
lirvilas

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Minimum cycle time between sessions depends on how quick your skin heals up. I got away with two weeks' time on my most recent work.

As far as pain factor, just know that while it may feel like road rash later on in the studio there's also a lot of endorphins that get released. I mean, people spend $$$ on this stuff and not just for the art. Getting a tattoo is being party to an act of creation and at least for a little bit that buzz offsets the ouch.
26th Oct 2016, 6:37 PM #7
Van Husk I

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I've got a few tattoos. A good tattoo artist, like a good pediatrician, will keep you distracted with conversation and the like. The design and intricacy (as well as coloring and placement) all factor into the level of pain you'll feel. Though, honestly, none of mine really hurt. It was more of like a dull sting. If you psych yourself up to it as a terrible pain you'll probably end up perceiving it as worse than what it is. You'll notice a trend that most people who have tattoos don't stop at just one, it's not because we're masochists addicted to the 'pain' of it. If it's a good choice you'll get more out of having it. Self designed tattoos are the most rewarding.
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26th Oct 2016, 6:42 PM #8
Babble_ON♂
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Get a small one to start.
Make sure you won't regret it.

Got mine on my forearm.
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Surprisingly hurt pretty fucking bad as it went on.
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26th Oct 2016, 8:42 PM #9
RJDG14♂

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Well firstly, do you already have a tattoo? If so, you may have some experience of how getting one is going to be. If you don't already, I'd imagine it would be like getting several vaccinations in one arm (which probably isn't too painful).

You should also be aware that you are making a life decision. A large tattoo is gonna be hard to remove.
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26th Oct 2016, 8:47 PM #10
Babble_ON♂
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RJDG14:like getting several vaccinations in one arm

it's more like a machine gun of vaccination needles tediously spread over the region of your tattoo

it really does depend a lot where you get it, though, nerve bundles/locations and such

edit: having someone in the room to talk to helped keep me distracted for most of it
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26th Oct 2016, 9:24 PM #11
T_Deines

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Jackarais:
The artist told me that most tattoos get done without much fuss. Though, if you're getting a back tattoo that goes near/over your spine, your nerves could get bugged the same way mine were. He said people getting spine tattoos tend to jerk out or twitch unexpectedly because the gun is so close to the spine. But it's okay! The artists know and expect this. You might not though! :)

I'm pretty stern on what I wanna get, but I imagine I could get just the outline first..? @-@

I at first wanted something that went up to the inside elbow part, but after some quick questions to a friend, they said that'd be intense for a first go xD;

In terms of the back one, only a very small portion of it would be in the middle. I planned for that as I imagine it'd suck. xD Plus the design didn't call for it.

Like, I'm expecting pain, but this unexplained nervousness seems to be getting to me.

And two hours! That'd be rad if it took two. It might. I never saw one being done live...

lirvilas:TWO WEEKS

That's good to hear!
Yes. I think the whole idea of getting one is hyping me up. I always try to get something to commemorate a life change event and I think I'm done piercing so this was the next step.

Van Husk:

I always found the idea of self designed tattoos to be a bit scary. I at first didn't want one I designed because I was worried I'd not like it later on. Then I thought about what means the most to me and then I knew I was the only person to do it.

Its very true about getting more than one. I only know so few people that have more than one or any at all, which is why I wanted to ask here. I also know I'd get good honesty.

I do like chatting during intense things. Normally I'm the one calming someone else down >_>; I like breaking tension.

Babble:

I will not regret it. I do feel like I'd regret getting a tiny one that I didn't plan..? Unless I plan it. Hmm

Oh god, that gif. I'm so sorry @-@

RJDG:

Nuop
Vaccinations inject weird stuff into you. That sensation alone is why I don't like them. Plus the reason for getting them is always cause I messed up. xD

Its not large per say. I'd say at most the size of my hand, but not all of it will be ink. I thought about it for a long time. I think I'm near ready to commit. I think my final step is to get some tattoo transfer paper that a friend used for cosplay (you basically print the design and then do that oldschool temp tattoo stuff) and see how I like it.

Babble:

Bring on the machine gun

Yeah. One of my ideas might not be so great. I wanted to get an inner arm one cause it'd stay cooler for longer and the idea of the design, but maybe once I'm seasoned at getting them.

Hmm. Who to elect...
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26th Oct 2016, 10:23 PM #12
callmerocket

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Hey dude! I used to have your phobia! I had it so bad that I resisted getting sick for eleven years and avoided any scenario where I thought it might happen around me (parties, theme parks, what have you). It was this dark, horrible idea that dominated the edge of my mind, until my first job, at this retirement home, when there was an outbreak of norovirus and they didn't alert the kitchen staff to the risk of infection until the very last second, and I caught it XC

But my major takeaway from that experience was ''wow, this is happening to me right now and it really, really, really sucks, but actually I think I'm going to be all right.'' And I was. It happened, and it passed, and I was fine. It's not a phobia anymore.

...Which is totally going to do nothing for your own phobia, I know, but I just wanted to share 'cause HEY!! The fear turned out to be overblown anticipation, and I think it's anticipation that's loading a pistol and cocking it at your foot right now.

So, tattoos: You need to focus on the fact that a tattoo parlor is, above all, an art studio. But they deal with ink and blood, so when you go in and see all of their medical-grade equipment with sterilizing procedures in place (and you should), it's because they have to deal with the possibility of blood-borne contamination and whatnot. It's the nature of their medium. But it is a medium. It's their studio. Forget about the dentist, and the things you feel when you go there. Focus on the art; anticipate what you might feel walking into a painter's studio or a gallery. Forget about your body. Focus on things outside of yourself.

Here's what a tattoo feels like: It's an intense vibration; a localized pressure that lightly stimulates your pain receptors. On softer parts of your body, the vibration is almost numbing, like pushing on a bruise. On parts of your body that are close to the bone, or in areas with concentrated nerve endings like your spine, it can feel a bit sharper, like a sting or a bug bite, or getting zapped by a sock that just came out of the dryer, or having your leg fall asleep and get all tingly in that sharp kind of way. But continuous, as though those sensations were getting condensed into the tip of a pen that someone was dragging across your skin. What happens during the process, though, is your brain naturally releases endorphins to manage the pain - so in time, you might just feel the mechanical vibration of the tattoo gun with barely any discomfort at all.

Some people love this feeling so much, they'll return to tattoo parlors on a regular basis just for the experience, or get tattoos to cope with stress.

Contrary to your fears, one of the best things to do to alleviate pain and keep you calm and centered during a tattoo appointment is to eat a filling, carbohydrate-based meal within an hour of your appointment.

Fun fact: The closest thing I have ever, ever felt to getting a tattoo was the electrostimulation fetish toy with the pinwheel attachments at my new job!! (I just started working at an adult retailer). On the lowest settings. Really low, tingly electric charge; just enough to wake up the nerve endings on the underside of your arm.
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26th Oct 2016, 10:58 PM #13
PaulPowers♂

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I got a decently large (about 8x8 inch) tattoo on my back years ago, and aside from a few brief moments when he was going over my spine, it really didn't hurt much at all. Of course, it's different for every person. You should talk to you tattoo artist to get an idea of how long it should take, whether it can (or should) be done in sessions, etc.

One point of advice I have to give: do NOT drink before getting your tattoo. A lot of people think it will help with the pain, but it really doesn't, and it also dehydrates you. I don't think throwing up from getting a tattoo is very common, but it's a lot more likely if you're drunk.
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26th Oct 2016, 11:17 PM #14
Jean_Q_Citizen

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Meh, EVERYBODY has a tattoo these days. If you really wanna be unique and cutting edge, DON'T get one. Instant True Hipster cred, and the official Yogi Berra "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" award.
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27th Oct 2016, 12:27 AM #15
lirvilas

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Jean_Q:Meh, EVERYBODY has a tattoo these days. If you really wanna be unique and cutting edge, DON'T get one. Instant True Hipster cred, and the official Yogi Berra "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" award.


Eh, tattoos don't need to be on your knuckles or your forehead or anywhere else ostentatious. Tasteful personal art and preemptive protective wards, that's how I think of mine. And as far as "life decisions" go I think choosing the artist's path can be a wee bit more harmful to the personal finances than any (non-racist, non-gang related) ink. #trolling

Final grenade: the Japanese as a culture still have a serious bias against tattoos because something something Yakuza. So get it done because you'll be seen as a hardcase when you visit Tokyo!
27th Oct 2016, 12:28 AM #16
Van Husk I

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That's the plan when I go. >:D
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27th Oct 2016, 9:09 AM #17
T_Deines

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callmerocket:Hey dude! I used to have your phobia! I had it so bad that I resisted getting sick for eleven years and avoided any scenario where I thought it might happen around me (parties, theme parks, what have you). It was this dark, horrible idea that dominated the edge of my mind, until my first job, at this retirement home, when there was an outbreak of norovirus and they didn't alert the kitchen staff to the risk of infection until the very last second, and I caught it XC

I think I've had this fear for 20 years now. Its defo gotten better, but I still go out of my way to avoid things if I can manage. I tend to be absolutely fine until like, it shows up in a movie, catching me off guard and then I'm all uncomfortable and unsettled for a couple hours. Where I can say I've gotten better is I've been forced to be around babies more often since my age group has them. They throw up a lot and its like D: I've thrown up plenty, but the problem is that I either do it in my sleep or its enough that I have to be near hospitalized from weight loss or extreme dehydration. :/ Which is the root of my fear.

And the anticipation.

This is very true! It honestly is a place of creativity. Getting the ultimate commission. *u* To be honest, I'd prob ask them 100000 questions about it. Its a medium I know the least about but love when I see it.

I recognize all those feelings. I can imagine getting used to it over time, because the thing about burns is that they hurt for a long time after. Days after, but somehow it gets a lil more bearable. Just this pulsing feeling like when you first bash a toe or smth is left over.

Yeah, I saw that suggestion a lot and was like, "why.." but I get it a bit. Lots of bread will be happening.

The fun fact: That's a weird sounding device, but I can see how it'd appeal to those that enjoy that sensation. xD

PaulPowers:

Yes. I plan to ask them very soon. They have a collective facebook page where you can ask questions without going through the appointment making part. I think breaking the ice on that will help.

I don't drink for many reasons, so no worries here.

Also 8x8 sounds intense if its all filled omg

Jean Q:

D< Nu.

lirvilas:

To be honest, its true. My brother got about 5 tattoos that were cheaper in their total combined price than one he got outside of prison. The cool/not cool part of that is that you can tell the quality drop amongst all his tattoos (he has roughly 12-20). On the flip side, you can see just what he's been through just by that fact alone.

There's still a stigma against them here in the UK..? Not that level, but they aren't common. OR all these nice, floral wearing, tea drinking ladies are hiding something. xD I just know that the USA is prob one of the more chill countries to them based on samples of discussion of them.

Van Husk:

xD

---
Now I kinda wanna see what everyone got and why. I wanna know what the Yakuza will fear.

Also, is this why so few anime characters even have tattoos? >___> hmm

Everyone has such a unique way of describing the feeling, which in itself is nice to know. xD
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27th Oct 2016, 9:49 AM #18
RJDG14♂

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T_Deines:My pain tolerance is pretty good.

From personal experience the most painful thing I've ever experienced was a second degree steam burn on my hand. I didn't take pain medication as most mess with my liver.

Being on fire wasn't great either, though, location was probably a key factor as to why one was more than the other.

I've also faced things like being kicked by a horse, frostbite and fights. Thing is, there's no build up to any of those. They just happened. I think the fact that I wasn't ANTICIPATING pain, it was less painful (mentally).


Yeah, I think what I'd ultimately like to do is have it between meals and just have a lot of glucose infused beverages at hand.

My plan was either upper middle back or lower arm. I haven't made up my mind. They also are single color.

While it doesn't make me feel better to know that (the sensation is miserable), I appreciate the thoughts. <3 I learned that if I anticipate less, I probably won't do bad at all..? I could try to find someone to go with, but I haven't made any friends here yet. xD


Ooo they let you do that? Bring a book?
This is true... How long in between would the sessions be? Cause doesn't the healing process need to commence pretty fast?
Yeah. Hoping if I plan at the right time, I'd not be having public transit. This is a factor I'm still hashing out.


Some vaccinations hurt more than others. The DTP one hurts very little - it's sort of like a pinprick touching the skin and a weird blurry feeling. Meanwhile the Meningitis C vaccine hurts slightly more, probably down to the reaction of the liquid. I've heard the HPV and BCG vaccines are more painful again, the latter usually scarring, but neither of those were routinely given to your age group in the United States.
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27th Oct 2016, 10:37 AM #19
T_Deines

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RJDG14:Some vaccinations hurt more than others.

I got a good idea of what sucks.

And what sucked most was the steroid shot when getting wisdom teeth removed.

Overall on shots, for me its the sensation I don't like. They aren't painful to me since its a one time deal at that particular moment. Its the fluid going in or being drawn that makes me hate them.

That said, I never had a spinal tap. Which is the most evil of all.
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27th Oct 2016, 1:40 PM #20
RJDG14♂

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Ah. Fortunately wisdom teeth removal is very routine (judging by a dental xray it looks as though I will have to have them out in a few years).

What size of tattoo are you intending to get (and what image)?
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