Story by Ashley Probst
Mandel compares the sensation of getting a tattoo to a thousand mini tasers stabbing you all at once.
“It hurt more than I thought it was going to, but I feel like it needs to hurt,” Mandel said. “There’s some sort of physical connection with something branded into your skin.”
For Mock, getting a tattoo feels like someone is scratching you with a nail and moving it across your skin. “When they start to shade things, that’s when it starts to hurt,” Mock said.
Mock said the tattoos she has on her back and ribs hurt the most to have applied. “It hurt for the next two weeks because both of them went over bone…and I don’t have a lot of body fat on me.”
Just two days before, Mock had gone to get her most recent tattoo done.
“I just got a new one (near my collar bone) and it actually didn’t hurt,” Mock said. “It was one of my only tattoos that didn’t hurt.”
Scmidt said that how it feels to get a tattoo is influence by a couple factors. “It kind of depends on the gun and it kind of depends on the artist because some have harder pulls.”
She describes the pain of getting a tattoo as similar to being burned and said it doesn’t feel like needles are going in to your skin.
Before she got her first tattoo, Schmidt didn’t think she was good with pain and was extremely scared and nervous about getting inked. “I had no idea how it was going to feel and it was really funny because the pain wasn’t that bad at all,” Schmidt said.
But Schmidt did make the mistake of not eating before her appointment because she wasn’t properly informed about tattooing.
“Nobody told me anything about prep and you’re really supposed to have blood sugar when you’re getting a tattoo because your body sees it as an attack,” Schmidt said. “I hadn’t eaten all day and I got so sick, I ran outside and I there up. Then I went back in and I finished it; I mean, you can’t leave it halfway done,” Schmidt said.
Generali said that, for him, the pain of getting a tattoo is therapeutic. “It’s a very good replacement for self-harm because you’re using that mentality of harming the body but in turn, you’re creating something,” Generali said. “That’s a huge reason for why I have a lot of my tattoos.”
The tattoo on his hip hurt the most because it went over bone. “My arm hurt a little bit just because it’s really close to my armpit, which is really sensitive,” Generali said. “My leg just didn’t hurt but I didn’t think it was going to.”
Mainberger said that all tattoos hurt, no matter where you place them on your body.
“It’s also an individual thing. Some people might say one spot hurt and another spot didn’t,” Mainberger said.
According to Mainberger, some of the most painful places to get a tattoo are the feet, ribs, stomach and knees.