Thinking of getting your very first tattoo?
Not sure what to expect or or how to take care of it ?
From someone who has over 60 tattoos with probably 20 more planned, let me share some of my experience..

tattoo, doll, and the heroin diaries image
Image by September21st

First off, you've picked something that's NOT your boyfriends name,
it's not on your neck, fingers or hands,
{while finger and hand tattoos are trendy at the moment, they'll make it extremely difficult for you to find a job in an area that isn't a minimum wage McJob.. If you're happy washing dishes the rest of your life, then by all means, get your hands or fingers done.. myself i waited till i was much older and self employed before I got my hands done..]
and it's not something trendy like 2400 other girls will have .. like an infinity with words, a feather turning into birds, or anything someone else already has..pick something that means something to Only you and something you will still enjoy looking at 20, 30 or even 50 years from now.

tattoo, black and white, and hand tattoo image tattoo, black and white, and hand tattoo image Image by September21st cat tattoo, tattoo, and skull tattoo image

Getting something trendy like 'YOLO' or "bae' will not make much sense to you or anyone else in 2045.

Now, where do you want to get it and how much is it going to hurt?

Tattoos and getting inked image
Depending on where, your pain tolerance, if you've eaten or not before your tattoo and are not hung over or not feeling well, a tattoo hurts, but not exceedingly so.. after awhile it sort of numbs out as your body's natural endorphin's start to kick in , [these are the body's natural pain relievers].. but they Do Hurt..

Keep in mind the tops of your feet, inner thighs, inner arms, inner biceps, ribs, and your Whole Entire Back from neck to tailbone Will Hurt...
Are you the type of girl that a paper cut is too much for you to handle? then these areas of your body will not be fun for you ..
Are you the type of girl who played sports all her life, had brothers that beat the shit out of you, can take some pain without crying?
.. then you can handle pretty much any tattoo anywhere..
Okay... it's tattoo day, you've had a good night sleep and a good breakfast or lunch,
you've picked a reputable tattoo artist that works in a tattoo shop, [and not his basement], that looks clean, is board certified, has been inspected by your local Board of Health and has passed cleanliness inspection..
He or She has drawn your stencil the way you want it and it's place properly on your skin that compliments your body ..
S/he should show you the needles they'll be using on your tattoo,
These needles should still be in their packaging and not used past their use-by dates..
these packages should Always be opened in front of you..
If this does not happen leave..!
When your artist starts building his machine, he will use plastic bags on the cord that plugs into the foot pedal ,
the artist touches this pedal with his foot to make the needle in the machine work,
the machine itself should always have a plastic bag on it as well as your artist should always be wearing gloves...
if any of these steps are amiss these are red flags.. grab your things and LEAVE!
Do Not overlook and of these steps as these can lead to Serious Staph infections..
Google these images if you're in doubt .
i thought I would spare you all the gruesome visual though ..
After your tattoo is finished..
stand up slowly, take your time getting up so as not to get dizzy and I try to have a chocolate or protein bar in my purse for afterwards..
also, make sure you tip your artist generously ..
Most, if not all, pay a fee to work in a shop, much like a hairdresser rents a chair in a salon, a tattoo artist has to pay the shop a percentage of his chair take.. sometimes a 60/40 split, 40% going to the shop..
this means tips help their bottom line and feed their families.
Just like you wouldn't go out to eat or go to a hairdresser without tipping them, consider your tattoo artist in the same light.
After your tattoo is finished, you've paid and tipped them, they'll most likely wrap your tattoo with plastic wrap or some kind of bandage.
I like to leave this on as long as possible.
In fact, I usually book my tattoo appointments in the evening, sleep with the bandage on,
in the morning, take the bandage off and either shower or fully wash the area with a mild soap and water and pat gently dry with a clean towel.
Leaving this process as long as possible almost seals the tattoo and speeds healing..
While your tattoo is healing, you'll want to keep it lightly moisturized..
LIGHT is the key word here..
Just like you wouldn't glob on tons of lotion on a scrape on your knee or elbow, tattoos should be treated in the same manner.
Yes, you want to keep them clean.
No, you never ever want to pick at them or pick at the scabs, but you definitely want to keep them from drying out too much and causing the dreaded itch..
When it does get itchy, smack it lightly until the itchy sensation is gone.. scratching it can loosen the scabs which, in turn, can cause you to lose ink.. [Do Not Use Polysporin on tattoos, this fades your ink]
Tattoos Do Not Like Sun..
The Best months to get tattoos are from September to April, Mid May..
Always use sunscreen on your tattoos to keep them looking fresh and bright.
Sun and tattoos are not friends at all ..
Expect to wake up in the morning and see what looks like bits of dark, almost, snakeskin like bits on your sheets.
Depending on how big your tattoo is, this is perfectly normal and to be expected.
After a week or so, and the scabbing is gone, your tattoo will almost look shiny, this is also completely normal and will go away in another week or so..
If any touch-ups on your tattoo need to be done, your artist won't until the shininess is gone from your tattoo and it is completely healed.
While your tattoo is healing; sleep properly, stay away from alcohol and swimming pools,
eat a healthy diet of nutritious food,
drink lots of water.
This will all help heal your tattoo immensely!

I'll be doing another article on ear-lobe stretching at a later date..
please feel free to send me a postcard if you have any questions on body modification, piercing or tattooing !
Happy Hearting