Pussy Gets Inked

February 1, 2011

Yeah, that got your attention. No, I did not tattoo my genitalia. I did, however, get a tattoo — despite being just about one of the biggest wimps when it comes to needles ever, as well as a chronic over-thinker.

I’ve wanted to get inked for a while. Hell, don’t all angsty teenage girls want to get some sort of tattoo at some point? A butterfly or a fairy or a California license plate that’s all tribal and shit. I’ll confess — when I was 15, I wanted a triquetra on my left shoulder blade. Why? Because it was on frickin’ Charmed (Wednesdays, 8PM on Star World).

So this idea of a tattoo remained nascent in the back of my head, playing with other forms of teen rebellion –- like that one Slipknot track on my playlist which made me feel alternative and badass beyond measure, or the propensity of my pimply self to misquote Nietzsche. Thankfully, while stupid is forever, youth isn’t. With age comes slightly less tacky ideas for tattoos.

So these ideas for tattoos –- quotes from novels, pictures from The Little Prince, names, Sanskrit prayers –- all sort of percolated but nothing really came into play until I met Wayne Rée [WR: … Whu-huh?], who has some of the coolest ink I’ve ever seen  [WR: She’s totally saying this because she thinks I’ll get her a pony. I won’t.]. We had random-as-hell chats about tattoos, inks, colours, framing, borders. He talked me out of getting what would have been an awful tattoo, the last frame from the novella The Little Prince. Like, damn.

Then I met another guy, who stomped on my heart but also had the most amazing upper arms with these sexy stylized block clouds snaking down them. And that was when I realized, truly, how beautiful tattoos are. The dark blue-green ink on skin, the firmness of lines, solidity of image -– it’s nothing less than art. It’s not spoiling your body or tainting your flesh, quite the contrary: it’s gorgeous and sexy and powerful. And tattoos aren’t something to be approached frivolously or lightly, because that just disrespects the artist’s work.

This, however, led to a whole new realm of mindfuckery. Armed with Google Images and a lot of free time, I harangued Wayne. I hassled Wayne. I irritated Wayne. I nearly lost my friendship with Wayne. [WR: Whaddaya mean “nearly”?]

“Does it hurt? What sort of colours? What about the borders? Which studio? Do you know this studio? What about this one? What do you think about this? Or this? Do you like this design? Colour or black? What do you think what do you think what do you think?”

It’s a mark of what an ace guy Wayne is that he dealt with all my questions in a calm, professional manner (he called me names and mocked my intelligence) [WR: I didn’t so much mock, as I did point out her lack of it.] [WR: OK, I totally mocked.] and gave me the best advice anybody considering a tattoo will ever get: “If you have to think this hard about it, don’t get it.”

He went on to explain that nothing’s going to mean something to you for every single day of your life, and that it shouldn’t be “Is this what I should get?” but rather “This is what I’m going to get.”

Settled. I shut the fuck up, calmed the fuck down, and suddenly, the answer was there. I wanted a lotus on the back of my neck. I’d been prevaricating earlier because a) lotuses were sorta cliché and b) I wanted it on the back of my neck. BACK OF THE NECK’S SUPPOSED TO HURT, RIGHT?!

But hell. The lotus means something to me. Something important. I come from a fairly fucked up home (don’t we all, these days?) and I had to cultivate an attitude of not getting bogged down or embroiled in petty arguments that meant nothing. To live like the lotus, as Hindu scripture puts it.

And as for the placement — if I was going to get a tattoo, I might as well do it right. Let’s go all out and get it somewhere supposedly painful because it’s something I want to be proud of. Pain’s transitory. Afterwards, I’d have art on my skin.

Once I’d made this decision, things progressed remarkably swiftly. I chose two designs, got one of my arty friends to marker them onto my arm to see which looked best, picked the nicest, set an appointment, told my friends, got a tube of Bep Plus, and waltzed into the studio of choice.

My artist, Elton, drafted out a more symmetrical design. He asked me to consider shading it, and I said an immediate “yes.” It looked good, so let’s not get bogged down in the subtext. He shaved the back of my hairy Indian neck and traced on the design. He turned on the rock music and bought me a Red Bull just in case. (He asked if it was my first tattoo. What a sweetie). My friends burst in, fascinated (out of the five who turned up, only one was in favor. Three heartily disapproved and one just wanted to see me in pain).

The funny thing? Didn’t hurt. Kind of felt stupid for being a whiny brat about it, and killing Wayne’s KPI.

Oh, wait. I lied. One bit did hurt. Afterwards, they pour alcohol on it to clean the tattoo. My freaking bro somehow neglected to mention that, because he wanted it to be a surprise. There will be no ponies in his future. [WR: And neither will there be any in yours. Unless you get a pony tattoo. Which brings me back to the mocking…]

So, if you’re planning your first tattoo, I am hereby qualified to give you advice because I’ve got one myself and I’m a neurotic 20-year-old woman, making me the Grand Poobah of Tattoo Advice, Oracle of Ink, and Nobel Laureate in Body Art.

So, my advice? Stop bitching. Shut up and get it. It’s fucking awesome, looks good, you won’t regret it if you don’t choose something douchey, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Tashny is a neurotic overthinker, with a massively inflated ego and delusions of grandeur. Sometimes, she is a journalist. She is also Wayne’s monkey, a full-time gig which has no benefits. She was promised a pony, dammit.

Wayne Rée is the creator, editor and head honcho of this very blog. He didn’t really need to shit on Tashny’s column, but she’s a dear, so fuck it.

(Except where noted, all text is © Tashny. Photos are © Kal Joffres)

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