My First Tattoo: Did It Hurt?

On Friday 3 May I celebrated my 18th birthday and the very next day I ordered my long awaited gift: my very first tattoo!

For those who have commented on my birthday post, I thank you all so much for your wishes and I’m sorry if I didn’t reply to any of you, but there are actually like 30 comments and I wouldn’t write ‘Thank you’ 30 times, although I thank you 1000 times! 🙂

thank you for birthday wishes

Then, some of you have asked the very frequently asked question when someone gets a tattoo, especially for the first time: did it hurt?

And instead of answering individually, since it’s going to be the same answer everywhere, I decided to make a whole post about it!



my first tattoo birds
My fresh tattoo – just removed the bandage on the day I got it. Those who’ve read my birthday post have already seen this.

Yes… and no.

In fact it’s somehow scary when you go to a tattoo salon for the first time, especially when your mother’s freaking out next to you. The waiting is the hardest: I was so excited to finally get a tattoo – something that I’ve been dreaming of since I’m… 14? – but at the same time, I was nervous.

I had read a lot about getting a tattoo a few years ago and I remembered that some said it hurt like hell and others said they could bear the pain. Of course it depends on the tattoo designer and your own level of sensitivity. However I was quickly eased by a friend of mine who had already done a tattoo in the past, with the same tattoo designer whom I choose, and she didn’t feel a thing. Alright, she felt ticklish.

The thing is, seeing the needles and how the designer prepares his stuff can make you nervous all the more, but if you go to a professional, he will do his best to put you at ease, make conversation. And he will unwrap a new needle in front of you. The one I went to was so hygienic that he even wore 2 pair of gloves.

When he started… well there was a kind of pain, but it wasn’t a pain that would make you cry or shout. Just a… ticklish pain. Very bearable. Getting stomach ache is worse. Trimming your brows is worse.

Furthermore, I was so fascinated by the process, how he did it, how the ink spread from the needle to my skin and would slowly form my cute little self-drawn birds… that I didn’t care any more about the ‘pain’ if I can even call that ‘pain’.

Soon I got used to the ‘pain’…

The funny thing is that when he first started, he drew like a line, and suddenly stopped and looked up at me and asked: ‘Are you all right? It’s okay?” And in my head I was like: ‘God but you’ve barely begun; it’s cool, I feel awesome!’ But I just said: ‘Yes :D’

He continued with his work, then stopped again to ask me if I wanted a glass of water. I said no.

Hehe, I said no because, being an artist, although a different kind of artist, myself, I sincerely appreciated his work on my skin and was awed at such an art… Tattoos… Doing his best to reproduce the drawing as it is… (of course he traced the original drawing with ink first, but even then, don’t think it’s easy for us to copy-paste… artists aren’t photocopy machines)

I loved every moment. It was even like watching an art video on YouTube LOL! Except that there was the ‘pain’ 😉

After 10 days 🙂 I’ve been using an antibiotic cream (recommended by the tattoo artist) and from now on I have to use a hydrating lotion. It’s indeed still recovering, but after about 2 weeks it will be completely fine!

There’s something that I had read on the internet that was true in the end: the outline is more painful than the colouring. Maybe because you get used to the needle at some point.

When it’s finally all over, you stare at your lovely tattoo and you think: yes it was totally worth it! I could definitely do another one 😀 The nervousness, the ‘pain’… all worth it.

And I think that’s why many say that it doesn’t hurt at all. When I was done, I couldn’t even remember the pain clearly. I can’t remember it at all now that a few days have passed. In my head I think I’m way too excited to have a tattoo to relate this awesomeness with pain.

So I guess that to answer your question, dear readers, I’d conclude that it’s painful, you won’t escape it, but it’s bearable and in the end you won’t even remember you ever felt pain.

The little birds were drawn in 15 minutes by the way, for those who are curious… Too short, right? Time flew way too fast!

I will definitely get more tattoos in the future!

Any more questions? Ask them below!

An Evil Nymph.

32 thoughts on “My First Tattoo: Did It Hurt?

  1. Way to go! My first tattoo was my girlfriend’s username at the time. She sat there in front of me while I was getting it on my hip. She sat there and stared into my eyes with a wonderful smile on her face that the pain did not even hit me. I was more turned on by the idea that she was so happy I was getting it for her that instead of pain I almost had an orgasm.

  2. Reblogged this on Jodie's Journey and commented:
    I thought this would fit in nicely with this weeks theme, and because the evilnymph has some pretty cool stuff on her blog, you should check it out. 🙂

  3. It suits you in my mind. Doves are hopeful and in flight. May they be the first of more permanent ink. !!!

  4. Wow…. a tattoo? so brave you are …. My first tattoo is only a temporary tattoo and it lose after 3 weeks 😀 Maybe one day at the time i must try to make a real tattoo lol ….. Congrats

    1. No bravery is required, don’t worry! 🙂 The little pain you may feel is much worth the result. That’s a cool type of tattoo as well, and yes when you’re ready, feel free to go and get a real one! No regrets.

  5. Hehe, great post. You are so right about the nervousness the first time! Once I was in the waiting room I was so terrified like “What have I gotten myself into!?”. And I chose a big tattoo on my chest for my first time lol, not the best idea, it took 2 hours and was pretty painful. But the one one my shoulder and wrist were not so bad 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed your experience, I too will be back for more ink when I have the spare cash!

    All the best.


    1. Thanks! Wow for the first one, I didn’t want to do a big tattoo, although I’d love to now that I’ve got the feel of it. That’s brave of you hehe, anyway all the pain’s worth it right? Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

      I hope to do more later as well!

  6. WOW … well, thanks for the explanation. I think it’s a curiosity that many people have and are a little concerned about asking. I like the way your lil birds came out. My hubby has a tatoo and he said it felt like someone was scratching him in the same spot and he wanted to tell them to stop. I might get brave enough to get one someday. At 66, I feel a bit old about getting one. But … it’s on my Bucklet list.
    Hey … HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU … May your next year be filled with all of the wonder that life can bring.

    1. Well, you’re welcome 🙂
      It’s definitely a personal experience which should be shared.
      It’s never to late to get one. The pain is worth the result, I guarantee!
      Thank you so much for your wishes!

  7. Love the tatoo design. It symbolizes a heart full of dreams and those dreams will take her to the most amazing of places, moments and events. I wish you a future that is bright and always soaring high.

    1. Not brave, only determination to fulfil my dreams. When it comes to reaching out to what you’ve always wanted to have, fear is reduced to nothing 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Loved reading this! I am getting my very first tattoo in a few weeks with my son who has several (he is 22 & I am 44). We will be getting matching tattoos (probably the Om symbol) and I am really excited. I’ve been putting it off for a while out of fear, but feel like now I’m ready to do it! Your post has eased my fears of the potential pain. I’ll be sure to post about it on my blog. Blessings ~

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