Forewarning: This is a fair bit o’ snark.
I have been approached on many occasion by many people about my tattoos. From my seven years of experience with very noticeable, big, tattoos, here is what I suggest as general tattoo etiquette for those of you who want to approach a tattooed person.
1. Don’t touch me. Seriously, don’t touch me. Don’t grab my arm, trace the lines, or otherwise invade my personal space. I do not stroke your biceps, butt, or face when I’m looking at you. Don’t do it to me. Really.
2. Compliment, but don’t pry. If you really like my tattoo, that’s super awesome! Thank you! I like them too. However, I don’t really want you to ask me why I got it, or what it means to me. I don’t ask you your bra size, when the last time you had sex was, or if you have a good relationship with your parents. It’s private. Don’t ask me why I got them. Just because you can see them doesn’t mean you are entitled to my life story.
3. “Did it hurt?” No. Yes. Kind of. Sometimes. This is the silliest question. It didn’t feel good. But it didn’t feel bad enough for me to stop getting them. It’s needles penetrating your skin hundreds of times per second. Think about your questions before you ask, folks.
4. I am not a tattoo artist. I am merely covered in tattoos. I don’t mind hearing about your dream tattoo or the one you have planned, but I’m definitely not qualified to give you any advice, price estimates, or anything. I study science. I’m not a tattoo artist.
5. Just because you have tattoos does not mean we are best friends. I appreciate that you have tattoos, but I just… it’s not important. At all.
6. I get my tattoos done at Sanctuary Tattoo by Ryan Fleming. I’m going to get a card made that says that, because everyone asks and I swear no one even actually cares.
7. Annoying phrases:
– “I like your ink,” or anything using the phrase “ink.”
– “I got mine at…” I. Don’t. Care. I don’t mean to sound mean, but I don’t care. I don’t know who your artist is and I don’t… care.
– “Is that….?” Good grief. It’s not Dragon Ball-Z, and yes those are Rush lyrics.