"Slave-Boy" Emerges From My Arm
ince I was little, I wanted to have a nose ring and a tattoo when I grew up. I got the ring when I turned 18, more metal since, but have only just gotten my (first) tattoo about a month ago. The main delay was in finding a smallish design I could afford. I've had in my head visions of swirling mermen on my lower legs for a while, but that will have to wait due to financial reasons - I'm a university student, and we all know what that translates into, as far as bank accounts go. I've done sketchbooks full of images of males naked, in bondage, assorted obscene acts, etc., so I figured I'd find my source image in there. I eventually decided to modify a sort-of parody of the famous Betty Grable photo of her in a swimsuit and heels, looking over her shoulder. It was about the right size, and with little color, essentially a black line cartoon. Most of all I chose it because I thought it was a fairly cute image, as opposed to the more violent BDSM sort I usually draw, and since it was going to go on my upper left arm, and I tend to wear sleeveless tops, I wasn't ready to go for anything too hard-core yet. I spent a couple of weeks redrawing the image to a good preliminary sketch. It was a 6" x 2" rear view of a male looking over his left shoulder, with his underwear around his knees and his pants around his ankles. This done, I went to take it to a couple shops for estimates, but ended up stopping after going to NEXT!, as I really liked Joshua's attitude, the shop has an excellent reputation, and he quoted a very reasonable price ($120-$150). Of course, I had a class to get to, and I wasn't 100% satisfied with the design quite yet, so, after confirming that it could be done on a walk-in basis, and went on my way. I decided after that the cartoon slave-boy was a little too rotund, not enough definition, and too much hair, so a couple of weeks later I finally got it perfect - he was slimmer, with less hair, and I decided to deprive him of his undies and jeans. (I used this as a ploy to shut my mother up with her whining about it being offensive, blah, blah - "But mom, this way if I get old and prudish I can always have them put clothes on him." Yeah, right.) I also stuck a little backwards "n" on his butt. I'm a big Nine Inch Nails fan, but didn't want to get a separate NIN logo tattoo, so I figured this would kill the proverbial two birds at once. So, design ready, I got my cash and went in the first Saturday in November. Fortunately, I got there shortly after the shop openned, and Joshua was free, so we scanned the design in, and I waited while it printed out on the transfer paper, and then we got "Slave-Boy" placed on my arm, perfect the first time. It seemed to take forever while I sat in the chair as Joshua got everything cleaned and sterilized, the guns wrapped in plastic, the needles in the guns, etc. I think he went through two or three pairs of gloves just in this process. I asked a few questions, being nervous about the pain, which is sort of ridiculous considering I have two cartilege piercings in my left ear, and a labret stud (which hurt the most), but I was still nervous. When the tattooing actually started, I was relieved, mostly it wasn't too bad. Going around ome of the curves, I found myself almost doing Lamaze breathing, but for the most part it felt almost like just having someone drag their fingernails across the skin. When it was over he cleaned the excess ink off, bandaged it with saran wrap, and then discussed aftercare with me. Pretty simple compared to thrice daily (or more) Bactine flushings that I'm already well-used to. And I went home. My mother's reaction was "Well, I suppose at least it isn't a frontal view," and "Now that you've done it, I hope you move on to OTHER things..." (sure Ma, still looking for a local brander, heh heh). About two hours before I went to bed I took the bandage off and cleaned it as per instructions with a mild soap. I used "Clean and Clear" Gentle Foaming cleanser for sensitive skin - I figured it was the mildest thing I had, and it's the one thing that doesn't make my face break out. My fuck-up came at bedtime. I usually sleep on my stomach with my left arm hooked above my head, and it never occured to me that this was asking for trouble. Basically, I figure the scabs formed overnight in that position, with the skin somewhat contracted, and in the morning when I woke up and brought my arm down into the normal position, it felt extremely tight for a while til it sort of ... popped. The scabs broke, and I have ended up with some color loss and hypertrophic scarring because of this. Fortunately, when I went back to Joshua at the start of this month, he recommended I slather it in Vitamin E cream a couple of times daily and take multi-vitamin pills as well to heal up the scarring and he'll touch it up once that's healed, hopefully in another month or so. So far it does seem to be healing up fairly well with the Vitamin E, but I would still recommend you think about the position a new tattoo will be in the first few nights so as to avoid my mishap! Fortunately, I'm blessed with a fast healling system, most of my piercings all healed in 1/2 the usual time as well. Even with this problem, he still looks pretty good, and it only took a couple of days for me to get used to it before it seems that he's always been there, just waiting to emerge. An image of this tattoo can be found on my website at http://members.xoom.com/Reptile_Girl/me/tattoo1.html, also, I'll send a copy to BME as well for the tattoo pages.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 17 Dec. 1999