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Armpit tattoos- my most painful yet

Ever since I was a child I've wanted to be covered in tattoos. My mum had them, as did all her friends and I decided I wanted them too. In the summer when I wore vest tops I'd ask my mum to 'tattoo' me with felt tips. One year I had her cover my whole arm in flowers and I felt like the coolest person alive.

I'd dabbled with piercings and had my hair various colours but it wasn't until my 18th birthday that I could fully embrace body modification. My dad is one of those conservative pricks who hates any type of self expression, particularly in the form of piercings or tattoos so I decided to hide my first from him. As everyone on here knows, the tattoo bug is infectious and so it's hardly surprising that a few months later I invested in some more ink. My designs were getting bigger and I seemed to be choosing painful spots, but this time even my mum thought I was crazy for the placement of my third tattoo.

I'd been tattooed by Phil before and so I knew he was the perfect man for the job, and I'd contacted him over a year ago to discuss the idea. He thought it was rad and so I booked the appointment. I was having old school roses in my armpits! Everyone joked that I'd be able to say that I smelt of roses afterwards but the only thing in my mind was the pain. So far I'd only had my wrist and my feet done so I didn't have much to compare. I was only hoping that it would be much less painful than I'd heard because feet are supposed to suck but I thought they were a breeze.

The day came for me to get inked and I'd been sick with nerves since the night before. Of course I was excited but gut wrenchingly nervous at the same time. I went into the shop and signed all the relevant forms; my writing was so wobbly it was illegible. When Phil showed me the stencils my first thoughts were "Oh my god they're massive!" but they were perfect. We decided to do the left armpit first and as Phil was putting on the stencil, a girl beside me looked at me in disbelief, but it felt great knowing that people thought I was crazy and very very brave. The first line wasn't too bad, but every other line after that sucked. The lines in my actual armpit were the 'least' painful, they still hurt like a bitch but it was the bits on my inner arm that were the worst. I was filled with slight relief when he moved onto the shading as this was much less intense than the outline, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about the colour. Usually the colour is the most pain free part of the tattoo but this time it was every bit as awful as the outline. When I walked over to the mirror and saw the finished product I couldn't stop grinning and the memory of the pain just vanished.

Unfortunately it all came flooding back the second he touched my right armpit. This time it was much worse. The shading brought no relief and I wanted to cry. We had to stop a lot during the second one because I was ready to vomit. I was hot and sweaty; I felt sick and just wanted him to stop. In all honesty I was a total baby. I kept telling him to stop and that I couldn't go on but he pointed out that the longer we wait the more it will hurt. He was so nice about the whole thing, I would have slapped me in the face and told me to get a grip but he tried his best to make me relax and kept telling me that I could get through it, and that there wasn't long left. Once again when I looked in the mirror I was so happy, it had all been worth it. I had some of the best roses I've ever seen in my armpits and I had a great sense of achievement having sat through it for just under 3 hours.

Wrapping me up was something we hadn't thought through and so it wasn't entirely successful. Phil wrapped the cling film over my shoulder and under my armpit but it only covered half of the tattoo, and caused me the hassle of not being able to put my arms down properly. That night my t-shirt stuck to my armpits and it hurt but after that I had minimal pain during the whole healing process. Of course it was uncomfortable but not at all painful and after just 10 days they were almost healed. Phil told me not to use deodorant during the healing process and shaving was also a no- go. I applied Bepanthen twice a day for the first 10 days and then applied regular moisturiser. After just over 2 weeks they are completely healed up and I couldn't be happier. All my friends and family think I'm dead brave and I have to agree, but as Phil said, at least I'm getting all the painful spots out of the way first.

Anyone thinking of getting their armpits tattooed, I say go for it. Yes they hurt A LOT, and I doubt you'll have experienced pain like it, but they are ultimately worth it. They look absolutely amazing and are so worth the agony.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 31 July 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Phil+Kyle
Studio: Magnum+Opus
Location: Brighton

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