So the title had to be catchy. I was at the airport the other day, watching some young punk moon an entire terminal full of people without either knowing or caring that his pants and underwear didn’t seem to be held in place by his non-ass, when I began to examine his tattoos and realize he’d committed every sin in my Bible of Ink. I don’t have ink myself, but like in most things, I’m more than willing to offer a perfectly rational, obviously correct opinion on nearly any topic.
Don’t get me wrong, having grown up in two places (Polynesia and The Arctic) where tattooing is a longtime part of the indigenous culture, I can certainly appreciate a nice tattoo. It’s become big business and the source of some great fun as of late, as it is the thing to go do when you’re overcome by urban sadness after you get a scratch on your iPad screen, or are just dying for some sort of lasting proof as you age that you have, in fact, “lived life to the fullest” (seriously, fuck that expression, it’s so tired, not to mention syntactically awkward.)
The basic rule of tattooing is this: remember that whatever ink you get will be looked at by someone you’re having sex with.
Basically, this means:
1. No epitaphs. Nobody wants to know how much you miss your dead relative, that you hope they rest in peace, that they had an embarrassing middle name that you share with them, and what their vital statistics dates of birth and death are. Your body may be a temple, but it’s a temple that can get covered in somebody else’s bodily fluids. If you wouldn’t screw somebody on a tombstone (trust me, there are people who would, in which case this rule does not apply), then don’t put one on your body.
2. No people. The same bodily fluids rule applies here. Your wife, girlfriend, child, close bromance buddy or the like will probably not appreciate having their likeness writhing and contorting in the throes of your passion. Likewise, whomever you become amorous with would likely prefer not to look at pictures of said people while you’re en flagrante delicto (unless of course, the tattoo is a likeness of them and they’re a die-hard narcissist – goodness, there are just so many exceptions, aren’t there?)
3. Hands off the penis. I mean, you’re allowed to touch it and everything, but no tattoos (sorry to my friends who have already done this while on shore leave). Seriously, it’s distracting, imaginably painful, and aside from the odd circumcision (if you or your God are into that sort of thing) or maybe a bit of jewelry, let’s face it: penises are perfect and require no further enhancement. Girls, when it comes to your lady mess, ink away; you can’t wreck something that’s already a disaster.
When in doubt, leave the ink out.