Etiquette for tattooing an intimate area?
December 4, 2017 3:51 PM   Subscribe

So, long story short, I'm considering getting a tattoo on my hip or butt cheek. Is there some etiquette I should be aware of with regards to talking to an artist about this? Maybe I'm overthinking this but I can imagine some artists would prefer to avoid being face down in some guy's rear for an hour or two (or more) and I'd like to avoid offending anybody.
posted by LastOfHisKind to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Butt/hip tattoos are pretty common. Even on dudes. Just wash well, don't fart on them (if you feel like you might, ask to take a breather/break). Ask if you'd need to shave - though artists usually shave you if they need to. Just tell them upfront where it is going and make sure they tattoo that spot. Wear comfy elastic waist pants or shorts that can be pulled down and taped in place. They may cover part of you with a taped paper towel for privacy if you want/need it.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:56 PM on December 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

You might think of wearing a men's thong
posted by Transl3y at 4:12 PM on December 4, 2017

If the artist agrees to tattoo a particular body part, you can probably assume they're fine with working in that area. As suggested, shower thoroughly before your appointment. Beyond that, this is basically a non-issue as far as I know.
posted by Lexica at 4:14 PM on December 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

Most good tattoo artists have seen and experienced it all and don't care in the slightest. If you find a tattoo artist who is not comfortable with this, that's probably a tattoo artist you don't want to go to anyway. But yes, be clean, be well-fed and well-hydrated (some people suggest treating it like a doctor's appointment -- and so, well, the joke of "wear clean underwear" applies here).

Tattoos are pretty intimate, regardless of where they are. The ones I've had have been in a variety of circumstances but I was never uncomfortable with any of them. (And I once walked out of a studio that felt really weird to me, too.) But I never once felt like any of my tattoo artists really cared about what body part they were tattooing -- it was all just skin to them.

You'll hopefully be in contact with your artist and have a conversation with them before the tattooing takes place. I suggest making some contact over email initially, and also visiting the studio before the tattoo is going to happen (if possible, of course). If that won't happen, you'll still talk with your artist beforehand. It's not like they won't know what part of the body they're tattooing before they begin.

Just remember -- your comfort is also important. If you feel like the artist you meet with isn't someone you want tattooing your hip/butt for whatever reason, that's perfectly fine (which is also why I recommend meeting beforehand -- if there is a consultation fee you have to pay, well, that's better than paying for a bad tattoo).
posted by darksong at 6:01 PM on December 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

You are fine if you act normally and you are clean. Same protocol for getting a massage. Don't stress it, you'll be fine, and enjoy your new tattoo!
posted by metasav at 6:02 PM on December 4, 2017

Don't worry about it. When I saw your question title I initially thought it was going to be on your junk, and honestly, even there your only problem would be making sure the studio does it-- many do. Hip/rear area barely registers to most tattoo artists as something most people cover.

The more important thing is that *you* are comfortable with the artist being there. Go with your gut; if you don't feel comfortable, get the work done somewhere else. This area may not be intimate to the artist, but it clearly is for you. Respect that in yourself.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 6:16 PM on December 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I can assure it won't be an issue for your artist. I don't have any work on my hip or bum, but I do have tattoos that cover parts of my breasts, and one that wraps around my thigh and basically required my artist to work with her head a few inches from my crotch. Both times my artists (different ones for each tattoo, one male and one female) were incredibly respectful and could arrange/tape my clothing such that I was basically modest the whole time.

Seconding the advice to please make sure you're comfortable in yourself, and trust your artist and are okay with them working on that area of your body. My first tattoo is from an artist I would never go to today, and whose shop made me pretty uncomfortable, but I didn't know better. I've adored all of my artists since then, and working with them has been something really special.
posted by kalimac at 7:11 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

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